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  • Writer's pictureNeil Perlin

Gun Control - The Never-Ending Saga

Vermont is a wonderful place, especially for people who prefer social theory to reality. How so?

Well, Vermont will help lead the charge into the future with electric vehicles. (Such vehicles aren’t well suited for cold weather and rural terrain but they’re considered virtuous in some circles.) Or Vermont will stop climate change by driving citizens toward renewable energy. (Whether they want it or not.)

And the theorizing doesn’t stop… A bill was filed recently in the state legislature to ban semi-automatic assault weapons. “What's a ‘semi-automatic assault weapon’?” you ask. According to the Vermont Daily Chronicle of Jan. 5…

“…The bill, H582, defines a ‘semi-automatic assault weapon’ as a semiautomatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following features: “a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon” and several other features.”

In other words, a semi-automatic assault weapon looks military (and thus scary). It includes other scary looking features, including some that the sponsors will let the voters know about as soon as the sponsors decide what features are sufficiently scary.

“The lead sponsor is Rep. Mike Mrowicki (D-Putney). Other sponsors are Rep. Daisy Berbeco (Winooski), Melanie Carpenter (D-Hyde Park), and Leslie Goldman (Bellows Falls)". Interestingly, Carpenter was never elected. She was appointed by the governor to replace Kate Donnally, who was elected to the position and then resigned.

Why does all this matter? 

Vermont is a constitutional carry state so accurate gun information is easy to get. (Unless you stick your fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la if you hear conflicting information.) It’s easy to learn that "AR" doesn't stand for Assault Rifle. It stands for Armalite, the company that developed the AR technology. "Semi-Automatic" means that the gun fires once when you pull the trigger, not continuously like a machine gun. And so on. 

The core issue here comes down to how much control you’re willing to give up to other people. You can vote to ban guns – that’s democracy. But at least do so based on accurate information, not some meaningless anti-gun word salad whose purpose is simply to scare the daylights out of you.

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