MN-08: Rep. Stauber’s strange justification for opposing better gun laws
As a voter in MN-08, I must acknowledge that Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), who is in his first term, could be a lot worse. At least he doesn’t indulge in the public displays of raving idiocy one sees with the likes of Reps. Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Jim Hagedorn (MN-01). He’s even been known to vote with Democrats, though not in any way that might involve sticking his political neck out. That said, I will certainly be voting for his opponent (hopefully a real progressive, but we’ll see) in November.
It was a confusing and frightening scene that found Stauber and another Duluth police officer, then-Sgt. Jim Wright, facing the barrel of Majchrzak’s 9-millimeter handgun inside an apartment house located at 1820 London Road, next to what is still a Taco John’s.
The ensuing melee was quick and the officers reacted on training and instinct.
To hear Stauber tell it, he was fortunate to escape with his life.
“It was one of the most violent incidents I was a part of in 23 years as a police officer, including my years on the tactical response team,” Stauber, a Republican from Hermantown, told the News Tribune in the fall. “The whole incident unfolded so fast.”
Stauber has referenced the confrontation repeatedly throughout the past year. He uses it to explain his defense of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its right to bear arms. Despite being a victim of gun violence himself, Stauber will say, he continues to support the law-abiding citizenry’s right to carry firearms.
(Duluth News Tribune)
The following is not about knocking Stauber’s career in law enforcement, which everyone knows is a tough and dangerous job. But how do you get from almost being killed by gun violence, to being against stronger gun laws?
Motivated reasoning, that’s how. As part of his job of protecting the public, Stauber behaved admirably, even heroically. Even as someone who is horrified and humiliated by the reality of the district where I was born and raised being represented by a Republican, for only the second time in many decades (and hopefully just as briefly), I have no problem typing that. But using it as justification for helping to enable the ongoing gun carnage in this country? That makes zero sense, and it wouldn’t be amiss if some people in media with a lot more reach than this blog would point that out. Fat chance.
A few extra points:
– Though it’s some years old, this article from Slate remains the best online takedown of gun creep idiocy that I know of.
– Even before it devolved to the internecine clash of egomaniacs that it is now, the NRA’s influence on elections has tended to be overrated. To say the least.
– Speaking of the NRA, it really did start out, long ago, as an apolitical organization devoted to gun safety education. Here’s how it started to become the right-wing terror group that it essentially is.
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