Duluth Assault a Reminder That Guns Aren't Needed for Violence

Brick wall

There are a lot of groups out there that say they’re not really about gun control but in reducing “gun violence.” It’s a euphemism for them, a way to pretend they’re really not trying to infringe on people’s rights, they just want to keep people from being hurt.


Yet I’ve always had an issue with that approach.

Yes, part of that issue is that they don’t change their arguments all that much. They still want gun control.

The other part is that any focus on “gun violence” means ignoring literally all other forms of violent crime.

A recent arrest in Duluth, Minnesota actually shows why that’s an issue.

A defendant has been sentenced to five years in prison for pulling a gun on a man who reportedly witnessed him assault a woman with a brick.

Matthew Allen Closson, 20, of Duluth, received the guideline term Tuesday from Judge Eric Hylden for possessing a firearm while ineligible due to a prior conviction for a crime of violence.

Closson also received lesser terms that will run concurrently for second- and third-degree assault.

A jury in early October acquitted him of attempted intentional second-degree murder in the November 2022 incident, which reportedly involved Closson pointing the firearm, and possibly trying to shoot, at a witness to the earlier assault.

The first incident occurred on Sept. 4, 2022. Authorities said a woman was walking in the area of Midtown Park, on the 200 block of North 20th Avenue West, when Closson approached and struck her in the head about four times with a brick or rock, causing wounds that required stitches and staples.

Now, this could just be another example of an armed felon–we’ve written about hundreds of these over the years–but note the initial assault.


Closson assaulted a woman with a brick. He also reportedly tried to run her over with a car just days earlier.

He’s a violent felon who somehow got a gun, but it sure looks like a lack of a firearm wouldn’t suddenly make him suddenly see violence as something to be avoided.

I mean, he hit the woman with a brick or a rock.

You can get a brick at Home Depot. There’s no background check for bricks. There’s no brick registration or waiting periods for rocks. You can carry a brick without a permit and can even take them on school property legally.

We have no brick control at all.

So for a violent felon like Closson, gun control not only failed to stop him from obtaining a gun at some point or another, the lack of a gun at a given point also failed to prevent the him from a violent, potentially fatal assault.

For those who see violence as the primary means of resolving conflict, no law is going to stop them. Further, gun control won’t suddenly make violence disappear from our streets, even if they could take all the guns from criminal hands.

But then again, gun control was never really about violent crime as a whole, now was it?

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