Friday, April 29, 2011

Because the Conservatives Don't Really Want Us to Be A Safer State

They have approved an expansion of violence which is not warranted or justified.  Does anyone else remembre the lies that the Republicans and Tea Partiers were going to be focusing on the economy, and this time - THIS TIME  - they weren't going to be waging their stupid, ill conceived, and unpopular culture wars?

This goes against everything I was taught in gun safety and combat pistol training.  It is wrong. It is stupid, and it risks escalating violence above current levels on both sides of crime - the victim and the perpetrators.  Never mind what this is going to do to insurance costs.

I agree with the people interviewed in this article that the legislation presents in effect a moral hazard, while improving NOTHING.

From the
House panel approves deadly force expansion

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A bill expanding the legal use of deadly force in Minnesota passed the House public safety committee Thursday. The hearing drew a sizable crowd of spectators on both sides of the firearms issue.

The proposal aims to spell out the circumstances in which otherwise law abiding citizens can kill with impunity. It would create the presumption that anyone who enters a home without permission poses a deadly threat.

"It says you can meet force with superior force," Hamline Law School professor Joseph Olson, who heads a group known as the Gun Owners for Civil Rights Alliance.

"It says that you can go one step further or move up the continuum of force. That's exactly what police officers are taught to do."
Police officers are given extensive training, they are given continuing training.  They have legal authority that exceeds that of the average gun owner and home owner - for a good reason!  This reflects the inherently more fearful, authoritarian, and violence prone traits that are associated with far right wing politics in academic research.
Rep. Tony Cornish, R - Good Thunder, who formally authored H.F. 1467 in the House, couldn't name any examples of homeowners going to prison in Minnesota for shooting someone in self-defense.
We have those who claim to be against intrusive government, against bigger government, consistently expanding laws and government where no basis, no justification, no legitimate problem or cause exists to do so.  That is NOT smaller government.  What this does is make it easier for people to shoot other people.  It improves nothing.  If there were examples in Minnesota of home owners being treated unfairly, this would make some sense.  Not good sense, but it would have a basis in reality that this lacks.  But we have no such problem in need of a solution.

Currently use of deadly force, even inside one's own home, must be justified by the threat of eminent bodily harm. Under the Cornish bill, those who kill intruders will be shielded from prosecution regardless of the what kind of threat they pose.

The definition of a "dwelling" is also expanded in the Cornish proposal to include the home, garages, porches, walkways, driveways, decks, yards, hotel rooms, campers, boats and tents.
"Do we really want the law to presume that a homeowner will have the right to shoot and kill and unarmed teenager who has entered the garage to steal a bicycle or other personal property?" Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom asked the committee.
Jim Backstrom has been the Dakota County Attorney for many years; he is very good at his job.  By no stretch is he some liberal politician, nor has he ever been soft on crime.  Rather he is a pragmatic, level headed man who gets things done in his office, and does them very well.  The legislature would do well to listen to him.
"Do we really want to allow a driver who believes he's being threatened with substantial harm  in a road rage incident to shoot and kill the other driver, rather than calling 9-1-1 or simply driving away?"
Opponents said the language is subject to many interpretations by homeowners trying to make split second decisions about defending themselves against intruders.
"The danger is that the language is so confusing and so ambiguous that it could open up all kinds of ways in which people could shoot another person and get away with murder," Joan Peterson of Duluth told KARE.
What is sometimes referred to as a moral hazard, a situation which encourages people to do something wrong or makes it easier for them to do so successfully.
Peterson heads Protect Minnesota, an organization that works against gun violence. She's also heads the North Star Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She said currently a jury can decide whether lethal force was justified.
"If this becomes law some people will not ever have a jury trial. They will be allowed to go free and the victims and the victims' families will not have justice," she remarked. Peterson's own sister, Barbara Lund and boyfriend Kevin Kelly, were shot to death in 1992 in the basement of Lund's estranged husband.
Mankato's top law enforcement officer, Public Safety Director Todd Miller, spoke in support of the bill. He argued that private citizens need to be empowered to protect themselves when police can't be there.
"I do not fear a law abiding citizen, a law-abiding gun owner," Miller told lawmakers.
"What I'm concerned about are the gang members, the drug dealers, especially coming out of the state of Texas; the people who, whenever an incident occurs, people say, 'How did that person get a gun'?"
Most of the police officers who appeared at the hearing testified in opposition to the bill. Ken Reed, an assistant chief in the St. Paul Police Department, called the idea a "recipe for disaster."
He noted that plain clothes officers, meter readers, delivery persons and other innocent citizens often enter property without permission.
"As an ex-homicide detective, to put the burden on me to try to investigate something like that with the language in this provision is darned near impossible."
If the police are against this, who are committed to pursuit of criminals and the greatest possible reduction in all kinds of violence ------- how good an idea IS this? It's a terrible idea.
Rep. Cornish, who has spent his career in law enforcement, said police expressed some of the same worries about the Personal Protection Act in 2003 which made it legal for citizens to carry concealed weapons in Minnesota, if they quality for a permit.
"A year or two from now we'll sit back and wonder what was all the fuss about," Cornish told fellow lawmakers.
The bill moves next to the House Judiciary Committee. There was no companion bill in the Senate as of April 28th.


  1. And great wailing sobs of sadness come out of Minn, as the evil gun lobby tries to force another draconian change in the law down the throats of the gun grabbers....

    All around a great day, almost makes me want to move to Minn.

  2. You don't know Minnesotans very well if you believe that. You might want to try a little Garrison Keillor; we tend to be pretty mellow and stoic, not waillers.

    This is poorly designed, bad legislation.

    If you do move to Minnesota, bring warm clothes; we had snow mixed with rain yesterday.

  3. Cowards. A bunch of goddamned gunloonz cowards. I've lived 61 years and done my share of running around in less than "safe" neighborhoods. Thus far I haven't had to shoot anyone or been shot by anyone.

    How long before we start hanging garden tractor thieves.

    What's really amazing to me is that someone can basically murder someone else and get away with it. Dead men tell no tales.

    I don't know what is so frightening to people that they think they have to shoot anybody that they perceive MIGHT be a threat. I cannot imagine living my life with that sort of terror living inside me.

  4. This is already the law in other states. So far we haven't had an increase in dead meter readers, delivery persons, or other innocent people.

    We have had an increase in dead robbers and burglars though.

  5. "We have had an increase in dead robbers and burglars though."

    Citations required, unless of course you can read the minds of dead men.

    "Some guy told me.", or, "I read it on a blog that isn't written by gunzhaterz" is not, btw, "a citation".

  6. Democommie,

    The only ones that have to worry about the change in Minn law are thieves and rapists and thug criminals......

    So how about this, you keep your grubby redistributionist theiving ass out of my house without an invitation and you don't have to worry about being shot in your stupid commie head OK....

  7. I won't have to read the minds of a dead man, if he sneaks into my home uninvited, bang, bang, kapow.....

    "All somebody has to do to get along peacefully with me is leave me and mine alone. They open the door to violence, they've got no right to complain if more than they bargained for walks through."

  8. "Citations required, unless of course you can read the minds of dead men."

    I can read the minds of dead men and they say, "Wow, I sure hate that people can shoot me for just breaking into their home."

  9. An acquaintance of mine was driving a log truck down near Whitmire, Sc a couple of days ago. A small pick up was following him and kept trying to get him stopped. The pick up finally passed the log truck and parked diagonally across the road. One of the people in the truck walked up to the truck and opened the door and started to climb in the cab. The logger told the guy not to come up into the truck. When the dumbass kept coming, logger grabbed his cheater bar and wailed on the guy...put him in the hospital with blood coming out of his ears. My friend is now carrying a gun in his travels. Those guys were trying to hijack his truck and cargo.

    With the economy not getting much better, you're going to see and hear about more of these type instances. It aint going to happen at my house or in my vehicles. You try to do harm to me or mine, you get what you deserve. I worked my ass off for what little I have and I'll be damn if I'm going to let some two bit thug harm my family or steal from me. Remember...when seconds count, law enforcement is only minutes away.


  10. You guys do know that you sound a bit more unhinged with every comment, yes.

    Unhinged and pantsshitting scared of the real world. You are truly pathetic excuses for human beings.

    "So how about this, you keep your grubby redistributionist theiving ass out of my house without an invitation and you don't have to worry about being shot in your stupid commie head OK....

    April 30, 2011 12:19 AM"

    You gutless piece of shit.

  11. The defenders of these laws are often heard to say things like Mr. G Guy just said and the Anonymous commenter earlier. It's tough-guy macho bullshit. It's the kind of thing normal men left behind on the adolescent school yard. Real men who are somewhat secure in themselves would be embarrassed to talk like that.

    It often gets down to the issue Dog Gone mentioned in the post. Is someone entering your house without permission posing deadly threat or not? Obvioulsy, he is not in every case, probably not in most cases. To sanction killing in these cases is tragic.

  12. "To sanction killing in these cases is tragic."

    It's only tragic if you're the type of person who breaks into houses.

  13. democommie said...

    You guys do know that you sound a bit more unhinged with every comment, yes.

    Unhinged and pantsshitting scared of the real world. You are truly pathetic excuses for human beings.....

    ....You gutless piece of shit.

    How do you figure, you are all butt-hurt that I simply told you what will happen if you break into my home and try to take from me or harm mine, the fact that you are the ultimate form of coward in being a pacifist is the ultimate sign of pathetic......

    ....when the criminal comes to your door are you just going to lay down and take it like the coward that you are, let them have all your things beat your wife or mother.... that's A'OK in your book is it DemOcommie?

    Are you such a worm that standing up for yourself scares you?

    How sad an individual you are.....

    Texas has hung tractor thieves since it's first day as a state, you can chase a man down for stealing your car, kill him in the street......

    And walk away a free man....

    Why does that scare you so, is it because you are so used to being on the public tit that you want to take things from others without consequence... and the fact that there are consequences scares you away from Texas....

  14. AztecRed: "It's only tragic if you're the type of person who breaks into houses."

    Will you try to stop being such a hard-ass for just one minute?

    What if the next door neighbor is drunk stumbling around and mistakes your house for his? What if the local teens are just fucking around?

    C'mon man. You've got to get off that castle doctrine macho bullshit.