That Growing Sense The DFL Lost That One

I used to read a lot of liberal bloggers.  I don’t so much anymore; part of it’s the time; part of it is that there are so few good ones.

A few Minnesota liberal blogs – one in particular, but I’m not naming names – have a particularly annoying habit when they get pressed in an argument with a rare conservative commenter; if it’s not going well for them, one of the blog’s writers will dig hard to wrench context hard enough to find some sort of offense in the comment; he’ll feign the Victorian Vapours at the (contrived) offense…

…which has the side-effect of taking the focus of the debate off of, well, the debate.

I’m not sure I’m surprised to hear this next story – that the Minnesota DFL is using the same precise tactic after having been shredded in the marketplace of public opinion last week.

am a little surprised at the person asking the questions.

From: Nick Coleman <[redacted]@[The Uptake].org>

Date: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Subject: guns at capitol query

To: [redacted]

Joe, Andrew, et al:

There is a growing sense at the Capitol that the presence of so many guns during last week’s gun control hearings affected the process, or even intimidated Legislators. Would you please comment today for a story I am writing for The UpTake?

Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?


Nick Coleman

Executive Editor, The UpTake


Oh, good lord.

The “Growing Sense” is weasel words for “a conclusion that we can’t actually substantiate”.

A little background here: a carry permittee – a person who has passed a background check and taken a training course – can get permission to carry in the Capitol and the State Office Buildings by informing the head of Capitol security they intend to do so.

And those notifications spiked big-time before Gun Week, last week, as carry permittees – out of symbolism or the practical desire not to have to sweat storing their firearms in their cars – filed with the capitol cops.

Are some legislators intimidated by the existence of firearms?  No doubt.

Are they right to be intimidated by a population that is two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any significant crime than the general public?

No more than they would be to feel “intimidated” by exercise of free speech, worship, press (or radio) or assembly – although some of them are.  And they’re wrong then, too.

And the cutesy final question: “Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?”  Given the reality – carry permittees are safer to be around than just about anyone – the answer is “just as possible as it is in a room full of speech, assembly or religion”.

But let’s cut the crap: the only “growing sense” is among the DFL Caucus’ PR flaks (and, let’s be honest, Alida Messinger and Carrie Lucking) that they need to do something good ‘n Alinsky-riffic to try to undercut the groundswell of popular opinion that swarmed the Capitol last week and humiliated the DFL representatives and their copy-and-pasted bills.

Andrew Rothman, VP of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, had a response too.  It’s below the jump.  And it includes a classic story about Heather Martens, from the late Joel Rosenberg, that is perhaps one of the best examples of the hyperbolic hypocrisy of the gun-grabber movement…

…and its’ new stenographer, Nick Coleman.



To what “growing sense” are you referring? It sounds like imprecise use of language, a lapse in actual journalism, and an attempt to make a story where none exists.


Civil rights supporters brought well over 2,000 people to the capitol over the five hearings. The gun control advocates from Citizens-For-A-Safer-Minnesota-Protect-Minnesota-Working-To-End-Gun-Violence-Repeal-Conceal-Minnesotans-Against-Being-Shot claim to have brought 200 people, which might be true, if one includes in the count the 100 children bused in as props for Don Samuels’ odd stump speech (given while testifying for a bill that all sides agreed was mostly a good idea).


Both the chief House Sergeant at Arms and the commanding State Trooper, both responsible for safety and security at the hearings, complimented the pro-rights crowd for being extraordinarily well behaved. “If every large group was this well behaved, my job would be a lot easier,” was one of the comments.


The gun control advocates didn’t have the numbers, the facts, or even the majority of the committee on their side. They couldn’t even get the most controversial bills’ author, Alice Hausman, to stay in the room to present “her” bills. (Have you written about that oddity, or where Rep. Paymar started to call Heather “Representative”?)


Of course they later fell back on the spurious claim of “intimidation” from a group more law abiding that the general population, more law abiding than Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and a group whose members were unfailingly polite and well-behaved.


Here’s how intimidating gun owners are in this state: `Way back in 2007, Heather Martens and I were invited to join a University of Minnesota student organization in a debate over carry on campus.


As usual, gun rights supporters outnumbered gun ban supporters by a significant margin. The room was packed to the rafters with lawfully carrying permit holders.


As Joel Rosenberg wrote at the time:


I guess it could be argued — save for one thing — that she felt that her activism was important enough to take the risk of being in a room with dozens of people carrying, as they say, “loaded, concealed handguns”, which the CSM folks have assured us is a very dangerous thing to do. I guess it could be argued that she should be commended for her bravery, to take those risks to debate awkwardly (and it was awkward; Heather doesn’t do all that well in an interactive forum) against the commonsense notion that somebody who is licensed to carry a handgun in public can do so properly at the U if they’re a student or staff member, rather than just a visitor.

I guess she could congratulate herself on that courage, taking those risks. Except for the one thing that makes it clear that even Heather doesn’t think there really were any risks in arguing with and among dozens of armed permit holders . . . one thing that makes it clear that even Heather knows that being around armed permit holders isn’t risky at all:

. . . she brought not only her husband, but her three-year-old daughter. Cute kid.

So, that “growing sense”? No, I won’t answer your “when did you stop beating your wife” question, because it is based on a false, question-begging premise.






6 thoughts on “That Growing Sense The DFL Lost That One

  1. Legislators might feel uncomfortable debating guns when guns are in the room. What, like those carried by all the police chiefs who testified in favor of gun control? I suppose that wasn’t intimidating at all.

    Best get used to lots of people carrying pistols around the Capitol, since the Sears re-development plans include hundreds of rentals including a substantial low-income component and there’s an uncanny correlation between low income apartments and police reports of gun violence. I’m sure walking to the car after committee meetings won’t be intimidating at all.

  2. I suppose intiimidation is a legitimate factor, given the way the lege was cowed by a couple hundred people in face paint and fake braids last year (or perhaps it was by having Roger Goodell showing up with Moose and Rocco to help them find their checkbooks).

    Given the potential damage that legislators can do, however, perhaps we should consider a bill limiting the number of them that can be “chambered”.

  3. Excuse me if I ignore Nick’s ignorant prattle to take note of just how far the Great Man has fallen.

    From “Guy Who Knows Stuff” to baby sitting dim witted You Tube content providers. A perilous decline indeed.

    One could have some great fun with the imagined dialogue that fills the UpChuck “newsroom” 😉

  4. Don’t know if any of you have any experience with the Community Colleges that are located on the Range and points north, but here is something that I find telling. First, my daughter attended Vermilion CC in Ely. During orientation, they spoke proudly about their support of hunters and other outdoor sports participants, highlighting the fact that students could indeed bring their rifles and shotguns to school with them. Of course, they needed to be checked in and out by the head of facilities and only during hunting season. It was interesting to note that they had 4 large gun safes (I understand that they have added 2 more since my daughter was there) that were full. According to this facilities manager, other schools up there, i.e. Hibbing, Rainy River, etc. had the same situation. Funny, I haven’t heard of any gun fights or shootings on any of those campuses.
    On another note, the dorm on Vermilion’s campus is coed to the point that guys rooms are on the same floors as women’s rooms. On one Parent’s Day, my daughter introduced me to the guys across the hall. During our discussion, it turned out that they were hunters. Further on in the conversation, one of these young men quipped; “I think that the girls on this campus are safe from rapes, because no one knows whether or not the girl has a gun in one of those safes.”

  5. I can say definitively that it is quite easy to have a conversation about guns in a room full of guns.

    I had just such a conversation last Saturday, when I and another soldier discoursed on the finer points of the 2nd amendment to several young soldiers who listened intently, all the while cleaning the M240B belt fed machine guns they were working on.

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