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Permit holders had 5 'justifiable' uses of guns ... in 9 years

By the way they talk, I assumed someone somewhere was standing their ground against a violent hoodlum every couple of minutes or so. But no. Brandon Stahl of the Strib tells us: “Even though a record number of Minnesotans have permits to carry firearms, only a tiny number ever have pulled the trigger in self-defense. Five instances of justifiable use of a firearm by a permit holder have been reported to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) since 2003 … . The annual BCA gun reports also show that permit holders have been convicted of 124 crimes using a firearm since 2003. Gun control advocates say the rarity of justifiable uses points to a need to more tightly restrict access to firearms.” So ... 25 times more convictions than incidents of actual self-defense ...

Prince will appear on Jimmy Fallon’s show. The AP says: “Prince is continuing to ramp up his public profile. This week, he'll make an appearance on ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.’ A representative for the late-night talk show confirmed the pop legend will appear on the show Friday and will perform two songs. It's not clear whether he will perform new material or some of his classics.” That’s impressive. But let’s see him book Bob Dylan.

Tax Court Judge George Perez isn’t likely to have a good week. David Hanners of the PiPress writes: “In a tribunal that convenes Monday, Feb. 25, in St. Paul, Perez — who until January was chief judge of the Minnesota Tax Court — will face accusations that he often delayed rulings long past their deadlines, pushed work off to other judges and then covered up his misconduct by falsifying records. The hearing promises some uneasy moments as two of Perez's former colleagues both now federal judges will testify against him. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathleen Sanberg and U.S. Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa are among those whom lawyers for the Minnesota Board on Judicial Conduct will call as witnesses.”

PiPress movie critic Chris Hewitt liked the divas on display in last night’s Oscarcast. “The extraneous movie tributes that sounded like such a time-wasting idea ahead of time — the salutes to 007 and musicals — turned out to be some of the best parts of the evening, courtesy of singers Shirley Bassey (who did ‘Goldfinger’), Barbra Streisand (‘The Way We Were,’ as part of the annual In Memoriam segment) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (an abbreviated ‘All That Jazz,’ from ‘Chicago’). In general, it was a good night for musical performances. The ‘Les Mis’ bit was somewhat chaotic, but Adele knocked ‘Skyfall’ out of the park and the Rodriguez name-check during the acceptance speech for the documentary, ‘Searching for Sugarman,’ should help Rodriguez (also known as Sugarman) sell a few records.”

The Strib’s Neal Justin writes: “[Producers Criag] Zadan and [Neil] Meron may have done themselves a disservice by dedicating this broadcast to music, setting themselves to be compared to the Grammys, Tonys, the Kennedy Center Honors and a dozen other shows that specialize in show-stopping numbers. In the end, this Oscars couldn’t keep up the tempo. For much of the night, [Seth] MacFarlane did a decent impression of Ricky Gervais, but for the most part, he didn’t do enough to convince us that he should venture far from the sound booth for his juvenile cartoons. Final verdict: Down for the count.” Tough crowd …

Now here is what you can actually call “progress.” The Strib’s Neal St. Anthony mentions the Vikings sports palace before saying: “Meanwhile, a bigger, more critical, but less publicly electrifying project will complete about $1 billion worth of work this year alone. It’s the $2.2 billion overhaul of the state’s electrical transmission system and replacement of 1970s-vintage technology that dates to before the Metrodome was built. The nine-year process has been marked by landowner disputes and several lawsuits. Regardless, the huge upgrade, to be completed by 2015, will mean a more reliable, efficient, cleaner way to power Minnesota.”

Susie Jones of WCCO-AM gets a St. Thomas prof’s predictions on who’ll be the next pope: “Professor Charles Reed at St. Thomas University, expert on Canon Law, says there are about five men who are in the running for the next Pope. ‘Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet is one of the front runners. ... Others include Ghana’s Peter Turkson, president of the Council on Justice and Peace. ‘He represents a more conservative take on the church,’ Reed said. Then there’s Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo. He is a German Brazilian. ... ‘He represents a moderate kind of middle-ground between church liberals and more powerful conservatives,’ he said.” The church hierarchy dominated by conservatives? That is just so surprising.

Further proof that our millionaires have not yet moved to South Dakota … Jim Anderson of the Strib says: “[M]illion-dollar homes are coming back to Woodbury in a big way. The Woodbury City Council this week is expected to approve plans for a development called Autumn Ridge, a cluster of 20 homes spread across more than 61 acres on what had been farmland at the southwest corner of Military Road and Radio Drive, north of Glen Road, in the southwest part of the city. … ‘Nobody’s really done an estate-type development in Woodbury in more than 25 years,’ [Tim Thone, of Thone Property Investments] said.”

KSTP-TV has a quick rundown of the hit Minnesota will take if the sequestration cuts go through. Kaitlin Stevens says:
     • Minnesota would lose about $7 million for primary and secondary education, putting about 100 teacher and aide jobs at risk.
     • About $9.2 million would be cut for 110 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
     • 920 fewer low-income students would get aid to help pay for college and 500 fewer students would get work-study jobs.
     • 700 kids would lose Head Start and Early Head Start services. ...
     • About 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed.”

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Comments (42)

Any Criminals Deterred by Shall Issue Laws?

“Even though a record number of Minnesotans have permits to carry firearms, only a tiny number ever have pulled the trigger in self-defense."

How many times has the presence of a gun deterred a crime without a trigger pull? We don't know. How many crimes have been deterred because criminals know that a prospective victim might be armed? We don't know. The only place that criminals can boldly proceed with impunity is in a Gun Free Zone.

How many?

Since we don't know how many, as you say Steve, I"ll venture a guess that is as good as any you can provide: zero.

I don't have to guess to know it is not zero.

Having firsthand knowledge, and talking to others who have too, I personally know the number is not zero. You can guess zero; zero is good for you.

You were there?



Yes, and privacy for the parties involved.

A teenager

flashed a bag of Skittles at him.

That would appear

to render your anecdotal information even less credible, if readers aren't to be given the information necessary to evaluate your conclusion.

The point would be?

I could tell you the whole story in detail, and you would believe it, lacking a police report? I don't think so. The original point was that not everything is reported. Yet, somehow you expect proof?


What you are saying is that there is no evidence of these many incidents except your say-so. Why don't you understand why many of us would find that less than convincing?

Not attempting to convince you.

As the parts of the linked Strib article quoted by me and not quoted by Lambert indicate, incidents go unreported. Some of us came to this knowledge first hand. If can be your choice to not believe me and to disregard that statement of fact by the linked Strib article.

And how many

instances of "self defense" that went unreported were actually the defender with the gun being the aggressor?

My guess is more than the number of times the gun truly saved a person through self defense (or defense of another person who was unarmed). And, as Mr Schoch points out, how many would be saved if access to guns was made more difficult?

Thank you, Mr. Rose

…for that exercise in fuzzy logic, spiced with the propaganda phrase "Gun Free Zone" (and with capital letters, too, lest we otherwise not give those words their proper cosmic importance).


Someone else could argue, with similar logic, that we'll never know how many times a life has been saved by the absence of a gun because such instances go unreported.

I'd be surprised if there weren't instances of both, but we'll never know.

"Gun Free Zone" is how it appears on the signs

Everyone benefits from the fact that a home intruder may be confronted by a resident with a gun.

I invite all who deny this fact to boldly mark their home with a sign assuring the public that it is a "Gun Free Zone".

That doesn't seem

to have eliminated break ins in my neighborhood, sir. So, where is the evidence in support of your claim? Are you willing to concede that the possibility of encountering an armed homeowner might as easily convince the criminal to bring a weapon?

The deterrent effect of any action is incredibly difficult to measure.

Moreover, this piece is about actions outside the home, the only place one needs a permit for concealed carry.

I've chosen a dog to protect my home and a large sign in the front window announcing her presence. She can't be turned against me and works even while I'm out.


This would probably deter crime, since no one would break in to steal guns.


Yet, no one seems to post such a sign on their house. I find this fact curious, in light of your argument.

Don't people

have other means of protecting their homes from invaders? On the free market there are any number of security systems, home monitoring solutions, etc that one can install and pay for. On the public side, perhaps we could follow the path of increasing police on neighborhood duty (instead of, you know, reducing police).

Even though the point of the article was discussing conceal and carry incidents, I'm sure your claim that gun ownership helps prevents home intruders (in the single instance) is based on data, right? That higher gun ownership rates also benefit greater society by reducing the overall incentive to enter a home on the risk there may be a gun/gunowner there to stop them. Right?

Everywhere are signs

And I have heard law enforcement officers say that the best way to get your house burglarized is to put a "This House Protected by a Gun-Owning Citizen" sign on it.

Rambo can't be home 24/7.


I totally agree with what you heard from that law enforcement officer. Guns work best as a crime deterrent when criminals don't know where they are.

Were I using a dog for security, I wouldn't post a beware sign for that defense either. Why prep those who seek to harm you?


Your Wayne LePairre improvisation just does not cut it. Give it up.


"Prepping" those who seek to harm you is how we deter them. If I recall the basic theory of deterrence, there is no deterrence unless the other person knows something is there. A gun is not going to deter someone who doesn't know you have one (if they know you have one, they will wait until you're not at home to break in and steal it). If the point is to keep people in the dark about threats they may face, the end would seem to be not deterrence, but shooting someone.

So, you are telling us

1) We need signs because the theory of deterrence requires that the other persons must know something is there.

2) The sign will inform persons who will break in and steal the gun.

That is your argument for signs; that they are a good deterrent and an invitation to steal the gun? Got it.


I'm saying your Man Card is no use at preventing crime. Flashing your manhood is an invitation to being a victim, as soon as your back is turned. Keeping it hidden because you don't want to "prep" a bad guy is saying you hope and want to shoot someone.


The Carry Law is effective because crime perpetrators have no way of knowing who is armed and who is not. What was once an easy mark, someone small, elderly, or disabled, may be carrying a potent defense. It is not about brandishing a weapon, it is the knowledge that anyone could be armed.

An armed society is a polite society.

"Everyone benefits"

Just ask Pastor Wilkinson, down in Rochester.

Sorry, poor analogy: His granddaughter was not deterred from coming in, I mean, intruding.


Actually there's a sign on the front of my building that says firearms are prohibited in the building. And yet there aren't bullets flying everywhere, even though I work in downtown Minneapolis.

Build on that success

Build on that success, and add that sign to your residence.

Did it ever occur to you . . . .

Did it ever occur to you that not everyone wants to be reminded of guns all the time?

It's bad enough that as I enter my church - which should be a retreat and a place of peace - that one of the last things I see as I pass through the doors is a sign about guns.

There's no way I'd want to have to read the same sort of thing each and every time I enter my home. The "gun free zone" is as much in my mind as it is in my home.

Sorry, but not everyone wants to be thinking about guns all the time. Some of us would like to maintain a little more peace in our lives.

I concur

The signs are unproductive at best, and counterproductive in general.

Wrong default

You missed the point of my objection.

We didn't used to have to see signs about guns all over the place because the "default" was that people probably were NOT carrying, so why would you have the need to put up signs prohibiting guns?

I absolutely despise the fact that now the "default" has become that people *might* be carrying, so signs have become necessary to tell them where they may not.

Those signs didn't become necessary until the carry law was enacted.

I would expect to see signs saying "No guns allowed here!" in places like Texas. But I never thought I'd see such things in Minnesota, and the fact that they are now everywhere (because with the carry law, they have to be) just makes me really sad for how much things have changed in our state.


Steve, cut the sarcastic comments. We're trying to have a measured reasonable discussion here.

If you have something to add to the conversation ...

If you have something to add to the conversation, then let's hear it.

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This is a moderated comment board. Posts that don't meet MinnPost standards are not permitted. If you want your own standards, you will need to apply them to something you control.


Steve, I see all kinds of business marked with "No guns allowed on these premises. Therefore, according to your logic, these businesses should be going under because of the armed robbers are lined up outside the doors. You really need to quit while you're only slightly behind.

As mentioned up stream in this discussion, crime is down

Draw your own conclusions and make your own arguments; don't fabricate statements for others. Speak "according to your logic".

The mass killings in Aurora and Newtown both occurred in Gun Free Zones, complete signage advertising that no one present would be armed.

another guess

I would venture to guess that more legal weapons have been waved at people during road rage incidents than have been waved at criminals in order to prevent a street crime. I'd also venture that more have been fired, waved and otherwise used against family members than against strangers.

My only question is do these guys really think they need to be packin' in church and the shopping mall or are they just trying to make a point?

And, what would that point be?

If interested in ministry violence statistics, this site provides an aggregation, without an agenda nor conclusion:

2012 was the deadliest year on record for churches. There were 75 killings from 135 incidents of deadly force. Places of worship are substantially more dangerous than schools.

Hardly a glean; actually, more of a glare.

Other points of interest from the linked Strib column that shed a different light.

“Five instances of justifiable use of a firearm by a permit holder have been reported to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) since 2003, although some recent self-defense shootings haven’t been counted.”

“The form used by law enforcement to provide information about gun permits has a field to report justifiable uses. However, in some cases, well-publicized justifiable shootings weren’t reported to the BCA.”

“The Minneapolis Police Department didn’t know those cases had to be reported to the BCA, according to police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer. He said the BCA never told the department about that requirement.”

“Then there are cases where permit holders have said they’ve used their firearms to protect themselves that never get reported to police.”

If you read the Strib column already to the end, you learn that of the 124 gun related crimes, one was a homicide.

Lamberts assertion, “So ... 25 times more convictions than incidents of actual self-defense ...” seems challenged by the facts stated in the article he linked. Hardly a glean; actually, more of a glare.

Principles of rational discourse

There's definitely a lack of data here.
One principle of rational/logical discourse is to assume no effect until there is evidence for one.
So, with no evidence (just hypothetical assumptions) of a deterrent effect of gun ownership, we must assume that that effect is negligible.

Correlation is not causation, but

Correlation is not causation, but a look at the data for Minneapolis (link), shows crime is down during the last ten years of shall-issue carry permits.

If crime had gone up in the midst of 100,000 Minnesotans gain permits to carry, I know what would be concluded. But that didn't happen; crime is down. In Minneapolis, there were 101 fewer burglaries in 2012 than in 2011. Good police work in Minneapolis deserves credit, but I believe there is more at play.

The Glean

The Glean. I like the idea of a harvesting term to title for a column whose purpose it is to find and aggregate significant news stories. However, the execution clearly makes “The Cherry Pick” a more appropriate title for the selective harvesting we are presented here.

Using Obama Logic

"if we can save even one child." - Sounds like an argument for Permits

So what we really want

Is more people shooting their guns in self defense? I thought that at least a few people would be happy that it didn't become the predicted "Wild West" once conceal/carry became legal. Can't win either way. If there is a lot of shooting it's "we told you so" and if there is very little shooting it's "we told you it wasn't necessary".