As we’ve been discussing here at Bearing Arms, the slender Democrat majority in the Minnesota state legislature is taking aim at legal gun owners by including a “red flag” law as well as a universal background check/backdoor gun registration scheme in their omnibus “public safety” bill. But while the anti-gunners in the legislature are directing their political fire at law-abiding citizens, they’re turning a blind eye to violent criminals.
The most recent example? A 17-year-old accused of murdering a beloved husband, father, and youth hockey coach earlier this month, who had been sentenced to just a few months of probation last year after trying to rob a fellow student at gunpoint inside a St. Paul high school restroom.
In that video, you can see the armed assailant attempting to gain access to and rob a fellow student of his cell phone. There’s a pretty intense scuffle as a witness videotapes the encounter on Snapchat.
It is not clear if it is an actual firearm or a BB gun. Regardless, the teen, who we are not naming at this point, was charged and eventually pled guilty to aggravated robbery in that case. He was discharged from probation and supervision four months ago, in January.
On Wednesday, Saint Paul police executed a search warrant at his family’s home on Reaney Avenue East where the suspect was taken into custody on suspicion of gunning down [Michael] Brasel when the dad and beloved hockey coach interrupted a car break-in and confronted the armed teen.
“This is a senseless, senseless, violent crime not too far down the road,” explained former Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “I am a resident of the city now, not the chief anymore. But these are my neighbors. These are community members. This has a devastating impact on the community, all the communities who love this city.”
Axtell, who now his own public safety consultancy The Axtell Group, spoke to FOX 9’s Paul Blume broadly about the juvenile justice system, and the consequences for young offenders when it comes to guns.
“Time and time again, the young people continue to re-offend,” said Axtell. “They are getting caught with a gun in the commission of a crime. Stolen guns, young people who shouldn’t have their hands on guns. Again, using these guns to solve their disputes and commit crimes in our city. That should not have to happen more than once or twice before the criminal justice system says enough is enough.”
It’s not just the Twin Cities either. A 17-year-old from Duluth who was charged last year with killing another teenager over a dispute about a theft was also on probation for bringing a gun to school, and that wasn’t the first time that Corey Devon Young was accused of violating the state’s gun laws.
Court records show that Young was placed on probation just five days before the shooting, after admitting in juvenile court to bringing to a pistol to school at the Area Learning Center in early May. He had also been charged in April 2021 with bringing ammunition to East High School.
… Young had just been sentenced June 27 to six months of supervised probation after pleading guilty to possessing a 9 mm pistol and ammunition on school property. He completed six months of supervised probation last year after authorities found ammo in his backpack at school, resulting in the dismissal of that charge.
How on earth did this teen get six months probation for bringing a gun and ammunition to his high school when he’d already received the same sentence a year earlier; something that clearly had no impact on the juvenile’s decision-making.
Perhaps more importantly, why are the Democrats in charge of the Minnesota legislature targeting legal gun owners while ignoring the growing juvenile crime crisis across the state? The omnibus public safety bill contains several new infringements on the Second Amendment rights of Minnesotans, but almost nothing to address juvenile crime save for creating juvenile treatment homes in Ramsay County. Even that isn’t likely to make a dent in juvenile crime, since any treatment center will most likely be used to divert troubled teens away from detention or intensive supervision when those are more appropriate options.
Michael Brasel wasn’t murdered in the driveway of his home because Minnesota’s gun laws are “too lax” or lacking in common sense. He was killed because the criminal justice system failed to deliver justice or consequences when a teen brought a gun to his high school and robbed a fellow student in a bathroom. We’re told all the time what a serious offense that is, yet the teenager was given a sweetheart plea deal and sent on his way.
That seems to be the status quo for kids caught with guns on school campuses in the state. It’s the legal gun owners in the state that the DFL is worried about, while they keep giving teens like Brasel’s accused killer a slap on the wrist or a kiss on the cheek when they’re hauled into court and plead guilty to serious crimes. As KARE-TV recently reported, since 2020 there have been more than 200 juveniles charged in the Twin Cities area with serious violent felonies, and 75% of them are repeat offenders. Clearly the status quo isn’t working, but criminalizing the lawful exercise of our Second Amendment rights is going to take the state further away from real public safety… and several more steps down the dead-end road to gun prohibition.