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:
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.