In a previous commentary I responded to a question by a reader as to how and why Vermont’s gun control advocates can ignore our state and federal constitutions by suggesting that the reason is that the proponents of various constitutional rights do not spend enough opposing the expansion of the role of government. The whole premise behind all of our constitutional rights is that the role of government should be limited. The progressive movement has rejected that premise going back to its late 19th Century origins. Vermont has become a hotbed of progressivism and Burlington is ground zero of the movement here in Vermont. It should not be a bit surprising that the Burlington City Council would ignore the majority testimony opposing the measure. The progressive agenda is rooted in the control of the people by an enlightened elite for the sake of the public good. Gun control is an integral part of that agenda and is bound to be enacted in Vermont as long as progressivism continues to advance. The latest expression of incredulity over the fact that the Burlington City Council would so blatantly ignore the majority testimonies was expressed by the Vermont Federation of Sportsman in an article from WCAX:
Outside the Barre Fish and Game Club Sunday it was skeet shooting. But inside the club house, members of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen have their sites set on a different target.
“Approximately 100 people showed up, approximately 25 people spoke — all opposed to the resolution. And the city council not only passed the resolution, they made it worse,” said the Federation’s Evan Hughes.
Hughes and delegates from roughly 30 sportsmen’s clubs, representing over 10-thousand hunters and shooters across Vermont, hope to shoot down Burlington City Council’s planned charter change banning semi-automatic assault weapons within city limits. They say they fear it infringes on state law — the Vermont sportsmen’s bill of rights.
“Because that protects firearms possession, sale, transfer, ownership of fishing equipment, hunting equipment, and the activities of hunting, fishing trapping and shooting,” Hughes said.
They feel their testimony last Monday, which resulted in a 10 to 3 vote in favor of the charter charge, fell on deaf ears. Burlington Council member Norm Blais, who proposed the charter change, said at last weeks meeting, that a ban could prevent tragedies like the recent one at Sandy Hook Elementary. “To those people who say we don’t need this legislation in Burlington because nothing like this has ever happened here before, well the people of Newtown, Connecticut could have said that before Dec. 15th,” he said.
Despite that, the federation has plans to continue a positive PR campaign in hopes of preventing the ban. “We’ve got to show them what they are, how they’re used and that they’re a lot more prevalent than what legislators or the city council may want to believe,” Hughes said.
Hughes said a quick response to the issue of gun control isn’t the right path in the long run.
“There are so many inter-related and complex issues that there is no simple immediate solution to the problem,” he said. “If you want a good quality solution, you’re going to have to invest the time into research into what the problems are.”
The group hopes educating lawmakers on their point of view will slow down the apparent rush for change.
The state legislature still needs to approve the charter change before it goes to a city-wide vote.