• August 21, 2015

handgun-231699_1280Minnesota Litigator strays from its mission statement of “News and Commentary about Minnesota Civil Litigation” rarely, but it does from time to time. Rarer still, I wade into culture wars or ideological battles that tear our country into pieces. But sometimes a Minnesota court decision might tempt me into these depths and, without further adieux, adieu.

If you’re looking for a concealable pistol, but don’t want to sacrifice capacity, reach for an XD® 3” Sub-Compact. It’s an excellent choice for concealed carry, and it is equally in its element at the range.” (Note that it is “in its element” at the range, as if it were alive.)

We live in a culture with a pathological love of violence and, in particular, a pathological love of gun violence.

It is very literally breath-taking.

Most of us are apparently very proud of this “unique-throughout-the-civilized-world” cultural attribute. Over decades, the United States’ national love of and fascination with firearms has caused an enormous number of suicides, fatal domestic violence, and the deaths of thousands of innocent by-standers caught in cross-fire. Thousands have been shot and died who, if we had even modest tweaks to our gun laws, would still be among us. Know some victims of gun violence yourself? Saddened by the incessant tiny coffins on TV and in the newspapers? Tough luck. Get used to it. This is the cost of doing business in the U.S. of A. This is cultural overhead, the cost-of-goods-sold, an unfortunate national gore tax that goes hand-in-glove with our love of lethal weapons.

An apparently powerless minority among us (including me) seem to think that maybe it is far past the appropriate time to recognize that a heavily armed U.S. population, no matter how much fun it sounds like it could be (to violence-obsessed people, at least), is, in fact, horribly dangerous, stupid, and unjustifiable (either as a matter of any faithful (or good faith) reading of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or as a matter of sane social policy).

So I was pleased to note this week that the National Football Association and the Minnesota Vikings were able to reverse a Hennepin Country District Court decision that would have forced the NFL and the Vikings to let off-duty police officers bring their concealed guns into football games.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled quite narrowly on the appeal and essentially held that Minnesota’s “conceal and carry” law did not apply to “peace officers” so it could not form the basis of off-duty police officers to bring hidden weapons to football games. They might have that right from some other statute, the Court of Appeals reasoned. But they do not have the right from the “PPA” (Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act of 2003) statute.

In response to the Court of Appeals decision, the gun-rights activists might lament, only “out-laws” will have guns at NFL football games and these events will therefore be more dangerous because of the Court of Appeals decision…Not exactly. For one thing, it is clear that “on-duty” police officers and security personnel at NFL games can and do carry guns. Also, there have been occasions, now and again, when off-duty police officers have misused firearms and have slain innocent people (including themselves and their families). It is a far smarter bet that the stadiums are SAFER with fewer guns, not more dangerous. (After all, why in the world do you think the NFL and the Vikings want to bar these concealed firearms? Are they stupid?)

 

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