I think it is great that The Billings Gazette published Michael Waldman’s guest opinion piece on the Second Amendment titled “Gun Laws and What the Second Amendment Intended” because I believe in the First Amendment, which protects Waldman’s individual free-speech rights. The First Amendment also protects our free press and the right of The Billings Gazette to publish the viewpoint of the former “director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton” who suggests in his opinion piece that Americans should rethink our “antiquated” view of the Second Amendment.
However, considering that our culture in Montana does differ slightly from Waldman’s world while directing the “nonpartisan” Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, does it make sense to provide the other side of this debate in a side-by-side format? After all, 57.7 percent of Montanans own guns. As the majority of Montanans own guns, it is likely the majority of us do not agree with many policy hacks from New York or politicians from D.C. who seek to redefine our individual and God-given rights into collectively distributed privileges. This is especially true, considering that one could argue that the gunophobic policies of Washington, D.C., have resulted in the District of Columbia having 16.5 gun homicides per 100,000 people — compared to Montana’s paltry 1.2 per 100,000 gun homicide rate.