April 29, 2003

Carp Run - Strib Doug

Carp Run - Strib Doug Grow takes a predictable tack in today's column.

He writes about a bit during yesterday's debate where Senator Dille held up a list of groups oppposing the MPPA; the list included some left-leaning police organizations, and about 250-odd churches.

Grow romanticizes the opposition:

They knew they were outgunned. But one last time Monday, foes of looser gun laws walked into the Minnesota Senate chamber.

"You packing?" I asked Sen. Wes Skoglund, DFL-Minneapolis, long an ardent foe of liberalizing conceal-and-carry laws.

"Yep," he said. "I've got my pen, my reading glasses and the list."

Skoglund's list included the names of more than 300 church, school, business and law-enforcement organizations that opposed a bill that would make it possible for most Minnesotans 21 and older to get a permit to carry a loaded pistol.

Grow then goes on to describe Dille's reference to the list, and Senator Pat Pariseau's response:
. He rose from his seat and asked the two point people on conceal-and-carry, Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, and Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, if they had a list showing groups supporting expanded permitting.

Pariseau shuffled some papers on her desk.

"None [of the law-enforcement organizations] have come to, ahh, a position of neutrality on this," she said. "We have, ummm, loose organizations of people who are civil-rights types who support it. This has citizen kind of support. Street cops support it. But they don't have an organization."

Dille repeated his question: "Does anyone have a list showing who supports this?"

No answer.

As an aside - with this paragraph, Doug Grow's biases wax crude; dutifully transcribing the "umms" and "ahs" that accompanied Pariseau's response, is intensely disingenuous. Doing the same for, say Dean Johnson - the almost unlistenably inarticulate DFLer from Willmar - would horrify anyone who values public oratory (although the radio stations' playing the tapes of Ellen Anderson's shrieking is good revenge).

Grow spins Pariseau's lack of an answer as if it's a comment, in and of itself, on Pariseau's bill. What it truly bespeaks is Grow's DFL myopia.

Because the concealed carry movement, as Sen. Pariseau said, is not a congregation of organizations. It's people. Citizens. Individuals. They banded together under CCRN, but it was a grassroots movement.

Most people on the right of center, Mr. Grow, don't think you are defined by the groups you belong to!

Grow nods to his PC clientele:

Although there were a number of people -- mostly men
Oh, dear. Those pesky men again.
at the Capitol wearing yellow stickers reading "Have Gun, Will Vote," polls have shown that most Minnesotans don't want more people carrying handguns.
I'd like to see a poll about this issue that wasn't commissioned by organizations that oppose concealed carry, and whose survey questions don't skew the results. (Yes, I design surveys for part of my living, and I can spot the bias!)
"It's so hard for a group of volunteers to keep coming back year after year against a powerful special-interest group with paid staff," said Becky Wardell-Gaertner, who was among those cheering for senators to keep fighting conceal-and-carry.
This, of course, is a lie.

Concealed Carry Reform Now has no paid staff. It's a purely volunteer group. And they - not the NRA - did most of the writing of the bill, in conjunction with GOP counsel.

But you know what? It doesn't matter. Some crimes will be deterred. Some crimes will never happen. Someday, one permit-holder will screw up, and get the maximum possible sentence plus a few as an example. In five years, an audit will show that the law has given us a slight net benefit. Wes Skoglund will be waving lists of groups that say the sun rises in the South.

And Doug Grow will be rearranging the deck chairs on the DFL's next sinking ship.

Posted by Mitch at April 29, 2003 08:47 AM