As the day dawned on Monday with the Minnesota Legislature having a full plate of things to do, one man (actually nine of them; more on that in a moment) remained strangely aloof, sucking noisily and contentedly on the barrel of a tiny pistol.
Who is this man, you ask?
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 144.651, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:
Subd. 16a. Data collection prohibited; firearms. Health care providers must not inquire or authorize any designee to inquire of a patient or resident regarding the person's use, possession, or access to firearms or firearms ammunition.
And you thought Shoot First was a bad idea.
You really have to wonder whether some of the nine Republican authors (which include Mark Busgens) ever had an encounter with a "health care provider" who observed, "Gee, you seem really depressed; I'm afraid you may harm yourself. Do you have access to a gun?" And were offended by the question.
Jim Abler is one of the chief authors, too; he's a chiropractor. Under the law, Abler wouldn't be able to ask a patient – after noticing a lump under the patient's armpit – whether his discomfort may stem in part from the fact he is CARRYING A GUN.
Let's not forget John Hoppe, Assistant Majority Leader; that's assistant to Kurt Zellers who, it perhaps goes without saying, COULD USE SOME HELP RIGHT NOW.
Okay, let's be frank. All nine of these guys are like jake turkeys, nowhere near the action and looking for something to do. This, apparently, is the best they could come up with.
Any residential facility dealing with patients with mental health issues, the Alzheimer's intake department, the paramedic trying to assess an agitated individual, or a triage nurse who first talks to a gang member who walks into HCMC with an apparent gunshot wound not be able to ask about gun possession under this bill.
This is, it also goes without saying, completely – criminally – insane. It is also pretty good evidence of where the heads of the bill's authors, like Shoot First aficionado Tony Cornish, really are.
A thump of the tail to Alec.