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Likens: Gun bill offers self-protection, independence

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 00:12

Provided by Taylor Likens

Provided by Taylor Likens

To claim that guns don’t kill people is to be laughably misinformed. Yes, people kill people, but guns can help that process along quite a bit, as blasts of supersonic lead tend to be much more effective at 50 yards than all but the most impressive of right hooks.

That being said, Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack’s movement to fine all non-gun owners for their impotency can be a little hard to swallow. Although born out of ritualistic stupidity, this suggestion has an odd sort of brilliance to it.

His proposition is as literal as it sounds—Vermont households would either need to purchase a gun or decline for a $500 fine. Rest assured that this movement was forged in only the finest, most anal of bureaucracy.

His stance is supported by his diligent scouring of the constitution, which he presumably spent several minutes reading by the dim glow of a Scooby Doo nightlight. In his studies, he found the second amendment claims “the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.” And interestingly, those opposed to the ownership of arms shall “pay such equivalent.” Basically: load up or pay up.

I myself have a humble collection of three rifles. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you’d have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands. No, it’s much more likely I would be prying them out of yours, as I am quite efficient with them and have no shame kicking some fascist in the genitals.

Still, despite my personal investment in firearms, I was quite prepared to sit down and give this proposition a thorough lashing, on account Maslack’s irrationally literal interpretation of the Constitution. Researching it, though, I was surprised to find myself actually swayed—though not at all by Rep. Maslack’s doing. It’s a prince of an idea in pauper’s clothing.

This law would not be out of step for Vermont, as the state has a strong history of relaxed gun laws. Arguably, they are the least restrictive state in the entire country. Notably, other than Arizona, it is the only state that does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. So how have the people of Vermont not all been killed off by criminals yet?

Apparently, a better question would actually be “how have the people of Vermont not yet killed off all of their criminals?” Vermont has the third lowest crime rate in the nation. Those are some hard numbers to argue with.

Still, it is understandable to find it unfair that someone morally opposed to guns should be forced to own one or pay a fine for their pacifism. However, consider this: those who do not own firearms must rely on the government (i.e. police, military,) to defend them. A government that everyone, as citizens of the United States, fund through taxes.

In a sense, we who own firearms pay double for those who rely only our tax dollars for protection. Rather than force a fee on those who would seek to carry some of their own weight, there is more justice in asking that of those who, for whatever reason, would respectfully decline to take personal effort in arming themselves. 

The greatest concern would be those financially unable to purchase even the cheapest of firearms, though one could argue that they were no better off being the ones forced to pay for licenses and such.

Rep. Maslack, in the process of embarrassing himself, has accidentally struck gold. Honestly, I hope it does more than pass- I hope it spreads. We should look forward to the day this is the status quo.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day (about gun control).

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