A Victory For A Safe Minnesota

Governor Pawlenty has signed concealed-carry reform into Minnesota law meaning that local officials can no longer reject applicants for concealed-carry permits who meet a series of objective safety standards.

While anti-gun groups will likely decry this measure, their inflated rhetoric will likely turn on them once the predicted apocalypse never emerges. Instead, criminals in Minnesota have been put on notice – the next person they try to rob, rape, or murder may be ready to defend themselves or others.

6 thoughts on “A Victory For A Safe Minnesota

  1. Interesting how the passage of this measure coincided with a road rage murder on Minnesota freeways. Not exactly the kind of publicity that goes over well with Minnesota government putting guns into more people’s hands.

    Also, the message being espoused by the Republicans today was quite conflicting. The whole premise behind conceal-and-carry is that if everyone (or at least the majority) is packing heat, the hooligans will be less likely to cause mischief. This is an interesting theory, but Dick Day essentially denounced that intent on the Senate floor today. The DFL was incensed about the prospect of 90,000 new guns on the street, and Day responded that their number was way out of line…and went on to predict that no more than 10,000 such permits would be granted to trigger-happy Minnesotans eager to reinvent the Old West in the 21st century. Huh? The last time I checked, there were nearly 5 million Minnesotans. If only 10,000 of us are carrying weapons, will the average criminal be less likely to mug granny than he was before? That puts the odds of running into an armed Minnesotan at 0.2%, which isn’t exactly a Russian roulette game for Joe Criminal.

    Of all the bad right-wing ideas floating around St. Paul and Washington these days, conceal-and-carry fails to raise my ire to the extent that destroying paid overtime laws does. I’m not an anti-gun person at heart, but I do think there’s a line of common sense that is being crossed here. This will present an awkward situation for me (and likely thousands of other Minnesotans) who will refuse to let someone we don’t know into our homes who may be carrying a weapon. I will have to request every salesperson, Jehova’s Witness and Girl Scout to remove any weapons from their possession before entering my home. Not exactly rolling out the welcome mat, but now necessary in the land of Pawlenty.

    The bottom line is that there’s a reason why civilized societies have moved away from the gunslinging Old West days of a century ago. Most of the civilized world learned at some point in the past century that laws are much better at administering justice than guns are. But I guess our transition back to 19th century values wouldn’t be complete without “every man in Minnesota owning a gun”. After all, who knows when the Jesse James gang will return to the Northfield bank.

  2. Mark,

    “he whole premise behind conceal-and-carry is that if everyone (or at least the majority) is packing heat, the hooligans will be less likely to cause mischief.”

    No, that’s NOT the premise.

    The actual premise is this; if a tiny minority has permits, criminals have NO idea who is armed. This deters them.

    Mark – show us an example of “Dodge City” breaking out in any of the 34 other states that have adopted this?

  3. morning everyone,
    are you trying to convince anyone that having more guns outthere will make it safer?
    don’t you think that actually possess a gun increase the chance to use it?
    don’t you think that a gun(like a very nice and powerful car) is the type of object that can make normal people do stupid things?
    if your answers are yes; no; no, then you should agree that proliferation of WMDs is a very good thing, that would prevent war since no country would be sure of the reply they could be responded …
    take it easy,

  4. Good point Vincent. Why are the same people espousing the benefits of greater numbers of American citizens who are armed then saying that the proliferation of humanity is dependent on disarming people outside United States borders?

    And Mitch, I’m not making predictions of bloody carnage on the streets. The consequences of Old West Minnesota in 2003 are not likely to be as cataclysmic and conceal-and-carry critics are suggesting. However, isolated incidents of needless gun deaths are very likely, particularly accidental shootings and road rage incidents. When that happens, expect to see litigation against the state. I know that if I had a family member killed by a stray bullet shot by a poorly-trained housewife “defending herself” with a 357-Magnum, I would immediately seek out a lawyer for a wrongful death suit against the state. Such scenarios will not be common, but the presence of more guns on the streets ensures that they will occur.

    As I mentioned, a “tiny minority” of armed Minnesotans…if it’s only 10,000 as Dick Day suggests…will not be an effective deterrant. The only logical way to suggest the more guns would be a deterrant is if a majority or substantial minority of Minnesotans were packing.

    The bottom line is that the motives behind conceal-and-carry are purely political. When more guns are sold, the gunmakers make more money….and when the gunmakers make more money, the Republican party campaign coffers get fatter. If Republican lawmakers didn’t stand to make truckloads of money from this law, it wouldn’t be such an obsession for them to pass conceal-to-carry every legislative cycle.

  5. Vincent: Actually, that comparison isn’t all that far off. States with nuclear weapons tend not to go to war with each other. (In fact, no two nuclear states have gone to war with each other that I can think of.) Deterrence does work.

    The difference is that in Minnesota you have to apply to get a concealed-carry permit. (That means a criminal background check, mental health check, and gun safety training.) That ensures that the people who are unstable aren’t allowed to carry weapons.

    Mark: The Strib says that right now there are about 12,000 concealed-carry permit holders. That number could jump to up to 90,000 concealed-carry holders. Even if the chances of running into someone with a concealed weapon is small the deterrent effect is still there. Even if that deterrent effect is small, a lot of women who would otherwise be victims of domestic abuse or rape will have the ability to defend themselves against their attackers.

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