Gun-permit interest spikes in metro area

You knew this would happen … Sarah Horner and Mara Gottfried of the PiPress report: “Fifteen minutes before the Anoka County sheriff’s office closed Monday, Dec. 17, there was a line of residents still waiting to fill out forms needed to legally carry a gun in Minnesota, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer. By day’s end, 36 people had applied for permits to carry, making Dec. 17 a record day in Anoka County for the number of gun permits issued, Sommer said. A typical day sees 10 to 15 applications. Other counties in the Twin Cities saw significant jumps, including Hennepin, Washington and Dakota. … Statewide, there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of people with carry permits as of Dec. 1, 2012, compared with the same date the year before, according to state data provided by Andrew Rothman, vice president of Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. In Anoka County, the number jumped from 1,655 in 2011 to almost 2,500 in 2012. Anoka’s last daily record before Monday was Nov. 7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected.”

The Central Corridor isn’t finished, the Southwest Corridor is experiencing a difficult pregnancy, but the Bottineau line is coming together. Laura Yuen of MPR says: “Early plans for what could be the Twin Cities’ fourth light-rail transit spoke are moving ahead, with the blessing of the city of Golden Valley. The city council in the first-ring suburb approved the proposed Bottineau route at a meeting Tuesday evening. Until now, Golden Valley has been the sole dissenter out of the five communities along the path connecting Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park. The opposition has been fueled in part by neighbors who say the trains would spoil the very essence of their community. … Golden Valley opponents of the route note that light-rail planners have an alternative. Another alignment once strongly considered by the county would send trains running through the heart of north Minneapolis. A $1 billion light-rail system could also pump life into neglected areas and serve low-income residents. But transit planners say that route, which would send trains down Penn Avenue, would also require the removal of about 100 homes.”

Congressman Tim Walz is a good example of politicians who are going to have to cross over to get effective gun control. Kevin Diaz of the Strib says: “U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Minnesota Democrat endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), said he is rethinking his opposition to a ban on assault weapons. ‘I feel like I’ve got feet firmly in different camps,’ he said in an interview Tuesday. ‘Between the right of gun ownership and public safety.’ Walz said that while he remains a ‘proud’ defender of gun rights, he believes the gun lobby and other Second Amendment advocates are ready to show more flexibility as the nation searches for ways to prevent tragedies like the one in Connecticut on Friday. … Walz was one of 65 Democrats in the U.S. House who signed a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 opposing any prospective moves by the Obama administration to ban assault or military-style weapons. But he said the Connecticut school massacre has shifted the ground both in public opinion and in Congress.” I’ll believe it when I see it.

The AP reports on a “right to die” group coming after Minnesota’s assisted suicide laws: “The group Final Exit Network is challenging the law after four of its members were indicted in May in the suicide of a Minnesota woman. Prosecutors say the defendants not only supported Doreen Dunn’s decision to kill herself in 2007, but provided her with information and support to follow through. Final Exit members claim they do not encourage suicide, but that the act of giving information and emotional support could be interpreted as ‘encouraging’ under a Minnesota law that makes it a felony for someone to intentionally assist, advise or encourage suicide. Defense attorneys who appeared at a hearing Tuesday in Dakota County District Court argued that the statute is unconstitutional.”

And we’re still about two weeks from New Year’s Eve … WCCO-TV says: “Officials said Tuesday about 1,300 people have been arrested for driving drunk so far this month across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. … Officials said in the last five years, 651 people have been killed in drunk driving crashes, including 111 last year. DPS officials said about 30,000 people are arrested every year for DWI. In the last three Decembers, 28 people have been killed in drunk driving crashes and nearly 7,500 have been arrested for DWI.”

Here’s a kid you’d like around in an emergency … The AP says: “A 12-year-old Minnesota girl knew what to do when a bus driver blacked out last week. Rana Kraftson of Bayport ran to the front of the bus, pulled the bus driver’s foot off the accelerator and pressed her hands on the brake pedal. She then got on the driver’s CB radio and called for help. Rana says that’s ‘what any reasonable human would have done.’ ”

Next time she might want to think about working a different street … Nicole Norfleet of the Strib says: “Former Minneapolis Police Lt. Marie Przynski has been convicted of theft and forgery three years after she was put on leave for stealing money from a police organization. According to a Tuesday announcement by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Przynski, 60, of Maplewood, was convicted Friday of one count of theft by swindle and four counts of forgery. … While Przynski was on vacation in December of 2009, an officer noticed near the checkbook in Przynski’s office was a withdrawal slip for $1,500 from the day before she left.”

A day later … Eric Roper of the Strib says: “A day after the city of Minneapolis released a database containing more than 2 million license plate scans, Mayor R.T. Rybak took rare action aimed at shielding the data from the public. The Legislature is already expected to debate legislation this session to restrict public access to license plate tracking data, which is largely derived from cameras mounted on local police squad cars across the state. But after complying with a request for Minneapolis’ entire public database — featuring dates, times and locations of all plates scanned in a 90-day period — Rybak asked the state for a temporary reclassification that would immediately make it nonpublic.”

MPR’s Tom Scheck looks into possible legislative action on gun control, come January: “It’s likely that discussion will occur soon as state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, intends to hold hearings on gun control issues when he takes over as chair of the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee. As an example of the measures that might be on the table, Dibble said he wants background checks on people who buy firearms at gun shows. ‘I think it’s time to open up this conversation to take a look at what we’re doing,’ Dibble said. ‘The president said, ‘Are we doing enough as a community and a nation to keep our kids safe?’ and the answer is clearly no.’ … Gun control issues do not break down along party lines in the State Capitol, so DFL control of the Legislature does not necessarily guarantee any meaningful changes. One of the biggest supporters of gun control in the Legislature, state Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St.Paul, said he’s not confident of his chances this year. He said special interests have repeatedly bottled up his efforts in past years. ‘The National Rifle Association has put the fear of God into most legislators of both parties, and consequently any time there is a suggestion or a bill or an opportunity for discussion about sensible gun laws, they are immediately struck down,’ he said.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Greg Price on 12/19/2012 - 06:30 am.

    Oh by the way…it involves responsibility for your own actions.

    Just a comment on the current political climate for gun control: On December 14th, in China…home of some of the most tightly enforced gun control laws in the world…a disturbed man ran amok in an elementary school.
    A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.
    A Guangshan county hospital administrator said the man first attacked an elderly woman, then students, before being subdued by security guards who have been posted across China following a spate of school attacks in recent years. He said there were no deaths among the nine students admitted, although two badly injured children had been transferred to better-equipped hospitals outside the county.
    This happened the same day as the CT tragedy.

    My point is that 1) You can’t legislate morality any more than you can legislate religion…it is personal choice. When your society allows individuals to take no responsibility for their own actions and blame social programs for their own ills…this stuff happens.
    2) When you take responsibility for your own actions; set an example and encourage others to do so…you will start a chain reaction that will better our society from the inside out.

    Look at this logically…it is not necessarily guns nor knives…it is the people…

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/19/2012 - 08:12 am.

      ….A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult….

      Key word, “injured”–not “killed”.

      He did not have hundreds of knives at an instant’s finger pull to harm others, he did not have body armour to protect himself from authorities, or the ability to harm from a distance of more than a few feet.

      Presumably also, he was not steeped in a knife-culture that emphasized the current time as being the apocalyptic end-times and dissolution of civilization.

      And, presumably, he did not have regular exposure to big-money knife-propaganda that regularly advises on the best weapon with the most rapid throwing rate and the most stopping power and the knife that creates the most devastating damage to the human body.

      And presumably he did not spend hour upon hour in sticking knives into human silhouette targets.

      And most certainly, he would have laughed (in all honesty) at the knife-society’s pretence that his knife was really intended for hunting.

      “Stuff happens”, yeah.

      But there certainly is a lot of encouragement from a lot of directions.

  2. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 12/19/2012 - 08:11 am.

    Ha ha ha. Was that intentionally dense? Let’s see: attack in China with knife: none dead. Attack in US with guns: 28 dead. Yeah, no difference there.

  3. Submitted by Tom Clark on 12/19/2012 - 09:17 am.

    A vicious circle

    Every mass shooting involving rapid-fire weapons and ammunition designed to inflict severe wounds now leads to the increased purchase of guns and ammo, some of which will later be used in another mass shooting. Continuing this cycle will only make us all less safe.

  4. Submitted by Stephen Dent on 12/19/2012 - 11:22 am.

    Congratulations to Golden Valley mayor and two council members

    for the courage to keep Golden Valley on the metro transit grid. Mayor Shep Harris, Councilmember Joanie Clausen and Mike Frieberg deserve much credit for their forward thinking and visionary action despite many residents who felt their “slice of heaven” would be ruined by a train no one from Golden Valley would use – according to them. Councilmembers Paula Pentel and Dede Scanlon, meanwhile, seemed to me more intent on keeping Golden Valley in its halcyon days of 1972. Thank you Mayor Harris and Councilmembers Clausen and Frieberg for your leadership and mettle.

    • Submitted by Sean Fahey on 12/19/2012 - 03:18 pm.

      Sad day for the inner metro and our parks

      This route is a bad deal for Golden Valley and Minneapolis. It’s obvious that there is pressure from above on our GV city council to accept the path of least resistance from the county’s and Met Council’s point of view. Otherwise we’d have a route that goes near a commercial area, rather than in through the center of a park and past a church. It’s not leadership and mettle, it’s bowing to pressure from the contractors and Target which will benefit from this project and need it done so Target North can use it as soon as possible.

      I feel a little bad for Shep, who has to choose between what’s best for his adopted city and his future political career. Frieberg already has traded up his support for a seat in the Legislature, and I commend him for his maneuvering on this issue. A lot of us voted for him in November, not aware that there was going to be another vote since it was knocked down in June. Not sure what Clausen was thinking, since she herself admitted at the meeting last night this isn’t the best possible route. She seemed to insist she was voting on the DEIS study, not on an LPA for preliminary engineering to move forward. But she must have read the resolution, I hope.

      People in this town aren’t against light rail, we’re against losing our quite spaces. Run it down any one of the major transit corridors we already have in our town. 55, 394, 100, 169. So many options, but it looks better in black and white on the federal application to run it through a quiet rail corridor. So it goes…

  5. Submitted by Patrick M on 12/19/2012 - 12:30 pm.

    Keep Fighting LRT Bad Planners

    Believe me Golden Valley, keep fighting the senseless LRT planners for a viable route.

    As we in St. Paul are finding their mistakes will live through your lives and your grandchildren’s lives. The Central Corridor LRT has been and will continue to be a disaster. Pedestrian barriers for something as simple as crossing the street now run the length of University Ave. A pedestrian crossing that street will now discover as much as a 7 block permanent detour. Great news for the winter residents.

    Oh the LRT planners assuerd us early on not to worry. Wait and see things will all work out. But their promises were false. It has ruined forever the vibrance and utility of what had been one of the great avenues in the Metro.

    • Submitted by Stephen Dent on 12/19/2012 - 02:35 pm.

      I’m sorry you feel so slighted by the LRT Central Corridor. I was just on University and also Stadium Village and I personally think that the LRT will vastly improve the real estate in those neighborhoods. People should cross at cross walks…in fact, I believe it’s the law. Stadium Village is starting to come together in a most sophisticated manner. It’s starting to feel like a village, now. I find it interesting how people complain about something that will improve many, many people’s lives and while the merchants on University are feeling a pinch right now, once that system is up and running, they will be positioned to be on prime real estate and I suspect their businesses will boom.

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