Keith Downey - posterized legislative bio photo
by Steve Timmer
May 16, 2012, 1:00 PM

Keith the Gunslinger

You’ve probably know about the ALEC conceived “shoot first” bill that passed the Republican-controlled legislature but was vetoed by Governor Dayton: HF1467.

This was a bill and an idea so stupid that even Geoff Michel voted against it. Ron Erhardt, unalterably against conceal and carry when he served in the House, undoubtedly would have voted against it, too.

But Edina’s pal Keith Downey (and Pat Mazorol, too) thought it was a keen idea! He voted for it when it was first introduced in 2011; it didn’t pass because the bill did not come up in the Senate in the closing days of the session. And he voted for it again this session! Way to keep your eye on the prize, Keith!

Even though he was clearly the aggressor, trailing Trayvon Martin in his car and then getting out of it to follow him after being instructed not to by a 911 dispatcher, George Zimmerman will doubtlessly defend his charge of second degree murder (for shooting an unarmed teenager because he “looked suspicious”) based at least in part on a law in Florida similar the bill Downey supported in Minnesota. Indeed, the Minnesota bill was even more expansive than the Florida law.

Tellingly, “justifiable homicides” are up twenty-five percent since states started adopting “shoot first.” Since Zimmerman admits killing Martin, if he is acquitted, the homicide he committed will be considered “justifiable.”

If Downey had his way, you too could look forward to the day when an Edina teenager was gunned down in cold blood for being in the wrong place and “looking suspicious.”

“Shoot first” is a poisonous idea; we can be grateful to Governor Dayton for overruling the man who Would be Senator.

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