Was Minnesota House candidate’s ‘2nd Amendment’ online comment a threat?

Was Minnesota House candidate's '2nd Amendment' online comment a threat?

Kenneth Bush ROCHESTER, Minn. — What started out as a run-of-the-mill political debate on Facebook took a turn Wednesday, Sept. 23, when a candidate for the Minnesota Legislature from Rochester made reference to the Second Amendment in a message directed to a critic. Some online readers took the message to be a threat. Kenneth Bush is running as the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 25B, covering much of the north half of Rochester. His opponent is the DFL-endorsed Liz Bolden. Abe Sauer, a local business owner who frequently comments online about Rochester-area politics, made a Facebook post critical of a comment Bush made this week in a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters. According to Sauer, Bush mischaracterized a local political appointment, saying he served on the "planning commission here in Rochester” as “the chairman of the board.” Bush is a member of the Olmsted County Planning Advisory Commission, not the Rochester Planning and Zoning Commission. Sauer’s post set off a debate, the kind many people may recognize from their own dealings on social media. But then Bush wrote: “2nd amendment buddy. stay away from me abe sauer.” That set off further debate, in which several people following the discussion characterized Bush’s comment, referencing the constitutional right to bear arms, as a threat. Sauer doesn’t live in District 25B and can’t vote in the race. He said he didn’t take Bush’s comment seriously, but did say he feels it demonstrates that Bush lacks the temperament for […]

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