Police Chief Tim Dolan scorns "shoot first" bill: "Don't be naive"
Dolan: Don't shoot first.
All Republican Rep. Tony Cornish wants is for every Minnesotan to be able to shoot first and ask questions later if they find an intruder in their homes, and he's getting damned testy about the top cops from Minnesota's largest cities standing in his way. Why don't they love America like he does?
Because the bill he's pushing is naive, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan says.
First in a press conference and then using MPD's Facebook page, Dolan says people who believe the Cornish bill will make them safer are falling for a lot of emotional hype that isn't backed by actual hard evidence.
The presumption that someone who carries a gun is safer is false. A study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that those without guns are four times safer than those with guns when confronted by an armed assailant. Having and wearing a gun comes with heavy responsibilities and risks. The most well trained people in the United States with guns are your police, and yet we are still targets of those who would commit crimes. We are also very aware that every physical confrontation we have involves at least one gun. Please do not be naïve about guns. If you are extremely not well trained and capable of retraining a weapon while under physical assault, you are much more likely to be shot or killed by the very gun you carry.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman calls the Cornish bill a solution looking a problem. St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith wonders whether the bill makes it open season on cops already working dangerous city streets.
But Cornish, the police chief in Lake Crystal, population 2,549, and who likes to wear little handcuffs for lapel jewelry, has better handle on law enforcement in the big city than the big shots getting under his skin. And he's "totally aggravated to see those chiefs stand up there to violate people's rights. They're just scaring the public."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.