Kunin says gun safety activists must not be silenced by the “extraordinary power” of the National Rifle Association

Ann Braden speaks at a gun safety rally in the Statehouse. Photo by Anne Galloway

Ann Braden speaks at a gun safety rally in the Statehouse. Photo by Anne Galloway

Former Gov. Madeleine Kunin appeared at the Statehouse at two press conferences this week — two days in a row. On Tuesday, she backed paid sick leave legislation; yesterday she gave a passionate speech in support of a safe gun storage bill.

Kunin revved up a crowd of about 150 people from around the state with a rousing plea to not let the “extraordinary power” of the National Rifle Association “silence us.” Just because there will be no Statehouse hearings of any kind on any new gun safety legislation this year, she said, is not a reason to give up.

“Gun safety really means the safety of our children, of our loved ones,” Kunin said.

Kunin, who served in the 1980s and was the first woman elected to the Fifth Floor, said she holds out hope that there will be legislative action next year on H.124, a bill that would require gun owners to lock up their weapons. She described the legislation as a “baby step,” but an important baby step.

“I know this bill has a tough road,” Kunin said. “You mention the words gun control and some people shudder. One of the reasons there are no hearings just announced yesterday on any form of gun legislation is because of — let’s face it — the extraordinary power of the NRA.”

Lawmakers who have “stood up” to the gun rights organization (a handful of whom were present at the press conference), she said, “will need your support.”

“I wasn’t sure I’d get involved in this issue, but the Newtown murders inspired me,” Kunin said. “Leaders in Vermont, it’s time. It’s an uphill battle, but we’ve go to start. This is real grassroots politics. Don’t give up.”

She cited statistics to back up her contention that unless Vermonters find a way to require guns to be locked up, weapons pose a threat to the safety of children and families. Of the 30,000 gun deaths a year in America, 20,000 of those are from suicide, she said. Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide, most typically with firearms, Kunin said. “The easy availability of a gun is one of the reasons suicides occur so predominantly,” she said.

“Suicide is one of the consequences of having guns available to children and to adults,” Kunin said. “If you have a gun, it works. The likelihood of dying from a gun (as a way of committing suicide) is about 85 percent. If you have a gun in the house and you don’t keep it safe, it is dangerous to your family.”

Health departments in Missouri, Wyoming and North Carolina, she said, in recognition of the problem, are giving out free gun locks.

Dina Janis, an activist from Dorset who is part of the Million Moms Against Gun Violence group, compared the killing of 20 young children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., to 9/11. She said the murders are a wake up call for parents who are concerned about the safety of their children.

“A lot of people say we don’t have a gun problem in Vermont,” Janis said. “We are fortunate we have not had an incident here like the incidents that have occurred in the rest of the country. But I would argue that as citizens of the nation Vermont has always taken the lead and it is taking the lead in Washington. There are issues. People can come to Vermont and purchase a gun and take it to another state. We need to be good citizens.

About 3,000 Vermonters signed a MoveOn.org petition urging lawmakers to pass the child access protection bill, H.124. Janis delivered the petition to legislative leaders on Wednesday.

Ann Braden, a resident of Brattleboro, spearheaded the petition drive. In a speech (with her baby in tow), Braden said the Constitution allows for a “well-regulated militia.”

“Nowhere does it (the Constitution) give the right to take down an entire classroom of defenseless children in seconds,” Braden said. “If such weapons had existed 300 years ago, the founding fathers would have recognized that as tyranny in its own right.”

Braden said the gun control legislation proposed by Reps. Linda Waite-Simpson and Alison Clarkson isn’t “about the Second Amendment, it’s about saving lives.”

Though a majority of Vermonters in a poll support background checks for gun purchasers and other gun control measures, there aren’t enough votes to move the bill forward, Braden said. “I’d like to ask legislators in the House: Why is that?” Braden said. “Is it because a minority has such a loud voice?”

Gun rights activists Sherb Lang from Lyndonville and Clint Gray of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs didn’t attend the press conference and wouldn’t comment directly on the arguments made by gun control advocates. “They’re entitled to their opinion, whether it makes any sense or not,” Lang said.

Lang opposes the gun safety law. He said if guns are locked up, Vermonters will have difficulty protecting themselves from intruders.

Gray says he supports a national requirement for mental health reporting to the National Instant Background Check database for gun purchasers.

Anne Galloway

Comments

  1. timothy price :

    Well, am sure that the powers that be will be planning an incident soon. Vermont has to be brought under the yoke. But gun safety has nothing to do with gun ownership; gun safety is what is accomplished with people who are accustomed to using guns safely, who respect them an the rights of others.

    ” .. compared the killing of 20 young children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., to 9/11.”

    Good comparison: we know that 9/11 was done by those within our own government to frighten the public into accepting more “control for their own protections:.. to implement “The New American Century”. We also have concerns that the Sandy Hook event was as well.

    Here, from Australia, is a good illustration of consequences to citizens, of common sense, implications, & some statistics.

    • This is where I move away from you at the table. The only thing that annoys me as much as unhinged anti gunners is nutzo cuckoo tinfoil hattery from PRO-RKBA folks. Stop making me look bad with conspiracy nonsense.

  2. David Black :

    Thank you Former Gov. Madeleine Kunin for reminding me to rejoin the NRA and for people like you that want to throw my God give rights away.

    • Arthur Hamlin :

      God given?! Since when did “God” write the Constitution?!

      • Justin Farrar :

        Arthur,
        God didn’t write the constitution but it is a god given right to protect onself bvy any means possible and the constitution was written to protect those right we were born with.

        • Penelope Chevalier :

          It’s your god-given right to protect yourself by any means possible? So now we’re handing out rocket launchers and hand grenades. It is nobody’s right to possess any weapon that exists. You can protect yourself with a rifle and/or shotgun. Any type of weapon that existed when they idiotically crafted the second amendment. There is plenty of idiocy in the constitution, and there is plenty of idiocy in America. Congratulations on contributing more than your fair share.

          • “Idiotically crafted.” Noted.

            From DC vs. Heller (SCOTUS 07-290, 2008)

            “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivo­lous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century
            are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not in­terpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First
            Amendment protects modern forms of communications,
            e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844,
            849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern
            forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27,
            35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima
            facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,
            even those that were not in existence at the time of the
            founding.”

    • Ron Pulcer :

      David,

      As Arthur pointed out, the U.S. Constitution was written by mortal men. Our Founding Fathers may certainly have been inspired by their religious beliefs. Many of them were Deists, and not all were members of traditional mainline Protestant denominations. They strongly believed in Freedom of Religion, which they placed in the First Amendment (which comes “before” 2A in the U.S. Constitution).

      On the other hand, the Old Testament tells of God giving Moses the Ten Commandments. In the Catholic Church’s version of this story, please see Commandment #5:

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm

      For the Protestant’s version of this story, please see Commandment #6:

      http://godstenlaws.com/ten-commandments/index.html

      I doubt that God would give us this Commandment, and then later turn around and write our U.S. Constitution and tell us all to possess / carry the very thing which goes the against the grain of His/Her Commandment #5 or #6 (depending on your denomination).

      An apple looked harmless, until Eve held it in her hand. If Cain were alive today, who knows, he might come to VT, NH, ME or MS looking to purchase a “piece” to do in his brother Abel.

      Hey, but what do I know, I’m just a mortal man.

      • Brian Shaw :

        Common misunderstanding. Yes the Constitution and Bill of Rights were in fact written by men but neither grants rights to anyone. They rather outline restrictions on governments abilities and protect rights of the people that are handed down by a higher power in which for many that is God. No God did not explicitly say you have a right to buy or own guns however every human has the inalienable right to adequately defend themselves from harm and in a world where guns are real and logically no ban could ever make them go away, the chances of an attacker having a gun is considerable and the best defense against an attacker with a gun is obviously to have a gun.

  3. Compared to AIPAC the NRA is a peanut. Hardly an “extraordinary power”. So aren’t you along with AIPAC strongly pushing gun control, Governor Kunin? Are you also opposed to the right of self defense? For men & women?

    d morrisseau w pawlet,VT [email protected] 802 645 9727

  4. Ron Pulcer :

    Luckily, we have not had the kind of mass shootings in Vermont as experienced in other U.S. states. Let’s hope and pray it remains that way.

    Having said that, let’s not pat ourselves on the back, and rest on our laurels, for our “relatively” low crime rate (that is going up in places like Rutland City / County, and drug dealers carry guns). The drug-related shooting in Rutland City a few years ago involved a straw-purchased gun by Rutland City resident.

    In addition to the issues of gun safety, suicide, domestic violence, mass shooting, and mental illness, etc. there is also the issue of gun trafficking and straw purchases:

    Chicago Gets Its Guns Where It Used to Get Its Blues

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/January-2013/Chicago-Gets-Its-Guns-Where-It-Used-to-Get-Its-Blues/

    Like the blues song says: “Down in Mississippi”.

    Vermont doesn’t want to be compared to Mississippi, do we? I mean, Vermont was the first state to outlaw Slavery in it’s Constitution! But Vermont is just like Mississippi when it comes to guns purchased in Vermont ending up being used in gun crimes and murders in Boston:

    Stolen Vt. gun ended Boston man’s life
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-26/vermont-gun-travels/56503588/1

    Boston criminals get some of their Guns where they also get their Maple Syrup!

  5. Ron Pulcer :

    WCAX Investigates: Guns and drugs:
    Posted: Feb 07, 2013 11:42 AM EST
    Updated: Feb 15, 2013 7:03 PM EST
    By Jennifer Reading

    http://www.wcax.com/story/21053113/wcax-investigates-guns-and-drugs

    ‘In 2009, the coalition tracked how often guns purchased in one state were recovered from crime scenes in another state. Vermont ranked 16th nationally and topped every state in the Northeast, exporting more guns per capita than New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.’

    ‘Mitchell says these black market guns are increasing violence on his streets. “If you’re a young person and you’ve got a beef with somebody and you’re inclined to use a gun, you go to another state. You go to Maine. You go to Vermont.”‘

    • Zeke Rivers :

      Following is the height of hypocrisy:

      Mitchell lives in a State that exports millions of firearms (including the elusive, scary, black ‘assault rifles’) to other states, because it’s perfectly legal. Mitchell then complains to the media when a handful of those weapons make their way home and contribute to ‘violence on his streets’.

      If he and the elected representatives of MA and NY had the courage of their convictions, they would cease to provide the plethora of firearm manufacturers in their states with tax advantages for doing business there. Until that happens, nothing Mitchell has to say either influences or concerns me.

  6. sandra bettis :

    god give(n) right??? god wants you to own a gun??? god wrote the constitution??? talk about people not making sense….if the 3 responses above don’t make you vote for gun control, i don’t know what will….

    • Justin Farrar :

      Yes Sanra a god given right. NO ONE has the right to tell someone that they can’t protect their family and self by ANY means possible. No, God did not write the Constitution but the men that did recognized that defending ones family and self was a god given right the same as freedom of speech and religion so they wrote the Constitution to protect those rights.

      • Curtis Sinclair :

        Which God are you talking about? Jesus said “Put your sword back in its place,for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

  7. Suicide isn’t a gun problem, it’s a “Culture With No Future” problem.

  8. HALE IRWIN :

    I am one of many gun owners who DO NOT support the NRA. I deplore the fear tactics used by the BRA as it supports gun manufacturers.

    • Justin Farrar :

      Hale,
      Apparently you haven’t taken the time to learn about the NRA and all the good that they do. They are not doing what they do just to support the manufacturers. They do it because they love their country and the shooting sports. They offer safety programs, camps, scholorships, help send kids to the olympics, eddie eagle, etc etc. And most of all they make sure you continue to have the right to protect your family! You should take the time to learn about the NRA.

  9. Gaelan Brown :

    Vermonters standing firm on their right to self defense against criminals and tyrannical governments, rights codified in the VT Constitution’s 16th amendment and the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution, has NOTHING to do with the NRA. The NRA is not spending any $ in Vermont, and has hardly any members as a % of VT’s population.

    But there are still perhaps up to 50% of Vermonters who UNDERSTAND the actual purpose of these constitutional amendments that guarantee our right to self defense as a check/balance against potential govt tyranny. The people who understand this are not going to tolerate these rights being taken away.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY Vermont has also proven to the world that gun violence is minimized when gun restrictions/regulations are also minimized. We have always had among the lowest gun-murders per capita of any US state and we have always had among the least restrictive gun laws. We’ve also always had low crime rates in general, at least partially because criminals know that their potential victims are likely to be ARMED and ready to defend themselves.

    • Ron Pulcer :

      Gaelan,

      It is true that Vermont has historically had a relatively low crime and murder rate compared to other states. But then again, Vermont’s entire population equates to less than a “county”, for some counties in Midwestern states. Plus, neighbors are often dispersed and down the road a half-mile.

      http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/26099.html

      Kudos to Vermont for being the first to ban Slavery in it’s Constitution. But then again, Vermont has not had a large migration of poor blacks and poor whites looking for work in Ice Cream, Teddy Bear and Maple Syrup industries. In comparison, Michigan had many Southerners of both races move up north for the once-plentiful Auto industry jobs. This is just one reason why Metro Detroit was / is still as segregated as many Southern states. The racial tensions imported from the South were one of the causes of high murder and crime rate.

      Vermont’s “relatively” low crime rate might be due in part to less restrictive gun laws. But these statistics might also be related to a relatively racially-homogeneous population. There may also be other factors. I am not aware of any research into any other factors besides just the type of gun laws Vermont has.

  10. Ray Gonda :

    In answer to

    Gaelen Brown

    The 2nd amendment was established to

    1) be sure every able man had a gun and the manufacturers of ammo produced the proper calibers for those weapons.

    2 ) affirm the ability of the government to call up that militia for the purpose of a) putting down domestic rebellions, b) repelling foreign invasions

    3 ) to be used to get free of tyrannical repressive government.

    The first use of the 2nd amendment was to put down a whiskey rebellion – itself a citizen rebellion against government taxes.

    Google it and you will find a wealth of historical references attesting to these facts.

    Conveniently the gun industry and Gaelan forgets about all of these except the tyrannical part. Sounds like pure self- interest as well as hypocrisy by focusing only on repressive government.

  11. Ray Gonda :

    A further consideration to Gaelen Brown’s assertions:

    Note that those same guns you want to protect so vigorously can be used to suppress yourself. That follows from:

    2 ) affirm the ability of the government to call up that militia for the purpose of
    a) putting down domestic rebellions,
    b) repelling foreign invasions

    For further consideration, who would your guns be used against. Any authoritarianism in this nation would happen indirectly and you would never have any idea who you targets would be. They will take your money first as they have been doing right along – till you have so little left you will not be able to buy ammo. The wealth and income distribution here already attests to that.

    Here is where your money is going:

  12. Sally Shaw :

    Responsible gun owners aren’t paranoiacs like the first few commenters above. Too many accidental shootings and killings among teenagers have happened because guns aren’t required to be unloaded and placed in locked cabinets, barring access to children and the mentally unstable. This is a simple, common-sense precaution. If you want to protect yourself from an intruder sneaking into your house in the night, get a dog, for heaven’s sake, or put a can of mace under your bed.

    • Justin Farrar :

      You are correct, most of us to not believe 911 was an inside job nor do we think that Sandy Hook was. But if you think a dog or can of mace will stop a drug crazed criminal you are sadly mistaken. There are thousands of police reports where the criminal took a half dozen shots and kept on attacking. A person needs to be able to have an unlocked gun within arms reach as that criminal bursts into your bedroom in the middle of the night. Anything under the bed is too far away and a can of mace wouldn’t stop them anyway.

  13. Walter Carpenter :

    “We’ve also always had low crime rates in general, at least partially because criminals know that their potential victims are likely to be ARMED and ready to defend themselves.”

    You mean we’ve been lucky so far. When it happens here, and it will, then we in Vermont will join the new 21st century America where it seems to happen every week. This is the latest one, another four American lost due to someone with a gun who decided to use it on his fellow citizens instead of a target or a deer. Next week it will probably be somewhere else, but Vermont will know this too someday.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57574267-504083/upstate-new-york-shooting-update-kurt-myers-suspected-gunman-killed-by-police-in-shootout/

    “affirm the ability of the government to call up that militia for the purpose of a) putting down domestic rebellions”

    I believe you’re right here. This was the original intent of the second, more specifically to put down slave revolts in the slave states of that time.

  14. Douglas Duprey :

    I posted this before but it needs posting again. The 2nd Amendment was mainly written to defend ourselves from anything including bandits, foreign gov’ts, and our own gov’t. when you can guarantee my safety and my family’s from everything I will lock up my firearm. I live 20 minutes to 1/2 hr from proper police response. Tell me how good you can hold out in the 3 seconds it takes to bust down your door or smash a window to gain entrance.

    From Thomas Jefferson a Founding Father and writer of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson certainly would have us armed to the teeth and more to out gun our Gov’t. Your argument is flawed that the Founders would not want us to out gun them due to chance of being over thrown.

    Excerpt from the letter he wrote To
    William S. Smith Paris, Nov. 13, 1787

    “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. “

    • Ron Pulcer :

      Douglas,

      Regarding the ending of your William S. Smith Paris’ quote:

      “What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

      WHOA! I for one would surely would not use that line in front of parents and family members of those who experienced “Premature Death”!!!

      The Newtown, CT children were surely little up-and-coming “Patriots”. They said the “Pledge of Allegiance” every day at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    • walter carpenter :

      Dustin:

      I must admit that I think you are partially correct with your analysis about the second amendment’s purpose. Substitute the word “bandit,” for “Indians,” or “slaves,” or perhaps the commoners of the day (shay’s rebellion is a good example) and I think that is probably not far off from what the founders intended for the second. I also suspect that A “well-regulated militia,” was also a way to avoid the problems of maintaining a large standing army.

      Yet, I seriously doubt that Thomas Jefferson or the government he helped to create would want to arm us enough for each individual to be standing army themselves since one of the things that they greatly feared was revolt of the people wanting to take a share of their property. The founders were in general men of property and the last thing they would want was a mass of people more armed than the small army that they had.

      I also agree with you about how the government being beholden and scared of the people it is supposed to serve. This is what democracy is for. Yet, the some 30,000 annual deaths we have to gun fire in America is certainly not the people shooting down the government. It is the people with so many guns shooting down each other (or themselves) as well as innocents whenever the mood strikes them, like what happened in New York this week and what nearly happened to me many years ago. I doubt that it is making the government particularly scared of the citizenry. Instead, it makes us citizens terrified of each other which, I think, is its ultimate purpose.

      • Justin Farrar :

        Wow! You really need to spend some time reading the history of our fore fathers and what they feared! Your explanation is about as backwards as it could be from what history tells us they feared!

        • Penelope Chevalier :

          Wow, you really need to spend some time thinking about a society where people like you want to arm teachers, children and any and every idiot. An armed society, your dream come true. It’s too bad people like you create nightmares for everyone else.

          • “People like you.”

            It’s too bad people like you think their fears trump my rights.

            There is not. You do not have a right to be free from fear.

  15. Kristin Sohlstrom :

    It is NOT necessary for people to belong to the NRA and stand for the 2nd Amendment. Again, this is yet another example of the narrow-mindedness of the left in VT. You guys need to get out more.

    • Brian Shaw :

      I am a Vermont born and raised gun owner and I do not support the NRA though I do not mind that they support me which I suppose is a bit selfish of me but they have flip flopped on far too many issues to gain my support and I do not believe I need a lobby to protect what no one has the right to take.

  16. kevin lawrence :

    Why doesn’t Gov. Kunin start a grassroots campaign to educate her adopted Vermont resident neighbors on gun safety? Why does this require a change of law? Eddie the Eagle is the only gun safety program I see working in VErmont, and Eddie the Eagle is paid for by the NRA.
    Must we always legislate safety, if that is the perceived problem? Vermont is a very safe place where I carry a loaded handgun. My neighbors hear me shoot and know I carry. No criminal in their right mind would approach my house and expect an easy target. If my guns were always locked up, that would make me less safe and prepared. I have no children at home, thus I have a different pattern of using firearms than I would if I still had minors under my roof. No thanks– we don’t need VERmont to look like Sweden.

    • Brian Shaw :

      Unfortunately this is what we call creating problems so as to keep the pencil pushers employed. I was born and raised here and have been a hard working taxpayer for more than 20 years now and frankly, if this nonsense does not stop I am moving to a more responsible state that actually respects its people by protecting their rights instead of lobbying and seeking new ways to destroy our freedoms and way of life.

  17. Mel Allen :

    I’m always amazed that ‘gun safety’ discussions always seem to start with stripping rights away from the law abiding citizens, while actually doing little to nothing in the way of protecting anyone from the real threat of the teen or young adult on psychosis inducing medications or the murderous criminals in our midst.

  18. Tony Lolli :

    Oh, I see, Ms Kunin, free speech for thee but not for the NRA. Interesting.

  19. Patrick Cashman :

    Witness the demonization of the opposition. “All those who oppose me are NRA members…race traitors…mysoginists…rednecks…fill in your preferred hateful term here…”
    Perhaps Ms. Kunin has forgotten that her fellow Vermonters are individuals, capable of independent and rational thought who, just possibly, may have arrived at a different interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and 16th Article than herself. Perhaps she could credit us with the ability of independent thought without the lofty assistance of a transplant. Somehow, in her absence, I suspect we might be able to carry on.

  20. Stuart Hill :

    “The easy availability of a gun is one of the reasons suicides occur so predominantly,”

    No, depression is one of the reasons suicides occur so predominantly.

    Does she actually think we are stupid enough to think the firearms CAUSE suicide?

    Of course she does. Kunin always did see herself as part of the elite class. Not at all unlike many others who claim to know our minds, wishes and needs so much better than we do ourselves.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “No, depression is one of the reasons suicides occur so predominantly.”

      You are right, but the easy availability of guns is what allow so many thousands of depressed to do themselves in each year. A gun is much easier and quicker than most other means; it rarely allows for a second chance.

      • Stuart Hill :

        If someone is determined to die they will use what ever method available.

        Dealing with depression, including depression in less valued people is a better path to take.

        Let’s be honest here. We live in a very classist society. If you are anything “less than” upper middle class, young, healthy, able, good looking and white the value of your life is seen as significantly less by the vast majority of people.

        Staying with the topic of gun control look at the outrage when a few rich white people are killed by comparison to the “ho-hum” reaction to inner city minorities die every day thanks to drug gang related violence.

        For that matter look at the difference in reaction to the deaths of Mary Jo Kopechne and that of Ted Kennedy.

        Murder, suicide, abuse or whatever is rated in severity by the socio-economic standing of the victim. If a have not harms a have the have not is wrong. If a have harms a have not, the have not is still wrong.

        What I see is small vocal, ill informed group trying to force their agenda of firearms restrictions on the rest of us while ignoring the real issues.

        I have no doubt whatsoever that within a few days time I could acquire a NFA restricted weapon illegally much easier and much cheaper than I could permit and buy one legally. Before you call the bulls though I have no intention to do so.

        Like it or not restrictions do not work on those who refuse to follow the law. It’s not that hard to understand if you try.

        Have you ever heard about that glorious social experiment called prohibition? How well did that work at ending alcohol abuse?

        Deal with the REAL problems instead of trying to throw up a smoke screen by focusing on fear based fantasies.

  21. Interesting that Anne, who I have decided is clearly in the tank for the anti-gun-rights crowd, has chosen to characterize H124 as simply a safe storage bill. It does a heck of a lot more than that:

    http://www.greenmountaindaily.com/diary/9620/h124-ends-vermont-carry

    • Patrick Cashman :

      Also interesting that “in my house” somehow doesn’t count as secure storage in this regard. Now, apparently we require legislation to mandate how we store our personal property in our own homes.
      Perhaps next we can legislate exactly how towels are to be folded; remember people, the law is fold in half, then by thirds, then half again, folded edges out. Don’t make me call the sheriff.

  22. Bob Pierre :

    150 people?

    I was there! Were you?
    I counted 62 people and that included the press. Other reporters and news agency’s were reporting:
    WCAX: “..almost 50″
    Fox44: “…a group of 50.” and “…dozens showed up..”

    150 people in the Cedar Creek room? Thats TIGHT!

  23. ed fisher :

    Gov. Kunin ! The very reason this bill is having such a hard time getting going is because gun legislations never work . Clintons ban didn’t because it changed 0 statistics, hence it was allowed to expire ! The majority of crimes with guns are pleaed down to minor offenses , Even those against women ! And the sad part is , You know this ! Want to stop gun violence , stop violence !

    • Stuart Hill :

      You speak the truth. Sadly the backers of the bill don’t want to hear the truth or have anyone else listen to the truth.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “You know this ! Want to stop gun violence , stop violence !”

      I agree. This would be much easier without the millions of untraceable guns that we have hanging around the country. Without so many guns, we would not be able to kill so many of each other as we do every year.

      • Stuart Hill :

        Yes, millions of guns that have never been used in a crime and never will be.

        Now, the class of firearms that the screaming is loudest about at the moment are used far less than blunt objects (clubs, bats, hammers etc) or even fists and feet.

        Do you own a baseball bat Walt? You’re not a professional ball player are you? So what gives with that? Why do you need to own a weapon like that.

        Are you planning to go on a rage filled spree of beating people to death with that weapon? Deal out a little justice to the people who don’t see things your way? Based on your posts here you do seem to be quite an angry guy.

        It’s called satire folks. A tool to show the folly in other peoples false arguments.

        • Walter Carpenter :

          “Based on your posts here you do seem to be quite an angry guy.”

          Lol, Stuart. Are you sure it is anger? As i have said before on here, as far as I know, I am the only one on these posts here who has been on the receiving end of our gun culture in a non-military situation where my life was placed in imminent danger from a gun. I have also seen people who have been shot. This experiences changes ones perspective about issue of guns. Anger is not quite it:). Realism is probably th better word:)

          • Stuart Hill :

            You honestly don’t seem to be very well connected to reality.

            You’re a man with an agenda and seem to be saying pretty much anything to push that agenda.

            I’ve seen plenty of harsh things in my life. Many family members and friends have committed suicide, Some with firearms.

            Did the gun cause the suicide? Don’t be stupid, of course not.

            Would the people still have killed themselves without a gun? Don’t be stupid of course they would have.

            In the simplistic world many seem to be posting from everything is binary, 1 or 0, white or black, good or bad.

            A simple completely unrealistic imaginary reality.

            There are a great many factors that contribute to both violence and suicide. As lovely as it would be if there was one simple cause and solution it just isn’t so.

            I have no problem whatsoever if people are so terrified of the real world that they do want to believe in the fantasy/lie of easy solutions. That said I have a huge problem when they see it as their right to try to force me to live in their fantasy world

            Deal with poverty. That includes taking the profit out of poverty including the profit factor for the agencies that are supposedly fighting poverty. Even in Vermont this is a major problem.

            Deal with injustice. Poverty has one foot here as well but it goes far beyond that. Classism (including racism, sexism, ageism, ablism, socio-economic bigotry, etc) is rampant in our country and our state. Trust me on that.

            Deal with the way our culture has been desensitized to violence through the media. Read Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to see the patterns.

            Deal with the damage done by the drug trade? It is one thing to say it is ones own business if they pop a hit of Ecstasy or snort a few lines of nose candy but that does not change the fact that many are killed as the result of the harsher side of the drug business including many innocent bystanders.

            Why is no one crying and screaming for them in these posts? Go back up to the bit on classism. It’s because they are in large not upper middle class white liberals, THEY DON’T MATTER AS MUCH AS “US”.

            Deal with the real problems and quit wasting your time and ours on smoke and mirrors. Is that too much to ask?

  24. chuck gregory :

    Not only do Boston cops find that 40% of the guns they confiscate come from Vermont (source: Supt. Paul Joyce, speaking in Bennington), but 80% of the guns used in homicides (not accidents or suicides) are second-hand, guns whose owners sold, pawned, gifted, lent, left unsecured, etc. In other words, the guns got into unworthy hands because the original purchaser treated it like just another kitchen appliance.

    Guns are not. They are weapons of potency which deserve to be treated as such by their owners. What knight, what samurai would have let his sword fall into lesser hands? Our gun owners (and I am one) should have the same respect for the power of their weapon.

    So, to reduce gun homicides by 80%, the first purchaser of a gun should be aware that he/she bears responsibility for its use for its entire existence. It can still be sold, given, etc., but if anybody ever uses it at any time for a criminal purpose, the responsibility will be the original purchaser’s. He/she can dispose of it posthumously as part of the estate, but the only way to end that responsibility otherwise is to destroy it.

    This is entirely consistent with the rights expressed in the Second Amendment. I leave it to others to see the ramifications of such a law.

    • By your reasoning, then, if my German Shepherd has a litter of pups, and I sell them, and one grows up to bite someone, I’m responsible. You didn’t think that one through.

      • John Greenberg :

        Is your German Shepherd a lethal weapon?

    • Patrick Cashman :

      From the 3 Aug 2006 Free Press “Boston Billboard Pins Crimes on Vermont Guns”:

      “Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce said Vermont is not a significant source of guns used in crimes in his city, but that Florida, Maine and New Hampshire are.

      “We only had one illegal gun end up in Boston from Vermont in 2005,” Joyce said, adding that “secondary markets” for old guns, such as flea markets and “kitchen table” sales, make it more difficult to trace guns to where they were bought by criminals, even if the place of the first sale can be identified.”

      • Gosh — if one gun represents 40% of Boston’s haul…that would indicate they confiscated 1.5 other guns.

  25. walt Amses :

    Once we get past the “right” to do so, the second amendment provides us with almost nothing regarding gun ownership in this country, except perhaps the ammunition for an infinite, partisan debate. Each side is convinced they’re right and cannot remotely fathom how others can believe anything else….it’s so clear!

    I’m old enough to remember when the National Rifle Association was focused on hunting and gun safety, their ultimate objective was preventing a gun from killing or injuring a human. When was the last time you heard Wayne LaPierre even mention hunting? He doesn’t . Guns are for killing people, pure and simple. Bad people. People who deserved it. Unfortunately, there is no operational definition of who “deserves” it and no viable way to restrict gun ownership to those among us who will consistently blow away the right people.

    The NRA’s simplistic, 1950s TV-western mentality – aside from trivializing Newtown and every other mass shooting we’ve seen – provides a handy wedge issue for conservatives who see their political fortunes fading behind dogs that just won’t hunt anymore: gay marriage, women’s reproductive rights and immigration. Wayne and the boys will ride in at the last minute, head the opposition off at the pass and prop up your campaign – provided you genuflect quietly before the muzzle of an AK-47 with a banana clip.

    I have no illusions about what is possible regarding gun control in America, and especially in Vermont where gun ownership is high and gun violence is relatively low. I also know that someone with a baseball bat, a club or a table leg is unlikely to kill 20 children in the time it takes to dial 911.

    When the founding fathers determined that Americans would have the right to “keep and bear arms”, they had absolutely no idea about the future of guns. They were talking about muskets, flintlocks, guns that took the same amount of time to reload as it took James Holmes to shoot 70 people in an Aurora Colorado theater.

    More than a few of our fellow citizens believe that our personal arsenals provide a hedge agains the government. Personally, I think if you have enough guns to fight the army, you have too many guns.

    But my real concern is probably another byproduct of our cherished freedom that I’m sure the founders never anticipated. And that is the simple fact that anyone with enough money in America can walk out of a gun shop with enough armament to instantaneously turn the cinema, shopping mall or elementary school into a war zone.

    And the NRA’s response to such savagery? Gunfights. Good Guys vs Bad Guys.
    Hi Ho Silver……Away…..and afterward we can watch “American Bandstand”

    • Robert Ries :

      Mr. Amses, you have gone about almost all of your post entirely incorrectly.

      “Once we get past the “right” to do so, the second amendment provides us with almost nothing regarding gun ownership in this country…”

      Your understanding of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, is fundamentally flawed. The Constitution and BoR do not list things the Citizens may do; it lists specific things that the Government may not interfere with without an overwhelming threat to the nation as justification for the interference. Such evidnece has not yet been demonstrated.

      “I’m old enough to remember when the National Rifle Association was focused on hunting and gun safety, their ultimate objective was preventing a gun from killing or injuring a human.”

      Firstly, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Unless you can cite to evidence otherwise…? However, the NRA is still involved with hunting. But it doesn’t get national media attention. Secondly, the NRA is still focused on safety. They are, in fact, the only national organization that teaches such as one of its core missions.
      http://training.nra.org/
      http://pun.org/courses.html
      http://programs.nra.org/
      Oddly, despite an attempt to re-brand themselves as “Gun Safety” organizations, no Gun Control-advocacy groups seem to have any such educational program. Interesting data point there…..

      “Guns are for killing people, pure and simple. Bad people. People who deserved it. Unfortunately, there is no operational definition of who “deserves” it and no viable way to restrict gun ownership to those among us who will consistently blow away the right people.”

      Our courts and voluminous books of laws render this assertion incontrovertably incorrect. But hyperbole already appears to be your main tactic. Good luck with that.

      “The NRA’s simplistic, 1950s TV-western mentality…”

      No, just the Gun Control advocates inaccurate portrayal of the NRA. Your parody of reality…. is not reality.

      “When the founding fathers determined that Americans would have the right to “keep and bear arms”, they had absolutely no idea about the future of guns. They were talking about muskets, flintlocks, guns that took the same amount of time to reload as it took James Holmes to shoot 70 people in an Aurora Colorado theater.”

      Historical inaccuracy on your part does not lend weight to your argument.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_Air_Rifle
      Also, using this argument invalidates your right to post such laughable ideas on this very forum by means of this new-fangled interwebs thing-gummy. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has invalidated the theory multiple times, including directly addressing your exact point:

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html

      ” Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001) , the Second Amendment extends, prima facie,to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

      Continuing with your points,
      “More than a few of our fellow citizens believe that our personal arsenals provide a hedge agains the government. Personally, I think if you have enough guns to fight the army, you have too many guns.”

      What you “think” has no bearing on the intent and purpose of the Amendment. The historical writtings and legal precedents are unassailed by your unsupported opinion. Good luck with that too. (By the way, the insinuated slur on some gun owners mental health and politics is noted.)

      “And that is the simple fact that anyone with enough money in America can walk out of a gun shop with enough armament to instantaneously turn the cinema, shopping mall or elementary school into a war zone.”

      So what? I can do the same with common kitchen, farm and automotive chemicals as well. Every day you trust your life to people with equal destructive power in forms you dismiss or do not even contemplate. Where is your selling of false fear now?

      “And the NRA’s response to such savagery? Gunfights. Good Guys vs Bad Guys.”

      And that is why you would never call the police if you were in danger, amIrite? And you can drop the silly “wild, wild west” meme. It is also historically bankrupt, a figment of the Gun Control fantasy.

      Have a great day in Vermont, wish I was home for some well earned vacation time!

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