Opinion: Why compromise with gun control is a bad idea

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Eric Davis, vice president of Gun Owners of Vermont.

Chances are if you’re a person who values your right to keep and bear arms in self-defense, you’ve heard all the ridiculous appeals from gun control advocates who berate us pro-gun folks as unreasonable and uncooperative when it comes to new legislation. While it’s true we are a stubborn bunch and most of us are quite unwilling to compromise any more of our rights away, the last thing you will find us to be is unreasonable. On the contrary, our position is well-rooted in reason and heavily influenced by the history of this seemingly never-ending debate over civilian-owned weaponry. In no particular order, here are my top three reasons why we “crazy gun nuts” always get upset at the suggestion of more gun laws.

First, we have been compromising our rights away since forever already. We compromised in 1934 with the National Firearms Act, which arbitrarily banned certain lengths and classes of firearms by imposing a prohibitive tax on a constitutional right. We compromised with the Gun Control Act of 1968, which heavily regulated the transfer and sale of all firearms. We“compromised in 1986 with the Hughes Amendment, which outright banned the transfer of new weapons that would have previously been regulated under the NFA. We compromised in 1994 with the Brady Bill, which imposed background checks on all firearms sales, effectively making it necessary to ask the government for permission each time before exercising a constitutional right. And of course, we have compromised with the over 22,000 state and municipal laws and ordinances currently on the books. One might think that after 22,000 failed attempts at solving the problem, the champions of victim disarmament might take a different approach from their traditional calls to ban self-defense. Unfortunately, it seems not.

Michael Bielawski/TNR

Gov. Phil Scott announces his decision to sign S.55, imposing unprecedented gun control on Vermonters, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the Vermont Statehouse.

Second, you may have noticed that even with all this compromising going on, it never seems to be enough. Each time we are assured that “these are just common-sense safety measures” and “no one is coming for your guns,” yet after every set of new restrictions placed on the right of self-defense, the gun banners always seem to want more. When the Vermont Legislature passed the previously unimaginable gun control bill S.55 into law in 2018, the ink wasn’t dry on Traitor Phil’s signature before they were discussing their wish list of infringements for the next session. This inevitable moving of the goalposts occurs with each restriction imposed, and it is no accident. This strategy of incrementalism has changed the acceptable discourse from whether it should be OK to buy a belt-fed machine gun through the mail from Sears in 1934 to whether it’s OK to send police door-to-door to confiscate common, lawfully owned firearms in 2019. This same strategy has successfully changed the discourse in other countries like the U.K. to the extent where, amid a terrible epidemic of violence, they are quite literally banning pointed knives. We stand firm because we know that it doesn’t stop with background checks and waiting periods; it doesn’t stop with scary, assaulty looking rifles; it doesn’t stop with regular rifles; it doesn’t stop with gun registration (which has historically always led to confiscation) — it never stops. The hoplophobes have a reason for banning everything. Every single time existing gun control fails to stop another murderer who doesn’t care about the law, peaceful gun owners get blamed, branded as unreasonable, and maligned for our desire to just be left alone.

Third, correct me if I’m wrong, but in a compromise don’t both sides usually get something? Time after time we have had our natural right to self-defense “compromised” away with nothing in return, save the assurance that next year will bring renewed calls for more “common sense reform.” When we object, we are subsequently berated by the proponents of these awful policies. If we have the gall to suggest they have gone too far, we are admonished as extremists. When was the last time we got something back, huh? Remember that time they passed concealed carry reciprocity, where one state would have to recognize another’s carry permit the way they do with drivers’ licenses and marriage certificates? No? Oh, right, they didn’t. How about the time they took suppressors of the NFA registry, making them available for good folks to protect their hearing (and their neighbors’) by mitigating the noise from the local shooting ranges? Nope, not a chance. They’d rather try to ban the shooting range. The gun grabbers can’t even offer us safety in return for the increased restrictions; rather, we become the disarmed and defenseless while the criminals keep their guns under these preposterous policies. Who in their right mind would think this is a good deal? A relationship where one side is continually told to compromise without ever receiving anything in return can only be described as abusive. It’s no secret that our elected officials have long held contempt for the Bill of Rights. Hence, they have been working to compromise it away from us little by little, with special care paid to eroding the right which protects all the others.

It would seem to us gun nuts that any reasonable group of people who have been pushed around and bullied for decades — with absolutely nothing to show for their troubles save being rendered defenseless, and the assurance that their bullies will never stop — would eventually reach the point where they drew a hard line and stood up for themselves. Our line has been crossed multiple times by an aggressor whose self-admitted strategy is to conquer us in small increments. The Bill of Rights is not up for discussion. We don’t compromise because we know their goal and we know their plan. It’s like death by paper cuts, or being pecked to death by a chicken. As a good friend of mine once said, “Compromise is just surrender on an installment plan.”

I’d like to propose a serious, mutually beneficial compromise on behalf of the 99.9% of American gun owners who are good, honest, law-abiding folks protecting our families. Here it is: Stop denying the good guys our right of self-defense. Immediately abolish these ridiculous killing zones aka “gun free zones” that do nothing but ensure we stay fish in the barrel. Let us peacefully carry our tools of self-preservation to the many places that we frequent without fear of hassle. And in return, we, the well-armed citizenry whom the founders described as a well-regulated militia; we, who are your neighbors and friends, will always have your back. Stop blaming us for the actions of a deranged few and we will ensure that the next time a madman attempts to butcher a crowd of our defenseless peers, they will be met with immediate and overwhelming counteraction. Now that sounds like a good compromise.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tim Dobbelaere and Michael Bielawski/TNR

23 thoughts on “Opinion: Why compromise with gun control is a bad idea

  1. 1. Are these antigun legislators on the right track?

    2. If not, what is the right track?

    Murder is illegal.
    The power of all other anti gun laws take a back seat to murder which can carry the death penalty.
    When murder is committed, the law didnt work!
    The reason is that these laws do not address the violence causing the crimes. Eric’s piece is spot on. No additional laws should be expected to work either.
    We follow them, to our detriment, and we are not the problem. The problem, anti social behavior to a pathologic degree, has yet to be effectively addressed. Government may help to effectuate programs providing emergency interventional diagnosis, treatment and protective environments for those at risk of harming others (or themselves), which is what is needed in villages, towns and cities around the country.

    Government’s role is expressly excluded from, they are prohibited from legislating and enforcing anti-self defense laws!

    Do you know who to call if you, your spouse at work, your child at school knows of someone they think is at risk for hurting themselves or others?
    Few of us do. There is no good system in place for people to call “2-911” for example, to get Emergency assessment and if needed, care and safety for the affected person. There is no more reason to take a firearm from someone not assessed than to take their kitchen knife. They need assessment by psychologically trained personnel to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment if indicated.

    Anti-self defense laws are themselves anti social. Don’t fool yourself. Do good to expect good.

  2. Time to take action and fight for All wrongful unconstitutional gun laws forced on us by the State. They have had no real actions to correct their wrongs. It’s not about age, magazine size etc! It’s about laws that violate Constitutional Law.

    • Mr. Bates

      Senator Baruth has once more proven a excellent reason for No Compromise,No Discussions,Conversations when it come to the 2 nd. amendment/Article 16.

      VT Lawmaker Proposes Ban On Carrying Semi-Automatic Handguns by Cam Edwards

      “This is a dumb idea on many levels, but it’s certainly a revealing look at where gun control activists are heading in 2020. They don’t just want to ban your AR-15 or “scary black rifle.” They’re going after your Glock, your 1911, your Sig P365, and the vast majority of firearms in private hands.”


  3. Vermont is well on the way to this in CA. CA has the lousy “big four”, VT has the lousy “big three”.

    4 Corrupt Families Of California ~ Newsom, Brown, Pelosi & Feinstein

    As the old saying went “as goes Maine, so goes VT”. Now it’s “as CA goes, so goes VT”.

  4. The above commentary is right on, but you have to remember that only about 2% of Vermont gun owners get involved regularly. All of the rallies held in the past six years or so, including state house hearings, only garnered about 1200 gun owners on our best day. A disappointing and embarrassing 1.2% of all Vermont gun owners. Is it any wonder why the Dems/Prog/Socialists pay little attention to us? We are no threat to their reelection or their anti-gun agenda.

    As the latest numbers show, hunting licenses are down significantly. The steady baby boomers and their 30 to 50+ year old children are slowly exiting the gun/hunting scene. The next generation is only minimally interested. Younger gun enthusiasts are not joiners (i.e. NRA membership has remained steady). Gun sales are up and women are the fastest growing segment, but again, they are not necessarily joiners and are not demonstrators en-mass. Once we old folks are gone I don’t see a lot of hope for a rosy future for gun rights in Vermont or nationally.

    Trump is our hope nationally. If we can get Vermonters to vote for Trump we may be able to turn the tide here in Vermont as legislators will take notice. Maybe we can get more Republicans in the mix. Maine did it with Gov. LePage (Republican). They turned a Democratic majority in the house to a Republican majority and the Senate Democratic majority to a majority of only a few Senators. They had a state wide referendum for many new gun laws funded by Bloomberg that was defeated in a state wide vote, winning by only a hair (+.1% of vote). So far Bloomberg has remained off of the radar and out of sight since that major loss to his draconian initiatives in Maine. Maine now has a Democratic governor so all bets are off.

    Phil Scott has to go and we need a strong Republican to replace him. T.J. Donovan has repeatedly made his anti-gun position known. He has also demonstrated his dislike for guns and gun owners and has made that perfectly clear many times. He also considers that “he” is going to be the next (inherent) governor of Vermont. That, we need to STOP!


  5. The violent repeat gun criminal, who kills a man on the street in a mugging, with a STOLEN gun registered to his last victim, is “presumed Innocent”, gifted with all the lawyers he needs, gets a trial (woops- a plea deal) and lives to kill another day. His Gang gives a stolen gun every one of their new recruits, and they have to earn their ‘creds’ into the gang by killing the other gang members, or an innocent bystander.

    How many MS13 tattooed criminals have we let into our formerly safe country – aided by the soft hearted anti-gun Liberals?

    YOU who owns a gun peacefully,are presumed guilty, and if you have to ask Again for kids to stop tormenting your dog, You are presumed guilty – with no defense, YOUR guns confiscated, and YOU labeled a criminal for the rest of YOUR life.

    Registering and outlawing guns has not worked in the ghetto’s of big cities. Gang Members and killers don’t BUY guns!

    Our Federal Constitution is correct on guns, and our state Constitution is even stronger!!


  6. Make sure you vote in 2020. We need to start cleaning house in this State. Get your facts in order before you vote. Make sure you know exactly where the candidates stand before casting your approval.
    We are under the liberal political assault that want nothing but complete control over everything we do.

    • It has gotten to where as conservative Constitution loving citizen in Legislature or Congress, you are shunned, shammed repeatedly, kept in a” fish worms” committee. and not allowed any hearing on any law or amendment you might propose.

      The soft hearted “Caring Liberals” Legislators are NOT – NOT soft hearted, they will make a gun rights member completely isolated, shammed and discouraged

      Gun grabbers are a vicious lot, who HATE being confronted by reason or respect.
      Confront them at every opportunity,
      AND work hard for the brave Conservative Gun rights Candidate who dares to raise their head to become elected.

      • Your very accurate comment is why we need to operate by their playbook. Public – in their face – disobedience, week after week. Put them on the Defense. Force them to enforce their unconstitutional edicts. This pussy-footing around does nothing. Either go for the jugular and put it all on the line or do nothing.

  7. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    All ‘gun control laws’ are un-Constitutional:

    Article 6, U.S. Constitution “The Constitution…shall be the supreme law of the land”.
    Therefore, no federal or state legislative law, Executive Order or local decree may
    limit, deny, change or modify the Constitution. THAT is called the ‘Supremacy Clause’.
    Article 6 continues “All laws must conform to and be made pursuant to the Constitution”.
    Therefore, any federal or state legislative law, Executive Order or local decree not
    in 100% harmony with the U.S. Constitution, is null & void.

    Picture if you will the 2 nd. amendment as a cake,when penned by the founders,a whole round cake.

    The first compromise of the cake occurred in 1934 with the NFA,now 1/2 of the cake remains.

    Along comes 1968 and the gun control act compromise and now a 1/4 of the whole cake is left and then all the various infringements/slices of cake/2nd. that have taken place since then.
    We The People now find ourselves with a lone thin sliver of a once whole cake/2 nd. amendment.

    No more discussions,conversations,compromises .




    • Only way to get the cake back is by force, sad to say. But, that is the reality. Vermont has been infested by liberal trust funded flatlanders which have taken over our political system, schools, and taxed us to death. Sorry, but trying to vote these scoundrels out is a major uphill battle when Chittenden county dictates what happens in the late great state of Vermont. COS

  8. Their idea of compromise is now that you’ve given an inch, it’s my turn and I’ll take a mile. It’s nothing more then than the same, same old.

  9. Give them a inch and they’ll take a mile, that’s just how it works in the
    gun grabber philosophy.
    If they want to grab guns let them start in Chicago, Baltimore, LA, and all the other democrat controlled shooting zones. And NO Red Flag as we know the same people trying to control speech would be deciding who gets flagged..

    • Great piece Eric.
      The common thread(s) in liberalism are control and money which together equal power. The Gun Control Nazi’s are working in their quest, constantly. But a well armed society such as we have in VT is an impediment to their goals, so they believe that disarming the populace will get them their place.
      As we have seen in other jurisdictions of late, laws, regulations, even the Constitution mean nothing to these creeps who have a goal in mind. The ends justify the means in their playbook(s). That is what they do, have done, and will continue by any and all of whatever it takes. The only way to avoid this, is defeat at the polls in 2020. It will take every single Vermonter, natives in particular, to get out and vote these carpetbaggers OUT, OUT, OUT of office!!!!! It will be hard work, but it can be done, and must be done or we are finished. Simple as that.

  10. Law-abiding gun owners need to combine forces, all these fringe gun groups do, is split
    our forces, size does matter !!

    Until Real Vermonter’s really take a stand,” No More Gun Bills ” the Liberal transplants
    in the State House will keep picking away at our rights.

    Clean out the statehouse, before it’s too late !!!!

  11. If you want to have fun suggest to the anti-guy nuts that we can solve a lot of problems by using a civilian version of the USAF Human reliability program starting at age 13. — If you get suspended from school for behavior, your name goes on a list that keeps you from buying or having a weapon, like responsible people can. Most school shooters were suspended. — The whole concept really pisses off the liberals.

  12. “Our God given Rights as enshrined in the US and Vermont Constitution are not open for negotiation. They cannot be regulated away nor legislated away. Any attempt by any person, or organization, to do so will be met with the strongest resistance.” Vermont Governor John Weeks.

    Compromise is surrender on the installment plan.

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