(ANOKA) – Anoka County statehouse representative Cal Bahr recently drew criticism from a variety of government leaders–including Gov. Tim Walz–over comments he made at a 2nd Amendment rights rally.
At that rally, Bahr, who represents District 31B in Anoka County at the capital, told the crowd “There’s a lot of us in this room that have had enough, and it’s time to start riding herd on the rest of these people that want to take your rights away from you. They will not go quietly into the good night. They need to be kicked to the curb and stomped on and run over a few times.”
The comments came during a pro-gun rights rally at the State Capitol on February 23. The next day, Gov. Walz put out the a statement on Facebook:
“This week, a Minnesota state legislator made comments encouraging violence against Minnesotans who support gun safety measures, saying they ‘need to be kicked to the curb and stomped on and run over a few times.’
Encouraging violence endangers our communities and undermines our democracy, particularly when the statement is made by an elected official. While heated debates are a healthy part of the political process, this type of language is unacceptable and demands condemnation from people of all political parties. It risks inciting violence, drives people farther into ideological corners, and tears at the fabric of One Minnesota.
There will be intense discussion about gun violence prevention this coming week. Minnesotans on all sides of the issue will be at the Capitol, including parents that worry for their children’s safety at school, responsible gun owners, and people who have lost loved ones to gun violence. I urge the legislature to foster a productive conversation where everyone feels safe to make their voice heard.“
The next day, Bahr’s office put out a statement to clarify his remarks, saying the “they” he was referring to that needed to be “kicked to the curb” was in fact two separate pieces of legislation currently going through the capitol that would tighten gun rights, and not people who support such measures.
Here is Bahr’s statement in full:
“Madam Speaker and Members,
Over the weekend, some concern has arisen regarding a statement I made at a 2nd Amendment rally. Several members of this body, and members of the media, have misunderstood the intent and meaning of my words. In my statement, the meaning of the word “They” referred to two proposed bills, not people. The intended focus of my remarks was on two proposed bills which are designed to strip away the God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of self-protection. My statement was not in any way directed towards people. Instead, my comments were focused on the legislation that would restrict the rights of Minnesotans.
I am sorry for the confusion that has taken place, and I regret not being clear in my comments. I do not condone violence. There was no intention of violence in my statement. As I said at the conclusion of my speech, I urge everyone engaged in this debate to do so peacefully. I have encouraged Minnesota’s 2nd Amendment supporters to participate fully and peacefully in this conversation. I care deeply about the 2nd Amendment just as I care deeply about all of our constitutional rights. I thank you for your time and encourage anyone to contact me if they’d like to talk further about this issue.”