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Montana Politics

Expanded Castle Doctrine Strikes Again and Again

For a party that claims to represent law and order, the Montana Republican Party has certainly done some real damage to the ability of law enforcement officers to arrest and prosecutors to convict those who kill other people using firearms. As a result of 2009 Legislature’s passage of HB 228, it’s very difficult for prosecutors to convict anyone who asserts “self-defense” as a justification for killing someone else.

In the 2009 session, TEA Party legislators like Krayton Kerns carried a bill for Gary Marbut and the NRA which made it much easier to kill without fear of conviction. Back then, Marbut sent out a celebratory e-mail criticizing “the few law enforcement administrators and prosecutors who are so afraid of armed citizens that they lied and claimed end-of-life-on-Earth in opposing HB 228.”

The resulting cases of unprosecuted gun assaults was more than predictable, it was predicted by those who testified against the bill back in 2009. As jhwygirl noted back then, the list of opponents included law enforcement officials and those who protect the rights of those threatened by violence. Those in opposition included:

  • Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Montana Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Montana Police Protective Association
  • Montana County Attorney’s Association
  • Montana Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association
  • Montana Human Rights Network
  • The Associated Students of Montana State University
  • The Associated Students of the University of Montana

Even the typically very conservative Daily Interlake opined that the revised Montana castle doctrine law would make it easier to get away with murder:

As worded now, there is just too much opportunity for manipulation of the law by those who wish to do evil. For instance, it would be possible to taunt someone into attacking you in your own home for the sole purpose of taking that opportunity to “justifiably” kill your enemy. No one is saying that happened in this case, but as currently worded, the law provides a license to murder for those who are duplicitous.

And that’s precisely what we’re seeing across Montana. Given the cover of near-immunity from prosecution, people are asserting self-defense after shooting someone rather than walking away and resolving the conflict peacefully. Laws exist not to fulfill macho fantasies of middle-aged legislators who imagine themselves on the dusty plains of the Old West, but to ensure that civility comes before violence, and that the latter is only used as a last resort.

It’s time to change Montana’s law back to one that actually discourages people from using their weapons instead of their words, unless we want to see more of this violence:

Billings (2013)

A 35-year-old Billings man charged with shooting another man to death early Sunday said he went to confront the victim over a pit bull puppy and a gun he believed the victim had stolen.

Bearcomesout said he chambered a round in his .45-caliber pistol and Santiago turned to face him, court records said.

“The defendant said he believed Santiago was reaching for a weapon,” the affidavit said. “The defendant then shot Santiago repeatedly.”

Augusta (2013)-

However, Dutton said the alleged shooter was the only person to witness it. Dutton said the alleged gunman’s wife called authorities but only heard shots fired. “When a person makes the assertion of self defense, you have to prove that it wasn’t,” Dutton said.

Kalispell (2012)

That night, in a doorway at the back of his garage, Mr. Harper aimed a gun at the unarmed Mr. Fredenberg, fired and struck him three times. Mr. Fredenberg crumpled to the garage floor, a few feet from Mr. Harper. He was dead before morning.

Had Mr. Fredenberg been shot on the street or sidewalk, the legal outcome might have been different. But on Oct. 9, the Flathead County attorney decided not to prosecute, saying that Montana’s “castle doctrine” law, which maintains that a man’s home is his castle, protected Mr. Harper’s rights to vigorously defend himself there. The county attorney determined that Mr. Harper had the right to fetch his gun from his bedroom, confront Mr. Fredenberg in the garage and, fearing for his safety, shoot him.

Billings (2009)

A man who police said shot his Wal-Mart co-worker in a dispute over the length of a work break has been released from custody because his actions may be protected by Montana’s recently enacted “castle doctrine” law.

The shooting, which took place Monday evening, is under investigation by the Billings Police Department and could still result in charges. But Yellowstone County Attorney Dennis Paxinos said language in the “castle doctrine” bill passed during the last session of the Montana Legislature required him to release the shooter until more information becomes available.

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.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • The really scary thing is that the prosecutors seem to be backing off cases like this. The one in Augusta appears to be cold blooded murder. The victim approached the gunman with a suggestion that they settle their dispute peaceably, and he was murdered for this peace offering. I can’t see why the prosecutors can’t bring charge, NOR even release the shooter’s name until days later. Very weird. The folks up there know exactly what happened from what I’ve heard. Apparently the victim was a nice guy who didn’t deserve to be murdered!

  • Have you read the Montana Castle Doctrine Law, Larry? My guess is you haven’t, because if you had you would realize that once the shooter raised self defense as the reason for shooting, it’s a done deal. The only way a county attorney can over come the claim is to prove that the shooters didn’t believe he was acting in self defense.

    The Montana Castle Doctrine Law makes no mention of whether the victim was a nice guy or not. That is completely irrelevant and has no bearing on the Castle Doctrine Law

    The Castle Doctrine Law explicitly states that if the shooter claims self defense, the state must prove that, in the shooters mind, he didn’t actually believe he was acting in self defense. It depends solely on the feelings and beliefs of the shooter, according to the law.

    Don’t blame the county attorneys for a law you probably backed at the time it was in front of the legislature – without reading or thinking about, since it was touted as a gun rights bill and you know how you stand on those. Know what I mean?

    That’s far scarier to me than county attorney’s following the law passed by the 2009 legislature. Your suggestion that the county attorney’s should break the law is stupid and unworkable. The legislature should change a stupid idiotic law that legalized murder as long as there was nobody else there to prove otherwise.

    The law is a bad law Larry. The law requires prosecutors to back off of cases like this. Because the shooter asserted self defense, the burden is on the state to prove the shooter didn’t believe it was self defense. How would you suggest they prove what the shooter believed at the time of the shooting? The law states that a man’s home is his castle and he can shoot anyone he wants there just as long as he asserts he did it in the good faith belief that he was acting in self defense. He doesn’t have to prove self defense, the state has to prove he didn’t believe he was acting in self defense.

    Or is that somehow too complex for you to grasp, that a so called pro-gun law could be stupid and unworkable and fatally flawed? Fatally is right.

  • ” The law requires prosecutors to back off of cases like this. Because the shooter asserted self defense, the burden is on the state to prove the shooter didn’t believe it was self defense.”

    I call bullshit on this one. The county attorneys lose NOTHING. They still must prove murder or intent. I’m thinkin’ that they’re just whining on this. Nothing has really changed. They still need to do their jobs. And hey, that’s not just my opinion. It was in fact the opinion of Deb Kottel, a very knowledgeable Dem lawyer who supported the new law. And yes, the burden of proof SHOULD be on the state. Now state, do your job!

  • Let’s begin by voting out the “macho middle-aged” Democrats still serving in the Legislature today that voted for the Castle Doctrine back in 2009. Here is a list to help you get started.
    Bradley Hamlett
    Larry Jent
    Jim Keane
    Carolyn Squires
    Mitch Tropila
    Dave Wanzenried
    Shannon Augare
    Anders Blewett
    Carlie Boland
    Frosty Boss Ribs
    Chuck Hunter
    Bill McChesney
    Edie McClafferty
    Bert Mehlhoff
    Pat Noonan
    JP Pomnichowski
    Jon Sesso
    Kendal VanDyk

    HB 228, the Castle Doctrine, was hardly a partisan Bill. In 2009, the Montana House was evenly divided with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. 35 of those Democrats (70% of all House Dems) voted for HB228 on the final reading. The Montana Senate was split 23 Democrats and 27 Republicans. 13 of Senate Democrats (57% of all Senate Dems) voted for HB228 on final reading. In total, 58% of the combined Democratic Senate and House members voted for the Castle Doctrine. Don’t forget that then Governor Brian Schweitzer stuffed his Veto into the bottom drawer of his desk and signed the bill.

    I look forward to your ridicule and denunciation of these still sitting Montana Democratic Legislators and wannabe presidential candidate Brian Schweitzer who, as you put it, did “some real damage to the ability of law enforcement officers to arrest and prosecutors to convict those who kill other people using firearms”, with the same passion and theatrics as you are directing at Republicans.

      • if all I had to go on regarding this issue was your post, then I would have no idea that Democrats were the ones responsible for making this thing law.

          • I am not surprised at all Don.

            780 words of condemnation, mean spirited name calling, misdirection and deflection against Republicans and not a hint of error by Democrats until you were called out which resulted in a reluctant and anemic 23 word mumbled “oh yeah them too” type of response. You then top it off with “They weren’t the ones responsible” when 66% of them jumped on the wagon, a number of them including Deb Kottel helped push the bill through and Schweitzer happily signed the Bill and kept his Veto branding iron in the closet.

            Again, more misdirection and deflection.


            • It’s entirely untrue to say that Democrats were “the ones responsible” for the bill’s passage, as Lizard says.

              You’d have a better claim against my argument if you didn’t ignore literal, objective truth.

                • I know exactly how this process works. there’s a little bunker near the capitol where a fax machine spits out proposed legislation, then it’s carried by horse to the chief liberty inspector of the MT GOP, who rates it for freedom and patriotism. if it passes inspection, it’s reproduced on a scroll made of rawhide and passed around committee for everyone to look at. then, when particularly exciting legislation like this gets signed into law by the Brian, the victors pound whiskey, piss on an effigy of Obama, and shoot a wolf in celebration.

                  did I miss anything?

                • You left out one critical part of the process: the ineffectual wailing of the enlightened left. That’s usually a part of the process. Its volume is not commensurate with its impact, but it’s almost always there. Sound and fury or something.


      I’d say one party bears more legislative responsibility for this one. That doesn’t make the Democrats who voted for it right, certainly, but it does provide a bit more context than your list.

      What percentage of Republicans voted for it? I must have missed that in your partisan-free analysis.

  • Correction…….That should be………..”In total, 66% of the combined Democratic Senate and House members voted for the Castle Doctrine.”

  • Laws like that are very beneficial to anyone working in the legal field. After all, even if there isn’t a criminal prosecution you can bet there’ll be a civil suit. Things like that take a long time and create work for dozens directly. How many of those that voted yes are connected to that industry in any way?

  • I wonder how even Dems that voted for it, sleep at night! knowing that somewhere out there, is another gun toting Idiot, setting up someone they don’t like with the castle doctrine…. than shooting them to death, and crying self defense.

    Its a coward scheme to me.

    Exactly the reason someone like Wayne LaPierre wants this, he couldn’t probably survive dueling if that came back.

  • Really though, Pogo and lizard, you know better than to claim party equivalency on this issue. Nationally, Republican states are far more likely to pass laws like this one than states than lean Democratic. In Montana, though many not enough Democrats oppose laws like this, almost NO Republicans do. And Pogo, I want you to go through that list and look for candidates who faced a general election opponent at any point in their career who plausibly might have opposed the castle doctrine. I’ll bet you don’t find it in a tenth of cases. Look who brought this bill, sponsored it, wrote it – it’s all on the Right. These bills serve two purposes – they expand gun rights even further, and they divide the Democratic party. Democrats in Montana really wish the gun issue would just go away, because it splits their caucus whenever it comes up. You think they would voluntarily bring bills like this if they were in control?

    But you’re correct in one regard – the real driving force here isn’t elected officials, it’s unelected fanatics like Marbut, and the media that continues to magnify their positions well out of proportion to their actual coherence or rationality.

      • Man, this is so typical of the Democratic Party – you have enough Republicans who were elected as Democrats to always assure a Republican majority. It is easy for Republicans to pull this off because your elected officials are not held accountable.

        How many, Pogie, on Pogo Possum’s list will pay a price for passing this awful bill? How many will you simply reelect because you are so fearful of the other party?

            • What do you propose, Mark? Not vote for those Democrats if you live in those districts? Actively work to remove them? It’s very likely that they faithfully fulfilled the wishes of their constituents. It is a near-impossibility that they could be replaced with someone who would vote against the castle doctrine. So, what good exactly does holding them accountable do? It gets more Republicans elected, maybe gives them the power to override a Dem veto on a lot of issues we also care about. It accomplishes nothing.

              The problem with your opinions on MT politics is that you don’t get it. There may well be districts where Democrats get elected to the right of their constituents. Most of the Democrats you are talking about here are not in those districts; most Democrats in Montana are indeed in the opposite position.

              • Please, and you surely know this, I was responding to Pogie for his usual evasiveness, evident throughout this thread. Frankly, Pogo Possum nailed him to the wall, and he should just say that the bear ate him today. Not Pogie.

                As to your point, you again harken back to the wisdom of the people at the ballot box, and know it or not, are saying that if we don’t accept your Democrats, bad as you are, we get mean old Republicans, even worser. It’s not up to your elected politicians to lead. It is the voters. Elected officials are mere pollsters.

                What bullshit. You have officials. Lead, fer chrissakes! You know what is right and wrong. If your party is so infiltrated with right wingers that you cannot pull together on a painfully obvious issue like this, then quit! You’re worthless!

                JFK wanted a nuclear disarmament treaty. He faced mean old Republicans, southern democrats, and a public in opposition. He didn’t just say cest la vie. He led. He bully pulpeted, barnstormed, brought people around. And won.

                You guys? You’d quit before the cock crowed and blame the voters.

                • Keen insight on Kennedy. Really nailed it there. You might also remember that Kennedy wanted civil rights. You know who got it through Congress? Mean, old, more conservative Lyndon Johnson.

                  To enact real reforms, given the American political system, we need to elect people who are more closely aligned to our views. Sometimes, they will pass bills we disagree with. You have no practical path to get to your liberal fantasy land, so you spend your limited knowledge and boundless energy for comments attacking anyone who supports the Democratic Party.

                  To what end?

                • Funny. I could have sworn that MLK and so many other black leaders and organizers were behind civil rights law, and that LBJ and all of them had their backs against the wall, fearing rebellion. I guess it was just that one corrupt politician that did it, however.

                  Politics is not beneath me. I worked my tail off for Nader to drive a wedge, to force Democrats to push for progressive ideals. That is the only useful goal I know of, to force your party into action by use of the lever of a third party. You’ve since crushed that movement. Your party has nothing to its credit these days. Why would my voting inside a corrupt system change it?

                  Your path, lesser evil, fear of the other party, is pointless, farcical. You live and die for elections, holding no one accountable.

                  My goal, along with so many others, even as we are the few that are sentient in this crazy country, is to bring about change. It takes decades, spans lifetimes. We live with optimism of spirit. One thing on our list: not a third party, but a second one.

                  Yes, I did nail it with JFK. He was a leader. You would not recognize that quality.

                • Mark –

                  If their backs were against the wall and they were fearing for rebellion from radical blacks, you would expect support for civil rights to be somewhat correlated with the number of black people living in a district or in the vicinity of the person voting. You would also think that the folks on the verge of rebelling would be responsible for most of the violence of the area, and that most of the victims would be the targets of the impending revolt. None of those things are true – indeed, Southern Whites were far more likely to revolt (and far better equipped to pull it off) than blacks. Hence the hundreds who lost their lives in the conflict.

                  But the actually relevant point is that the ‘Civil Rights Movement’ was largely an effort to force the South into complying with already extant Supreme Court cases – it was the South that was in practical rebellion against the Federal government by refusing to properly implement Supreme Court orders ‘with all due speed’ (and, really, had been in rebellion against the 14th and 15th amendments since the end of the reconstruction). Of course, you believe Marshall erred in giving the Supreme Court the ability to issue decisions like Brown vs. Board.

                • There you go again, pretzeling history to fit your current partisan attitude. The march on Washington, the ability of MLK to inspire, the ground-level organizing convinced the leadership class to act. They did so in various ways.

                  They passed the Civil rights Act of 1964, causing political realignment.

                  They murdered MLK.

                  They systematically murdered black leaders from many areas., black planers, SCLC, Medgar Evans and so many more.

                  They set about to imprison others via onerous drug laws selectively enforced. That goes on to this day, along we even hip-hop artists, people like Bob Marley murdered.

                  The result was disenfranchisement and loss of most that was so hard-fought for I don’t think the movement was all that successful.

                  That’s real history, I sanitized by the wonderful historians and teachers of our country. This is a country that has a surface democracy and underlying seedy reality.

                • And again, when faced with inconvenient facts, Mark retreats from a specific claim (Black people posed a violent threat to the governing system) to a broader one (unprovable, or disprovable, claims about the murders of various people and the general history of the 60’s through today).


                • Comment spellchecked:

                  They passed the Civil rights Act of 1964, causing political realignment.

                  They murdered MLK.

                  They systematically murdered black leaders from many areas., Black Panthers, SCLC, Medgar Evans and so many more.

                  They set about to imprison others via onerous drug laws selectively enforced. That goes on to this day, along with even hip-hop artists, people like Bob Marley murdered, anyone who gains prominence and presents a threat.

                  The result was disenfranchisement and loss of most that was so hard-fought for I don’t think the movement was all that successful.

                  That’s real history, unsanitized by the wonderful historians and teachers of our country. This is a country that has a surface democracy and underlying seedy reality.

                • Nothing “unprovable” about them. Plenty of evidence all about. MLK’s murder was found to have been a conspiracy including VIA, FBI and memphis police by a jury in Memphis. The King family brought the case and won. Because they only needed to make their case, they sought and won damages of $1.00.

                  Assuming you do not know about that trial, and I know you don’t, also assume there are many other things you do not know. Unprovable? How the hell would you know? you’ve never stumbled on that path.

                  I do not fall back on anything. You bring issues to the fore, you claim that Democrats are doing all they can. They are not. They are compromised. They cannot. You brought up LIncoln!, trying to assert that you’re merely working politics as he did. You are not. That was insulting.

                  In American history there are times when the parties were real factions, and other times when they are under control of the same interests (1904, for example, 2000, 2004 and 2008). Now is a time when both parties are under control of the same interests. Your leaders do not respond to real issues because they cannot. Consequently, we get poseurs, men and women of low quality like Tester, Baucus, Obama, the Clinton’s, who are happy to be poseurs and suck up benefits.

            • The meaning of your question is typically nonsensical. I’m certainly not responsible for electing the entirety of the Montana Legislature. I’m responsible for electing the people I vote for.

              This is an issue I will research carefully before making a decision. That’s something you don’t have to do, because politics are beneath you.

      • Nope – analysis. I’m pretty sure you’ll find most Montanans in favor of the castle doctrine in general. My own experience with an angry, aggressive man trying to gain entrance to my home has left me not entirely unsympathetic to the castle doctrine. If the majority of Montanans are going to support these kinds of laws, it seems likely we’ll keep getting legislators willing to pass them. The question is – would these laws ever come to a vote if Democrats had a majority? Marbut et al would still try to bring bring it up, but with Dem majorities on the relevant committees, Dems squeamish about gun control wouldn’t have to vote on it nearly so often.

        • There has always been Castle doctrine “A MAN’S HOME is his castle,” or so
          runs the old adage. The notion that our homes are our sanctuaries and that we can defend against an invader within them is hardly new. In fact, the right to protect ourselves or others in our homes, with deadly force if necessary, dates back through civilized society at least as far as early English common law. It was an exception to the general rule that one should first try to disengage or retreat, if attacked, which was often a prerequisite for a claim of self-defense.

          Historically, legislation in this area—frequently called “Castle Doctrine” or “no-retreat” laws—has followed the common law already laid plain in every state of our Union. It has allowed individuals the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect themselves or others against an intruder in their homes.

          In 1914 Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo put it thus: It is not now and never been the
          law that a man assailed in his own dwelling is bound to retreat. If assailed there, he may stand his ground, and resist the attack. He is under no duty to take to the fields and the highways, a fugitive from his own home…Flight is for sanctuary
          and shelter, and shelter if not sanctuary, is in the home.”

          The difference now is you can shoot a person to death anywhere now and call it self defense. Big difference from the original castle doctrine.

          Changes to the Castle Doctrine Enacted in Some States:
          • Extending the right to self-defense, with no duty to retreat, to places outside the home, such as a place of business, a motor vehicle, or anywhere else a person has a legal right to be (such as a park or public sidewalk).

          • Permitting use of deadly force even when only property, as opposed to a person, is under threat in certain breaking and entering situations

          • Providing blanket civil and criminal immunity for a person who uses deadly force under this expanded right of self-defense.

          Its like one person walks up to pet a friendly dog, playing catch in the park with his master. Wow you touched my dog as we were walking and playing catch in the park…”Boom!” now the guy thinking he was having a loving moment with a sweet dog is dead. to me thats going a little to far for me.

          As someone who has lived my life in the Big city, it is almost tantamount to Gangstyle killings, where people are shot for being in the wrong nieborhood, just because they decided to take a short cut down a particular street to get to the convenience store. Their only crime is walking.

          This is why Trayvon Martins case affected so many Americans… the kid wasn’t doing anything wrong we was walking in a sidewalk.

          • These new extentions to the law, were written by the NRA, to force innocent parties to have to buy a gun from Wayne’s corporate masters to defend yourself… therefore putting more money into gun manufacturing’s Pocket. not giving a shit that innocents will be killed to make a buck!

        • The same could have been said of slavery, civil rights … Sometimes leaders have to lead. Sometimes, when your constituents are wrong, you have to show them the way. It might cost you office. Yon don’t win important issues by election cycles. You stand and fall on principle, persist. It takes courage. Anyone in your party got any?

          • “Sometimes leaders have to lead”. But most of the time they don’t. Lincoln didn’t run on abolition or equality under the law – he ran on a Free Soil platform, essentially, and waited for the other side to make the more radical move. However, he won the election because practical abolitionists were willing to support him over his opponents even though he intended to deliver only a fraction of their goals. When it did come down to legislative accomplishments like the passage of the late-war amendments, it was not just radical abolitionists but Republicans of varying degrees of commitment to the cause who were needed to abolish slavery. So…nope, your analogy doesn’t really hold up – you’re arguing from myths and legends.

            • Accusations of sacrilege are a good way to walk away from an argument you’ve lost. What you want to say is, how dare I compare real politicians now with the myth you have in your head. If you had been commenting on Lincoln’s candidacy, you would have castigated him for not going far enough (actually, you wouldn’t be voting at all – you’d be burning the constitution with William Lloyd Garrison, keeping your moral high ground and affecting nothing politically).

              The fact is that slavery was ended by a compromise candidate whose plan to end slavery makes Obamacare look bold and sweeping by comparison. He was very much the lesser of several evils from the perspective of a real abolitionist or believer in equal rights. And he abandoned his principles (only to rediscover them when it was more politically advantageous) as soon as was expedient – thus keeping Kentucky, protecting the Ohio river valley and winning the war.

              • I do not lack for study of history, including the period you mention. What I have read of Lincoln, from many sources, tells me that he was a very adroit politician, cagey, persuasive, lying as politicians must do to hold factions together, but most of all. a man of high moral character. I cannot think of one of your leaders who possess high moral character. They are bought.

                Stop claiming you won the damned argument. Pretzels for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to see, right now, anything you wrote about Obama before 2008. I want to see for myself that you knew what a right winger he would be. You’ve been twisting your mind for five years now trying to make him into a Democrat of old. He’s not. He is, as one of his professors said about both him and Michelle from their days at (Yale or) Harvard, a Republican. (I should have written that down – it was an interview on CNN in 2008, quickly assigned to the trash bin.)

                • I’m not saying Obama is as talented as Lincoln as a politician, but that Lincoln didn’t stand up for principles the way you seem to think Democrats should now. Lincoln consigned thousands of human beings to continued slavery because it was politically expedient. If he had been ‘held accountable’ in any of the ways you suggest holding Democrats accountable, by Stevens or any other abolitionists, he would have never been elected and if he were, he would have lost the war. Suppose in 1864 the radical Republicans decided they would “hold him accountable” for not freeing the slaves of Kentucky or Missouri, it’s quite possible the war would have ended with a negotiated peace.

                • Your Beating a dead Horse when it comes to Mark, PW. He has changed the argument in this stream what 5 or 6 times… trying to win it…. and failed miserably. How far away from the general first concept from this blog post are you willing to argue a nut case?

    • sure, guns make Montana democrats squeamish, so knowing that, it might make more sense to acknowledge that aspect of how this legislation came to be. Don’s opening line about the damage only Republicans have done purposefully ignores his party’s role. is this about policy or elections?

      • Thats wrong lizard,
        Because every Liberal I know in Montana Owns a gun, and hunts because it is heritage to do so in this state.

        We are squeamish only when people walk around with loaded guns, like it is part and parcel with their Balls, or needed for forceful conversations because they have no Balls? Talking about a freedom that isn’t taken away?

        There is a lot of liberals who believe it is their right not to carry a gun because the state and federal government trains people to protect them, like police and Military, but RW Ideologues think that is a weakness, when in fact I believe it to be a strength….. the strength to solve their differences with words and not a Gun.

        The day comes those liberal people have to arm up, because the RW is past conversation, when diplomatic considerations are played out. will be the day the crap hits the fan for the right. because it will come with the might of the military on the side that trusted the government, not lay plans against it.

        Put away your guns because your not scaring anyone with a pen and voice!

        • maybe I should have been more specific–the politics of guns makes Montana democrats squeamish, because doing anything that can be depicted as anti-gun means political suicide.

          • Well I don’t that is the truth either.

            I don’t think at this time. the Ideology trapped conservatives can have an honest conversation yet… because there so scared of well heck, everything, that doesn’t matter regarding government because they are so hewn into the the social rock of fear.
            I mean whatever happened to the christian thought of carrying the armor of Christ , not a AR-15. They are beyond help at this time in their religion and their socially knit Morality…. because there own belief system has been perverted by warring for the sake of religion… forgetting their own champion never used any weapon but his mind. A well schooled individual that could explain without the need of a gun. So real christian thought is basically out!

            Then there is the tin Hat conspricy people… Lunatics who rail against science as the absolute evil of the world. Facts don’t matter to them…. its just something that gets in their way….

            They truly need middlemen in their quest for diplomacy, but they rather purge that kind out of their ranks.

            The time will only the Republicans grow a spine and throw out the nutcases, or the tea party has tossed and alienated the majority in the middle into a new party.

            That means and starts to include Reince Priebus, and Wayne LaPierre as well two guys pushing buttons from behind the veil, before they even tackle the mouths of Rush Limbaugh and et all of Media.

            The nuts are not gonna let go until all the purse strings paying the republicans are cut from them. That is how they came to be as a force in the republican party….. because of Money and that is the only way they will leave…. by starving them out!

  • Why do a majority of Montanans support this law? And is there going to be a backlash when more are affected by it?

    I’m reminded of texting while driving: most people think nothing of it and would probably oppose legislation prohibiting it until they’ve been impacted by it firsthand through a death, a crash, or even paying increased costs due to the incompetent actions of others.

    • I’m not sure that most Montanans actually support this law. I’d say most of them would probably support the common sense interpretation of the county attorneys who opposed it, but when issues get “debated” at the Legislature, the moderate position usually loses out to the far right Republican majority.

  • I’m so happy I found sites like this and others upon moving back to Montana from overseas. It shows me exactly what not to do when I run for office, and how not to have a debate. I love that everyone on this site doesn’t put their money where there mouth is. If politicians only had blogs like these to fear they’d have an easy time. I’m so reminded of my grade 5 students when I read the comments here. Getting elected in MT will be a lot easier than I thought.

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