Letter: A resolution for the defense of the right to keep and bear arms in Cavendish township

Editor’s note: This letter is by Stu Lindberg, a resident of Cavendish.

To my fellow Vermont citizens,

On Monday, January 13, I presented the following resolution to the Cavendish Select Board. I requested that this resolution be placed as an article on the condition that we discuss and vote on it at the annual town meeting in early March. The Select Board approved my request with the clear understanding that they are not endorsing the resolution.

The resolution reads as follows:

A Resolution for the Defense of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The township of Cavendish hereby declares itself to be a Second Amendment and Article 16, Constitutional Gun Owner township, as defined herein – The town hereby recognizes the inalienable rights of all persons within its boundaries to keep and bear arms as described by both Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution and the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, including but not limited to: the lawful use of firearms in defense of life, liberty and property and in defense of the State, from all enemies, foreign and domestic; the safe and responsible use of firearms for hunting and utilitarian purposes; and the safe and responsible use of firearms for sporting purposes including Olympic sports. Furthermore, per Marbury v Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), the township hereby declares all federal and state laws and regulations attempting to restrict these rights to be infringements, hence null and void under this resolution.

I have been asked the following questions since making this request of the Select Board:

1. Is this resolution legally binding in the town? No, it is not.

Vermont is known as a “Dillon Rule” state. This means that state law preempts town government ordinance. Specifically 24 V.S.A. § 2295 states: “Except as otherwise provided by law, no town, city or incorporated village, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall directly regulate hunting, fishing and trapping or the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing, or registration of traps, firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms and ammunition.”

This resolution is a symbolic but emphatic restatement and affirmation of both the Vermont Constitution and the U.S. Constitution which constitute the supreme law of our state and federal republic respectively. It serves as a reminder to our elected representatives in Montpelier and Washington D.C. that they take an oath to uphold not only the Article 16 and the Second Amendment but also every word of both documents. It also reminds us that we are independent citizens and not subjects, serfs or slaves.

2. Is this resolution appropriate for town meeting? Yes, absolutely.

I was born and raised in Vermont, and I actively engage in the public sphere. As a result, in my lifetime, I have witnessed many resolutions debated on the town meeting floor. For example, according to Seven Days newspaper, “In March of 2009, 36 Vermont towns voted to ask the Legislature to not renew the license of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Seven Days newspaper. Last March, VT Digger reported that 24 towns “voted on climate change resolutions asking the Legislature to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2030.” While I may not agree with these and other resolutions, I defend the proponents’ right to make their arguments and to be heard. This is our fundamental First Amendment right.

The tradition of town meetings can be traced back to 504 B.C. in ancient Athens (the birthplace of direct democracy). History tells us that the citizens of this city-state debated all manner of concerns, both trivial and weighty. While the Athenians did not embrace individual liberties as we do in the United States, they had a robust tradition of holding their leaders accountable for bad decisions that damaged the body politic.

We exercise the same tradition at our town meetings across Vermont. We come together to discuss the smallest details of how our tax dollars are being spent, as well as to debate the larger issues of the day over which we may exercise but little control. I have seen more wisdom spoken on the town meeting floor than I have ever heard come out of the halls of power in Montpelier and Washington D.C. If the topics of climate change and anti-nuclear activism are appropriate for Town Meeting Day, then so is the desire to affirm our constitutional rights as enshrined by Article 16 and the Second Amendment.

I hope to see all of you on Town Meeting Day. It is a proud Vermont tradition that we must celebrate.

Your Friend in Liberty,
Stu Lindberg
Cavendish, Vermont

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15 thoughts on “Letter: A resolution for the defense of the right to keep and bear arms in Cavendish township

  1. A comment of mine about the VA happenings was deleted as have other anti-gun control comments. Guess it’s not to be noted as to what’s happening in VT. Seems the Liberal mentality is alive and well in outlets.

  2. It’s about time Montpelier heard Vermont residents on this issue. I am so tired of a small group of agenda-driven legislators re-making vermont in their own image. I applaud this effort 100%.

    I will add, however, that some folks in the comments might want to check their gut instincts on name-calling (“liberals,” “flatlanders,” etc.)

    Like 50% of Vermonters, I moved here from out of state. Im a gay man with an interacial family. On many issues, from immigration to marijuana to policing and abortion rights, I’d be described as a flaming liberal.

    I’m also 100% in favor of Article 16/2nd Amendment, without exceptions.

    The real battle in our state is not between liberals and conservatives, or even between Democrats and Republicans – it’s between those who stand up for individual rights in all things, vs. those who think Montpelier Knows Better. If we are going to defeat the liberty-grabbing politicians, it will require a coalition of voices from across the spectrum.

    • Having been born, raised and schooled in a very conservative state I and many others refer to people as such being especially in VT Government. NOT some of the nice people that moved here. Those people didn’t want to change the state, those in gov do as has been seen. There was a slogan war when they moved here “take VT forward” and natives “take VT back”.

      Don’t know when you move here. I hope this puts some insight into your observations of words that highlight frustration.

      BY the way I’m 80 and a veteran and it bothers me that I put my life on the line for the Montpelier crazies. Just look at the legislation proposed and gun control.

  3. Whenever our 2nd amendment and article 16 rights are highlighted publicly it is a great thing. No matter how this resolves, it has hit the news cycle and will be simmering on the back burner when Baruth and Grad bring forward their ridiculous “new” gun laws over the next few months. How people in Cavendish react will be closely watched.

    Remember the comments back in 2018 when the anti-gun zealots said the 2nd amendment is no longer applicable? They said this is the 21st century and the framers never knew about assault rifles, etc. Well of course they did… every flintlock rifle and muzzle loader were assault weapons in their time.

    What they didn’t know about were cell phones and computers, but the anti’s rail that the first amendment protects their free speech; never mind that the framers didn’t know about them specifically. It makes a difference whether you are buying or selling, doesn’t it?

    How soon they forget that the 2nd amendment is second as it was put in place to protect the first. As the 2nd is watered down and decimated, the first will soon follow.

    During the gun debate in the legislature a few years ago, a smart ass “ultra-liberal” D/P legislator asked me with a smirk on her face if I was afraid of tyranny. I told her “you’re damn right… we are witnessing it here in VT and nationwide as we speak”….. The rolling of her eyes answered it all. In their opinion, we bumpkins are just a bunch of uneducated yokels who are impeding their self-righteous, on-high agenda. Remember, they can “smell” us!

    Thank-you Mr. Lindberg!

  4. TAKE BACK VERMONT from the liberal out of staters who wants to make Vermont into another CA NYC. As the saying goes. I will not give up my gun rights. you will have to pry my gun from my cold dead hands.!!!!

  5. Legislators are not hearing us free people. Thank you for your resolution! While doing everything available to us now within the law of course, we also need to start working toward hiring a new legislature and governor if he can’t see his way to being a true republican. If he doesn’t veto these bills, he needs to be voted out. If Zuckerman or any other anti-American wins, I move out of the state I was born in!

  6. Interesting resolution that should be brought up at every town meeting in Vermont. Perhaps if the results were presented to the legislative representatives in Montpelier it would get their attention.

  7. I firmly believe that local jurisdictions should be allowed to determine their own destiny. Not by the monopoly in Montpelier that has an overload of Flatlanders from Chittenden County that know nothing of local (251 towns) matters. This applies to school districts and gun rights.

    Also with the residents of VA revolting against a anti-Constitutional government body to maintain gun rights seems that might also be starting in Cavendish. Of recent news from VA, there’s to be an anti-gun control demonstration in Richmond 1/21. The Governor is having barricades installed around the capitol and has “banned” guns around same.
    This will be interesting.

    The gun grabbers in Montpelier took an oath to honor and uphold the US and VT’s Constitutions. They violated their oaths and should be kicked out.

    • TC,
      Virginia is the pivot point for our Nation and our State, you know the rabid anti-
      gunners in Montpelier are frothing at the bit !!

      Yes, our Constitution is being ignored, time for heads to roll, the rally in VA is
      is this Monday 01/20./2020

      • Unfortunately 3 Neo-nazis from NW GA have sought to integrate into the peaceful 10,000+ protesters. They have been apprehended. However the very liberal biased media has paid attention mainly to them and the resultant verbalization makes one (or the multitudes, as designed) think it’s a protest by crazies only. Fake news. This was done on CBS for 3 days now.

        They also try to associate this protest with the Charlottesville VA protest. A nice young peaceful kid Nick Sandmann (Covington Catholic High School student) was defamed by the media (CNN, Wash Post and many more).
        He’s filed lawsuits against them and won an unknown settlement ($275 M lawsuit) from CNN and more lawsuits are coming. Wished it bankrupted CNN.

        This will be and is the trouble confronting this upcoming protest. I’ve been watching and the result is, I hope it happens in VT. Have to impeach some in Montpelier.

  8. It still amazes me how many people just don’t get involved. Vermonters in support of the 2A and Article 16th need to go to Town meeting days and get this going so that every town Legislative person knows that they will be in Jeopardy of loosing their seat if the Make bills or vote for Gun control.

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