A few thoughts about gun control and partisan politics

John Mueller

We acquired a .22-caliber handgun for dispatching unwanted animals from the barn. Fortunately, we gave it away before ever needing to use it. We were always taught every gun is always loaded unless you personally see it is not loaded. The point of such counsel was to prevent the unthinkable. The advice came from an older brother, who owned many handguns all properly stored in a secured gun locker separate from ammunition.

We recently received the monthly column from Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Maple Lake, in which he, predictably, rants about DFL bills arguably intended to keep guns securely stored and out of the hands of people who ought not have them. Sen Draheim opposes the bills not because they are fundamentally flawed, but because, as he said, “Look, I get it. Everyone across the political spectrum wants to prevent gun violence. But what Democrats are proposing will not achieve their goals because they are focused in the wrong place. Bad guys will always do bad things. We should be concentrating on stopping the bad guys, not targeting the vast majority of gun owners who do not break the law.”

OK, I get this is a bit of a stretch, but murder is illegal even though most people don’t kill others. We make laws for the few, not the many.

While Sen. Draheim is right – there needs to be tougher enforcement and penalties for people who commit crimes using guns. Proposals signed into law and followed by law-abiding citizens on the safe storage of guns will hopefully prevent a tragedy. No matter where you stand on the issue of the Second Amendment and whether there are too many guns available to people, safely storing guns is a no-brainer.

Unintentional injury is a leading cause of death among U.S. children and adolescents aged 0–17 years, and firearms are a leading injury method, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). During 2003–2021, over 1,260 fatal unintentional firearm injury cases among children aged 0–17 years were identified in a CDC National Violent Death Reporting System report. If a law requiring weapons in a home be secured prevents a tragedy, how can it be opposed? Guns can be secured, rendered unusable at a minimal cost. One online retailer’s cable gun lock is available for $3.99. Better yet, purchase it locally and support a brick-and-mortar business paying local taxes.

As always, gun control is a highly contentious issue in the Minnesota Legislature. A bill increasing the penalty for a so-called straw purchase recently drew the ire of GOP lawmakers claiming DFLers were playing politics. A woman is charged with purchasing the weapons a man used to kill two Burnsville police officer and a Burnsville firefighter. He was legally not entitled the privilege of possessing firearms.

Sen. Draheim’s concern about overzealous gun control is duly noted. The NRA should be proud of him. But rather than simply objecting to proposals, wouldn’t it be nice to see some proposals to address the problems he admits exist?

The claims from some GOP lawmakers the DFL is playing politics with gun control is also noted even though both parties are capable and quick to take advantage of an opportunity advance their position. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are capable practitioners of taking political advantage of an opportunity. The party of the rule of law has called for Sen. Nicole Mitchell, DFL-Woodbury, to resign or be expelled from the legislature after being charged with burglary – not convicted, only charged – in what could be an ugly family matter.

Sen. William Lieske, R-Lonsdale, announced last week he would not vote on any bill he and Sen. Mitchell agreed on. Is that representing a constituency or pandering to the party?

Noting Sen. Mitchell has not yet been convicted, the DFL is protecting her to maintain its one vote majority. The GOP wants her out to level the playing field. These are smart people we send to St. Paul.

If only they could spell compromise.



Suel Printing Company

Copyright © Suel Printing Company
All Rights Reserved
200 Main St E
New Prague, MN 56071

Phone: 952-758-4435
Fax: 952-758-4135

Latest articles

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 4:14pm
Thu, 07/11/2024 - 10:26am

If you would like to receive a FREE digital edition with a paid print subscription please call 952-758-4435.