"People have often been willing to give up personal identity and join into a collective. Historically, that propensity has usually been very bad news. Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought. Fascists, communists, religious cults, criminal 'families' — there has been no end to the varieties of human collectives, but it seems to me that these examples have quite a lot in common. I wonder if some aspect of human nature evolved in the context of competing packs. We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob." ~ Jaron Lanier
Vermont's Red Badge of Courage
Exclusive to STR
February 10, 2009
Of late, the dogmatically left-wing media apparatus here in Vermont has been broadcasting with great zeal the fact that the Brady Campaign, and the New England Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, have just unilaterally denounced the lack of gun laws in Green Mountain country as 'the worst in the nation.' Here's a brief laundry list of the facts these wonderful folks don't like in the least:
- ' Vermont requires no license or permit to carry a concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded, handgun on one's person and/or in one's vehicle.
- ' Vermont has no gun registration, and sale or transfer of firearms between private parties, including at gun shows, requires no federal 'Brady Check.'
- ' There is no ban on semi-automatic military style so-called 'assault weapons.'
- ' There is no limit on how many firearms one may purchase at one time, or how frequently one chooses to purchase a gun.
- ' There are no bans on various types of ammunition, such as armor-piercing rounds, or 'exotic' shotgun shells.
In fact, Vermont is the most free 'State' in the 'nation' with regard to firearms ownership and self-protection (with only Alaska as a close second), and was given a score of 4 out of a possible 100 by the Brady Campaign. Ed Cutler, president of Gun Owners of Vermont, in a recent interview, quipped that he would've been happier if the Brady Campaign's score had been zero. Note also that this callous denunciation by the Brady and NECPGV crowd flies in the face of the fact that Vermont enjoys one of the very lowest crime rates out of all 50 'states,' yet their 'perfect' rating of 100 would reflect a society in which only bureaucrats ' and other criminals ' would be armed. One look at crime rates in the neighboring People's Republic of Marxachusetts explodes the Brady crowd's myth in a single blow.
Why won't the diehard leftist media report on the fact that major gun rights organizations, like Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, hail Vermont as the crown jewel flagship of firearms freedoms, and routinely hold Vermonters forth as an example for all Americans to follow in this regard? After all, why portray the very people who purchase newspapers such as the Rutland Herald and Brattleboro Reformer as misguided and irresponsibly violent, when all the statistical evidence is to the contrary ' unless a misguided and irresponsible disarmament agenda is afoot? Hmmm?
Vermonters should take these recent assaults by the Brady gun-grabbing crowd as a Red Badge of Courage. That is to say, the courage to remain armed, and hence, in a condition of greater liberty than many others. I could say much about the statism of other Vermont policies: taxation, public schools, a ridiculous continuing drug war ' but those things are perhaps for other essays. Vermonters have thus far done the correct thing by resisting gun control, and the ever-encroaching hand of government on our self-ownership it also represents. The right of defending life and property should never rest with government, but always with the individual. Reflect upon the fact that the United Nations routinely laments the widespread proliferation of small arms worldwide as 'threatening to the legitimacy of the State.' News for the UN tyrants (as if they didn't already know): Governments ' 'States' ' have no legitimacy to begin with. You're a fraud, all liars, and you know it. Laws are nothing but opinions backed up by many guns. So, all I'm doing by owning guns is backing my opinion that I ought to be free ' and the opinion that so should everyone else be.
Vermonters have thus far stood tall on this issue. And they should and must always continue to reject and defeat the Sarah Bradys of this world by never compromising their stand on unimpeded gun rights. They should also praise Alaskans for joining the resistance ' and they should be calling out loudly to inhabitants of the other 48 arbitrary political jurisdictions to muster and follow suit. It is both the correct, and hence, courageous, thing to do.
Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Victoria's Place and Other Tales of Terror. He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization. He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he is currently an undergraduate at Union Institute and University, seeking a B.A. in Writing & Literature. In addition, he is a regularly featured guest on Marc Stevens' The No-State Project, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.
Vermont's Red Badge of Courage