“Terror”, Right There in My Hometown.

NEW SLAUGHTERBack in the day, terror in my hometown of Montevideo was pretty much confined to the cops cleaning the last drunks of the night out of Sarge’s Bar or chasing my buddies and me through alleys for throwing water balloons at trucks. But now the old town has real knucklehead poster-boys for the over-armed, paranoid, anti-gummint trailer park militia movement. And they’re feeling the wrath of the Monte cops … and FBI.

The laugh line in this past week’s news out of “Mo-Town”, as we locals refer to it, was that Buford “Bucky” Rogers, his garage full of molotov cocktails and ample reserve ammo withstanding, was not believed to have any “overseas” connections. Riiight.

Based on what we heard from his proud camo-attired Pappy, I’m kinda thinking little spawn-of-pappy Buford may not be exactly too up on which sea is where, much less what it takes to get over one.

FoxNews, whose primetime hyper-ventilators pretty well wore themselves out flogging every imaginable “muslim” connection to the nearly as knuckleheaded Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, largely ignored the Montevideo terrorist. My guess is that Buford confronted them with a counter-effective narrative. How so? Because from the get-go it was clear that Buford and his family were yet another episode of an all too familiar commodity on the American landscape … low-information, gun-obsessed, talk-radio/FoxNews-fueled conservatives. Another round of forlorn characters fueled by the implausibly grandiose belief that “the government” not only knows who they are, but is personally harassing them. We see these guys every time the Tea Party rallies at a gun show. They’re as familiar to us as, well, the folks in the trailer next door.

I don’t think it matters much what happens next to my guy Buford. By the sound of it, I get the distinct impression that his “terrorism” was pretty much directed at settling local Mo-Town feuds. I’ll be stunned if we hear he had a plan — hell, the thought of Buford “planning” something is kind of funny — to attack the Federal Reserve or the Megamall or the Gander Mountain gun counter.

But there’s something politically useful about the episode.  Buford’s Insane Clown Posse-style terrorism further marginalizes the country’s gun obsessed at a moment when the NRA brand has reached a level of toxicity that has to take even House Republicans’ breath away. While the NRA core celebrates its victory in defeating universal background checks, signing up a million new members since Newtown and holding a splashy convention in Houston last week, they choose to ignore something pretty fateful … for them. Namely that the greater public, which supported background checks by anything from 70% to 90%, is looking at them with fresh eyes. They see the same crowd of paunchy, goateed, middle-aged to geezerly white guys buying up assault rifles and ammo and giving Wayne LaPierre standing ovations, and are steeling themselves for the next rounds of this fight.

Crazy’s best days are behind it.

Which is why it is disappointing that House Speaker Paul Thissen — with coordination from Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, a proud Iron Ranger with all that implies —  decided not to push a vote on background checks and more here in Minnesota.

Of course they don’t have the votes to actually pass it now. Obama and Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein knew that when they pushed it in D.C. But the point was … the vote. A critical step forward, if elections matter, is getting fretful yobs to press a button and go on record in a highly visible, unambiguous way saying where they stand  … on something that has 70% to 90% public support against five million fanatics.

Obama made a good show of indignation after the vote, gathered with Newtown families in The Rose Garden. But he knew he wasn’t going to win … yet. Guns are a fanatical obsession for those who are obsessed with them. It’ll take three, four or a half-dozen more slugfests like the universal background check fight to get something effective.

There’s a lot of messaging work to do. But the upside is that the fanatics are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for us. Every gun-related atrocity, every news clip of an NRA spokesman, every gun nut-on-the-street interview becomes part of the gun control message.

But the first important legislative step is to make legislators pick a side.

Who with, dude? The 70% – 90%? Or the NRA/Buford Rogers/Black Snake Militia?

Time is not on the side of the gun lobby. If someone like Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, whose poll numbers slumped badly after her “no” vote, suffers political consequences, which gun control advocates will find a way to make certain she does, the NRA’s fearsome threat will be neutered. The redoubts will be the South and the hinterland trailer parks, like Buford’s daddy’s in Mo-Town.

A yea or nay vote in Minnesota would force some serious political assaying. Until recently, out-state/hinterland legislators have (correctly) assumed the only threat a gun vote poses to their careers comes from the goateed fanatics who put their lives on hold and make four dozen calls every time a gun bill pops up in the legislature. Are those legislators truly confident that is still the case?

Thissen and Bakk were no doubt queasy about forcing embarrassment on out-state DFLers who were taking the heaviest flak from the fanatics. But sometimes effective leadership strategy requires pushing your own comrades into situations they’d rather avoid. Ron Latz, from St. Louis Park, (not exactly a hot bed of ersatz-patriotic gun slingers and gummint haters), and Mike Paymar (Mac-Groveland, Highland park … ditto), two guys who pushed gun control bills,  should keep on making serious noise about exactly this tactical step.

You have to make them vote. With every Buford Rogers, Insane Clown terrorist, tolerance of our wholly unfettered gun insanity weakens, and there is less peril in campaigning against the NRA.

Even in my home town.

36 thoughts on ““Terror”, Right There in My Hometown.

  1. Jackie Dowell says:

    One of the best blog articles I’ve read during all the craziness spewed on the gun violence issue. I’m from northern MN , a diehard Democrat, and completely disgusted with those representatives who have been caving to the backwoods bloviators .
    The fight will go on, and those clowns better start listening to those voters who represent the common sense side of the debate. The futures of our children and grandchildren are dependent on changing the dangerous discourse rampaging throughout our nation. Enough is enough

  2. Robert Roscoe says:

    Like Jack McDowell, I think reality will outlast craziness, but on the other hand, these gun jerks are making America into a larger than life reality show. Remember when many of us liberals in the 1970s thought the Symbianese Liberation Army was
    way too extreme?

  3. Great post brother Bri.

    Democratic policymaking is like psychotherapy. It’s not healthy to bottle up emotional issues. It’s healthy to get it out in the open in floor debates, news media and reelection campaigns. Group therapy. Scream therapy. That speeds positive change.

    And the people holding the position held by an enormous majority of voters shouldn’t fear the ultimate outcome of that debate.

    Thissen and Bakk are trying to insulate freshman legislators from rural districts from being painted as being anti-gun. But here’s the flaw of that political theory: Any freshman DFLer is going to be painted as insufficiently pro-gun anyway, because the NRA-ers are hellbent on knocking the DFL out of the legislative majority. That is how the NRA has played the game for decades.

    So denying a free and open debate on the floor doesn’t insulate any legislator from NRA firepower during the campaign season. It just prevents the people with 70% of Minnesotans behind them the opportunity to mobilize their supporters.

    1. I think Thissen in particular might be guilty of too much empathy here. Bakk is probably personally relieved. explaining the difference between sane gun laws and “gun grabbin'” really isn’t that difficult, or too confusing for my high school pals still living in and around Montevideo.

  4. They just found another note from Bucky. “Daddy, its geting hot her in Monti. Goin for swim in lantik or pasifik oshen.” plez put lok on my grage.”

  5. bertram jr. says:

    Susan Rice: 5 Sunday shows, 5 outright lies to America about a “youtube video”.

    H(B)illary: Who gave the stand down order to the military responders to the obvious, planned terrorist attack on our Benghazi embassy which took place on 9/11?

    Barry Soetero: You must be impeached immediately, unless you do the right thing and resign immediately.

    It is simply beyond rational comprehension how the MSM and other delusional libs will keep on “lookin’ the other way” to save these sorry samples of humanity.

    1. bertram my man … just because I’m in a (rare) good mood. Walk us through the Obama administration’s motives for creating the attack and covering it up? Hannity’s got some talking points on this, I presume.

      Also, get me the name of the person who said “stand down” (as in those exact words).

      Oh, and one more thing. Will Issa hold even one hearing on why Bush-Cheney ignored the intelligence warning of an attack prior to the (the original) 9/11?

        1. PM says:

          just remember, the goal is not to create our own hermetically sealed echo chamber/Fox news. We need access to the crazies from time to time.

  6. bertram jr. says:

    If by “cleaning up”, you mean getting back to unassailed worshiping at the altar of abortion, gay marriage, out of control taxation and spending, jihadists, and the greater good of ‘the collective”, clean away.

    You libs really do think you’re smarter than everyonbe else, don’t you?

    1. PM says:

      Ya know, the more I think about it, maybe Hillary wouldn’t be so bad in 2016….that is, if you judge a person by their enemies.

      Seriously, bertie, you need to be careful about avoiding a sympathetic backlash that will help hillary.

    2. PM says:

      Even Morning Joe says that Fox and conservatives are going overboard on Benghazi:


      I think all the attention that is being focussed on benghazi is the result of the Obama Administration being so clean–conservatives have been looking for something, anything to pillory Obama with, and this is the best that they can find….. (quite a change from the last administration, isn’t it?)

  7. PM says:

    The reason why the right is so focussed on Benghazi is that their economic strategy is in complete tatters:


    There is even speculation that the budget could be in surplus (or close to it) by 2016. So, the entire deficit argument goes out the window, and without tax cuts! Can the GOP continue to run on cutting Social Security and Medicare when deficits are not a problem? Suddenly, it looks as if we can have Medicare and Obamacare and Social Security without bankrupting the country…so why do we need the GOP?

    To save us from ….Benghazi!

  8. bertram jr. says:

    ‘She was struck early on by how inane it was that we were believing things that were being spoken on the daily news when what was really happening was something different,’ says Macpherson. ‘I think, to her, that was not only a really rich source of comedic material, but something that needed to be commented on’.”

    Name the person referred to. Hint: She only “comments” if it suits her radical leftist agenda.

    Anyone? Bueller?

  9. Kyle says:

    A plot against Montevideo PD is analogous to the Boston Marathon bombing? Or 9-11 ? Nice try Brian. Muslims 56 rednecks 1.

  10. bertram jr. says:

    Bertram’s deep thoughts of the day:

    There certainly is “no there there”, Barry. You’ve proven it.

    Gay marriage, THE ISSUE, or the “decision” does not legitimize an act that is clearly forbidden in the Bible. Up next, the elementary schools….

    1. PM says:

      yeah, well the bible says you aren’t supposed to eat pork, and i still had bacon this morning….

      Lets face it, all of us are pretty selective about which parts of the bible we pay attention to. We tend to be a lot less selective about the parts we want others to pay attention to, however.

      BTW, bertie, what does the bible have to say about divorce?

  11. PM says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

    The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.

    In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than a hundred journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

    1. PM says:

      The real scandal here, of course, is that the Justice Dept’s actions are most likely legal–they are simply acting under legislation enacted under the Bush Administration, investigating terrorism.

  12. bertram jr. says:

    ‘Where does this stop?’ said State Senator Torrey Westrom, a Republican. This choice, he said, will send Minnesota ‘down that road of taking mother and father out of our recognition of what our children need.’ ”

    Which is exactly what the loony left wants – the children.

  13. bertram jr. says:

    PM: Diets change over the years.

    Biological design and right and wrong, not so much.

  14. bertram jr says:

    What is disheartening is that the left thinks application of “marriage” absolves them of the fundamental issue of the wrongness of their behavior.

    It does not.

    But the screaming, yelling and outward “testifying” proves the deep, DEEP level of their issues.

  15. PM says:

    Dennis Miller tweet: “Re: AP phone records story. Perfect symbiosis between Prez and mainstream media. They’re ass kissers and Obama’s telling them to kiss his ass.”

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