Constitutional governance is, in its essence, a shared fantasy that there are certain acts which are morally forbidden to the State. If this fantasy of morality is not shared by some critical proportion of society, it inevitably must devolve into tyranny.
The consent of the people is a necessary, but insufficient, condition upon which the legitimacy of the State and its subsequent actions are established, and consent is, as I haven said often, recently, a process, not an event. It must be continually reassessed and reaffirmed.
However, the true source of State legitimacy is not in how the State protects those who consent or assent, but rather in how it protects those who do neither. In a constitutional democratic-republican system the people are given only one effective choice: vote, and thereby consent to someone’s entire political philosophy, or abstain from voting altogether, yet the absence of consent is not the same thing as consenting to the will of the election winner. An absence cannot inform us of any positive argument or condition.
We therefore must have constitutional limits on state action which guarantee the necessity and propriety of all state action, and the guarantee of due process of dispute when we actively dissent. If the elected deem the constitutional restrictions on their power nonbinding, the last resort is the revolt of the people.
Obviously, the state cannot contemplate its own demise, which is why no guarantee of extrajudicial insurrection appears in constitutions, but the right to abolish exists nevertheless, supra.
The greatest difficulty in politics is the necessity of countering people who have made it their mission in life to violate your rights as a human being, because such people do not deserve to have their foolishness regarded with serious public debate.
“Gun control” advocates—and by this, I do not mean the average person on the street who really just wants firearms violence rates to go down, without really giving much thought as to how to accomplish that, but people who actively dedicate substantial portions of their lives to political activism against civil rights—believe that people either have no right to keep and bear arms, or believe that there should not be a right to keep and bear arms. The watered-down version they trot out for public consumption is the lie that they are “only interested in ‘sensible’ restrictions”; this is a lie because that is simply not how rights or law enforcement work. The same people who would go ballistic at the violation of a single person’s right to free speech or the free exercise of whatever spiritual practice or lack thereof they prefer, feel no compunctions whatsoever at violating fundamental rights in other areas.
In a society predicated upon the idea of equal, natural rights, this is—or at least, should be regarded as—a repugnant ideology. Rights are rights precisely because they are inherent by virtue of existence, and are not, cannot, and should not, and must not be subject to the will of any other person, much less the will of some group of people merely because they are more numerous.
When you violate someone’s rights unjustly, it is of no matter to Justice that others yet enjoy the protection of that right. Rights do not require proof, licensing, or insurance. Rights do not require permission. Rights are not agreed upon. You cannot support “some rights”; you either support rights, or you do not support rights. It is really that simple.
We need to return Civics to our classrooms, along with Home Economics. Our national identity as Americans, if we can be said to have ever had one, is our belief in the rectitude of the pursuit of Liberty, yet we have no common narrative for our children of why this should be so. We do not and should not live in a democracy.
Today is primary election day in Vermont. My heart is heavy, today, because after much study into the candidates, there are no candidates for whom I can in good conscience cast a ballot.
All the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor save for Brooke Paige support nonsensical “gun control”, as do incumbent Senator Patrick Leahy, who is opposed by Cris Ericson, whose incoherency rules her out entirely, and incumbent Representative Peter Welch. I cannot support Paige for other reasons.
Leahy and Welch, mind you, are themselves firearms owners, but don’t think you and I can be trusted with them. This sort of “do as I say, not as I do” elitist hypocrisy sickens me. Both joined the asinine sit-in in DC that attempted to force the government into denying our constitutional protections guaranteeing due process of law. As Welch is unopposed and Leahy is opposed by an incoherent person, there is no real need to cast a ballot in these races.
Although State Senators Becca Balint and Jeanette White of Windham both supported last years’ firearms regulations, that law was in actuality nothing more than what the NRA itself advocates—ensuring that people who are adjudicated mentally incompetent or dangerous are placed in the NCIS database, and ensuring that VT law enforcement is able to enforce the same federal laws that are already on the books which ban violent felons from possessing firearms. These provisions should be uncontroversial.
However, I can find no current information about either candidate, other than that Senator Balint supports “sensible gun laws” (a dogwhistle for increased restrictions), and Senator White has accepted money from a gun grabbing political action group. Senator Balint also has been very vocal in her support for Sue Minter, whose candidacy I strongly oppose. Both Balint and White run unopposed in the primary.
Representative Molly Burke has no accessible information other than her record on the VT legislature site, but she runs unopposed in the primary.
Attorney General candidate TJ Donovan also has nonsensical positions on gun control, calling for universal background checks and abrogation of due process by denying people on terrorist watch lists their right to keep and bear arms, For the chief law enforcement officer of the state to espouse these positions is unconscionable.
The only other contested race is that for State Treasurer, which has no power over legislation or law enforcement. I have no strong opinions about this race, but I am leaning toward Richard Dunne over incumbent Beth Pearce, based on what little I know.
“Gun control” is racist, sexist, classist, ableist, homophobic, and transphobic. It is not a liberal value, it is an authoritarian, fascist value, and it is contrary to social justice. No person on the left, no progressive, no liberal, and certainly no libertarian should support it. To support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy but not her right to terminate a threat to her life or her bodily integrity using lethal force at her discretion is self-contradictory and hypocritical, illogical, irrational, and immoral.
The problem is that we are speaking of a fundamental right, and for the person who for whatever reason fails to pass the scrutiny of gun control laws, their rights are violated absolutely. Are we willing to accept that innocent people should have their rights violated in order that we can “feel safe”? What proportion of false positives would you be willing to overlook, and what proportion would cause you to object? For me, it is a single individual.
Rights do not exist in a collective sense. It is unacceptable to me to justify the abrogation of someone’s rights without cause merely because others still enjoy that right. If we wish to reduce firearms violence, death, and injury in our society, the last place we should be looking is at the implements, rather than the impetus.
Universal background checks cannot be enforced unless there is also a universal firearms registry, an idea which is abhorrent to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Vermont. Unless the government possesses an accurate and complete record of who owns what firearm, there is no possible way the government can prove if a transfer has occurred, much less when.
Any attempt to criminalise private transactions in this manner, which I must note are already subject to the same laws as FFL sales, it being illegal to knowingly transfer a firearm into the custody of a person the transferer has reason to know is barred from firearms possession under federal law, will result in creating an entirely new class of criminals out of people who are merely engaging in behavior which has been enshrined in the Constitution of Vermont since 1777, over a decade before the Constitution of the United States existed, and even before the Bill of Rights was added.
Attempting to pass a universal background check law is a huge miscarriage of justice and a horrific waste of our civic funds and the attention to orders of business that are critical to the functioning and improvement of the State of Vermont. The State cannot bear this burden, and the State should not try.
Vermont has one of the highest rates of firearms ownership in the nation, and the lowest rates of violent crime. Of the 14 homicides committed in Vermont in the year with the most recent statistics, only 4 were domestic violence incidents that involved firearms, and there is no rational reason to conclude that a universal background check could in any way mitigate what little firearms violence in Vermont actually occurs in a fashion that could possibly justify the monstrous upheaval of our way of life such a law would entail.
This issue is really this significant, that it erases any other good a candidate might otherwise accomplish. This is a fundamental right, an enumerated right, a right Vermonters have guaranteed for 239 years, a right which strikes directly at the holy trinity of Life, Liberty, and Property, and there is no justification for changing it, not now, not ever.
I am NOT a “single issue voter”, but when nearly every candidate has made a central feature of their platform support for a wildly stupid concept, they turn their campaign into a single-issue campaign. This should not be a difficult to understand problem. It should not be this difficult to find a candidate for office who holds consistent philosophies, values, and positions on the subject of civil rights and governance. I will not consent to the destruction of my fundamental rights merely because a candidate supports some other position with which I agree.
I call upon the elected and appointed officials of the State of Vermont and the United States Government, the Democratic Party of Vermont and the Democratic Party of the United States to eradicate “gun control” from every part of their platforms. I call of them to repudiate any and all association with gun grabbing political action organisations like Gun Sense VT, and to fulfill their oaths to preserve and defend their state and federal Constitutions, which they swear as a condition of taking office.
Vermont is one is the last remaining bastions of true Liberty in this world. To see it being subverted by people who cower in fear for their safety from imagined terrors is to see one of the last beacons of hope in this world extinguished.