April 28, 2003

Scenes From A Debate, Part

Scenes From A Debate, Part II - As I mentioned in my previous post, many of the anti-MPPA audience members seemed quite uninformed about the issue - especially compared to the supporters, many of whom have racked up freqent flyer miles in the hearing rooms and galleries over the years.

Many of the antis ran a vocal commentary as Sen. Gen Olson read the MPPA-related changes to the bill. It went something like this:

Sen. Olson: "...the bill will impose a petty misdemeanor on permit holders who enter a school carrying a handgun...
Opponents in Audience: "Is that IT? How stupid!"
Sen. Olson: "Current law allows no penalty for carrying a gun into a school."
Opponents in Audience:(embarassed silence).
Sen. Olson: "The bill would impose a misdemeanor for carrying a firearm with a blood alcohol level of .04 or greater, and a felony charge for .1 or greater..."
Opponents in Audience: What? Only a misdemeanor? That's outrageous!
Sen. Olson: "Current law imposes no penalty for carrying drunk"
Opponents in Audience: (embarassed silence)
Sen. Olson: "Current law allows private businesses to post their property if they don't want firearms on premises"
Opponents in Audience: "Oh, criminy, that's just..."
Sen. Olson: "Current law doesn't mention this"
Opponents in Audience: (embarassed silence)
And so on, and so forth.

Worse still, the woman I sat near before the session started. She started running down the bill and its supporters. A few of us supporters tried to engage her; she responded by droning on about how ridiculous we all were (not overly different from Wes Skogland, really).

Finally, she leaped to her feet and bellowed "There's no gun in this purse!"

This, of course, is against Senate gallery rules. The sergeant at arms warned her - so she yelled the same thing again! The sergeant at arms ejected her, to the bewildered muttering of the antis present.

"It's the rule", we told them.


Rules are apparently for others.

Posted by Mitch at April 28, 2003 09:05 PM