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REgistration for non gun owners

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by ddashner, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. ddashner

    ddashner Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know the story behind this, but I read this on another forum and thought it would be of some interest here.
    In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't researched this at all, so take it for what it's worth.



    "A Vermont State Rep.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. Thus, a 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.

    The Vermont Legislator read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only
    affirming 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 "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall
    be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, 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 prepared to defend the state
    should they be asked to do so,"

    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*."
     
  2. Lugsalot

    Lugsalot EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My knee-jerk reaction to this news is "Go get 'em, Vermont! Let the pendulum swing the other way!"

    However, I think this would breed more resentment towards gun-owners, which is something we seriously do not need. I think a better approach would be for Vermont, citing all the benefits of RESPONSIBLE gun ownership, to give gun-owners some small-yet-distinctive reward. This would, if feasible, provide an incentive for people who sit on the gun-ownership fence to finally get a gun and learn how to use it properly, so that they may protect their homes and neighborhoods if the need ever arises. It's better than taxing people who are unprepared, just because they MAY be dead weight in an emergency.

    Then again, I'm a hopeless idealist, who believes the words of our Founders are clear and just as valid today as they were when King George was breathing all over us. What the hell do I know?
     
  3. Jakpro

    Jakpro Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know if it would be a good idea to require every person to have a firearm.

    First, there would have to be a requirement for proper training in handling firearms.

    Second, what would keep the government from cross referencing the list of non-gun owners with all residents and developing a gun owner list?

    It seems that this could be a back-handed way of registering gun owners.
     
  4. Lugsalot

    Lugsalot EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Excellent point. Use of what artists call "negative space" to define the borders of gun-ownership.
     
  5. ddashner

    ddashner Loaded Pockets

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    That thought occurred to me too. I thought I was just being negative about it though.
     
  6. copierguy_mobile

    copierguy_mobile Loaded Pockets

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    I might just move to Vermont if they go through with that. Vermont might become the safest place in the country.

    Close to me, just outside of Atlanta is a little town called Kennesaw. By law, every head of household inside the city limits is to own a firearm and ammunition. I'm pretty sure that law isn't enforced (there are no random gun check roadblocks or anything ;D) but the area has a much lower crime rate than the surrounding area... wonder why?

    -Greg
     
  7. zip22

    zip22 Empty Pockets

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    1. This seems to have bounced around forums for a while since that is almost all that comes up with a search.
    2. This is older than it seems here is one source with a date - its from 9 years ago
    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=vermonts_right_not_to_bear_arms
    3. How does this make any sense at all? We need to register the non-owners so they can defend us?
    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 prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so,"

    Here is the text of it from 2000
    http://www.leg.state.vt.us/DOCS/2000/BILLS/INTRO/H-760.HTM

    copierguy, if I'm not mistaken, Kennesaw is also one of the wealthy areas around atlanta. the crime is lower where there is more money... wonder why?

    point is, you can't claim that guns = less crime. correlation does not imply causation. there are many many factors that contribute to the crime rate and you cannot attribute anything to one single factor.
     
  8. Valpo Hawkeye

    Valpo Hawkeye Loaded Pockets

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    I love it! I'd love to see the same legislation in Indiana!
     
  9. copierguy_mobile

    copierguy_mobile Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah... I'm pretty sure that by attributing the lack of crime to a single factor (the "wealth" of the Kennesaw area) you just committed the same fallacy that you accuse me of.

    I'm not too interested in having arguments over the internet about anything but I'm pretty sure I can make this one stick.

    The Kennesaw gun law was passed in 1982. In 1982, Kennesaw certainly wasn't wealthy, it was a town of 5000 people too far out in the sticks for most folks to bother with. If not for a Civil war battle fought close by, most Georgians in 1982 wouldn't have known where it was either.

    The Marietta Daily Journal did a story on the law several years ago. This is what the people they interviewed had to say about it:

    Kennesaw Historical Society president Robert Jones said following the law's passage, the crime rate dropped 89 percent in the city, compared to the modest 10 percent drop statewide.

    "It did drop after it was passed," he said. "After it initially dropped, it has stayed at the same low level for the past 16 years."

    Mayor Leonard Church was not in office when the law was passed, but he said he is a staunch supporter of it.

    "You can't argue with the fact that Kennesaw has the lowest crime rate of any city our size in the country," said Church, who owns a denture-making company in Kennesaw.

    The author of the ordinance, local attorney Fred Bentley Sr., attributes at least some of the decrease in crime to the bill.

    "I am definitely in favor of what we did," he said. "It may not be totally responsible for the decrease, [but] it is a part."


    I'm not saying that 100% of Kennesaw's low crime rate is due to this law. I'm not even saying that a law like this one or the proposed Vermont law is the right way to handle things like this. My point is that people that are opposed to the private ownership of guns (some of whom live in Kennesaw, I'm sure) benefit from those of us who choose to go to the expense and hassle to arm ourselves, even if they won't admit it. The bad guys northwest of Atlanta know that there is a greater likelihood that they will meet an armed homeowner inside the city limits of Kennesaw so they choose to do their business elsewhere. To argue anything else just isn't being honest and I'd rather make my home among people who are smart enough to realize that.

    -Greg
     
  10. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

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    I applaud these places!

    Because if nothing else "an armed society is a polite society"
     
  11. zip22

    zip22 Empty Pockets

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    I was trying to point out the fallacy. I don't really think wealth is a single factor either.

    you're certainly not making it stick with some unsourced stats and cheerleaders of the bill. also, (if we take the stats at face value) such a small population can lead to huge swings in the per capita crime.
     
  12. Underhill
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    Underhill Perpetually Hungry

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    At SHOT show (a tradeshow for cops, military, sportsmen, etc) I was speaking to a police officer of a resort town in Arizona, and we got to talking about gun ownership. Because it's a fairly small town the police sometimes take on multiple roles, and he was involved in policework, swat, and some other things. Well connected and knew what he was talking about. He said that a short while ago some laws were passed that encouraged gun ownership in one area, the crime in that area dropped immediately and significantly, but it rose in surrounding areas that did not benefit from the same legislation.

    I suppose we might be a little off topic here, and I'm not sure any of us are really in disagreement over whether or not guns have an effect on crime so much as how we can measure the effect. I just thought it was an interesting conversation with someone who had very personal firsthand experience.
     
  13. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    Serious flaw in this proposal!

    Hi,

    very interesting view, and even more interesting that that seems to be clearly included in Vermont's constitution, even though I'm not convinced that that's actually a good idea.

    I imagine that many gun owners are quick to applaude the proposed way of handling this issue, but something rather fundamental is beeing overlooked I think. Take a moment and think again:

    If armed citizens are meant to be a way to guard against, amongst other things, a government turning against the people, then

    a) a non-gun-ownership fee paid to that very government is clearly counterproductive

    and

    b) the same government should clearly NOT know which and how many people would or would not be prepared to fight it if necessary, and where they live!

    One needs to be very careful when deciding how to apply the constitution - if actions to achieve the aimed for protection end up undermining that very protection, that's ill guided and diametrically opposite to what the constitution was meant to achieve, and everyone would be better off leaving things as they are.

    Actually, I think the government is not a suitable institution to apply and look after the constitution at all. There is only one instrument that can do that: You and me ourselves - by creating a government that respects the original aims of the constitution, forcing it to do so whenever it seems to "forget" to do that, and if necessary "vote the government off" by whatever means necessary.

    Conclusion: The people are the only ones who can look after themselves, period. And you can't make people want to stand up for their own good by laws or rules. The only thing that works is information, communication and good arguments. This can sometimes be a long and difficult way, but it's the only one that works.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  14. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

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    :iagree:, however, the cynic in my says that those in power want to keep that power at all costs, regardless of the ideals that may have driven them to public service in the first place. As it is, I don't think whether or not the Gov't knows who buys what is even an issue...

    Not counting private/black market sales, you generally have to show some form of gov't issued I.D. (Driver's License, etc.) and fill out paperwork to purchase a firearm, not to mention the instant background check. That being the case, doesn't the Gov't already have a record of all firearm owner's across the country? Even if the gun shop wasn't required to actively forward the customer's data to the Fed, it wouldn't be too big of a stretch for the Gov't to reach out and collect that data in the name of Homeland Security or whatever.

    I'm not all about the Federal Government putting their nose into everything, but it seems kind of moot to argue about whether or not the Fed could track your firearms purchases since they could probably do it starting today, and without breaking a sweat.

    FWIW, I am pro-gun (I own a couple) and I honestly believe they are a way to deter a tyrannical government, among other things.
     
  15. JonSidneyB
    • Administrator

    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    I live in a poor county that was quite poor long before the recession. It is probably to small to form a good statistic as well. Guns are very common here, always have been. The murder rate is a number that is low but at the same time does not make any sense. 1 in 100,000. The problem is this county does not have 100K people. I guess we had less than half a murder. I have lived in this area twice. When I lived here during the 80s it was in the news paper that this area had had one murder in 75 years. It seemed like every truck had both a shotgun and a rifle in the back window.
     
  16. DoggyDaddy

    DoggyDaddy Empty Pockets

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    I live in a State that has made it virtually impossible for a law abiding citizen to own a firearm.
    Every day some one (or more) gets shot in this State.
    Legislation impacts on the law abiders but the criminals have no difficulty in securing firearms & using them often on those who are legally not able to defend themselves.
    They call it democracy.......... in New South Wales, Australia :(
     
  17. zip22

    zip22 Empty Pockets

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    can you site that claim of 1 or more shootings per day? looking at
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/pages/bocsar_crime_stats

    I see nothing to back up one shooting per day. also, murder actually seems to have gone down
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/pages/bocsar_mr_cjb98

    Again, keep in mind many of the stats on that website seem to be actual numbers, not per capita. I would prefer per capita, but don't really have the time to keep researching.
     
  18. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    The VT idea sounds nice but would be tough to enforce, so it boils down to a feel-good law at best. To obey the letter -- if not the spirit of the law -- a person could buy a cheap single shot shotgun or kid's rifle for about $100, then dismantle it to render it unusable. They would technically own a gun to avoid the tax, could produce it to show to authorities if required, but they wouldn't really be ready to serve in a militia if a muster was called.

    Respectfully,
    Dirty Bob
     
  19. Tripp Hazzard

    Tripp Hazzard Loaded Pockets

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    So to avoid paying the fee, you'd have to prove you own a gun, yes?

    And they'd have to record that, yes?

    Wouldn't this also identify and record gun owners?

    What am I missing? Does Vermont already record gun owners?