by Robert Maynard
Back in January gun rights supporters held rallies in opposition to Senator Phil Baruth’s Bill to restrict the right of gun ownership. One of those rallies was held at the State House in Montpelier and drew several hundred people. As reported by True North at the time, he withdrew his bills for lack of support following those rallies. No sooner did he withdraw the bill than Representative Linda Waite-Simpson introduced her own Bill in the House.
This caused the gun rights supporters to swing into action again. They held a rally this past Saturday that was even bigger and more energetic than the first one. Prior to the rally the Castleton Polling Institute released a poll that supposedly shows majority support for gun control in Vermont. If that is so, it was not evident by the relative size of the gun rights rally in comparison to a counter rally held across the street by gun rights opponents. The Green Mountain Daily ran a humorous article that was a spoof of how the mainstream media tried to demonize the gun rights supporters’ activism and produced some revealing photos that contrasted the support, which these two rallies drew.
In addition to holding rallies, gun rights supporters passed out petitions and encourged people to contact their legislators. What was the result? Here is how a WCAX-TV article described it:
A sweeping bill in the House proposed earlier in the session sought background checks on all gun sales, limits on ammunition magazines and other restrictions. But the lead sponsor, Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson, said this week the bill does not have the votes to pass and won’t be brought to the House floor.
That comes despite a poll last week that showed even gun owners support many of the provisions in the bill.
First the Senate Bill and now the House Bill. Both times the bill died after the gun rights supporters swung into action and in spite of polls and efforts at counter rallies. This leads one to question just how deep the supposed support for gun control really is in Vermont.