Watching The AstroTurf Grow: “The New Dialog – We Talk, You Shut Up”

This past Friday, I talked with Susie Jones, a reporter from WCCO Radio, about the Gun Grab Summit in North Minneapolis. 

Now, I’m stuck in a bit of a conundrum, myself.  On the one hand, I do seek a civil, grown-up dialog.  As a gun owner, I have a vested interest in making sure my “tribe” – the law-abiding gun owner – acts in a way that credits the responsibility that God gave us and that our Founding Fathers recognized in the Constitution (a responsibility that the record shows we’re really, really good at meeting). 

I also have kids.  And a granddaughter.  Violence is an awful thing.  Protecting against violence is one of the reasons I would be a gun owner, hypothetically.

So curbing violence – with guns, knives, axes, fists, cars, sex organs and every other kind – is Job 1 for me, and for every law-abding gun owner I know. 

On the other hand?  It’s hard to stay adult and civil when dealing with “ProtectMN”, the Joyce-Foundation supported astroturf group that has been campaigning against guns – as opposed to violence – under several names for a couple decades now. 

Part of it is that the group – its’ leader, Representative Heather Martens (DFL HD 67A), speaking as a leader and as an individual – has never, ever uttered a solitary substantive word of truth on the gun issue.  Ever.  Seriously – you can tell Ms. Martens is lying when you see her lips move.  She is the most disingenuous person anywhere in Minnesota public life. 

Yes, worse than Carrie Lucking. 

We are constantly reminded that we need to have a “Dialog” about gun violence. 

And “Dialog” requires honesty.  So I’m going to be honest. 

Monologue And Backstory:  The key to “Dialog” is, of course, discussion between two divergent-to-dissenting points of view.  Otherwise, all you have is a monologue. 

Now, in his conversation with WCCO’s Jones on Friday, “ProtectMN”s Leroy Duncan flatly denied that anyone was told not to show up at the event. 

But at least one executive from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance responded to ProtectMN’s invitation to Friday’s event; I reprinted Heather Martens’ response to that GOCRA offical here the other day

Now, this is what ProtectMN put up on their Facebook page the other day.  Read it and tell me…:

“It’s time to stop letting our critical national debates be handled by lunatics, and by corporate lobbyists. It’s time for us to take up the mantle of civics and citizenship again, beyond our narrow self-interest.

We need to have a real discussion about the civic duty of gun ownership sooner, rather than later. It’s time for the grownups to start talking, and more importantly, to take action.”

The MN Gun Violence Summit will consist of “grown-ups” talking about how to make our communities safer and reframe the debate about gun policy.

…if all of that Alinskyite framing (“lunatics”, “grown-ups”) sounds like someone looking for a dialog? 

Class Warfare:  Jones noted in her conversation with me that some of the people at the “summit” had complained that the issue was a matter of the plucky, put-upon inner city versus the smug, complacent suburbs – and that shooters just don’t understand life in the inner city.

I refuted them thusly; me.  I live in the Midway.  I’ve had a drive-by shooting in front of my house.  I had a break-in when I was in my house, once upon a time; the sound of my own firearm ended the incident.  Senseless violence?  A four-year-old girl was murdered half a mile from my house, right about the time I had two kids in her age bracket. 

Gun violence affects my city.  My quality of life.  My property value.  Just as much as it does yours, and more than it does those of any of the leadership of “ProtectMN” and “Moms Want Action”. 

And – this is the important part -not a single proposal they’re making, or have ever made, would affect gun violence in the least.

So, Mr. Duncan, please spare us the BS and never, ever play that crap with me. 

And the fact is, many shooters live in the suburbs because decades of DFL mismanagement have left the cities much more dangerous than the subs, the exurbs or Greater Minnesota. 

Indeed, given that Minneapolis and Saint Paul have the lowest incidence of civilian gun ownership in the State and the highest crime rates, perhaps it’s time we considered whether owning guns is a better deterrent to violence than banning them. 

The Potemkin Mission:  But “ProtectMN” isn’t about curbing violence.  Not even a little bit.

Proof:  In the legislative session just passed, most of the Legislature got behind a bill, HF1325, sponsored by Rep. Hilstrom (DFL, some godforsaken Western suburb). The bill would have added mandatory penalties for using a gun to commit a crime, and improved the state’s reporting to the national background check database (a ball the DFL has been dropping for over a decade now)…

…y’know – things that have a record in curbing violence

That’s the mission – right?

Not for “ProtectMN”.  They – Martens and the Metrocrat DFLers who controlled the Legislature – fought like hell against the bill that would address violence with measures that have actually worked around the country, claiming it was “The NRA’s Bill” (which was written by a rep with an “F” rating from the NRA, but whatever).  Instead, they fought for useless fripperies like magazine size restrictions, and yapping about cosmetic features of different guns – things that don’t and have never had the faintest impact on violence at the very most.




So I ask you – who is actually “dealing with violence”?  And who is acting out a fetish over metal objects?

The Takeaways From The “Summit”:  I’d like to address this to my brothers and sisters, my fellow human beings in places like North Minneapolis and the lower East Side. 

There is a “dialog” to be had about gun violence.  And we, your fellow Americans and Minnesotans of the Second Amendment community, are more than ready to have exactly that.  We, like you, want to make your streets, neighborhoods and homes safer – because they’re our streets, neighborhoods and homes, too.

“ProtectMN” doesn’t care about “violence”.  They froth and fume about guys in Lakeville with AR15s – and you know as well as I do (and Heather Martens does not) that they and their guns aren’t the problem. 

It’s the criminals.  The people who couldn’t pass a background check when they were 18, and sure as hell can’t pass one now.

And let the record show that Protect MN fought against the legislation that would attack them, in favor of attacking the law-abiding, in the past session.

And starting in January, they’re going to ramp up that attack. 

More later.

3 thoughts on “Watching The AstroTurf Grow: “The New Dialog – We Talk, You Shut Up”

  1. Here’s the thing about this that drives me a little crazy… Our Democrat Dominated Media Culture (DDMC), while posturing as nothing more than umpires calling balls & strikes, continue to feature Martens, Duncan, et al without acknowledging their “untruthfullness”. Somehow these people are accorded the same if not more credibility than someone (like this blogs humble host) who come to this issue honestly.
    If a pro civil rights researcher once took a donation from a group that once took support from the NRA; his or her work is forever labeled and degraded by the DDMC (with their “in the interest of full disclosure” figleaf) as nothing more than something that Wayne LaPierre dictated word for word.
    The DDMC doesn’t even spend the time reading the studies to determine whether or not what the results are true. They simply take the word of the anti-civil rights crowd (their friends and fellow travelers) that all research is tainted unless it comes from one of their anti-civil rights foundations. It’s false advertising on ‘CCO’s part to claim that there is/was a dialog when only one side was invited to an event that was nothing more than a monologue of provably false information.

  2. The plucky, put-upon inner-city has a problem with gun violence, all right. But there are just as many guns in the smug, complacent suburbs and in the thinly populated out-state regions and they do not have a problem with gun violence.

    To use an analogy, if we were doctors treating a cholera epidemic, seeing the existence of human feces produced in the same amount per person in all areas, we’d rule out human waste as the cause. Instead, we’d look for something that existed in the sick areas but not in the healthy areas: improper food handling, impure drinking water, perhaps a lack of sanitary sewers.

    To apply the lesson learned from the analogy to the problems of firearms in the inner city, we should be asking “what exists in the inner city that does not exist in the suburbs or out-state?” We must be willing to consider outside-the-box factors.

    Perhaps population density causes mental changes that result in violence so we should be pushing people out of town rather than trying to force them to move back to the city?

    Perhaps a culture of entitlement strips people of earned self-respect but gives rise to brittle self-esteem that cannot tolerate even perceived disrespect, which results in increased levels of violence.

    Perhaps the concentration of out-patient services for the mentally ill in the metro result in more volatile people roaming inner-city streets, ticking.

    Perhaps it’s all of these and more. Are the dialog-seekers willing to discuss these? Or are they blindly committed to a crusade?

  3. Joe Doakes wrote: Perhaps it’s all of these and more. Are the dialog-seekers willing to discuss these? Or are they blindly committed to a crusade?
    Since you ask, they are blindly committed to a crusade.

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