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Montanans Behave

Date sent: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 10:47:06 -0600
To: mssa@mtssa.org
From: Gary Marbut/MSSA/TOS <mssa@mtssa.org>
Subject: Letter to the Chronicle

Editor
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
citydesk@gomontana.com
P.O. Box 1188
Bozeman, MT 59771

Dear Sirs,

The Chronicle published a letter by Kent Madin on 10/11, making light of the prerogative of people to provide for their own personal protection, and criticizing Bozeman-area Senator Jack Wells for his good efforts to empower people to protect themselves.

It is worth noting that 34 of 50 U.S. states now have the "shall-issue" type of concealed weapon permit (CWP) laws that Montana adopted in 1991. The history in states with these laws is that the people with CWPs have even fewer misadventures with firearms than do people like Madin who don't have CWPs (and who presumably don't carry guns legally).

Further, Montana is the only state wherein the law prevents CWP-holders from exercising their permits in some specified public places, a condition foisted on Montanans by a bit of legislative chicanery in 1991. In all those other states which do not prohibit CWP-holders from exercising their permits in the public places limited by Montana law, there is no evidence whatsoever of permit misuse by permittees in these types of places. Madin's assumption is that Montana citizens are somehow less trustworthy, less able or less sane than the citizens of other states. I disagree with that assumption. With few exceptions, I trust Montanans to behave well.

Madin also facetiously suggests that otherwise trustworthy people with CWPs should be allowed to fly armed on commercial aircraft to prevent terrorism. Actually, this is a great idea. The counter is that these CWP-holders who have proven themselves to be ultimately trustworthy on the ground must suddenly become maniacs or accident-prone just because they step onto an airplane. Maybe Madin projects such instability onto others because of his own personality, but I assure you that most Montana citizens are more stable, and don't suffer sudden personality changes just because they board an airplane.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
P.O. Box 4924
Missoula, Montana 59806
406-549-1252

Note: MSSA is the primary political-action organization for gun owners in Montana, and achieves passage of pro-gun legislation in each session of the Montana Legislature (see "Successes" at www.mtssa.org). Marbut is also past president of the Montana Rifle and Pistol Association, a past member of the Board of Directors of Gun Owners of America, a longtime and current officer of the Western Montana Fish and Game Association (Montana's oldest organization of sportsmen and women - founded in 1911), and vice-chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council for Concealed Weapon Permits.


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