Our Personal Response to the Burlington Gun Ban

Dear City Council Member,

After attending the Burlington city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 7, I walked away feeling very disappointed and extremely alarmed. What I saw was a small group of people with personal agendas and it proved 3 things to me:

  1. The public outcry meant nothing. In case you didn’t notice, not one person who spoke from the audience was for the proposed charter change and gun ban.
  2. The board thinks that they are smarter than everyone else and will do what they feel is right. This is NOT your job and not what you were elected to do. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
  3. The board is willing to trample over state and federal rights of the people to be able to claim that “something” was done to make Burlington a safer place.

Will all these new ideas include check points? Leave your guns outside the city limits or be arrested? Will citizens become instant outlaws when entering the city? Disarming innocent people will not protect innocent people.

There are 3 types of people who own semi-auto firearms:

  1. The man/woman who goes to the shooting range to target practice on the weekends and just enjoys the sport. Also included are hunters, formalized target shooters and others who want the best possible means to defend themselves and their families. (A home invasion happened approximately 2 weeks ago in St. Albans in which 4 armed individuals broke into a home. It is very difficult to stop more than one perpetrator without a semi-auto firearm.)
  2. Drug dealers. By their very profession drug dealers are already breaking the law.
  3. Other assorted criminals and lunatics.

So, I ask you. Which of these three types would a Burlington gun ban affect? Who would pay attention to the law and follow it? Well, that would be type #1, the law abiding, honest citizen of Vermont.

At the meeting, a scenario was presented by a councilman where upon a man enters the Flynn Theater carrying an AR15 with a 30 round magazine. What if that was to happen? Wouldn’t it be better to have someone else in the theater also armed? If the man with the AR started shooting he could easily be stopped by someone he is trying to harm.

Law abiding Vermonters are very respectful of guns and their uses. Just because someone is wearing a semi-auto rifle strapped across their back does not mean they are a criminal intent are creating havoc.

Another city council member told the story of a woman who was raped and brutally murdered and left in a ditch near his home. He claimed he went and bought a revolver but on second thought, that was not the answer. More gun control was! If that poor woman had been armed her chances of being alive today would have quadrupled.

I personally know 4 policemen and they all say the same thing. “We get there AFTER the crime has been committed or is under way. We take down all the information and tell you we’ll get right on it but it is the armed citizen that actually PREVENTS crime. After all, when seconds count police are only minutes away.” This is verbatim from my friends.

You don’t have to like the fact that someone can carry a semi-auto firearm around but you must respect it. When a small select few start picking and choosing which guns they like and what they consider legal pretty soon there will be an argument for every type of firearm to be banned.

There is another reason why I oppose the gun ban and that is the charter change. When cities and towns start changing their charters Vermont loses its solidarity and what is legal in one place is illegal in another. This is grossly unfair to unsuspecting, law abiding citizens who all of a sudden are outlaws due to the whim of local legislators. Before pursuing your charter change please refer to these Vermont Supreme Court decisions: the State vs. Rosenthal, May 30,1903. “………..held, that a city ordinance prohibiting a person from carrying within the city………. is repugnant to the Constitution, and to the extent void.”

And check out the State vs. Carlton 48 Vt. 636 “……….held, that he had the right to go prepared with a loaded pistol, to defend himself against any assault that the deceased might make upon him while in the exercise of that right ……the carrying of such a weapon for such a purpose, would not be unlawful. (242.1)”

Semi-auto firearms make up about 60% of what gun owners carry today. Putting a ban on them creates a dangerous atmosphere for innocent citizens. While this is not your intent, it is surely what happens. Statistics show that high gun control areas are always high crime areas .Adam Lanzo didn’t get the memo that the school where he committed his atrocities was in a gun free zone. People like that never do.

If, however, you feel that making a gun ban would ease your mind please consider relocating to a state with strict gun control laws such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and of course, Connecticut where crime rates are 500% higher than in Vermont. Vermonters choose freedom and personal responsibility to keep us safe, not illogical laws.

I urge you to reconsider the charter change and the gun ban for Burlington as this act will have huge repercussions by opening the door to more crime NOT less. There are over 20,000 gun laws in this country. We don’t need any more. As shootings will continue to happen what we do need is clear, concise ideas, NOT knee jerk reactions. There were a few council members that made excellent suggestions regarding mental health issues. These are the avenues that the rest of the group should be exploring. Many thanks to those who opposed the charter change and proposed gun ban.

Ilse Vergi
Gun Owners of Vermont

For more reading check out this article written by Larry Correia. He says everything about gun control exceedingly well and puts gun control in perspective that everyone can understand.