I Always Liked Montana

This from the Patriot Post:

In the continuing saga of District of Columbia v. Heller, 39 of Montana’s elected officials have signed a resolution declaring that a Supreme Court ruling against the individual right of gun ownership would give their state grounds for leaving the union. It seems that when Montana’s settlers signed a statehood contract in 1889, one of the conditions was that the federal government agreed that individuals had the right to keep and bear arms. If the Supreme Court rules that firearm ownership is merely a state or “collective” right, Montana officials say that the statehood contract will have been breeched. “The U.S. would do well to keep its contractual promises to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract,” Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson said in a letter to The Washington Times. The Times also notes that the “collective right” interpretation of the Second Amendment doesn’t hold water in Montana because the state didn’t have a militia in the 1880s. “It’s pretty disingenuous as an argument,” Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said. “At the time, they had no image of what a National Guard was. But history and logic don’t always prevail in these matters.” Indeed. Our advice to the Supreme Court is that before they upset somebody with their ruling, they might want to consider which side has the guns.”

I could see my way to moving there.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, and film director David Mamet’s conversion from arch-liberal to conservative was pretty heartening, too.

I’m not a Republican. Nor anything like. But where guns and free markets and education and the US Constitution are concerned, I’m deeply conservative.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

11 comments… add one
  • hollylisle Mar 20, 2008 @ 10:01

    Here’s my current working definition of the three main parties:

    • The Republicans will steal your rights for your own good
    • The Democrats will steal your rights for everyone else’s good
    • The Libertarians with get into a pointless debate over whether protecting your rights is within or outside of the proper scope of government, and so not accomplish a damn thing.
  • Peter Knight Mar 18, 2008 @ 14:29

    My wife and I live in Argentina where, though governed under a Constitution nominally like the American (it was more or less copied), ideas like those in the Patriot post are so alien they would be scoffed at; oh well, given a little lip service maybe. I’ve often though of the US as a final destination (I would otherwise call the UK ‘home’, gun rights are unheard of there). I’ve friends in Texas, Arizona was a possibility. I will now put Montana on our short list.

    The interview with Davit Mamet’s conversion is very good: I see Frederich von Hayek mentioned, a pity he isn’t required reading in all schools everywhere. Otherwise I don’t know much of Mamet and his work though the picture Wag the Dog was brilliant (I believe he was the screenwriter)

    The liberal libertarian conservative debate rages on, because each politician has tried to redefine the terms to their own purpose. I go with governments and politics been seen (as little as possible) and not heard and so agree with that: politics is institutionalized bullshit.

  • Rick Mar 15, 2008 @ 17:52

    I knew I missed the days of your political commentary for a reason.

  • TimK Mar 15, 2008 @ 0:44

    We are of the same mind, Holly, as far as political leanings go. I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that. Good to know that I am not completely alone.

    -TimK

    P.S. Another topic, which might be interesting as a different blog post: How deeply and in what ways do your political, religious, and other beliefs inform your writing? (Maybe that’s too contentious for a blog post, though.)

  • tkeller Mar 14, 2008 @ 19:05

    I agree with you, Holly-keep those party labels away from me! I’m registered Republican only because it’s the only way I can vote for any candidates. But on the political spectrum, I’m a centrist, conservative in some areas, more moderate in others. I rarely find myself able to vote for someone who I agree with. More and more, I find it a case of narrowing it down to the lesser of two evils. Oh, the days of when the house and senate were unpaid positions. Now, they vote to give themselves (technically, the next congress) raises. *sigh*

  • hollylisle Mar 14, 2008 @ 15:01

    I’m more of a libertarian, small-L, keep that sticky Party Label away from me. Loathe politics. Loathe politicians. Believe the less government there is, the better people will fare, beyond the necessaries of keeping the borders protected and upholding the Constitution.

    And those are the two things government ISN’T doing right now, and won’t do with any of the three Running Scumbags. It’s a dismal slate. Maybe McCain will pick Ron Paul as his running mate, and I’ll have a reason to vote. (She says, then laughs hysterically at the odds of that.)

    Oh, I’ll vote anyway. But with the three contenders, it’ll be an exercise of rights, not a statement of faith.

  • MattScudder Mar 14, 2008 @ 13:46

    Interesting about the Montana thing. Kind ho-hum about the David Mamet thing. As a liberal, I refuse to let conservatives try to define my beliefs. Every time they do, they try to make me look like some radical communist. And David Mamet’s idea of what a liberal is doesn’t at all mesh with my beliefs. I’m not focused on what’s wrong with my country. I’m more concerned about the people determined to destroy what is good about our country for the sake of their own agenda. But maybe I’m not really a liberal. I always went by the dictionary definition (this from Dictionary.com):

    1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
    2. (often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
    3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
    4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
    5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
    6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
    7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
    8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
    9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
    10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
    11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
    12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
    13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

  • BJSteeves Mar 14, 2008 @ 13:27

    An interesting tidbit….The U.S. Government made approximately 3000 treaties with the Native Americans. Do you know how many of those treaties the U.S. Government kept???

    ZERO!

    So, with that track record, I have my doubts that this accord will be honored too.

  • NancyB Mar 14, 2008 @ 13:23

    Wow. First, interesting stuff (especially with worldbuilding in mind!) Second, and more importantly — how refreshing to hear someone actually give an honest opinion about something instead of waffling or trying to make something sound innocuous to everyone. Thanks, Holly.

  • hollylisle Mar 14, 2008 @ 12:24

    Interesting times. Hope the current and future governments of the US see their way clear to keeping their promises. But that’s never been a strong suit of government, where making promises is just a way to get elected, and keeping promises is an inconvenience best forgotten.

    I should add that there’s no way the US Government is going to give up the Lakota territory, anymore than it’s going to permit Montana to secede from the Union. The South learned how much those legal agreements were worth when it tried the same maneuver. Nor do I think the Nation would benefit from becoming a bunch of balkanized little nations bickering over their borders. Our strength lies in unity.

    However, you have to like the balls of a state that points out when the Supreme Court is about to spit on the Constitution, and backs it up with a legal gambit and the probable will to carry the issue to a noisy conclusion.

  • Geekomancer Mar 14, 2008 @ 11:19

    Y’know, it’s strange. This is the second “broken contract” I’ve heard of.

    The Lakota Nation “withdrew” from all treaties…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Lakotah

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/12/lakota-withdraw.html

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