The claim by Rep. Rodney Garcia (R-Billings) that the U.S. Constitution supports shooting socialists is reckless as well as ignorant, demonizing rhetoric.

To the Montana Republican Party’s credit, they have called on Garcia to resign. Apparently, though, their discomfort did not extend to the “inciter-in-chief,” whose rally lingo possibly emboldened Garcia to utter his comment.

I support laws initially promoted by socialists throughout our history and now accepted as mainstream, such as minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek, child labor laws, and safe working conditions. I also believe in public education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unions, and a livable wage (if it’s not livable, what good is it?), among others. So, I am unsure whether I am a socialist by Garcia’s standards. Perhaps, to be safe, I’ll order a bulletproof vest with bulletproof jockey shorts from a capitalist to protect my aging hide.

Let’s “holster” such dangerous silliness. It’s time to stop the name calling. — John Ilgenfritz, Helena

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