This Might Be Why Teachers Don’t Want Guns in Schools

When Republican legislators listen to Gary Marbut before deciding that we should allow guns in every space in our state, from daycare to bars, I suspect they imagine themselves heroically standing down a criminal with only a steely gaze and pistol in hand. They imagine that, like John Wayne, they’ll save the day and keep everyone safe.

That’s an adorable middle-aged fantasy. The reality, though, is that more guns in more places will result in more scenes like this one, captured by KTVQ in Billings: | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

The hero in this video endangered lives of people all around him, firing six shots in a crowded parking lot, with a disregard for human life only matched by his terrible aim. He was no doubt emboldened by the legislation and rhetoric that comes out of Helena telling him that he has a right to use his gun whenever and however he sees fit to. And he’s apparently right in that assessment, as the KTVQ story indicates that he was questioned and released.

That’s terrifying, and the Billings Police need to explain why they didn’t arrest the man immediately. If anyone who thinks they’ve witnessed a misdemeanor has the right to pull a gun and then fire it indiscriminately in public, we’re setting ourselves up for a dangerous, anarchic world.

Let’s not let the macho fantasies and infantile posturing of our legislators put more citizens at risk, and let’s demand that our police forces enforce laws designed to protect us.

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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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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  • So when did it become OK to shoot shoplifters? Or start blasting away in a mall parking lot? The guy with the gun needs to do some time and think about his actions.

    • Although you’ve certainly opened a can of worms with this post, Don. Take a look at the comment section following the KTVQ story — plenty of people who think this guy’s actions were justified. Thanks Gary Marbut and the NRA for encouraging shootouts in shopping center parking lots. Now, let’s watch this comment section fill up with the vigilante rhetoric that follows any post questioning the unbridled gun culture prevalent only in America and a few third world countries.

  • One more thing. Let’s say you’re a tech entrepreneur thinking of relocating your business to a nice, friendly Montana town. You happen to catch the video of the guy blasting away in a Billings parking lot. That would be one city I’d scratch off my list — maybe the entire state.

  • What that guy did was incredibly risky and foolish. Neither his life, or anybody else’s life was in danger, yet he intervened. If one of those bullets had hit or even nicked anybody he would be in a cell today. For no good reason.

    As far as guns in schools, I would pony up some tax dollars to have a well-armed police officer, or private security guard in every school in the state. The idea that putting up a sign that says ‘Gun free Zone’ gives you some protection is lunacy.

    If you can find a copy, I recommend you read “Day of Wrath” by William R. Forstchen. It’s fiction, but if you have kids in school, or work in a school it’ll make you stop and think.

    • I do work in a school. And we don’t want teachers to be armed.

      We do have a police officer on site. That’s far more reasonable than passing legislation that would allow anyone who worked at a school to bring a gun.

    • I don’t believe this “guy” can prove the four elements for using deadly force. The position of the city/county attorney will be interesting. Also, we need to pony up some tax dollars for critical infrastructure improvements.

  • “Berglee (he is carrying the bill) said he did not understand the notion that a school employee having a firearm in a school would be scarier than a school resource officer.” Really? You don’t understand the difference between an individual who is highly trained to respond with deadly force in a stressful situation and a teacher with none of that kind of training? Seriously?!!

        • I’m not sure where OPI Superintendent Arntzen is on this one, but then it’s hard to make sense of where she is on any issue. I’m willing to bet that a supermajority of public school teachers, though, don’t want guns in their schools.

          • Pete, I would be very interested in seeing what the teachers really want? Everyone knew Hillary won. We learned about the silent majority. We might be surprised or not. Perhaps if a few teachers asked OPI Superintendent Arntzen she may support providing a poll to see what is really is desired. Get the union to write a letter to Ms Arntzen requesting a poll to be completed.

            • Revisit Don’s comment, above, “That’s not how OPI works.” The office shouldn’t poll or lobby on political issues. You, on the other hand, could take an independent poll. I’d love to hear the results.

  • Good guy with a gun takes out four bad tires with a gun! Only in Murica does that even begin to make sense! Them tires had it coming! They was accessories to theft! Cops need to hang out at the tire shops to find the perps!

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