Graphic description by House member of son’s suicide sets tone for gun control vote

By Guy Page

Maternal grief and a “the courts will decide” approach to potential U.S. Supreme Court violations set the tone for Wednesday’s House vote approving a gun control bill.

Mandated gun storage and a 72-hour-waiting period after passing a federal background check will help reduce Vermont’s growing suicide numbers, Rep. Alyssa Black (D-Westford) claimed minutes before the House gave initial approval to its 2023 gun control bill.

state of Vermont

Rep. Alyssa Black, D-Westford

Black made an emotionally-charged, first-person appeal to her House colleagues during a lengthy floor speech Wednesday afternoon in support of H230, the suicide prevention/gun control bill. Following testimony, the House voted by a 2-1 margin to approve the bill.

Black described how she believes her adult son took his own life in 2018. Listen here on the House YouTube video:

“I see the scene that is played out in my head thousands of times. I see a 23 year old young man who had his whole life ahead of him. I can see him closing his door and locking it. And laying his head down on his pillow on his left side. I watch him pulling his Vermont Flannel stadium blanket up over his head. I like to think maybe he did that because he didn’t want his mom to have to clean his brain matter off his walls.

“I watch his hands, his long thin fingers, the first thing I noticed about him when they laid him on my breast 23 years before. And I wonder if his hands were shaking, or whether he was calm and steady. I can see him taking that brand new 9mm Sig Sauer that he had bought three hours before. I can see him put it right here [pointing her finger at her head], right behind his right ear, and pull that trigger. He died instantly. Thank God for that.

“Every single number on that chart has a story. They were loved. And the ones who were left behind will never be the same again……We cannot make that chart disappear….we cannot completely eliminate sucide. But we can do better than what we’ve done.

“People asked themslves over and over, ‘why, why, why.’ Often they’ll never get an answer to the why. But they do know how. And that’s what H230 does. These are very small measures we can take to mitigate the how and save lives.”

After Black concluded, Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington), House Judiciary Committee chair, rose to report that his committee took testimony both pro and con on the bill’s constitutionality. “Ultimately, courts will have the final say on whether the provisions are constititional. ….At this time, it is not clear on how courts binding on Vermont will rule, and it may not be clear for a while,” lawyers for the House testified, LaLonde said.

At issue during much of the floor discussion was a mandated gun storage/trigger lock provision that appears to contradict the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Heller ruling.

LaLonde then repeated his claim about strong testimony and the courts having the final say. He later quoted other parts of Heller appearing to allow some gun storage.

After stating that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided the Constitution’s Second Amendment prevents a mandate on trigger locks, Rep. Pat Brennan urged that section be struck from the bill.

“I take that oath in January…to uphold the Constitution. This is putting us in a very tough position to vote against the U.S. Constitution.” Brennan asked the body to read the Heller decision. “It’s never been challenged in any state of the union for 14 years.”

“I believe that these provisions are constitutional,” LaLonde repeated. “In the end, the courts will have the final say.” He then said the D.C. law struck down by Heller is different than H230.

When interrogated by Rep. Jarrod Sammis (R-Castleton) if he has read Section 3 in Heller banning lock mandates, LaLonde answered: “I am aware of that. But there is always a danger in just reading one small part of a case,” LaLonde said.

One House member objected to the objections based on possible Supreme Court rulings. “Trying to interpret what the courts would or wouldn’t do is inappropriate,” Rep. John Bartholomew (D-Hartland) said. House Speaker Jill Krowinski upheld his objection.

In further floor discussion, Rep. Anne Donahue – who said attempted suicide by car accident in the 1990’s – said small states show a far smaller connection between suicide and gun access than in larger states. She also pointed to states with strong mental health services seeing less suicide.

She isn’t a gun owner. “Why would I not support gun restrictions?,” Donahue asked rhetorically. “I don’t support bills based on false promises, where there is a disconnect with the problem and what is promised as a solution.”

I go back to my fundamental strongest values,” Donahue concluded. “Regardless of the subject, upholding the Constitution is one of my critical values. This is not a Constitutional bill, and I can’t support that, even if it was something that could make a difference.”

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Images courtesy of TNR and state of Vermont

17 thoughts on “Graphic description by House member of son’s suicide sets tone for gun control vote

  1. This is how they work. FEAR. They cannot very from their playbook, they only know one way, that is their Achilles heal. This is but another overview in how they work.

    What has gone on, is so corrupt. It is not the only thing….so is this charade they are trying to pull over our eyes.

    Most people can’t see the lies. There is a reason for that, they are not educated to question themselves. There is a group of people that are called to question every thought in their head. They are taught to discern lies from truth, good from evil. This is why their teachings are banned in every dictatorship, every theocratic country, as it is the antidote to what we have going on in this world.

    Peace, Love and Joy. These are their fruits.

    Pride, Envy and Fighting….where does that come from? Who promotes it? Why?

    Someone once said “people clinging to their guns and Bibles” in a mocking tone, it’s a great game plan, the jig is up.

  2. Yet another liberal sad story being used to take away the rights of the individual. But, then again, that’s the insatiable desire of liberal/progressive/socialists. They will never be happy until all of us with opposing views have been stripped of our constitutional rights and been forced to accept the political lobotomy of liberalism.

    Ms. Black, I sincerely feel compassion for you as a parent, but I have nothing but contempt to use the loss for political gain. Every logically thinking person (that excludes liberals of course) knows that if someone wants to end their life, they will find a way. Many of the other comments here made the most valid point about suicide prevention so I will not.

    The fact of the matter is, the sheeple will not stop bleating until no one in America is allowed to own firearms, but the sheeple are too ignorant to realize that criminals will still own and use them to commit crimes. The fact that Americans can legally own as many and of whatever type of firearms they want is the only thing that is keeping America free. The left will continue to chip away at our right to own firearms, and I don’t give a damn what Grandpa Simpson in the white house thinks he can do with his presidential edicts.

  3. They will win with this. They know how to sell.

    People don’t buy on logic, we really don’t do much of anything on logic. We use facts to justify our wants and desires, they know this. It’s also very easy to manipulate people with propaganda and fear.

    They will use the comments on this page to frame fighters of liberty as hateful, cold, mean, etc. They will spin the conversation and send it out to every iphone in Vermont, saying the way they want.

    We will lose again. It’s not right to lose every year when you are the ones who care about people’s welfare, who understand the issues, who know what is going on behind the scene.

    This is the way they want you to fight them. They are framing the conversation and we are falling for their trap. It is never about suicide; they are looking for ways to disarm the public.

    A counter would be to solve the problem of suicide, misandry, being prominent in Vermont and society in general. They could care less about ending people’s lives, well not totally true, if they can make money off it they want it state controlled. Physician assisted suicide is fine! Here’s the bill!

    It’s all about power and money.

    they want to frame the defenders of liberty as cold, uncaring and killers. This argument falls into their traps. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but we shouldn’t be leading with this. It’s frustrating when people expose the truth and lose every election year.

    We have to have a different plan, the current one is failing us.

  4. She should look inward for the cause of her son’s suicide. It’s easier to try to blame an inanimate object.

  5. Absolutely disgusting how this woman politicized her son’s suicide. So if he couldn’t get a gun he wouldn’t have done it? Why doesn’t she ask herself WHY he did this? No, instead blame the object.

    BTW, teens are more depressed and suicide rates are extremely high. Gee I wonder if the lefts constant doom and gloom has anything to do with it? Children are brainwashed into believing the world will end in 8 years due to climate change and all white males are evil racist pigs. The left causes so many problems in our society and then blames everyone else for the outcomes.

  6. Within my lifetime, and I was born during WW II, the government has legislated many more restrictions and laws than it has removed. Of even more significance, unelected members of government agencies have plied us with regulations, often with a book of byzantine details no one can rationally anticipate, comprehend or commit to memory. Are things better now than then, when you could buy guns at your hardware store, by mail order, even at some gas stations? We had a rifle range and instruction at school. We learned how, safely, to handle them. I had a military surplus ’03 Springfield at fourteen, more powerful than the current nemesis of the Progressives – and an actual, “Fix bayonets. Over the top, boys” assault weapon in the bargain! (I never felt any inclination to shoot anyone). The Progressives claim their interests lie in increasing public safety. Open borders? No bail? releasing criminals from jail? Promoting Antifa/BLM riots? They lie! They are the ones who are orchestrating today’s mayhem. Which is what has motivated the flood of weapons purchases they decry by law abiding citizens.

  7. Yes a firearm was used, but the real concern should be why he took his own life, or how he decided to end his life.

    There is a problem within this state and the country on why the increase of suicides, just look around…………. you’ll see the problems and the decay from within.

  8. Vermonters know that we are living in an occupied state. However, you have slimed your way in. Not because of a true dedication to We-The-People, but rather a true dedication to your virtue signaling desire to CONTROL; RULE.

    As an “American” politician, do you understand that what you want is in complete opposition to the Constitution, which is clearly dereliction of duty on your part.

    Better yet, regardless of what you want and what the Constitution says: YOU CANNOT TAKE MY BIRTHRIGHT FROM ME.

    When the people are afraid of their government they get tyranny. When the government fears the people there’s liberty.

  9. You get no sympathy from me. In fact I feel nothing but contempt. This was a private matter and you have splashed it all over the papers. So typical of the VT legislators again trying to pull heart strings to make it so we do not have guns.

    Last I knew you could kill yourself here in Vermont, heck they even advertise for it. Oh, wait the state must make some money on it so it must be “assisted” by some oath betrayer who once promised to DO NO HARM.

    • I have always thought that the reasons they want to take away your guns are the very same reasons why we need them.

  10. All due respect and sympathy but one mother’s grief is not an excuse to infringe upon the sacred rights of an entire state of law-abiding citizens, especially given the current levels of violent crime and the diminished police resources. Thank you Anne Donahue for your solid arguments. The lack of deference and even acknowledgement by the supporters to the unconstitutional aspects of this proposal are truly disturbing. To these democrats, their acts of virtue signaling seek to trump the rule of law and they know it. Liberals brains are ruled by emotion and that is the mental disorder that is the real danger to our society. Those who vote for clowns like LaLonde need to do some serious soul searching and read their history on the issue.

  11. What type of person uses a tragic episode to narrate, from their personal imagination, how a tragic event played out? Particularly when the deceased is their own child? If a person takes their own life, there is much more leading up to that event than the event itself.

    As a person who has lost friends and loved ones to suicide, her grandstanding on her son’s death is reprehensible and a sure sign our society is, indeed, collapsing and has lost it’s moral compass.

  12. Nobody is talking about why young men are committing suicide.

    They are not talking about why 90% of all homeless people are MEN.

    Nobody even thinks about much less talks about why men die 7-10 years before women.

    Nobody talks about marriages broken by men only 30% of the time, women breaking them 70 % of the time.

    Nobody talks about the misandry on the television 24/7/365.
    Nobody talks about the misandry in our laws.
    Nobody talks about the misandry completely taught in our schools.

    Who does the crappy work? Who does the physically demanding work?
    Who does the most dangerous work?

    Who dies in stupid wars, wars used to hide and cover money laundering and where weapons of mass destruction don’t and never existed?

    Are our youth equipped and taught truths about life, so they can handle and understand the most difficult years and the consequences of their actions?

    This is a topic that needs addressing. Sadly nobody is concerned about young men. They could care less, instead they want to use them and their suicides for political power and control of the populace.

  13. My son died of Fentanyl poisoning as have many others. What are the legislators doing about it? NOTHING.

    Now because one representative’s son chooses to commit suicide with a gun, they want us to believe they are keeping people from committing suicide by purchasing firearms just so they can promote their unconstitutional gun control agenda. I wonder if Representative Black’s son had died from Fentanyl if they would be pushing a bill against Fentanyl trafficking and distribution and sale? No, they wouldn’t because it’s about the deconstructing of our Constitution so they can deconstruct America.

    “A free citizenry does not ask its governments’ permission to exercise a right. It does not register its exercise of a right. It does not waive any other right, such as the right to privacy, or the right to due process, or the right to be secure from being compelled to waive a right in order to exercise a right, in exchange for permission to exercise a right such as the right to keep and bear arms which government does not have the authority to issue or deny in the first place. It does not permit government to claim the exercise of a right is probable cause, or prima facie evidence, or even a suspicion, of a crime having been committed. It does not discuss, or negotiate, what rights it will or will not exercise with government or with any government functionary. In short, a free citizenry, founded in principles of liberty, does not give up its right to determine what kind of government receives its Consent to Govern. A free citizenry respects, honors, and protects the lawful rights of others, by force of arms if necessary, else liberty cannot be preserved for anyone”.

  14. I’d like for you to think about this: Killing yourself IS Killing Yourself. Whatever method you choose. It all leads to a dead person at the end. There are millions of people today killing themselves with SUGAR, with Mountain Dew, with fat, with all sorts of products.

    If you want to die, if your life is not valuable to you, you will find a way to go down the drain.

    This article is a MUST READ. It’s about the newest laced fentanyl that has been seized in 48 states now and this is so bad that the DEA has issued a warning. Click on the short video clips in this link and take a look at what is going on today all over this nation.
    These people are committing suicide.

    These drugs are pouring into our states like a river. THIS IS SUICIDE TOO and yet THIS is Okay with these people?

    “DEA Warns Zombie Drug hitting the streets”

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