Many excuses have been proffered for the Minnesota legislature’s repeated failure to pass meaningful gun legislation for the state; most have been completely deflated.
First is the notion that the Minnesota legislators were faced with too many ‘big ticket’ items on the floor in 2013. A comparison with states that had similarly packed schedules of issues to be voted on proves that contention to be false. Maryland and Colorado legislators tackled gay marriage in addition to gun-control laws and both issues were successful. Other major propositions passed in both states making this contention not probable.
Next there was an excuse that the majority of gun control supporters are minority women, a group that is not sufficiently represented in the state’s congress. This suggestion does hold a little water! Minorities are significantly underrepresented in Minnesota’s legislature, but when compared to Colorado, a state with a similar racial makeup, which passed anti-gun laws, any credence given to this reason dissolves.
Some argue that due to the fresh occurrence of the mass theater shooting in Aurora, the Colorado legislature was forced to pass a meaningful law dealing with gun violence. This idea is can be shot down by the argument that other states that did not suffer a mass shooting did pass laws and Minnesota who suffered two such events in the last 10 years, did not.
More plausible of a reason, is that the leaders of the Democratic Party in Minnesota have not made gun-control laws a priority. In other states where such laws have passed, dedicated party leaders have stressed the importance and urgency of the issue. Party leaders claim that even if they did fight for legislative votes on a gun bill, they would not be able to capture the votes. Minnesota’s congress is made up of a disproportionate number of representatives from rural more conservative districts. Supporters remain hopeful for next year’s vote, but the issues that clouded previous votes remain unresolved.