A grassroots return to decency

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From 80 mass shootings of innocents in 30 years it’s obvious that quietly realizing, then offering respect for the senselessly lost, is what decent people do. Decency conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability.

Now it’s time for Montanans to take the lead in raising the American standard for decency: expect serial number accountability for every single weapon, from manufacture or import in this country to the weapon’s ultimate destruction. We need to have the same weapons’ accountability as veterans expected while serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. The parallel system for civilian weapons mostly in place still needs registration by serial number of all privately owned weapons.

Yes, with this system our law enforcement officers will be able to come to a person’s home or business and confiscate weapons, if that individual has committed a dangerous crime or become dangerously unstable mentally. As well, the sale or gifting of weapons among unlicensed owners will become a non-issue, just as annual registration of serial-numbered vehicles is a non-issue among law-abiding citizens.

Human decency is not negotiable, nor need it be political. Montanans either do or donąt have the courage and decency to ask their favorite Libertarian, Republican or Democrat candidates for the U.S. House and Senate to commit themselves to go to Washington D.C. on our behalf and take the lead in actively organizing a serious weapons registration effort.

The way to offset financial and political influence of special interests, insensible to human decency, is to file a notarized Declaration for Nomination and Oath of Candidacy for Precinct Committee People with your county’s Clerk and Recorder. Regardless of political party you can get a blank form from your County Clerk and Recorder, or you may Google “Become a Precinct Officer,” and download a blank filing form from the Montana GOP’s website.

If real grassroots Montanans were to retake the reins of their respective political parties, special interests will have a tougher time hijacking the names for their “grass tops” campaigns, an essential step for returning old-fashioned decency to Montana politics.

John Driscoll is a retired colonel who lives in Helena.

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