Op-Ed: MSSA President, Gary Marbut, on What Makes a Decent Candidate


Montana, USA – -[AmmoLand.com]- I read an article recently making the argument that shopping cart returns are a proxy for good citizenship. Great concept.

There is no reward for delivering a shopping cart to the nearest collection point in a store parking lot. It’s just good behavior and is its own reward. Conversely, there is no penalty to pay for abandoning a shopping cart next to the shopper’s car.

Notwithstanding this absence of reward or penalty, the vast majority of shoppers do the right thing by returning their carts to a collection location.

The point is, by far the majority of people are good and decent people and will do the right thing if simply left to their own devices and trusted to behave well.

However, there is an institutional problem in that too many policy-makers believe that nearly all people are those who will abandon a shopping cart within ten feet of the shopper’s car.

These policy-makers, mayors, governors, members of city councils, and of legislatures feel compelled to make up complex and sometimes nonsensical rules to compel everyone’s conduct. They don’t trust anyone to do the right thing in the absence of thorough rules to govern all.

If they think of it, these distrustful policy-makers would require a license to use a shopping cart (you must be trained to use it correctly[and pass a background check and get a special tax stamp for quiet carts without squeaky wheels]), would require a contract and deposit to use a cart, and would authorize fines and jail time for anyone noncompliant with cart return rules, enforced by government agents… with guns.

Those candidates for public office who speak of freedom and individual liberty probably think most people are trustworthy and ought to be left alone to do the right things voluntarily. If you consider yourself trustworthy, you should vote for them.

If, however, you are the type of person who might run amok if not controlled by a complex system of rules and government agents… with guns, then you should vote for the candidates who are reluctant to embrace individual liberty and who favor the multitude of rules needed to control you and people like you.

To make it simple, if you return shopping carts to the collection point, you are probably a good fit with candidates for public office who embrace individual liberty and who trust the vast majority of people to behave well without coercion.

If you usually dump your shopping cart near your car, it’s better if you support candidates who don’t approve of individual liberty because they think everyone is a scofflaw like you. You need policy-makers like that to protect you from yourself and from others like you.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

This article was sponsored in part by David August, running for HD 9. August resides in Flathead County.

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