Tensions are bound to be high this week as the nation officially transitions from one presidential administration to the next. In Montana, law enforcement agencies are preparing for armed protests and counter-protests at the state capital and at local seats of government, including in Missoula. It is of the utmost importance that all Montanans show extra consideration and respect for the First Amendment rights of everyone, regardless of their beliefs, to peaceably assemble. Bring your signs, bring your best debate skills, but leave the weapons at home. And remember that petty antics like trying to drown out others with obnoxiously loud sounds, or fogging groups with car exhaust while speeding by, only make your side look childish and mean.
It’s true that Montanans enjoy strong Second Amendment rights, and that there are many places in this great state where firearms may be lawfully carried. However, these rights rest on the ability of gun owners to exercise good judgment. [full article]