Vermont does not have a problem with gun violence, but some are suggesting that it is partially responsible for gun violence in places like Boston. Witness the following story from WCAX-TV:
Most Vermonters visiting Boston are met by its iconic skyscrapers and historic charm. But there’s another side to the city; 51 people were murdered in Boston last year, roughly 70 percent killed by guns. The Dorchester neighborhood was the most violent, with 17 murders.
“These mayors know the terrible toll that guns take in their communities,” said Mayor Tom Menino, D-Boston.
Menino says Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are contributing to the problem. He’s rallying mayors across the country to join a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Massachusetts already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, yet violent crime remains high.
“We’re the ones who hear the gun shots. We’re the ones who hear the police sirens. We’re the ones who have to comfort families when these things happen. Enough’s enough,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell, D-New Bedford, Mass.
The coalition is pressuring Congress to toughen federal gun laws, including banning assault weapons and cracking down on interstate gun trafficking. Menino says a national policy is necessary to keep guns from illegally crossing state lines.
“Guns have no borders,” he said. “They don’t stop at the border of Vermont and Massachusetts and say, ‘oh, I got a gun. I got to stop.’ No, they keep on coming.”
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.
So, they start with the following observation: “Massachusetts already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, yet violent crime remains high,” and conclude that the problem is that guns are being exported from places like Vermont. The solution then is to ban guns in places like Vermont in order to get a handle on violence in places like Boston. The question not being asked is that if guns are the cause of the violence experienced in places like Boston, where gun control is strict, why are places with lax gun control laws like Vermont not experiencing even higher gun related violence? Could it be that there are other factors driving the violence rate in places like Boston and politicians simply are looking for an easy answer?