Greg Gianforte Still Doesn’t Have Any Real Policy Plans, Other Than Making Schools Shooting Galleries

In a meeting with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in which he continued to dissemble on LGBTQ rights and his plan to remake Montana into a regulation-free zone of pure capitalism, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte did strike one absolutist position without trying to hide his views, arguing that college campuses would be better off with an armed student population:

Gianforte said he would allow guns on the grounds of Montana universities. “The Second Amendment is really clear: ‘Shall not be infringed,'” he said. “I think when you remove guns from an environment, you create victim zones,” he added.

Let’s put aside the macho fantasies of gun nuts like Gianforte who use terms like “victim zones” to describe college campuses because they imagine that, presented with a threat, they’d drop the intruder and go back to studying the works of Ayn Rand. That ignores the likely reality of an armed campus: far more gun accidents, more homicides, and more suicides. And as The Atlantic reports, there “were armed students at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on the day of its shooting last fall. Their presence did not deter the attack, nor did they halt it; the students wisely decided not to jump into the fray for fear it would compound the mayhem.”

Following the implementation of a campus carry law in Texas, some professors at the University of Houston warned colleagues that they should “avoid controversial subjects” and short-circuit heated discussions for fear of the new law. It would seem that the Second Amendment now trumps the First Amendment right to mock someone who believes that his gun rights trump discourse or the entirely idiotic idea that the Second Amendment, unlike all the others in the Bill of Rights, is somehow absolute.

Given Mr. Gianforte’s position on the Second Amendment, that “it shall not be infringed,” I have to hope that the media will ask for more clarification. Does he believe that airplanes are victim zones? Elementary classrooms? Courtrooms? Will he sign bills from the lunatic Montana Shooting Sports Association that would take away the property rights of business owners and mandate they allow guns in their facilities and parking lots? Will he sign bills that would allow concealed carry in bars and banks?

It’s important for Mr. Gianforte to hit all the right rhetorical notes for his absolutist gun base, but staking out the absolutist position that guns cannot be regulated is terrible policy that will endanger lives and hurt Montana’s business climate. It’s hard to imagine a Silicon Valley firm moving to a state that requires employers to allow employees to be armed, for instance.

And let’s not forget that Gianforte is wrong. Even Antonin Scalia argued, in his antediluvian fashion, that guns could be regulated:

“Some undoubtedly are [permissible] because there were some that were acknowledged at the time” the Constitution was written, Scalia said. He cited a practice from that era known as “frighting,” where people “carried around a really horrible weapon just to scare people, like a head axe or something. That was, I believe, a misdemeanor.”

“So yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed,” Scalia said. “What they are will depend on what the society understood were reasonable limitations at the time.”

Let’s hope that Montana media gets more answers from Gianforte on this subject. A great starting place would be to give him the list of bills sponsored by the Montana Shooting Sports Association and ask if they would have received his signature.

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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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  • I wonder if Gianforte would sign a bill to allow people to carry guns into the Capitol building and the legislative chambers? As it stands now it’s a wide open “victim zone”….

    • Oh yeah….Gianforte is stupid if he does not know the entire Second Amendment is more than four words long, he intentionally left out some very important words that I am sure the Founding Fathers included for a reason. The Second Amendment is in fact one sentence long and should be read and interpreted as such, Gianforte can not be allowed to cherry-pick the words of the Constitution like he cherry-picks the Bible….”A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” And there is the rub, “A well regulated militia being necessary”. Too bad so many low information voters will repeat and believe Gianforte’s intellectual dishonesty and lies.

  • I miss the “good old days”.

    Once upon a time, it was common for an American child to be packed off to school with a rifle on his back and for him to come home smiling and safe in the evening. Shooting clubs, now quietly withering away, were once such a mainstay of American high-school life that in the first half of the 20th century they were regularly installed in the basements of new educational buildings. Now, they are in their death throes, victims of political correctness, a willful misunderstanding of what constitutes “gun safety,” and our deplorable tendency toward litigiousness.

    Read more at:

  • WAIT! Gigi just came up with a plan. He’s gonna whine! He figures he’ll make Montana the new Napa Valley with all his whine! Geez, the guy really IS a dink! He’s much like the guy who gets laid for the first time and thinks he’s discovered sex. Gigi moves to Montana and now, he thinks he’s discovered it! Yes, that what a dink is, a whiny little dink at that! Gigi knows Montana! …….. better than the folks who have ranched over there for over a hundred years. Yes, that is what a dink does!

    • For Gigi Giantfart. You want to know what a REAL Montanan thinks of your bullsh*t? Well, this one’s for YOU, you pasty faced outta state techy christofascist dinkwad! You got nuthin’, you arrogant bald headed little worm! All the money in the world won’t buy you this! This is a Montana face and a Montana soul!

      Oh, and btw, STOP implying that the Dems don’t represent rural Montanans. Did you actually FORGET that our last governor was a farmer from Geyser, Montana?! Where YOU from again, city boy? Caleeepornyeeha? Thought so. What a dink!

      • Sorry, Pete. Just one more post in this thread and I promise I quit. But anyone from eastern Montana can appreciate this. One of the best videos I’ve seen in a long time. Take a good look at the country that has now been spared the Jeeyanfartey curse! And then, go down and ask the Northern Cheyenne if they want that damn mine! They don’t. They’re ranchers, not land rapers like outta state Gigi! What the hell Creator does that dipshit worship anyway? Satan? It appears so! For what he proposes is EVIL! Economic development must make economic sense! Creating environmental disasters that must be treated in perpetuity do NOT make economic sense! If Gigi cleans up Zortman/Landusky first, I’ll start to believe his bullsh*T!

        I love that country over there. Some of the best anywhere. And now, it will be safe for awhile!

  • Shooting people is a crime unless you can prove self defense, which is not easy. To prevent crime it takes people control. No gun ever committed a violent act without a person operating it. However, many people commit violent crimes without guns. Get real grow up and drop the juvenile rhetoric.

    • Seriously, Gerald? Wow. Never been to COLLEGE, have ya, dude?! It AIN’T where you go to shoot things up. It’s where you go to get drunk, get laid, and generally raise HELL!, while occasionally attending classes while trying not to go broke! AND CHASE COEDS! The furthest thing from anyone’s mind is guns! ONLY dudes with teensy, tiny, titmouse TOOLS think they need to bring a gun go college! It’s simply incompatible with gettin’ drunk and laid! I mean, what the hell you gonna do, SHOOT your way into a coed’s undergarments??

      Now, Gerald, where did you go to college again that you felt the need to pack heat? For you see, I’m kinda thinkin’ NO WHERE!

      You one sick puppy, geeraldo!

  • I say “You first Mr. Gianforte”!!!
    Will you, GG pledge to sign into law a bill that will allow all guns in the Capitol building and Legislative chambers before you allow them in schools? Prove how serious your concerns of safety are and lead by letting anyone and everyone carry guns freely in the Capitol if you become Governor. By your logic the Capitol is one big “victim zone” and would be safer with gunslingers everywhere.
    What do you say Mr. Gianforte, will you go first?
    I want to, and I will, bring my loaded guns into the Legislative chambers and committee meetings if you truly believe what you say and are brave enough to go first.
    Let’s end the Capitol’s “Victim Zone” status first!!!

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