Gary Marbut couldn’t be more wrong about guns. His advocacy for unfettered access to dangerous weapons in almost every conceivable location across the state, from kindgergarten classrooms to bars, has helped lead the Montana Legislature to pass laws that have dramatically reduced the safety of Montanans and helped him turn a profit by exploiting the fears of craven legislators who lack the courage to stand up to the extremism of the gun nut lobby.
And that’s why the media loves interviewing him.
In a story from Montana Public Radio about the tragic Markus Karma shooting in Missoula, Missoula Representative Ellie Boldman-Hill discussed the need to repeal the ill-conceived revision to the state’s Castle Doctrine law in 2009.
In response, Marbut offered a rebuttal that reflects his condescension for legislators who disagree with his absolutist views.
“I would say she needs to learn about the law,” said Marbut. “The comments that I have seen her make indicate to me that she’s doing the same thing that Mr. Kaarma did. She’s shooting in the dark and has no clue what she wants to accomplish.”
Of course, Marbut’s is the one who needs a bit more understanding of the law, as evidenced by the fact that his expansion of the Castle Doctrine was opposed by law enforcement across the board in Montana, including the
- Montana Association of Chiefs of Police
- Montana Police Protective Association
- Montana County Attorney’s Association
- Montana Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association.
Their reasoning? That the expansion would encourage gun violence and make prosecution of offenders more difficult. And their fears have absolutely been proven correct, as people have become more willing to use guns to resolve disputes and even kill enemies, knowing that county prosecutors will face a difficult challenge convicting those who claim self-defense.
And when discussing knowledge of the law, let’s not forget Marbut’s laughable efforts to oveturn federal gun laws to him to sell his little Buckaroo rifle to children here in Montana. The most pro-gun Supreme Court in American history refused to hear his appeal, despite a letter warning that failure to do so could lead to a second Civil War. No, really.
From Marbut’s letter to Chief Justice Roberts a letter that must have amused the good people of the Court to no end:
President John F. Kennedy informed us, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” MSSA v. Holder is our best, and could be the last or near last, attempt at the peaceful revolution we’d all emphatically prefer to the alternative Kennedy asserted. It could well be thatMSSA v. Holder marks an historical cusp similar to that served up to SCOTUS in Scott v. Sandford. For any non-attorneys reading this, Scott v. Sandford is often known as the “Dred Scott decision,” a Supreme Court decision thought by many historians to have been the spark that set off the Civil War, a decision that effectively upheld the institution of slavery…. The time will come very soon when the Kennedy equation is likely to tip decisively in one direction or the other. I dearly hope that SCOTUS will avail itself of MSSA v. Holder to shepherd in the much preferred peaceful revolution in President Kennedy’s equation. The alternative is too dire to contemplate, but remains clearly potential.
Yes, you are reading that correctly. Mr. Marbut, in an inspired fit of rhetoric, compared his laughable lawsuit to one of the most important Court decisions in American history, and warned the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court that ruling against Marbut could lead to a violent revolution.
Despite my mockery of Mr. Marbut, I do understand that the Montana media does need to report his views on gun ownership, given that he functionally owns most of the Republicans in the Legislature. But the same media should probably provide some context when citing Mr. Marbut, who’s not just the gun law expert he proclaims himself to be; he’s also a loon who smears law enforcement officers a callous thug who exploits gun tragedies, and the victim of delusions of grandeur so powerful that he believes the Supreme Court might have caused a second American Civil War when it failed to hear his laughable case.
Despite the danger of armed insurrection, led by General Yosemite Marbut, Representative Boldman-Hill is correct: it’s time to change Montana’s laws and stop giving the presumption of innocence to those who use guns to resolve conflicts where no gun was, or could have been, necessary.