APRIL-MAY 2004 FREE STATE WYOMING ROAD TRIP
was a busy and productive 6 weeks! I spoke at three state LP conventions
(UT, WY, CO) and the Wyoming State Shooting Association, taught
two gun classes and was a guest instructor at a third.
I spent 3 weeks in Wyoming - much of which was in Crook County
in the northeast corner, my choice for the initial county of Free
State Wyoming. There I met many locals who were very receptive
to the upcoming wave of libertarian gunowners! My visit definitely
has paved the way for us to begin moving to Crook Co. with strong
local support. (More on that in the near weeks ahead.)
met the county's business tycoon who owns the local sawmill and
19,000 acres. Hearing that I was a shooter, he invited me to his
ranch to take out some prairie dogs ("lawn poodles").
This was a welcome diversion, and I spent a great day in the grass
with my truck's Marlin .22LR.
GRAND WESTERN CONFERENCE II (3 FORKS, MONTANA)
was the second confab of western free staters, dominated by Montana
folks. Although Idaho folks were welcome, not one attended. I
was one of two headlined speakers. J.J. Johnson was the other,
but he did not show up, and we never heard from him why not.
J.J. not there, I had to fill up a couple of extra speaking slots.
(If I was nearly empty of things to talk about, the audience didn't
seem to know.) I spoke about the Free State Wyoming, on the actual
bearing of arms, and about the realistic future of American liberty.
real surprise was to meet several young Canadians there, and unabashed
gun nuts! While I suspected that things were pretty bad up there,
I really had no idea. These poor guys were in Montana heaven!
Packing a .45 into the hotel bar, taking your drink out in a "to-go"
cup, and living as free men had my new young friends in a continuous
state of wide-eyed rapture. They are now actively relocating their
businesses down here, and I welcome such new Americans to the
the conference was heavily laden with Montanans, most of the attendees
gathered in "Wyoming corner" to discuss the Free State
Wyoming, and what it would take for each of them to move and thrive
there. Two dozen or so folks (from as far away as OK, TX, and
IL) each pledged their intention to move to Wyoming, beginning
and professions of all types were present, from electricians to
teachers to nurses to programmers to roofers. Even an author/publisher.
By just those present, we could have a viable working local economy.
When I mentioned this, it was a heady realization for all.
conference formalized its Vision, Mission, and Goals:
are creating a network of communities in Montana and Wyoming
that maximize individual liberty and freedom.
maximize freedom and liberty.
Enhancing rights to ownership, use, defense and transfer of
Recognizing and defending personal sovereignty.
Rejecting coercion and fraud.
Promoting and safeguarding a culture of voluntary association.
Promoting and safeguarding free markets and free trade.
To achieve these ends, limiting all governments.
GWCII was held in a fabulous historic hotel, the Sacajewa (built
in 1910). The staff were superb, and never batted an eye at all
our sidearms and earnest discussion.
seemed to be a litany of Montana Highway Patrol cruising through
town, and come to find out that the local cops had heard that
the "Montana Militia" had arrived. Groan.
Forks is a very pleasant small town, and a real highlight was
the annual drive of mustang horses down Main Street. But for the
cars present, it could have been 90 years ago! All of us there
had a great time. Drinking beer and smoking cigars in rocking
chairs on the hotel portico quickly became a favorite pastime
of my gang. I can't wait for such convivial and normal times with
my friends up in Wyoming!
thank my fellow Wyomingites Dave Dawson (Casper) and Dennis Brossman
(Lander) for attending and bolstering the Wyoming contingent.
Finally, I thank Quincy OrHai for inviting and hosting me, and
Mike Fellows of the Montana LP for paying my way. Gary Marbut
and Don Doig were also great local help for the Monday Fun Shoot.
If Montana did not have nearly twice the people of Wyoming, it
would be a toss up for a western free state. Nonetheless, there
are many exciting things going on in Montana, and their RKBA crowd
is very active and effective. If Wyoming somehow isn't for you,
do check out Montana. Being our FSW neighbor is the next best