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