Christy Perry, a Republican state representative and co-owner of a gun shop in Boise, regularly travels with her husband to gun shows to sell their wares. Voters come to her booth so often that her husband jokingly plunked a sign next to the AR-15s: “Gun talk only. No politics.” A couple of years ago, Perry began broaching a subject with her customers that was mostly unfamiliar to them: the nation’s crumbling system of free legal defense for the poor. In Idaho, where personal responsibility is a foundational value, anything that smacks of a government handout is looked at with deep suspicion. But Perry framed the idea in terms of another issue she knew the gun show attendees felt passionately about.
September 24, 2017