The gun lobby's poster boy for non-intimidation | Steve Timmer photo
by Steve Timmer
Aug 21, 2013, 5:00 PM

The solution in search of a problem

The smirking, posing, black-shirted man is Kris Kranz; he was one of the persons in attendance at a hearing on August 20th about security at the Minnesota Capitol — the second of two — and specifically whether guns ought to be allowed there by other that law enforcement personnel. Kranz is quoted as saying:

Kris Kranz, who brought his .40-caliber Glock to the hearing loaded with 15 rounds, said he feels safer with his own weapon. “You have to be your own hero on your own white horse,” Kranz said, adding that he should retain that right.

A refrain of people opposed to the prohibition of weapons in the Capitol was that such a ban was “a solution in search of a problem,” dismissing the concern expressed that weapons were not only dangerous in an environment like the Capitol, but that they were intimidating to a lot of people, and therefore intimidating to the democratic process. Intimidation? Couldn’t be!

Why, intimidation was the farthest thing from Kranz’s mind, in spite of the fact he stood in an archway in Room 15 of the Capitol where the hearing was held for most of the hearing, just like this. Well, until Andrew Rothman, another pistola aficionado came over and apparently mentioned that the pose was not helpful to the cause.

jes hangin around me and my gun smaller

One of the other things the gun lovers said was that people who were intimidated by guns should seek professional help for their fears. One fellow remarked after the hearing that guns were no different than any other object of an individual’s phobia, like a microphone, for example, and that after all, a microphone could be used as a weapon.

There is obviously projection at work here. It’s the gun lovers with the phobia: the unreasoning fear of daily life.

I wish someone on the committee had asked the maroon-shirted people in attendance for a show of hands if they ever attended a hearing at the Capitol about something other than guns. It seemed like a one-issue crowd, if crowd is the right word.

But my favorite moment in the hearing came when lawman Sen. Bill Ingebritsen, a member of the panel, told the touching story of a sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a courthouse. We don’t allow guns in courthouses, because of the tense situations that occur there, intoned Ingebritson.

We have tense situations at the Capitol, too, he said, but that’s different.


Update: Reader Alan observes of Kranz’s quote, “Seems to me if you need a gun to be a hero, you’re not much of a hero. All the really hard work is done without guns.”

Yes, Alan that’s true, but Kranz only needs to be a hero to himself, thus setting up a low bar.

If you would like to see the video of the actual hearing, and maybe even watch Sen. Ingebritsen distinguish the tense situations in courthouses and those in the Capitol for a mesmerized audience, and if that is not enough, a story by Kathryn Nelson on the hearing. go to the Uptake for its coverage of the hearing.

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