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.

Feniks > Penzey’s

A Michigan ammo company vows not to sell ammunition to Biden voters…

…and puts its marketing where its mouth is:

“Are you really willing to walk away from a paying customer simply because they voted for Joe Biden?” the company asked rhetorically. “Yes, yes we are. We’re dead serious.”

“We don’t want your money, and you shouldn’t want us to have it because we’re going to use it to make more ammo, sell it to the citizenry, and do everything in our power to prevent Joe Biden’s administration from usurping the rights of Americans,” the company wrote.

Not just its marketing, but its sales portal:

As a way to weed out the unwanted customers, the company reportedly inserted a questionnaire into its purchasing process that asks whether prospective customers voted for Biden in the 2020 presidential election. If they did, it’s no sale for them.

Some “progressive” companies led the way with partisan-based marketing after Trump’s election – Penzey’s very publicly told conservatives (not just Trump voters) to stop patronizing them (a request I could not comply with, as I’ve never shopped there before, either – which makes sense; I suspect their demographics, well-to-do white urbanites with lots of disposable income, overlaps with GOP voters only incidentally).

TL:dr – The good news: fighting cancel culture is a good thing, and I applaud Feniks.

The bad-ish news? Feniks is just as sold out of all stock as every other ammo shop.

Talent, Being Paid Back With Interest To God

Word’s out that Rush Limbaugh has died of lung cancer. He was 70.

I never met Rush, but I certainly ran into a key part of his legacy, up front. I was 25, and had gotten riffed from my first talk radio gig, at KSTP-AM. I was down – but not out. I had what Don Vogel called the talk radio virus – once you start doing it, it’s so very, very hard to withdraw.

And so I went out on the talk radio job market. And I had some interest – stations in Raleigh, Cleveland, Orlando, New Bedford, the Bay Area, Fall River, Baton Rouge, suburban Chicago, and even New York City had some interest.

Then came Limbaugh.

And over the course of about a year, nearly every small-to-mid-sized talk station in the country that used to hire obstreporous 25 year olds to host graveyard, evening and afternoon talk shows…stopped. Why pay some kid 22-28K, when you could have Limbaugh for the price of eight ad slots an hour, AND record and repeat him in the evening, and maybe on graveyard as well?

So the market for what I wanted to do more than anything in the world pretty much disappeared.

Which isn’t to say that the talk radio market disappeared. From 1988 into the nineties, talk radio, mostly conservative talk, surged. The format went from something like 200 stations in the US in the mid-eighties to at one point close to 1000 on Limbaugh’s network alone, as ailing AM stations from coast to coast switched from country or oldies or polka to talk and started reeling in the profits. There was money in conservative talk! Today, while the shift from broadcast to digital has cut receipts all across the industry, conservative talk, along with some niches like sports, Spanish and of course Public radio are the only ones that have any financial upside at all.

It came as a shock to the media establishment – but even some of the people involved (or claiming to have been involved) in his success didn’t understand what made Rush blow up. In 1991, I interviewed for the program director job at KSTP. I got to the final round – me and one other guy. And one of the interviewers was a consultant, one of hundreds who claimed to have had some role in Rush’s ascendance. He asked me why I thought Rush had caught on so big. “He provided a voice to a lot of people who’d never had one in the media”, I responded. “No”, he said in that “you didn’t get the job” kind of tone, “it’s because he’s irreverant. Nobody cares about politics”. I didn’t get the gig – although the consultant later admitted he was completely wrong. I’ll take a partial win every time.

Because politics – especially giving voice to a vast, silent majority – was the first golden age of conservative talk, culminating with Rush playing a pivotal role in the 1994 Republican Revolution.

I spent those years listening to Rush from the outside, slowly putting that dream from my twenties in mothballs – but listening, carefully, to what made Rush, Rush.

It’s a cliche to say that Limbaugh invented conservative talk. He didn’t – Bob Grant, Joe Pyne and Morton Downey Junior were doing it as far back as the ’70s. But Limbaugh defined its new generation – brash, irreverant, fun, but combining keen knowledge with an unmatched ear for tone and nuance. Rush was a keen-eared entertainer – the entertainment always came with a dose of paleocon wisdom that stuck to your ribs. It’s a cliche to say he had many imitators but no equal – but it’s the truth.

I spent 12 years “in the cold”, in radio terms – I didn’t set foot in a studio during Rush’s glory days. But I listened. And to the extent I learned anything listening to Rush, banked away against the day I could get on the radio again (something I’d completely given up on by about 1995), it was this: have fun. To paraphrase Andrew Breitbart, political motivation is downstream of enjoying yourself – and people who enjoy what they’re doing, as they do great things they believe in, are unbeatable.

Of course, Limbaugh was a two-edged sword. He ushered in a business model that has centralized the money, and the talent – or, often, “talent”, in talk radio. After thirty years of Rush, Beck, Levin, Hannity, Dennis Prager, Laura Ingraham and other talk superstars eating up all the airtime, talk radio’s grapefruit-league and triple-A benches are sparse to none. The only “young” talkers who’ve been working their way up the system have been the ones that mined veins of material that the bigs didn’t cover (Phil Hendrie, TD Mischke), built local niches around the fringe of Rush’s empire (Bob Davis, Justice and Drew), stretched the format (a zillion Christian talkers) to…

…well, King, Brad and Me, who do it for the pure love of the game and a little extra change.

So I owe Rush a lot – for pushing me against my will to develop a different, broader, deeper, better life than I was aiming for as a 25 year old radio (I use this term advisedly and in its literal context) addict, and showing us all how it’s done.

Talent on loan from God, indeed.

Democrats: Accept No Waffling!

Joe Biden made gun control an important part of his campaign platform.

He noted there are 40,000 gun deaths per year.  To stop them, he will ban, regulate, confiscate and tax certain rifles, high capacity magazines and build-your-own kits; prohibit inheritance and private sales; stop minors from hunting with guns by imprisoning any parent who gives the minor access to a firearm; prevent teachers from defending their students; and let the trial lawyers off the leash to sue the American gun industry into oblivion to give the competitive edge to our foreign rivals. 

All good stuff, but will it work?  Of those 40,000 deaths, 30,000 are suicides committed by people who passed the background check, endured the waiting period, and fired a single round.  None of Joe’s proposals will affect them. 

Oh sure, he blandly proposes to improve access to mental health services, but the lack of detail and funding reveals the enormity of the problem.  Most of those suicides are old white men who have lost everything and have nothing left to live for – you think they’re going to spill their guts to a mental health counsellor, hand over their gun and have a group hug? Ridiculous.

And his proposal does nothing to take guns away from the people who commit most of the gun violence in major cities.  Instead, he’ll connect them with economic and social programs that may deter violence.  Is it me or did Midnight Basketball just make a come-back? 

Honestly, I’m surprised the Biden Administration is wasting time with impeachment.  They should be pushing their gun control agenda as hard and fast as they can.  They need to get the guns out of the hands of all those new gun buyers, so when they defund the police, the people will be entirely at the government’s mercy.  Well, them and the criminals on the street.  

Joe Doakes

I endorse Joe’s position entirely.

Democrats – get on your phones to A-Klo and the Butcher of Vandalia and get them to pressure President Harris to get on it, already.

Poster Child

He had a lengthy series of convictions, many of them disqualifying him from holding, much less owning or buying firearms.

He was in violation of an order for protection – itself a crime.

He had a history of same:

Gregory Ulrich was already subject to every restriction, sanction and consequence a “Red Flag” law can provide, and then some.

And still he shot up the Allina Clinic in Buffalo yesterday – a “gun free zone”, by the way – killing one and injuring several. He was prohibited from having, buying or owning guns by state and federal law, he was subject to at least one restraining order, and he built bombs – itself a very, very serious federal felony.

In short – when people say “we already have laws in place that do literally everything a “Red Flag” law is supposed to do”. Gregory Ulrich was a case in point.

Which didn’t stop Metro Minnesota’s political class from plying their dismal trade – exploiting crises:

And we, the good guys, implored our political class “learn the facts before you start jabbering about policy”. What good did it do us?

The Carver County sheriff pointed out in various news conferences yesterday that a “Red Flag” law would have been about as useful as a “Miss Minnesota” tiara on tow truck driver. Which ensures that Carver County’s sheriff won’t be getting any more live feed time.

If I Were A Harvard Alum…

…I’d be passing the hat to get David Hogg…

…to transfer or drop out.

But have no fear, Master Hogg. Logically, factually and intellectually, the intellectual foam pillow that is your worldview and movement has been on Mars for quite some time now.

Ivy League Alums Ponder Restraining Orders, Injunctions

David Hogg, who has built a very rewarding career slandering law-abiding gun owners, is his immense expertise from “gun safety” to industry. Seeking to “own” Mike Lindell [1], he announced last week he seeks to start a pillow company.

Last Friday, it turned out Hogg’s big idea had run into the same roadblock as his gun control agenda – reality:

That Harvard education is serving the lad well, isn’t it?

#Unity!

Turns out Americans can unify on one thing – gunning up.

Even in Minnesota?

Perhaps especially so.

the numbers: The National Shooting Sports Foundation tallied more than 37,600 statewide requests to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in January — nearly double from 18,990 in January 2020.

It wasn’t just January: More than 380,000 background checks were recorded here in 2020, up 49% from the previous year.

380,000 NICS checks in 2020 is more than one for every ten eligible Minnesotans (over 21 with a clean criminal record).

Feel that #Unity

Not An Animal

“Protect” Minnesota has a new executive director.

We’ll come back to that.


Modern American “progressivism”, like all its many forebears in the past 200 years, has been all about rallying people against boogeymen. From “monarchists” in the French Revolution, to “Wreckers” in Stalin’s USSR to the Wobbly’s “Bosses”, up through “the patriarchy” and “the man” and “counterrevolutionaries” in Red China and San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, and if you have a hard time distinguishing between ’em, join the club.

Today, the boogeymen…er, boogiepeople on the left are pretty much all the things that people who are included are told to be “anti”. “Anti-Racism” “Anti-Misogyny” (not just sexism, anymore – it’s the more active, more malevolent noun these days), “Anti-Fascism”, “Anti-Transphobia”, and on and on – all of which sounds like good things to be “anti”…

…and, unsurprisingly, when you dig into the “Root Causes” of all those nouns, all things trace back to “Western Civilization” in all its particulars: the Judeo-Christian value on the individual and their worth, value, rights and responsibilities and potential of each and every person, as a person with a mind, a point of view, and at the end of the day an indivisible soul of personal, societal, political, intellectual and metaphysical worth.

Those aspects of humanity are anathema to progressivism in all its flavors. The focus is on the group – the Marxists “classes”, the Nazi’s irreducible focus on race, the modern academic Left’s obsession with a byzantine network of intersectional identity groups. The individual is nothing but a vote (for now), an appetite, a widget to be moved through the production line of life (like Obamacare’s awful caricature of Progressive humanity, “Julia”). Progressivism is “Materialist”. Souls, individual intellects and thoughts and reams, all are ephemeral; humans are widgets that consume and produce, and whose worth and value (to those in power) is expressed via their membership in the collective.

Those widgets have a term. “Bodies”. Not people. Not brains. Not souls.

Bodies.


Anyway – “P”M has a new director. And unlike the dotty, dizzy neverending font of comedy that was Heather Martens, or the serial fabulist The “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence, the new director presents us with a few surprises.

She’s “a gun owner herself” – which might be seen in several ways. Is “P”M moderating? Are they realizing that the culture war has slipped far enough away from them, especially over this past year, that they have to start speaking to people who need to be convinced?

And she’s apparently incredibly famous, since she apparently just goes by “Rashmi”. I’ve turned “Protect” Minnesota’s website, Facebook feed and other social media upside down, and not been able to find any reference to a last name, which is Seneviratne, by the way.

But even during the reign of the serial fabulist the Reverend Nord Bence, “Protect” MN wasn’t nearly extreme enough in its hatred of guns and (law-abiding) gun owners, enough for some people.

“P”M spawned a breakway group, “Survivors Lead” – basically a woman, Rachel Joseph, with a long history of progressive activism and a story; an aunt who was murdered, according to Ms. Joseph’s story, by a gun.

Quick aside: I don’t minimize anyone’s trauma over having a loved one murdered. But in the many times I’ve heard Ms. Joseph’s story, she’s never once mentioned a perpetrator, someone actually holding and using the gun that killed her aunt; that persons evil motivation, the legal fallout from the murder, whether that person was sentenced or not. It’d be wrong to crack wise – “what, did the gun animate itself?” – but omitting a perpetrator, his/her motives and the like from the conversation is incredibly intellectually dishonest.

Anyway – “Rashmi” and her apparent moderation are not going over well with “Survivors Lead”:

The extreme heckling the not-as-extreme about getting less extreme. That qualifies as “dog bites man”, at the very most.

Rather less so? There followed some more, er, ethnically pointed traffic on one social media feed (from which I’ve long been blocked) or another.

After which “P”M – operating through its usual social media persona, the omniscient third person that used to be Martens and Nord Bence – responded:

On the one hand, watching the agents of Big Left eating each other is one of my favorite spectator sports.

And if the biggest semi-organic anti-gun group in MInnesota (shaddap about Moms Want Action already) is pivoting from pushing Linda Slocum’s gun grab bill to highlighting the inequity of gun control (“Race, class and geography all play into who gets to have a gun and who doesn’t” – which is something every Second Amendment activist has known for 50 years) and speaking in the first “person” to the prudence of victims of violence to arm up, then in culture war terms that’s the sound of the first tank crossing the pontoon bridge at Remagen.

But…”white bodied privilege?”

What the flaming hootie hoo?

I thought for a moment – is this a shot back at the Rachel Dolezals and Elizabeth Warrens of the world, with their flip-flopping identities, by “actual” “people of color”, reinforcing the idea that while you might “identify” with one degree melanin or another, your apparent appearance still wins out in the great privilege lottery (which will, I suspect, get pilloried hard by the Trans crowd, for whom perceived identity is everything? I’ll let the fight that one out).

But no. It’s much less hilarious than that.

It’s “inclusion language” – slang or argot that one class of people use to track who is in, and who is “out” – to be sure. That’s part of it, and people are noticing:

Referring to people as bodies is a reminder, writer Elizabeth Barnes says in an interview, that “racism isn’t just about the ideas that you have in your head.” Barnes is the author of “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, The Girl Behind the Wall.” In intellectual discussions, theories about social oppression sound almost disembodied; “we talk about prejudice,” Barnes says, “like it’s just a matter of ideas.” The point is to emphasize the physical violence done to black people through slavery, lynching, and police brutality. In the case of women, the term “bodies” highlights “what happens to women’s bodies in health care contexts, in sexual contexts, in reproductive contexts.”

But behond that?

It’s a nod to the materialism of the left – that the mind, the thoughts, the indivisible soul of the indivisual human being is not merely irrelevant, but inconvenient to the obsession with identity.

Your melanin defines you.

In some ways its a cheap ad hominem – “of course you’d think that, you are (add a reference to your target’s melanin, or lack thereof)”. But pointing logical fallacies out to the foot soldiers of Big Left is a little like arguing salinity with sharks; it’s just part of the water they swim in.

So – gun groups eating each other? Good.

The debate contributing to the ongoing hijacking of the language? Bad.

The whole thing participating, in its own little way, in the further erosion of one of the ideals that’s made Western Civilization the most successful, and humane , civilization in human history?

Worse.

Truth Is More Boring Than Reality

Where did all the ammo go?

People hoping to get out the range without having to take out a second mortgage to afford to replace their stock are asking (as I might have, before all my guns fell into Superior).

The conspiracies are…colorful:

  • Companies are stockpiling their product to drive up demand
  • Ammo plants have shutdown completely
  • Ammo companies are in cahoots to stop selling to civilians and are now selling only to the Feds and law enforcement.
  • OJ bought all of it in his search for the real killers. 

The reality? More mundane:

Spread the word.

The Strib: Preparing The Narrative Battlefield

As we noted last week, “Stand your Ground” and ‘Constitutional Carry” bills have been introduced in the Legislature.

And they have a shot, potentially – there are enough red-district DFLers with legitimate fears of being retired in 2022 to maybe soften the DFL’s stance, and Governor Klink might need to weigh his fealty to the Progressives against gun control’s dismal record outside 494 and 694. A veto will be held against him, and every outstate DFLer, in 2022. Smart DFLers (like Bakk and Tomassoni) remember 2002, when every single outstate DFLer who opposed “Shall Issue” was defeated in the ’02 mid-terms.

Remember – it took seven years to get Shall Issue reform passed, culminating in the ’02 pro-gun election sweep.

Gun rights are a long game.

This, against a backdrop of 40% of gun buyers in 2020 being new purchasers, and 40% of them being women and, at least anecdotally, a substantial number of them being formerly ambivalent about firearms.

The left gets this. And so we get articles like this in the Strib – all but portraying Constitutional Carry as a tool of the Klan.

My suspicion? Big Left realizes they are losing the gun battle, and has to gaslight the minority who still opposes them into becoming more die-hard, to avoid losing more ground outside the Blue coasts and Chicago.

On The Offensive

Imagine this: you are walking through downtown…er, Brainerd. It’s dark out, with a tinge of fog in the air.

A car full of rural youth with mischief on their minds rolls up and jumps out. One has a gun, another a baseball bat. They are making loud, aggressive, rural-youth-y noises.

In a split second, you discern:

  1. Your life is in immediate danger
  2. They, not you, are the aggressors
  3. You being a middle-aged man or woman, and they being spry rural teens, you don’t reasonably have the means or opportunity to run away.

In a split second, you decide that your concealed handgun is the best way to resolve the situation – whether you shoot or not.

And after the episode is resolved – via the youths fleeing or, heaven forfend, violently – you call the police, lawyer up, and get ready for the process of proving to the prosecutor (if all goes well) or a court and jury (if it doesn’t) that your decision was correct.

Here’s where it gets complicated.

For the next several weeks a county attorney, sitting in a warm, safe office with a Keurig and stacks of law books and protected by metal detectors and deputies, working from the police report, will pick over the life-or-death decision you were forced, against your will, to make on a cold, dark, foggy night in Brainerd, with a grisly death potentially seconds away, to see if your attempt to flee was satisfactory enough under not only statute, but according to at least a dozen entries in Minnesota case law.

Your freedom for the next seven to life is at stake – to say nothing of your life’s savings, home, and your family’s future.

Seem reasonable?

If so – in what world? Seriously?

———-

Self-defense reform bills – SF 13 and HF131 – have been introduced in the House and Senate that would remove Minnesota’s ambiguous, legalistic and opaque “duty to retreat” requirement in self-defense situations – where the other criteria for self-defense (see the list above) are met.

They will NOT let people shoot people because they don’t like the way they looked at them.

They will NOT provide open season for the current usual cultural suspects (WhitesupremacistnazitransphobeKKKsciencedeniers) to kill people (indeed, in states with “Stand your Ground” laws, “people of color’ use them more often than white defendants – successfully).
There is literally no *rational* reason not to pass this measure into law. Reflexively chanting “Duty to retreat! Duty to retreat!” will earn you an invite to re-read the opening scenario.

If you’re in Minnesota, contact your legislator.  I imagine most of you know yours, but the MN Gun Owners Caucus tool above has a legislative contact tool that’ll find ’em in case yo don’t.  

It’s kind of nice to be on the offensive again, isn’t it?

(The bills are of purely intellectual interest to me of course – any firearms I may have owned fell into Mille Lacs last summer. And guns terrify me. I’d never own one again).