The current trend is to push for two things when it comes to guns. One is universal background checks. The other is red flag laws.
State after state has embraced these two, and it’s not surprising. Both tend to poll very well, even among Republicans, which means there’s a broad base of support for these laws. It’s an effort Democrats feel confident they can get passed in their states, even if they lack a massive majority.
They’re probably not wrong in a lot of circumstances.
But that doesn’t mean gun rights activists won’t fight. That’s precisely what’s happening in Minnesota after a lawmaker introduced two such bills on Wednesday.
A Minnesota state senator proposed new gun restrictions Thursday while gun control opponents fanned out across the state Capitol complex to lobby their lawmakers to oppose further limits.
Sen. Ron Latz introduced bills to require background checks before most gun sales in Minnesota, and to allow police and family members to obtain court orders to temporarily remove guns from people who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others, also known as a red flag law.
“Both, we know, will in fact reduce gun violence if they get passed,” the St. Louis Park Democrat said at a news conference surrounded by fellow Democratic senators.
But Thursday was also lobbying day for the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, whose members converged at the Capitol to track down their legislators and urge them to oppose the legislation. The group plans a larger rally at the Capitol on Feb. 23. Bryan Strawser, chairman of the group, said at a separate news conference that they have “legitimate concerns” about the legislation infringing on the rights of lawful gun owners.
Speaking at the caucus’ news conference, Daniel Ward, membership director of the African-American Heritage Gun Club of Minnesota, called instead for tougher enforcement of laws already on the books that target criminals who get guns illegally through straw purchases and thefts.
“How about being tougher on the criminals rather than being tougher on law-abiding citizens?” he said.
That’s certainly a fair question.
The odds are good that both measures will pass in Minnesota. They likely would have in a previous go around, and this time there’s an even better chance.
However, fighting bills like this are about more than just stopping these laws. It’s also about making damn sure gun grabbers know that there’s opposition to gun laws in general there in the state. They have to factor that in on not just these votes, but future gun laws.
Because we all know it won’t stop here. These laws aren’t the endgame for any of these people. This is just what they can get through right now. Once they get through this, they’ll try something else. They’ll push some other restriction, some other measure.
They’re turning the temperature up on the water and do it slowly enough so that the frog doesn’t realize it.
Eventually, it’ll be too late.
So you fight. You fight even though you won’t necessarily win this one because you remind the Democrats that you not only exist, but you vote. You keep fighting so they recognize eventually, hopefully, that they’re starting to push too far.