Guns have been a tradition in the West since the days of Wyatt Earp. And even though the Wild West has become much tamer, gun control advocates find it difficult to win supporters even in moderate states, reports the Los Angeles Times
The four Democrats who voted against President Barack Obama’s gun control bill last week all were from rural areas. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., was among them. When asked his reason for voting against his party, Baucus, who is running for re-election next year, gave a one-word response: “Montana.”
The West has become more friendly to Democrats, the Times notes, helping elect Obama and boosting the party’s numbers in the Senate. Still, Westerners like their guns, and don’t like the thought of the federal government coming after them.
New Mexico and Washington state have failed to pass stronger background checks, and Oregon couldn’t pass a ban on military-style weapons.
"Most of us believe that a gun isn't an evil thing,” said Stephen Watt¸ a state representative in Wyoming who lost an eye and part of his liver in a shootout with a suspect when he was a state trooper. "A gun doesn't commit a crime. I can take my shotgun, set it by my door, and it'll sit there for 100 years and it'll never go outside and shoot somebody."
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