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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Common Denominator Is Guns

Category: Guns
Posted: 06/14/17 17:39

by Dave Mindeman

A disgruntled political madman shoots up a Republican sports practice, injuring 4 people. Jeronimo Yanez kills Philando Castile because he "saw" a gun and feared for his life?. Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy, is killed by police because they thought a toy gun in the hands of a 12 year old could be real. In the Bay Area today, a disgruntled worker opens fire at this workplace and kills 4 people. At Sandy Hook school, 20 children and 6 adults were murdered randomly by a mentally ill individual. Three people killed and 9 wounded at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic by a deranged zealot. Nine people killed in Charleston, SC by a white supremacist. In 2011, 6 people died and 12 were injured, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, shot by a mentally ill paranoid-schizophrenic.

That is a lot of people involved. And if you noticed properly, none of that list involved our war on terrorism. None of it came from the Radical Extremists our President likes to point to.

No, there is only one common denominator in those tragedies.


Guns, most of them automatic weapons, in the hands of people who should not have them, caused this carnage. Yes, the people were definitely to blame. But we need to stop them. And we also need to stop the improper access of guns to people who kill.

Sure, people kill people. And if it wasn't guns it would be a knife, a rock, or a hammer. We cannot stop killers intent to kill. But why make it easier? Why should the sudden rage of a person be given an automatic weapon to wreak havoc on random, innocent people? Why should domestic abusers get access to a weapon that can kill quickly and efficiently? Why are background checks still not universal?

To be honest, I am not even sure if it is really physical guns that is the real problem. It is more the gun culture. The NRA keeps pushing for broader access to guns. Law abiding citizens should have access, but with the ever decreasing restrictions, the term law abiding itself becomes a loose definition. I mean people on the no fly list are guaranteed the right to purchase a gun. How crazy is that?

The common thread is guns...and the ever increasing access to guns and the incredible proliferation of guns. No other country on earth has such a love affair with weaponry. The gun culture is not satisfied with ease of access; the gun culture wants a gun on every street corner, in every church, every government building, ever bar and restaurant. Yes, we do have some restrictions in those places at the moment - but those restrictions are also only one Republican bill from termination.

Sure, we can talk about motivations. And the attack in DC has no justification. None. Politics in the US is not decided with bullets. It is what makes our democracy unique and why it works so well.

But this is another opportunity to examine the arsenals of guns in the private sector. Arsenals that cost us huge sums of money in law enforcement and security.

Let's talk about that as well.

Gunsense: Why Is It So Hard?

Category: Guns
Posted: 08/02/16 11:07

by Dave Mindeman

How many more surveys on gun sense do we need? Why is there no action? These questions refer to policies that will TAKE NO GUNS AWAY from anyone. They just make the attempt to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them in the first place.

This is not a radical idea. This is not the heavy hand of government. This is simply an attempt at sensible legislation.


Public Policy Polling

Q7 Do you support or oppose requiring a criminal
background check of every person who wants
to buy a firearm?

Support 86%
Oppose 11%
Not sure 3%

Q8 Would you support or oppose a bill barring
people on the terrorist watch list from
purchasing a firearm?

Support 82%
Oppose 11%
Not sure 7%

Q9 Do you support or oppose a nationwide ban on
the sale of assault weapons?

Support 56%
Oppose 33%
Not sure 11%

Racism Doesn't Have To Be Overt To Be Dangerous

Category: Guns
Posted: 07/09/16 16:58

by Dave Mindeman

The officer who shot Philando Castile is offering this explanation through his attorney....

A suburban Minnesota police officer who killed a black driver reacted to the man's gun, not his race, his attorney said Saturday, giving the most detailed account so far of why the officer drew his own weapon.

So far, there is no evidence that Castile pulled his weapon. His girlfriend said he let the officer know that he had a permit to carry and that he was reaching for his registration.

Let's assume that the gun was the factor, not Castile's race, and run with that.

Minnesota has a growing number of permit to carry licenses. The training for these weapons states that when stopped by a police officer, you should let him know immediately that you have a weapon and a permit.

That is what Castile did. The officer says he reacted to seeing the gun. It would be interesting to know if he has encountered other people with permits when conducting a traffic stop.

Because we have a number of people with permits, I would guess that this officer has had an encounter like this before and if the person was white, I suspect that his reaction would have been much calmer.

I don't know if this officer has racist tendencies - frankly, I would guess that he considers himself not to be a racist. And maybe in broad terms he isn't. But I suspect that there is an underlying assumption that a black person with a gun must be treated differently than a white person with a gun.

Again, I do not think this is intentional. It is just an inherent police bias that has developed over time. Whether or not it is justified (and it isn't), that perception has to change.

I don't have an answer for that, but the first step is to recognize that it exists. That alone may alter that instant reaction.

A reaction that seems to be so deadly.
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