Joel Rosenberg, author of Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota and proprietor of the web site “Jew with a gun,” entered the Hennepin County Office Building to keep an appointment with Sgt. Bill Palmer, a Public Information Officer for the Minneapolis Police Department.
Apparently, Sgt. Palmer noticed Joel’s holster, hand gun, and a big knife.
I presume that Joel being a white Jewish guy (though I don’t quite get the “Jew” theme as he has developed it) was at first politely asked to leave the building, since guns are not allowed there. Now, had he been “Abdul Lincoln, Author of the book ‘Everything you know about packing heat in the Twin Cities’ and proprietor of a web site called ‘Black Guy with a Gun and a Knife’ I suspect there’s a pretty good chance that Sgt. Palmer would have drawn his weapon, forced Mr. Lincoln to the ground, and under certain circumstances, blown him away. I’m not saying anything here about Sgt. Palmer, really, but, well, you get the point. And I admit that’s one of my racially charged digressions, so let’s just leave it at that…
Anyway, Joel Rosenberg was asked by Sgt. Palmer to leave the building and he refused. Palmer pointed out that the building has a sign that says that handguns are banned on the premises, and … this is where it gets interesting … Rosenberg replied that the sign was not “applicable.”
Palmer then disarmed Rosenberg, removed the loaded magazine from the gun and the live round that was in the chamber. Palmer then returned the unloaded weapon to Rosenberg and asked him to leave, police said.
Later, Rosenberg seems to have written an open letter on the Internet to Palmer that reads, in part,
When you stupidly lunged at me to grab my knife and gun, you didn’t watch my hands. One of them was on my back-up gun; the other was within an inch of my back-up knife.
Here’s the letter, on the Family Matters II web site, which is apparently run by Walter Slovotsky, who as far as I can tell is Joe’s lover or something (that’s a little unclear, but whatever, who cares).
Joel Rosenberg is the author of the The Guardians of the Flame Novels. Heard of them?
In his open letter to Sgt. Palmer, Bill exhibits all the usual signs of being both an all out gun not and an Internet yahoo. For instance, consider this list of things that Bill tells Palmer he can do the next time they meet:
1. Chill. If you’ve got issues, bounce them upstairs to your boss. Me carrying at City Hall is an issue that’s well above your pay grade — bounce it upstairs. Maybe you want to get the law changed; take it up with the legislature. I’ll warn you, in advance, that if you try that, you’ll just make a public fool of yourself, but, hell, Bill, at this point, that’d be like wetting a river, given your job and your fool stunt on Friday.
2. Arrest me, soft. If you want to arrest me, Bill, all you’ve got to do is tell me, “Joel, I’m placing you under arrest.” I will, slowly, raise my hands to shoulder level, getting them well away from any weapons that you see or don’t see. You can then hook me up; if you don’t want to use your own cuffs, you can use mine — behind the hip, lefthand side. I won’t resist, Bill; I give you my word. We’ll settle our differences in court, me for whatever fool thing you’ve decided to falsely arrest me for, you for your false arrest.
3. Arrest me at gunpoint. Draw your service weapon, point it at me, after announcing that you’re going to arrest me. Call for backup to secure me. I won’t resist — you have my word, Bill — them or you. Keep your finger off the fucking trigger. You don’t want my blood on your hands, and I won’t have yours on mine.
4. Jump and thump me, MPD style. Yes, I know how you badged boys work; you just handed me all sorts of evidence of that. Again: I won’t resist, and we’ll settle it in court, unless it turns out to be the last possibility.
5. Execute me. I’m a hypertensive diabetic with two degraded disks up against his spine, Bill. I’m easy to break. You can do that, Bill, but you’ll have to live with the consequences. I won’t; I’ll be beyond all pain.
First, Rosenberg is giving Palmer a list. that’s pretty typical … the yahoo has defined all of Palmer’s options and is laying them out, rule like. The list is embedded within and includes lots of phrases that say things like “don’t worry, I’ll never hurt you” but also includes what I like to think of as a “rule trigger” that in this case literally involves a trigger … in item number 3. Palmer is invited to arrest Rosenberg at gunpoint …. putting it another way, Rosenberg is giving Palmer permission to do his job … but embeds in this permission a specific threat: If Palmer touches his own trigger finger, then … then what? It’s a little unclear, but it seems to involve some fantasy that Palmer has of grabbing a police officer’s gun so that it goes off and shoots him (Rosenberg). Yeah, this threat of suicide by cop is probably enough to bring him in and have him committed.
Here’s the interesting and important part. I’ve got a friend, a very good friend, who is a peace loving pacifist progressive liberal kinda person, who recently found out that there is a credible threat in her life. She indicated the other day that she might get a Minnesota carry permit, or at least, take the course for it.
If you look on the web for books, classes, and information about this, you will find web resources put together by various pro-gun organizations and individuals. Mr. Rosenberg is, it turns out, one of the main go-to guys if you want to pursue a carry permit in the Twin Cities. You can buy his book, too.
So I see this incident as proof positive that the line between gun advocates and gun safety related resources and teachers on one hand, and threatening and dangerous gun nuts on the other hand, to be either very thin or simply non existent. Assuming that Joel Rosenberg is a dangerous crazy gun nut. Which I tend to think he is.
According to police, numerous people in the community contacted police expressing concern over Rosenberg and the threat he may pose to public safety.
Rosenberg was arrested at 9:28 o’clock Wednesday morning. He faces a felony charge of dangerous weapon in a courthouse and a misdemeanor charge of contempt of court.
If convicted of both charges, Rosenberg could face a maximum penalty of five years and three months in prison.