I first got involved in the Second Amendment movement as an activist in 1988.
Back then, with the state languishing under DFL hegemony, the state was stuck in a tense no-man’s land when it came to the rights of the law-abiding gun owner.
On the one hand, the smothering Metrocrat clacque that led the DFL majority hated guns. They trotted out a constant series of attempts at gun control measures; in 1989, in the wake of the Stockton massacre, Alan “Albert” Speer introduced an attempt at a statewide “assault weapon” ban. It, and a parade of measures like it, drew furious applause from Speer’s coterie of Volvo-driving, alpaca-wearing, future-Wellstone-sign-waving supporters…
…and opposition from most (but far from all) Republicans and many responsible DFLers, mostly from outstate.
Of course, the central fact of DFL life in the eighties was that with a smothering majority in the Legislature and governors who were either DFL or Republicans who were to the left of the DFL mainstream, all they needed to do was to play to the media.
Unless there was a huge turnout.
Of course, the Second Amendment base in Minnesota is outstate. And I always thought it was funny – for all the DFL’s populist “Farmer/Labor” rhetoric, on Second Amendment issues the DFL stands firmly on the side of the patricians, while the plebians want government the hell out of their gun cabinets.
And as the threat to law-abiding Minnesotans’ second amendment rights flowed to a crest, political activism gestated. And Minnesotans from outstate started showing up at the Capitol for the public hearings on these bills. THey were almost entirely working people, taking time off from jobs and families to come to the Capitol and talk to legislators, or in some cases just to flood meeting rooms and applaud pro-Second-Amendment speakers.
And the DFL hates it when actual people show up. It slows down “the peoples'” business.
So the DFL committee chairs who ran the public hearings made a practice of changing the times for these hearings, often and capriciously. Someone taking off from Bemidji at 6AM for a public hearing scheduled for noon might arrive in the Cities to find that the DFL Metrocrat leadership had moved the meeting to 9AM, or put it off to the next day or the following week. The DFL “tut-tutted” and insisted there was no such motivation, but sources in the Capitol and the DFL told me that was exactly the reason (not that one needed a source to notice that Second Amendment-issue public hearings and committee meetings moved more spasmodically than any other kind of hearing).
And even that failed, often as not – which led to some real howlers. At one committee hearing in 1989 over a proposed “Assault Weapon” ban, roughly 30 ban supporters turned out; they sat close by the committee table. Despite several last-minute changes in time and venue, about 600 opponents showed up. We packed the committee hearing room, and two others that were linked to the hearing via closed-circuit TV. The committee chairwoman sat down, saw the huge mob in her face, and said to the cameras “Well, I think we have roughly equal numbers of supporters and opponents in attendance today”.
Then the tide turned. Responsible grownups who care about genuine civil liberties took over, at least for four glorious years. Sanity reigned.
But one of the wages of losing elections is that you lose control of the legislative calendar. DFL-run committees hear what they want, when they want it.
Representative Tony Cornish’s “Stand Your Ground” bill – slandered in the press and the Soros-paid-for “alt”-media as the “Shoot First” bill – is getting a committee hearing tomorrow.
We don’t know.
We won’t know, likely, until the scumbag metrocrats who run the “House Public Safety and Civil Justice Policy” committee, incontinent with fear as they are at the thought of facing real Minnesotans, decide they’ve played enough games with the schedule.
Tony Cornish’s “Stand Your Ground” bill — you know, the one that the anti-self-defense bunch deceptively refer to as the “Shoot First!” or “Shoot the Avon Lady” bill ? — will be heard by the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Policy Committee this Thursday, March 13; the committee convenes at 12:30 PM, in Room 10 of the State Office Building at the Capitol complex.Please be there; you won’t be alone. It’s important.
Please call and email all of the members of the committee in support of HF 498, a commonsense, mainstream bill to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens facing a violent attack. If you’re the constituent of any of these folks, please also call their office and ask to speak to them, personally, and ask for their support, first for the bill, and secondly, for bringing the bill to the floor of the House for a vote.
As always: be polite, but firm. Never yell or threaten — not even something that is both legal and ethical to do, like working for their opponent in the next election. Just don’t do that.
And while you’re being polite, don’t settle for an evasive answer.
The DFL, and their willing, paid-off hacks in the DFLMedia, government and the Sorosphere, are digging through the same playbook they ran throughout the eighties and nineties; throughout the ten-year debate over Concealed Carry reform:
- Sensationalize the issue to create fear, even at the expense of lying (“It’ll let criminals claim self defense after bar fights“)
- Try to marginalize the opposition (“gun nuts”).
- Try to silence the opposition (playing three-card monte with the hearing location and time).
And so on.
While I have a busy work day on Thursday, I’m going to do my best to show up. By all means, if you can make it to the Capitol, I hope to see you there.
I’ll be updating people as to times and places in this space tomorrow.