MN: Gun store owner detains burglar


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Aquaholic
September 14, 2005, 01:59 PM
This story is written in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (referred to by many of us locals as the Red Star Tribune...). The columnist is an anti-gun leftist, but the story has its amusing points... Mark (the gunshop owner) is an awesome guy BTW, and is deep in debt trying to fight the city to keep his gunshop open while they try to zone him out of existance. His website is here: http://www.savethegunshop.com/

http://www.startribune.com/stories/357/5613338.html

Nick Coleman, Star Tribune
September 14, 2005 NICK0914

A guy in a white shirt almost became a historical footnote about 4:30 last Sunday morning. He almost was the first guy to get himself shot by a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis.

"I'm in the dark, holding a gun on him and telling him to get on the ground, but he keeps backing away from me," Mark Koscielski was saying. "Then the guy points at his shirt and says, 'I have a white shirt on, and it'll get dirty if I get in the mud.' And I say, 'It's going to get red if you don't get on the [expletive] ground.' " :D

In the end, the guy got muddy, and he got arrested, too, charged with attempting to break into Koscielski's Guns & Ammo, at 2926 Chicago Av. S. That was just one of three attempted break-ins at the store in the past two weeks, during which time there has been a rash of burglaries near the corner of Chicago and Lake Street.

Koscielski, 51, was a distant also-ran in Tuesday's mayoral primary. His campaign to keep open his heavily secured gun shop, watched over by electronic surveillance and a pair of raucous parrots called Toto and Cleo, may be running out of ammo, too: The Minnesota Court of Appeals is scheduled next month to decide whether the city has acted illegally in trying to zone Koscielski into oblivion.

He's a political gadfly, a thorn in the side and an affably goofy gunsmith (he teaches a training course for those who want to apply for permits to carry handguns) who has been fighting to keep his gun store alive for 10 years. Despite his loss (again) at the polls, if you want to discuss the shape of Minneapolis, you can do worse than talk to Koscielski. He may never be mayor (thankfully), but he knows the streets. And he knows trouble.

For months, the area around Lake and Chicago has looked like a disaster zone: the streets torn up, with concrete barricades and debris everywhere, while work proceeds on turning the old Sears building into offices, condos and a hotel.

City planners promise upscale lofts, white-collar office workers and boutiques. Those who try to make a living on the disrupted streets, which are deserted at night, just hope to be able to see that bright future.

"We have tried to steel ourselves," says Mark Simon, owner of Robert's Shoes, which has suffered four break-ins in the past two weeks as thieves have used road construction debris to smash store windows and grab shoes. "Every day, it's a different brick," he says with a game smile. "But when the new developments start to open, the hope is there will be too many decent people around for the bad guys."

Koscielski scoffs at that vision, saying new sidewalks and new trash cans won't deter prostitutes and gangsters. He relies on his trusty .38- caliber Colt revolver, which he bought in 1972 at a Holiday Stationstore in the city and which he trained at the would-be burglar until the cops arrived. (Two accomplices got away, one jumping from the gun shop roof onto Koscielski's Ford Explorer, leaving a footprint on the hood not far from the "Terrorist Hunting Permit" bumper sticker.)

Following his own training advice, Koscielski, who had dialed 911, secured his weapon at the first sign of the police and raised his hands, hollering, "Help! Police!" That, he says, helps the cops tell the bad guy from the honest citizen. With all his hollering, first at the suspect, then for the cops, Koscielski lost his voice. But it came back Tuesday, even as he was losing his quixotic bid for mayor, with its cheesy campaign signs topped with blood-red words that dripped, "Stop! Murderapolis!"

"If that guy had something in his hand -- a pry bar, a screwdriver, an ice pick, anything -- he probably would have died," Koscielski says, shaking at the memory of the confrontation.

Fortunately, no one was shot, and the future for Lake and Chicago is still bright. But the guy in the white shirt might want to ponder how close he came to losing his future.

On election day, the erstwhile mayor of Minneapolis was dressed in sandals, camouflage shorts and an old T-shirt. The shirt said, "Some People Are Alive Simply Because It Is Illegal To Kill Them."

Nick Coleman is at ncoleman@startribune.com.

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chris in va
September 14, 2005, 02:20 PM
Love it! :D Great article. Pretty well balanced too. For once they didn't make the robber out to be the victim.

Aquaholic
September 14, 2005, 02:36 PM
According to Joel Rosenberg (a MN Carry Instructor and good friend of Mark Koscielski) "...being Coleman, he leaves out a key bit of information: the perp was only technically "arrested" -- he was given a ticket, and released."

:what:



(edited for spelling)

halvey
September 14, 2005, 02:47 PM
Leave it to the ultra liberal Nick Coleman to actually report a CCW holder detains a criminal. The "reporters" couldn't do it, but a columnist could.

Tom Servo
September 14, 2005, 03:45 PM
Despite his loss (again) at the polls, if you want to discuss the shape of Minneapolis, you can do worse than talk to Koscielski. He may never be mayor (thankfully), but he knows the streets.
Notice those sly words in parentheses. Whatever happened to objectivity? This jerk almost seemed to be sneering at Koscielski as he wrote this

Mr. Koscielski is a brave guy, with a sense of purpose and the will to fight for a cause, no matter how rough that fight may look. Good for him. This columnist, on the other hand, hardly deserves the term "journalist (@#$&**)".

Aquaholic
September 14, 2005, 03:51 PM
Yeah, like this one:

He's a political gadfly, a thorn in the side and an affably goofy gunsmith (he teaches a training course for those who want to apply for permits to carry handguns)

Seems to me an obvious attempt to make him seem incompetent (an eccentric wierdo who teaches permit carry??? OMG!!!!)

Coleman is as you describe, an (@#$&**).

motoman
September 14, 2005, 04:53 PM
Since when do they issue tickets for felonies? I have heard of that for misdemeanors, but never for felonies. Or has attempted burglary of a gun store been down graded to a misdemeanor?????

goalie
September 15, 2005, 04:51 AM
They issued a loitering ticket.

(yes, I'm serious)

Geno
September 15, 2005, 05:56 AM
Seems like the cop who wrote the ticket would like to see the gun store gone too. How on earth could they do something like that? That fact alone justifies owning and carrying concealed weapons for certain.

Doc2005

entropy
September 15, 2005, 08:41 AM
I applaud him for trying, but the political climate there is very stacked against him. Vin Suprynowicz's column about him in SGN a while back mentioned the idiocy that surrounds him (Koscielscki) in a more sympathetic light than Nick Coleman's socialist rant. BTW, I like his (Colman's) non-political writing, but unfortunately, there's less and less of that these days.
I would have moved long ago. Chicago and Lake has been the armpit of the city for years; even Selby and Dale, once the worst corner in MN, has become safer. I'll give Mark Koscielski credit, he's got guts. :)

Aquaholic
September 15, 2005, 10:59 AM
They issued a loitering ticket. :banghead:

Given that, I'm surprised they didn't arrest Mark for making terroristic threats and brandishing his gun against an honest citizen who was just "hangin' around".

I just love this city. :barf:

Actually, I do. It's the leftist politicians, police chief, and legions of blissninnies that I can't stand.

halvey
September 15, 2005, 11:16 AM
Seems like the cop who wrote the ticket would like to see the gun store gone too. And I'd like to see Glock and Ruger grow some balls and quit selling to LEO's, like Barrett did.

Don't want citizens to have guns? Good, won't sell them to you either.

KAR120C
September 15, 2005, 06:09 PM
I bought both my carry guns from Mark. It's disgraceful that Minneapolis is trying to zone him out of business.

To use this matter as a training example... it does seem to fly in the face of the concept of "don't draw your gun unless you need to use deadly force".

Should Mark have shot him? Could he be prosecuted for brandishing because he didn't? Is this kind of thing really just up to the discretion (whim) of the cops and/or county attorney? Would it have turned out differently if the perp had alleged brandishing?

This is literally a question of life or death, and yet there is this ambiguity about it :uhoh: . Could some one enlighten me, I really want to know.

Standing Wolf
September 16, 2005, 10:04 PM
Fortunately, no one was shot, and the future for Lake and Chicago is still bright.

Lake and Chicago was a pit when I lived in Minneapolis in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Sears store was only the single largest piece of the general ugliness. Condominiums and offices there? You couldn't pay me!

goalie
September 16, 2005, 11:45 PM
Lake and Chicago was a pit when I lived in Minneapolis in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Sears store was only the single largest piece of the general ugliness. Condominiums and offices there? You couldn't pay me!

You know that big hospital a block north on Chicago? I get to drive there all the time at night to go to work. It's a safe and lovely neighborhood. ;)

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