There isn’t just one gun control fight. There are hundreds.
In addition to the federal level, we have fifty states where gun control is likely to pop up at any given time, plus dozens of cities where some idiot is likely to decide that they need gun control because some jackwagon did something. In other words, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
One such fight is heating up in Minnesota, where lawmakers from the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) feel emboldened by recent gains and hope to pressure Republicans to embrace gun control.
The bills are part of an ongoing effort led by DFL lawmakers to expand criminal background checks for all gun sales — closing a “loophole” where buyers can obtain firearms through private sales without a check. A second House proposal would enact a “red flag” law that would allow law enforcement or relatives to petition to take guns away from someone suspected of posing a threat to themselves or others. Similar measures are being prepared in the Senate.
In announcing the new House proposals, Hortman singled out Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, as one of several Republican state senators up for re-election in 2020 in suburban districts where one or more Democratic challengers unseated a Republican.
But some Republicans and gun rights advocates remain skeptical as to how much gun issues motivated voters during the 2018 midterms, saying that President Donald Trump’s unpopularity and other issues like immigration and health care were more decisive. Activists also point out that several incumbent Republican lawmakers who either signed onto or entertained backing gun control bills still lost their re-election bids in 2018.
Still, Limmer, from whose committee any new Senate bills on gun regulation would need to pass, acknowledged in a recent statement that “gun safety will continue to be a topic of discussion at the Capitol next session.”
“Last year, those conversations led to a significant investment in school safety that I’m very proud of, and I think there will be interest in doing more for schools this year,” Limmer said. “With divided government, any new solutions will need to have wide bipartisan support to be seriously considered.”
Gun rights activists are also digging in and are ready for a fight.
It’s funny that a universal background check system is such a priority since even liberal website Vox agrees that they’re useless. The fact that they’re pushing for this despite their side coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t work is telling. It tells us that they don’t actually care about safety, but about adding layers of restrictions.
The other item on their agenda, a red flag law, is one of those things that I’m sorry to say will likely happen. They poll well, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pushing for one at the federal level will give them some degree of political cover for voting in favor of one. The truth is, we don’t want crazy people running around with guns. Yes, even someone like me who opposes these laws. Unfortunately for everyone, politicians poorly construct these red flag laws so that they provide almost no due process protection and are just as likely to be used to punish someone as they are to be used on someone who is a threat to themselves or others.
But that’s the fight that’s taking place in Minnesota, so we all need to dig in. These measures need to be stopped cold, and the idea that it’s not our state needs to die. Gun control measures are rarely confined to the arbitrary lines on a map. They spread out like a virus unless they’re stomped flat.
Minnesota is just as good a place as any for a good stomping.