MINNEAPOLIS — One gun owners group is calling for a retraction and full scale apology after a Twin Cities gun-control advocacy group made waves on social media for a controversial statement made on its Facebook page.
The post, which included a Star Tribune article, was written in response to the outpouring of support by the community in wake of the Dar Al Farooq mosque bombing in Bloomington, Minnesota over the weekend.
“Violence based on fear is the root cause of this bombing incident,” the group Protect Minnesota wrote on its Facebook page Tuesday morning. “We hope that groups like Minnesota Gun Rights, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, and Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance can provide good information to the FBI to find and arrest the people responsible.”
“We are outraged by these libelous, defamatory, and false accusations made by Protect Minnesota,“ Bryan Strawser, Chair of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, said in a released statement. “Our organization is committed to the defense of civil rights. This statement and its implications are baseless and offensive. Needless to say, we have no information on this tragic attack.”
The group, Protect Minnesota, has been around for several years. It advocates for “promoting the health and safety of all Minnesotans by preventing gun violence through effective laws, policies and community education. We are not anti-gun; we’re anti-gun violence. We emphasize prevention using a public health model, and seek to make gun ownership in Minnesota safer.”
Alpha News attempted to reach Protect Minnesota on multiple occasions for a statement about the controversial comment, but was met with this response: “I don’t think our director will speak to you guys.”
Rob Doar, Vice President and Political Director of Minnesota Gun Owners called for open dialogue with groups about policy matters, but admonished Protect Minnesota for attacking without cause.
“Sadly, this approach has become the norm under their current leadership,“ Doar said in a statement. “Engaging in false accusations and misinformation following an incident of this magnitude is abhorrent. I sincerely hope that Protect Minnesota will cease this behavior and elevate their level of discourse.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, after backlash from pro-second amendment supporters and inquiry by Alpha News, Protect Minnesota edited their initial Facebook post accusing the pro-second amendment groups of collusion with the mosque bombing and deleted comments questioning the statement.
Minnesota Gun Rights and Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance did not respond in time for publication.