When it comes to Democrats, Republicans, and gun rights, I’m far more trusting of Republicans than Democrats. That’s not to say I trust all Republicans, but by and large, the party is far less likely to infringe on our Second Amendment rights than the Democrats. Further, since gun control seems to be a driving force in Democratic politics these days, I trust Republicans and the current partisan divide to keep them in check.
But I also believe in giving credit where it’s due.
Right now, a Minnesota gun control proposal is facing some stiff opposition…from within the Democratic Party.
The Minnesota Senate’s top Democrat doesn’t support the heart of the Democratic proposal to expand background checks for gun sales.
And that’s a big problem for gun-control advocates, who can count on support from Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, and the majority of the state House, which is controlled by Democrats.
But in the Senate, where Republicans claim a mere two-vote majority, the outlook is far less clear.
Especially since the Senate’s top Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, said last week that he isn’t a fan of a core theme of the leading proposal to expand background checks, also known as “closing the gun-show loophole.”
To be clear, Bakk, who hails from rural Cook in northeastern Minnesota, says he supports “closing the gun-show loophole.” He used those words almost a year ago in a letter to the editor in the Duluth News Tribune, and he said the same thing again Monday, Jan. 14, as Walz and legislative leaders from both parties talked various issues in a media forum. “I think the gun show thing is something that can be resolved,” he said.
But then Bakk said this:
“Where you lose me is when you tell me that I can’t sell my gun to my neighbor who has lived with me my entire life — we have lived next door to each other — and you tell me he’s gotta go down to the county sheriff’s office and get a background check before I can sell a gun (to him). And I think that’s where you lose most gun owners, and I think that’s what not well-represented in the polling.”
Now, those of us who have studied this will look and scratch our heads. After all, we know that there isn’t a “gun show loophole.” The so-called loophole allows face-to-face transfers, remarkably few of which take place at gun shows each year. However, some occasionally do, and that freaks out anti-gunners.
Bakk doesn’t realize that licensed dealers–the people who make up the vast majority of people who sell guns at gun shows–are already required to perform background checks. He wants to close a “loophole” that doesn’t exist but doesn’t want to interfere with the rest of us who sell guns to friends and family.
Frankly, I don’t really care where his understanding comes from. He’s opposed to this proposal, so I’ll take it. Maybe when he understands the topic just a bit better, he’ll stop talking about “gun show loopholes” and things of that sort. Who knows, he might become a pro-gun Democrat outright.