by Robert Maynard
Gun control advocates have been a busy bunch in Vermont lately. This is probably due to the fact that they now believe that they have a chance to push their agenda through. That push started with a coalition of Mayors and spread to the Vermont State legislature. The effort in the legislature have not been very successful. First there was S32 introduced in the Vermont Senate by Chittenden County Senator Phil Baruth. The response to this push on the part of gun rights activist was to immediately swing into action with rallies, petitions and contacting Senators. The result was that Senator Baruth had to withdraw his bill due to lack of support. The next move was in the Vermont House and it took the form of a bill introduced by Representative Linda Waite-Simpson. Once again gun rights activists swung into action and the result was that Representative Simpson’s House bill met with the same fate as Senator Baruth’s Senate bill did.
With the legislative push stymied, gun control advocates have switched their attention to local municipalities. This Burlington Free Press article covers this new push: “In the weeks after a gunman killed 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school, a group in Vermont set its sights on getting as many towns as it could to vote at town meeting in support of more gun-control measures.” How did their efforts work out: “They ended up with six towns.” The response to this result by both sides was summed up in the article as follows: “Organizers say they’re not discouraged by the number of towns set to vote on gun control this town meeting season, but opponents say they’re not surprised by the response.”
So far the supporters of gun rights are clearly winning the battle despite the claim that a majority of Vermonters now support gun control. The battle is not over, but the results so far are encouraging to those who support the right to gun ownership. The next step is to realize that such rights stand and fall with a unified defense of the intention behind our constitution. That intention was to limit the role of government. Gun rights supporters need to realize that the battle could swing the other way if a we do not halt the expansion of the role of government.