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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Gun Restrictions? MN's Congress Delegation Shows The Difficulty

Category: Guns
Posted: 12/18/12 01:22

by Dave Mindeman

Gun restrictions have always been difficult to enact into law and you don't have to look any furthur than Minnesota's own Congressional delegation to understand why.

Judging by past records here is how it looks:

6th District Bachmann and 2nd District Kline would fight gun restrictions. 7th District Democrat Colin Peterson would as well.

4th District McCollum and 5th District Ellison would support gun restrictions.

But then it gets murky..

3rd District Erik Paulsen would probably fight restrictions but maybe not quite as hard as Bachmann and Kline. Paulsen avoids the topic when he can and the likely reason is that his constituents are more persuaded about gun restrictions. Paulsen is also aware of the power of the NRA -- so in the end, he will stand with guns.

1st District Tim Walz has supported 2nd Amendment bills in the past and looks like he would be uneasy about any bill restricting guns. However, he may be persuadable in the NewTown aftermath. Right now, you would have to put him in the Colin Peterson camp.

And then there is Congressman-elect Rick Nolan. Nolan will be representing a district that considers the 2nd Amendment sacred...and Nolan's public positions indicate pro-gun postures. But, he too, may be persuaded if a reasonable debate can happen. But that remains to be seen.

As for our Senators? More question marks. Senator Franken would be more likely to look at restrictions -- he has avoided immediate statements...which he says is out of respect for the families.

Sen. Klobuchar is careful to put her gun rights positions in terms of hunting; although she did vote YES on a bill that allowed firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains. In my opinion, Senator Klobuchar will be a follower on the debate and, again, wait for a consensus. Don't see any leadership here.

So if you want a debate on guns and wish to see action on gun laws, Minnesota is a prime example of how difficult it is to move this forward.

If you had a vote on a gun restriction law right now - Minnesota's House delegation would probably vote 2 in favor 6 against. In the Senate, I wouldn't venture a guess right now.

There is a lot of work to do.
comments (1) permalink

Rep. Cornish Wants Guns In Schools - Let's Have That Debate

Category: Guns
Posted: 12/18/12 00:50

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Tony Cornish is going to actually put forward a bill that would arm teachers and staff at schools.

First question Rep. Cornish, did you ask the teachers?

I don't doubt that a select few of them would welcome the opportunity but I'm guessing the vast majority would say "No Thank You".

I can also tell you that, as a parent, if my kid's school put together a policy of arming personnell, then my kid is going somewhere else. The idea of having guns in a school to prevent another "Newtown" is an emotional reaction, not a logical one.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there is more danger from the accidental use of that gun, then its use in protecting anyone from a mass shooting.

And what Cornish is suggesting in his bill is even more surprising because Cornish is a former police officer. I have yet to hear a policeman issue a call for more guns anywhere.

But...OK...let's have this debate. Bring the bill and let's have some serious hearings. Let teachers testify....law enforcement...parents. And let's have gun advocates make their case. I really would be anxious to hear what the NRA's position on that will be officially.

And before you start the school debate, please look at the statistics of having a gun in the home....

1. Gun owners and their families are not more suicidal than non-gun-owners, research shows. No are they more likely to have a history of depression or other mental health problems. But they ? and their families ? are at significantly increased risk of successfully taking their lives with a gun. The reason: Guns are more lethal than other methods.

2. ...a large percentage of homicides ? and especially homicides in the home ? occur during altercations over matters such as love, money, and domestic problems, involving acquaintances, neighbors, lovers, and family members; often the assailant or victim has been drinking.

3. ..."scientific studies suggest that the health risk of a gun in the home is greater than the benefit,? he adds. ?There are no credible studies that indicate otherwise.?

4. ?One study of nonfatal accidental shootings found that the majority were self- inflicted, most involved handguns, and more than one third of the injuries required hospitalization. Injuries often occurred during fairly routine gun handling ? cleaning a gun, loading and unloading, target shooting, and so on.?

After you consider that, think about guns in a building with hundreds of children. Would you want that responsibility?

So, yes, it is probably time to bring on that type of gun debate. People need to know the facts and especially the risks.
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