God, Guns And Gold!

I haven’t honestly watched so much as a second of the Olympics – any Olympics – since watching the biking events in 2012 while I was stuck sick in a hotel room.

The current Tokyo games have been marred by Covid hysteria and parts of the US Team mistaking their celebrity for a social mandate.

But there are still some reasons to cheer. The US shooting team is not only taking home the jewelry…

….but got a surprisingly evenhanded treatment from the left-leaning Guardian:

…marksmanship aficionados were treated to the slightly less refined spectacle of Piers Morgan sniping on Twitter as an American won the first gold medal of the Rio Games and USA Shooting, the governing body, firing back by accusing the gun-control advocate of trolling.

Morgan’s facile argument: it is no wonder that a country of 330 million people with an estimated 400 million guns in circulation and a serious homicide problem is good at shooting. “What we do out here on the skeet fields and on the rifle range has nothing to do with crime and violence,” Matt Suggs, the chief executive of USA Shooting, said.

The US is indeed the all-time medal leader, with roughly as many gold medals as the next three countries (China, Russia and Italy) combined. But Ginny Thrasher’s first-day success in the 10-metre air rifle was the US’s only shooting gold of the 2016 Games, while top-ranked Italy won four. Though the US has a large number of competitive shooters, they are not necessarily taking aim in the international disciplines featured in the Olympics.

Because street criminals are the ones moving up to the Olympic team. And to think we accuse leftists of being bovine intellectual herd animals.

Having just shot skeet for the first time earlier this month, I’m a little in awe of my nephews’ facility at blasting clays – and a lot in awe of the kind of shooting the serious competitors do.

18 Or 21

Joe Doakes fro Como Park emails:

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit hears cases from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and from federal administrative agencies.  It recently decided Hirschfeld v. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco & Explosives (what us old timers called ‘ATF’ before the name changed.  Text of opinion here and also here.

2-1 decision says it’s unconstitutional to deny 18-year-olds their full rights under the Second Amendment.

The dissent argues that we’ve been doing it wrong for a long time so we shouldn’t restore their rights now; that it’s not the federal courts’ job to protect civil rights that Congress took away; Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be protected as strongly as other fundamental rights (intermediate scrutiny instead of strict scrutiny) because guns are dangerous; and the challenged law only applies to purchases from federally licensed firearms dealers (18-year-olds can still obtain guns from unlicensed sellers, back alleys, gun show loopholes, friends and relatives so their rights aren’t infringed by being denied purchases from licensed dealers.)

The dissent points out the prohibition on felons and mentally ill owning guns as evidence Congress can deny 18-year olds the right to buy guns because felons – crazies – teens – pretty much the same.  Senator Frank Dodd studied the issue and announced ‘a causal relationship between the easy availability of firearms other than a rifle or shotgun and juvenile and youthful criminal behavior,’ so it’s scientifically proven guns cause kids to kill.  Besides, it’s only a temporary denial of their rights – those crazy kids can buy guns as soon as they turn 21 so even though justice is delayed a few years, it’s still justice. 

The dissent goes on a great length how people over 18 but under 21 are responsible for a vast proportion of crime so it’s sensible and proper to deny them their Constitutional rights.  Seems to me that analysis could be applied to “Blacks” just as easily.  Would we be so eager to deny gun rights in that case?

What’s never mentioned is the reason the nation adopted the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.  I wonder why not?

Joe Doakes

Silliness had few consequences in the ’70s. 

Stuff That Leaks Out A Weasel’s Nethers

John Lott talks about the hoax “online graduation” a gun control group produced.

The extraordinarily well-funded group that put on the hoax claims no edits were made – but they refuse to release the original video. Further proof, were any needed, that the typical Democrat voters is terminally gullible and incapable of critical thought.

Also proof that, when you are a conservative, you always record your own media and public appearances, so that when, not if, leftists try to yank you out of context, you can stuff it down their yappy little throats sideways.

(And if they balk at letting you record the session yourself – as “legitimate” media most often will? Walk away).

Affirmative

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Two weeks ago, Joe Biden declared the greatest threat facing America is global warming.  He has now announced his plan to deal with it: take away your guns. 

No plans to take criminals off the streets with aggressive crime prevention tactics, more cops, longer sentences.  But plenty of federal money for programs to keep teens out of trouble which means Midnight Basketball may be coming back, so that’s something.

Joe Doakes

And y’know, intervening with at-risk kids isn’t the dumbest idea for dealing with crime.

Naturally, most of the programs to which “intervention” money will be transferred will be shams, the usual crap from the non-=profit/industrial complex, at least in the “Blue” cities most affected.

But as Joe said, that’s true of pretty much all the areas where they’re spending. It’s all a wealth transfer.

A Good Guy With A Gun, Part XXIV

Recent mass shooting in Colorado was ended by a civilian with a legal firearm:

“[John Hurley] did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” [colleague Bill]] Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.”

A manager at a business nearby who asked not to be identified said he was outside when he heard Hurley urge people to get to safety.

“He turned back and looked towards everybody at the restaurant and told us that he (the gunman) is coming, that he is coming back and that we should get inside,” the manager said. “I ran to the back of the store, closer to the alley, kind of ‘nooked’ myself in a corner just to feel safe.”

It’s an object lesson – being the “Good Guy with the Gun” doesn’t necessarily ensure one’s safety.

But by all indications, it’s a spree killing deterred.

UPDATE: He was apparently killed by the responding cops.

Gotta be careful out there.

Sober Appraisal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails, citing the title of a “Crime Prevention Research Center” article “What is the danger to allowing Concealed handguns on University property?: Shootings by permit holders from 2012 to May 2021”:

Obviously because college students are too stupid, too immature, too emotionally volitile to safely and wisely use guns.   Unlike sex, drugs, alcohol and Tide pods, for which they are perfectly well suited. 

Turns out college kids who are mature enough to go through the process of getting carry permits, don’t use them in fraternity hazing rituals.

Go figure.

Approval

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I dislike federal holidays as partisan political  propaganda but I’m rethinking my position. I’m willing to support Juneteenth, if this becomes the official advertising poster.

It gets better.

After the Yanks freed the last of those slaves, a number of black freedmen who’d served in the Federal army settled in Galveston, bringing their training, and guns, with them.

So when the Klan came a-calling, they were met by a bunch of battle-hardened former Union grunts. They sent the Klan reeling…

…all the way to Austin. Where they pushed the Democrat government to ban guns in the hands of Negroes.

Litigation over which (thanks, NRA) went on to become one of the driving bodies of litigation behind the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

We’re going to need a bigger poster.

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln…

SCENE: Cat SCAT, the designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“ and office manager at a small phrenology practice, approaches Mitch BERG at the afterparty for an AM1280 event. BERG doesn’t notice until it’s too late.

SCAT: Merg. Nobody is coming for your guns.

BERG: Oh, hey, Cat…

SCAT: It’s just a fantasy spread by Hate Radio to help puff up gun sales.

BERG: We talked about this the other day. You seem to believe that until the SWAT team is busting down doors…

SCAT: Your door.

BERG: Right, then I’ve got nothing to complain about.

SCAT: It’s just a scam to keep stupid angry fat white men in a state of paranoia that benefits the gun industry.

BERG: So there’s no gun control?

SCAT”. None.

BERG”. Other than ammo bans and requiring licensing to buy ammunition, or demands to carry liability insurance, while regulating the liability carriers out of the industry, or confiscatory taxes on guns, legal “felony traps” designed to turn unsuspecting people into a felon (such as the so called universal background checks that turn you into a felon by simply handing someone a gun and then having them hand it back), or requiring guns have non-existent or non-functional technology such as microstamping or smart gun technology, or elimination of preemption laws making it easier for gun owners to unknowingly break some locale’s gun laws and giving local politicians the sort fo control over civil rights that’d be unthinkable in any other area, or allowing litigation against gun manufacturers over illegal use of their products, or eliminating the sale of gun parts without background checks (even though you’ll look long and hard for an example of a criminal building their firearm), or banning classes of guns whose definitions are more fluid than a millennial humanities major’s gender identity, or shutting down gun ranges due to “noise pollution” or “lead contamination”, or creating lists of “allowable” guns, and then making it prohibitively expensive for manufacturers to get guns on the list, or mandating parts on guns that nobody actually wants, and making sure that over time, the list shrinks to nothing, while having the BATFE constantly reverse themselves on what is legal and what is not (bankrupting companies that manufactured items the ATF previously said were legal but now say aren’t), and loading up statute books with laws that make self-defense onerous and legally fraught, and crowding the bench with judges who don’t think there’s a right to self-defense, much less to keep and bear arms?

Yeah you got a point. Other than that, I got nothing.

(But SCAT has already wandered off after a shiny object).

And SCENE

Flush

A decision Friday undercut the legal basis of California’s “assault weapon” ban:

California’s 32-year-old ban on a certain class of semi-automatic rifles colloquially known as “assault weapons” was declared unconstitutional yesterday in the case of Miller v. BontaAt the same time, the Biden administration wants to impose similar restrictions federally.

The decision does not instantly nullify the enforcement of the law. “Because this case involves serious questions going to the merits, a temporary stay is in the public interest,” concludes the decision, which was penned by U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez for the Southern District of California. The injunction that would force California to stop enforcing its ban is therefore “stayed for 30 days during which time the Attorney General may appeal and seek a stay from the Court of Appeals.”

The state’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, has already announced his intention to appeal—and the 9th Circuit, which will consider that appeal, is not reliably supportive of the Second Amendment. But Benitez’s reasoning remains for other jurists to draw on in other cases, especially if Biden continues his interest in banning certain kinds of rifles.

The 9th Circuit will overturn the decision. Which will likely go to the SCOTUS.

At which point the New York Rifle and Pistol case will have ended in a preceded applying strict scrutiny to state gun laws.

Gun rights are a marathon, not a sprint.

If only ever conservative cause could learn the lessons the 2nd Amendment movement teaches.

Conspiracy!

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking, sans ceremonial mask, into the Target on University Avenue, trying to calculate the number of people without masks in mandate-free, Karen-rich Saint Paul. Focused on numbers, he doesn’t notice as Avery LIBRELLE, wearing three masks, walks around the corner.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, ssssshhhhhhhhut the front door, how ya been, Avery?

LIBRELLE: Nobody is coming for your guns.

BERG: Democrats nationwide, including in Minnesota, are trying to.

LIBRELLE: Are they at your door taking your guns right this minute?

BERG: Er, no

LIBRELLE: So they’re not coming for your guns.

BERG: So if they’re not coming for my guns in five minutes, but not literally carting off my gun safe right at this moment…

LIBRELLE: Then you’ve got nothing to complain about.

BERG: Huh.

LIBRELLE: But the whole “Second Amendment” thing is just a conspiracy to sell more guns and ammo. It’s to profit from fear.

BERG: Huh. So the firearms and ammo industries staged “gun control” panic to improve their market.

LIBRELLE: Exactly!

BERG: So if that were the case, wouldn’t the firearms and ammunition industries have made sure they were ready to supply the immense demand?

(But LIBRELLE has already wandered off to badger someone who’s not wearing a mask.

Newbies

Have we reached a tipping point in the culture war as re guns?

It’s not a new point – if you’ve listened to my show, you’ve heard the story.

But this past year, 40% of gun sales were to people outside the “white male who’s already got a bunch of guns” stereotype:

Not only were people who already had guns buying more, but people who had never owned one were buying them too. New preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center show that about a fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. And the data, which has not been previously released, showed that new owners were less likely than usual to be male and white. Half were women, a fifth were Black and a fifth were Hispanic.

In all, the data found that 39 percent of American households own guns. That is up from 32 percent in 2016, according to the General Social Survey, a public opinion poll conducted by a research center at the University of Chicago. Researchers said it was too early to tell whether the uptick represents a reversal from the past 20 years, in which ownership was basically flat.

Further evidence (along with the fact that younger Americans overwhelmingly support the right to keep and bear arms) of this thesis.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/an-arms-race-in-america-gun-buying-spiked-during-the-pandemic-its-still-up/ar-AAKvZfB?fbclid=IwAR3XpPNFnN3AzvSBuOo0Lg1yYnPyr606bKqagbSsPdSkYuIWo5cFxPEFA90

Degüello, Metaphorically Speaking

Question: Why did President Harris go so long on gun control at Biden’s “bedtime chat” the toher night?

Answer: Because Big Left may not get another chance at it, at least not via due process of law.

Americans are ditching gun control:

The number of Americans supporting enacting new gun laws over protecting gun rights fell from 57 percent to 50 percent, a seven-point drop from when the poll was last conducted in 2018. The number of Americans favoring gun rights jumped from 34 to 43 percent, a nine-point jump. The difference between the two positions narrowed by 16 points overall.

The sharpest decline in support for new gun-control measures came among 18 to 29-year-olds and Hispanics. Both groups saw a 20 percent drop. Rural Americans and strong conservatives saw a 17-point drop.

The downturn in gun-control support comes even after multiple high-profile mass shootings in Colorado, Indiana, and Georgia. The ABC/Washington Post poll is the second in as many weeks to show support for gun control waning. A Pew Research poll released on April 21 found the same seven-point drop in support for stricter gun laws.

The polling trend lends support to the idea new gun owners are beginning to change their attitudes on guns. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun makers and dealers, estimated there were 8.4 million new gun owners in 2020. Since gun owners tend to oppose new gun-control measures at a higher rate than non-gun owners, the drop in polling support for new gun laws may be a result of those new gun owners changing their minds.

There’s a strong case to be made that gun rights are winning the culture war – we’ve talked about it before – and this stiudy is some fairly solid evidence toward the thesis.

That’s the good news.

Here’s the problem: when we’re on defense, gun owners and gun rights supporters are second to none. If every conservative constituency in the US were as diligent at organizing and wielding power as shooters, Congress would look like the North Dakota legislature – there wouldn’t be enough elected Democrats to staff their committee assignments. When there’s a threat, we turn out like an onslaught of biblical wrath.

But when times are good?

Most especially when Republicans – who are reliably pro-gun, and the few exceptions prove the rule – control Congress and our legislatures, we go back to “real life”. Which befits us, as (mostly) conservatives; we don’t want politics to be our daily grind. We have real lives.

But with the SCOTUS on the brink of taking on a case that could impose strict scrutiny on state gun control laws, we, the good guys, need to resolve to fight this thing through to its bitter conclusion, just as our grandparents and great-grandparents did in 1945 – until the war is over for good. Until there’s no doubt.

Until gun control is as dead as the slavery in which is was born.

No quarter. No compromise.

UPDATE: Well, that went to hell quickly.

Freedom

North Dakota has not only become a Second Amendment Sanctuary…

..they’ve caught up with a lot of other solid-red states in some areas where they’d lagged a bit:

“Both the U.S. Constitution and North Dakota Constitution recognize our citizens’ inalienable right to keep and bear arms, and designating North Dakota as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State sends a strong message to Congress and the White House that we will firmly resist any attempts to infringe on those rights,” Burgum said. “We are deeply grateful to all of the legislators who sponsored and supported these bills and worked to strengthen North Dakota’s commitment to the Second Amendment.”

Among the bills approved by the Legislature and signed by Burgum this session:

HB 1498 removes a victim’s requirement to try and escape before defending themselves against an attacker, making North Dakota a “Stand Your Ground” state.
SB 2344 protects North Dakotans’ access to firearm and ammunition businesses.
HB 1293 expands constitutional carry in North Dakota and expands hunting rights for North Dakotans.
HB 1383 prohibits state agencies from enforcing federal gun laws that infringe on the Second Amendment.
HB 1450 allows more North Dakotans to qualify for a Class 1 Concealed Carry license.
HB 1463 gives local fire and EMS entities the ability to have an armed responder for defensive purposes only.
HB 1248 clarifies the role of cities and political subdivisions in making local firearms policy.
HB 1297 clarifies where firearms are and aren’t allowed.
HB 1339 creates a study to evaluate the North Dakota Century Code’s definitions of “public gathering” and “dangerous weapon” to ensure North Dakota’s law is up to date.
HB 1396 protects firearm and ammunition manufacturers from lawsuits for damages caused by a third party.

Congrats, NoDak.

Minnesota can only dream, as long as the “progressive” wing of the DFL has a leash attached to Governor Klink’s delicates.

The Case We’ve Been Waiting For?

News came out yesterday.

WIth a win for the NYSRPA would – presumably if incorporated – require “strict scrutiny” of gun laws compliance with the Second Amendment. Literally, they could not infringe the right of the people to keep and carry firearms, provided they aren’t otherwise disqualified from doing so.

The left is getting the vapors.

And while Roberts conservative credentials have proven to be less than stellar, it’s worth remembering he voted with the majority on Heller and MacDonald.

Expect Big Left to mount the mother of all full-court presses.

Citizens United big?

I’d wager a shiny new quarter on it.

Much more on this on Monday’s episode of the “MN Gun Report” podcast (which, as noted about ten words ago, comes out on Monday).

In The Best Of Hans

Remember when Trump nominated a raft of extremists for high executive offices?

No?

Right. There’s a reason for that.

In the meantime, this is who President Harris has picked to run Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the agency that regulates firearms, and occasionally participates in anti-gun psyops like “Fast and Furious”:

The fact that Democrats can say anything they want, anything at all, because their key demographic just isn’t that bright, is on the verge of being a Berg’s Law.

A Few Issues

Like a decent but shrinking share of National Public Radio (NPR) programming, “The Hidden Brain” has some redeeming value – in this case, some fascinating looks into the frontiers of cognitive psychology, at least among the episodes I’ve heard. A repurposed podcast, like an awful lot of NPR programming, it is one of the shows that’s filling the spot “Prairie Home Companion” and “Live from Here” used to fill – and is actually pretty interesting, even with the occasional challenge it provides.

But it’s NPR – National “Progressive” Radio. The network exists largely to affirm the left’s prejudices about itself and society. An NPR bumper sticker or tote bag was an Urban Progressive Privilege virtue-signal long before those became a cultural obsession.

And so when fact peters out, narrative sets in. And there is just no way that narrative gets challenged by anyone on the program. It might be off-topic – you’d be surprised how easy it is to fill an hour of radio – but it seems more and more obvious that NPR isn’t in the “challeninging Big Left’s tropes” business.

And so with last weekend’s episode, on “Honor Societies” – which, the hypothesis goes, include much of the American South and West.

You can argue the premise. You can argue the findings. And by all means, do.

But around forty minutes in, the host and guest swerved into a deeply counterfactual “discussion of ‘Stand your Ground’ laws”. I put it in scare quotes because it was no such thing; it was an unchallenged recitation of Big Left’s narrative about self-defense reform.

I wrote then an email, attached below.

I’m Mitch Berg, from Saint Paul, MN. My day job involves a lot of applied cognitive psychology, so I’ve become a bit of a fan of HIdden Brain [1]. I listen most Saturdays on KNOW in Saint Paul.

And I very much enjoyed your 3/29 episode, about “Honor Societies” – until about 40 minutes into it, where it swerved, hard, into misinformation.

Your host and guest spent a few moments discussing so-called “Stand your Ground” laws. Whether through ignorance or intent, that part of the show was highly legally erroneous at best, and misinformation at worst.

I’ll explain briefly [2]:

  1. Self-defense laws vary by state – but in every case I’m aware of require that one meet the following criteria:
    One must reasonably fear being killed, violently, then and there (where “reasonable” means “would convince a jury”).
  2. You can only use the force needed to end the threat in #1 above. When an attacker turns to run away, or falls over too injured to hurt you, the threat is over – you can’t hunt them down and finish them off.
  3. One must not be the aggressor; one can’t start a bar-room brawl (or an “honor” incident, for that matter) and pull a gun when someone breaks a beer bottle.
  4. One must make a reasonable effort to retreat (same definition of “reasonable” as above). In a “Castle Doctrine” state, this doesn’t apply in the home and, in some states, one’s business. In a so-called “Stand your Ground” state, it doesn’t apply outside the home, anyplace one has a legal right to be, while doing anything one has the legal right to do, provided you meet the three criteria above.

Your guest repeated the “misconception” – in many cases, it’s a propagandistic chanting point, but I’ll presume good motive, here – that “Stand your Ground” means, closely paraphrasing your guest, that “thinking you’re in danger gives you the right to kill someone, and call it self-defense”. In fact, even in situations where “Castle” or “Stand your Ground” laws apply, one must meet the other three criteria, subject to the details of state statute, to the satisfaction of the investigators, the prosecutors, and if worse comes to worst a jury.”Stand your ground” is not a legal grounds to claim the dog ate one’s moral homework to get away with murder.Beyond that? Your guest noted that “Stand your Ground” laws are most common in “Honor States” – implying “Honor”-based attitudes drive “Stand your Ground” laws.

But facts show that the correlation is far from accurate. 29 states, as diverse as Florida, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, have “stand your ground” statutes, and eight more – including Washington State, Oregon and Illinois – have it in case law. (And New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Minnesota are all “Castle” states, via statute or case law). So, rather than “Honor Society”, the valid correlation appears to be states with meaningfully strong and effective libertarian/conservative legislative majorities or minorities have such laws.

Fascinating as much of the episode was (I wound up driving around the city for an extra 40 minutes to hear the whole thing), this part of the episode veered sharply from fact into legal misinformation. And given this is a public radio production, even one I generally enjoy a lot, I’m given to suspect at least a tinge of classist narrative. The show was much the worse off for it.


While I realize the odds of this email being acknowledged, much less broadcast, are about as likely as my getting a hot third date with Anna Kendrick, I grant permission to use this response on the air, and will edit and put it in audio form if you prefer.

I’ll also point out that as part of my “side hustle” (see [1], below), I’ll be discussing this episode, and my attempt to contact your program about it, on my show, podcast and blog, in the coming week or two, including reaching out (likely pro forms and in the interest of fairness and clarity) to your show’s guest.

Mitch Berg
651 xxx xxxx

[1] I mentioned my “day job” – now I should tell you about my side hustle. I’m a talk show host and podcaster at a Twin Cities radio station, as well as a modestly prominent regional blogger. That follows a career in radio and journalism, including at least some time doing news at a publicly-supported station.

[2] My bona fides: For over two decades, I’ve been an activist and volunteer for the groups that wrote much of MInnesota’s current body of firearms law, which have passed with strong bipartisan majorities and been signed by governors of both parties. I produce the podcast for this group. As a MInnesota carry permit holder, I have had to repeatedly demonstrate knowledge of the law as part of statutory permit training. I’m not a lawyer, but I get most of my information from lawyers who specialize in this area, both in criminal defense and legislative terms. You want cites, I got cites. If there is a person anywhere in American alternative media who’s paid more dues on this issue, I say with all due humility I have yet to be introduced to them.

Public radio – NPR, as always, and increasingly MPR – rarely deigns to acknowledge the proles. Suffice to say, this post (and my next NARN show) will likely be this topic’s only sojourn outside the memory hole.

Safety Nets

Joe Manchin ain’t much of one.

But…:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out against his party’s push for gun control this week, saying that he does not support bills that were recently passed in the House.

“What the House passed? Not at all,” Manchin said, according to The Hill.DailyWire

“I come from a gun culture. I’m a law-abiding gun owner,” Manchin said, adding that he supports background checks on commercial transactions because the seller in that case does not know the buyer.

“If I know a person, no,” Manchin added.

…barring a pretty decent showing in 2022, he’s all we’ve got.

A Senate Democrat Tradition

Back in the early days of this blog – the early 2000s – I used to refer to then -Senator Wes Skoglund of MInneapolis as “A Lying Sack of Garbage”.    

It was deeply uncivil – but it was accurate.   If it came from his mouth, and it was about guns, gun owners, gun laws, gun crime, the Second Amendment, it’s legal and factual history, it was a lie.  Full stop.

Favorite pullquote from history – in 2003, he opposed Shall Issue carry permit reform because he said, in the Strib, that it’d allow gang members to get carry permits (a claim never fact-checked by any local media).  I’m fairly sure he knew better – but then as now, DFL pols could count on their voters being less than adept at critical thinking.  

It’s been almost pointless to note which Democrat pols have inherited the “Lying Sack of Garbage” mantel – it’s generally easier to point out the ones that tell the truth than the ones that don’t.   

But in this op-ed in the Strib, Senator John Marty strips down to his skivvies and rolls around in a slop pit if lies, slander and dishonor, putting himself on the short list to inherit the title.

It’s about his proposal to ban carry at the capitol – an attempt to roll back legislation from 2015 that allowed Minnesotans with valid carry permits to not be disarmed at the Capitol.   

It’s almost Nancy Nord Bence-level:

The sight of people flaunting assault rifles is becoming commonplace at political rallies of Trump supporters and right-wing causes. During the past year, Michigan, Oregon, Kentucky and Idaho all had incidents where people, armed to the teeth and dressed for combat, walked into their state Capitols to threaten public officials. These incidents made national news because the brazen intimidation was so shocking.

It’s so cute that the party that has no problem with “Anti”-Fa thugs patrolling the outskirts and aftermaths of their “peaceful protests”, that employs “woke” culture to intimidate dissent at schools, in the workplace and in the public square, and sicced the IRS on their opponents as suddenly developed scruples about “intimidation”.

Fifty years ago, it wasn’t this way. In 1967, when the Black Panthers walked into the California state Capitol heavily armed, there was strong bipartisan support for prohibiting the carrying of loaded firearms. Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and even the NRA supported the Mulford Act, which sharply restricted the carrying of guns, not just in the California Capitol, but elsewhere. Reagan said there is “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

When people on the left start quoting Reagan, stand by for a gale of mangled context.

Reagan’s response to the Black Panthers was among the worst of his few mistakes. Marty deserves to be told as much.

Now however, when it is largely white conservatives who are taking guns to Capitols, the NRA and the Republican Party seem to consider it perfectly appropriate for their allies to use guns to intimidate political opponents.

I can’t speak to Senator Marty’s sense of proportion or stability. But given that the people with the gun are all people who are over 21, have all passed training courses and multiple background checks thereby proving that they are better bets, criminologically speaking, per capita, than the House DFL Caucus, one might suggest Marty is crying wolf.

And either doing it ignorantly, or (more likely) presuming his Democrat audience just doesn’t care that much about the facts:

We do not allow people to bring guns into county courthouses, into many big office buildings in the Twin Cities or at Vikings, Wild and Twins games. Thirty-two other states require people to walk through a metal detector before entering their Capitol buildings.

Where to start with that graf?

  • We don’t allow carry in any courthouse, federal, state, county or municipal. Anywhere. The 2003 Minnesota Personal Protection Act let the judicial branch make those decisions itself.
  • The office buildings and sports venues are private property. They have the ability – misguided though it is – to ban firearms. It’s one reason I rarely if ever patronize major league sports.
  • Re the metal detectors – so?

Now, we leave mere ignorance – personal or implied – and get into actual prevarication:

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus urged their members to show up, armed, to those committee meetings. There were about 150 notifications for one such hearing in 2013, almost triple the number in the entire previous year.

A hearing on gun legislation does not pose any greater safety risk than other hearings and there is no greater need for personal protection. Opponents of gun legislation carry guns to those hearings to intimidate.

There are other ways guns are used to intimidate as well. One lobbyist told some legislators whom she was lobbying that she carried a gun at the Capitol because she feared people lobbying on the other side of the issue, calling them dangerous — an insidious way of undermining her opponents. It is not surprising that the opponents reported difficulty getting appointments to make their case with legislators.

The 2005 law that allowed carrying of handguns in public allowed the same people to carry assault rifles and other long guns in public. That has led to the increasingly common sight of heavily armed people at rallies and protests. They are not armed for personal protection. They do so to intimidate and strike fear in others.

Minnesotans can consider and discuss gun legislation as rational adults; hearings should be conducted without armed intimidation. Consequently, I have introduced SF 2048, which would prohibit the carrying of guns at the Capitol and restore the law that blocked people from bringing assault rifles to rallies and protests.

We should take security at the Capitol and at political rallies seriously before there is a tragic attack that kills people. At some point, security experts might determine that metal detectors are needed at the Capitol. Unfortunately, metal detectors create an oppressive climate which makes a place feel more militarized and less safe. Whether or not they are necessary now, we should prepare and plan for the possibility in the future, including quick implementation if a credible threat appears. But for now, it’s time to treat the Capitol like county courthouses and other places that prohibit guns. Public discourse on contentious issues can be done in a rational manner without allowing some to intimidate others. Public safety will benefit as well.

Allowing guns at the Capitol in these divided times is a recipe for disaster.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus urged their members to show up, armed, to [the 2013 House] committee meetings. There were about 150 notifications for one such hearing in 2013, almost triple the number in the entire previous year.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus wasn’t founded until 2014. The MNGOC has never urged people to bring guns anywhere, and has always eschewed the idea of open carry at the Capitol.

Marty is either lying, or assuming his audience is too stupid to know better.

My vote is “both”.

Oh, yeah – and that 2015 legislation that allows citizens to carry firearms, legally, with a permit, on the Capitol grounds?

Marty voted for it.

Welcome Wagon

My friend Sarah Cade Hauptman is prominently, and favorably, featured in a relatively decent piece in the relatively indecent Minnesota Monit…er, Independe…er, “Reformer” last week (where “relatively” means the piece spends at least as much space relating fact as it does gun-control movement propaganda).

The other guy? Not so much, but then I suspect if someone like Mr. Sharp weren’t featured prominently in a piece like this in a publication like the “Reformer“, author Max Nesterak would never do lunch on Grand Avenue again.

But that’s all fine – if there is a surge in people on the other side of politics who realize there’s a reason to keep government’s mitts off the Second Amendment, I can make limited common cause.

Here’s my beef, not so much with this story but with the whole “gun aren’t just for angrly middle-aged white guys” meme that’s been making the rounds this past year.

Don’t get me wrong – I fully support the idea that “gun culture” is “going viral”, and getting beyond their supposed “rural white male” ghetto. They seem to be – which is, I think, behind the Biden regime’s drive to try to get votes on as many gun regulations as it can, ASAP.

But when I read things like ““We’re doing our best to make sure that this information — which has historically been, you know, an angry white guy skill set — becomes something that is accessible to those that want to learn” and that guns are traditionally a “middle aged white guy” thing, I need to start responding like this:

When I first got involved in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the 2nd Amendment was on the ropes. “Gun Culture” was all but underground in popular perceptions. Gun grabber groups were very open about their goals (“Handgun Control Inc”, the “National Coalition to Ban Handguns”, etc) and couild smell their final goal. Polls that today show 80+% support for “Universal Background Checks” today were showing 80% support for banning all hand guns and registering everything else. In 1986, there were eight “Shall Issue” states, many states where carry permits were unobtainable, and local gun bans coming on the books all over the place.

Since then, things have changed – almost entirely for the better.

The reason there’s still a right to keep and bear arms to argue about is because 30-40 years ago a bunch of people – mostly male, many but by no means all Caucasians, disproportionally Republican, who were indeed a lot younger back then than today, and yes, some of whom were motivated by a bit of pique – organized, dug in, fought a “Siege of Vienna”-level last-ditch battle for survival and, miraculously, beat back the barbarians at the gate, and expanded gun culture geometrically so that there was an actual movement to welcome everyone else to.

Welcome, new gun owners.

I’ll urge you to respect our collective history.

Now, let’s finish this thing.

Waiting, As Always, For The Facts

An argument over a fender-bender in Saint Paul last May 1 led to a shooting, and a self-defense claim. The case is currently at trial, and both the prosecution and defense are presenting their cases to the public.

I’ve heard speculation on both sides as to whether the defendant – Mr. Trifiletti – has a good self-defense case or not. His attorney presents some of the right talking points in the article above, but it’s a crapshoot.

Only two real points for me, so far:

The Last Resort: It’s as my first permit instructor, Joel Rosenberg, said – using a gun in self-defense sets off an atomic bomb in your life. One can point to a few “best cases” – like the shooter in the Evanovich case, where the case was so absolutely unambiguously strong that even anti-gun extremist Mike Freeman hailed the shooter as a hero, and the good samaritan wasn’t even arrested.

The Trifilletti/Lewis shooting is a lot more normal; ambiguous circumstances, conflicting stories, impossible choices. The shooter is on trial, and guilty or acquitted, this will affect, badly, the rest of his life.

I’ve got some acquaintances in the field who say Trifilletti’s case is going to be a tough one. We shall see.

The Numbers: But even if Trifilletti is convicted, he will be (by my count – it’s possible I’m missing something, although not super likely) the second carry permittee to be convicted of an unjustified homicide in the almost 18 years since the passage of “Shall Issue” carry permitting.

Minnesota’s homicide rate in 2017 was 2 per 100,000. In that same year, Minneapolis’s homicide rate was 10 per 100,000.

There are currently nearly 300,000 carry permits in circulation in MInnesota. That amounts to close to one in ten non-prohibited adult Minnesotans. That number has been steadily over 200,000 for nearly a decade, after taking several years to rise into six digits (the MN House research office predicted a maximum of 90,000 Minnesotans would get permits in 2003). So let’s call it an average of 150,000 a year for 17 years. That’s a total of 2.55 million permit/years.

That amounts – or may amount, if a conviction happens to a murder rate among Minnesota carry permit holders of roughly less than one per million (that’s .07 per 100,000) per year.

Carry permittees are literally 20 times safer than the general public.

Keep that in mind, since the shrieking ninnies in our editorial caste will not.