- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2012

Say what you will about the views of a few dozen young people who promoted gun ownership and decried strict firearms laws in the District on Friday.

There’s no denying they were creative — or at least daringly snarky — in how they spread their message on the steps of city hall.

Frequent refrains to motorists and bystanders included: “What do we want? Guns! Where do we want ‘em? None of your business!”

The young protesters also riffed on popular phrases and songs, summoning up ‘80s metal band Twisted Sister by singing (in reference to guns, of course), “They’re not gonna take ‘em. No! They ain’t gonna take ‘em! They’re not gonna take ‘em — anymore.”

Or, if the Beastie Boys are more your speed, they reminded passers-by that, “You gotta fight. For your right. To caaaaarrrry!”

The signs were interesting reads, too, from “DC: Taxation Without Self-Defense,” to “God Made Man But Colt Made Him Equal.”

But not all of the slogans were so clever. They also relied on this standby: “USA! USA! USA!”

No big crowds in Big Sky Country?

Maryland officials often like to poke fun at their border rival Virginia, but they aren’t afraid to have fun at the expense of other states — even those low-key ones that no one talks about.

The great state of Montana landed in lawmakers’ cross hairs during a meeting last week of Maryland’s House Ways and Means Committee as the panel debated whether to approve a bill legalizing table games and a new Prince George’s County casino.

Delegate Ronald A. George, Anne Arundel Republican, told the committee about past testimony from a former Montana lawmaker who said casinos brought his state problems like crime and gambling addiction rather than an expected revenue windfall.

Delegate Justin D. Ross, Prince George’s Democrat, countered that Maryland has very little in common with the Big Sky Country of Montana — which ranks fourth nationally in size but 44th in population — and pointed out that the Free State is part of a District region, which he said attracts about 40 million visitors each year.

“I don’t think there’s been 40 million people in Montana ever, combined,” Mr. Ross said, to laughs from throughout the hearing room.

Luckily for Mr. Ross, his county’s House delegation chairwoman — Delegate Melony G. Griffith, a Prince George’s Democrat who went to high school and college in Montana — was not in attendance.

David Hill and Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this report.

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