A Shooting at the Fair

The State Fair is Minnesota’s most beloved institution. Held over 12 days culminating on Labor Day, it attracts up to, or more than, two million visitors annually. After a shutdown in 2020 and a slowdown last year, the Fair is back in 2022, as big as ever. My organization had a booth at the Fair on Saturday, August 27. The place was thronged, but we noticed something new: metal detectors. You had to pass through one to enter the fairgrounds, and women’s purses were searched. It is one more sign of Minnesota’s crime wave.

Last night the unthinkable happened: someone was shot at the Fair. It took place a little after 10 p.m., in the Midway area, apparently after one or more brawls had broken out. One suspects gang activity, but so far there is no information about who was involved. There were multiple gunshots, but only one person was hit, not fatally. Authorities closed down the Fair early. This video shows fairgoers scattering at the sound of gunfire:

The idea of gunfire at the Fair would be shocking at any time, but this year the context is Minnesota’s rising crime rate, the number one issue in November’s elections. As I wrote here, Republican nominee Dr. Scott Jensen is spending hours at the Fair every day, talking with passersby about the issues, most notably crime. Here he is holding a chart that shows the state’s violent crime rate, with incumbent Governor Tim Walz’s face located at the point where he took office:

The facts are brutally clear, and they can’t be spun. Walz, a left-winger, has been reduced to outright lying about the numbers.

This morning in the gym, I saw a news report from the Fair on last night’s shooting. Tim Walz was on the screen. As usual, he was talking on and on. Or more accurately, yammering. The man never stops. He doesn’t try to communicate with his audience, he tries to talk it into submission. After a long while, he was followed by the head of the State Fair police department. Apparently, how someone got a gun into the Fair is a mystery. It is always a puzzle if you focus on the weapon rather than the criminal.

While the police officer was talking, Walz stood in the background with his head bowed. I had the sudden impression that he looked like a man who knows he has just lost an election.

Call me an optimist. But it is hard to overstate the shock waves that will be sent by a shooting at the Fair.

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