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“One of the most liberal states in the country also is one of the most passionate about defending the right to bear arms,” reports wistfully, “a fact that is coming to the fore following proposed legislation to expand background checks and add other gun regulations.” As The Green Mountain State rejects the usual slate of infringements on residents’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to bear arms – expanded background checks, making it illegaler for felons to possess guns, increased reporting of mental illness to the FBI – the liberal rag has a hard time explaining the apparent contradiction between liberalism and love of gun rights. Here’s their first attempt . . .

Why the Second Amendment fervor in a state that Election Day exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and other media have found to be among the most liberal?

“I think it’s a result of years and years of Vermonters respecting guns as a tool to manage wildlife and to put food on the table,” [Governor] Shumlin said in an interview. “That’s what motivates us to own a gun. It’s not necessarily what motivates someone who lives in Manhattan to own a gun.”

Whether people grew up in a hunting family as he did “really influences how you look at this,” the governor added.

Wait. So Vermont hunters stand in direct contradiction of the so-called “Fudd mentality” (hunters who hate modern sporting rifles, wouldn’t carry a handgun if you paid them and support gun control)? To paraphrase the Grinch, maybe firearms freedom means a little bit more . . .

Gun-rights groups are adamant: “No more gun control bills,” said Bill Moore of Vermont Traditions Coalition. “We don’t need them in the safest state in the nation.”  . . .

FBI figures showed Vermont was the safest state in the country in 2013, with 115 violent crimes per 100,000 people. That was less than a third the national rate of 368 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

That’s often attributed to having no big urban areas — the state’s largest city is Burlington, population about 40,000. A sparser population and civic traditions like the New England town meeting also are sometimes cited. “I think there’s a strong sense of community in Vermont,” said Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn . . .

There’s widespread concern among gun owners about background checks in general, said Evan Hughes, vice president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

“A lot of people in the gun-owning community see every step down the regulatory road eventually leads toward registration and confiscation,” Hughes said.

Sounds to me like Vermonters cherish their gun rights for all the right reasons: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Gun control is a slippery slope to civilian disarmament and guns protect life and liberty. The better question: why do so many freedom-loving Vermonters vote for statist Democrats (redundant, but there you go)?

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  1. Trust the liberals to make an issue out of a non-issue. Vermont’s firearms traditions and policies should be upheld as a model for all other states to strive towards. My only real beef is VT prohibits suppressor ownership, but other than that, the way things are done is the right way. Of course, the liberal left wishes to impose restrictions on all aspects of society, and the fact that Vermonters exist peacefully with each other, while having few restrictions on firearms, just irritates the piss out of them. Ann Braden is nothing but a foolish busybody. She should move to Massachusetts.

  2. Please keep your hunting, self-defense, and crime statistics away from second amendment discussions. The second amendment is to protect citizens against their government.

    • I beg to disagree that defense of the 2A ought to be confined to any single issue such as the preservation of a free state. “The right of the People . . . ” is not predicated on the militia. We of the Jewdeo-Christian tradition hold that this right was endowed by God. We do not hold that God first created the militia and then endowed its members with the right to keep and bear arms. To base this right on one justification to the exclusion of others is to weaken – not strengthen – its defense.
      If there were a primary rationale it might be that we are endowed with the right of self-defense. Whether we need to defend ourselves against a bear, a highwayman or a tyrannical government, the core right is that of self-defense. Yet, I might be mistaken here; perhaps it is the right of self-preservation to find substance in harvesting game. Or to defend the community against foreign invaders. Yet, it seems that any of these are merely examples of the diverse means of preserving life so that we might pursue happiness. To these ends, we must practice the marshal arts and we may enjoy recreational target shooting merely for our amusement.
      All the aforementioned justifications can be found in our Anglo-Saxon and Western traditions supporting the right to KBA. What merit is there to disparaging any one of them?
      My sense of Madison’s intention – in mentioning the militia and the preservation of a free state – is as follows. Had Madison NOT cited this high purpose, legislators might one day have seen an opportunity to limit the RKBA. A legislature might have deemed recreation or hunting to be all very fine and good. Perhaps individual self-defense could be justified in some circumstance. Yet – arguably – there must be some “reasonable” limit to the RKBA; it’s only “common sense”. After all, if the RKBA were without limit whatsoever, bands of citizens might accumulate sufficient munitions to oppose the government’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Certainly, the framers never intended such an absurdity! Madison foreclosed exactly this “reasonable limit” argument by reference to the preservation of a free state. Having decided – at the Constitutional convention – that sovereignty is vested in “We the People” who ordained and established our Federal government, sovereignty is vested in We the People. And so, it is fitting and natural that We the People are the legitimate holders of the right to force. It is through the institution of the militia that we are assured the ability to preserve a free state. Should that be to the injury of a tyrannous Federal government, well, that was covered by the conclusion: “. . . it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government . . . “

    • Exactly! It should be mandatory that our guns are locked up at all times and not to be ever used for any other purpose. We don’t need hunting, we don’t need self defense. All that matters, is that when the time comes, we will have our single government approved anti-tyranny rifle and its accompanying side arm for use in specifically designated anti-tyranny activities.

  3. There’s something unusual going on regarding VT state politics. They don’t want outside political forces invading state politics. They want to keep local politics local. They know that any serious attempt at gun control will turn them into a skirmish in a national war with major lobbyists from both sides charging in and they don’t want that.

    This is the biggest reason gun control hasn’t gotten anywhere in VT.

  4. Correct. All gun control laws are of a piece. Any restriction- a waiting period, a permit requirement, a restriction on machine guns, or a restriction on a cosmetic feature, are all nourished from the same philosophical root. Demand repeal of all “gun laws”. All other ground is sinking sand.

  5. “One of the most liberal states in the country also is one of the most passionate about defending the right to bear arms,”

    Giveth with one hand take away with the other (the one with the shovel). Can’t have both, it’s like saying we have the cure for everything including cancer, and it’s in a small good tasting pill. The only problem, the pill dispenser is a swollen baboon rectum. Oh, I forgot to mention that the baboon is alive and rabid.

  6. why do so many freedom-loving Vermonters vote for statist Democrats

    Dunno. Why do so many cheese-loving Vermonters continue to eat their own crappy cheddar? Dunno. Why do so many ice cream loving Vermonters continue to buy Ben and Jerry’s imitation ice cream when it’s loaded with guar gum and artificial ingredients? Dunno.

    These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night.

      • Guar gum is made from a seed that comes from India. It’s an emulsifier to make a product gel. (My wife made it 42 years ago when she worked for General Mills.) Hope you can sleep now.

    • Hey, I happen to like Vermont Cheddar; do not buy Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream (or Haagen Das for that matter); and haven’t voted for a democrap in over 20 years, just on principal (even when they were the only party on the ballot – however my dog has been a write-in (God rest his soul)). I know, “republicans aren’t any better” but they’re definitely the lesser of two evils.

  7. It would make it a violation of state law as well as federal law for convicted felons to possess firearms. This would give state and local police new power to enforce the law.

    So it’s currently perfectly legal for felons to posses guns in VT? And changing that would give police new power to enforce the law? Which law? The one that already exists or the one that doesn’t exist yet?

  8. Wow I had no idea Vermont was overwhelmingly white. Like 98%…that explains a lot. Like Iceland or old Switzerland. Peculiar is an understatement…

      • Indeed. Rural people are raised to respect firearms, and more importantly, to respect the privacy and rights of others. I come from a semi-rural background and the worst thing you could do is meddle about in someone else’s business. I grew up a stone’s throw from Vermont, back when NYS had no real gun control laws. Guns were no big deal. We had a Remington shotgun (forgot what model) around the house that belonged to my uncle. It sat on the shelf in my parents’ bedroom with a box of shells next to it. Was told never to touch it, and if it was off the shelf, I was to tell my mom or dad. The neighbors had guns, or maybe not. No one cared, and no one nosed around trying to figure out whether they did or not.

        Pissing about in other peoples’ business seems to be an urban and liberal thing. I live in Miami now, and thankfully we have state-level pre-emption in Florida, so the wonderful municipalities in here wouldn’t dare go against state law. Nosy neighbors and busybody liberals are a constant problem down here. I posted a photo of me doing a tactical training run the other day and my Instagram followers lost their collective shit. It was glorious.

      • Hmmm….interesting, but then how do you explain this data? Comparably sized cities, scattered across the country, but with different racial majorties and vastly differing murder rates?

        Majority black cities:
        Atlanta, population 444,000, 53% black, murder rate 19/100K
        Baltimore,population 621,000, 63% black, murder rate 34.9/100K
        Detroit, population 701,000, 81% black, murder rate 54.6/100K
        Memphis, population 655,000, 63% black, murder rate 20.2/100K

        Majority white cities:
        Colorado Springs, population 432,000, 69% white, murder rate 4.2/100K
        Portland, OR, population 603,000, 73% white, murder rate 3.3/100K
        Seattle, population 635000, 65% white, murder rate 3.7/100K

        How does your “urban, not black/white” hypothesis hold up now, when urban centers of starkly different racial make-ups have such starkly different murder rates?

        Meanwhile, Alexandria, LA, Meridian, MS, and Pine Bluff, AR have total populations between 40K and 48K, are rural cities comparably sized to Burlington, VT. However, these cities have majority black populations ranging from 60% to 75% and murder rates ranging from 18.6 to 28.9 per 100K. Massive multiplesvof Burlington’s murder rate.

        Yikes! Whatever the common thread, and I don’t know what it could be, it isn’t so clear that it’s simply a matter of city size itself, as you assert.

        • It’s not the color of the skin you are born with, it’s the type of culture you choose to live the rest of your live with.

  9. This isn’t really a dichotomy from original, traditional Democrat liberalism and ideology (listening ACLU?) of years past. Independence, social responsibility (“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”) WERE a Democrat forte at one time. Gun ownership and Second Amendment protections readily fall into and are supported in that liberal environment.

    What has happened is urban socialist nanny statist extremists from big city, government dependent municipalities have over time hijacked the Democrat platform en mass to further entrench themselves in office.

    Using politically unmotivated non critical thinking sheeple voters who have been conned into believing that government is the be all end all only game in town to provide ‘entitlements’ and safety at the expense of freedom, the massively populated “progressive” cities all continue the political march toward totalitarianism.

  10. Really big cities are part of the problem that nobody wants to talk about.

    What sense of community can you possibly have when you share it with 8 million other people? It’s human nature to live in ‘monkeyspace’, and if your community is too large to bond with on a tribal level, then you withdraw to just close family and friends, and balls to everyone else.

    • Yup. I live in metropolitan Miami, and the only people I associate with on a social and community basis are my family and friends. Don’t really want to associate with anyone else. It usually becomes problematic.

    • As you infer, it is a population issue, and, IMO, a significant population that refuses to take personal responsibility for own actions, nor instill morals or standards of work and conduct to their offspring, and uses the term “they” ad nausea to describe what is owed the “because”.

  11. I can answer that question about the apparent discrepancy between pro-gun folks here in Vermont and the fact that it’s pretty librul and the Dems rule, as they do in the other Northeast states and have for decades. The politicians, lawyers, and media rumpswabs all live and work in the Burlington-Montpelier Corridor and the college towns, and they try to ram as much libtard stuff down all our throats as they can, but they’ve continued to run dead up against the pro-gun folks here. In fact, when every once in a blue moon one of their number tries to hit us again, their own bosses tell them in no uncertain terms to STFU. Also, most of the anti’s are Not From Around Here, and many of them own second and third homes; they moved here and then immediately set about trying to replicate the librul zeitgeists from which they were spawned.

    I’m also peeved that it’s still a holdout state on the suppressors but we can get that changed; that’s the only fly in the ointment here, for all practical purposes.

    As for the whiteness of the state, besides the six months of snow and ice, yeah, we take turns every year with Iowa, Maine and Wyoming as being the most white. An exotic ethnicity here is Bosnian Serb, of which there are a few immigrants in the “Queen City” of Burlington, which also have a few immigrant Somalis, several of whom have been arrested and convicted of assault, rape, robbery and other violent crimes, shockingly. And one of the Serbs or Croats, I forget which, is now being deported for his probable involvement in war crimes over there in the lovely Balkans, another shock.

    But outside the Corridor and college towns, it’s a whole other ball game; mostly rural, white, and a lot of blue collar workers, farmers, hunters and fishermen, and they ain’t real happy with how things have gone here since the Glorious Sixties, like the rest of the country.

    I can’t speak for their tastes in ice cream but our cheese takes a back seat to NOBODY, especially the Grafton Village brands. And yes, the cold weather seems to keep the riff-raff away that plague warmer climes, gee, what a shame. In any case, we have our own goblins and know who they are and where they live.

    • I’ll bet those soft librul Burlington-Montpelier Corridor and college town “rumpswabs’ all rely on Charmin for their daily excretory zeitgeist.

      The ‘thinking man’.

      For the rest of the state it’s the usual sandpaper.


  12. FBI figures showed Vermont was the safest state in the country in 2013, with 115 violent crimes per 100,000 people. That was less than a third the national rate of 368 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

    That’s often attributed to having no big urban areas — the state’s largest city is Burlington, population about 40,000.

    Ban urban City-States.

    It’s for the children. And common-sense.

    • Diluting the huge but geographically disproportionate political influence of big cities’ unhealthy ‘control’ over much of the rest of the country would certainly be something to strive for.

      Ex. CA, New York, and other similarly situated states where a single, or relatively few big Democrat controlled cities ramrod their ‘statist progressive’ political desires down the throats of the rest of a diverse, more rural and independent thinking state.

      • But, you see, it doesn’t work that way. At least, it doesn’t under our peculiar US Constitution. We can’t ban cities; nor can we ban high-density population centers. They are permanently part of our political landscape.
        On the bright side, the Senate is controlled by the States and the rural States have disproportionate representation in the Senate. The freedom-loving voters in these Constitution-respecting States need to wake up and smell their power; and, their vulnerability to the growth of the densely-populated Progressive States.
        Gun-owners are altogether too willing to write-off the slave States which are mostly densely-populated. The slave-States have too few gun owners to free themselves. If they are ever to taste some measure of freedom they will need the support of gun-owners in other States.
        Remember, when the slave-States collapse their Progressive citizens will flee to neighboring States such as CO and TX.

        • Yes, agreed.

          I was being somewhat facetious in my comment as it doesn’t reflect the realities. Its unfortunate state legislatures cannot be fashioned after the US Senate, and House of Representatives. If that were the case, the large cities wouldn’t have such a political lock on so many state governments such as it is in CA.

        • Correction, the Senate used to be representatives of each individual states. The 17th Amendment did much to shred that.

  13. The better question: why do so many freedom-loving Vermonters vote for statist Democrats (a redundant term but there you go)?

    because they are not idiotic, biased, tribalistic lemmings like the rest of this country.

      • I gather you are referring to Bernie Sanders; I have at least one or two points in his favor from my perspective; he genuinely seems to give a shit for ordinary working people here and especially for veterans; he’s done more for veterans than any other politician I can think of and can be found regularly at veterans’ events, Legion and VFW halls, spaghetti suppers and was instrumental in getting a VA med facility constructed and dedicated to vets up in this part of the state who were otherwise, including me, having to hump a two- or three-hour drive down to White River Junction on the NH border.

        That said, yeah, point taken on his socialist tendencies, which he does not hide or shrink from. Communist? Not really. Real commies behave quite differently and I have a number of notches of same on my gun barrels.

        • ” he genuinely seems to give a shit for ordinary working people here and especially for veterans;”

          Let me guess; he gives them free stuff? All they have to do is vote for him? Can we spell DUH!?

        • …and, I believe, he was among the few who voted against Iraq invasion, as he was not drinking the weapons of mass b.s. Koolaid…but again, the 2a loving farmers LOVE the free USDA money. No easy answers.

        • No, there are very few, if any, easy answers. In many respects, the things Sanders supports are identical with the things Patrick Buchanan has supported, and each of them would find more in common with the other than either would with any of the usual hacks in both the Stupid Half of the War Party (Repubs) or the Evil Half (Dems).

          As for libertarians? When they can find the will and the time to stop squabbling among themselves over arcane economic theory and trivia, and stop excommunicating disputants who have not yet memorized the complete works of Ludwig von Mises and gotten doctorates in Austrian School pedantics.

          In any case gun rights are here to stay in Vermont despite the occasional puny and futile efforts of those libturds Not-From-Around-Here and their enabling kin in the media here.

  14. When you finally learn to accept that pro-gun people don’t have to abide by the box you impose on them (i.e Republican, conservative, right wing, etc), Farago, then you’ll finally understand that putting *anyone* in a prescribed box blinds you to what is, not what you think it should be. 😉

  15. Irony is they keep reelecting the commie bass turd to the Senate and he wants to disarm the law abiding with federal law. SO I guess they only believe in gun rights for themselves and think The Commie will exempt his home state.

  16. To anyone who wants better “pro gun marketing”, make sure you inform anyone and everyone about Vermont.

    Ask people this question:

    “If guns are so horrific and evil and cause violent crime, why does Vermont — where any person age 16 or over can carry a handgun or long gun openly or concealed anywhere in public without a license or background check — have the lowest violent crime rate in the nation?”

    And after they get done convulsing over that, ask them why Vermont’s violent crime rate (that’s ALL violent crimes, not just murder) is comparable to or lower than the murder rate of ALL countries in Europe.

  17. Mr Farrago,

    You ask why Vermonters keep voting for statist Democrats?

    Maybe its for the same reason that Texans keep voting for statist Republicans.

    Quick, guess who grew the size of the federal government faster than any president prior to BHO.

    George “Dubya” Bush.

    Republicans are no better than Democrats overall. They just want to take away different rights. (Those protected by the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments. )

    Open your eyes. Other than a few “Pauls”.

    Libertarianism is where its at. Like someone said to me. Gay married couples should be able to defend their pot crops with machine guns.


    • +1 on ya Don.

      I don’t give a flying $hit what your practices or beliefs are, and you should not care about mine. Live and let live, share your opinion, but don’t shove it down my throat or demand I fit into your own limited box. That sir, is the American way.

    • I don’t blame you, Kevin; I have several friends over in the Vampire State. Just remember that while our gun laws (mostly nonexistent) are cool here, other stuff is not. The libturds control the government, media and schools here, just as in the rest of the country, and really all we have here is 2A and a tradition of liberty, minding one’s own business and pure cussed stubbornness, necessary for these long winters.

  18. why do so many freedom-loving Vermonters vote for statist Democrats

    Because Republicans are so very wrong on every other issue. It’s really that damn simple.

    Wrong on sending people to war in the Middle East for lies. Wrong on trickling economics down on us lowley serfs. Wrong on passing gun control laws to keep scary black people away in the 60’s. Wrong on every single social issue since they stoped putting a D after their name in the late 1800’s.

    To paraphrase the Simpsons: the Republican Party may not be pro-rich, homophobic, sexist, racist, misogynistic, jingoistic, Christian Nationalist Objectivist-poverty-is-your-own-fault-until-it-happens-to-me folks, but they are number one with them.

    Vermont State Constitution
    Article 6th.
    That all power being originally inherent in and consequently derived from the people, therefore, all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants; and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.
    Article 16th.
    That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State—and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

  20. Vermont was invaded by trust fund kids of the “Me Generation” back in the 1960s. They came here as part of the back to the land movement. Vermont has historically been conservative, but we live and let live. Gradually, these people have gentrified the state and its now seen as a liberal paradise largely due to the large concentration of liberals in certain pockets of the state – namely Burlington and the Upper Valley. The true meat and potatoes Vermonters are still largely conservative – but again we live and let live – until you start attacking our rights.


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