Joe Biden may have wound up winning a stay in the White House, but we continue to see signs of fallout further down the ballot indicating that he may have been an outlier. The progressive agenda and some of its more vocal Democratic supporters took a beating around the country this week. The latest example comes to us from the Big Sky State. There was a referendum on the ballot in Montana that would prevent local and municipal governments from passing laws restricting gun ownership and portability beyond the limits of state and federal gun control laws already in place. One of the bigger gun control groups in the country flooded a boatload of cash into opposing the referendum but it still managed to pass anyway. (Free Beacon)
Montana voters blocked localities from instituting their own gun restrictions on Tuesday despite a massive spending campaign by gun-control advocates.
The referendum, which passed with 51 percent support, bars localities from exercising “any power that applies to or affects the right to keep or bear arms.” Cities, counties, and other local authorities will no longer be able to regulate where Montanans with state permits can concealed-carry their firearms, restrict people from owning guns beyond what state or federal law says, or limit where they can openly carry firearms outside of government buildings.
The referendum is identical to legislation that Gov. Steve Bullock (D.) vetoed in 2019.
Some of you are probably thinking that a referendum supporting Second Amendment rights passing in Montana is basically a dog-bites-man story, right? And to a certain extent, we probably shouldn’t feel all that shocked at the result. But it’s worth noting that Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, along with a couple of other gun control groups, spent nearly two million dollars flooding the airwaves with advertisements against this referendum. That worked out to be 27 times more than the NRA spent supporting it.
As mentioned in the excerpt above, this is the second time Montanans have tried to establish this policy as law. Last year it went through as normal legislation, but Governor Steve Bullock vetoed it. Then, when he decided to run for the Senate, he wound up losing by double digits to Republican Steve Daines. Is there some sort of causal relationship between those two facts? I’ll leave that question up to you.
Sure, if you blew that much money on an anti-gun maneuver in Montana and came up short, I’m probably not going to shed too many tears over your depleted coffers. But the mere fact that liberal gun-grabbing groups even thought they had a chance of winning on this issue should demonstrate just how out of touch they are with much of the electorate and how they have underestimated the conservative values of middle-America.
As I already mentioned, this wasn’t the first overreach on the part of the progressive left we saw last week. California voters similarly shut down the efforts of the labor unions to gut the gig economy on behalf of the state’s liberal overlords. That referendum also prevailed despite being massively outspent by the unions and wealthy progressive donors who opposed it. The hopes for a spreading “woke utopia” were defeated in other races and ballot measures as well.
The bottom line once again is simply a reminder to not let the results of the presidential race get you down too much. There’s still plenty of fight left in the country among supporters of conservative governance. And the Left doesn’t control nearly as much of the population’s moral center as its proponents seem to believe they do.