Bill would legalize guns on campus

By PATRICK HILL/Montana State News

Montana has had a long history of gun culture, going back to the days of the Wild West and even further.  However that culture has always been kept in check by Montana’s Board of Regents and college campuses. The Board of Regents has long held that only certified law enforcement officials be able to carry weapons while on campus grounds.

If state Rep. Cary Smith gets his way, though, that will change. The introduction of House Bill 240 will, among other things, allow for the carrying of concealed weapons on Montana campuses, provided that the carrier has a valid carry permit. The legislation has already passed the House on a 58-31 vote.

Proponents of the bill say that it would allow for greater protection of students and faculty on campuses and that it would further reaffirm the 2008 ruling of D.C. vs. Hellar stating that it was in fact a constitutional right for citizens to carry a concealed weapon.

Smith said, “Mass murders only seem to stop when a good guy shows up with a gun.” Continue reading “Bill would legalize guns on campus”

Party chairman an unlikely mix of sex, politics

By MATT PARSONS/Montana State News

To some, Billy McWilliams’s life might look like a delicate balancing act. As the Chairman of the Gallatin County Democratic Central Committee he is responsible for organizing his party’s election efforts and trying to push through a liberal agenda not necessarily compatible with a majority of Montanans. But he’s also a business owner. And he understands a thing or two about how taxes and regulation affect the private sector.

Back in 1981, his business, formerly Miss Kitty’s, was grandfathered into zoning that prohibits his type of retail operation from peddling his wares within the city of Bozeman. It’s the same fine line McWilliams must walk every day of his life, acknowledging peoples’ preconceived notions, while trying to get them to open up and talk about their most intimate desires.

McWilliams’s passion is “talking to people,” he says as he kicks back behind the front counter of his downtown Bozeman shop. He is surrounded by inventory that’s as unique to Bozeman as he is. McWilliams somehow seems to melt into the background in his fading brown leather vest, button down shirt and blue jeans. Shocks of grey encroach on a mop of youthful brown hair on top of his head. Sporty glasses make him look like he is ready for a road biking race.  A thick, gold wedding band graces his finger, announcing his devotion to one woman, Jane, for the past 22 years.

When asked what Jane thinks of his chosen profession he says, “she has mixed feelings about what I do. She’s happy that I’ve found something I love, but she’s not always thrilled about the perception that ours is the test bedroom for all the new sex toys.” McWilliams laughs a sort of soft, raspy laugh. It’s one completely absent of shame. After all, he’s the owner of Erotique, Bozeman’s only porn shop. Continue reading “Party chairman an unlikely mix of sex, politics”

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