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Right wing reaction to my blog on the House gun ban has been so virulent that I'll offer some additional comments here. My role yesterday was primarily that of reporter (with a parenthetical phrase offering my opinion), but apparently I offended some long time readers. That's fine; I suspect you'll be more offended by this elaboration. First here's the comment from someone who has the audacity to say I dare not call myself a libertarian after my vote on the bill...then my response.
Your question, Rep. Vaillancourt, is an odd one: "how it's against the second amendment to ban guns from the State House but not from court houses?" Both gun bans are a violation of our rights. The real question is why are gun bans suddenly needed protect those in power from those who aren't? Why do government official fear repercussions if their actions are lawful and just?Clearly this fear is growing and there will be no abatement. Last week in Minnesota judges were fighting over their own right to keep and bear arms in courthouses: "Gun dispute pits judge vs. judge" http://www.startribune.com/local/north/184571721.html?refer=yI'm very disappointed with your vote. Especially your vote against Rep. Burt's compromise amendment to allow weapons with NH license to carry. By the way, there’s no such thing as a NH “pistol permit.” Nor is there any such thing as a libertarian who doesn't uphold our RKBA. You may call yourself a democrat or a republican, but you are no longer a libertarian imho.
Doris Hohensee (email@example.com)
RESPONSE FROM REP. VAILLANCOURT—
I personally feel neither less nor more safe with our without guns. I tend to be oblivious to feelings of safety. I once avoided being mugged in Amsterdam when I put myself in harm's way by walking, late at night, filming, in an alley in the red light district. The would-be assailant went for a spare battery (they were large back then) in my pocket, but I escaped (I think he was too stoned to assault me properly).
I have never felt threatened in Montreal. There was one incident of some rowdies on a bus in East Berlin, but it was minor. As I say, I'm rather oblivious to danger and I've lived 61 plus years.
However, as always, it's not about me personally. I base my decisions, always have, always will, on what I feel is best for society. It was interesting to note the example from Rep. Kurk yesterday. He spoke of an incident almost 30 years ago (Sununu was governor and delivering a speech on the floor) wherein a person came running down the aisle (with a book—my source tells me it was not just a book—it was a BIBLE!) and was tackled. Tackling seems like the appropriate action to me, so I never understood Rep. Kurk's analogy as pro-gun. I shudder to think that if many Reps were packing back then, someone would have whipped out a gun and shot this Bible carrying person (or other innocent bystanders) dead in front of the crowded House.
I do not believe there should be armed security (even if well trained) at every school, mall, restaurant, or place where people congregate. That would change the very nature of our free society. Freedom for me involves being free from INTIMIDATION, and the very nature of guns is to intimidate.
Tragedies, despite the terrible nature of a few well publicized recent ones, remain few and far between. Rep. Al Baldassaro was actually TOTALLY wrong when he suggested yesterday that more than a score of people had been stabbed to death in an incident in China recently. The fact is that unlike the Connecticut incident here, the people in China were stabbed but did NOT die. That's the difference between guns and knives...you can kill with a knife, but not on the scale you can kill with an assault weapon.If you want to look into violence on the House floor (US House), check out Vt. Rep Lyons who was badly caned during the John Adams administration...or Mass Senator Sumner (an abolitionist) was nearly killed in a fight on the floor...one NOT involving guns. I believe that incident is covered in David McCullough’s latest book Americans in Paris.If you are disappointed in my vote, at least you should not be surprised. I actually delivered a speech on this very issue a few years ago...when Dems were in control and brought the issue forward. I believe the phrase I used then (and stand by today despite the anger it drew from some) was that I'm a libertarian, not an anarchist.
We've come a long way from Hobbesian man. There is no need for guns in any court, specific or General in my humble opinion. No freedom is absolute, least of all a freedom which could involve hurting other people. That's why I don't care what you do to yourself, but with guns, the goal too often is to harm others (human or animal) or at the very minimum to intimidate. I support your right to carry a gun, but not everywhere you go. If you don't think libertarians have a right to differ on this issue, Doris, I can remove you from my mailing list...I can tolerate criticism but not blind stupidity. You might check into Ron Paul's position before you relegate me to your netherworld.
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