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Dog Killing Poacher and Republican Senator Wants to be Able to Carry a Weapon at the Legislature

Taking a brief pause from his non-stop efforts to enrich himself at the Legislature by proposing laws to further skew tenant-landlord laws in the favor of property owners, Billings Senator Roger Webb is proposing a bill that would allow members of the Legislature to carry concealed weapons at the Montana Legislature.

SB 304, which will have its hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, would carve out an exemption allowing Montana legislators, unlike the public in general, to carry their guns at the Capitol and any other state building open to the public.

Given the militia leanings of some members of the Legislature like Jennifer Fielder and Theresa Manzella, it’s hard to imagine how such a provision would improve public safety. Given that legislators are certainly not any more vetted than other holders of concealed carry permits to remain stable in the face of crisis, it’s hard to understand how allowing them to attend contentious hearings armed would improve security at the Capitol. Perhaps it’s just me, but people who propose absurd bill after absurd bill have hardly demonstrated some kind of superior reasoning skill that would justify arming them.

Perhaps most importantly, it undercuts the conservative argument that unfettered concealed carry is a right as absolute as free speech. While I don’t share the conservative gundamentalist lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, it would seem to fly in the face of constitutional jurisprudence to argue that one class of citizens has greater access to a right than others. And perhaps that is Webb’s intent: to craft a clearly unequal, unconstitutional law that would, when struck down, open the door to everyone who wants to wandering the Capitol armed.

And it’s perhaps easiest to see why legislators shouldn’t be armed when we examine the record of its proponent. Senator Webb not only pled guilty to poaching charges in 2016, he once heroically shot and killed a black lab who was running away from him, using a .357 magnum pistol, for which he was sentenced for animal cruelty and disorderly conduct.

And maybe that’s good enough reason to reject this insane bill to bring more guns to the Capitol. Can’t wait for the hearing.

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  • Something to look forward to, a gunfight at the legislature. I’ve seen people really, really mad at the legislature, so mad they were shaking and shouting. Why would anybody think that it was a good idea to hand them a gun in these moments? On the other hand, given how mad Republicans have been lately at each other . . .

  • Also, kinda makes you wonder who elected this fool to the legislature in the first place? It seems the most absurd and outrageous bills almost always – without exception – come from Republicans!

  • So, a Republican government official wants all the government officials to be armed against who?…an unarmed public!? If they can carry a gun in the legislature then EVERYONE with a concealed carry permit (like myself) should be able to carry in order to defend themselves. Keeping the public unarmed while arming politicians sounds 100% anti-2nd Amendment to me. Senator Roger Webb’s bill hints of government tyranny……..so sad.

  • Just the thought of unhinged politicians like Webb, I want your private land Fielder and the queen of nut jobs Manzella walking around a public building with a firearm is crazy, BUT consider the sources. Just saying.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, 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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