Over the summer, the Reverend Audette Fulbright moved with her family to Cheyenne, Wyoming. where she preaches at the Unitarian Universalist church. When the state legislature began debating a bill to allow for the carrying of concealed weapons at schools and sporting events, Fulbright wrote to lawmakers to express her concerns about guns and about fracking. She wrote, in part:
My husband and I moved to Wyoming not too long ago. We believed it was a good place to raise children. With the recent and reactive expansion of gun laws and the profoundly serious dangers of fracking, we find we are seriously reconsidering our decision, which is wrenching to all of us. However, the safety of our family must come first. We are waiting to see what the legislature does this session. I know of other new-to-Wyoming families in similar contemplation. Your choices matter. It would be sad to see an exodus of educated, childrearing age adults from Wyoming as a result of poor lawmaking.
Fulbright says she heard back from one Democratic lawmaker, who told the bill had been moved to committee, and from Republican state Representative Hans Hunt (the one on the left), who wrote:
I’ll be blunt. If you don’t like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage. I don’t expect a “mass exodus” from our state just because we’re standing up for our rights. As to your comments on fracking, I would point out that you’re basing your statement on “dangers” that have not been scientifically founded or proved as of yet.
It offends me to no end when liberal out-of-staters such as yourself move into Wyoming, trying to get away from where they came from, and then pompously demand that Wyoming conform to their way of thinking. We are, and will continue to be, a state which stands a head above the rest in terms of economic security. Our ability to do that is, in large part, to our “live and let live” mentality when it comes to allowing economic development, and limiting government oversight. So, to conclude, if you’re so worried about what our legislature is working on, then go back home.
Hunt tells the Casper Star-Tribune that he’s not sorry to have been so blunt. Wyoming has been growing, but it remains our least-populated state. It is also under full Republican control, both chambers of the legislature and the governorship. The blue dots stand out, I guess. (Thanks to Steve Nadeau of Colorado for the story. You can send us stuff like this here and here.)