Threats by Republican during Capitol gun rally should be taken seriously
To the editor:
At the recent gun rally at the Capitol state Representative Cal Bahr, R – Bethel, said, “There’s a lot of us in this room that have had enough, and it’s time to start riding herd on the rest of these people that want to take your rights away from you. They will not go quietly into the good night. They need to be kicked to the curb and stomped on and run over a few times.” He later ineffectively, and obviously dishonestly, tried to backtrack and reinterpret his oral comments.
Threats of violence like these should be taken very seriously, whether by any citizen or by someone in public service. Talk of violence, threats, history of abuse, criminal background, certain mental illnesses are all reasons Minnesota and federal law should beef up sensible gun reform and restrict access to those who are threats to themselves or others.
That the Republican caucus and our own legislators have not voiced a strong criticism of Bahr’s threatening comments is disappointing. It is disappointing that after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglass School shooting they responded to Minnesotans’ desire for better registration and gun laws by offering tax exemptions for gun safes. (Offered again this session.) A more appropriate response would have been to work for better registration legislation and gun type limits, and create legislation that addresses those who do not store weapons properly, i.e. if you do not have safe storage, you should not have an arsenal. It is not up to taxpayers to support the gun industry and its customers with welfare.
Further, military weapons should be off-limits. What’s next? Grenade-launchers for seniors who have failing eyesight and need that broader target protection?
Most gun owners know how to use and store guns and have no fear our rights or hunting will be affected by legislation that asks us to register, store, and use our weapons properly. We support legislation that addresses gun violence prevention. We see it is appropriate to limit the kind of weapons citizens should be able to buy.
We who want better gun safety legislation are in the majority in Minnesota and the United States, and we want our Minnesota legislature, and the federal government to respond to the “well-regulated” part of the 2nd. As soon as possible.