Vermont is turning into....Switzerland?

UPDATE (12-6-12, 3pm): Near as I can tell, the Vermont story, while it may have been essentially true, is at least a decade old—not anything recent.  I'll leave it here because 1) a couple of other states actually did try this, more as an object lesson about the evils of Obamacare than anything having to do with the Second Amendment, and 2) it does raise the always interesting questions about what states can and can't do under the US Constitution (as distinct from the unconstitutional—unless you twist yourself into a pretzel like John Roberts did—power grab by the federal government that is Obamacare, and 3) you can't believe everything you read.

The rest of the post stands. 


From Dave Henderson's "Outdoors" column in today's Ithaca Journal:

Vermont, which may be the most liberal state in the union, neverthe­less is the only state that allows its residents to carry a con­cealed weapon without a permit. Go figure.
I’m sure this logic wouldn’t fly in the Ithaca area, but Ver­mont State Rep. Fred Maslack is proposing that the state not only register non-gun owners but also charge them for not having a gun. Yup, under Maslack’s proposal Vermont would become the first state to require a per­mit for the luxury of traipsing about un­armed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.
It seems that Mas­lack reads the “militia” phrase of the Second Amendment as not only 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.
He contends that 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 are “con­scientiously scrupulous of bearing arms” shall be required to “pay such equivalent.”
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 not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so,” Maslack told the Associated Press.
Vermont has one of the highest gun ownership rates per capita of any state in the country and its crime rate is third lowest in the nation. Think about it. There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people who choose not to protect themselves. Why not let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way. Isn’t that reasonable? Non-gun owners require more police to protect them and this fee should go to paying for their defense. Right?
No, I didn’t think so.
Makes too much sense.
And denial is not just a river in Egypt.  For those who are still deluding themselves that taking the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens somehow makes them safer, there's this:
There were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November - a 49 percent increase from a year earlier - according to police records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
In November of 2011, Chicago recorded 129 shootings compared to the 192 shootings this November.  Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared with a year earlier.
Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year.  On November 30, 2012, there were four fatal shootings within the city.  These murders brought the homicide total to 38 for the month, just above the 37 recorded in November of last year...
Some of you might remember Otis McDonald.  Mr. McDonald was the elderly black man, a hunter and shotgun owner, who lived in a crappy neighborhood in Chicago (I know, I just repeated myself) who wanted to purchase a handgun for his own protection but couldn't thanks to the city's stringent gun-control laws.  He sued and the case went to the Supreme Court, which held that the Second Amendment was incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment thus protecting those rights from infringement by local governments.
Nevertheless, four days after that decision was handed down in June, 2010, the Chicago City Council, in its infinite wisdom
...adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance.  This requires prospective gun owners to take a firearm safety course at a gun range in order to obtain a permit to own a gun in a home.   The city also placed a virtual ban on gun ranges...
making it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to responsibly protect themselves against the chaos that is Chicago.  That's turned out well for Chicago, hasn't it?
So what's this about an analogy between the Vermont proposal and Switzerland?  There's a really good reason why the pacifist Swiss are largely left to their own devices:
But it isn't just about homeland security. As Vermont State Rep. Maslack noted (emphasis mine), "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."
h/t Tom