There is only one reason to not vote for Mark Robinson for Lieutenant Governor this fall.
And that reason is racism.
There is only one reason to not vote for Mark Robinson for Lieutenant Governor this fall.
And that reason is racism.
The similarities in demographics in population between Virginia and Minnesota are inescapable. Both states are large, solid red expanses of land and people, surrounding small, densely populated democrat dominated Metropolitan areas.
And of course, both states have Democratic parties prone to going wild on orgies of spending and power grabbing whenever they get unfettered power. As the Democrats did in Virginia over the past year, driving a wave of “progressive” legislation pretty much across-the-board, but especially focusing on gun control.
And watching Virginia’s Democrats, it’s not hard to think that they might actually be a little bit calm and restrained compared to the ones we have in Minnesota, the party of Ryan Winkler and Alondra Cano and Melissa Melissa and Ilhan Omar.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
It’s hard to imagine what that crew would stop at if they got unrestrained power Dash say, by flipping the Senate this fall, giving them raw, unfettered access to all the money and all the power.
This isn’t problem just for Second Amendment advocates, of course.
But Second amendment￼ advocates are among the best organized￼￼ to do something about it; I’ve been telling conservative groups for a decade that they need to learn something from the Second Amendment movement nationwide.
Four Minnesota counties – Clearwater, Marshall, Roseau and Wadena – have declared themselves “sanctuaries” for the Second amendment (some choose the term “dedicated” to avoid confusion with immigration issue – the effect is entirely the same). ￼It’s not just a symbolic statement; the resolutions include language about litigation against intrusive legislation, as well as well as demurrals from enforcing unconstitutional laws.￼. Resolutions have been introduced in three more counties – and probably a few dozen more have some degree of activity on the subject.
Yours could be one of them, if you live in Minnesota; in fact, you could be the one to get things going in your county. The Gun Owners Caucus￼ has a list of resources right here, as well as a list of sanctuary/dedicated county groups around the state.
Because what better way to show the DFL; This Is What Power-Drunk Overreach gets you.
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus podcast is back.
I know this, because I am producing and ‘anchoring” it this year.
The first of what should be weekly podcast during the legislative session is out today – A look ahead at the legislative session starting tomorrow with chairman Bryan Strawser and political director Rob Doar.
Think you know MInnesota gun laws?
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The recent synagogue shooting has Jews thinking about buying a gun. Fine with me; but a gun is not a rabbit’s foot. Simply having one in your possession doesn’t avert bad luck. You need to know how to use it.
I’ve been shooting for more than 40 years. I am a member of a gun club that lets me bring guests, for free. I offer to teach any new gun owner the basics: how to load your new firearm, how to shoot it, how to clean it, how to store it so it’s quickly available if you need it but not accessible to those who shouldn’t have it.
No politics, no religion, no lectures, and no charge. Safety and accuracy. Leave your contact information in the comments.
And I’ll do the same.
Big Left wants to believe – or, more proximately, wants the public to believe – that the National Rifle Association – America’s oldest civil rights organization – is on the wane.
The National Rifle Association’s four flagship magazines added nearly 350,000 subscribers between February and June of this year, reversing more than a year of decline and suggesting a surge in recruits following the February school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
The gun rights group does not share detailed information about its membership numbers, and in the past has been accused of inflating its self-reported membership to give an impression of political clout. As a result, media organizations have often used the group’s magazine subscriptions as a proxy for membership.
In other words, in the past few months the NRA has likely gained 2-3 times as many members as all of the anti-gun organizations in America have.
Americans like their guns:
The Small Arms Survey estimates there are 393,300,000 civilian-owned firearms in the United States. The survey, performed by the Graduate Institute of Geneva, estimated the United States military has about 4.5 million firearms. It put the number of firearms owned by police throughout the United States at just over 1 million.
That means American civilians own nearly 100 times as many firearms as the U.S. military and nearly 400 times as many as law enforcement.
Let’s do the math: there are 8,000 homicides a year, divided among 400 million guns. That means roughly one gun out of 50,000 is used in a homicide per year (assuming each gun is used once, which is far from true.
Amerian guns are actually safer, crime-wise, than American citizens are.
Let’s give credit where credit is due – the Strib’s Richard Chin did an excellent piece on my good friend Sarah Cade yesterday.
Cade is described as a “young, biracial and passionately liberal…gun nut” – and is a great face for the changing population of shooters and 2nd Amendment activists in Minnesota.
Cade, a millennial from Maplewood, didn’t come from a hunting family or grow up around guns. In fact, she’s been a gun owner for only about five years. Still, she’s trying to be a new, nonthreatening face for gun rights advocacy in Minnesota.
Sarah Cade with the AR-15 platform gun she customized herself.
She writes pro-gun op-ed articles and testifies at legislative hearings. She lobbies her legislator, gets quoted in newspaper articles and interviewed on podcasts. She debates people online, speaks at public forums and appears in gun rights advocacy videos.
In many ways, she defies the stereotype of a Second Amendment crusader.
The whole thing is worth a read.
Of course, I think the notion that the opinions and values of middle-aged white guys are so devalued these days – we’ve done a lot of good for society – but I think it’s important that defending the 2nd Amendment become a priority for people other than, well, us.
I took a very very rare Saturday off from the NARN (with a pre-recorded show) to attend the big gun rights rally last weekend.
The rally – co-sponsored by the MN Gun Owners’ Caucus, the NRA and the RNC – drew around 3,000 people. The Strib, sure as can be, called it “hundreds”; it was just like 2004 all over again.
There was a throng of great speakers – but I didn’t get to do much listening. I was a zone captain, leading a group of marshals that were watching out for ringers and troublemakers in the area in front of the stage. It was packed, of course – I logged 10,000 steps in the 2.5 hours I was going back and forth across the area. The only “trouble”…well, we’ll come back to that.
The event was a huge success – and needs to be even bigger, if we’re going to show the legislature, the media, and Big Left who is boss. But the human rights crew were the big winners.
The biggest losers? The media – who largely beclowned themselves:
One (?) anti-gunner tweeted out a predictable “It looks like a lot of old white men”. Which was an intetersting non-observation observation; two of the speakers were black, two were women, one was a Hawaiian native. The crows was as white as, well, Minnesota at large (and as the critic) – but I saw black, Latino, native, Pacific islander, and many Asian attendees; the rally was vastly more racially diverse than any “Protect” MN or Moms Want Action meeting.
Not to mention reps from the Pink Pistols – the gay self-defense group.
And the most striking thing I noticed?
Most gun rallies I’ve been to have in fact been overwhelmingly male – because shooters are overwhelmingly male.
But this year, for the first time, I noticed women coming to the event. They streamed in in twos and threes and in small groups of women (along with countless others who came apparently with their significant others), and largely kept a low profile – fewer t-shits and flags, but lots of listening and participation and – the important part – signing up with the MNGOC and the NRA.
Big Left is terrified of groups like this – because they know that:
Of course, there’s a way to go. If you’re a shooter, you need to stand up and be heard – and never stop it. The orcs are doing whatever they can to sap your freedom; they need to be smacked down every session, every hearing, every bill, every day.
Saturday was a good start.
Big Left has sunk a lot of money into Minnesota, thinking they can roll back the 2nd Amendment rights for the law abiding that the good guys have won over the past 20 years.
It’s our chance to show just how wrong they are.
How important do I think it is? I produced an entire NARN show in advance to make time for it.
Hope you can be there. Look me up.
I couldn’t make it to the hearings today down at the Senate Office Building –
but the guys at the MN Gun Owners Caucus have been sending pictures.
And the story they tell is heartening.
The good guys outnumber the Dreamsicles pretty heavily; the MN Gun Owners Caucus has adopted a black T-shirt design, and brought a ton of them to the event.
See for yourself:
There’s a story behind the picture: as always with these sorts of situations, you have to remember that the shooters are almost invariably working people who have to take time off from jobs and families to spend their day waiting in line and watching hearings. The Dreamsicles are overwhelmingly people who do advocacy for a vocation or an avocation; “progressive” clergy, non-profiteers, community groupers, seniors, and lots and people with no real work conflicts.
The level of effort required for the good guys to outnumber the orcs is incredible. And year in, year out, we do it.
And the media are starting to notice, and account for it in their coverage. There’s a way to go, of course, but it’s a start.
OF course, the point is the actual hearings. Rob Doar – the VP and Political Director of the MNGOC – led off the testimony for the good guys.
He shredded a load of fabricated figures the orcs had just put out. They never, ever learn.
News so far: “Universal Background Checks” failed 9-7 on a partly line vote. More to come.
We’re not out of the woods. Indeed, it could be said the latest round of this fight has just begun – because these hearings were launched by the DFL, via an abuse of House rules, to give them some campaign pictures for the fall’s election.
So stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive, Real Americans. One more verse, same as the first.
UPDATE: “Gun Violence Protective Orders” – the DFL’s version, issued by decree with no due process – failed 10-6. Rep. Marion O’Neill just shredded DFL Rep. Dave Pinto; I can’t wait for the video.
The record number of background checks received by the National Instant Check System indicate – the second record in a row set on Black Friday – indicate enough firearms were sold in one day to outfit every single active duty Marine:
According to the FBI, over 200,000 background check requests associated with the purchase of a firearm were submitted to the agency on Black Friday, marking a new single-day record. The previous record was set on the day after Thanksgiving in 2016. In both 2017 and 2016, enough guns were potentially purchased on Black Friday to arm every active duty Marine.
Or, to put it another way, to outfit every single active duty service member in the Norwegian Army, Navy and Air Force ten times over.
Words fail me; I shall turn to music:
Millennials trend left on everything but guns – where they turn into Real Americans.
Polling in gun politics is notoriously murky—much lies in the crafting of the question—but demographers have consistently reported a conservative streak in millennial attitudes on guns. Respondents aged 18-29 are the least likely in the country to support a renewed ban on assault weapons, at 49 percent, a fact that has helped drive nationwide support down to a record low. Pew’s data suggest that those falling in the youngest age range have dropped the furthest in support for “gun control” since 2000 (when the alternative is presented as “gun rights”). And when the question concerns the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority, concealed carry, millennials appear to lead the country. According to Gallup’s version of the question in 2004, the notion that concealed guns made for safer spaces polled at 25 percent; 11 years later, it registered at 55 percent nationally. The greatest support came from those ages 18-29, at 66 percent, a full 10 points greater than the next highest scoring demographic.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Texas woman shoots dead an armed home invader. A private citizen using a pistol for self-defense? That’s gonna mess up Penigma’s narrative, right there.
I think it was more Dog Gone’s narrative, although they shared some elements.
No mention of a medal. Surely some group should give her a medal?
“We, the members of the Podunk Booster Club, honor Mrs. Dorothy Smith for her courageous actions defending her home and her neighborhood, awarding her this Marksman Medal, a check for $357 which is her favorite caliber, and we invite her to ride in our car in the next parade.”
With a photo in the newspaper of her wearing the medal holding the enormous cardboard check, that could be a great PR move in certain areas of the state.
I like it.
During the many years when Representative Heather Martens ran “Protect” Minnesota, the organization developed a reputation as being dodderingly, genially incompetent – like a neighborhood garden circle where everyone forgot to bring gloves.
In the year or so since the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “”Protect” Minnesota, the image has morphed into a form of more aggressive, turbocharged incompetence.
As an example: since Bence took over the group, I think I can count the number of email blasts on the mailing list that haven’t required additions, retractions, or correctioons of mistakes on one hand with a few fingers in change, up to and including erroneous announcements of major grants.
But this past Sunday was the best of all.
The “Pink Pistols” – a group of gays and their allies who promote self-defense under the rubric “Armed Gays don’t get bashed” 0- had a booth at the Minneapolis “Pride” festival, in Loring Park. The Pistols’ booth usually gets a steady stream of interest – but it’s fair to say the Pistols’ name recognition among gays isn’t a whole lot higher than among the general population.
Enter “Protect” Minnesota.
According to a source in the booth, “P”M was passing around a survey asking if attendees had heard of Pink Pistols.
Which apparently drove a steady stream of curious passersby to the booth for their first introduction to the idea of not being a defenseless victim.
So what you say but “thanks?”
Joe Doakes emailed me this request:
The case is over. The next one hasn’t happened, yet. This is the time to restart the conversation about the Pistol Protocol. Please run this letter on SITD.
So here is the letter:
Open letter to politicians, cops, citizens:
I write to enlist your support for law-abiding citizens.
The recent Falcon Heights shooting occurred two miles from my house. I have a permit to carry a pistol, same as the driver. The cop was acquitted and social media is howling it’s a racial outrage but I’m not interested in who’s to blame in this specific incident. I’m only interesting in making sure it doesn’t happen to me.
The evidence at trial boiled down to this: the officer thought he gave a command which the driver failed to obey. The eye-witness passenger thought the officer gave a different command which the driver was in the midst of obeying when the officer fired. Neither the officer nor the eye-witness had time to think up a lie to pad the video to make themselves look better for a jury. They both believed they were telling the truth as they heard it. It’s a classic case of eye-witnesses recalling identical events differently.
I don’t want to die and the officer doesn’t want to kill me. How can we work together to make certain that doesn’t happen? Police have standard procedures for high-speed pursuit, for approaching a stopped vehicle, but apparently there is no standard procedure for Encountering A Lawfully Armed Citizen. The advice I got in my permit-to-carry training was: “inform the officer you have a pistol and ask how he wants to handle it” which is another way of saying “There are no rules, the officer will make up something on the side of the road, but if you fail to comply, you die.” That’s not good enough. The driver might not hear clearly because of a crying kid or complaining passenger. The office might not hear clearly because of traffic noise. And instructions can be misinterpreted with deadly results.
The Falcon Heights incident is a vivid illustration of why the current make-shift policy is not good enough, why there must be a standard Pistol Protocol for officers and permitted carriers to know and understand, and why the high-stakes nature of an armed encounter demands the Pistol Protocol be stupid simple to understand and yet crystal clear to follow.
I think permit holders and law enforcement leaders should meet to negotiate a standard Pistol Protocol, add it to every law enforcement curriculum and role-play it in every permit-to-carry training session. Here’s a draft:
Step 1. Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) approaches stopped vehicle, Permit Holder (PH) rolls down window, puts hands on the steering wheel and keeps them there. No other movement.
Step 2. PH says “Officer, we need the Pistol Protocol. I have a permit to carry a pistol.” PH says or does nothing else until PH receives verbal confirmation from LEO that the Pistol Protocol is in place. If LEO fails to confirm, PH repeats the request for the Pistol Protocol.
Step 3. LEO repeats back that PH wants to use the Pistol Protocol, thus verifying that the officer is aware of the existence of a legally permitted weapon and that a dialogue has begun about how to secure the weapon. LEO says or does nothing else until he confirms that the Pistol Protocol is in place. “I confirm you have a pistol and a permit to carry. We are now using the Pistol Protocol.”
Step 4. LEO instructs PH as to the next thing the LEO wants the PH to do so the LEO can secure the weapon. Could be “move your car to a safer location” or “open the door using your left hand and step out” or whatever the situation requires, taking into account lighting, weather, number of passengers, etc. Whatever LEO instructs, PH repeats back before doing it, LEO affirms or negates (followed by repeat of intended instruction). “LEO: Using your right hand, slowly turn the engine off, then put your hand back on the wheel.” “PH: I’m going to use my right hand to turn the engine off, then put my hand back on the wheel.” “LEO: that’s correct, go ahead.” At that point, the driver turns the engine off and puts his hand back on the wheel.
Step 5. PH, moving slowly as LEO watches, carries out all LEO instructions until LEO announces the pistol is secure.
Step 6. When LEO announces the pistol is secure, the Pistol Protocol is not ended, it is in recess. LEO instructs PH what else to do (driver’s license, proof of insurance) and writes summons or gives a warning to complete their other business.
Step 7. When LEO is finished with other business, LEO tells PH that LEO is restarting the Pistol Protocol to safely transfer the pistol back to the PH but LEO does not transfer the pistol until PH confirms that LEO has restarted the Pistol Protocol. “LEO: I’m restarting the Pistol Protocol to hand the weapon back to you.” “PH: We’re back using the Pistol Protocol now.”
Step 8. LEO tells PH what LEO intends to do with the pistol, PH repeats it back, then LEO and PH slowly and carefully transfer the pistol back to the PH. “LEO: I’m going to hand you the magazine to put in your pocket, then the weapon to put in your holster. Do NOT load the weapon until you have left the scene.” “PH: You’re going to hand me the magazine to put in my pocket and the pistol to put in my holster, but I won’t load the weapon until after I leave here.” “LEO, okay, here’s the magazine . . . pocket, good . . . and here’s the pistol.”
Step 9. LEO and PH go their separate ways.
There could be fewer steps, more steps, enhancements and improvements, but the key elements are (1) both LEO and PH affirmatively and verbally acknowledging the existence of the pistol so they can deal with it safely and (2) both LEO and PH read-back instructions to avoid misunderstanding, before any movement takes place.
This draft is not perfect but it’s good enough to be going forward. Next step, figuring out how to get pistol carriers and cops on board. Volunteers are needed to negotiate in good faith. And salesmanship to convince cops and permit holders that it’s something they need to learn.
Could use a catchy phrase to help people remember. The fire prevention people hit a home run with “Stop, Drop and Roll.” How about:
Say It. Repeat It. Do It.
Tell me. Hear me. See me.
Listen. Repeat. Comply.
I work for the local government bureaucracy. My bosses are sensitive to political pressure and controversy. I can’t speak out in my own name so I’m writing this under an assumed name to ask for help.
If you see merit in the idea, please take the ball and run with it. If it’s not your cup of tea, can you forward it to someone who might help?
The tragedy in Falcon Heights ruined several lives. There is absolutely no reason to ruin more. Help me prevent that.
Joe Doakes, Saint Paul, Minnesota
I detest litmus tests.
I always have. They’ve always struck me as a way to avoid needing to think too hard about things, especially politics; as a way to avoid having to deal with the nuances that are inevitable with a realistic appreciation of the world around you.
But over the last year years, Second Amendment voting has become, if not a litmus test, at least a key indicator about a politician’s, or group’s, or person’s attitude about the most important political question of all.
We’ll come back to that.
There are a lot of reasons I support the right to keep and bear arms, and am an activist on the issue. But there’s only one reason that it’s a litmus test to me.
Line Of Defense: Self-defense? Well, it’s important. The idea that people should be forced to rely on the attention span of the state for their safety is fantasy at best, a toxic delusion at worst.
The police are under no obligation to protect you, and even when they knock themselves out to try, it’s a fact – when seconds count, the cops are minutes away.
But self-defense isn’t why this is a litmus test issue to me.
Value: And even if they were obligated to protect you at all costs in all situations?
As Jeffrey Snyder asked 25 years ago in A Nation of Cowards – do you really think that your life is of immeasurable worth, but that of the cop we call when things get ugly is worth $50K (or whatever we pay a cop these days)? No – if your life is truly of immeasurable worth, then it’s truly your job to protect it – right?
If you truly believe that your life is of infinite value, while that of someone who risks their life for your is worth merely a salary and a life insurance settlement, I have to question your moral order. Not here, of course.
The real question is, is it morally right to demand, and expect, that someone risk their life to save yiours, even with aunion contract?
Deterrence: There is no rational doubt that armed citizens deter crime.
The number of crimes deterred in a year is hard to estimate, since most – including mine – are never reported. The FBI used to say 80,000/year; Kleck estimated two million a year in the early ’90s, 98% of them without a shot being fired.
Whichever is right, each of those is a victory of good over…evil? Decay? Collapse? Of right versus wrong. Each of those victories, morally, is of incalculable good.
But that’s not the reason either.
A Good Guy With A Gun: You know how you know that “a good guy with a gun” is an inherently good thing?
Because Big Gun Control spends so much time and effort trying to attack the idea. Not with facts – or at least, not by presenting facts in a way that can be debated (and, inevitably, debunked). “Shut up”, they explain.
There is a reason that mass shootings happen in places (schools, government buildings, posted property) or cities (New York, Chicago, San Francisco) or states (California) and not at NRA conventions or in Bozeman, Montana. Good citizens with the capacity to resist are a deterrent.
And as we’ve seen in a few mass shootings, when a good guy (or gal) with a gun interrupts the narcissistic fantasy, the fantasy implodes; the bad guy with the gun usually gives up, or kills himself. Exactly as law enforcement says – move in on the shooter to break their reverie -although they don’t generally circulate that for public consumption.
But no – that’s not the reason that the Second Amendment is my litmus test.
Fun Fun Fun (Til The Democrats Take The Garand Away): Let’s be frank, here – shooting is fun. No – it’s fun!
The focus and concentration are a poor man’s Zen meditation. A day of busting caps out on the range is about as much fun as one can have, by oneself, legally.
And for someone who always wanted to be one of those guys that could hot-rod a car, but never had the money or the mechanical aptitude? Modern guns, being the modular creations they are, lend themselves to extensive hot-rodding; a plain-Jane AR15, or even AK or SKS, is within reach of a whole lot of people, an outlet for mechanical creativity that’s do-able even for people of fairly unimpressive mechanical skills. Even Glocks have gotten “democratized”; it’s possible to buy aftermarket lower frames that allow one to soup up a humble Glock 19.
A vital policy point? No, but certainly a factor, if only personally .
So while I’ll throw it on the “yea” side of the scale, it’s hardly the reason the 2nd Amendment is a litmus test.
Being Necessary For The Security Of A Free State: Of course, none of the above were the proximate reason for the 2nd Amendment – which was to allow The People to defend their lives, families, property and communities against encroaching tyranny.
“What? You’re going to try to fight a tank with a gun? If government becomes tyrannical, you’ll have no chance!” the usual response goes – which strikes me as a bad attitude for a citizen of a free society to have even while they’re still “free”. But we’ll come back to that.
There are two answers to that old chestnut:
The right to keep and bear arms helps ensure that an attack on freedom will be an attack on the standing army. Which may be one of the best guarantors against the depredations of the “standing army” that our founding fathers so feared.
But important as that is, that’s not the reason, either.
Words Have Meanings: No, the reason is this: without the right to defend one’s home, family, property, community and freedom from both crime and tyranny, then “citizenship” is meaningless.
The word “citizen”, going back to its Latin roots, means someone who has the ability to govern oneself; one who is him/herself a microcosm of government – someone who has the means at hand to govern themselves, and to participate in and consent in their own government.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights spell out the things that a citizen of a free society is endowed with by their creator; the right to participate and consent in their government via speaking, publishing, assembling, petitioning and voting; the right to not having their status as a citizen spuriously removed without due process, via jury trials, right to representation, freedom from unreasonable searches; the right to be fairly secure that their property won’t be arbitrarily seized…
…the right, means and power to defend one’s life, family, property, community and freedom. Just like the government in which one participates.
Words Have Opposites, Too: So being a “citizen” means having the ability to see to one’s own self-government – by oneself, as part of a small community, or a larger body that governns by consernt of the self-governing citizens.
And if you take away any of the means by which a “citizen” governs, what happens?
Are they a slightly lesser citizen? No – it’s like taking away a hydrogen atom and wondering why you don’t still have water.
When a citizen can’t govern him/her self, then they’re no longer a citizen. They are a subject of whomever took those rights away.
Observing the Second Amendment is one of the key differences between being a citizen – a consenting party to one’s own governance – and a subject, one whose life, liberty and property exist by the good graces of their ruler (or ceases to by the ruler’s bad graces, often enough).
And knowing that is why I will no more vote for someone who stands for abridging the Second Amendment than I will for someone who believes in speech rationing, or no-knock warrantless searches of people without meaningful due process, for that matter.
All three are non-negotiable. All three are essential. All three are reasons to go to the barricades. I will no more vote for someone who promises to abridge my role as a citizen – by turning me into a subject – than I’ll vote for someone who vows to send Jews to camps in Idaho.
Details: “What – you think citizens should own cannon? Tanks? Nuclear weapons?”
They’re kind of expensive, and I dont’ wanna think about what it’d cost to practice with any of ’em. But since we’re arguing out in loopdieland, I’ll bite. Sure – show me why I shouldn’t, in logical terms – meaning terms other than “It doesn’t seem right to me”.
Put another way: I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’ve never stolen so much as a candy bar in my life., If you put a gun in my hand, I’m still the same guy. I’m not overwhelmed by the urge to harm others. How is that different if you put a machine gun, cannon, flamethrower, tank, or submarine in my figurative hand? It’s not.
It’s also a pointless deflection. Very few people are pushing to buy tanks – and I don’t think the criminal market for them is especially big either.
Many people are pushing, constantly and with great ardor, to abridge my right to defend my life, family, property, community and freedom, though.
With the collapse (for now) of the Democrat majorities in Saint Paul and Washington, and especially the election of a pro-2nd-Amendment president, with the concomitant appointment of a suitably pro-2nd-Amendment replacement for Antonin Scalia, the threat to our Second Amendment rights has ebbed just a bit. The pace of gun purchases and carry permit applications has slackened a bit. You can find ammo on the shelves again. You can find a decent AR-pattern rifle for less than the cost of a quality handgun.
The immediate, existential threat to a right that separates citizen from subject has faded just a bit.
And it shows.
This past legislative session, with a bipartisan pro-2nd Amendment majority in Saint Paul, not a single gun bill advanced through the GOP-controlled legislature. Two excellent bills – a self-defense reform bill (aka “Stand Your Ground”), which would have lessened the requirement to be a lawyer to use a gun in self-defense, and a Constitutional Carry bill – stalled in the House.
Part of the blame rests with Senate Majority Leader Warren Limmer, who made it clear early in the session that he didn’t want to risk his one-vote majority on “risky” bills that would expose his vulnerable freshmen to controversial votes.
Four years before the next Senate election. In a session where his Senators wijll be as far-removed from re-election pressure as it’s possible to be.
But OK – part of the job of the majority leader is to keep the majority; to win elections. And part of politics is picking your battles, and drawing as few targets on your people as possible. And the GOP in the legislature remembers what happened in 2012, when they overreached on issues that were much more vital to many constituents than they were to the rest of Minnesota.
So risk-aversion is understandable. Right?
Yeah – but the Senate is hearing two bills on abortion restrictions that are going to draw Liberal Plutobucks and busloads of irate women in pussy hats to the capitol to vent their ninety seconds’ hate for weeks on end.
So the real question is, who are the real risks to the MN State Senate.
Judging by the legislation the GOP majority has agreed to work on, it’d seem leadership ranks those risks in the following, descending order:
The pressure seems off now. But all it took was a decade of taking our eye off the ball in the seventies and eighties, and we very nearly lost the Second Amendment. The game can turn faster than a late-inning Twins lead.
There is no relaxation when it comes to protecting freedom. And when politics is your medium, you have very few friends, and an awful lot of people who need to respect you.
And sometimes, you gotta give them a reason to respect you – if not your reason, then your power.
As this is being published, there’s a hearing going on down at the State Office Building.
With that in mind, let’s run down the current situation for the two Second Amendment bills we’ve been following:
Deadlines And Commitments: As of today:
But it’s not. Not quite.
Stay with me, here.
The Long Game: At the hearings House Public Safety Committee is going to be voting on Representative Nash’s Self-Defense Reform bill.
After which it will go to the floor for a vote.
You might way “What’s the point? There’s no Senate companion! It’s dead!”
And you’d be right. For this session.
Here’s the deal; if it passes from the floor this session – the first of the biennium – it remains passed for the next session. We don’t need to pass it in the House again for two more years, if needed.
This means we’ll have ten months to pressure the Senate into listening to the real will of the people.
What this mean: Your job – our job – is, if not crystal clear, at least vital:
Let’s get on this.
When we’re on the defensive – as we were 3-4 years ago, here in Minnesota – we are the most motivated people in politics. We make people sit up and listen – or we throw them out of office.
But when times are less perilous? It’s another story. And it’s understandable; unlike the anti-gun / criminal safety movement, we have jobs, families and real lives. We can’t just drop everything and run down to spend a day at the Capitol for anything but a serious emergency.
And let’s be honest – compared to 15 years ago, never mind 30 years ago, we Real Americans of the 2nd Amendment movement are doing pretty well. The 2nd Amendment may be the only liberty where the needle has been pushed the right way – but we have pushed it.
But complacency is what got us the 1970s. And it could happen again.
This year, there are two important 2nd Amendment-related civil rights bills on the agenda:
Now, it’s was a fair bet Governor Dayton would have vetoed either or both bills.
And then again, maybe not; antagonizing shooters helped the DFL lose pretty much all of rural Minnesota; Dayton could easily have doomed a few more of the remaining outstate Democrats by vetoing these bills – and caused any number of other headaches by vetoing the omnibus bills they were going to be parts of.
But the GOP caucuses haven’t put the bills into the omnibuses yet. Word has it that Senate leadership is “playing defense”, trying not to lose seats (notwithstanding their next election isn’t until 2020). And if the Senate isn’t going to push the bills, there’s no point in the GOP pushing them. Right?
And there’s a report that at least one GOP legislator from a safer-than-safe district is afraid of the Dreamsicles.
It’s time for the GOP to pay back some of the political capital that the 2nd Amendment movement has invested in it. And if safe Republicans are going to profess political “fear” a couple dozen ELCA-haired, deluded bobbleheads in orange? It might be time for them to re-learn what political “fear” really is.
And that means you and I need to step up.
It’s Go Time. It’s time for all law-abiding 2nd Amendment human rights supporters to get on the line and burn up the phones, today.
House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt
Majority Leader Rep. Joyce Peppin
Public Safety Committee Chairman Tony Cornish
Politely tell them that they need to deliver. We’re not complacent, and our support is not to be taken for granted.
This needs to be a political flood of biblical proportions.
After being the targets of a whooole lot of Bloomberg spending (and a few Dreamsicles pestering them), the Savage City Council last night dealt a humiliating rebuke to Moms Want Action, Everytown, and Bence’s Biddies, refusing to even take up a proposed gun store ban within city limits.
This from the MNGOPAC:
Thanks to the efforts of the Scott County GOP, local activists, and members of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus & PAC, the Savage City Council discussed – but made no motion to move forward – with a ordinance restricting gun stores in the City.
This is a HUGE VICTORY for gun owners across the state.
I love the smell of burning stacks of Bloomberg cash in the morning.
It smells like victory .
Oh, yeah – I’ve written about Minnesota Gun Rights in the past. It’s the Iowa-based group that raises lots of money, doesn’t do much actual work in Minnesota, and claims credit for others’ work.
And now, just claims others’ work; after the Savage City Council decision, they lifted the MN Gun Owners Caucus’s lede word for word:
The FBI released the details of their initial investigation into the Saint Cloud mall mass stabbing last month, including the first public look at the store video. MPR News covered it.
Warning; the video is graphic, if you haven’ been completely desensitized to violence:
The investigators also praised Jason Falconer.
Falconer’s actions are instructive to anyone who is a carry permittee, and – with a little luck – to voters this fall:
Thornton said Adan had asked Falconer if he was Muslim. Falconer, said no but saw the knives and identified himself as an officer.
Adan initially turned away from Falconer and the officer followed repeating that he was law enforcement and ordering the man to drop the weapons.
If you were a citizen with a carry permit and a legally-carried handgun, at this point, you’d have a bit of a conundrum.
The Minnesota self-defense statute allows lethal force in self-defense to protect one’s self “or another” from death or great bodily harm. But case law also establishes a “duty to retreat” (outside one’s home) – you have to undertake all “reasonable” means to avoid the use of lethal force.
What is “reasonable?” For your purposes as a citizen, that will be decided by a county attorney. As Joel Rosenberg used to say, while you, the citizen, had seconds to decide whether to defend yourself or not, under immense stress, often under low-light or confusing conditions, with a lethal threat bearing down on you, the county attorney will take days or weeks, in a well-lit, warm office, with sheriff’s deputies guarding him, to decide that question. And at the end of the day, it’ll likely be at least in part a political decision; a DFLer will often file charges (although we’ve been surprised in the past), while a DA in Kandiyohi or Pennington counties will hail the shooter as a hero.
In other words, it’s vague. Intentionally so; county attorneys like to have lots of discretion; they don’t like to have to work under all sorts of immutable rules any more than you do. Of course, you and I don’t hold peoples’ lives, freedom and lifes’ savings in the palms of our hands, either.
That was the crux of the”Stand your Ground” law that passed the Minnesota legislature in 2012 with a decisive bipartisan majority, only to get vetoed by a governor who was acting as a marionette of big-money anti-gun special interests; put the benefit of the doubt on the side of the law-abiding citizen.
Oh, yeah – and the next time some gabbling anti-gun hamster asks “why does anyone need more than seven shots?”, you can show them what happened in Saint Cloud; Jason Falconer is an expert “three-gun” competition marksman and marksmanship instructor, an absolute master of the craft of putting pieces of lead into things.
And here’s what happened (I’ve added emphasis):
“Upon following Adan into Macy’s and repeatedly announcing his authority and commands to drop the knives, Adan ran toward Falconer with the knives raised two separate times, then continued to crawl toward him with a knife in his hand even after being shot during to separate prior charges at the officer,” Thornton said.
Falconer fired 10 rounds, striking Adan six times, he added. Store video showed Falconer shooting while backing away from Adan as the attacker continued to approach with his back turned.
Adan fell to the ground multiple times after being shot and still had a knife in hand. He tried to get up a final time using a store sign for balance.
So – an expert marksman (and cop) fires ten shots at contact range, and misses four times (which is actually abnormally good, even for point-blank range engagements); he scores six hits, during most of which the attacker kept charging.
If the shooter had been less expert, and hit the attacker fewer times? If the attacker had been high, or dissociative? If the defender had a smaller-caliber firearm (Falconer’s pistol was a 9mm)? If the defender didn’t have any unobstructive, flat, clean room to back-pedal away from a charging man with two knives?
If there’d been more than one attacker?
Even with a “large” magazine, a defender in that situation could very well have learned what a Thanksgiving turkey feels like.
The lesson for the law-abiding gun owner?
No compromise. No retreat. No surrender.
It was thirty years ago today that Neerja Bhanot won India’s highest honor for bravery in peacetime, the Ashoka Chakra Award when her jetliner, Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai to the US, was hijacked by terrorists from Abu Nidal, who were specifically targeting Americans.
Wikipedia takes up the story:
After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Neerja Bhanot opened one of the doors. Although she could have been the first to jump out of the aircraft and flee to safety when she opened the door, she decided not to and instead started helping the other passengers to escape. Neerja was shot while shielding three unaccompanied American children from a hail of bullets of the hijackers. Out of a total of 41 American passengers, two were killed during the hijacking. A child on board, then aged seven, is now a captain for a major airline and has stated that Neerja Bhanot has been his inspiration and he owes every day of his life to her.
I’m including the story partly due to its historical value…
…and partly to counter the notion that the cultural left continues to push – the idea that the individual is helpless in the face of adversity, to say nothing of aggression, without “the village” – the suffocating fog of government there to protect and validate them. This thesis is trashed on a nearly-daily basis. Faced with imponderable evil, against the most daunting odds, ordinary people do the most extraordinary things. To attempt to has always been considered one of the greatest virtues of mankind.
And I’m here, in part, to keep reminding you of that.
So that, more importantly, you can remind others of that.
After spending a few weeks going full-blown fanboy over the Pillsbury Foundation/Bloomberg Youth’s “gun buyback” last weekend, the leftymedia has its feelings hurt by the mockery the conservative alternative media (including this blog) has heaped on the “events”.
The piece, by the inevitable Corey Zurowski, is entitled “Gun fans mock Minneapolis’ buyback program over crude homemade shotgun” – after the shotgun that our Joe Doakes noted at one of the buybacks.
Oh, we mock the buybacks for a lot more reasons that that.
We mock the buybacks because they don’t affect crime. Never have, never will.
They didn’t take any guns “off the street”; virtually all the people turning in guns were middle-aged folks from the surrounding area who were trading junk guns for more in gift cards than they’d ever get from a buyer.
We mocked the bald-faced graft – the transfer of money from Pillsbury Foundation donors and Minneapolis taxpayers (via the dozen or so cops that were working the “events”) to – let’s be charitable – “artists”, as well as enterprising rummage-salers.
We mocked the media (smile, Corey Z!) for their unability or unwilingness to dig past the press releases; at both buybacks they ran out of gift cards after *maybe* 10-15 guns were turned in. If the buyback “bought” more than 30 guns, no witness can confirm it. Most of the guns were garbage that were “donated”, AKA “thrown away” at the buyback.
The shotguns *was* functional – just go google “Slamfire Shotgun”; you can do it yourself. The homemade shotgun was a prank, a joke played at the (literal) expense of the smug, sanctimonious, ELCA-haired dreamsicles running the events – but probably the LEAST mock-worthy part of the event.
Oh, and we mock Corey Zurowski as a “reporter”; in the caption of the photo of the homemade-yet-parodic shotgun ,he sniffed “Gun fans allege this primitive weapon was turned in a Minneapolis’ buyback event. There’s just no evidence that it actually happened.”
But then, in the final paragraph of his own article, Zurowski carries a quote from the Minneapolis police’s public relations officer: “The gun in question was turned in,” says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal. “Our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that’s why it was accepted.”
So yeah, we do some mocking there, too.
And it’s absolutely glorious.
We’ve written at some depth in the past about Minnesota Gun Rights – an astroturf fundraising group that raises a lot of money and generates a lot of strident social media about 2nd Amendment politics in Minnesota, but has never actually delivered any significant results. A bipartisan selection of Minnesota’s most committed pro-human-rights legislators repudiated MGR a few years back.
In 2014, they dropped a few boxes of literature in the Roz Peterson race in Burnsville – and claimed credit for the victory. This, and a couple of misplaced ads on AM1
130, were their total effort that cycle.
In this primary cycle, they sent a lot of email to the Hackbarth/Bahr race, and also direct-mailed GOP activists in the Daudt/Duff race.
Well, guess what?
MGR is claiming credit for Cal Bahr’s victory over Hackbarth in HD31B – as seen in the social-media meme that’s been circulating all day today
Near as I’ve been able to find from my sources on the subject, MGR’s entire “campaign” in the Bahr/Hackbarth contest was email.
But let’s break it down: Tom Hackbarth had:
So sure. Of course a couple of emails from MGR did the trick.
Of course, MGR expended even more effort in the Daudt/Duff race next door in 31A, apparently even sending paper mail – a sign of real commitment.
And the results? Daudt stomped Duff.
Rob Doar of MNGOPAC/MNGOC said in social media “[MGR] swung much… much harder at Daudt, who won with over 72% of the vote…If they had any sort of political power, it surely would have manifested next door in 31A. They are riding coattails, spinning stories…”
Friends don’t let friends repeat MGR claims.