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Continued: Tevlin: Leading gun advocate talks tough, gets taken to task

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 26, 2013 - 9:32 PM

Wilm, who like Cornish worked for the Department of Natural Resources, sees Cornish as “one of those guys who can dish it out, but he can’t take it.”

Rahamim said he’s experienced intimidation from gun advocates at the Capitol, and Cornish’s heated rhetoric plays well with supporters, but does not help the solve the issues.

A gun “is a killing machine, and to make jokes to encourage that kind of attitude is incredibly irresponsible,” said Rahamim, who is 17.

Cornish said he’s asked Capitol security if they’ve ever witnessed intimidation, and they haven’t. Meanwhile, he said one anti-gun activist told the daughter of a pro-gun member, “You’ll grow up to be a better person than your dad.”

As a law officer, Cornish has had to drawn his weapon many times, he said, but has never shot anyone. He says his patrol car was shot at twice. This does not make him think guns in the People’s House is a bad idea, however.

Personally, I think heated political debate and firearms are a terrible mix, but maybe that’s because I would never carry. I’m afraid too many people would start looking like targets. I asked Cornish if carrying a gun made people more aggressive.

“I think it’s just the opposite because they realize the huge responsibility,” he said.

After our chat, Cornish sent me photos of him with a bloody bear and deer.

“Charming,” I said.

Cornish points out that despite, or because of, his tough talk, he ran unopposed last election. That’s because he believes in a kind of “rural” credo.

“We want to protect women from harm. We want to protect babies from abortion, and we want to protect our gun rights,” he said.

“It’s not like I’m this guy out here yelling into the wind.”

 

jtevlin@startribune.com • 612-673-1702

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