COMMUNITY VOICES | Carry permit holder fends off crowbar wielding intruder

Construction worker Craig Paulson was thinking about where to go for lunch as he worked on renovations inside a bank-owned residence in a quiet, tree-lined and well-manicured neighborhood in Uptown on one of the last days in November.His appetite and lunchtime thoughts quickly faded, however, when Paulson, working alone in a back room inside the residence on the 3300 block of Girard Avenue, turned around and found himself faced with a “large” man wielding Paulson’s own three foot crowbar just steps from where he was working.The lifelong construction worker and father of three kids of whom he has sole custody, said that the weather was pleasant that Tuesday morning and that’s why he’d left the door of the residence open and unlocked as he worked. “It’s a nice part of town,” Paulson followed, describing the startling and unexpected encounter with the intruder.Paulson said his crowbar alongside other construction tools had been lying on the floor just inside the front door of the residence where he had been working that morning, and he said that he suspects that the intruder picked up the crowbar when he entered the residence “and carried it throughout the house” until he found Paulson in the back room.Faced with the crowbar wielding intruder who then took a step toward Paulson, a large man himself at over 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, he said he could only imagine what the intentions may be of the intruder whose height “towered over” him, and whom Paulson described as having dilated pupils and acting “like he didn’t know what he was doing.”Instinctively, Paulson – who has a permit-to-carry a firearm and describes himself as a “lifestyle” carrier who has a gun on him “every moment” that he’s awake – reached for and drew his concealed firearm and pointed it at the crowbar wielding intruder.According to Paulson, the suspect then turned and fled dropping the crowbar on the way out of the house. Paulson watched the suspect flee to a parked passenger car about a half a block away where he got into the driver’s side of the vehicle, but Paulson said couldn’t tell if he got into the driver’s seat or the back seat of the vehicle as it sped away.Paulson dialed 911 and reported the incident to police who arrived a short time later and filled out a report calling the incident a “burglary of dwelling,” according to the police report. Paulson said the police told him that it’s “not uncommon” for suspects to enter homes through open doors in the spring and fall looking for items that they can quickly steal while the occupants may be in another part of the house or in the back yard.Despite the fact that police recorded the incident as a burglary, Paulson said he feels like he avoided a “potentially bad situation” that day that could have turned into something much worse. Paulson claims that the responding officer even said they “love the CCW guys.”The Minneapolis Police Department was contacted for this story and was asked whether there has been a pattern of similar incidents in that area or elsewhere in Minneapolis, and they were also asked for information about the frequency of reported incidents of defensive use of firearms by carry permit holders in Minneapolis. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | And I Carry – The real face of permit-to-carry holders in Minnesota

We are faced daily with stories that heighten our awareness of the responsibility we have for our own personal safety and that of our loved ones.As that awareness grows, so does the number of people obtaining a permit-to-carry a firearm for personal safety. Reports from across the country show that record numbers of permits are being issued, and that the demographics of those purchasing firearms and obtaining permits is changing also.As the number of permit holders grows exponentially and they become more visible and prevalent in society, including right here in the Twin Cities, it’s more important than ever to share facts, information and education about Minnesota’s right-to-carry law and about who permit holders are to correct misconceptions and stereotypes. Permit holders are moms and dads, sons and daughters. Permit holders are your neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives. Minnesota’s permit holders have received required training and have passed a criminal background check. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The whole truth and nothing but the truth in Twin Cities media? Not exactly.

You’d think with all of the attention local media gives to baby shooters and to groups holding “gun violence summits,” that they’d clamor to report on a Twin Cities event focused on gun safety to which they were all invited, right? Apparently not. According to an article written earlier this week by national gun rights blogger David Codrea on, the Twin Cities media completely ignored last Saturday’s Minnesota Carry Day & Safety Education Expo hosted at Zylstra Harley Davidson in Elk River. The event was promoted as a self defense and gun safety awareness event sponsored by Alpha Apparel & Promotions and Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum, a community-based information and outreach group. The stated mission of the event:To help educate and inform the community about permit-to-carry holders and Minnesota’s permit-to-carry law. To promote the safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms and provide education about firearm and personal safety practices and products for all. From the article: Despite contacting “about 65 individual reporters … from about 30 different media outlets …[n]ot one showed up or even printed/posted the information about” Saturday’s Minnesota Carry Day and Safety Education Expo in Elk River, the group Twin Cities Gun Owner and Carry Forum announced yesterday in a post-event recap.andThat’s despite the event being actively supported by Sheriff Brott… The sheriff “had three of his deputies on hand at their info table talking to attendees about gun safety,” particularly about options available to gun owners with children.andBy ignoring the expo, the media also ignored [two] “Gun Ownership 101 for Women” workshop[s], which [were each] “attended by about 30 women interested in connecting with resources designed to help women with all aspects of gun ownership.”That seminar featured important contributions from expo co-organizer Gretchen Morris, a local businesswoman and a new gun owner who is currently going through the learning curve of training and getting a carry permit, and who wanted to share her experiences with other women who are considering following suit.”We wanted to reach out to others in the community, especially women, who may be intimidated about seeking information,” Morris stated, because women represent one of the fastest-growing demographics of gun owners. Why would Twin Cities media ignore an event focused on self defense and gun safety, and which was attended by close to 300 people including families and with at least 1/3 of the attendees being women?  “The fact that every media outlet in the Twin Cities ignored this important event focused on gun safety speaks volumes about their agenda, especially in light of the fact that every local media outlet gave coverage two weeks ago to our local gun grabber group (Protect Minnesota), that held a fake ‘gun violence summit,’ but excluded all of us from attending when we sent our RSVP’s.”andThat the press would ignore an event devoted to safe gun ownership with special emphasis on keeping children safe puts to the lie the contention that those who would impose more restrictive gun laws do so with gun safety being their motivation. Here was an event put on by people with actual qualifications that was designed around the concept of true and informed gun safety, one that even had law enforcement support, and the press could (would) not be bothered to inform the public.This, of course, is but one more in a long line of documented examples where the fiction of a supposedly unbiased press has been shown to be a myth, and worse, a fraud. Continue Reading