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View Full Version : A Novel Approch To The Gun Ownership Issue (Urban Legend, at least from 2001 or older


ken5714
12-09-2012, 8:38 PM
Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Vermont's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.



Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun. Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as 'a clear mandate to do so'. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals. Vermontís constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent.." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise."



Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says.



Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state .... it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation.



"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the _______ you know what. This makes sense! There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way. Sounds reasonable to me! Non-gun owners require more police to protect them and this fee should go to paying for their defense!

Nyanman
12-09-2012, 8:54 PM
I'm not sure what to say, honestly.
Sure, saying 'you can't protect yourself or aren't willing to, so file paperwork to that regard' seems fair enough, but what about the people who genuinely can't?
I'd be willing to bet that some people can't necessarily afford a gun (either at this point or ever, depending). Is Virginia going to start buying lots of cheap pistols and subsidizing costs for the poorer residents who want to protect themselves, but can't afford a full price gun, much less the fee?

kf6tac
12-09-2012, 9:01 PM
I'm not sure what to say, honestly.
Sure, saying 'you can't protect yourself or aren't willing to, so file paperwork to that regard' seems fair enough, but what about the people who genuinely can't?

I'd imagine that the actual bill would contain some exemption for those who are not able-bodied. Press summaries of legislative enactments are notoriously sparse on details.

I'd be willing to bet that some people can't necessarily afford a gun (either at this point or ever, depending). Is Virginia going to start buying lots of cheap pistols and subsidizing costs for the poorer residents who want to protect themselves, but can't afford a full price gun, much less the fee?

I've always half-seriously felt that if the Sixth Amendment requires one to be provided an attorney free of cost if one cannot afford an attorney, then the Second Amendment should require one to be provided a functional firearm for self-defense and militia service if one cannot afford such a firearm.

I'd also add that the Vermont proposal is not entirely novel. The Second Militia Act of 1792 did basically that but at a national level, though I don't think it required a registry of non-gun owners because basically the only people with exemptions were state and federal government officials.

Swiss
12-09-2012, 9:09 PM
This bill proposal occurred over 10 years ago and went nowhere.

Librarian
12-09-2012, 10:09 PM
Please do a little background checking at least for dates on these emails circulating.

For instance, this article, with essentially the same content - http://prospect.org/article/vermonts-right-not-bear-arms - is from 2001.

There is certainly no current member of the Vermont House of Representatives (http://www.leg.state.vt.us/House01.cfm) with a name resembling "Fred Maslack".

And then, since this 'proposal' has no possible influence on California, even if it were real, it should go to Off Topic.