Letters to legislators: Firearm purchase waiting periods harm and jeopardize Vermonters

Editor’s note: This is part of TNR’s Letters to Legislators Series.

The following was sent today to Burlington’s state representatives in opposition to S.169.

Self-defense is reflexive, innate and derived from primal instinctive self-preservation actions. When testing rudimentary brain function, physicians use signs of purposeful withdrawal from pain or noxious stimuli as indicators of deep brain activity. In fact, many comatose patients still retain some instinctive self-preservation defenses.

With respect, representatives, you can not legislate away self-defense not self-preservation. Such legislation violates the laws of nature. There is no compromising, interpreting, modifying nor explaining away this immutable property of human and animal behavior common to the smallest single cell organism and the largest blue whale and African elephant.

Public domain

Jeffrey Kaufman, M.D.: “The few suicides which seem impulsive were, in almost all cases, considered and contemplated over time before the act, rendering purchase waiting periods moot.”

Imposing a waiting period on self-defense in the form of delaying the purchase of self-defense weapons is contrary to natural law, against the public good, morally wrong, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, and in violation of Torah law, which allows for the protecting of one’s life, even if such action violates the otherwise inviolable laws of the Sabbath.

A Vermont family that suffered a suicide last year has requested waiting period legislation, contending it would have saved their son. They refuse to share his medical records and present no psychiatric nor forensic evidence to support their allegation. Hope, wishing and desire for favorable outcomes, alone, are not reasonable justification for invoking these certain and very serious, and at times life threatening, self-preservation violations.

We would all like to be able to reduce the number of suicides, and we feel for this grieving family. However, the few suicides which seem impulsive were, in almost all cases, considered and contemplated over time before the act, rendering purchase waiting periods moot. Yes, there is an instant when an action occurs wherein there was a moment immediately prior to the event and one immediately subsequent. That moment of “throwing of the switch,” however, does not carry the implications of “impulsive behavior.” Further, and of critical importance to the discussion, is that there is no scientific evidence that an arbitrary temporal delay obstructing the acquisition of a tool — whether a firearm or any other of a myriad of potential available alternatives — significantly reduces suicides. To make a positive difference, please address other avenues which may reasonably be expected to impact suicide reduction, particularly addressing suicide’s underlying causes, instead of the suicide’s choice of tools.

The certainty of lives lost is well documented as a result of interference with self-defense secondary to delaying firearm purchases at a person’s critical time of need. G-D forbid a domestic violence victim succumbs to her tormenter for want of the weapon she is denied by S.169. A reduction in “impulse” suicides as a result of mandatory firearm purchasing delays is theoretical, and by the few numbers involved, would be expected to be minimal, if present at all.

Finally, S.169 firearm purchase waiting periods affirmatively harm and jeopardize a significant number of innocent, law-abiding Vermonters whose self-defense needs are innate, reflexive and instinctive. S.169 can not be expected to accomplish suicide reduction and should not progress towards law.

Thank-you for your consideration,

Jeffrey Kaufman, M.D.
Burlington, Vermont

Image courtesy of Public domain

7 thoughts on “Letters to legislators: Firearm purchase waiting periods harm and jeopardize Vermonters

  1. The statistics may indeed ASSOCIATE an overall reduction in gun suicides in states that require a waiting period but the questions remain:
    -Is it the State’s business to interfere in a person’s right to take their own life?
    (especially in Vermont where we have a legal avenue for doing so)
    -Should the rest of the citizenry who are not contemplating suicide have our Constitutional Rights infringed and our ready access to firearms compromised in order to provide a period of contemplation for those who are considering ending their life?
    The decision to take one’s own life is intensely personal, just as is the decision to abort a pregnancy. In these major life and death decisions, why does the State of Vermont go so far to protect one right while seeking to restrict and discourage the other? The usual cliche gets proclaimed: “if just one life is saved, then it’s worth it”, but when a cherished Constitutional Right is involved, that may not be the case.

  2. If a person seeks suicide, no legislation will sop it. Ban guns, they’ll use vehicles, ban vehicles they’ll use drugs and on and on. Banning guns as a single element in suicides is crazy. This gun banning / control is an outside force operating within VT. There’s no common sense, but outside money influence for the people that know nothing about human development and the environments that are confronted. Since drugs have become more prevalent, more suicides have happened. No where in that chain of links are guns the reason.

    This is so crazy. Would love to have the legislators be given a mental test to expose their rue values and state of mind.

  3. Excellent letter replete with reason, logic and reality. Unfortunately as one commenter here noted, we have a Legislative majority that is neither motivated nor swayed by reason, logic and reality. The precise way these autocratic despots operate is thus. Each session they decide which of their anti-social personal principles they want to force on Vermonters, then they go about accumulating, manufacturing and contorting “evidence” to support their position. It should be amply clear to anyone paying attention that these people not only think they know exactly how we should live, but also think that because the unthinking continually return them to office they have the RIGHT to tell us how to live. Consider some of *their* personal values they want to make us live under as dictated this session.

    – Prevent law-abiding citizens from acquiring a firearm immediately to counter personal threat
    – Allow unborn human beings to be euthanized up to the moment of birth
    – Legalize a psychologically harmful drug that will increase violence, death and addiction

    Vermonters should be asking themselves if these desperate priorities from Montpelier mirror their own values, and if not, how is it they are coming to pass. The answer to the latter is, Vermonters voted these clowns into office, and now must suffer under their compulsory edicts.

  4. This piece of legislation is about only one thing and that is to eliminate gun shows in the state of Vermont. Theses communist’s know that the dealers can’t hang around 24 or 48 hours to sell a firearm. This law won’t save one life. You already went thru the background check so now you have to wait to take possession of the weapon.

    Want to stop drunk drivers from killing sober drivers ? Ban sober drivers from driving. That’s how gun control works.

  5. That’s a good article but you are preaching to the choir. Most will agree with your article but they will not act upon it. They have an agenda and that’s to place new gun laws on the agenda every year until they eliminate all guns. That’s their ultimate goal.
    The only way they will be defeated is to vote them all out. We need to take our State back..

  6. All S.169 will do is the allow the Liberal left Legislators to say we told you so !!

    I listened to all the ” astute ” people we have in Montpelier say they want to save lives
    if that was so, we wouldn’t even be talking about the bill, as it will do absolutely nothing
    to stop anyone from taking their life be it today, tomorrow or next week.

    So let’s see a list of deaths within the state by cause, and what have legislators done to
    eliminate them, I bet suicide isn’t in the top ten ??

    It’s a shame a young man took his own life, very tragic. But to have legislators use that
    tragedy to pass this frivolous bill is appalling…..they should hang their heads.

    I hope Montpelier wakes up, spends its efforts on real issues for the state we have a Mental
    Health Crisis and they turn a blind eye to it because they can’t or won’t address the problem.

    Legislators, taking the easy way out…….

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