By Guy Page
Possession of a high-capacity magazine firearm can help Vermonters compensate for the natural loss of accuracy expected during a home invasion. Even if fear and adrenaline make a home defender’s first shots to go wild, he or she still has plenty of rounds for further self-defense.
In a nutshell, that’s how Vermont Traditions Coalition firearms policy expert Bill Moore, in a six minute video filmed last week, explains why Vermonters in the “real world” need high-capacity magazines for self-defense. The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and other organizations filed suit April 18 in Washington County Superior Court to overturn a new state law banning the sale of magazines higher than 15 for handguns and 10 for long guns. The suit argues that the law violates Vermont constitutional protections of the right to bear arms in self-defense.
Critics of high-capacity magazines claim they serve no good purpose, and are only “good for” mass killings such as in Parkland, Florida. But Moore says that even trained professional shooters – such as police and soldiers – often lose 80 percent of their on-target proficiency in high-stress situations. Less well-trained shooters woken from sleep by an armed home invader are even less likely to shoot straight. Reduced proficiency is offset, however, by high-capacity magazines. When you can’t shoot straight in a life-or-death situation, it’s best to have a lot of bullets.
The armed invader already has the advantage of initiative, and as a criminal is not likely to care about gun purchasing and possession laws. Therefore an armed invader may already possess two important advantages over the law-abiding home invasion victim, Moore said.
Many observers believe the lawsuit could lead to judicial overturning of the mag ban law. Unlike the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution expressly acknowledges the right to bear arms in self-defense: “the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.”
The April 18 lawsuit focuses on the state constitution’s emphasis on self-defense: “Law-abiding citizens, however, who use firearms in defense of themselves, their families, and their homes, are now barred by Vermont’s new ban from owning and using prohibited, standard-capacity magazines. … The new law will thus not prevent violent criminals from obtaining and using prohibited magazines, but it will make law-abiding Vermont citizens more vulnerable to criminal attack by depriving them of commonly-owned ammunition magazines.”
“Vermont Wrap” conservative TV news program debuts Sunday
Sunday, May 6 at 6:30 pm, YCN News will officially premiere “Vermont Wrap with Keith Hanson” on the YCN Television Network, which broadcasts in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York.
Hanson, a veteran TV and radio talk show host with a large following in the Connecticut River Valley, says the show is “a statewide television news program blending a weekly news recap with unabashedly unapologetic, hard-hitting conservative free-market analysis and compelling guests.”
YCN is a Claremont, NH-based cable news station that at present airs “Heroes and Icons” action-oriented program, including the original Star Trek series. On Comcast it’s on channel 19, Burlington Telecom 84, Dish Network 34, and DirecTV 40.
UVM Medical Center leaders have pro-abortion activist backgrounds
Given the backgrounds of its leadership, it’s not surprising that the UVM Medical Center decided in September to begin performing elective abortions. According to a recent article in Vermont Woman, Board of Trustees Chair Allie Stickney is the former CEO of Planned Parenthood in several states. And, President/CEO Dr. John Brumstead practiced obstetrics at the Vermont Woman’s Health Center, which provided abortions (and other procedures and services) from 1972-2001. “My experience there strengthened my belief that all women deserve access to a comprehensive range of family planning services,” Dr. Brumstead reportedly said.
Net-metering subsidies to drop by one cent
The Vermont Public Utilities Commission announced May 1 that subsidies for net-metered solar power – which it called “the most expensive of Vermont’s renewable energy programs” – will decline by a penny per kilowatt-hour in 2019.
For example, subsidies of solar arrays of up to 500 kilowatts will decline from 15.4 cents to 14.4 cents. Total subsidies vary according to size and siting, but in each case the difference between 2018 and 2019 will be a one-cent decline.
“A number of Vermont utilities expressed concern about the effect on rates of continued high net-metering prices,” the PUC said. “Vermont Electric Cooperative and Washington Electric Cooperative each reported that in 2017, the total number of net-metering applications and their capacity exceeded the totals during the prior three and four years combined in their respective territories. According to Green Mountain Power Corporation (“GMP”), a single year of net-metered deployment at the current pace and current prices will add roughly $2.3 million per year of upward rate pressure for GMP customers.”
Fortunately, there is also downward rate pressure, thanks to federal tax reform. GMP, a regulated utility, will return to ratepayers 100% of its tax savings from the 2018 Trump/Congress tax reform law – about $6 million, CEO Mary Powell said January 23.
$120,000 for “decarbonization mechanisms study” survives
Despite opposition to a carbon tax and a carbon tax study by Gov. Phil Scott and many legislators on both sides of the aisle, a $120,000 appropriation to study carbon taxation is still included (see page 105) in the House budget appropriations bill (H.924) was sent to the Senate on May 2. Final changes to the 2019 state budget will be hammered out in a House/Senate conference committee.
Vermont Yankee sale goes to formal hearings before Vermont Public Utilities Commission
The planned sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar will be the subject of formal hearings by the Vermont Public Utilities Commission beginning Friday, May 10 at the PUC hearing room at 112 State Street, Montpelier. A week of hearings have been scheduled for the State of Vermont and other “intervenors” to discuss the case. A ruling could occur by as soon as this summer.
All but one of the intervenors – the Conservation Law Foundation – have signed a memorandum of understanding supporting the sale. NorthStar plans to complete VY site decommissioning within 10 years, about 50 years ahead of current owner Entergy’s decommissioning plan. The sale, which also needs approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is expected to be concluded by the end of this year.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, Divestment Facts, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Church at Prison.