Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Author Joel Rosenberg Arrested

Russ Pitts | 20 Dec 2010 20:15
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Influential fantasy and mystery writer Joel Rosenberg is currently embroiled in a labyrinthine legal battle versus the City of Minneapolis, stemming from an alleged felony weapons possession charge. His supporters and fans have established a defense fund and are seeking donations.

As an author of fantasy and mystery novels, one wonders if Joel Rosenberg doesn't feel as if he's been sucked into the plot of one of his own works - if his truth is now stranger than his fiction. The Guardians of the Flame series, the work for which Rosenberg is most well-known, tells the story of a group of college-age role-playing gamers who get magically transported into the world of their game, and realizing they've been given an opportunity to be a part of something larger than themselves, decide to stay. They devote their lives to fighting injustice and freeing their fantasy world's enslaved inhabitants, just like their characters had been doing.

The novels are engaging not only in how they present a rich, immersive fantasy world, but in how subtly and masterfully Rosenberg uses the plight of these otherworlders to unvarnish some of the ugly truths about our own society. As with some of the best art, Guardians of the Flame is as much social commentary as it is entertainment. In his books, you can see the first stirrings of nationalism and pride that would later drive the author to take on the mantle of advocate and fight for the very freedoms he believes make our own world most worth fighting for.

Rosenberg was arrested in December in Minneapolis on the accusation of illegal possession of a firearm, among other charges. The arrest came over a month after Rosenberg was accosted by police for carrying a firearm on the premises of the Minneapolis City Hall, which they claim is illegal.

The problem: According to Rosenberg, it isn't illegal to carry a firearm at the Minneapolis City Hall. And he should know; in addition to being a fiction author, he's also the author of a number of non-fiction books, one of which is entitled Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota. He's also a 2nd Amendment Rights Advocate and a personal firearm safety instructor in his spare time.

While the facts are still being sorted on this one, Rosenberg and many of his supporters attest that, in addition to holding a permit for the possession and carrying of his gun, he specifically informed the county Sheriff's office that he would be carrying it, the critical step many say grants him the right to carry just about anywhere, including City Hall. And Rosenberg isn't the only one coming out against the Minneapolis Police Department on this one. His attorney, David Gross, is the man who helped co-write the firearm law police allege Rosenberg broke. If there's a lawyer alive that can get his case dismissed, it's probably Gross.

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