If you want to know the power of showing up, consider what happened at the Lege yesterday. The gun grabbers have blinked, at least for the moment:
The Minnesota Senate will not act to ban assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition clips this year, a DFL leader said Monday.
Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, who is chairing the Senate’s gun hearings this week, said he will focus on closing the loopholes in background checks and leave the issue of banning weapons or ammunition to Congress.
“The assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban proposals are highly divisive,” said Latz, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Legions of concerned gun owners turned out for three days of hearings on gun issues last week, and Latz said such bans also do not have strong support from law enforcement.
There's actually a lot to chew on in these brief paragraphs. First of all, the idea of leaving "the issue of banning weapons or ammunition to Congress" is nothing less than an abject surrender, since Latz knows there isn't a chance that any assault weapons ban will make it through Congress this year or next year.
Second, "highly divisive" can be translated from DFL-speak to mean "likely to lose us elections," which is why Latz is backing off. The Michael Paymars and Alice Hausmans of the world, who represent utterly safe districts in St. Paul, don't have to worry about reelection. Many of the DFL newcomers who won in November could easily be washed back out in 2014 if they anger the citizenry. While the DFL may really, really want the controlling "Better Minnesota" that they are trying to ram through, their individual members value careerism more.
Third, the most interesting admission is the last one -- "Latz said such bans also do not have strong support from law enforcement." Did you know that? I'll bet you didn't, since all you typically hear and see on the matter are media appearances from people like former Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan, or images of Barack Obama standing in front of a wall of police officers. Huh, that is a head-scratcher.
Of course, the largest issue with the bans that Hausman and Paymar have been championing is that the bans are incoherent. Mitch Berg has been blogging about the issue with great regularity and fervor and his two posts from yesterday neatly explain the incoherence of the bans. As Mitch patiently explains, nearly all of the weapons that Hausman would ban are beyond the pale for reasons that have nothing to do with how they function.
So does that mean the gun grabbers are going away? Of course not. They never go away. But it appears that at least for now, your Second Amendment rights remain in effect in Minnesota. But don't worry; the DFL has plenty of other ideas that they'll be trotting out in the coming days that will lighten your wallet for the sake of a Better Minnesota.
Cross-posted and comments welcome at Mr. Dilettant'e Neighborhood.