Op-ed Pieces

THIS MAY MAKE YOUR DAY!

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. Vermont's
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 bastards." 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!