Back to Top


“It is not safe to go to school,” said my daughter Lucy, 13, when she came home from school visibly upset from watching another mass shooting.  Being the radical that she is, Lucy went on to say, “All the kids should refuse to go to school until Congress does something to ensure our safety.”

This is such a beautiful idea. If kids stopped going to school it would absolutely get the world’s attention. A society in which kids are afraid to go to school needs to take a long, hard look at its commitment not only to fundamental safety, but to education grounded in honest, fact-based, intellectual integrity. Where better to start than with an analysis of the Second Amendment that recognizes its historical context and its proper place in modern society, instead bribing Congress to maintain it as a license to kill?

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October, Democratic “leaders” at the DCCC told Congressional candidates not to discuss gun policy, just offer the public pablum: any message today should be on offering thoughts/prayers for victims and their families, and thanking 1st responders who saved lives. 

“Do not politicize it today,” official Democrats advised, “There will be time for policy and discussion.” And after Las Vegas we all remember how Democrats raised policy and discussion to a higher lever, don’t we? No, they didn’t.

Now, with the Parkland, Florida shooting, when Republicans offered a solid front of “thoughts and prayers,” they took some serious heat for it and rightly so. Democrats were all over the map in their responses, but these days that counts as progress.

Some in Congress, like Rep. Gabby Giffords, speak out for sane gun laws all the time. I stand with her and those who support not only thoughts and prayers, but rational reforms including: 

* Raise legal age for gun ownership to 21 
* Require parental/guardian liability for gun sales to minors 
* Ban concealed weapons from schools, places of worship, etc. 
* Ban the AR-15 and other assault weapons 
* Require background checks for ALL gun sales 
* Reinstate flagging for mental health issues 
* Empower local jurisdiction to enact such additional 
safety ordinances as they may choose

Obviously, the issue of guns in Vermont is different from guns in Miami. I learned about guns from my dad and my brothers. Most of my friends own guns, and people in Vermont tend to keep their guns locked up safely, how to keep them, and when not to use them.  I also think that some people should not have guns.

Having a gun increases the likelihood of  gun suicides, which are almost twice as frequent as gun homicides. Most of us already know that shooting each other doesn’t solve anything. It’s long past time to take control of our government away from those who think guns are an answer to every problem.

Like all governing decisions, what to do about guns should be determined by the common good and the general welfare, not the profits of corporations and special interest associations.  

Committee to Elect Ben Mitchell
Powered by - Political Campaign Websites