Please give us your source, Sen. Jackson

by Pete Talbot

In the wake of the Arizona shootings, Sen. Verdell Jackson (R-Kalispell), is drafting a bill to allow owners of concealed weapons, who have permits, to pack heat in the Montana Capitol Building.

He quotes a story out of Utah, where concealed weapons are allowed in the Utah Capitol Building. Apparently pistol packing legislators there saved the day. From Sen. Jackson:

“Six senators carry weapons,” Jackson said. “They had a person who forced his way past the security doors. He swung open the two double doors and was coming down the aisle. He looked up, and six guns were pointing at him. He turned around and ran right into a security guard.”

It’s a compelling story, if it’s true. I’d like to know his source, and there are some other details I’d like to know, too, like: was the person who busted through the doors carrying a gun, and are there metal detectors or other types of security at the Utah Capitol?

But, after a rather exhausting search, I couldn’t find any news stories related to this incident. Perhaps Verdell’s source was that fountain of information, Gary (shoot first, ask questions later) Marbut.

I did get this response from Tad Walch, City Desk Editor of the Deseret News:

We’ve talked with our veteran hands here, and no one remembers such an episode. We plan to explore it further tomorrow with folks on the Hill and likely even do a story.

And perhaps the Lee Enterprises State Bureau could do a little more digging into Sen. Jackson’s storytelling (preferably before his bill becomes law).

  1. Verdell is probably a lot like many others – he’ll make up facts to suit his needs.

    He also does NOT support having metal detectors.

    You know what they say – sense is not common, and he’s a fine example of it.

  2. Craig Moore

    Pete, don’t know about the Utah capitol building and packing heat, but consider Trolley Square and what if people had the means to defend themselves:–including-gunman–at-Trolley-Square-shooting.html

    • Craig – please try and stay on topic.

      • mr benson

        “In the wake of the Arizona shootings” is the first line of the post. That seems to everyone’s topic, and everyone’s excuse to pursue their agenda for fewer guns, more guns, more spending on mental health, banning pot, taking away eccentrics rights, bashing parents, criticizing Sarah Palin (as if it takes a tragedy to do that) or a multitude of other hogs at the trough of political slop. Disgusting.

        Verdell Jackson, apparently, wants to be a pig, too.

        • mr benson

          BTW, that’s not about Pete. Pete’s just pointing out another oinker.

          • lizard19

            no, it’s about everyone who reads into this tragedy an aspect they are advocates for.

            my pig in this trough was mental health services, and i went oink oink oink because it’s something i believe needs more attention and funding, but will get less of both.

            yes, i tried to whore some of the hype toward something i care about. i am guilty.

            • mr benson

              I’m just gonna say it’s the rural areas, like Montana, that are a desert for mental health services.

              So I understand.

  3. Craig Moore

    Jh, Utah citizens including legislators have the right to carry in almost any public building. Whether or not they actually pointed guns at a perp in the story, they have the right. The Trolley Square tragedy points to what happens when victims carry no means of protection from vicious animals. Have I really stayed from the subject? Perhaps the conversation is enriched by a little wider scope of a specific verifiable Utah example. If you wish to ban me again for this expansion, then just get to it and don’t pussy foot around.

    • THE POINT, Craig, was that Verdell appears to be lying. Making up a story to suit is political agenda.

      You have been ranting around here that we’re all jumping on some sort of partisan bandwagon by calling on political leaders to choose their words and their imagery carefully. But apparently it is OK to use the incident as a call to further lax our nation’s gun laws that are the laxest in the world.

      I’m not pussy-footing around. You were banned here before for straying, continually, off topic. It wasn’t just here that you were criticized for was elsewhere too. Since that time I’ve seen you develop differently as a commenter. I don’t know how you got by the banned filter, but because I’ve seen your comments develop over time, I’m OK with it now.

      My warning to stay on topic is just that – to stay on topic. Or go get your own blog.

      • Craig Moore

        Do I bring out the hypocrisy in you or is that just normal SOP? Apply the same standard to all including yourself with your comment below to Pbear. Now either find value in my commentary as a contribution to the wider discourse or just get ‘er done and save the false display of superiority tut tut.

        • Your comment was completely and totally off topic, Craig. Re-read.

          Problembear talked about Verdell wasting legislative time. The post was about a bill he proposed. How in the hell is that off topic?

          How is my reply to him – about the legislative process – off topic? Anyone aware that the legislators – the GOP leadership included – said that this session was about jobs and budget would have read the same sarcastic thought into Pete’s post.

          • Craig Moore

            Silly me, spittoons are Pete’s topic.

            Pete is perfectly capable and more than able to comment to me about my comment to his post. Why can’t you just hold fire until he responds? Seriously, it was not my intention to upset things here.

            Pete began with, “In the wake of the Arizona shootings…” How is that so far different from the Trolley Square massacre that occurred in Utah? If Utah legislators carry to protect themselves and others from that type of monster, good for them.

            • It wasn’t your intention? Re-read what I said to you (what? 6 words plus “please”?) and then see what spilled forward. From you.

              • Craig Moore

                Nowhere does Pete mention or even intimate that it’s about “jobs and the budget” in discussing the Utah story or whether Montana legislators should carry as Utah legislators have the right to do.

                Where did you get that notion?

                Look, I will make it simple for you as I suggested to you the first time we had our disagreement. If you don’t want my participation here, all you have to do is politely ask, and that will be that. No fuss no muss. So what’s it going to be?

            • petetalbot

              OK Craig, here’s my comment, although I’m more than happy to have j-gal respond on my behalf. I actually prefer it when other ‘commenters’ hash out the meaning of my posts. They often bring new arguments and insights to things I’ve written, and more clarity to the debate.

              Anyway, my main point is that Verdell Jackson used erroneous information to advance a bill in the Montana Legislature. That’s it.

              • Craig Moore

                Pete, if you found my initial comment requiring rebuke, so be it. I extend the same offer to you as I did to her.

                Funny though that all the tangents people pursue here are not similarly remarked and moderated.

    • Were the people in the mall all unarmed? I don’t see that anywhere in the story.

  4. what is the next time wasting bill to be introduced by the gop legislators??? writing a law that brings back spittoons to the chamber?

    keerist people. we need to get the economy moving again. now let’s work on bills that help make that happen so we can create new jobs rather than introduce bills that make montana look like a clown car full of rowdies from 1877 on the nightly news.

  5. Thanks for posting this. The whole episode sounded made up to me, too, but I didn’t look into it.

    My favorite part was that Jackson claimed to have received death threats for “opposing a measure that would have allowed school curriculums to include children’s books that promote homosexual families.”

    I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean–and I doubt it’s true.

  6. Pancho

    An old Republican strategy. If the truth won’t work, a lie is just as good. Better maybe.

    It usually works. It’s only those rare occasions when the media bothers to do a little fact checking, i.e., Palin’s “Bridge to Nowhere,” “sold Governor’s plane on eBay,” “surveyor’s marks on congressional district maps,” etc., that the public gets some useful information.

  7. Craig Moore

    Pancho, if Verdell lied, then he deserves much derision. But the jump off to this story is “In the wake of the Arizona shootings…” Almost immediately the Dem sheriff began pointing fingers and Krugman followed up within 2 hours all without any facts whatsoever.

    What is it called when Dems fabricate facts to fit a political meme to blame others?

    It is a sorry state to use this tragedy to push a political blame game, or to fabricate a story for legislation, if indeed that happened. At least Pete is keeping an open mind at this point.

    • Pogue Mahone

      Never happened, craig. And you know it. Stop stringin’ his idiotic lies along. Now, if you can PROVE it did, do it. But stop with the nonsense. Makes you look simple-minded. Are you simple-minded?

  8. Matthew Koehler

    Snip from this morning’s Montana Standard Editorial, “Guns for lawmakers no answer” at


    Utah allows legislators to carry concealed weapons if they have permits, Jackson said, and it prevented a potential incident there in recent years.

    “Six senators carry weapons,” he said.

    “They had a person who forced his way past the security doors. He swung open the two double doors and was coming down the aisle. He looked up, and six guns were pointing at him. He turned around and ran right into a security guard.”

    Well, not exactly. Maybe in the Old West, but a check with the Associated Press in Utah found that at least in the last 10 years this did not happen. If it did, it probably would have been quite memorable not only in Utah, but across the nation.

  9. Craig Moore

    Matt, your quoted article goes on to say, “Leave the security to the professionals.” Sounds nice. Are 6 dead and scores of others injured acceptable loses to those security professionals at the Safeway event? What it gets down to is a LAYERED defense. The last line is oneself. Noone should ever start shooting without considering unintended consequences. Noone should expect that the professionals to be the last line of defense. BTW, I don’t carry. Never have. Anyone who does should get extensive training for these types of situations and be prepared to lose everything they have, including their personal liberty, in legal proceedings following a shooting incident.

  10. Matthew Koehler

    Craig, I thought this post from Pete was about Sen Jackson’s statement and if that statement regarding the incident in Utah was true or not. I simply provided a snip from the MT Standard’s editorial, which seemed to indicate quite clearly that the AP knows nothing about it. That’s all. Thanks.

  11. This is Montana – which means it’s gun country –

    I really couldn’t care less if the legislators want to go armed – if it were me, I wouldn’t do it, because I don’t like carrying around a lump of steel that much.

    Of course, in the case of the legislature, it’d probably be a handgun in a laptop bag or something –

  12. Pancho

    There’s no way we should dismiss the brilliant ideas of Senator Jackson.

    For instance, in the past he gave us this guidance:

    Rep. Verdell Jackson (R–Kalispell): “The primary purpose of sex is reproduction. . . Sex for recreation, gratification, control or other purposes violates the dignity of the people involved and generally leads to a deterioration of respect and consequences such as divorce, abuse, rape and sometimes murder. . . In the beginning, God’s creation was perfect, including mankind. Creation is wearing out. It’s not evolving. It’s going the other direction. We’re losing species every day. We don’t need to be alarmed, we can expect that to happen. Pollution has affected everything in our environment including our genetic material.”

    • Craig Moore

      As Pete has clarified, the purpose of this post was to question whether or not Jackson lied, misspoke, or otherwise imagined the Utah situation with 6 guns pointing at a perp. to bolster a bill to allow Montana legislators to carry like they do in Utah.

      Now, has anyone who questions Jackson’s claim asked him to put up the evidence or retract what he said and hang his head in shame? If not, why not?

      • Craig Moore

        To clarify, my question goes beyond the act of mere posting “Please give us your source, Sen. Jackson” at this blog. Has the question been taken to him personal since he might not otherwise read this blog?

        • petetalbot

          Can’t answer that Craig and Verdell probably doesn’t read this blog (his loss). But Matt Koehler links (above) to a Montana Standard editorial that also questions the veracity of the senator’s story. I know legislators read the dailies, so I’m betting someone has asked the question.

        • his email is – why don’t you email him and ask?

          • while you’re at it, ask him if spittoons are out of the question……

          • Craig Moore

            Jh, as I said, “Now, has anyone who questions Jackson’s claim asked him to put up the evidence or retract what he said and hang his head in shame? If not, why not?”

            Pete is the one who raised the issue and questioned Jackson’s veracity. Frankly, I don’t care that much about that side of what I see is the real issue of legislators and regular folks carrying weapons as the last line of defense where professionals fail to protect. Your request is best left to him to follow up on his post and get the facts. If he lied, nail him! JMHO.

            It’s also my opinion that it’s a cheap shot to build a story around facts where there has been no real effort to allow the person to respond before posting. If they don’t respond or how they respond is part of the story. Seems fundamentally unfair to me to not take that step first before casting aspersions and allow the tangent Pancho took and assorted commentary like spittoons. But then again you and I differ markedly on what constitutes fundamental fairness. Perhaps that difference and other differences should be allowed to find their way without being strangled by unnecessary, selective moderation. Who knows where it might take us all. Somewhere we may even find common ground.

            However, that being said, my offer to you stands.

            • Pete, from the looks of things, called Utah’s main newspaper and asked them. And he’s not even a reporter.

              Others have googled around the intertubes and not found it.

              What more do you want? News is news – he said it, he should expect that if he says something someone might truth check it. Honestly, are you suggesting that no one has the right to point out a lie from a politician? That we should have to give that lie equal time and explanation?

              A lie is a lie. If he didn’t lie, he shoulda stood up for himself, but apparently (as I hear it) he and his buddies are sticking to the story.

              • Craig Moore

                My suggestion ‘fundamental fairness’ is very simple. Please go back and read it.

              • Really? You think that the media is obligated to go and ask a politician why they lied before they print the story that he lied?

              • Craig Moore

                If you consider yourself and this blog “media” it is your job to gather the facts before asserting unsupported opinion. At least that’s how the real media once approached such issues.

                Saying someone lied requires knowledge of intention, purpose to mislead, and a false statement. Not all false statements are lies. That should be obvious to any fair person.

                To do otherwise is hackery and tantamount to a lie itself to assert such without the supporting facts bolstering the claim.

              • LOL! Thanks, Craig. It’s been a busy week and I needed the laugh.

              • this blog is no one’s job here craig. none of us has ever taken as much as a cup of coffee as payment for anything here.

                we work in complete independence from each other and from any sort of boss.

                since when do you or anyone pretend to tell anyone here what our job is?

                it is called free speech and today we got to the bottom of a very deep pit of lies perpetrated by some ninny who obviously shouldn’t have ever been elected to any position, much less the montana legislature.

  13. Pancho

    Jackson is very fond of inexpensive, simple solutions to difficult problems.

    For instance:

    “Jackson said…that he doesn’t believe there’s scientific evidence that global warming exists.”

    ” ‘I just don’t think us humans have the capacity to control the climate,’ he said. ‘I’ve told people just plant a lawn and it will take care of the carbon while you sleep’.”

  14. Pancho

    The purpose of my two posts was to bring attention to Sen. Jackson’s chronic difficulty in distinguishing what is true and what isn’t. The first, about reproduction (and naughty bits, one assumes) was from 12 years ago.

    He probably believes the Utah story. He believes what he wants to believe, irrespective of any facts.

  1. 1 Sen. Verdell Jackson Lies to Serve His Own Idealology « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Senator Verdell Jackson whipped up a tale to suite his agenda – or, as Pete posed, perhaps Gary Marbut, leader, lobbyist, and one-man-band of the Montana Shooting Sports […]

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