I used to read a lot of liberal bloggers. I don’t so much anymore; part of it’s the time; part of it is that there are so few good ones.
A few Minnesota liberal blogs – one in particular, but I’m not naming names – have a particularly annoying habit when they get pressed in an argument with a rare conservative commenter; if it’s not going well for them, one of the blog’s writers will dig hard to wrench context hard enough to find some sort of offense in the comment; he’ll feign the Victorian Vapours at the (contrived) offense…
…which has the side-effect of taking the focus of the debate off of, well, the debate.
I’m not sure I’m surprised to hear this next story – that the Minnesota DFL is using the same precise tactic after having been shredded in the marketplace of public opinion last week.
I am a little surprised at the person asking the questions.
From: Nick Coleman <[redacted]@[The Uptake].org>
Date: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Subject: guns at capitol query
Joe, Andrew, et al:
There is a growing sense at the Capitol that the presence of so many guns during last week’s gun control hearings affected the process, or even intimidated Legislators. Would you please comment today for a story I am writing for The UpTake?
Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?
Executive Editor, The UpTake
Oh, good lord.
The “Growing Sense” is weasel words for “a conclusion that we can’t actually substantiate”.
A little background here: a carry permittee – a person who has passed a background check and taken a training course – can get permission to carry in the Capitol and the State Office Buildings by informing the head of Capitol security they intend to do so.
And those notifications spiked big-time before Gun Week, last week, as carry permittees – out of symbolism or the practical desire not to have to sweat storing their firearms in their cars – filed with the capitol cops.
Are some legislators intimidated by the existence of firearms? No doubt.
Are they right to be intimidated by a population that is two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any significant crime than the general public?
No more than they would be to feel “intimidated” by exercise of free speech, worship, press (or radio) or assembly – although some of them are. And they’re wrong then, too.
And the cutesy final question: “Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?” Given the reality – carry permittees are safer to be around than just about anyone – the answer is “just as possible as it is in a room full of speech, assembly or religion”.
But let’s cut the crap: the only “growing sense” is among the DFL Caucus’ PR flaks (and, let’s be honest, Alida Messinger and Carrie Lucking) that they need to do something good ‘n Alinsky-riffic to try to undercut the groundswell of popular opinion that swarmed the Capitol last week and humiliated the DFL representatives and their copy-and-pasted bills.
Andrew Rothman, VP of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, had a response too. And it includes a classic story about Heather Martens, from the late Joel Rosenberg, that is perhaps one of the best examples of the hyperbolic hypocrisy of the gun-grabber movement…
…and its’ new stenographer, Nick Coleman.
To what “growing sense” are you referring? It sounds like imprecise use of language, a lapse in actual journalism, and an attempt to make a story where none exists.
Civil rights supporters brought well over 2,000 people to the capitol over the five hearings. The gun control advocates from Citizens-For-A-Safer-Minnesota-Protect-Minnesota-Working-To-End-Gun-Violence-Repeal-Conceal-Minnesotans-Against-Being-Shot claim to have brought 200 people, which might be true, if one includes in the count the 100 children bused in as props for Don Samuels’ odd stump speech (given while testifying for a bill that all sides agreed was mostly a good idea).
Both the chief House Sergeant at Arms and the commanding State Trooper, both responsible for safety and security at the hearings, complimented the pro-rights crowd for being extraordinarily well behaved. “If every large group was this well behaved, my job would be a lot easier,” was one of the comments.
The gun control advocates didn’t have the numbers, the facts, or even the majority of the committee on their side. They couldn’t even get the most controversial bills’ author, Alice Hausman, to stay in the room to present “her” bills. (Have you written about that oddity, or where Rep. Paymar started to call Heather “Representative”?)
Of course they later fell back on the spurious claim of “intimidation” from a group more law abiding that the general population, more law abiding than Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and a group whose members were unfailingly polite and well-behaved.
Here’s how intimidating gun owners are in this state: `Way back in 2007, Heather Martens and I were invited to join a University of Minnesota student organization in a debate over carry on campus.
As usual, gun rights supporters outnumbered gun ban supporters by a significant margin. The room was packed to the rafters with lawfully carrying permit holders.
As Joel Rosenberg wrote at the time:
I guess it could be argued — save for one thing — that she felt that her activism was important enough to take the risk of being in a room with dozens of people carrying, as they say, “loaded, concealed handguns”, which the CSM folks have assured us is a very dangerous thing to do. I guess it could be argued that she should be commended for her bravery, to take those risks to debate awkwardly (and it was awkward; Heather doesn’t do all that well in an interactive forum) against the commonsense notion that somebody who is licensed to carry a handgun in public can do so properly at the U if they’re a student or staff member, rather than just a visitor.
I guess she could congratulate herself on that courage, taking those risks. Except for the one thing that makes it clear that even Heather doesn’t think there really were any risks in arguing with and among dozens of armed permit holders . . . one thing that makes it clear that even Heather knows that being around armed permit holders isn’t risky at all:
. . . she brought not only her husband, but her three-year-old daughter. Cute kid.
So, that “growing sense”? No, I won’t answer your “when did you stop beating your wife” question, because it is based on a false, question-begging premise.
Comments welcome at Shot In The Dark.