Nullify ALL Gun Laws! Seriously?

Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R), MN House of Representatives

Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R), MN House of Representatives

The same MN State Representative who made the news for 1) packing a loaded gun in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood and 2) berating a constituent who  asked his support for Governor Dayton’s proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans (click HERE for the CBS new story), is making headlines again.

Heather Martin, Executive Director Protect Minnesota issued the following news release today, March 2, 2015:

Proposal would jeopardize public safety

SAINT PAUL — HF 1289, a proposed constitutional amendment introduced by Rep. Tom Hackbarth today, is a serious threat to public safety in Minnesota. Cloaked in a nice-sounding name, it is a brazen attempt to fool the public by misnaming a constitutional amendment that would nullify every gun law on the books in Minnesota. “This is not a ‘right to bear arms’ amendment. This a ‘nullify-all-gun-laws’ amendment,” said Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence.

“I am incredulous that the same people who passed a law last year to get guns away from domestic abusers are now proposing to repeal that law, and all Minnesota gun laws, by constitutional amendment,” Martens said.

The proposed amendment reads, “The right of individuals to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms, including firearms, knives, other weapons as well as ammunition, components, and accessories for any of them, for defense of life, liberty, self, family, and others, sanctity of dwelling, and for all other purposes, is fundamental and shall not be denied, infringed, or curtailed. Any restriction must be subjected to strict scrutiny. Registration, mandatory licensing, special taxation, fees, or any other measure, regardless of type, manner, or purpose, that suppresses or discourages the free exercise of this right, is void.


(a) The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2016 general election. The question submitted must be:

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to protect the right of individuals to keep and bear arms?”

Protect Minnesota will be urging all Minnesotans to voice their strong opposition to this proposed amendment.

How a ballot question is worded often determines its passage or defeat. The proposed MN Constitutional Amendment has nothing to do with the hotly debated Second Amendment right to bear arms of the U.S. Constitution. It’s something else.

My, oh, my, oh, my! Salute the gun manufacturers and pass the ammunition!

M&R Photography

Same-sex Marriage

 “What does Obama’s announcement {supporting same-sex marriage) mean to you? Will it make any difference in your life?” asked CNN’s blog this morning

Here’s how I responded:

“The President’s declaration has not changed my life, but it has moved it one step closer to leaving behind the trail of tears the church has inflicted on its own members. I am a pastor. My family and church are straight and gay. I have shared the tears and listened to the sobs and shouts. I have cried their tears and shaken my head and wanted to make a fist.

“Here in the state of MN a referendum to amend the State Constitution –  similar to the one that just passed in NC – will be on the ballot.  I cringe that the proponents of the amendment – the opponents of marriage equality – often do so “in the name of Christ,”  ignoring the fact that we have nothing to indicate any statement by Jesus on this issue, while at the same time they ignore the Beatitudes and other teachings of The Sermon on the Mount that clearly oppose the church’s endorsement of and participation in state-sponsored violence and war. It saddens me.

“My family makes no distinctions among us. Orientation is orientation.  Families, churches, and cultures change slowly, and sometimes tumultuously

“My professional life will change when both the church and the state celebrate the commitment of two people, regardless of their gender, to the estate of marriage. Until then… every heterosexual wedding celebration will also remind me of those who cannot celebrate the same.

“A comedian once asked why GLBT folks shouldn’t be allowed to be as miserable as we (heterosexuals) are. Misery and joy do not reside within the lines we draw between “us” and “the other.” My gay son pays little attention. He’s not married, and, although his state permits it, he has chosen otherwise. But, in the event he decides that the blessings and miseries of marriage are for him, the choice should belong to him and his partner of 12 years. And, in the event he should so choose, the church should be there to celebrate and share the cake. When that day comes, my life will have changed.”

How would you respond the CNN question? Leave a comment to generate the discussion here.

And, if you’re looking for a welcoming church, stop by Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska Sunday morning at 9:30. Whatever your opinion, or any other source of division – no matter who you are – you’ll be welcome.