Walz: Statewide ‘swatting’ shows need for gun safety, mental health funding – Post Bulletin


ROCHESTER — Gov. Tim Walz called for another gun safety hearing in the Minnesota Senate after a series of “swatting” incidents at schools across the state on Wednesday.

Walz said his 15-year-old son, who attends high school in Mankato, Minnesota, came home traumatized after police responded to a fake call Wednesday reporting an active gunman at the school.

Police called Lourdes High School around 10 a.m. to report an active shooter there.

“For four years I’ve been asking the Senate to hold a hearing on guns and security and smart changes that we need to make,” Walz said. “I said very specifically what I said – I asked them to hold a hearing – to start a conversation and they won’t even do that.”

Walz, who is running for re-election in November, made two campaign stops in Rochester on Wednesday afternoon.

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He stopped at the Gray Duck Theater and Garden Part Books owned by husband and wife Andy Smith and Anna Smith. Andy Smith is running for Minnesota House District 25B.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Afterwards, Walz spoke to a group of teachers gathered at Olmsted County DFL headquarters.

Walz said the Republican-controlled state Senate stands between Minnesotans and family vacations, a gun safety hearing and secure abortion rights for women.

“I feel like the Senate is the reason Minnesotans can’t have nice things,” he said.

Walz told the group of about three dozen people at the DFL office in Olmsted that Wednesday’s incidents underscore the need for more mental health resources in public schools.

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“These are issues that the legislature needs to talk about,” said Walz. “They don’t tell us our curriculum is wrong and ban books that our educators and our parents have access to and need access to, and aren’t trying to disappoint them at a time when we need more mental health counselors need health.”

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of the Gray Duck Theater and Coffeehouse from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

He added that three more seats were needed to bring the Senate to a DFL majority, noting that the races here in Rochester were key to that goal.

DFL candidates for the Minnesota Senate such as Aleta Borrud, who is up against incumbent Republican Carla Nelson for the District 24 seat, and Liz Boldon, who is up against Republican Ken Navitsky for the District 25 seat, attended both events .

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Jeff Ettinger, DFL candidate for the 1st congressional district, introduced Walz at the second event.

Walz has toured the Gray Duck Theatre, which is on the way to becoming a non-profit theatre, and the neighboring Garden Party Books. He said both independent companies are important amenities for thriving, interesting communities.

Walz was also responding to criticism from his GOP challenger Scott Jensen, who spoke to supporters in Rochester on Sunday, that Walz’s climate plan was unrealistic.

“That’s a thought that would leave us anywhere in the world,” said Walz. He noted that Xcel Energy, Fortune 500 companies and research firms have supported a plan to reduce the state’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. He said the plan is an economic opportunity that meets the desires of Minnesotans.

“Obviously, as you look ahead to 2050, more things are going to happen, but these are the people who are even stopping us from putting in electric car chargers,” Walz said.

MORE PHOTOS BY GOV. WALZ VISIT TO ROCHESTER:

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of the Gray Duck Theater and Coffeehouse from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz receives a tour of Garden Party Books from owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin





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