Yet another GOP governor has jumped aboard the gun-grabbing bandwagon, this time in Vermont.
According to The Washington Times, Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a suite of bills Wednesday that made it easier for the state to seize guns from individuals the state has determined pose a threat.
The bills also made the minimum age to buy a gun 21 in the state and banned high-capacity magazines.
While Vermont is generally a liberal state, gun rights are a big issue there and the bills represented the first major restrictions on firearms ever passed at the state level, something both the GOP and the Democrats have traditionally resisted doing. Needless to say, Second Amendment supporters were not pleased.
The Burlington Free Press reported that gun rights supporters yelled “traitor” at Gov. Scott as he announced the signing of the bills on the steps of Vermont’s Statehouse.
“I understand I may lose support over the decision to sign these bills today, but those are consequences I am prepared to live with,” Scott told the crowd.
“But if we had not even tried to reduce the possibility of a tragedy here in Vermont like Parkland or Virginia Tech, Aurora, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Dallas or Charleston,” he added, “if we didn’t try to reduce suicide and the pain felt by the families left behind, or if we didn’t try to prevent another death from domestic violence and another child growing up without a mom — that would be hard to live with.”
“That’s why today we choose action over inaction, doing something over doing nothing, knowing there will always be more work to do,” Scott said. “But today, we choose to try.”
The speech was interrupted by several protesters, however.
On Feb. 16, I was in my office–” Scott began.
“Smoking a joint?” someone in the audience yelled.
” – preparing for the day ahead,” Scott told the audience, “when everything changed. That morning I was handed a document containing charges against an 18-year-old outlining his detailed plan to carry out a school shooting here in Vermont.”
Vermont’s governor isn’t the first GOP governor to cave to demands for reflexive legislation on guns. Heck, he isn’t even the first GOP governor with the surname Scott to do so: In March, less than a month after the Parkland shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun bill that was nearly identical to Vermont’s.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as governor is try to find the words to console a parent who has lost their child,” Rick Scott said at the time. “There are just no words.”
That’s all well and good, but there’s not exactly any proof that these bills work or that they’re narrowly tailored to breach citizens’ rights as little as possible. While certain aspects of these bills might be appealing — particularly focusing on those who might represent a threat because of mental health issues — it’s clear that these bills were rushed through without regard to how effective they were, particularly when it comes to age limits or banning larger magazines.
You don’t develop a comprehensive way to square protecting people while protecting our Second Amendment rights in less than a month. This is simply knee-jerk gun-grabbing.
At least Phil Scott doesn’t have other ambitions beyond his state, though. Rick Scott wants to go to Washington as Florida’s second senator. While he would certainly be better than Democrat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, the fact that this is the kind of man that will likely get the GOP nod in Florida should be deeply disturbing to anyone who cares about their right to bear arms.
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