Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Saturday 2 August 2003. I decided to skip the Mnstf picnic. I still wasn't feeling well; and next weekend I'd be getting sf-fandom socializing at Diversicon.

Time: the 1970s. Place: the LASFS clubhouse, in the Los Angeles area. The club had voted to ban ___ at the clubhouse during meetings.

Lee Gold asked me how J___ (one of those affected by the ban) was taking it.

"He's being reasonable," I said.

"Oh, good."

I realized Lee hadn't caught my meaning. "At great length."

"Oh, dear."

Minnesota's gun laws changed recently; in my opinion, one bad law was replaced by another. Under the old law, carry permits were issued at the discretion of local law enforcement authorities. In some rural areas, almost anyone could get a permit. In Minneapolis, someone with a real need for the permit might have to sue before getting it.

The new law changed that, for what I think is the better. But it also made changes which I consider to be violations of property rights. Local governments can't keep guns out of places where they want to keep them out. Businesses which want to be gun-free have to put up a poster which conforms to a bunch of mickey mouse persnickety rules. Then, if they detect someone carrying a gun into their building, they need to also give a verbal warning. (This is apparently copied from Minnesota's trespassing law. If so, that law needs to be changed.) And they can't keep parking lots gun-free.

So -- here we have conservatives chopping away at property rights, and liberals defending property rights.

Some Mnstf hosts are now adding "no guns" to their lists of rules. Others are unlikely to do so.

And some Mnstfers are being reasonable about this. At great length.

Now: Several local governments in the Twin Cities area have decided that nullification is the best way to handle their situation. Evidently, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has regulations which bar guns from the parks. Including Minnehaha Park, where the picnic was to be held.

In a reminder on Natter, the Mnstf president mentioned this ban. One gun-owner pointed out that under the new law, the Parks board doesn't have the right to do this.

The matter has now been discussed reasonably and at great length. In the end, whoever served as host for the picnic made it non-gun.

The laws will be changed again -- probably with new stupidities -- the next time the DFL elects a governor and controls both houses of the state legislature. (Note: The Democratic-Farmer-Labor party was formed by a merger of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties. For all practical purposes, it's really the Democratic Party.) I expect that to be in 2010, but it might happen earlier if the Republicans do something stupid enough. Or if they get blamed for bad economic conditions. (Everyone knows that the Depression was over five minutes after FDR took the oath of office, right?)

Early edition of the Sunday Star Tribune has an article on the Independence Party's future or lack of one. They've had one gubernatorial winner: Jesse Ventura. Their candidate last election (former Congressman Tim Penny) didn't do well.

I didn't vote for Ventura because I thought Minnesota politics was already too much like professional wrestling. (I can't recall which other minor-party candidate I did vote for.) I didn't vote for Penny because I decided he wasn't intellectually honest enough to be a politician.

It's been amusing to have a party devoted to fanatical moderation around. And I think having a strong third party would be useful. But I wouldn't mourn if the Independence Party became merely a fringe group. Of course, I wouldn't mourn if that happened to either or both of the two major parties.

Later: I'm feeling better. Ate some comfort food, ingested caffeine. Made bitchy political comments.

And started writing scaffolding for an sf short story. I decided I had to do that, before getting back to work on the current project.

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