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Strib: Ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips

The Strib editorializes in favor of banning assault weapons: “This time, political leaders — and especially those who have historically opposed gun control — should come together and find common ground on at least one sensible step: A ban on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips and certain kinds of bullets. There is no good reason for anyone other than law enforcement personnel and the military to have access to weapons that can take so many lives so quickly. … Civilians are not allowed to possess any other type of weapon or explosive device that can produce mass destruction. Why in the world should they have easy access to firearms that can mow down 26 innocent people in a matter of minutes?” How about a Strib series on the psychology of the gun-obsessed?

WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler knew who to go to for a killer quote on rampant gun violence in America: “Republican Rep. Tony Cornish says it’s time to arm the teachers. ‘Just like a pilot is allowed to carry guns in a very controlled environment,’ explained Cornish. ‘We found out that nothing else works, and I think teachers are the best people to confront this. Even an armed security or an armed cop doesn’t do a lot of good if they get by him or her. Then they’ve got all these classrooms that they can go to. So, I think the best defense is a teacher.’ The Cornish bill would make handguns voluntary for teachers. It would require special handgun training beyond the training now required in Minnesota for concealed weapons.” It’s big of him not to make gun-toting mandatory for grade school teachers.

State regulators have come down on a very loose chemical-dependency operation. In the PiPress, MaryJo Webster writes: “State regulators have sanctioned a Minneapolis-based chemical dependency treatment provider they say violated policies regarding the use of methadone in treating opiate addiction. Specialized Treatment Services, which has plans to open a new clinic in St. Paul, must pay a $1,200 fine and will have all its licensed facilities under ‘conditional status’ for the next three years. … The Department of Human Services cited the company for inappropriately authorizing adjustments of methadone doses, inappropriately giving a take-home dose of methadone, failing to have a registered nurse on duty and for doctors pre-signing blank authorization forms that were later filled in by unqualified staff.”

Do NOT eat the ornaments … Kara Gutormson of the AP writes: “A Huron [S.D.] woman is using her creative flair to make unusual Christmas tree decorations — she uses pheasant feathers and moose droppings. Lila Bawdon started working on this craft two years ago. The droppings are shipped to her from Alaska. Bawdon’s daughter, Diane, lives there and in 2009, while visiting her, Bawdon noticed that moose droppings products were being sold in stores. ‘I thought that if they could do it, then I could make them myself,’ said Bawdon. ‘My daughter collects them (the droppings), in the spring, after they’ve dried,’ she said. ‘Then she sends them in the mail to me’.” And how is moose-do better than wood?

“Executive director” of anything and “DWI” are a bad PR mix. Also at WCCO-TV: “The executive director of the Minnesota DFL is in jail Monday, accused of driving under the influence over the weekend. Corey Day was arrested on suspicion of DWI after hitting two parked cars in south Minneapolis, according to police reports. Day, 36, remains in the Hennepin County Jail, after being arrested on Saturday.”

Byron Smith, the Little Falls guy accused of killing two teenagers execution-style, has had his bail lowered. Joy Powell’s Strib story says: “Even after a prosecutor recounted chilling details of an audio recording from the moments surrounding the killing of two teenage cousins, the homeowner accused of killing them successfully got his bail lowered on Monday. Byron David Smith, 64, surrendered his passport and was at the Morrison County Jail in the process of posting either $50,000 cash or a $500,000 bond with conditions. Bail was originally set at $2 million without conditions, or $1 million with conditions.
[The story relates this sequence of events:] … presumably as Smith sat in his chair, there’s [Haile] Kifer’s voice on the tape, saying tentatively, ‘Nick?’
There’s a shot and the sound of her body tumbling down the stairs, then a click as Smith’s rifle jammed.
‘Oh, sorry about that,’ Smith is heard saying on the tape.
After the second shot, Kifer says, ‘Oh my God,’ and then on the third shot, ‘Oh God’, she said.
After the fourth shot, she utters ‘aw’ a couple of times, and Smith said to her: ‘You’re dying.’ A fifth shot resounded, the prosecutor said, and Smith turned to the ‘helpless girl’ on the basement floor and says: ‘bitch!’ “

According to a new report, “malaise” has infected the U of M Med School. Jenna Ross’s Strib story says: “In a written response to the report, [U of M President Eric] Kaler announced that a faculty-led group would fashion a strategic plan by next summer. He also said he would stick with the school’s current leadership structure, in which the dean of the medical school also acts as vice president of health sciences. Dr. Aaron Friedman currently serves in that role. The report studied the university’s entire Academic Health Center (AHC), an amalgam of six schools, the largest being the medical school.”

Apple fan guy Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the PiPress ogles the new iMac: “As I write this, I have a 21.5-inch version of the new iMac on my home-office desk, alongside the 2009 model, and the former is significantly brighter with vivid colors. It will be tough reverting to my older iMac once I’ve returned my review loaner, that’s for sure. Under the hood, you can optionally opt for ‘Fusion Drive’ storage consisting of a hard-drive and solid-state combo for increased performance. The iMac configuration I received has Fusion, and I can definitely attest to the Mac’s crazy-fast performance using pro apps such as Apple’s Aperture photo-editing software – but it was difficult for me to ascertain how much of the performance is due to Fusion since I did not have a Fusion-less version of the new iMac alongside for comparison. The new iMac certainly makes my older Mac feel pokey, though. …  Though I love Macs, I never assume I will buy one until I’ve looked at non-Apple equivalents — and there are lots of Windows-based all-in-one computers giving Apple always-needed competition.” That kind of talk is “genius” heresy.

MPR reporter Tim Nelson shifts gears and writes a commentary on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre: “Here’s some advice for you today, as the families of Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto bury the first graders shot to death with 18 classmates in Connecticut on Friday: Quit wondering why it happened. Because that’s exactly why those children died. So that you would wonder. So that you would spend days or weeks rolling this over in your mind, puzzling over the horror as you drank a cup of coffee, seeing that grainy picture in your mind of the mop-topped killer as a junior high kid. So you’d look at a file of children coming out of school wondering what monster might lurk among them. … In an age when worldwide fame is scarcely farther away than a tap on the REC button, when going viral is the mark of achievement, your prospects as an awkward, introverted, skinny kid from the suburbs probably don’t look real great. You can barely make it out of high school. Your mom shows off rifles to the landscaper in the yard. Your older brother is doing well at Ernst & Young. You aren’t going to be a finalist on ‘The Voice.’ But the annals of history — the lights of fame — are nonetheless in your grasp. You just need to grow, unnoticed, more senselessly monstrous than the last guy. Do it right, and you’ll be a cable TV star for weeks. Top Twitter. Your name will ring out in the halls of Congress, your exploits will fill the front page of the New York Times.” Of course, it helps when you can get your hands on a Bushmaster AR-15 as easy as buying a PlayStation.

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Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/18/2012 - 07:03 am.

    How about a Minnpost

    series on the psychology of the media-obsessed; the saturation of our culture with extreme, gratuitous violence by television, movies, and the “entertainment” business for a decades; the negation of the traditional nuclear family; the closing of psychiatric hospitals; the belief that homeless mentally ill, the drug addicted and the alcoholic should be to able to degrade themselves in the gutter in the name of individual autonomy?

    How about it, Mr. Lambert?

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/18/2012 - 08:30 am.

      Be sure to include in that series the relentless paranoia fueled by right-wing commentators and organizations like the NRA and various firearm manufacturers.

      Oddly enough, the various recent notable shooters have not been homeless, drug-addicted or alcoholic. The shooters are typically people who live in reasonably middle-class accommodations who have stewed too long in their own fevered imaginations reinforced by various video games, cable television shows, radio-ranters, on-line chat rooms, on and on. A homeless, mentally ill person has typically lost control of their life a long time ago, whereas the shooter have typically had the rationality, logistics, means and time to thoroughly plan actions.

      So perhaps the party that retains closest partnership with the shooters are the parties that insists we are in desperate times where we need to be prepared to resort to the ultimate violence in the defense of what we hold dear.

      Now who would that be?

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 12/18/2012 - 08:35 am.

      Yes, Mr. Lambert, please do …

      … write a half dozen books on the topics that Neal has suggested.

      I, for one, would read them all!

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/18/2012 - 09:11 am.

      You do realize, I hope . . . . .

      that providing support for the homeless, the drug-addicted, and alcoholics all count as “social services”. Yes – those same “social services” that Republicans have been trying their darndest to cut funding for since the rise of the Tea Party influence on such conversations.

      I’m all for helping people. Now how do we get our dysfunctional politicians to agree to spend the money needed to do so?

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/18/2012 - 04:50 pm.

        Did I mention a political party?

        No, I did not.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/18/2012 - 05:24 pm.

          Did you mention money?

          No, you did not do that either.

          However, both need to be in alignment before anything is likely to happen with regards to your litany of criticisms.

          • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/18/2012 - 09:59 pm.

            Costs nothing

            for the politicians and the media to start talking about it – instead of pushing their own single-minded, simplistic agenda.

  2. Submitted by Alex Bauman on 12/18/2012 - 09:49 am.


    Can you at least warn us before reproducing the transcript of a murder? A lot of us start our day with this column…

  3. Submitted by Rod Loper on 12/18/2012 - 01:27 pm.

    Murder in Little Falls

    The transcript as printed is horrible to read. It does put to rest the story that the shooter is a nice guy, however.

  4. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 12/18/2012 - 01:51 pm.

    Assault Rifles, Get your facts straight

    Assault rifles have been banned for sale to civilians in the US since 1934. Please if you are going to talk get your facts straight. An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. It is not to be confused with assault weapons.[1] Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies. Assault rifles are categorized in between light machine guns, which are intended more for sustained automatic fire in a light support role, and submachine guns, which fire a pistol cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge. Examples of assault rifles include the StG 44, AK-47,[2] M16 rifle, QBZ-95, INSAS, Heckler & Koch G36, and Enfield SA80. The Bushmaster used at Newtown is not an assault rifle or an assault weapon. It does not meet the legal definition of assault rifle or weapon. In United States politics and law, an assault weapon is a variety of semi-automatic firearms that have certain features generally associated with military firearms, including assault rifles. The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired on September 13, 2004, codified the definition of an assault weapon. It defined the rifle type of assault weapon as a semiautomatic firearm with the ability to accept a detachable magazine and two or more of the following:
    1. a folding or telescoping stock
    2. a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
    3. a bayonet mount
    4. a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
    5. a grenade launcher
    I have testified as an expert on firearms in state and federal courts and can tell you the Bushmaster used at Newtown does meet the legal definition of either weapon. It is a look alike intended for hunting and comes in several hunting calibers. It is a fairly expensive gun starting around 1500 dollars and Bushmaster does not provide sights on most of their guns.

  5. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/18/2012 - 02:54 pm.

    Wow, I’m really impressed (not)

    by another lecture from a gun apologist about whether the weapon used in CT was an assault rifle.

    Whether it meets the definition of an assault rifle (legal) is totally irrelevant to this discussion.

    No civilian needs a weapon that can fire from a magazine/clip thirty shots as fast as the trigger can be pulled.

    No one needs a weapon that can blow out a door so that a killer can gain entry to a school which is what happened with the Bushmaster.

    Your knowledge of the technical details of weaponry is not impressive. Or as Shania Twin put it: “That don’t impress me much.”

  6. Submitted by Tim Saxton on 12/18/2012 - 03:34 pm.

    I’m not impressed by…

    People who say “it’s good enough for me, it must be good enough for everybody”

    You don’t know what everybody needs. Keep in mind the 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s about protecting yourself. During the LA Riots, Store owners were on the roof of their business with such weapons. Just being there was enough to deter looters.

    Fire from magazine: That includes quite a few pistols. Are you saying pistols can’t be used for defense? They also can fire as fast as you pull the trigger. And it’s not just “for self-defense” either. Hunting rifles also can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. And for a gun able to blow out a door, any shotgun can do that… and those are used for hunting.

    Also, the killer didn’t “blow out a door”… Remember the discussion MN schools are having about their windows? A BB gun can take out a window.

    Passing gun laws to restrict or even make guns illegal would do the same thing as Drug laws. We have strict drug laws, and even banned many drugs… Is there still drug crime? Are there more or less drug crime since we banned drugs? How hard is it for people to get drugs? Is it hard at all?

    Trying to stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws…. that’s insane.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/18/2012 - 05:14 pm.

      How nice of you to dodge the question…

      Why does anyone need a thirty round magazine?

      Blow out the door?

      “Adam Lanza blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School. He fired a half-dozen thunderous rounds from a semiautomatic rifle to open a hole big enough to step through in one of the school’s glass doors.” Hartford Courant


      “You don’t know what everybody needs”

      I know that a lot of dead kindergartners needed better gun regulations.

      “Insane gun laws”? Which ones do you mean? Those in Australia, or England, or…

      The usual dodging of the issue is no longer going to work, sorry.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/19/2012 - 06:39 am.

        Hartford Courant’s use of language


        Here we go with the “open, honest discussion about gun regulation” just like the fabled “open, honest discussion about race”. No mention about the rest of the issues concerned, people are dancing on blood for their own political ends.

        Mr. Gleason: why don’t you walk into a gun store and ask some gun owners “why does anyone need a thirty round magazine”? Or ask some people you know that own guns. You may not agree with their answer – at least you’ll know their reasons.

        • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/19/2012 - 08:18 am.

          Why don’t you give me an answer yourself, Mr. Krasnoff?

          “Why does anyone need a thirty round magazine?”

          I’ve asked this question publicly many times and never received an answer.

          Presumably you have one.

          And it is?

          • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/19/2012 - 05:31 pm.

            I have no need for a 30 round magazine.

            That’s why.

            • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/19/2012 - 09:41 pm.

              No one does, Mr. Krasnoff…

              At least no one who’s willing to speak out in public…

              And even people like Joe Soucheray are coming around to realizing that large capacity magazines are not needed.

              For example:

              “If I were to say, for example, that you — meaning the lot of us — don’t need a high-capacity magazine for purposes of holding as much ammunition as possible to spend as quickly as possible to inflict as much damage as possible, I would be met with, and have been, by people saying, “Well, you don’t need a car.”

              Yes, I do…

              …What I don’t need is a car with a jet engine bolted to the roof…

              …Magazines with less capacity — I don’t even know the number — do not threaten my liberty nor do they corrupt the Second Amendment, written with a quill pen at a time when the equipment was a musket. Good and responsible gun owners are not interested in committing mayhem, anyway. They certainly don’t need the capacity to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

              Doucheray Gets it Right, Alienates Fanbase

              I also note your intellectual dishonesty, Mr. Krasnoff. Please share with us what you have “heard” related to the usefulness of 30 round capacity magazines. Why are you afraid to tell us?

              I suggest that you can’t actually come up with a good reason. Because there is no good reason that outweighs the risk that such magazines pose to kindergartners and the rest of us.

              Your continued evasion and refusal to answer the question speaks for itself.

              • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/20/2012 - 07:00 am.

                I answered the question.

                You asked: “Why does anyone need a thirty round magazine??

                I answered the question. I have no need for a 30 round magazine. Ask someone who believes they have a need for a magazine with a 30 round capacity and you’ll have your answer .

                You also wrote:

                “Doucheray Gets it Right, Alienates Fanbase” His name is spelled Soucheray, and his reasoning is flawed. The “quill pen” argument will abrogate his right to publish his sentiments, since the typewriter and computer did not exist at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights, therefore these are not protected.

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