MONTPELIER – Members of the Vermont Senate will consider a bill in 2020 that would adjust the state’s relatively lax guns laws by banning semi-automatic weapons in some public spaces, most notable any space that the Senate members regularly go. The Senators who are sponsoring the bill say that it will not affect most Vermonters, but is an important step in the right direction as the national conversation on gun control continues to develop.
“If we’re going to start somewhere, why not here?” asked Sen. Fred E. Katt (R-Windsor). “I think Vermonters should be able to carry as many weapons, nuclear missiles, radioactive waste, what have you, as they see fit. It’s not dangerous at all. But it can sometimes be a distraction when important elected officials are trying to get the work of the people done here in Montpelier. So why not just remove that very safe and not at all harmful distraction from a few public places, such as the State House?”
Almost every Senator has signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation, citing a variety of reasons ranging from “good old fashioned common sense,” to “I’ve received several threats lately, so a little extra security couldn’t hurt.” There have been no official reported threats of violence against any Vermont elected officials now that they are all white or male again, but many Senators say they won’t complain if the measure gets passed.
“Let’s be perfectly honest here,” said Sen. Buck Shotte, “guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And I know a lot of people who would like to kill me, probably with guns. So when they show up to the floor of the Senate, I think it might be wise if we just sent them home. The people, not the guns. The guns can stay. I will hold onto them if I need to. I know my Republican base. I know what they want. So to all my constituents, we are not banning guns at all, we’re only banning people.”