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Clarifying weapons laws: Guns OK, puppets not

PLUS: A GOP candidate for governor is bitten by a bat, Bachmann backs Joe Wilson, and “feminized fish” are flourishing.

Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune reports the latest in a discouraging trend: When Obama spoke on Saturday, there was a protester in front of the Target Center carrying two loaded pistols, a Glock 22 and Kel Tec 380. To what end? The protester, Josh Hendrickson, was trying to make the point that “The Second Amendment isn’t suspended just because the president’s in town.”

“I’m a pretty laid-back guy that loves his kids and his country,” he says in an interview, although the story notes that he has a recent assault charge against him from a pepper-spraying incident. Hendrickson was questioned but not arrested, and seems a little put out by the whole thing, complaining, “Now I’m going to be the guy with the assault record — the gun-carrying assaulter of people who’s outside the Obama rally.

Of course, if you’re a kid, things might be a little different, especially since Minneapolis has introduced a “tip line” that students can call or text to anonymously squeal on their gun-toting classmates, according to Brandt Williams of Minnesota Public Radio. Of course, Williams doesn’t use the word “squeal,” and addresses the subject using words like “violence prevention,” but still, nobody is speaking up for the Second Amendment rights of children. Perhaps Josh Hendrickson might have, but nobody asked him.

It’s worth pointing out here that during the Republican National Convention, a search warrant served during one of the raids on anti-RNC activists listed “hollowed out puppets” and “urine and feces.” Worth noting for future reference: When Obama comes to town, you can walk around with loaded handguns, if you’re not a child. When the RNC comes to town, you run the risk of being arrested for having papier-mache and bodily waste.

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Bats are probably also not covered by the Second Amendment, although that’s probably for the best, as they can be quite hazardous to local politicians. Take East Bethel state Sen. Mike Jungbauer as an example. The senator, who is considering a gubernatorial run, is currently getting rabies shots after being on the receiving end of a bite from a bat, as WCCO’s Pat Kessler found out. Jungbauer is going to need 17 or more shots around his eyes, so don’t show up at any of his rallies with a bat in your holster.

If you’re gonna be against Obama, chances are Michele Bachmann is going to be for you. “Thank God for Joe Wilson,” she says at a tea party in St. Cloud, according to a video posted by political blogger Dustry Trice. “Joe was right,” she later adds. About what? That the president lied? Not according to, which ranks Wilson’s comment as “pants on fire.” Polijam expands on what Bachmann said, showing a video from St. Cloud in which the congresswoman complains that Obama’s bill, which specifically excludes those here illegally, has no mechanism for enforcement built into the bill. Interesting, none of the bills that Bachmann sponsored or co-sponsored have exceptions for illegal immigrants, and none have enforcement built in. Not that illegal immigrants are going to be harvesting shale any time soon, but without specific exceptions and a mechanism for enforcement, they could. Oh man, they could.

Bachmann also spoke out against Obama’s health care plan on “Geraldo at Large” this weekend, saying of the plan, “I think that it has a tremendous potential to do great harm to the nation. And, I think, again, we need to make sure that it doesn’t pass.” Strangely, the subject of shale did not come up.

It used to be that if you wanted to see a hermaphrodite, you had to pay extra money at a state fair sideshow, but now you can apparently see them swimming around in the Mississippi. As Stephanie Hemphill of Minnesota Public Radio explains, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Mississippi River in Minnesota has the nation’s highest rate of “feminized fish,” or male fish with female sex organs.  The cause? “The feminization is thought to be caused by hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment,” according to the story.

The Star Tribune offers up some dire predictions regarding H1N1. In a story by Maura Lerner, Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota tells us we are at the start of the second wave of the so-called swine flu, and we’d better be ready, because it’ll be a doozy. “This train has left the station,” he tells Lerner. “It’s moving and gaining steam.” What to expect? Increased absenteeism at school and work, and possibly major sporting events being canceled because too many players have the flu. Of course, it’s impossible to actually know how H1N1 is going to behave in the next few months, and how severe it’s going to be, so we’ll give you Osterholm’s prognostications in the same spirit that we might give to television psychic Criswell, and remember that future events such as these will affect you — in the future.

In sports: A back injury has knocked Justin Morneau out of the rest of the Twins’ season. According to John Shipley of the Pioneer Press, the slugger is suffering from a stress fracture. “You can play through the pain if you feel like you’re helping the team win ballgames,” Morneau tells Shipley, “but when you go out there and you don’t feel like you’re helping anyone, that’s when you take a step back and figure you’re doing more harm than good.”