January 6, 2013 by EthanAllen2076
See previous post for the background on this topic. Link repeated here to the actual document. Below I thought it important to repeat the actual arguments, as drafted by the council, with my humble responses and opinions to the same.
BURLINGTON CITY COUNCIL (BCC): WHEREAS, the Burlington City Council respects the rights of citizens, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, to bear arms;
EthanAllen2076 (EA): Great Job City Council, except that it is not your duty to respect (as if a choice or active decision to be agreeable to) the Constitutional rights of your city residents; it is your duty to defend their Constitutional rights, against all aggression, even if it causes your city a unique hardship, or security or financial risk, and you are charged to do this with HONOR and INTEGRITY, commensurate not only with calling yourselves American citizens, but representatives and elected officials to public service. If you have these significant concerns, it is your duty to uphold the state’s charter constitution and respond to your state, or further, to propose a change to the governing law of the US Constitution.
BCC: WHEREAS, the Council recognizes that the right to bear arms, like all constitutional rights, is subject to reasonable regulation to promote the common good and to protect the members of the community;
EA: Actually it is NOT subject to reasonable regulation. The document is ironclad. It is NOT up for any interpretation whatsoever. IN fact, part of the beauty of the greatest document ever written, excepting the Bible, is that our US Constitution was explicitly written to be understood by all, without need for Constitutional Lawyers or interpreters. The common good, and protection of community members was done by the enactment of this Amendment.
BCC: WHEREAS, the Council is aware that, under the current state of the federal and Vermont laws, a person (who is not a convicted felon) could be seen by a Burlington Police Officer walking with a semi-automatic assault weapon with multiple-ammo clips towards one of our public schools, and until that person was actually on school property, that person’s actions would be totally legal and beyond the capacity of the police to intervene;
EA: Correct, for as I understand you have written this to pull at our emotional reaction to Sandy Hook, this man could also be marching into the school to annihilate a predator that has been in there now for 40 minutes, killing children, teachers, and police officers on the scene. Or, this same man, could have gotten off a nearby park bench, and is going to stand guard at the door to the school, because a band of gang members with FULLY AUTOMATIC weapons, and multiple-ROUND MAGAZINES is rushing the school grounds (in jest: not many weapons will take multiple types of ammo, there are some that do, but multiple-ammo clips I don’t think have ever been invented. Clips are difficult to use and carry; I’d recommend using magazines since they hold higher capacities. Most clips limit to 9 rounds, majority 5 rounds, and are clumsy to manipulate). Point is, HE HAS NOT DONE ANYTHING WRONG and you must not convict him until wrongdoing has occurred. Nevermind the obvious fact that a man with the intent to march into the school as you suggest and allege, wouldn’t be concerned with breaking the law you propose, and likely wouldn’t be brandishing his weapon in plain site while a police officer was watching.
BCC: WHEREAS, the Council is further aware that, under the current state of the federal and Vermont laws, a person (who is not a convicted felon) carrying a semi-automatic assault weapon with multiple-ammo clip could be walking down the middle of Church Street, and that person’s actions would be totally legal and beyond the capacity of the police to intervene;
EA: Exactly right. There is nothing wrong with this, nor should there be. Though I do admit seeing a man walking down the main market street with any weapon exposed would be DIFFERENT, and draw attention, I would suggest that the fear you feel by this is due to your innate lack of personal protection. Since this proposal can not prevent a man from walking down church street fully armed, simply because it is illegal: If you, and 85% of the general population in the street were carrying unconcealed and concealed, you may feel differently about this situation and the threat it poses. Now, I suggest you contemplate this. Legal or Illegal, would you prefer to see ONE man walking down church street with a semi-automatic weapon and multiple-round magazine…and have a general population you knew was completely unarmed, or would you rather see and be among of equally armed people, capable and protected by LAW with the ability to defend yourself, and innocent bystanders, against a man who chooses EVIL over GOOD, and intends to commit murder in the streets. I would rather have a shotgun, sidearm, and long rifle immediately available, than to be counted as a victim before I was even able to make a conscious choice in the matter.
BCC: WHEREAS, the Council is painfully aware of the multitude of incidents in the recent past during which innocent bystanders, attendees at movie theaters, gatherers at political events, school children, and others have been fatally killed by individuals wielding and firing semi-automatic weapons;
EA: ALL of the obvious events you infer in this statement were gun-free zones…were advertised as gun-free zones, and may or may not have contributed to their own demise because of this fact. It should at least be contemplated if the action you intend to take Monday evening will in fact make your city more safe, or less safe, and to answer that question any number of studies may be completed on the rates of crime and murder (so far as I know, killing is always fatal to the victim) in gun-free zones vs. free-gun zones.
BCC: WHEREAS, the possession of semi-automatic weapons and multiple-ammo clips does not further any legitimate interests of hunters or other sportspersons, nor does the possession of those weapons provide any significant protection to the lives of the individuals or promote their safety;
EA: Unbelievably naive. The argument of the 2nd Amendment did not even consider hunting. The complete purpose of this Amendment was to enable a people to rise against their tyrannical government when needed for the protection of their liberties and security of their futures. This is explicitly stated as such in our Nation’s Declaration of Independence from the British, and in fact, we are all, as Citizens, given the responsibility and DUTY to revolt and respond to this aggression by an oppressive state, in order that we may better secure our freedom and private property against seizure. As for the second portion of the comment on personal protection, I can not understand the total lack of common sense. When it comes to personal protection, the bigger the better, the faster the better, and the easier to use, the better. All of these arguments POINT directly to semi-automatic weapons. If SEMI-Automatic weapons were not the best weapon of choice (respecting current technology) than our military would not be using them. The best military force in the world, can not be wrong when it comes to offense and defense. Case closed.
BCC: WHEREAS, the failure of the officials on the federal and state level to address this issue should not serve to detract from the efforts of the officials of the City of Burlington to strike the proper balance between Second Amendment right to bear arms and the right of all citizens to be safe and secure in their homes, schools, and public areas;
EA: OK, in order to achieve your aims, you need to succeed from the State of Vermont, or else lobby in Montpelier (capital city) for change to the state constitution, you can not simply ignore any existing legislation because it is in what you think is your best interest. If this is the case, how can you expect ANYBODY in your city to respect YOUR laws and ordinances, or recognize any sort of authority within the city. You can not be so blindly hypocritical in both demanding, and dismissing LAW and GOVERNMENT structure. However, I disagree that the Second Amendment is somehow on the RIGHT of pivot, and our citizens safety is somehow on the LEFT of pivot, and you need to find a balance. You need a balance between killing criminals, and confining criminals. The argument is about EVIL, not about gun ownership. By the way, the shooter in Sandy Hook did not legally possess the weapons he chose to commit murder with, in the gun-free school zone.
BCC: WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes that the state statute, codified at 24 V.S.A. 2291 (8), prohibits a municipality from adopting ordinances that would have an impact upon the possession of weapons;
EA: Correct, so you admit you understand that you are breaking the law, and it can be assumed that all future arguments about ignorance or desperation can be waived, that you are knowingly and willfully disrespecting the State’s regulations prohibiting your city from doing expressly what you intend to do here.
BCC: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that
1. the Charter Change Committee of the City Council be authorized to draft a charter change that would ban the possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and multiple-ammo clips in the City of Burlington, with such ban to be enforced by a substantial fine;
2. the Charter Change Committee be authorized to drafter a charter change that would provide for the immediate seizure by the police of any semi-automatic assault weapons and/or multiple ammo clips that are unlawfully possessed, with a civil forfeiture process to follow regarding the ultimate disposition of those weapons or multiple ammo clips.
3. the Charter Change Committee attend to this proposal with all deliberate speed so that any proposed charter change be subject to public comment, voter approval and General Assembly ratification as soon as possible.
EA: Points 1 and 3 are expected to accompany this proposal, and are obvious objectives as such. However, point 2 is rather bothersome, since personal property can not be immediately siezed without warrant, arrest, and conviction of a given crime. Also, you may wish to include magazines instead of clips, and provide more definition, before contemplating this resolution any further, on what is meant by “assault” regarding firearms. I believe very strongly that a double action .45 revolver (not semi-automatic dear Councilors), or even a double action .45 ACP (yes, semi-automatic) can be much more dangerous than a semi-automatic .22 caliber assault rifle. Likewise, the reverse is true. A NON semi-automatic .308 bolt action rife, with multiple-ammo POCKETS can be much more dangerous than a semi-automatic .22 caliber assault rifle…so you see, you really haven’t addressed the issue you intend to address which is WILLFUL INTENT to commit murder, and embrace EVIL. The choice of the weapons used is irrelevant, and un-restrictive to the amount of death that can be caused as a result of ill-will. IN fact, if this ordnance DOES pass, what is to stop a man from using knives, bats, home made maces, clubs, pitch forks, etc in their effort to cause damage? These questions, in a city with a ban on guns, you will soon need to deal with.
Those are my 2 cents…
Not that I believe you should do this, as it is a violation of liberty to force any articles either ON, or FROM a person…but your city would be much safer to enact an ordinance REQUIRING every resident traveling in public view, to be visibly brandishing a weapon of choice…and leave the freedom to them, to either LOAD their guns, or carry them unloaded. Let the criminals play those odds…don’t make the victims do the same.