You know bureaucrats are feeling brazen when they come out and say what they actually think, especially when it comes to stripping the rights of law abiding citizens.
According to this news story city councilor Norman Blais (D-Burlington), has taken it upon himself to sponsor a ban of “any semi-automatic assault weapons and multiple ammo clips”.
That isn’t a mistake. That is a direct quote from the proposed ordnance:
“No one has convinced me that these weapons serve a useful purpose,” says Norman Blais, D-Burlington city councilor.
Norman, why does a citizen have to justify ownership of their personal property to you? What is an acceptable purpose, and why do you or any bureaucrat become the ultimate arbiter as to who can own what, and for what purpose?
You state that “No one has convinced me that these weapons serve a useful purpose”.
Clearly then, according to you, since these weapons have no useful purpose then the police shouldn’t have them either.
Blais says he was motivated after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School where a gunman killed 20 kids.
So how would your proposed ban affect someone who is bent on murder and destruction? The proposed ordnance change states “ban to be enforced by a substantial fine”. So if we are to understand this, a murderer who is ok with potentially going to prison for life would now somehow be stopped by the threat of a “substantial fine”?
Blais says many details of the plan, including if it would affect current gun owners, can be worked out later.
Odd, the ban must be introduced now, but whether the rights of individuals for their own personal protection or if they would be reimbursed for the theft of their legally owned property can be handled later.
“Do you feel at all that it impinges on the second amendment?” asked FOX 44/ABC 22.
“Well sure it does. I mean but there’s no constitutional right that is unfettered or unregulated,” says Blais.
That is most telling about your philosophy Norman. Do you even know what a right is? A right, expressed in a longer form, is really “a right to be left alone”.
You may want to refresh your memory by reading the second amendment again.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Note that there is no reference of a privilege, though there is a specific reference to a right and how it shall not be infringed.
A ban is as clear cut as an infringement as you can get.
And what is a “semi-automatic” assault weapon? Actual assault weapons, ones that fire in fully automatic fire where more than one round is discharged for a single pull of the trigger, have been regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934. The term “semi-automatic assault rifle” is a contradiction in terms.
In 1994, when the so called “assault weapons ban” was put into place, it only dealt with cosmetic features on rifles, such as if the rifle had an adjustable stock, or a flash hider, or a pistol style grip and also magazine capacity. You don’t define what a “semi-automatic assault rifle” is. Is it a rifle that looks scary, such as rifle that uses synthetic materials?
What is a “multiple ammo clip”? I may need to help you with this one, since even the wording of your resolution doesn’t make sense. Every clip that I know if holds more than one round of ammunition. So are you advocating substantial fines for everyone who has a clip that can hold more than one round of ammo?
Secondly, the terms clip and magazine are not interchangeable. If you assumed that clips and magazines are the same thing, then what you are advocating is every single person with any magazine or clip face a substantial fine.
Here is an example of a clip is versus what a magazine is. Note that a clip is simply a piece of metal. A magazine is just a metal box with a spring in it.
Remember, words mean things, especially when drafting a law.
If you want to ban something, first understand what you want to ban before you try and ban it, or else you might have a situation like this:
The main components of the resolution are shown below. Note the justifications given for this type of infringement and the results of which when the arguments are subjected to rational scrutiny.
Notice how the second paragraph contradicts the first? Which is it? If I have the right to bear arms, and remember a right expressed in longer form means a right to be left alone, then if it can be regulated it means that someone else has a higher claim on telling me whether I can do something or not. If that is the case, then it no longer is a right, and thus becomes a privilege.
I went back to the second amendment and didn’t find any reference to a privilege, however I did find an explicit reference to a right and how it shall not be infringed.
Theft of personal property is an infringement.
First off, the federal Gun Free School Zones Act sets the boundary with regards to firearms possession in “school zones” at 1,000 feet. The constitutionality of that law remains in question since it was struck down by the Supreme court but then resurrected under a flimsy interstate commerce reincarnation.
While it does have an exception for permit holders, Vermont doesn’t require a permit to carry openly or concealed. Someone legally carrying to protect themselves or their children, say in the case of a parent dropping their child off at school or simply being near the school, now runs the risk of a lawsuit for simply exercising their rights. It is a terrible piece of legislation that does absolutely nothing to protect people who are in a school zone. Sandy Hook was in one such “gun free” zone.
What if a person is simply on their way to a range? Or on their way to have their legally firearm repaired at a local gun shop? They should lose their property and be fined?
All of those were tragedies. All of those were murders. Murder is already against the law. The ban on murder didn’t stop those tragedies from happening.
Tragically, the movie theater in Aurora was a gun free zone. Sandy Hook was a gun free zone. Virginia Tech was a gun free zone. Gun free zones only apply to those who are law abiding invidivuals. A sign on a door indicating a ban in place isn’t going to stop a deranged lunatic.
The ban on guns didn’t stop those things from happening. The ban actually helped the murders happen since law abiding citizens couldn’t legally defend themselves.
While you may think that you are doing something to prevent crime, the reality is that you are doing the exact opposite.
The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sportsmen.
As for the assertion that possession of semi-automatic weapons and “multiple ammo clips” not providing any significant protection to the lives of individuals or promote their safety, that is patently false.
A very easy Google search revealed just these few stories. I could have easily listed out several more.
A woman stopping a rape because she is armed isn’t isn’t providing significant protection to the lives of individuals or promoting their safety?
An individual stopping a mass killing isn’t providing significant protection to the lives of individuals or promoting their safety?
An outright ban, a fine, and theft of property isn’t balance; it is an abomination.
Creating gun free zones doesn’t create a safe and secure environment. It provides lunatics with target rich environments. That is the exact opposite of what you are claiming is your stated objective.
Criminals by definition don’t obey laws; that is why they are called criminals. Law abiding citizens do obey laws.
This horrific legislation wouldn’t do anything to actually stop another Sandy Hook, unless you seriously think that the threat of a stiff fine would stop a murderer.
What your proposed resolution would do is confiscate legally owned property and deprive an individual the right to keep and bear arms, acts that are impossible to do if you are respecting rights.