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credit: equipment world

I normally reserve Tuesdays for articles directly relating to Second Amendment and firearm issues. As it turns out in this New Year, today’s article continues that trend, but also touches on the Justine Damond case. I’ll get to that link shortly, but for now, it’s time to deal with concealed carry reciprocity.

On December 6, 2017, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, national concealed carry reciprocity. Some Democrats actually voted for the bill. Unfortunately, it faces a much more difficult hurdle in the Senate. The bill is simple. It treats concealed carry like driver’s licenses. If one if licensed for concealed carry in one state, they’re licensed in all states that issue licenses. No longer can anti-gun states arrest and imprison the law-abiding for doing nothing more than passing through those states while exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Such was the case of Shaneen Allen, a young, single mother of two boys, had a concealed carry license for Pennsylvania. Passing through New Jersey, she was arrested and faced years in jail, but was finally pardoned by governor Chris Christie. That was a good outcome for Allen, but other law-abiding Americans still face arrest and prison in New Jersey for daring to think the Second Amendment means what it says.

Progressives argue, even after Heller, the Second Amendment does not give people the right to carry concealed weapons. It’s true the Supreme Court did not specifically address this issue in Heller, but if one cannot carry firearms wherever they may be, how can one possibly “bear” or “keep” arms? These are inclusive terms. Without the ability to do both, one can do neither.

Let us travel, briefly, to Minnesota, a progressive-ruled state, to understand the depth and lunacy of the opposition to national reciprocity. Keep in mind Minnesota has no problem honoring driver’s licenses, which are a state-regulated privilege, but is violently opposed to Americans exercising their rights under the Second Amendment, a fundamental, unalienable right, based in the right to self-defense. Maya Rao, for The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

…law enforcement leaders in Minnesota and around the country are raising concerns that the proposal, which passed the U.S. House this month, could harm public safety and mean looser regulation of guns in states like Minnesota, with stricter permit requirements than other places.

Perhaps without realizing it, Rao speaks to the enormous chasm between law enforcement executives and the men and women that actually enforce the law. Regular cops, commonly by 90+% margins, have no trouble with gun ownership, including concealed carry, by law-abiding Americans. They understand and support the Constitution, and know such people are no threat to them or anyone else. Police executive/politicians, on the other hand, hate anything that tends to limit their power, and very much take a cafeteria approach to the Constitution. Much of this is by disposition. Particularly in major cities and blue states, one cannot possibly be hired as a police chief or commissioner without impeccable progressive credentials. It’s simply easier for such people to keep their position and power if they are staunch progressives. And if they aren’t, they quickly learn they had better appear to be. The same is true for prosecutors in blue states and cities:

Mike Freeman

The proposal has put Republicans at odds with prosecutors around the country. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, the president of the National District Attorneys Association, said most prosecutors — particularly those overseeing large urban areas — do not support conceal carry reciprocity ‘because it’s a dive to the bottom’ in terms of oversight of guns.

‘It simply doesn’t make any public-safety sense,’ Freeman said. ‘On this issue, states ought to decide how much they ought to ask their people to do before they have the privilege of carrying a gun in a concealed way, and I think it’s uniquely a state determination.

As regular readers know, Freeman is the prosecutor currently doing his best to put off making a charging decision in the Justine Damond case as long as possible. I have long wondered about Freeman’s progressive leanings. Obviously, he could not be elected in Minneapolis without progressive street cred, so to speak, but how much of a progressive is he? I’ll speak to that shortly, but Freeman is either grossly misinformed about H.R. 38, or is purposely lying about it.

Minnesota, and all states, retain control of the standards by which they issue concealed carry licenses, and laws regulating the criminal misuse of a firearm would be unchanged. The only effect of the law in Minnesota, and the several additional anti-liberty states, is they could no longer arrest and prosecute people with concealed carry licenses in another state for merely passing through or visiting their states. They may do it anyway. These states have long and dishonorable histories of ignoring liberties they don’t like.

Absent from the debate so far has been Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, also viewed as a likely candidate for governor next year. While at least 41 attorneys general wrote to Congress urging action — 24 in support and 17 against — Swanson’s office did not offer a position on the matter, instead referring inquiries to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). That agency deferred back to Swanson’s office.

Minnesota’s Governor, Mark Dayton, a progressive with a long history of mental health problems, opposes the law.

Republican attorneys general of Wisconsin and the Dakotas back the legislation. The Iowa attorney general, a Democrat, opposes it.

‘Authorizing permit holders to carry across state lines will not result in an increased risk of crime,’ the 24 supportive attorneys general wrote in a letter to Congress. ‘Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding members of society, and those states that allow for reciprocal concealed carry permits have not encountered any significant safety issues.

This is, of course, entirely accurate. Concealed carry license holders are among the most law-abiding Americans. Minnesota does issue licenses, but one imagines, grudgingly:

Minnesota issued 71,156 carry permits last year — the highest number issued in one year since the Legislature passed the permit carry law in 2003. That is a 125 percent increase over the past five years. Today, Minnesota has 265,728 gun carry permits.

I suspect the increase last year was due to the fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Clinton, as I’m sure you remember, gentle readers, actually ran on an anti-liberty, gun control platform, promising to work every day to restrict and eliminate the rights of Americans.

Robert Doar, political director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, said that Minnesota has the ‘most restrictive’ law of any of the bordering states.

He said that while gun owners should get as much training as they can afford, the ability to pay for training shouldn’t be a barrier to exercising their rights. If you are legally allowed to own a gun, he said, you should be legally allowed to carry it.

‘We don’t want people who should not have firearms to have firearms, but when you pass laws restricting the right to carry, the people who aren’t supposed to own them are going to carry them anyway,’ Doar said.

Doar too is correct. Criminals could care less about gun laws. Gun control affects only the law-abiding, who pose no threat to anyone. Many are also unaware of Haynes v. U.S. (1968), wherein the Supreme Court ruled a convicted felon could not be required to register a firearm because that would amount to a compelled violation of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Under that precedent, applying for a concealed carry permit would arguably also be self-incriminating.

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association also sees cause for concern.

Opponents in law enforcement said that due to differences in state-permitting procedures, officers would have no way to verify that someone with an out-of-state concealed carry permit was operating within the law. They say they would have to become legal experts on regulations in all 50 states, and are raising questions about a provision in the bill that they said would impose a threat of personal litigation against law enforcement officers trying to enforce gun laws.

It’s hard to imagine more egregious nonsense and lies. Even if a state’s computers were temporarily down, all an officer need do is ask to see someone’s permit. They have no such difficulty with driver’s licenses, and no officer need become a “legal expert” about such things. The Chiefs also forget to mention that kind of information is available with the click of a mouse via the Internet, and it’s a rare police officer indeed without a data terminal in his vehicle, or a smart phone. Circa 2017, I’m unaware of any state that does not provide concealed carry license status in the same database as driver’s license information, available to all police officers within seconds.

The supposed threat to which the Chiefs refer regards this section of the bill:

A person who is deprived of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by this section, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or any political subdivision thereof, may bring an action in any appropriate court against any other person, including a State of political subdivision thereof, who cause the person to be subject to the deprivation, for damages or other appropriate relief.

2016: Donald Trump won 3084 of 3141 counties.
credit: scopes.com

This provision does not, in any way, prevent police officers from enforcing violations of criminal laws. To avoid finding themselves the subject of a lawsuit under the act, all they need do is not make false arrests of law abiding citizens for lawfully carrying their concealed firearms. This is the minimum we expect of our police officers each and every day. The provision is in the law because the Congress knows blue states and cities routinely ignore federal law relating to firearms freedoms, and unlawfully harass honest citizens. Again, all such people need to do is avoid violating the law. This should not be a burden for honest police officers.

Minneapolis is a member of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which has also written a letter in opposition. And St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell recently visited Washington with Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to attend an event opposing the measure.

‘It’s really like an end run around states that have robust permitting standards,’ Choi said. ‘All of these states having to honor other states sounds kind of good in theory, but in reality it’s a disaster because the differences in permitting standards are huge across the nation.

Choi is being–let’s be kind–disingenuous. The supposedly huge differences about which Choi speaks have to do only with fees, training and testing requirements. Some states charge a great deal to allow citizens to exercise a fundamental right. They often require training and testing requirements that also cost a great deal in time and money, and there is no evidence–none–that such requirements result in any greater adherence to the law and to enhanced public safety compared with those states that do not have such requirements, including states with “constitutional carry,” where anyone not ineligible by law (felons, the mentally ill, etc.) may carry concealed without a permit.

What is actually going on? Why do these people object? This brings us back to Mike Freeman. One of the primary requirements for membership into the ranks of card-carrying progressives is absolute hatred of guns, and Americans that own and carry them. Progressives absolutely distrust “normal”–non-self-imagined elite–Americans, and that distrust is nowhere more virulent than where guns are concerned. Barack Obama said it in making a gaffe–accidently speaking his true beliefs–about the “God and gun” clinging Americans of flyover country.

For progressives, this is an article of faith, and no amount of logic, no proof, can change their minds. The Constitution is merely an outmoded impediment to their goals. Certainly, not everyone with progressive tendencies shares this mindset, at least not to this degree of insanity, but it is a defining characteristic of progressive belief. For many Progressives, disarming normal Americans is a necessity, because the Second Amendment stands in the way of their establishment of a progressive utopia, like Venezuela, or China, as Mr. Obama also once yearned. It, like Universal health care, must become reality, and they’ll take centuries, if necessary, to enact it, though they’d prefer to do it sooner.

I was unaware Freeman was the President of the National District Attorney’s Association. One would think the holder of such an exalted position would be able to make a prompt charging decision in a case like Damond’s, which is neither complex nor difficult to understand. As we now know, however, Freeman is hoping to announce a decision sometime in 2018.

Mohamed Noor (center)

If Freeman, as I suspect, is a dedicated Progressive, the Damond case is difficult, but not for reasons of justice. It’s difficult because of social justice. Mohamed Noor is a perfect storm of political correctness. It’s possible he was a diversity hire, kept on the job despite an unusually large number of citizen complaints of sufficient severity to require internal inquiries. Minor matters are commonly dealt with by shift supervisors–Sergeants–on the spot. Noor is not only an immigrant–a Somali–but he’s black, and Muslim. The Minneapolis Mayor, Betsy Hodges, who is soon to be replaced, used enormous political capital repeatedly praising Noor to the heavens because he is a black Somali Muslim, and hobnobbing with Noor’s relatives and “community activists,” even adopting their required female attire.

Hodges (3rd from left, top row) is number 1 (a Muslim affirmation of supremacy)

To charge Noor is to admit some of the most important and well-publicized Minnesota progressive policies and articles of faith are not only faulty, they’re deadly. As an apparently dedicated progressive, the cognitive dissonance involved for Freeman must be absolutely horrifying. And in case you’re not convinced, gentle readers, of Freeman’s progressive leanings, consider again his words:

…it’s a dive to the bottom’ in terms of oversight of guns.

‘It simply doesn’t make any public-safety sense,’ Freeman said. ‘On this issue, states ought to decide how much they ought to ask their people to do before they have the privilege of carrying a gun in a concealed way, and I think it’s uniquely a state determination.

Another progressive article of faith is the supremacy of federal law, as long as that law benefits them. Progressives routinely ridicule and disparage conservatives for daring to suggest the Tenth Amendment gives states considerable power against federal domination. Suddenly, progressives have become state’s rights advocates, but only to limit citizen’s Second Amendment rights. Notice too Freeman thinks concealed carry a privilege, absolutely not a right, something states get to ask of their people. This too is a common progressive belief: government is the master of the people, who serve government. The people belong to the elite, who must benevolently guide them, for their own good, which they are not sufficiently advanced to understand. Allowing normal to exercise their rights–oops! I mean priviledges–without state permission and oversight is unthinkable.

I suspect Freeman is an unhappy and angry man these days. How dare normals try to force him to violate the protocols of social justice by prosecuting a member of a favored victim group! Why, they think they have a right to carry guns too! Don’t they know only the police, acting on behalf of social justice, are allowed to do that? Rule of law? Absurd! Who do they think they are?

We know who we are: Americans, free women and free men. Freeman and his progressive cronies work for us. But now we know, with a much greater degree of certainty, just who Freeman is, and why he’s having so much difficulty making a decision on a case any competent prosecutor could have decided in weeks.

Perhaps we should be grateful for the privilege extended by Freeman in wasting his valuable time on this case at all. After all, Damond was only a white, blonde, middle class woman. She was an immigrant, but only an Australian. Nobody special.