[VIDEO] The Right to Bear: Gary Marbut on the Second Amendment


Editor’s note: This multimedia piece (below) was originally filmed, photographed and produced by Megan Jae Riggs and Camillia Lanham for High Country News, hcn.org, in conjunction with The University of Montana School of Journalism in 2011. Since gun control is still a pressing issue, Make It Missoula thought readers would be interested in this pertinent video.

Guns have been at the forefront of debate in the United States since the amending of the Constitution as gun-related incidences have become more frequent, the U.S. gun policy is back in the spotlight and under critical evaluation.

Incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Connecticut, the movie theater massacre in Colorado, and the attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle in Arizona, have increased public scrutiny of gun-control and gun culture in our society. President Obama has called for stricter gun-control laws and a serious look at assault weapon ownership among civilians.

According to www.gunpolicy.org, there is an estimated 270,000,000 guns held by civilians in the United States, with Montana having one of the highest per capita ratings of gun ownership. Gun-rights activist Gary Marbut is among many Montanans who believe that their right to bear arms is a crucial and necessary freedom.

“Montana has the best gun laws in America because we have the fewest,” Marbut said. He’s the front-runner for gun activism in Montana and the region. He teaches firearm safety, shoots competitively and is the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

Marbut has been involved with firearms for the majority of his life and sees the Second Amendment as the amendment that protects all other amendments. He attributes Montana’s gun safety to its gun culture.

“People know about guns, and gun safety is something children learn about growing up in their families,” Marbut said. He acknowledges that guns can be dangerous, though stricter gun control is not the answer.

The debate between gun-rights activists such as Marbut and those pushing for stricter gun control is a sticky web of topics ranging from access to guns, mental health and assault rifles. Marbut favors demolishing gun-free zones and arming teachers and faculty on a voluntarily basis as a way to safeguard against future school shootings.




Megan Jae Riggs is a freelance visual journalist living in Missoula, Montana. She’s a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism and enjoys green smoothies, riding her beach cruiser and Montana sunsets. She can be reached at meganjaeriggsphotography.com