Shooting Straight: Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to "Days of the Gun"

What a refreshing change—a reporter who actually goes to the trouble of investigating the facts surrounding an issue! Too bad our "mainstream" newspapers have never taken the time to do anything remotely approaching the efforts of City Pages writer Matt Snyders. Over the years I personally have invited numerous reporters to attend my carry-permit classes, or just learn to shoot a handgun—surely they would want to at least get a smattering of understanding of such a significant issue. I was wrong. Then again, it is just such lazy (and often biased) journalism that has led to much of the public's misunderstanding of issues related to guns and gun owners, including the persistence of the "gun show loophole" myth. Good job, Matt.

John Caile

When I saw this week's cover of City Pages I was a little worried that CP would once again put a spin on an issue just to fit a misinformed public's beliefs regarding guns. I was greatly relieved to read this article—just one amid all the other opposing media outlets—that actually painted the vast majority of gun owners and dealers exactly as they are: law-abiding citizens who believe that their right to freedom begins with the ability to defend themselves. I am always surprised that those who oppose gun rights forget that a government that can take away this right can also take away other liberties: freedom of speech, religion, "freedom to disagree in general," etc. The right to defend oneself is what protects our other civil liberties. Thank you, City Pages, for not twisting the facts, but presenting gun owners, myself included, in a very fair, nondiscriminatory manner.


Kudos for the honest and entertaining article; you tell it like it is. Gun shows are filled with law-abiding, responsible citizens.


I've bagged on Matt Snyders's writing pretty consistently in the past, but fair is fair: This is an excellent, well-balanced piece.


We'll see how long City Pages/Village Voice Media lets this article sit on the front page of the website. I bet that "management" will be so hacked off at the tone of the article that they will push it off faster than a wet towel on a waterboarding subject.


Nice article, but slightly misleading. I recently walked into a gun shop and, ignoring the time spent choosing my firearm, walked out with one in under 30 minutes. I have no permit, nor have I taken any classes. The difference? It was a shotgun. Not all firearms are handguns, and in Minnesota there is no permit required for shotguns or rifles. However, there is still an NICS check. I was proud of my state that day, that a regular citizen with no criminal record could still keep, and consequently bear, his arms.

Jeremy Bartol

I am a gun owner, a permit holder, a libertarian, a legal scholar, and I memorize Lil Wayne lyrics for fun; I am familiar with all the sides of the gun-control issue. I appreciate your honest look at the so-called gun loophole in Minnesota; visceral, sensational campaigns about a nonexistent loophole will just result in the further over-criminalization of gun ownership, the further over-identification of black and Hispanic males as illegitimate gun owners, and will only empower the government while disempowering the people. Sensationalizing and criminalizing gun ownership does not decrease gun access for "undesirables." Irony is a cruel task-master: The same bleeding-heart liberals who want to "help" minorities also want to send every black guy in Minnesota with a gun to prison and take away his right to vote, for life.


Some problems with this article. There is no gun show "loophole." The name is completely wrong. In Minnesota, there are gun sales through dealers, which almost all gun show sales are, and private sales. Both kinds can be done anywhere, with or without gun shows. What anti-gun people really want to do is ban private sales everywhere, and make all sales go through dealers, at greater expense to all parties. But they hide it in "gun show loophole" rhetoric. What's more, almost no crime guns ever come from gun shows here, so it's really nothing whatever to do with crime.

Second, this article goes from one paragraph explaining how concealing a gun is neither a requirement nor a crime in Minnesota to calling a permit to carry "conceal and carry." There is no permit to conceal here; if you can carry legally, you can do so openly or concealed, it's your choice. Our permits are not only for private citizens, but are also used to allow armed private security to carry. (Police, of course, need no permit.)