Montana Politics

Note to Self

Do not, I repeat, do not stop to help a car with 15 License plates on the side of the road:

Proctor Republican Rep. Janna Taylor is the only woman in the Legislature with a concealed weapons permit…

“As a female, I’m not going to carry (my gun) in plain sight,” she said. “It’s also my right to carry a gun.”

Taylor said she doesn’t carry her gun every day and has never needed to use it. Once, her car slid off a mountain pass when it was 17 degrees below zero. Taylor was alone and said her gun gave her reassurance as she waited for help.

I’m also a bit confused, why as a female, Representative Taylor will not carry her gun in plain sight, but that, I suppose, is entirely another issue.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • I’m a little confuesd. What exactly is your point. I have a concealed carry permit. It’s all perfectly legal. I see nothing wrong with carrying a concealed weapon. Cops carry, why can’t I?

  • Why not carry it out in the open, Larry? I mean, if you really want trouble to leave you alone, there’s no stronger message than showing your gun, right?

  • Simply because it’s legal to carry concealed! That’s all. It’s really no big deal. The implication is that this lady did something wrong or untoward. Again, I don’t see it. Guns are a Montana tradition. Up until a few years ago, kids used to have rifles in their pickups in the highschool parking lots! I remember well those days. And guess what? NOTHING HAPPENED! In fact, I remember when the Lege was talking about outlawing the bringing of guns to school. I was actually teaching in a tiny town at the time, and it seemed an absurd thing to do. I think this paranoia about concealed carry is misplaced. If this lady would have intended to shoot someone, she’d probably already have DONE it!

    I’ll tell ya what irritates the crap outta me are lefties who DON’T understand what guns are all about! That makes lefties easy prey for the righties to beat up on!

  • Intent is not my point, Larry. To be honest, I am concerned by the mentality that says someone’s first thought if in an accident on the side of the road is to be glad that they have a piece handy.

    Way too many accidents with guns. Not nearly enough training required to own and use one.

    The police undergo a lot of gun training. Is that a requirement in Montana for a concealed weapon permit?

  • Yes! An NRA approved course in gun saftey IS required! But in my case, I had weapons training in the military, so it was waved. Again, I don’t share your enthusiasm for the cops being able to carry guns and NOT an average citizen. But I’m not trying to pick a fight. I simply think that it’s important for those of us on the lefty side to realize that on the gun issues, some of us are right there with’em! I am for NO form of gun control. I believe in parity, citizen parity! If the feds have full auto, anyone who wants to should have full auto! You see, I trust the government bout as much as I trust the cops. Guess that I’ve seen the cops beat up just one too many Indian or poor person to share your myth of them as good guys. They contain with their ranks many racist thugs who enjoy wailing on the poor. They are NOT your friends.

  • Looks to me like the law only requires a hunter safety course. There are other options, but that’s enough.

    I don’t know that I made any claim about the police, other than I am sure that they do have more training for gun usage.

    I think we’re going to have to disagree on this one. I have a hard time believing that guns make us more safe. The research I’ve read makes it seem like gun owners are just as, if not more, likely to harm, rather than defend themselves.

  • And that very well may be. But the point is not “more safe”. It’s freedom. Freedom is better than safe!

    But I was told when I applied that in order to be eligible, one had to take an approved gun saftey course, such as the one the NRA offers. Now, that might very from place to place. But I became quite familiar with the process here in GF when I was rejected the first time around. I had some very “interesting” discussions with the local constabulary. Turns out that they were pretty decent fellows after I read them the riot act.

  • I’m also puzzled: why not carry the gun openly? Frankly, if I were a woman I’d carry my gun visibly if I was going to carry one. By the time you whip out your gun in a tricky situation, someone is already likely to get hurt or killed, rather than just being deterred.

    But the real issue, Larry is this: I understand wanting to take the government’s ‘monopoly on violence’ away. But I’ve read enough history of crime to know that whenever ‘the people’ had the same violent means as ‘the government’, the crime and murder rates go up massively (For example, before the consolidation of violent force with the Crown of England murder rates there were twice as high as the present murder rates in the US…among young black males.)

  • Well then, if I were a young Black male, I’D WANT TO BE ARMED! You see, there is a fatal flaw in your reasoning with which the rightwing continually rams lefties where the sun don’t shine, and well they should. YOU DON’T TRUST YOUR FELLOW AMERICAN WITH A GUN! You see, I do. And besides, it’s a moot point. The sooner gun control lefties figure it out the better. Guns will be with us forever! So why send people packing to the Repubbies over an non-issue? That’s my point. Forget gun control. It’s not worth worrying about. I believe that your historical reference is meaningless. The righties will simply counter with every fascist takeover of a country was preceded by gun control! And they’re right. Again, parity ain’t all that bad a thing. If a bad guy is breaking into your house, I’m quite sure that MOST reasonable people would want parity.

    As far as wearing a gun on the outside, this is freaking Montana! Guns are in nearly EVER pickup! And ya know what? I don’t feel the least bit threatened!

  • But would you want to rob someone in one of those pickups? Precisely. Having a concealed weapon seems alot more dangerous than having a visible one.
    Larry, it does matter. I trust most of my fellow Americans with guns. But I don’t trust the Church of the Creator with automatic rifles, I don’t trust some drug runner with an uzi, I don’t trust potential terrorists with rocket launchers. Where do you draw the line? I agree that for the most part gun control has proven ineffective as far as what I’ve read, but parity with the government? I trust my democratically elected government more than a free market automatic weapons or explosives. Look at Iraq-everyone has parity with the government, and it’s chaos for exactly that reason.

  • I thought a more telling comment was Ed Butcher’s. When asked by a reporter if he carried his piece into the Montana Capitol building (which is against the law) he replied: “Why would I tell you that?” Now that’s scary stuff.

  • I know this is old news, but the thing I don’t understand is how a gun would have kept her safe at 17 below zero.

    Maybe I’m too girly but I prefer snacks, sleeping bags, sterno, an extra pair of wool socks and a well charged cell phone when I travel in the cold weather.

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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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