Not gun shy
By JENNIFER McKEE - IR State Bureau - 08/21/04
HELENA — Montana voters have one sure bet this fall: Regardless of who wins the gubernatorial race, our next governor will be a man who owns a lot of guns.
‘‘I have more than I need and less than I want,'' said Democrat Brian Schweitzer, a Whitefish farmer.
Not to be outdone, his GOP challenger Secretary of State Bob Brown, a former government teacher also from Whitefish, said he has exactly 16 guns — two of them antiques.
‘‘I grew up in the gun culture,'' he said. ‘‘I've always owned guns.''
Just this summer, Brown went shooting gophers at ranch near Helena.
‘‘In less than three hours, I had 25 confirmed kills,'' he said.
The gun talk came up this week as both candidates released their plans to expand hunting and fishing opportunities in Montana and support the U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment — the right to bear arms — of which both men proudly take ample advantage.
Schweitzer vowed to expand three state programs designed to enhance hunting and fishing opportunities in the state. Schweitzer said he wants to make permanent the state's block management program, which will expire in 2006 if the upcoming legislature does not vote to continue it. Block management is a system where the state compensates landowners for letting the public hunt on their property. Additionally, he wants to extend the state's fishing access enhancement program, which pays landowners for giving the public access over their land to state-owned waters and the Habitat Montana program, in which the state pays landowners to provide better habitat for either fish or wildlife.
‘‘In Montana, we have some of the most abundant hunting and fishing access in any place in the country,'' Schweitzer said. ‘‘We need to preserve that.''
He also said he would work to create public access corridors to federal public lands now completely surrounded by private land or that have no public access.
Brown's plan includes urging new federal laws to formally recognize the rights of local sportsmen when federal water managers make decisions that affect local fishing — a nod to the drawdown of Fort Peck Reservoir to help downstream users of the Missouri River at the expense of Montana fishermen and boaters.
Brown also said he would expand and improve the block management program and expand the state's future fisheries program, which uses money from the sale of fishing licenses to enhance fisheries.
Brown also said he would work toward permanently allowing snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park and that he supports an amendment to the state constitution that enshrines the right of Montanans to hunt and fish.
Both men also stressed that hunting and fishing are not merely hobbies or aspects of Montana culture, but big business.
That is true.
Maybe we should show them the .243 WSSM upper?
When it comes down to it, the Dems will vote the party line. "No one needs one of those!"
Cabelas sells ARs.
My brother was like why do you need an AR?
He hunts but now he is cool with me owning an AR.
I doubt he'd ever own one.
"Sadly I know guys that have racks of guns and would have no problem with ARs being banned.
Too many of the duck and deer crowd (of which I am part) are traitors."
From their point of view, we AR-15 (or any other type of "assault weapon") are the bastard children, and we are a danger to THEIR 2nd Amendment right to own hunting weapons (sic).
And this is easy for the hunting crowd to assume, since most of the thrust of gun control* has been redirected away from handguns (and "Saturday Night Specials") to "Assault Weapons". The gun control crowd has seen lost interest in banning handguns (and kicked in the groin with passage of "shall issue CCW" in most states), and those groups have all merged.
Their strategy has been, since the mid '80's, to get a ban, any ban, and use that as a basis for next, a handgun ban, and eventually, a full gun ban. If they can get a ban on "assault weapons", then, as in Morton Grove, IL (handgun ban) there would be precident... "the 2nd Amendment is not violated as long as there are other guns available, only (handguns, assault weapons, .50 cal sniper rifles, etc) are banned." Then they can go after other subcategories.
And finally, "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in." That has always been their goal.
* Interesting side issue... in the mid 60's a nut case (later autopsy found had brain tumor) climbed up to roof of building at Univ or Texas, and shot a bunch of students. Charles Whitman.
He used a scoped bolt action hunting rifle. There was proposed legislation to ban "telescopic sights" and "sniper rifles". It went nowhere, especially in Texas, when people figured out it would ban just about all hunting rifles. In the movie (featuring Kurt Russel) Whitman was wrongly depicted as using a .30 cal carbine. .30 cal carbines were involved, but in the hands of citizens.
Makes me wonder how the hunting crowd would have reacted if instead of the Bushmaster XM-15, the Beltway snipers had used a scoped bolt action in, say, .270 cal, and the Feds had gone door to door pickiing up their deer rifles.
I am assaulted with that mindset all the time, sad, very very sad.....