Walz: Statewide 'swatting' shows need for gun safety, mental health funding

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

ROCHESTER — Gov. Tim Walz has again called for a gun safety hearing in the Minnesota Senate following a series of “runover” incidents at schools across the state on Wednesday.

Walz said her 15-year-old son, who attends high school in Mankato, Minn., came home traumatized after police responded to a false call reporting an active shooter at the school on Wednesday.

The police intervened at Lourdes high school around 10 a.m. for a report of an active shooter.

“For four years now, I’ve been asking the Senate to hold a hearing on guns and safety and the smart changes we need to make,” Walz said. “I was very specific about what I said – I asked them to hold a hearing – to start having 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.

He stopped at the Gray Duck Theater and the 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 gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

After that, Walz spoke to a group of teachers gathered at the Olmsted County DFL headquarters.

Walz said the Republican-controlled state Senate is standing between Minnesotans and family leave, a hearing on gun safety and securing 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 Olmsted DFL office that Wednesday’s incidents highlight the need for more mental health resources in public schools.

“These are issues that the legislature needs to talk about,” Walz said. “Not telling us our curriculum is bad and banning books that our educators and parents can access and need to access, not trying to fund at a time when we need more health counselors mental.”

Governor Tim Walz

Governor 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, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

He added that three more seats are needed to swing the Senate to a DFL majority and pointed to the races here in Rochester as key to that goal.

DFL Minnesota Senate candidates Aleta Borrud, who is running against Republican incumbent Carla Nelson for Seat 24, and Liz Boldon, who is running for Seat 25 against Republican Ken Navitsky, attended both events.

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

Walz visited the Gray Duck Theater, which is set to become a non-profit theater, and the nearby Garden Party Books. He said the two independent businesses are key amenities for thriving and engaging communities.

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

“It’s to think it would leave us behind everywhere else in the world,” Walz said. He noted that Xcel Energy, Fortune 500 companies and research firms have endorsed the plan to net the state’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050. He said the plan is an economic opportunity that corresponds to the wishes of the people of Minnesota.

“When you look to 2050, of course there’s going to be more going on, but it’s the people that are stopping us from even installing electric car chargers,” Walz said.

MORE PHOTOS FROM GOV. WALZ’S TOUR OF ROCHESTER:

Governor Tim Walz

Governor 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, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz gives a tour of Garden Party Books of owner Andy Smith, who is also a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 25B, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin


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