Letter: Thanks for coverage of gun rights rally
Thank you, Bennington Banner, and thank you, David LaChance for such a clear, respectful and nuanced write-up on the recent gun rights supporters rally in Bennington. (Re-printed in the April 9th Brattleboro Reformer as "Gun owners rally against Vermont bill.") Thank you also to the protestors themselves, who took pains to dress in everyday clothes and to display few guns, in order not to appear to bully others. It is stories like this that give me hope that we can maintain our civil discourse even while there is a gap between what each side believes on this issue.
I especially appreciated that LaChance took pains to get individual opinions from attendees, to not paint everyone with the same broad brush. As one person who does believe in the need for some gun control laws, I found myself not all that far removed from some of the personal stances covered in the story. One attendee was quoted as saying, "I have absolutely no problems with the universal background check" and "I also don't have a problem with licensure." Neither do I and many people I know. Another said, "I feel if you can enlist in the military and shoot a gun...at 18, I feel you should be able to own a firearm at 18." I would also agree with that, and I believe the new Vermont legislation has such provisions.
Despite some common ground, there are differences. The protestors do not like the ban on magazines. People like me do support such a ban. I too, however, am not sure how substantial a difference it will make. Also, though some attendees seem to feel all gun control laws are unconstitutional, others admit openness to some such laws. The latter opinion certainly seems to square with Supreme Court decisions on the subject.
Again, I would like to send kudos to the rally attendees for carrying on in what seems to me the right way to protest and yet get their opinions heard and noticed. And kudos to the paper for showing the rally goers as individuals.
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