Weekend Quick Hits: Gun Nuts Exploit Tragedy, Ken Miller, CI-108

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The San Francisco Chronicle and the Livingston Enterprise seem to think the spectacle of a former legislator running a roadblock and reaching for a gun is newsworthy, but as far as I can see, none of the state’s larger media outlets think it’s worth mentioning. Joel Boniek’s arrest is certainly newsworthy—on its own and as evidence of the continuing radicalization of Montana’s Republican Party.

Nationally, that radicalization has led lifelong Republican Michael Stafford to write an excellent piece explaining why he had to leave the Republican Party. He writes, “In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner… it offers a dystopian vision of our future- a harsher, crueler and more merciless America starkly divided between the riders, and the ridden.”

Ken Miller is asking a District Court to reverse the Commissioner of Political Practices. I guess Miller would like to find an explanation for his trouncing in the Republican primary, but fluorescent shirts can’t vote.

It took less that 48 hours for some of Montana’s leading intellectual critics to exploit the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado for their uncompromising pro-gun positions. Champ Edmunds suggested another gun would have prevented the shootings, TEA Party leader Eric Olsen found a way to blame President Obama,  and legislative candidate Gary Marbut managed to smear the police and engage in some amateur psychology.

Would it too much to let grieving families bury their dead before trying to exploit a tragedy?

In the excellent news that the anti-woman “personhood” amendment  CI-108 failed to gain enough signatures to make the ballot, came this argument from Annie Bukacek, the leader of the group driving its passage: “the group “will continue the fight, and then some.” It is now focusing on the promotion of “uncompromising pro-life candidates.”  I’d watch the candidates they endorse—since the public has absolutely rejected their extremist position, let’s not give them a Legislature that will do an end-run around the public, which clearly does not believe in their agenda.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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Rob KaileyMattlizardLarry Kralj, Environmental RangersMoorcat Recent comment authors
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Turner
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Turner

My opponent is the Republican incumbent in Senate District 36, Debby Barrett. She is an “uncompromising pro-life candidate” who voted for all the “personhood” bills in the last session and who will no doubt get substantial support from Annie Bukecek’s group.

I’m firmly pro-choice. I plan to send out a mailer just before the absentee ballots go out that will clearly show the difference between the two of us on this issue.

I’m afraid it’ll be a very pricey mailer. Hint, nudge. If anyone wants to help me out, go to http://www.turnerforsenatedistrict36.com.

JC
Guest

“Would it too much to let grieving families bury their dead before trying to exploit a tragedy?”

So it’s okay to exploit tragedy after the dead are buried?

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Guest
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

That’s a good read, JC.

Pogie
Guest

There’s the way James linked to his post, and there’s the way you linked to yours.

Maybe you should think about that.

JC
Guest

Maybe not.

James Conner
Guest

My comments on the “they should have been able to shoot back” crowd are up at http://www.flatheadmemo.com.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Guest
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

James, your response to the shoot back crowd is priceless. I wonder if any of these dilholes has actually experienced tear gas before. Hell, you can’t even breathe OR open your eyes! Yet these morons want you to use your Ruger LCP .380 to take the shooter out! Ain’t happenin’. They’re livin’ in la la land. And I say that as a guy who has a concealed carry. It’s damn HARD to carry concealed with anything bigger than my Ruger LCP. Anything else is too unwieldy. The shooter stacked the deck big time in his favor. No one was gonna… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

While I completely agree with the comments about the pro-gun lobby, the very same arguments can be made about the anti-gun lobby. EVERYONE is trying to make political hay with this situation – to which I say to all of them… “Shame on you”. The calls for gun control have been just as strident as the pro-gun lobbys and they are both wrong. When we should be having a discussion about guns is when there aren’t bodies laying on the ground or wounded people in the hospital. Jim Wright makes some pretty strong observations about this situation on his blog,… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“When we should be having a discussion about guns is when there aren’t bodies laying on the ground or wounded people in the hospital.” Right. Just wait a little longer. Let the gun lobby get a little larger and we’ll make sure their vast amounts of cash keep influencing our citizens and representatives with their advertisements and lobbying. That’s probably the best idea. We’ll just wait other 18 months or so until some other nut-job wastes another dozen lives and bodies and say the same thing allll over again. I own guns. I like guns. But I really want to… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

First, Matt, if the majority of citizens were with you on this, we wouldn’t be discussing it. The “assault weapons” ban died in 2004 because it was A) ineffective and B) wasn’t supported by the majority of voters. Second, no medical records have been found that even begins to indicate that this wacko was a wacko. Hell, he was a grad student at a neurological institute. The only criminal record he had was a speeding ticket. NOTHING you are proposing would have made a damn bit of difference in this instance. As far as the “Assault weapons ban”… that is… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I’m not sure I’m as far off base as you think I am. I offer that you’re just as emotional over the issue, cherry picking your own facts to suite your own argument. You love shooting and guns and don’t want to be scrutinized either. I can empathize. The reason we as a country aren’t talking about keeping track of firearm magazine and ammo sales more is because of the shear amount of money the gun lobby throws out to keep our politicians heads turned and the consumers (voters) heads stuck in the sand. I do think that extra scrutiny… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

You sure do make a lot of assumptions about me in that reply. Sadly none of them are backed up by either logic or fact. Am I a gun enthusist? I guess it depends on your definition. I like guns. I shoot guns. I work on guns. I am both ex-military and an ex-law enforcement officer. I have multiple trophies and awards for shooting (both firearms and bows). I guess that qualifies as a gun enthusist. Sadly, you seem to connect being a gun enthusist to being a nutcase like Marbut. That is your failing, not mine. There are thousands… Read more »

lizard
Guest
lizard

dysfunction.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Please lay out your solution then. How do we stop this from happening?
Is this sort of shooting acceptable?
I’ve more to say to counter your last comment, but an answer to the above question would be interesting to hear from you.

Moorcat
Guest

“Please lay out your solution then.” Talk about a loaded question… My solution to what? People who shoot other people? The murder rate in the US? What do you want me to solve? “How do we stop this from happening?” I am assuming, by context, that you are refering to the shootings in Aurora and you are not going to like my answer, kitten. The simple answer is – YOU AREN’T. Get this through your thick skull… NOTHING will stop crazy people from doing crazy things. The worst serial killer on record operated in a country that has less freedom… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Look, I understand a deranged person will find a way to do evil, no matter what impediments stand in the way. I get that. But, it just seems to me that we could make it a touch harder on them when it comes to firearms. We make it hard to buy explosives (granted there are certainly ways around that) for the very reason they are dangerous and wouldn’t want them in the wrong hands. I just can’t see how adding a few more hurdles for items we consider easy to obtain now – like larger magazines for semi-autos and mass… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

If I “belittle” you in this conversation, it is because you made some very belittling statements about me. You know nothing about me. Period. I am not Malbut, I think Malbut and his ilk are idiots and do not fit the stereotype you have attempted repeatedly to put me in. This reply is the first one you have made that makes any sense. Unfortunately for you, you are still attempting to attack the problem with the delusion that the guns are the problem. Simply put, they aren’t. It doesn’t matter what guns, knives, tools, cars, bombs, chemicals etc are available.… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hey I appreciate all of your points. I see where you’re coming from – we cannot stop the tide. We might disagree, but you make a good argument for your case. I so happen to think we could do something, but that’s my opinion. I do want to address a few of your points – as I want to clear up some issues/misconceptions, you’re in quotes: “Once again, trying to address the violence inherent in our American society by addressing gun ownership is treating the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.” Moorcat, I appreciate your perspective. You could… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

The assault weapons ban is exactly the kind of ban I was talking about and both you have Don have advocated for it. You are, in fact, trying to take guns away (at least that is the perception that such legislation will generate). This isn’t opinion, this is proven fact. That kind of mindset does NOTHING to reduce gun crime. NOTHING. What I find illogical (not delusional) is that everything you have advocated so far is either too costly as to be unenforcable or simply ineffective. Please show me where ANY of the measures you have advocated for would even… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“In fact, I was quite clear on three seperate actions that have been proven to either reduce the availability of guns to those willing to use them in illegal actions or to aid law enforcement in capturing those that do use guns in illegal actions.” I’ve not seen those suggestions in this thread, but I must have overlooked them, please re-iterate. Sorry. “A few American manufacturers are already test firing their weapons before sale and those records are available to law enforcement (or were) in the attempt solve gun crime. ” Well, that’s good thing after someone commits a crime.… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

First, Matt, if you were actually interested in having a conversation, you need to do your own work. My above comment where I listed three seperate items that would either reduce availability of weapons to questionable people or aid law enforcement in the investigation of gun crime is still there and still readable by you. I will not repeat myself because you are too lazy to look for yourself. Second, I take a great deal of exception with this line and it clearly indicates to me that you have no interest in a reasonable discussion – “Well, that’s good thing… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“I will not repeat myself because you are too lazy to look for yourself.” Sorry to offend I simply didn’t find it in your reams of replies. I just wanted a summation. “Second, I take a great deal of exception with this line and it clearly indicates to me that you have no interest in a reasonable discussion” Can you answer anything without being a total asshole? “Get this through your head – if you can’t than there is no hope of us ever reaching any common ground – YOU CANNOT PREVENT THE SITUATION THAT HAPPENED IN COLORADO.” Get this… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

Ok, Matt, since you are so militant about it, please explain to me how the situation in Colorado could have been reasonably prevented. I have explained in length why it couldn’t… your turn. As far as alternative to “assault weapons” I have given you two accepted alternatives – semi auto rifles and “black” rifles. I prefer the former as it is accurate as well as specific. I did “discuss” your ideas from both a practical and a logic standpoint. You failed to even respond to that discussion other than the generic “we will agree to disagree”. That is simply crap.… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“Ok, Matt, since you are so militant about it, please explain to me how the situation in Colorado could have been reasonably prevented. I have explained in length why it couldn’t… your turn.” See, this is where we have a problem. You immediately dismiss any idea I have as unreasonable. You don’t contemplate it in the slightest – you toss it in the dumpster without a second thought because violates YOUR world view. But in the interest to humor you and just complete this discussion I’ll take the bait, but I think I’m done kicking the can… Ideas for prevention,… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

“You immediately dismiss any idea I have as unreasonable. You don’t contemplate it in the slightest – you toss it in the dumpster without a second thought because violates YOUR world view.” OK Matt, let me make something perfectly clear here. I did not “dismiss” your ideas without thought. I made it very clear why those ideas were both unworkable and unreasonable. By doing so, I made it clear that I considered them and based on both my knowledge and my experience, I found them to be unworkable. That said, let’s take each of your “maybe” ideas on their merits.… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

One last thing- you’ve no idea my background or my association with firearms. I grew up on a farm and shot my fair share of .22 bricks … Reloaded ammo, etc.
I still stand by my comments, even though you belittle my experience and knowledge in the subject. I have plenty, even if I didn’t clean and oil my guns this evening. So do me the favor of not blowing me off immediately, thanks.

Moorcat
Guest

See that makes your previous comments even harder to understand, not easier (and for the record, it has been at least two weeks since I had to clean any of my guns because I have been too damn busy with my brother’s birthday and work on my house to get the range – sorry to disappoint you). You claim to have “shot [your] fair share of .22 bricks” but you advocate that anyone purchasing more than 500 rounds should be on a watch list. If you have fired a brick of .22 rounds, you know that a brick is either… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

I still wager you’re as emotionally charged as I am over this. I choose to admit it. I’m not sure if you will.” I have already admitted the extent that I am emotionally charged over this situation. You have already lost your bet. Let me explain in very real terms why this situation (and especially your dysfunction about this situation) means nothing to me. 1) Nothing that comes out of this situation will effect me in the least. I already own guns – including three rifles you consider “black” rifles – and no matter how strident or effective your political… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

You side-stepped the question I asked. What is your solution to prevent another shooting like this one? Or is this sort of thing acceptable in a gun friendly nation?

Moorcat
Guest

I didn’t sidestep anything, kitten. I answered your three questions as a reply to you asking them.

Matt
Guest
Matt

By emotionally charged (for you), I mean in the context of gun control or any serious modification to the current laws on the books. Again, I await an answer to my question above.

Moorcat
Guest

I would venture to say I know a little more about what laws are currently on the books (you see, it is part of my FFL licensing). I think I did a pretty good job of addressing why I am not emotionally charged. I am sorry you failed to comprehend the answer.

James Conner
Guest
Moorcat
Guest

Just as an interesting datum point for this discussion, The BATF is reporting that gun sales (as indicated by applications for background checks) have increased in the last year exponencially. In Indiana, in 2010, there were 187,000 applications submitted. In 2011, there were 346,000. that is a HUGE jump in applications. Now the yearly figures have not been released, nor have the breakdown figures been released but it appears that handgun sales is the area that is increasing most rapidly. Since the number of hunting licenses applied for has decreased in the same amount of time, one can only assume… Read more »

Rob Kailey
Guest

Dammit! See what I miss when I’m out playing in the big blue room …

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