Every Vermonter has a right to own firearms and protect and defend themselves and their families and hunt for food and engage in a precious Vermont tradition that is a base for independence and food security for many Vermonters. I will uphold Second Amendment rights for Vermonters at all times.
Nineteen years ago, my neighbor came running down the road with a firearm because he heard me screaming. I was giving birth at our home to my oldest son. Ever since that day- I have been so thankful for my neighbors and their willingness to grab a firearm and come running down the road to help me.
At that time, I did not own a firearm. I was not raised with them, my parents never had them- they were foreign, intimidating and straight up scary- they are weapons. I now have several, I have learned how to use them, and I fully and massively respect the role they have played in history and the role they can play with regards to protecting oneself and one's family. Unfortunately, evil is real, evil exists and there are indeed people who will cause harm to others. This is sad but true and is a real reason to own a firearm and know what you are doing with it.
The other aspect to this conversation is independence and survival. Firearms are also a hunting tool. I have taught nutrition in the Vermont State College system for over 20 years, a high number of my students and their families rely on hunting tools to help supply themselves with meat for the year. In this situation, firearms are hunting tools and are about survival and feeding your family also. Hunting is a Vermont tradition, being able to feed your family is a fundamental human right.
I have seen the many arguments and perspectives taken on this topic. This is very clearly a heavily charged and emotionally driven topic. How can it not be? We are talking about a weapon that can take life and also defend and protect life. There are bound to be arguments when you have a situation in which you can see both sides in the equation. We have to remind ourselves that firearms defend and save lives and have been used to protect people and stand up to injustice, oppression and domination. This has been the case so many times. In the face of evil today- which unfortunately has not been exterminated or uprooted- firearms are necessary for protection and survival.