Rallying around guns

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It’s quiet inside the Statehouse Saturday, but outside, pro-gun rhetoric drew a crowd of hundreds.

“Guns are not the problem and taking them away from good people will not fix the problem,” said Senator John Rodgers (D-Orleans County).

Speakers included legislators and outdoor club members. Many aimed criticism at Governor Peter Shumlin’s recent comments. “Don’t say in Washington what you wouldn’t be willing to say in Vermont,” said Representative Pat Brennan (R-Colchester).

Friday, the Governor clarified his calls for a “50 state solution” telling a Politico reporter he supports increased background checks and new restrictions on the size of ammunition magazines. “I don’t think there are too many rational people who would object to background checks,” Shumlin aid.

“So universal background checks and then some restrictions on the size of the magazine?” The reporter questioned.

“Yes,” Shumlin answered.

Recent results from the Castleton Polling Institute indicate Shumlin’s views are in line with the majority of Vermonters. Of the 620 people surveyed, 71 percent of gun owners and 81 percent of those who do not own guns want background checks at gun shows. The survey also found that 55 percent of gun owners, and 77 percent of those without them, favor a ban on the sale of high capacity ammunition magazines.

“Please be respectful, stick to the facts keep your emotions in check and stay involved,” Sen. Rodgers told the crowd Saturday.

“This is a fight we can win. It’s a fight we will win, We have to stay focused and stay united,” Rep. Brennan said.

Those at the rally hope may be able to sway the opinions of the majority, if they stay vocal.

By Kyle Midura