Response from Governor Peter Shumlin to my email addressing my concerns about gun control and infringements upon 2nd Amendment rights:
February 1, 2013
Thank you for writing to me and adding your voice to the conversation about gun laws in Vermont and the United States.
I support the right of law abiding citizens to own guns, but I think it is appropriate to have a broader dialogue about what we can do to prevent gun violence. I appreciate the thorough discussion led by President Obama, Vice President Biden and others. Common sense dictates that we will only make progress in curbing senseless violence in our country with a 50-state solution. I support the President’s recommendations, and urge Congress to work collaboratively to adopt comprehensive federal legislation.
In addition, my administration continues to focus on strengthening communities and providing for the well-being of Vermonters by working to improve Vermont’s mental health and social services. Many Vermonters have also written to me about the importance of reviewing school security procedures in an effort to prevent the kind of tragic crimes we have witnessed recently. These concerns warrant further examination and I will be working with my administration and legislators to determine how we can address violence at the state level.
As citizens of this country, we are all called upon to reflect on the small actions we can take every day to build stronger, safer communities. I thank you for joining me in this effort.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, Vermont 05609
My response to the above email, as sent to Governor Shumlin on February 1, 2013:
After reading your response to my email, I am now under the impression that you believe that Vermonters have forgotten how to communicate with each other. I arrive at this conclusion as the result of having been provided with copies of your email responses to many friends of mine who have voiced their concerns about proposed gun control legislation. As such, it comes as no surprise to me that you have sent the same canned-ham response to me about my concerns that they received. Did you not think that it would become quickly obvious that you do not take the time to consider the unique arguments that each of us sends your way, or have you simply decided that you are above providing a more specific response to our concerns?
Furthermore, your approval of the federally proposed approach to gun control leads me to believe that you have not done your due diligence in becoming educated about the functions and operation of firearms and their accessories. In nearly all cases, the firearms proposed for banning differ from models that will remain legal, only in aesthetics; they are identical in functionality and lethality. Banning something because it “looks scary” is a knee-jerk reaction that will prove just as ineffective as the AWB of the 1990s.
In regard to “high capacity clips”, as they are so often referred, we find further misconceptions. First of all, the word “clip” is being used interchangeably with the word magazine; the two are not synonymous and should not be confused. Secondly, many of the “high capacity” magazines that are under scrutiny are actually factory standard capacity magazines designed to go with their respective firearms, with lower capacity magazines being designed and manufactured after these firearms were initially produced. The “high capacity” designation is a term arbitrarily specified by well-meaning, albeit misguided, politicians. Finally, the idea that limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds will in any way deter violent crimes or mass shootings is absurd. As a gun owner, I can tell you from experience that it takes 1-2 seconds to remove an empty magazine and load a new one into a firearm. Multiple 10-round magazines are just as capable of enabling someone with ill intent to commit mass murder as a single 30-round magazine. Reloading time would not provide ample opportunity for anyone to mount an offensive against such an assailant. Limiting magazine capacity arbitrarily will accomplish only two things. It will catalyze the sale and manufacture of smaller capacity magazines, and it will burden law abiding gun owners with carrying more equipment with them to the target range.
I would ask you to more closely consider this legislation and the lack of potential it holds for deterring gun crime. Furthermore, I wish to remind you that your service as governor is a privilege granted to you by the people of Vermont. You are elected to represent OUR interests, not the interests of career politicians in our nation’s capitol. As Senator Baruth discovered when he proposed S-32, the majority of Vermonters do not support such unconstitutional infringements upon our 2nd Amendment rights. You are not in office to play politics and to carefully follow the party lines dictated by Washington. Nearly all conservative Vermonters and a substantial percentage of liberal Vermonters oppose this legislation. We will remember on which side of this issue you stood next election season. Choose wisely.