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John Walker: Please Accept Bridger Walker’s Challenge

in Column/John Walker
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By John Walker, guest columnist

            “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” – Bridger Walker

In January of 2016 my wife Trena, 1½-year-old grandson Bridger and I drove to the hospital so that we could meet Bridger’s newborn little sister.   I was a bit concerned at the time that Bridger would resent having to share “HIS” home with a little sister.

My concern was promptly alleviated when Bridger was introduced to his baby sister.  Bridger’s small physical body and massive eternal spirit tenderly embraced the newborn baby.  

After holding her for just a few minutes it was apparent that Bridger was devoted to his tiny sibling.  Each and every time that I suggested to Bridger that it was my turn to hold “HIS” little sister he smiled and pointed to his chest (i.e. the answer was “No”).  

As the world now knows, Bridger’s brotherly love was fully displayed on July 9th when he risked his own life to protect his 4-year-old sister from an attacking dog. 

At a minimum, Bridger spared his sister from some indescribably horrid injuries.  More likely, by and through his selfless act of sacrifice and love, he saved his baby sister’s life.  

I must acknowledge that my heart is overflowing with gratitude for Bridger and his profound example of devotion and love.  Bridger you are a cherished grandson AND you will forever be my hero.  

I am also eternally grateful to God for sending Bridger to our family.  He is and has always been a wonderful and cherished blessing to the Walker clan.

My heart is also filled with gratitude for the kind, generous and selfless acts of those who have reached out to comfort Bridger as he does his best to recover from the emotional and physical injuries that he sustained while shielding his little sister. 

Thank you so much for the many remarkable rocks, toys, t-shirts and various creative and meaningful gifts you have sent to Bridger.


I know that I cannot specifically thank each and every one of the millions who have prayed for Bridger’s recovery, but please know that I know that your prayers have been heard. 

I also extend my sincere thanks to Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, the Russo brothers, Bo Jackson,  Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, Larry Nance Jr., MrBeast, The Batman of Spring Hill, and Bret Michaels for reaching out to and supporting Bridger.   

I greatly appreciate your respective and collective time and energy that was so selflessly expended in behalf of Bridger.  You truly helped invigorate and strengthen both his little body and his immense spirit.

My thanks also goes out to the World Boxing Council for awarding Bridger an honorary World Championship, Tom Burman and the UW Athletic Department for your gracious gift, the F-22 Demo Team for your compassionate time spent with Bridger, the New York City Firefighters for the dessert that you shared with Bridger and It’s Sugar for subsidizing Bridger’s sweet tooth. 

And to the artists who shared their talent with our family, please know that your many varied drawings of Bridger and his little sister captured my heart.

In honor of all who have graciously reached out to support Bridger, he has a request:  On the first weekend of September (i.e. Sept. 5th and 6th), Bridger asks that you devote some of your time, energy and talent in performing a generous act of kindness for a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker or even a stranger.  We humbly refer to his request as the Bridger challenge.

Please accept the Bridger challenge.

 John M. Walker is an attorney and lifelong Wyomingite who lives in Cheyenne.  His email address is jwalkwyo7@gmail.com

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Jim Hicks: Always Take Your Stock Trailer Along For Potty Breaks

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By Jim Hicks, guest columnist

Anyone who has owned a horse or stock trailer knows that if “push comes to shove” they can be used for a bathroom in a pinch. 

Some true stories just can’t include names, but rest assured this one is factual.

About a week ago one of the early morning coffee group (now gathering at an undisclosed location with proper social distancing) told a story on himself.

He was pulling his empty trailer back over the mountain to Buffalo and was stopped to wait for a “pilot car” at a highway construction project west of Powder River Pass.

“I had enjoyed too much coffee before I left that morning and really had to go,” he said. “So I walked back to the trailer and took care of the problem.”

As he was closing the door on the trailer a driver from a car behind him walked up, smiled and said . . . “Could I use your bathroom?”

Trailer owners who have taken advantage of this option will also tell you it is important to make sure the trailer door doesn’t latch behind you on most models. 

It’s possible to lock yourself inside and no way to get out without some help.

A couple of years back a local lady found herself in serious need of a “rest-stop” so she pulled off to the side of the highway, got in the trailer and took care of the problem.

While she was “going” she was struck with a cold and chilling fact. When she had pulled the trailer door closed, she remembered hearing that latch fall into place. There was no physical way to open it from the inside of the trailer.

She stuck her arm though the opening on the side of the trailer and waved frantically at passing cars for nearly 40 minutes.  

That just wasn’t working and no one even slowed down. But ranch girls are resourceful.

When she started waving her bra . . . it didn’t take long before she heard the tires squealing on a passing vehicle.

Two young men walked back to see what the signal was all about. After some joking around about the situation they freed the young woman and she joined them in the laughter.

Meanwhile, back down on the Main Drag in Buffalo this week one of the Bench Sitters got a lot of attention when he announced he had come up with a great “Covid Test” anyone could do right in their own home. 

“It’s inexpensive and you get fast results,” he claimed.

“Take a glass and pour a decent shot of your favorite whiskey into it. Then see if you can smell it . . . if you can smell it then you are halfway there. Then drink it and if you can taste it then it is reasonable to assume you are currently free of the virus.

“I tested myself six or seven times last night and was virus-free every time, thank goodness.

“I will have to test myself again today because I have developed a headache, which can be one of the symptoms.”

We knew at once he was pulling our leg.  All of us with the exception of one who will remain unnamed.  With a straight face he asked . . . “Will that work with beer too?”

We hope you found some shade this week.  Monday was a scorcher for sure.

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Bill Sniffin: Four Women In The Headlines After Wyoming Primary Elections

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

National history concerning women was made in Wyoming last Tuesday – and it occurred on the 100th anniversary of national suffrage for women. You just cannot make this up.

The four major party candidates for U. S. Senator and U. S. Representative will all be women come the general election on Nov. 3. 

This is simply amazing.

And one of the women brings another amazing statistic to the table – Lynnette Grey Bull of the Wind River Indian Reservation, is the first native American woman to run for a major national race in Wyoming.

The two best known winners Tuesday are Liz Cheney and Cynthia Lummis. Cheney is the incumbent Republican U. S. Representative, who won her primary and will be a heavy favorite in the general against Grey Bull. 

Lummis was a four-term U. S. Representative and will be a heavy favorite to defeat Democrat Merav Ben-David from Laramie.

Cheney and Lummis are both Republicans in a state that is overwhelmingly Republican.

Reporter Tom Coulter did an excellent article on this and quoted Ben-David: “This is an unprecedented time, and (this election) will be unprecedented in so many ways. I will be the first female Wyoming senator, the first scientist in the Senate since 1982 and the first climate scientist ever elected to the Senate,” Ben-David said. “I think there will be so many firsts if I win, and I intend to win,” she added.

Coulter’s story also reported: In a historic step for Native American representation in Wyoming, Lynnette Grey Bull secured the Democratic nomination to run in the November general election, making her the first Native American person to secure the federal nomination of a major political party in Wyoming.

Grey Bull, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and vice president of the Global Indigenous Council. Grey Bull won a vast majority of the vote, with roughly 12,328 ballots cast for her.

After her victory Tuesday night, Grey Bull said she looked forward to continuing her campaign’s momentum into the general election. As a woman and as the first Native American person to secure a major-party nomination in Wyoming, Grey Bull said the experience has been emotional.

“I know the suffering that my people have gone through,” Grey Bull said. “I know the long history that we have here, not only in Wyoming, but in the Northern Plains region.”

“Something like today, out of all the ‘no’s’ I’ve received in life, this ‘yes’ really means a lot, not only for myself, but for my people,” she continued.

The general election will be held Nov. 3.

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Cowboy State Daily Is Expanding! Will You Help us Grow?

in Bill Sniffin/Column
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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

Dear reader and friend,

Cowboy State Daily has been really hitting it out of the park lately.

Just 20 months ago, when we launched Wyoming’s newest statewide digital daily news service, we didn’t expect to grow this rapidly. But we have.

In the last three months alone, our readership has more than quadrupled. We’re seeing a big increase in readers who come directly to our site, who visit us from Facebook, and those who come to us from the daily newsletter.

It’s been particularly fun to watch the engagement on Facebook.  Just last week, one of our posts had nearly 5,000 shares and that resulted in 300,000 readers!

Daily subscribers to our FREE newsletter have grown tremendously as well.  We’ve tripled our subscribers in the last few months. Here’s how you can sign-up.  It’s easy and it’s FREE.

People are coming to us because we provide lively news and commentary from Wyoming journalists and columnists. We never close down. We’re always up.

On the coronavirus story alone, we’ve published over 550 stories! Nobody has covered it like we have.

The feedback we are getting from our dedicated readers has been fantastic. Let us know how we are doing, please.

But you haven’t seen anything yet. We are ambitious. We want to greatly increase our coverage from all across Wyoming. This will require money to hire new employees and to provide the technological know-how to get it all done.

With all this success in the future, would you be able to give us a hand today in the present?

We are a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation and depend on donations to pay our outstanding staff, compile a fantastic daily newsletter, and maintain our exciting web page.

In the past six months, we have had donations ranging from $25 to $20,000. 

We did a small practice fund drive over Memorial Day which generated a nice sum that has kept us going up to now. We also have sold some wonderful advertising packages to outstanding companies like Black Hills Energy and Timberline Hospitalities plus created and ran promotions for Carbon, Goshen, and Sweetwater Counties.

Cowboy State Daily is working well on so many levels but between the COVID-19 crisis and the Wyoming economy crashing, we sure would appreciate it if our loyal readers would consider giving us some financial support?  

You can donate by credit card through our web site or our free daily newsletter or send a check to Cowboy State Daily, Box 900, Lander, WY 82520.  Feel free to call me at (307) 349 2211 if you have fund-raising ideas or if you want to sponsor a certain type of story or column.

We are an excellent advertising medium. Please consider us for your next ad buy. Just contact me. 

 Also, if you are involved in a charitable foundation or family foundation, please let me know. We would very much appreciate being considered for a grant. Thanks in advance.

 Don’t just watch us grow, join us!

 Thanks again for your support.

 Bill Sniffin, Publisher

Dave Simpson: Chewing The Fat Out On The Porch

in Column/Dave Simpson
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By Dave Simpson, columnist

Three old guys sitting in Adirondack chairs on a porch, staring into a crackling campfire.

All three of us are 69, but the consensus is that we feel like we’re in our 50s.

“Except when I first get up from a chair like this,” I say. “For the first couple minutes after sitting for a while, I walk around like an old man.”

“You ARE an old man, Dave,” one of them says, and the other one laughs. Between the three of us, there have been one knee replacement, a torn quadriceps, two rotator cuff repairs, a back operation and one heart scare.

One of us has escaped the attention of the orthopedic surgeons, so far, but his wife has had two knees and two shoulders replaced. Nobody escapes unscathed.

We worked together in Central Illinois for a time back in the ’90s. I was their boss, but our friendships survived anyway. We remain close friends. Two of us live in Wyoming now, and the third lives in southern California.

All of us have had our share of caring for aging parents. My wife and I care for her mother at age 96. The guy from California was on his way home from taking care of his dad, who is in his 90s, in Nebraska. We seized on his passing through, giving us a chance to get together, sit on the porch, and as my dad used to say, “chew the fat.”

I’ll be the first to admit that some adult beverages were consumed, and empty cans of Coors and Pabst Blue Ribbon littered the porch floor. We’re not the kind of guys who want grapefruit, or raspberries or lemon in our beer. That’s not who we are.

We make quick work of a tin of Beer Nuts, and move on to the Doritos.

The beautiful wife of the guy from California died 13 years ago from cancer. He has not remarried. The long-suffering wives of the other two don’t mind us getting together up in the mountains now and then. We joke that they must have boyfriends. (Not likely after 35 and 47 years of marriage.)

I pass around a notebook full of pictures of two of us building this cabin back in the 1980s. The third guy asked specifically to visit “the cabin,” and he finds a sad note in my cabin diary from the day his wife died.

“Look,” he says, pointing to a picture of me with lots of hair and a full beard, wielding an ax, way back in 1984. “This is when Dave had hair!”

I gamely join in the laughter. I was nice about it.

All three of us are conservatives, close to rock-ribbed. We worked together in a vastly liberal business – local newspapers – and we have plenty of stories about how crazy it once was. That business has pretty much gone down the tubes in recent years, making retirement – at least in my case – a welcome rescue from a sinking ship.

Two of the three of us don’t watch much television anymore, having parted ways with most broadcast stations and cable. One watches a lot of YouTube. They don’t listen to much talk radio. I watch cable and listen to talk radio, a creature of habit. Of the three former local newspaper employees, only one still subscribes to a local newspaper. Two get the Wall Street Journal.

We all appreciate much of what Donald Trump has accomplished, but wish he would quit giving the Democrats so much ammunition with his tweets. Supporters like us deserve a break. None of us can imagine a President Joe Biden, because he’s so liberal, and because we see evidence of getting older in Joe, things we see in ourselves, memories that aren’t as sharp as the once were, gaits that aren’t as quick, words that don’t come easily anymore.

A steak dinner on the porch, some beer and hours of conversation take their toll.

As I head off to bed, they’re still going strong out on the porch, turning their attention to religion.

A porch. A campfire. Three old friends chewing the fat.

As the kids say nowadays, “Perfect.”

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Wyoming Election Recap: Tuesday Was Big Day For Conservatives; GOP Shifts To The Right

in Bill Sniffin/Column/politics
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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

After the primary election Tuesday, it sure looks like the conservatives won the soul of Wyoming’s Republican Party.

During the primary campaign, it was obvious the Cowboy State seemed to be moving toward a three-party system, with Democrats, far-right conservative Republicans, and Republicans, who are labeled moderate or RINO (Republican in Name Only) by their opponents.

If you are keeping score, it sure appeared to be a wonderful night for the conservative Republicans.  The primary election battlefield was littered with the carcasses of stalwart candidates who had been labeled moderate.

In Wyoming, what the heck does moderate mean?  After Tuesday, it appears that if you show that you might consider raising any kind of tax, then you are a moderate.  Based on these results, it also appears that if you do not sign a pledge for Wyoming gun owners, you could face stiff opposition.

And based on these results, it would appear that the next session of the Legislature could be a truly cantankerous battle between pragmatic moderates who might consider anything to balance the budget versus staunch conservatives who prefer cutting government programs as their way to balance the state budget.  And based on Tuesday’s results, it would appear many of Wyoming’s voters support that position.

Let’s look at some of the results:

Wyoming’s State Senate became more conservative as a result of contested elections in Tuesday’s Wyoming primary election.

State senate races in Cheyenne, Gillette, Riverton, and Cody generated much of the excitement,      

In Campbell County, Incumbent Sen. Michael Von Flatern lost big to Troy McKeown, 1,507 to 626.  Von Flatern had literally been in the sights of the Wyoming Gun Owners, who campaigned vigorously against him. Von Flatern was viewed as a moderate.  A last-minute endorsement by retiring U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi could not save him.

In Laramie County, Sen. Anthony Bouchard held on to his seat, despite heavy opposition from Erin Johnson.  Bouchard’s margin of victory of 2,064 to 1,903 was typically close, as have been almost all of Bouchard’s races.   This result was a surprise to many observers as moderate Wyoming politicians like Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) openly campaigned against Bouchard.

In Fremont County, State Rep. Tim Salazar moved up to win retiring State Sen. Eli Bebout’s seat with a 2,882 to 1,738 win over businessman Mike Bailey.  Bebout had been in the legislature for decades and was a former Speaker of the House and President of the Senate.

In Park County, Hank Coe was retiring after 31 years in the legislature.  County Commissioner Tim French defeated Rep. David Northrup, 2,174 to 1,442. Stefanie Bell got 1,205 votes. A lot of outside money went into this race.  French was considered by many to be the most conservative of the candidates.

In the House, the biggest upset occurred in District One in Crook and Weston Counties where Chip Neiman defeated Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm, 1,812 to 1,593. Neiman was considered the conservative in this race.  

In Park County, a mud-slinging campaign saw incumbent Sandy Newsome defeat Nina Webber, 1,237 to 868.  It was a hard-fought battle. Webber was considered the conservative with Newsome seen as a moderate.

In somewhat of an upset, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr finished third in the primary and will not compete in the general election for a second term. Patrick Collins 8,451 and Rick Coppinger, 2,959, finished first and second.

In another upset of a kind, a one-half cent sales tax to support economic development won in Fremont County by a vote of 5,132 to 5,001. With the state economy in the toilet, observers thought this tax would never pass.  The funds would be used for job development, airport funding, and local shuttle buses.

The two biggest guns running were former U. S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis easily winning the primary for U, S. Senate to replace retiring Mike Enzi and Incumbent U. S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who easily won her primary election.

When the smoke cleared, it clearly was a good night for the most conservative of Wyoming’s Republicans.  Earlier this year they dominated the GOP state convention and pretty much controlled the state platform, too.

As for the moderates, it might be back to the drawing board for them. They took a pretty good licking Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Editor’s note: Anthony Bouchard’s votes were updated to include the numbers for Goshen County at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 19.

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Gordon and Media Have Created a ‘COVID Casedemic’

in Column/Deb Simpson
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By Deb Oakley Simpson, Guest Columnist

CODY – As of last Friday, 3,183 total positive COVID cases in Wyoming. With 2,641 recovered. Do the math: 3183-2641 = 542 active COVID cases in Wyoming. 

There are 13 hospitalizations. Which means those that have it do not have very severe symptoms or they’d be in the hospital. 

For reference, in 2018-2019 Wyoming had 10,009 “reported” influenza cases. Compared to the 3,183 reported cases of COVID. Honestly, in Wyoming to this point, it is one-third to one-half as bad as an average flu year. 

Why is Gov. Mark Gordon persisting in restrictions on our citizens, our small businesses and our economy? The answer is bad advice and an unwillingness to think and research for himself. 

For Wyoming deaths are still the best metric. Thirty total. There are 12 in Fremont County, 5 in Washakie (several of those from the same nursing home), 3 deaths in Laramie county. Uinta and Sweetwater with 2. Teton, Big Horn, Carbon, Johnson, Natrona and Campbell with 1 death per County. AND 12 counties with ZERO COVID deaths. 

Again, for reference, 66 deaths from flu/pneumonia last year. AND we still need to know how many died BECAUSE of COVID and how many died simply WITH COVID . . . a statistic that should be readily available from the Department of Health if there was any value placed on transparency, but sadly there’s not in the Gordon administration.

How can our Governor willfully ignore those numbers? 

Why does he allow the restrictions to continue when he has to know they cause more harm to Wyoming’s economy at a time when we need to be doing all we can to HELP our struggling economy? 

I simply find his willingness to put on the blinders and ignore what his actions and those of an overwrought Health Department do to the bulk of Wyomingites to be absolutely wrong and shameful.

Also, cases are not a good metric. The media and the Health officials like to create a COVID Casedemic, but if it’s not deadly do cases really matter? 

If it’s all about cases, but not deaths why don’t we do all of this for the common cold or any other virus. Don’t buy the hype.

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Bill Sniffin: Recalling 15 Brave Firefighters Who Died In A Wyoming Fire 83 Years Ago

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher Cowboy State Daily, (Photos and illustrations from WyoHistory.org.)

It was the worst of the worst. Good young men. Running for their lives. Nowhere to hide. The fire was relentless.

This month marks the 83rd memorial anniversary of the worst forest fire disaster in Wyoming history when it comes to loss of firefighter lives.

In an obscure and difficult place to reach called Blackwater, a group of forest rangers and Civilian Conservation Corps firefighters lost their lives on Aug. 21, 1937.

Lightning started the fire that burned some 1,700 acres in the Shoshone National Forest west of Cody.

Although the fire began on Aug. 18, it slept and was not detected until two days later. Some 58 men were deployed in the area.

A weather event called a “dry cold front” was instrumental in the fire blowing up and engulfing the crew that died.  Nine men perished immediately and another six died later of their horrific burns.  Another 38 men suffered injuries as almost the entire crew was injured or killed in the conflagration.

Cause was later specified as an undiscovered “hot spot” that was rapidly expanded by this weather condition that can move into an area so fast. Back in 1937 before satellites, technology was not in place in helping to predict weather.

Lander’s Karl Brauneis is a national expert on forest fires and cites several changes to firefighting brought about by tragedies like the Blackwater.

 “The development of a fixed lookout detection system coupled with aerial detection and the ‘Ten Standard Fire Orders’ all helped keep fires smaller and safer for the men who fought them,” he said. “The 1939 Smokejumper program of fast aerial initial attack by parachute was in direct response to the Blackwater tragedy.  Soon a very aggressive system of prevention, detection and control was in place nationwide.”

Karl laments the loss of so many fire lookout towers in recent years and believes that many should be rebuilt to help provide for early detection.

But the key to better firefighting management, according to Karl, has been the loss of our federal timber sale program. Federal timber not only provided for American jobs and reduced fuel loads but also paid for school districts, county roads and bridges and most importantly the large Forest Service crews that planted trees, piled brush and built trails. Those crews were all financed by the timber sold and were not linked to the appropriated federal budget.

The recollection of this horrible Cody-area fire was also on my mind seven years ago as more than 200 firefighters dealt with a fast-moving fire that ripped through Sinks Canyon State Park and the southern end of the Shoshone National Forest just outside of Lander.

Smoke covered our town and we could watch the flames from our deck. 

A development called Homestead Park with about 30 homes and cabins came within 50 yards of being burned.  A huge DC10 jet tanker that was based in Casper that year dropped about 11,000 gallons of slurry on the fire during each pass and appeared to be the decisive factor in saving the subdivision.

To me, the power of that fire was relentless.  I was worried it might follow the river bottom all the way to Lander.  The fire was limited to about 2,000 acres.

Such losses by fire have been detailed in two of the best books that I have read.  They are just amazing works.

Young Men and Fire is a book by Montanan Norman Maclean, who also wrote A River Runs Through It. 

Maclean is an amazingly conservative writer who labors on each word.  It takes him over 10 years to produce a book. His book is the story about a fire in the Gates of the Mountain area of Montana in 1949 that killed 13 smokejumpers.

Author Timothy Egan wrote The Big Burn, which detailed a massive fire that covered the state of Idaho in 1909-1910 and killed more than 100 brave but ill-equipped firefighters.

Those fires and the politics behind its non-suppression helped preserve the fledgling U. S. Forest Service, which was being attacked and decimated by powerful members of the Congress working for the big lumber companies. It took a mighty effort by President Teddy Roosevelt and USFS head Gifford Pinchot to keep the service in place.

In 2020, we are primed for a horrible fire season in Wyoming. Pray for rain and if you live in the trees, you may want to create a nice clearing around your property.

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Rod Miller: Guns and Law in Wyoming

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By Rod Miller, Cowboy State Daily columnist

Thirty years or more ago, I had a beer with a friend who had been dean of the UW College of Law. One beer, and it took about three hours. While my beer went flat, I got a senior seminar on the Constitution of the State of Wyoming and my mind blown. What a magnificent document our Constitution is!

In our republic, states are often called “the laboratories of democracy” and each state’s constitution is the Petri dish where new variants of the U.S. Constitution are tested. Here’s an example: Everyone knows that our federal Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and enumerates the inviolable rights of citizens, 10 of ‘em. But the 45 framers of our Wyoming Constitution went a bit further.

Article 1 of our state Constitution is our “Declaration of Rights,” right there up front, and not appended as amendments. Rights, in Wyoming, are not an afterthought. And there are 37 of them! Those 45 old, white guys who framed our Constitution, I believe, wanted to make it abundantly clear that civil rights come first in Wyoming.

And I also believe that they listed these rights in a sort of ordinal hierarchy, the most important being first. The first three sections of Article 1 are some of the most inspiring political writing I have ever come across – “All power is inherent in the people,” and “all members of the human race are equal.” The framers took great care to address how political power would be wielded here, and how it should be equally distributed among all citizens. Powerful stuff, my friends!

Article 1 proceeds to define how these rights will be protected through the processes of law, habeas corpus, open courts, religious liberty, separation of church and state, the freedoms of speech and assembly, protection of labor and education. The logic is easy to follow, and its a roadmap for a free, civil society.

The framers enumerated 23 citizens’ rights before there is any mention of guns. You heard me correctly, guns come in 24th. Section 24 reads, “The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.” This, to me, is much clearer language than the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but guns are still way down the list.

I don’t believe that firearm ownership was an afterthought to our framers. Instead, I believe they wanted to take care of first things first. They, very wisely, defined citizens’ rights first and then defined the means to protect those rights on a personal level.

This brings us to a moment of cognitive dissonance in this year’s election. Why are a handful of gun zealots campaigning from a position of firearms being the most important thing in life? The implication is that if you have a gun, all of the other stuff in life is somehow taken care of. Like the first 23 sections in our “Declaration of Rights” don’t matter.

Guns have become powerful political symbols, and these candidates and the organizations that fund and encourage them are masters at manipulating that symbology. They appeal to raw emotions and fear, trying to supplant our entire body of law with a man-made tool. It’s almost as if nothing else matters to them.

That brings us back to Article 1, Section 1, “All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority…” So, the people of Wyoming, through their sacred right of voting, can reject this single-issue idiocy if they so choose. They can vote for candidates who embrace the entire Constitution, not just one sentence in it.

I hope your beer didn’t go flat while you were reading this, and perhaps I’ve prompted you to go dust off your copy of the Wyoming Constitution to see exactly where gun rights fall in the thinking of its framers. Twenty-fourth. So let it be written, so let it be done.

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Rusty Rogers: NRA Is Under A Huge Threat To Its Existence

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By Rusty Rogers, guest columnist

I really don’t expect anything original from the Democrats at any time unless it might advance their move to the left and increase the socialist hold on our society. Which brings us to the New York state Attorney General and her latest brilliant idea. Eliminate the NRA!

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to state that the NRA brought this on themselves. Wayne LaPierre and a few others were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Or so she says. Now, LaPierre managed to oust the NRA president at the time, Ollie North, and Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA and save his job, but none of us know the real story.

Really doesn’t matter, the New York AG is going after the most powerful citizen lobby in America and she intends to freeze its funds. If she manages that, it shuts the voice of 5 million Americans off at the source. Pretty ingenious way to silence millions on the right and limit the support of a U.S. president you don’t like.

Begs the question, why in the wide, wide, world of sports would the NRA have maintained its incorporation in a state that so hugely detests it? That could be considered Wayne’s biggest mistake. Aside from a lack of humility.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Golden Eagle Life Member of the NRA and will continue to support it. I will also continue to insist its leaders be more open and clean up their act. Our donations are not a piggy bank. What are they? Democrats?!

  More and more “news” agencies are reporting the obviously racist utterances of Joe Biden like, Hispanics are more diverse than Blacks. Or if you don’t vote for Joe, you’re not black. I don’t know what to do with asking a reporter if he’s a junkie, what do you or can you say? There’s more, but I anticipate we will be surprised by what he comes up with next.

(On our continuing story: no, the FDA is not going to reverse its reversal. It is in fact, digging in. However, the AAPS, a somewhat more intelligent organization than the AMA, has filed suit to force the FDA to release the 100s of millions of doses of Hydroxy.)

I just spent a few moments listening to Joe Biden’s latest campaign ad and found it very interesting. He said a lot of very wonderful sounding things. Things that the Democratic party has never done and will never do.

You may recall back a few decades, when Sleepy Joe ran for president the first time, that he admitted to plagiarism. Well, everything he said he wanted to do if elected is already being done by Trump. Either through congressional action or by executive order. Aside of course, from increased taxes.

Have the government buy only American-made products, bring jobs and factories back to American soil. Make sure we have the manufacturing base for medical supplies of all types. Sound familiar? I fear that old Joe hasn’t had an original thought for about 35 years and is now uttering Republican talking points!

You might think that the stuff Biden spews is original but it’s not. He’s been talking that way for 35 years. I believe they all think that way. Dems I mean. They are the inventors of Jim Crow laws, the KKK, and presidentially ordered segregation after all.

One place I would like to see a little more originality is in the conservative movement, the Republican Party. Right now, they have the perfect opportunity to rise above the storm and place themselves in the position deserved. We do have the moral high ground; we should not be afraid to say so.

Instead all I hear are weak attempts to placate the angry mob and give in to the PC crowd. Acting out of a fear of being canceled. You cannot be canceled if you don’t allow it.

Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham begging forgiveness for themselves because of George Floyd without waiting for or looking for further evidence. Floyd was a career criminal who never missed an opportunity to fight the police. Now, the manner in which he died was wrong, beyond question, but extenuating circumstances mean a lot and need to be looked at.

Just one example of habitual weakness and their inability to effectively communicate. It’s time for Republican Party leaders to start acting like they are not the stepchildren of the Democratic party. Think independently and communicate clearly and effectively and get their message across.

President Trump’s conservative actions did more for the people of this country, ALL the people, in three years than the Democrats did in 150 and it’s time we started announcing it loudly, clearly, and often.

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