It’s good politics to be pro-gun in Montana. A candidate who isn’t will face an uphill battle for any elected position. Tim Fox seems to have gotten that message, as the central (only?) theme of his campaign for Attorney General seems to be gun rights. So much so, that he’s resorting to the tired tactic of raising the specter of diminished gun rights, in a state where that just isn’t going to happen.
Fox loves him some guns. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that position, except that Fox’s positions statements are largely meaningless. It’s a list of concerns that exist for the most part in the paranoid fears of extremist gun advocates, federal policies that the Attorney General has no jurisdiction over, and expansions of gun “rights” that are, frankly, unsafe.
More importantly, Fox gun rights to become a wedge issue in this campaign. It’s probably the reason that he keeps bringing the issue up. On his site, he claims:
Unlike my opponent, I am 100% committed to protecting your right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. and Montana Constitutions.
It’s important enough for Fox to underline on the web page, but not important enough to substantiate, and that’s exactly the point of this strategy. In practical terms, impact on state and federal legislation about guns, there is likely little difference between the two candidates. Fox thinks that a few pictures of him holding guns and a few statements defending rights unlikely to be lost makes him an issues-based candidate drawing important distinctions between himself and Steve Bullock.
What it really makes him is someone misleading voters with scare tactics and pandering to the most extreme elements of special interest groups.