Second Amendment groups hold rally at UVM, speak out against gun control

Michael Bielawski/TNR

SECOND AMENDMENT STRIKES BACK: After weeks of hearing about the need for gun control, around 200 gun-rights supporters gathered at UVM to defend firearms freedom. Gun Owners of Vermont President Eddie Cutler was among the leaders invited to speak on the issue.

BURLINGTON — A half dozen gun-rights leaders spoke Friday at the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel to oppose gun control measures being advanced in Montpelier by state lawmakers.

Organizations represented included Gun Owners of Vermont, the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Vermont Traditions Coalition, the Ethan Allen Institute, and more.

UVM freshman Jace Laquerre, who helped organize the rally, introduced the speakers. He started by noting one key figure was not present.

“We invited the governor here tonight, but he did not show up,” Laquerre said, provoking loud boos from the audience.

Gov. Phil Scott in recent weeks has voiced his support for gun-regulation bills S.221, H.422, H.675 and H.876. These bills, respectively, allow police to take guns in a domestic violence situation, allow the removal of guns from “high risk” persons at a judge’s discretion, and reinforce the federal bump stock ban.

Scott told True North on Saturday that he hears the concerns of Second Amendment groups and is making plans to meet with them.

Michael Bielawski/TNR

STUDENTS FOR GUN CONTROL: About 20 protestors with signs appeared at Friday’s pro-gun rally to call for action to curb gun violence.

“I’ll be trying to get with them individually, I’m meeting with some groups next week,” he said. “Nothing that I propose infringes on the Second Amendment whatsoever, so I’m still an advocate for the Second Amendment, but I think we can be doing a better job in protecting our kids and our schools.

Scott said that after police helped avert a potential mass shooting in Fair Haven last month “we should learn from that lesson and do things a little bit differently … while protecting our Second Amendment rights.”

Rep. Patrick Brennan, R-Colchester, another speaker at Friday’s event, commented on the actions going on in the Statehouse since a Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students. He cautioned that understandably high emotions following the shooting are getting in the way of a reasoned response.

“They are running on high emotion,” he said. “Everyone was really eager to come back home on Town Meeting and stand in front of folks and say, ‘I did something.’”

He said S.221, which concern persons considered a danger to themselves or society, was originally a good bill that gun owners could get behind. But then it went over to the House Appropriations Committee and got made into something less desirable.

“We also had some good gun owners and gun people voting for it because of overwhelming emotions. And they got to go home and [brag that they did something]. … But I didn’t, and you know what, if I lose the election over this, so be it.”

One UVM student in the audience asked how the speakers could advocate gun freedom when, according to a CNN poll, 70 percent of the nation supports new gun restrictions.

Rep. Janssen Willhoit, R-St. Johnsbury, said he wasn’t sure about the 70 percent figure, but assuming that was true, his loyalty is to the Constitution.

“Let’s say we polled all of Vermont and 70 percent say we want these laws. The fact of the matter is, and I’m thankful for this, we are a constitutional republic. … And I and all our committee members took an oath to the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution, and so I have a duty — even if the people want it — if that’s unconstitutional, I have to protect that Constitution.”

Outside the building, as it snowed, about 20 protestors gathered to hold signs and call for action to curb gun violence. Among them was Eden Harari, a freshman.

“Right now … we are remembering the people who have been lost by gun violence in America, most recently in Parkland,” said UVM freshman Eden Harari. “That’s our message out here — to say we don’t support that what they believe and that we just want to show them that there are a lot of students on campus who don’t support them.”

Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, encouraged gun rights supporters to reach across the divide to gun control proponents.

“We need to be able to keep those people who left … in the room,” Roper said. “We need to be able to have a conversation with them, and we need to broaden the conversation away from just ‘guns are bad [rhetoric].’”

He noted a contradiction that lawmakers, some of whom want to take away guns, have armed protection: “It is the lawmakers who are currently contemplating taking away our Second Amendment rights.”

“Guarded by several armed and trained security guards, they keep themselves very safe with guns but are constantly taking away our rights to defend ourselves,” he said.

“I wonder how many of them would actually show up to work at the Statehouse if one day they said we are going to replace all those armed security guards with signs that say ‘gun free zone.'”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

9 thoughts on “Second Amendment groups hold rally at UVM, speak out against gun control

  1. Showcasing students protesting guns…..how stupid. What with the lousy education they get (or is that indoctrination?) they have no clue about the Constitution, the Second Amendment (or any amendment) or what they are protesting. Foolish, foolish children. Why in the world does the media look to kids…..kids……for guidance? They only know what their teachers have poured into their heads; and that which they poured is left wing, Communist BS.

  2. How many of these planned mass casualty events were NOT done by young men on psychiatric drugs?
    They should register SSRI users, past and current. When they say they want to kill, believe them.
    They could just as easily use a car to run over innocent people.
    Register dangerous people.
    It’s clear the fascists/globalists/communists want these incidents to happen, because it forwards their agenda. It has nothing to do with keeping us safe!

  3. Was there actually any of those students who knew what a “Constitutional Republic” was? When they hear democracy, they automatically think that anything and everything can be change by a simple vote. That’s the democrat’s philosophy and history proves that a pure democracy will fail by turning into socialism, then to communism, and then to a dictatorship. That’s when the revolution begins and it all starts over again. The problem with a pure democracy is that the voters can vote the entire treasury back to them selves and as the government fails, the rest of the transformations occur.

  4. Scott’s argument is so lame–just an excuse for throwing all hos supporters under the bus. The Fair Haven incident is probably the brightest example why proper policing, immediate and proactive response, is all that is needed to actually STOP madness before it happens. When one asks just what it is about Fair Haven that calls for any of the governor’s knee jerk solutions–one is left just sctatching their head as not one of those so called solitions is related in any way to the FH incident.

  5. Again the snowflakes protested but would not go inside to debate , why not !!

    Because all they have is HYPE, they shout about the horrific trageies in schools,
    but refuse to debate the problem, the problem of the ” deranged individual ” of why
    he did what he did ?? And who knew he was Mentally ill , every one around him
    and they did nothing to stop him …… shameful Situation l !!

    All they can do is blame the inanimate object a firearm why, it’s just an Agenda
    Liberals talking points ……..Snowflakes At UVM .

    At least they UVM has one normal student, freshman Jace Laquerre for helping
    to set up this event for debate .

    The rest of us have , Phil Scott ………………. Pretty Sad !!

  6. Vermont do not change one thing.You are the greatest gun safe state in the US.i am moving up there soon. Fight all and any gun control!

  7. “We invited the governor here tonight, but he did not show up,”

    Scott told True North on Saturday that he hears the concerns of Second Amendment groups and is making plans to meet with them.

    Rep. Janssen Willhoit, R-St. Johnsbury,I and all our committee members took an oath to the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution, and so I have a duty — even if the people want it — if that’s unconstitutional, I have to protect that Constitution.”

    It’s unfortunate that the Governor and all other elected representatives can’t uphold there oaths of office as Rep.Willhoit has voiced his support to the Constitutions.

    It’s time to primary the Governor as he is unable to uphold his oath of office,I wouldn’t put out Mr Benedict Scott if he was on fire.

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