Why Joan Peterson of Protect Minnesota Won’t Publish My Comments (or Yours)…

According to Joan Peterson, the Chair of the Board of Protect Minnesota – the local anti-gun group here in Minnesota – and a board member of the Brady Campaign – in her most recent comment – here’s the reason why she won’t publish your comments:

you have no idea what kind of comments I receive because I don’t publish so many of them. It is just too hard to deal with the continued demeaning comments and those that are not relevant and miss the point.

I publish the ones that seem to make a point or don’t ask me questions in a snarky or accusatory fashion. Many times I answer what you guys ask me in another post. But most of the time, I tell you what I am all about and what I want to do about it in my post.

There is no sense in fighting about this stuff. You all resist even the most reasonable of gun laws without cause. You ( not necessarily you personally) don’t seem to care about the victims, and indeed, often deride them or make rude remarks about them.

We all, meaning me, Baldr, Mike, and the many others who blog on my side, just tire of the offensive comments. It leads to nothing but acrimony.

We so obviously disagree on so many levels that it doesn’t seem possible to have a decent “discussion.” Besides, as I have pointed out, you represent a small minority of Americans. The rest agree with me- even gun owners and 75% of NRA members. So the point is to get Congress to do the right thing because you and some of my readers will never agree with me.

In other words, I won’t publish your comments because you disagree with me.

I’m now up to one hundred and thirty-four comments that she has refused to publish.

It is impossible for Joan Peterson of Protect Minnesota to tell the truth on gun control

Joan Peterson, the blogger at “Common Gunsense”, who also serves as a member of the Brady Campaign Board of Directors – and the chair of the local anti-gun group Protect Minnesota continues to lie about even the basic facts of the gun control / Second Amendment debate.

In a post that Joan has since removed (as of 10:13am CST on 9/1), she claimed in a comment the following about the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 2011 report on permit holders:

One of my readers thought he was sending me links to research or actual facts about gun violence. Unfortunately he sent mostly hyperbolic articles from far right media source, Breitbart misquoting and misinterpreting results of actual studies. But I do thank him for sending me stats about Texas conceal carry permit holders and crime. You can see it here.

Raise your hand if you think 51 homicides by permit holders is acceptable. Or if 1353 incidents of “deadly conduct” is acceptable. Or if 244 “deadly discharge deadly weapon is OK. Or 112 cases of manslaughter and 461 murders committed by CCW holders. This is great information and very useful as well. Why? Because it shows that permit holders are not the law abiding citizens that the gun lobby promised they would be. As I have said repeatedly, though these account for a small percentage of the total crimes, these are people trusted to carry deadly weapons around in public. There should be no crimes committed by these folks. Would these people have committed crimes anyway? Perhaps. But then we shouldn’t have given them the privilege of carrying deadly weapons around in the first place.

As is typical for Joan, she either cannot read the report itself, or she is deliberately misrepresenting the facts – because she is quoting the total # of crimes committed in Texas rather than crimes committed by permit holders – which we know to be significantly lower than this.

My rebuttal comment, submitted to her site, which is now the one hundred and thirty-first comment of mine that she has refused to post, reads as follows:

Your information is completely incorrect on the texas report. You are entirely misreading the columns on the report.

The 51 incidents of criminally negligent homicide is of all citizens. CHL holders have committed 0.

Of the 1353 incidents of deadly conduct, 9 were committed by CHL holders.

Of the 244 incidents of deadly discharge of a weapon, 2 were committed by CHL holders.

Of the 112 incidents of manslaughter, 3 were committed by CHL holders.

Of the 461 incidents of murder, 3 were committed by CHL holders.

Again, permit holders commit violent crimes at a rate several magnitudes less than the general population.

Even though Joan claims that she wants to have a rational discussion, the truth is that she and the other leaders of the gun control movement don’t want that – because it’s impossible for them to tell the truth – even when the facts are staring them right in the face.

Again, my offer stands. Joan, I’ll debate you anytime in public, with a fair set of rules, and with audio and video recording running. How about it?

More at Shall Not be QuestionedPost 1 and Post 2 and at Weer’d World.

Update: Joan is claiming that she accidentally deleted the post and comments. You decide.

Update #2: Joan has the post back up but conveniently left out her complete fabrication of the Texas data. Typical.

Update #3: Weer’d has more on the “deletion”.

Joan Peterson from Protect Minnesota & the need for a “discussion”

Joan Peterson, board member of the Brady Campaign and Chair of the Board for Protect Minnesota, writes that We Need to Talk about gun violence and gun control:

We do need to have a serious discussion about what’s going on in our country concerning guns and gun permit holders.


We need to talk about the wisdom of letting citizens carry guns around with them wherever they go. We need to talk about why it is dangerous to ramp up fear and paranoia amongst people who have been led to believe in myths and outright lies about our nation’s President. Violent talk and promoting fear and paranoia just may lead to tragedy. What is the sense of all of this? I say there isn’t any. We need a whole lot more common sense when it comes to American gun laws and the American gun culture. Will we have the serious discussion that the nation deserves about this public health and safety issue? Please talk to your own legislators and Congress members and ask them to get busy and have a discussion that will lead to action in the name of the victims of gun violence and the devastation to our families and communities.

Except that Joan and her organizations, along with the majority of the gun control / anti-gun community, never engage in this sort of discussion. Across their events, their Facebook pages, twitter posts, blogs, and elsewhere they censor, refuse to post, refuse to debate, and generally talk only within their own community.

For example, I submitted the following comments to Joan’s post above – none of which have been posted:

japete writes: “We do need to have a serious discussion about what’s going on in our country concerning guns and gun permit holders. “

Yes, we do need to have a serious discussion. Let’s have that discussion.

I’m curious where it is that you propose to have this discussion considering the heavy handed censoring that occurs here on this blog, on the Protect MN Facebook page, on the Moms Demand Action Facebook page, on the Protect MN / Northland Chapter Facebook page, on the Brady Campaign Facebook Page, on the CSGV Facebook Page, on the Moms Demand Action Twin Cities Chapter Facebook page, on Baldr’s blog (which now simply doesn’t have comments at all), on the Mayors Against Illegal Gun Facebook page…

Where is it that we’re going to have this discussion? Freely, in the open, without censorship of comments, facts, and opinions?

This is one of more than one hundred and thirty comments that I have submitted to Joan’s blog that have never been posted. None of my comments are insulting, demeaning, use profanity, or blame the victims – Joan’s most common reasons for censoring her comments.

Others are writing on this issue today as well – including Sebastian at Shall Not be Infringed and Weer’d Beard at his own blog.

So here’s my challenge to Ms. Peterson: I’ll engage in a discussion with you anytime, anywhere, as long as there’s no censorship, an open/public forum, and that the proceedings are recorded with both video and audio.

About two hours should provide a good discussion. I’m free on Monday, Labor Day.

How about it?

Update: Joan has more…

The Lies of Joan Peterson of Protect Minnesota

It’s truly difficult to count the number of falsehoods and lies in this post by Protect Minnesota Board Chair Joan A. Peterson, aka japete. Joan is also on the board of directors for the Brady Campaign.

She’ll probably never post my comment – so here it is for posterity:

japete quotes an article that states : “People are not being asked to give up their guns.”

Except that your organization, Protect Minnesota, testified in favor of multiple bills in this year’s Minnesota Legislative session that did exactly that.

And then : “Semi-automatics are physically capable of firing at the same speed, but their firing rate is limited by the speed with which a human being can pull a trigger – a somewhat slower rate, to be sure.”

Patently false. Semi-automatics are significantly slower firing than automatic weapons.

and then : “Two hundred years ago we had murder, too, but we did not have fully-automatic rifles with astronomical firing rates and high-capacity magazines.”

Are fully automatic rifles being used in crimes? I think not. “Assault Rifles” as your organization defines them are used in an astronomically small number of crimes each year as well.

And then: “Let me make it clear, for my second amendment loving cousins and all those who take the time to read this : Nobody wants Grampy’s coyote shooter. Nobody wants my twenty-two. Nobody is coming for old west sharpshooters, skeet shooters, the weapons of honorable veterans, the pearl handled revolver sold on Pawn Stars or the guns I have personally observed Ted Nugent use in his pursuit of wild game on shows aired on the OutDoor Channel.
I have not seen a regulation that would stop me or anybody I personally know, or even any responsible gun owner I have ever observed, from procuring game, from practicing gun sportsman and marksmanship, or from use on the family farm or in the family home.”

Except your organization proposed and testified in support of a bill that did *exactly that* this year before the legislature.

Stop lying about what Protect Minnesota really testified in favor of – because what you’re quoting here isn’t accurate.


My candlelight vigil against gun violence

The Brady Campaign, the folks who desire to limit your Second Amendment rights, are calling for a nationwide candlelight vigil this Sunday against gun violence. This is, of course, the one year anniversary of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona where Congresswoman Giffords was shot and seriously wounded. Several others were killed in this same shooting.

Now, I deplore gun violence – but I don’t believe at all that the method to minimize violence is to diminish the ability of law abiding citizens to own, carry, and use firearms in their own defense. That’s why, along with many others across the nation, I’m holding my own candlelight vigil to show that a handgun can do wonders to protect innocent lives from harm.

For the curious: Springfield Armory TRP 1911, Sideguard leather, Wilson Combat magazines, Federal HST ammunition (.45), & Chris Reeves small Sebenza knife.

You can learn more about the intellectual underpinnings of the other side over at places like Common Gunsense.

“One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure (and in some cases I have) that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.”

Col. Jeff Cooper, “Cooper vs. Terrorism”, Guns & Ammo Annual, 1975

A response to today’s NY Times Editorial on Gun Control

Let’s take a look at today’s New York Times editorial, titled An Assault on Everyone’s Safety, shall we?

The Glock 19 is a semiautomatic pistol so reliable that it is used by thousands of law enforcement agencies around the world, including the New York Police Department, to protect the police and the public. On Saturday, in Tucson, it became an instrument of carnage for two preventable reasons: It had an oversize ammunition clip that was once restricted by federal law and still should be; and it was fired by a disturbed man who should never have been able to purchase it legally.

The Glock 19 is an outstanding piece of engineering. I should know, it was the first firearm that I ever purchased. I still own it.

But let’s be clear – this was an instrument of carnage because an individual, who appears to have serious mental issues, decided to commit a crime. The gun did not make this decision on its own.

Now, let’s talk about “clips”. It’s not a clip, it’s a magazine. A clip is something you put in your hair or use to hold paper together. Firearms use magazines to hold cartridges or rounds, not bullets.

I know, you think I’m playing semantic games here, but I’m not. As an editorial board, your goal should be to persuade others to come around to your point of view. You will never capture the attention of people who are serious about firearms (like, say, the members of the NRA), if you don’t at least pretend that you know and understand the subject matter at hand.

But we’ll get back to that.

When you say “was once restricted by federal law”, that’s not quite accurate. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, a law that has never been proven to have accomplished anything other than banning guns that looked scary, prohibited the manufacture of magazines that held more than ten rounds (except for sale to law enforcement & the military). Existing magazines were perfectly legal to buy & sell. So I have no idea that this was actually supposed to accomplish.

The ludicrously thin membrane that now passes for gun control in this country almost certainly made the Tucson tragedy worse. Members of Congress are legitimately concerned about their own safety now, but they should be no less worried about the effect of their inaction on the safety of all Americans.

As lawmakers in Washington engage this week in moments of silence and tributes to Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other casualties, they should realize that they have the power to reduce the number of these sorts of horrors, and their lethality.

No one should do anything this week other than take some time to reflect before acting. We don’t need laws born from rash moments, we need laws born from moments of quiet reflection, over a period of time, so that we don’t make bad laws. Which is what you’re proposing we do here — bad law.

Now, could you point me to some information showing that the 1994 Assault Weapons ban contributed to a significant enough drop in firearms crime related to these sorts of weapons and/or magazines to justify limiting such a weapon or device?

No, I didn’t think so.

And even if you could, would it override a citizen’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms?

To do so, they will need to stand up to the National Rifle Association and its allies, whose lobbying power continues to grow despite the visceral evidence that the groups have made the country a far more dangerous place. Having won a Supreme Court ruling establishing a right to keep a firearm in the home, the gun lobby is striving for new heights of lunacy, waging a campaign to legalize the possession of a gun in schools, bars, parks, offices, and churches, even by teenagers.

The NRA, of which I am a Life Member and a Certified Instructor, had little to do with the Supreme Court cases in question. These cases were brought by individual citizens, through a great attorney, and supported by other firearms associations. The NRA joined in later.

That right, by the way, which you denigrate, wasn’t established by the Supreme Court – it was established in the Second Amendment in the US Constitution. In fact, many would argue, that this right has always existed, even before we wrote the Constitution & the Bill of Rights – just like free speech, freedom of religion, and our right to be free from unreasonable search & seizure.

You reference lunacy because law abiding citizens, acting through their lobbying group (the NRA), want to fully legalize possession of a gun in schools, bars, parks, offices, and churches. I ask, why is that lunacy?

Here in Minnesota, where I’ve lived for nearly six years, we can lawfully carry in a bar, a park, an office (unless prohibited by an employer), or a church. In fact, we can drink (although it’s not encouraged) while carrying. In the years since this law has been passed, there have been minimal incidents involving gun owners.

So what’s the issue? Does it offend your New York sensibilities or something?

It reflexively opposes even mild, sensible restrictions — but if there is any reason left in this debate, the latest mass shooting should force a retreat. Is there anyone, even the most die-hard gun lobbyist, who wants to argue that a disturbed man should be able to easily and legally buy a Glock to shoot a congresswoman, a judge, a 9-year-old girl?

The suspect in this case is at fault for what happened — not his access to weapons, but let’s discuss this anyways.

Current federal law prohibits individuals that have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution or have been adjudicated as mentally defective may not possess a firearm. There are other restrictions as well, but this one appears to be the most relevant in this situation. The suspect in this case either did not meet this standard or that information wasn’t available in the National Instant Background Check System.

A lot of this sort of information is protected by medical privacy – laws and regulations that I’m pretty sure that this editorial board has supported in the past. Want those to be more available for government to use in decision making? Might want to look at changing those regulations.

One of the first things Congress can do is to take up a bill proposed by Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat of Long Island, that would ban the extended ammunition clip used by the Arizona shooter, Jared Loughner. A Glock 19 usually holds 15 bullets. Mr. Loughner used an oversize clip allowing him to fire as many as 33 bullets before pausing to reload. It was at that point that he was tackled and restrained.

Between 1994 and 2004, it was illegal to manufacture or import the extended clips as part of the ban on assault weapons. But the ban was never renewed because of the fierce opposition of the N.R.A. At least six states, including California and New York, ban extended clips, which serve absolutely no legitimate purpose outside of military or law enforcement use. At a minimum, that ban should be extended nationwide, and should prohibit possession, not just manufacture.

Magazine, not a clip. But we’ve had that discussion already.

And this solves what exactly? First, criminals aren’t going to turn these things in, they’re going to keep theirs. And there are probably millions upon millions of extended magazines that are out there.

Second, we’ve already discussed above how the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban had little to no impact on these sorts of crimes – using these sorts of weapons.

Third, I can almost guarantee that the goals of this legislation won’t be to limit “extended clips” of 33 rounds – it’ll limit even the standard 15 round Glock 19 magazine – and we’ll be back to 10 again — an arbitrary number that means nothing, other than that someone “feels safe” now.

The gun itself was purchased by Mr. Loughner at a sporting goods store that followed the bare-minimum federal background check, which only flags felons, people found to be a danger to themselves or others, or those under a restraining order.

Let’s be fair to the gun store here — they conducted themselves fully in accordance with federal & state law and sold a firearm to an individual they believed to have been a legal, legitimate purchaser. By all accounts, I’ve not seen anything that suggests that the suspect purchased this handgun illegally.

Mr. Loughner was rejected by the military for failing a drug test, and had five run-ins with the Pima Community College police before being suspended for disruptive activity. Why can’t Congress require a background check — without loopholes for gun shows or private sales — that would detect this sort of history? If the military didn’t want someone like Mr. Loughner to be given a firearm, neither should the public at large.

Probably because the Second Amendment is a constitutional right, just like the First, Fourth, and Fifth. Should we be arbitrarily denying an individual their rights because of the sorts of incidents above? Or should we require a higher standard?

Don’t misunderstand me – Mr. Loughner appeared to have a history of issues that indicate serious mental challenges – and that he was a threat. No one in the government who crossed paths with this guy followed-up to do the right thing to resolve these situations — no one tried to commit him, he wasn’t charged with a more serious crime, I didn’t see him being investigated for the previous threats that he had made…

I’m not interested in pointing blame, except at Mr. Loughner and his actions – but there’s more than could have been done with him to prevent this from happening.

At least two members of Congress say they will start to carry weapons to district meetings, the worst possible response. If lawmakers want to enhance their safety, and that of their constituents, they should recognize that the true public menace is the well-dressed gun lobbyist hanging out just outside their chamber door.

How is this the worst possible response?

There is no sin in legally taking action to protect one’s self, their community, and their co-workers. We should applaud them for having the stones to do so rather than trying to propose a law to ban anyone from possessing a weapon within 1000′ feet of a member of Congress and others. There’s no moral high ground in going about unarmed and unwilling to take steps to protect one’s self.

By the way, murder has been illegal for centuries in this country. There’s a law that prohibits it and prescribes some pretty awful punishment for committing it

That law didn’t stop an individual from killing other citizens this weekend. More gun laws aren’t going to either.

Minnesota DFL Representative admits she was wrong about Permit to Carry Law in Minnesota

This video over at WCCO has one of my favorite admissions by a politician ever – that as one of the strongest opponents against the Minnesota Permit to Carry law that her strongly stated facts about how firearms crime would go up were totally wrong.

All in all, a very balanced story that stuck to the facts – not at all what I expect from our local media here in the Twin Cities.

At least one liberal gets the 2nd amendment

And he’s posting Over at the DailyKOS of all places – in this piece Why Liberals should love the Second Amendment:

When it comes to discussing the Second Amendment, liberals check rational thought at the door. They dismiss approximately 40% of American households that own one or more guns, and those who fight to protect the Second Amendment, as “gun nuts.” They argue for greater restrictions. And they pursue these policies at the risk of alienating voters who might otherwise vote for Democrats.

And they do so in a way that is wholly inconsistent with their approach to all of our other civil liberties.

Those who fight against Second Amendment rights cite statistics about gun violence, as if such numbers are evidence enough that our rights should be restricted. But Chicago and Washington DC, the two cities from which came the most recent Supreme Court decisions on Second Amendment rights, had some of the most restrictive laws in the nation, and also some of the highest rates of violent crime. Clearly, such restrictions do not correlate with preventing crime.

So rather than continuing to fight for greater restrictions on Second Amendment rights, it is time for liberals to defend Second Amendment rights as vigorously as they fight to protect all of our other rights. Because it is by fighting to protect each right that we protect all rights.

The author goes on to write quite an impressive piece. There’s already nearly two thousand comments as of the time of this writing, I’m sure there will be more soon.

MacDonald v. Chicago, or “I told you so”, round two.

Just as the court found in DC v Heller about two years ago, this morning, the United States Supreme Court upheld the meaning of the Second Amendment. This time, by incorporating this right against state and local government, and declaring that it is indeed a “fundamental right”.

The New York Times puts it this way:

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said the right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment was fundamental to the American conception of ordered liberty. Like other provisions of the Bill of Rights setting out such fundamental protections, he said, it must be applied to limit not only federal power but also that of state and local governments.

The ruling is an enormous symbolic victory for supporters of gun rights, but its short-term practical effect is unclear. As in the Heller decision, the justices left for another day just what kinds of gun control laws can be reconciled with Second Amendment protection. The majority said little more than that there is a right to keep handguns in the home for self-defense.

Some folks like to tell me I’m naive about some things, but generally I have always read the Constitution for what it is, the highest law in the land… and in my world that means “shall not be infringed” means… well, shall not be infringed.

Now that the two landmark cases are out of the way – DC v Heller where we learn the Second Amendment really is an individual right, and MacDonald v. Chicago, where we learn it truly is a fundamental right, I’m curious how the court begins to interpret these two rulings in the context of the morass that is state, local, and federal firearms laws.

Of course, the New York Times editorial board has a few thoughts on the matter that won’t be in line with my own….

Massachusetts: More stupid firearms laws

Massachusetts is at it again with more stupid firearms laws – laws that will do nothing to impact crime at all.

While there are many things that I miss about living in New England – I am certainly not missing the idiotic “anti-crime” measures that the Massachusetts legislature attempts to pull off. I’m quite happy about the approach that the Minnesota legislature usually chooses to take.