(MN) Whiners try to repeal CCW


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powerstrk
May 14, 2003, 12:52 PM
Nora Slawik: For Minnesota's sake, let's repeal the concealed-carry law
Nora Slawik

Published May 14, 2003 SLAW14

The buzz at the grocery store, the health club and the restaurants in my suburban area is how in less than one month it will be much easier for thousands of Minnesotans to carry a concealed handgun. Parents, business owners, city and county elected officials and neighbors have asked me time and time again over the past few weeks why do we need a law to have more guns in Minnesota? My answer is that we don't need this law, and that's why I have authored a bill to repeal it.

A few short hours after it passed the Legislature, Gov. Tim Pawlenty quickly signed conceal and carry gun legislation into law. With this stroke of a pen our governor changed the complexion of Minnesota. The real question is how this bill will affect our daily lives.

According to the law, concealed, loaded handguns can now be brought to the Minnesota State Fair, the Mall of America, the Metrodome, Target Center, the Xcel Energy Center, parks, movie theaters, bars, restaurants and courthouses across the state. The answer is it will directly affect us, and that is worrisome.

Rather than requiring that persons show they need a gun for their occupation or for personal safety, as in current law, the new law allows adults to carry a gun unless they are convicted felons, committed for mental illness, on the state gang member data base and/or if they pose a risk to themselves or the public. Legislative staff estimate that as many as 50,000 additional guns could hit the streets by the end of this year, and 20,000 each year thereafter.

The workplaces of most Minnesotans will be open season for gun-toters. To prevent guns in their workplace, a business will be required by law to post a sign: "[Name of the business] bans guns on these premises." Do our governor and the lawmakers who support concealed handguns feel safer surrounded by handguns in malls, parks, sports arenas, movie theaters and other places where Minnesota families relax or work?

Another issue is that according to the new law it is legal for a person to bring a concealed handgun into a bar, but it is illegal to keep it in one's possession if that person becomes intoxicated. We have a big problem with drunk driving in Minnesota because too many people get behind the wheel when they are in no condition to drive. Are people really going to "conceal responsibly" and hand in their guns once they realize they've had one too many? That just doesn't seem likely. What does seem possible is that the average bar fight will lead to more than a black eye if bars are packed with people carrying loaded weapons.

With thousands of additional guns being carried around, misplacing them becomes a serious issue. A lot of us carry cell phones around with us these days; who hasn't temporarily misplaced or lost their cellphone before? It's a hassle for sure but, at worst, losing a cell phone means paying to replace it. A lost handgun could have drastic, deadly consequences.

Rep. Lynda Boudreau of Faribault, the Republican author of the law in the House, said she plans to keep her gun in her purse at all times. As a mom, I can't tell you how many times I've asked one of my kids to grab something for me from my purse. Mothers do that all the time. I wonder if Boudreau would ask one of her kids to grab something out of her purse knowing that her gun is in there.

Any way you look at it, this law is bad news, and recent polls suggest that the people of Minnesota agree with that assessment. In a recent Star Tribune poll, only 17 percent said they will feel safer with this law. The only organized groups to officially support the law are the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association. On the other side of the issue are dozens of law enforcement organizations, community groups, religious communities and the majority of the Democratic Party.

In many cases, people who will now receive a permit to carry a concealed handgun are folks who have been denied them by their local law enforcement authorities in the past. I trust the ability of our local police and sheriff's offices to be making these decisions, and I don't see how the supporters of this legislation can justify taking this away from local law enforcement.

The chances of successfully wiping this law off the books this year are remote, but the repealer bill has already attracted 26 coauthors in the Minnesota House and we are committed to moving forward with this effort. Sen. Wes Skoglund, DFL-Minneapolis, is author of this bill in the Minnesota Senate.

If our effort does not succeed this year, we plan to come back and fight it every time a Minnesotan is killed by one of the handguns this law put on the streets. If necessary, we will come back again and again and as long as it takes to rid Minnesota of this law.

Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood, is a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/3881031.html

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El Tejon
May 14, 2003, 01:02 PM
Where does this obession with guns in bars come from? I think the soccermommies reveal more about themselves and their alcohol/emotional control problems than any imaginary problem.

Nora, I carried into a bar [shudder] last weekend and fully intend to do so this weekend. Guess what? Nothing happened.

I am very happy for our friends in Minnesota.:cool:

pytron
May 14, 2003, 01:51 PM
If our effort does not succeed this year, we plan to come back and fight it every time a Minnesotan is killed by one of the handguns this law put on the streets. If necessary, we will come back again and again and as long as it takes to rid Minnesota of this law.

Great, so every time a criminal is killed by a citizen in a justifable shooting, you can complain that Minnesotans are being killed by people with CCWs.

Come back every time a previously law-abiding citizen suddenly turns into a killer. I bet you won't be back.

-Pytron

Big_R
May 14, 2003, 04:50 PM
This is no big surprise. Heck, even the little county I live in is trying to ban firearms from the county courthouse because of an overzealous county attorney who probably won't be in that job come the next election. My county is about as conservative as they come, and they don't take kindly to this kind of liberal crap. There will be no repeal, there will be no restrictions, because those of us who have (or soon will have) a CCW will give them no ammunition to enact any changes.

Flashback: I just had a visual image of the 2002 elction when the Democratic candidate for govenor, Roger Moe, did a commercial saying that if Gov. Pawlenty was elected, he would support a CCW law. I can't forget thinking that that whiny, feel-good commercial contributed to Gov. Pawlenty getting into office. I better stop, I'm getting all Misty.

Ryan

WonderNine
May 14, 2003, 04:55 PM
Parents, business owners, city and county elected officials and neighbors have asked me time and time again over the past few weeks why do we need a law to have more guns in Minnesota?

First rule to writing an opinion piece on a new law. #1: Understand what the new law is....:rolleyes:

CZ 75 BD
May 14, 2003, 05:05 PM
......I hope. As written it is emotional, inflamatory, and inaccurate. I will be seeking reciprocity with our newly enlightened neighbors to the north:cool:

Henry Bowman
May 14, 2003, 05:06 PM
"Facts" are not required for a liberal to have an opinion.

Standing Wolf
May 14, 2003, 06:27 PM
Leftists are the biggest bunch of sore losers in the nation.

GnL
May 14, 2003, 07:32 PM
I sent the following article to Nora:

Gun Rights for the Gun Shy
VIEW FROM THE RIGHT
Adam Sparks, Special to SF Gate
Monday, May 12, 2003
©2003 SF Gate

URL: http://sfgate.com/columnists/sparks/


"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. No free man shall be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

I grew up in New York City's rough-and-tumble Spanish Harlem in the 1960s. My highschool English teacher, who was then a gray-haired grandma, doubled as our coach -- the rifle team's coach. The range was in the school's basement, where we practiced twice a week.

Our school was in a gritty neighborhood, replete with five-story walk-up tenements -- it could have been a set for "West Side Story." When the teen gangs weren't breaking into cars, they were snapping their fingers and harmonizing their "doo-wa-diddie"s on the street corners under the moonlight. It was there that our high school supported a rifle team.

My experience was not all that unique. It was just like that in cities across the country: Even San Francisco had high schools, from Lowell to Lincoln, that had basement firing ranges. That was in the decades before the politically correct gun-a-phobic peaceniks took control over our schools. That was before the self-esteem, whole-language, peace-and-love crowd commandeered our youth and turned their brains into mush.

Ironically, during those days, the nation never had a single school shooting and certainly no such thing as killing your teacher for notoriety or a better grade. Guns were readily available back then; it was a time that even teens could buy them in stores -- and with no waiting period. Fast-forward to the gun-a-phobic 21st century: Now -- even though there are some 2,000 restrictive state and federal gun laws and our kids all know guns are bad -- our nation's violence, both with and without guns, has skyrocketed, with record numbers of shootings at schools.

Nowadays, schools in most cities, particularly liberal cities, have "violence-free zones" (that's kind of like nuclear-free zones), and many, sadly, have metal detectors. School violence, and the nature of the violence, are now so horrific that single school shootings are so commonplace, they're barely newsworthy.

Children are now taught to fear guns as the enemy, rather to respect them. Educators would rather have elementary school boys play with Barbie dolls than enact a pretend shootout at the OK Corral. Showing any signs of testosterone is now punishable as a hate crime. In San Francisco, the school board even went so far as to propose a ban that would have prevented cops -- yes, cops -- from coming into the schools with guns even when called in to make an arrest.

That would have been San Francisco school policy today if the police hadn't actually threatened not to show up at all. Not many police are foolish enough to come into a violence-prone school without arms, but the local gun-a-phobic politicians are. This must have been a policy driven by a leftover residue of their drug-induced halcyon days, when flowers were still the roughest things of all. Drugs, body piercings, ripped pants hanging lower than your butt and condoms are OK in our schools, but the Pledge of Allegiance, God and rifle ranges? Not OK. Verboten. Connect the dots.

I can understand the knee-jerk reaction of many on the Left to guns. After all, it was on April 20, 1999, that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on fellow students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. They left 12 classmates and a teacher dead, and 23 more seriously wounded. Harris and Klebold then committed suicide. The Left's predictable reaction: "Guns did it -- get rid of 'em."

Politicians are compelled to react and pass even more gun laws. They have to look busy.

However, these new laws may actually be exacerbating the problem. According to University of Chicago researchers John Lott and William Landes, deaths and injuries from mass public shootings fall dramatically after laws upholding the right to carry concealed handguns are enacted. States from Alaska to Florida give concealed-gun permits liberally, and some states, such as Vermont, don't require a permit at all. The researchers' analysis of data from an 18-year period, from 1977 to 1995, shows that the average death rate from mass shootings plummeted by up to 91 percent after such laws went into effect, and injuries dropped by more than 80 percent! Ironically, Colorado was in the midst of considering just such a law at the time of the massacre at Littleton.

"People who engage in mass public shootings are deterred by the possibility that law-abiding citizens may be carrying guns," Lott concluded. "Such people may be deranged, but they still appear to care whether they will themselves be shot as they attempt to kill others."

Think about it. There are far fewer children today who have legal access to, or familiarity with, guns, and yet the violence is out of control. Maybe that conundrum offers a solution. A July 1993 U.S. Department of Justice study, which received scant publicity at the time it was released, found that "boys who own legal firearms ... have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use [than those who obtained them illegally] and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns." It concluded, "For legal gun owners, socialization appears to take place in the family; for illegal gun owners, it appears to take place 'on the street.'"

The debate over the real meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution is a relatively new one. The amendment reads as follows: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The argument over its interpretation is largely held in the minds of liberals, and the pursuit of this conflict has been an outlet for their angst-ridden gestalt.

To liberals, "gun control" really means "gun confiscation." To a conservative, proper gun control means knowing how and when to gently squeeze the trigger while holding your breath. (That is not totally fair, of course, as many sincere liberals are gun owners, and many understand the true meaning of this amendment, though they are in the minority.)

How bad do most liberals hate guns and gun owners? You know it's serious when Mayor Willie Brown is reduced to saying, "I will accept money from anyone and any group ... except Gun Owners of California." It may come as a surprise to gun-grabbing politicians such as New York's Charles Schumer or California's Barbara Boxer, but 35 states now have concealed-weapons laws mandating that the state "shall issue" a concealed-firearms permit, unless it can show a compelling reason not to -- mental disorder, criminal conviction, and so on. And in all these states, "studies show crime has plummeted. After all, an armed society is a polite society. Israel mandates that each family be armed and, notwithstanding the terrorist violence, has a lower crime rate than any European nation except Switzerland -- which, not so coincidentally, also has a similar law mandating gun ownership.

To historians and constitutionalists, the meaning of the Second Amendment is as plain as the nose on your face. Even the courts, from our nation's founding until as recently as some 20 years ago, have been clear. They consistently interpreted the amendment as one that granted individual rights to citizens, much like the other nine amendments, which, with the one in question, have collectively come to be known as the Bill of Rights. And, fortunately, the courts have stated how "Militia," as used in the Second Amendment, should be interpreted.

More than 100 years after the passage of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Supreme Court proclaimed its decision in Presser vs. Illinois (1886). Justice William B. Woods reaffirmed, "It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States, as well as that of the states; and in view of this prerogative of the general government as well as of its general powers, the states cannot, even laying the constitutional provisions in question out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government."

More recently, in the last century, the court's decisions continued with this interpretation in U.S. vs. Miller (1939). The majority opinion echoed the earlier conclusion, saying, "The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense."

The amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights granted rights to citizens, individual citizens, to protect them against a new, worrisome and meddling power, the federal government. No states had gun-control laws when the Constitution was passed. Gun-grabbing liberals and their revisionist allies in black robes who sit on many of the courts have now mangled the Second Amendment. They see the need for prohibitions of and restrictions to guns, when the Founding Fathers did not. Some courts today believe the Bill of Rights offered protection not to individuals, but to the states themselves.

Anyone who has ever understood the history of the birth of our nation and has made a unbiased attempt at understanding the intent of the framers of our Constitution will not have to go far to decipher the meaning of the text. America was a rural nation, and every family had a gun for hunting, recreation and the protection of family and country.

It's quite clear that the intent of the Founders were to both respect and protect the rights of Americans to bear arms. The only ones currently confused as to the meaning of the 2nd Amendement are those wacky liberals sitting on the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. They ruled last week that citizens have no particular rights under the 2nd Amendment. This is in direct conflict with the previous Supreme Court decisions. But hey, what do you expect from the most overruled circuit court in the nation?

The Founding Fathers would never have undermined the farmer/hunter/warrior's right to own a gun. As Samuel Adams wrote in 1789, "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."

One year earlier, George Mason had written, "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials. To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

Most people know about Patrick Henry's 1775 "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech, but few are aware of the riveting introduction, which included, "They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?"

No, Patrick, we shall never be stronger if the gun-grabbing Democrats control the nation, led by the likes of Boxer, Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein. Then, everyone will be disarmed. Everyone, except of course, the tyrants themselves.

Adam Sparks is a San Francisco conservative writer. He can be reached at adamstyle@aol.com.

©2003 SF Gate

Standing Wolf
May 14, 2003, 09:52 PM
I sent the following article to Nora

I applaud your intention, but there are probably too many big words in the article for a little mind like Nora's.

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