MT Politics 2016: Obama, Guns, & Independence

I am so looking forward to this year! 2016 will be a great year to be an independent blogger writing about politics.

Being independent means when I disagree with a candidate or elected official I don’t have to worry about to which party they belong, or how the Republican Party or the Democratic Party feels about my column. I won’t even have to worry if some lobbyist is ticked off at what I write, plus I won’t care of they want me fired. I can tell them (I’ll be nice since I like to keep this site rated at least PG) to take a hike.

Montana politicians worry about those things every day. Politicians from both sides of the aisle do. They are not alone in that most politicians from all across the fruited plains spend their terms in office worried that they will piss off their base of support and/or the people who spend money to get them elected. I have written many times that for the people serving in D.C. it’s all about the next election. Yesterday’s actions prove it.

Many voters in the middle are independent and if you have that independent streak in you, you need to stop by this website and my Facebook page every day – or better yet subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box on the right. You’ll get my columns delivered to you via your email address! How cool is that?

Obama, guns, and the Montana Congressional Delegation:

I spent yesterday afternoon bolting my doors and windows while trying to camouflage my bunker better. If you pay attention to what the Republicans are saying, that darned Obama is coming to take all my guns and screw with my Second Amendment.

Except he said he wouldn’t.

Obama only has a year left to take away all our guns – so time’s a wasting.

Seriously, I always enjoy hearing President Obama give a speech and yesterday he gave a very emotional speech about steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It was one of his better speeches. It’s too bad some members of the Montana congressional delegation did not listen to it.

I hope that before you let the left wingers and/or the right wingers tell you how they interpret what the President said about guns, that you read his speech. You can read it HERE.

Daines & Zinke:

Our Montana Congressional delegation, especially U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Ryan Zinke, should get some sort of award or something for being numbskulls.

Before the President was even finished with his speech about guns yesterday, Daines came out against the President’s plan. Although Obama stated that he was not taking away any Second Amendment rights, Daines said, “In case you missed it – today, President Obama laid out his agenda for his final year in office, and it’s aimed at taking away our Second Amendment rights.”

So Daines lied and whoever wrote his statement is full of it. At least it is a good fundraising tool for the gullible voters on the right.

Like a sheep, Congressman Ryan Zinke followed (at least he waited until after the speech) with his comments saying, somewhat like Daines said, “President Obama’s action to limit law-abiding Montanans’ Second Amendment rights is no surprise given his tyrannical record…”

So Zinke lied about this issue, too. We can all look forward to Zinke’s fundraising letter about the Second Amendment (plus him being a commander in the Navy SEALS). I expected the Commander to be a leader, but he’s starting to fail us.

Yes – If the tables were turned and a Republican was in the White House doing something the left dislikes (like issuing executive orders about abortion), Democrats would be squealing as loud as Republicans are now. The system is broken.

Tester & Bullock:

I must admit I liked the responses better, this time, from two Democrats: U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock.

Tester told MTN News that he’ll examine what Obama is proposing, to see if it infringes on 2nd Amendment rights – but also said the executive action shows “the dysfunction of Congress and its failure to tackle tough issues.”

Running for office in 2006, Tester said he would fix the dysfunction in Washington. I guess that went in the same trash can as the yearly ethics review…

Examining what Obama is proposing would be the adult thing to do instead of throwing a temper tantrum like Zinke and Daines.

MTN also reported that Tester voted almost three years ago to require background checks for those buying firearms at gun shows. I think those background checks should be required. If you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

Tester is in a tough situation, but he is Teflon Jon. Here’s a hint to those who think guns will be an issue with Tester: No matter how many times his party leaders back east come out against guns, you can’t stick the anti-gun tag on Teflon Jon.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock was more calculated in his response (because he is up for reelection this year). Bullock told MTN News that the nation needs to “have a discussion” about gun safety, mental health and keeping firearms from criminals, but that the discussion “is too important for the president to circumvent Congress with the stroke of a pen.”

Face it, Bullock would like to have a discussion about anything other than Angela McLean…

Daines and Zinke are pretty new at this game of politics, but they have learned well not to piss off the gun lobby or the gun lobby will unleash holy hell on them. Several years ago Max Baucus, a Democrat, went against the pro-gun folks and he almost lost reelection. I still remember the signs with orange lettering on black background across the state. I think I helped find locations for a few of them.

It is Simple:

One of my conservative Montana friends who owns several guns (like I do) and is a member of the NRA texted me and said wouldn’t it be worth the hassle if filling out one little form to do a background check could maybe save one child’s life in the future.

It really is that simple.

Making it easier to report someone with mental health issues just might be worth if it saved someone’s life, too.

Read the Fact Sheet on the President’s plan HERE.

One other person commented to me via email and said it is quite apparent that if Obama was white, more Republicans might go along with his ideas.

Like I said on The Western Word Facebook page yesterday, I doubt much, if anything, will happen through these executive orders. It won’t make a difference. It bothers the GOP and they will issue statements and make threats about funding. There will be more guns sales – so there’s that. The executive actions may get taken to court and that is fine – that’s the way our system is set up – checks and balances and raising money off of it.

The bottom line is that I listened to and then read Obama’s speech and couldn’t find the place in his plan for executive action that prevents law-abiding citizens from getting guns. It does not harm our Second Amendment rights, either.

Work Together:

More and more Americans want to see our elected officials work together. Shooting down an idea before you see the details is not working together. That’s what Daines and Zinke did yesterday. We are all tired of the political party/lobbyist BS that controls our elected officials.

Our children are being killed – The White House says more than 20,000 children under 18 have been killed by firearms over the last decade. (Source)

Our friends and neighbors are being killed – The White House says there are more than 30,000 American gun deaths each year. (Source)

It’s well past time to come to the table and make some changes.

Closing Time:

One person told me via email that America might as well become like “The Purge” movies. The plot in these movies is that the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal activity — including murder — is legal. Watch the trailer HERE.

With that idea planted in my head, I will be spending the day working on my bunker and ordering more guns and ammo…





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  2. Excellent blog. I agree with everything you’ve written. At some point we have to try and stop the endless repeating of lies, half truths, untruths. We have to listen to what the other is saying and immediately not go to the respective corners that are getting us nowhere. I, too, was struck by Zinke and Daines’ replies but not surprised, clearly their statements were written long ago. We should be better than this. Any thoughts on making your bunker bigger, Jackie? Maybe we should look into converting a missile silo 🙂

    • Kathy – Thank you! As for the missile silo, I actually worked in and around them here in Montana for a few years when I was in the Air Force. They would make a good place to hide out! -JmB

  3. Greg said “I’ve heard the ATF is going to people in Oregon that had a card before the state legalized pot. They informed people that, since they now qualify as a drug addict, they cannot have guns. ”

    I can find no such evidence of this statement. In fact, the evidence available indicates the exact opposite.

    Here is an article from April

    Here is the final status of the bill in question:

    In addition, the Oregon Medical Marijuana program contains NO mechanism for federal authorities (e.g. ATF) to access the list of card holders. The Oregon law is very clear on this (See section 475.331 of the law).

    • Rick – Thanks for the information. I feel more mellow just reading it. 🙂 -JmB

    • Good to know, Rick. I heard that from a caller to a radio program last night. He claimed the ATF contacted him, so I dunno.

      Lots of veterans have medical marijuana cards. Lots of veterans have guns.

      Mainly, we keep telling veterans to get help for PTSD. We don’t tell them that this could put them on a list that says this person could be depressed, let’s take their guns.

      I’m sure the lists aren’t worded like that, but it pretty much adds up to that.

      Is this what we want people in this country to think? They’re thinking it now and I have a feeling lots more will start to.

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    • Craig – I was doing my daily walk/jog. Thanks for your comments. -JmB

  5. The money quote is in the last sentence.

    “Keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them is essential. To that end, the president is working to make mental health records more readily available to those who conduct background checks, and adding to related law enforcement resources. He should also demand that officials crack down on dishonest licensed dealers, only 8 percent of whom sell a majority of the guns used in crimes. But, as one ATF official is quoted as saying, “Let’s be honest. If someone wants a gun, it’s obvious the person will not have difficulty buying a gun, either legally or through the extensive United States black market.”

    Meanwhile, while the president decries “mass killings,” which claimed 475 lives in 2015, thousands continue to die from guns in cities like Chicago, where 442 were shot to death in 2015, Baltimore (301) and in New York, where more than 300 were murdered. The White House has discouraged law enforcement officials in those cities from aggressive policing tactics, such as “stop & frisk,” which in 2011 allowed cops in New York City to confiscate more than 800 guns.

    Last year in New York, fewer than 400 guns were recovered. What does more to reduce gun violence? Taking away weapons from criminals, or adjusting background checks for gun buyers?”

  6. I believe that every gun purchase, new or used should require a background check. I see no infringement of the 2nd there. It just makes sense! The NRA fears the creation of a national registry, but we already have that in various ways. If the government wants to know about “YOU” they will find out! Everything you do is tracked in some metric.

    It is the influence of the POTUS to use agencies for political purposes like ATF, BLM, IRS, DEA, FDA and others to do their bidding. We have seen examples of that in our recent past and likely more to come.

    Greg has a good point, just what criteria will be used in determining approval to buy a gun, some will be obvious and some not quite so…

  7. Just a couple things to think about:

    In 1790 George Washington said:

    “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a Uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.”

    We’re chipping away at the 2nd Amendment. Let’s say we do finally close this gun show loophole and get better background checks.

    What happens if there’s another mass shooting of some sort? My money’s on more regulations, more chipping away.

    How about Montana medical marijuana card holders? How long before we take their guns away?

    I’ve heard the ATF is going to people in Oregon that had a card before the state legalized pot. They informed people that, since they now qualify as a drug addict, they cannot have guns.

    How does that apply to Montana? Maybe someone should ask the ATF.

    We need guns for two reasons: to fight an overreaching government, as the Founding Fathers intended, and to fight off a foreign invasion, should anyone be stupid enough to mount one.

    Alas, we have a foreign invasion underway now and it’s illegal immigrants. Still, the main problem here is that the mega-rich view this diaspora of people as an economic boost. We have no manufacturing so these immigrants are our stimulus. Think about all that cheap labor flooding the market for the rich man, and all the apartments that will be rented to them and all the government subsidies given to them. Lots of money to be had there.

    Don’t expect any of our “problems” to be solved. For the rich man, those problems are solutions.

    • Greg – Thanks, as always, for your comments. Good stuff.

      I don’t agree that we are “chipping away at the 2nd Amendment.” More guns are being purchased now than ever. That is fine with me as long as they buyer meets the requirements. I own the same number of guns today as I did 30 years ago. I could buy more if I wanted. Around 25 states allow open carry.

      As for being another mass shooting. There will be another one. Maybe closing the gun show loophole will prevent a person or two, maybe a child, from being murdered. I don’t know, but I think it’s worth a try.

      I had not heard about Oregon and marijuana, but if you are correct that is a problem. If I remember back in my younger days, people using pot were pretty mellow…

      As for your comment, “For the rich man, those problems are solutions” that is too deep for me to address!

      Thanks again,


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