Of the many different topics that fuel the left versus right debate, guns are perhaps the most poignant and spirited. Gun laws are some of the most hotly debated topics and they can lead to sheer public outrage and even panic. And yet the Minnesota house has taken up three new provisions that will make gun advocates very happy. However the polarization is still raging.
The legalization of silencers was passed, while many democrats objected. However the committee did not stop there. The current law that requires gun owners to notify state officials prior to carrying a firearm in state buildings was repealed. Now, all permitted owners have permission to carry. The third provisions that passed was a measure that would make it easier for Minnesota citizens to buy guns across state lines. For many second amendment advocates this is a huge win. For those on the other side…well you can imagine.
As you look at the current political landscape of Minnesota, it becomes increasingly clear that this new legislation is a remarkable switch for gun rights advocates. Just 2 years ago these same advocates and activists were forced to work exceedingly hard to block legislation that would have expanded background checks and removed certain assault weapons.
The main difference this go around is the simple fact that the Minnesota house has become a Republican stronghold. In a state known for leaning left this is a huge win and a major shift in the political power base. However both sides of this debate have turned out and you can imagine the rhetoric that is being thrown around.
Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, is a staunch opponent and has expressed concern that access to silencers and other such equipment could make it harder for police to use their “shot tracker” technology. She also added, “Silencers were designed to allow people to commit murder and get away with it.”
Obviously the makers of silencers are not interested in the senseless killing of other humans. This type of speech has come to define the debate on guns and the many different laws that surround them. However the emotions are real and they are leading to more and more citizen involvement. Perhaps that is the reason for the outlandish remarks of Martens.
However the opponents of this legislation only needed an opening for a chance to turn the public opinion and debate. They seized on the idea of carrying a gun on the Capitol grounds.
“I see no reason for anyone to carry a gun around here,” Joan Peterson from Duluth said. “Bad things actually do happen. Why make it easier for bad things to happen?”
What are your thoughts on the change in legislation in Minnesota?