You will pry my gun from my cold dead fingers
Earlier this month, I wrote about the MN If It Moves in a Way I Don’t Like, I’m Going to Riddle It with Bullets bill and how it pretty much would allow you to shoot anyone you want with the claim that you felt threatened and it was self-defense. Retreat? Why the fuck would I do that, muthafucker? ::Pew pew! Pew pew!:: You would think it was a showdown at high noon the way some of the GOP congresspeople were swaggering around, fondling the butt of their guns*.
“This is our town, and we don’t want no varmint scurrying around!” I think they imagine themselves as part of the old Wild West, shooting the baddies, and winning the heart of the fair maidens**. “Aw, shucks. T’weren’t nothing, Ma’am!” Tip of the hat, and SCENE. As I wrote at the time, it was a recipe for disaster, and I had hoped Governor Dayton (D) would veto it, but I wasn’t sure which way he’d go because guns are pretty big in MN.
This is why voting matters
As I noted in the aforementioned post and an earlier post about the 2010 elections, we went from having a Republican governor and a Democratic majority in both houses to having the Republicans grab control of both houses and a Democratic governor – the latter by a mere 9,000 votes. The minute the Republicans gained control of the legislature, they started pushing the same loathsome bills, including anti-woman bills, we’ve seen across the country. In addition, they passed a bill to allow Minnesotans to vote on the civil rights of teh gayz (Constitutional amendment banning SSM) in November.
Why am I rehashing this? To remind my fellow Minnesotans and, indeed, people around the country, that voting does matter. Part of the reason more crazy shit hasn’t been passed locally is because we have a Democratic governor. I tweeted him my earlier post on this Shoot It if It Moves Until It’s Dead Dead Dead bill, but I honestly thought he would pass it. As I said, MN is very pro-gun, and he was getting a lot of pressure to sign the bill into law.
I’m proud to say that after three days of deliberation, Governor Dayton vetoed the bill. He cited concerns by police and prosecutors as to the increase of danger on the job (police) and the broadness of the bill (prosecutors). He quoted federal figures that report we have more than 5 million guns in the state and added that state laws “already provide the authorizations for law-abiding citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves or others, either inside or outside their homes, so long as that force constitutes ‘reasonable force.’”
Governor Dayton thought it over, pondered the consequences, and made a thoughtful decision. Imagine that!
In the past few days, the horrific and heartbreaking story of Trayvon Martin has gotten national attention – I will be doing a post on him soon – and it was exactly what I fear would happen if the Shoot Anything That Looks
Black Suspicious to You bill passed in Minnesota. I have no doubts that a Republican governor would have signed this bill into law – none at all.
I emailed Governor Dayton to thank him for vetoing this bill, and I tweeted him my thanks as well.
This is why we vote. This is why it fucking matters.
ETA: Governor Dayton’s handle on Twitter is @GovMarkDayton, and you can email him here if you would like to thank him, too.