John Klar: Why I’m joining the NRA

By John Klar

I got my National Rifle Association hunter’s safety course certification in 1975 through the Boy Scouts of America. I never renewed my membership.

Claude Taylor, a former staff member of the Clinton White House, heads a Maryland-based political action committee called Mad Dog PAC. The group put billboard messages around the country saying “the NRA is a terrorist organization.” Taylor’s rationale? “With the GOP majority in the House and in the Senate, the NRA makes impossible any meaningful, common-sense gun reform. That includes background checks and assault weapon ban,” Orlando Weekly reported.

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John Klar: “I’m stunned that our Vermont legislators have so little comprehension of the importance of the Second Amendment. They would make me a criminal in my own home for doing what my family has done for centuries here in Vermont.”

Former Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy chimed in, proclaiming, “The NRA today is a far cry from the NRA that in 1999 said that teachers shouldn’t carry weapons in schools. … Or in the 90’s said we should have universal background checks. They have in essence become a terrorist organization.” A short time later, in a March 10, 2018, NPR interview, Malloy wavered: “I said that the NRA acts like a terrorist organization. Webster’s defines a terrorist organization as one that uses fear to effect its goals. What organization in America has used fear better than the NRA? … Americans believe in universal background checks. The only reason we don’t have them is the NRA, and the politicians they have purchased in Washington — including President Trump. … The NRA is taking advantage of people’s deaths to make the case that we need more guns. I’m not accusing them of pulling the trigger, but in some cases I think there is blood on their hands.”

According to these gentlemen, the NRA is “a terrorist organization” with “blood on its hands” because it is responsible for Republican power, the outcome of the presidential election and the absence of Democrat-desired background checks and “assault-weapons” bans. Hardly terrorism. If those things are true, then I’m sending the NRA money. It’s called democracy.

As to fearmongering and Malloy’s assertion that the NRA uses fear, I haven’t personally had much fear struck into my bones by the NRA lately. I think GunSense Vermont and Sen. Philip Baruth, P/D-Chittenden, have enlisted fear, as have Sandy Hook Promise, the Brady Campaign, the Giffords Law Center, Parkland “March for Our Lives,”, and other anti-gun groups. In Vermont, a non-shooter who did not break the law was used to justify taking away numerous gun rights from law-abiding citizens — proponents of more gun restrictions still invoke his case as rationale.

I suppose I could call these people “terrorists” for seeking to use fear to confiscate our longstanding rights, but I wouldn’t wish to fearmonger. Instead, I am encouraged to support the organizations that have sworn to protect Americans’ constitutional freedoms, especially against those who use fear tactics to label political opponents as terrorists. There is the Second Amendment Foundation, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Gun Owners of America, Oathkeepers, and Gun Owners of Vermont.

Relentless efforts by self-righteous zealots to erase the protections of the Second Amendment persist, including new bills in Vermont’s current legislative session. Baruth wants to make it illegal for us to keep our weapons unlocked in our own homes (S.22). I keep a shotgun in the corner for critters, a handgun nearby for intruders, and a rifle to snipe at coyotes, if given the chance. I have no minor children, but S.22 would threaten me with a year in prison each time I left a firearm “outside [of my] immediate possession or control without having first securely locked the firearm in a safe storage depository.” I’m not sure who loves this proposed law more — the coyotes or the burglars.

I’m stunned that our Vermont legislators have so little comprehension of the importance of the Second Amendment — the Amendment that “binds all the others.” They would make me a criminal in my own home for doing what my family has done for centuries here in Vermont. Actual criminals are to be given an advantage when breaking into a house to rape or rob — at least over those victims who comply with S.22.

Is a car’s glove box a “safe storage depository” under S.22? If not, Vermonters will no longer be able to keep a gun in their car (except on their person, at all times). Our Vermont daughters will not be able to protect themselves on remote roads on dark nights by keeping a handgun in their car. If a glove compartment is considered safe storage, shall we always keep our gun locked up so that when road rage, carjacking, or drunken assaults occur we can fumble for our keys in lieu of exercising our inalienable rights?

S.22 is vague, absurd and violates both the U.S. and Vermont constitutions. It is an insult to our Vermont way of life and an attack on our constitutional liberties. I weary of such tactics, and so I’m going to pay dues to the NRA for the first time since 1975. I think I’ll pay extra.

The NRA and other gun-rights groups are vitally important — now more than ever.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield.

Images courtesy of U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs and U.S. Customs and Border Protection

32 thoughts on “John Klar: Why I’m joining the NRA

  1. Stop buying VT hunting fishing licenses..stop hunting fishing and trapping in the state for 2 or 3 years and see what happens to the Socialist’s change purse.. don’t give them anymore money… enough is enough..I think it wouldn’t take long to hurt their wallets.

    • Stop buying licenses won’t work. It only hurts the fish and wildlife dept. It plays into the hands of those who also would like to see no hunting. Getting more hunters is a better way to create a positive attitude toward gun rights.

      • You will never create a positive attitude toward gun rights with the Liberal mob.. it’s their way or the highway. I know my “gun rights” the U.S. Constitution and the Vermont Constitution.. those are our rights ..not what the Libs want.. By not hunting fishing or trapping in Vermont and not buying their licenses it will punish their pocket books and wallets .. money talks when it comes to the Socialists/Progs/Libs..they want more money to complete there worlds… stop the money , stops the SPL’s goals.. they will not stop until they have gun confiscation completed. There is no compromise.

    • These are a few statements the founders made on unjust laws.

      GEORGE WASHINGTON –“When government takes away citizens right to bear arms it becomes citizens duty to take away governments right to govern”.

      JAMES MADISON — ” The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned”.

      THOMAS JEFFERSON — “The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it”.

      SAMUEL ADAMS —“it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in peoples minds”.

      THOMAS JEFFERSON — “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so”.

  2. Does anyone notice that leftist legislation is being pushed harder and faster in Vermont? What the hell is going on?

    • Here’s a comment posting I did on another TNR story which is relative to your question. My comment was info that is the tip of the ice burg, 90% is below it and much is still to be exposed.
      Connect the dots and see it all unfold—anyhow—

      VT is a Liberal/Socialist experiment forced upon it’s people (those of lesser means) to seek the breaking point. CA is bad, but small VT is a better test bed for the outside forces to see what economical and regulatory forces they can exert and how much. I realized that’s one reason for all these “Flatlanders” came here from CA, NY, MN, MA, NJ, CT who have been instructed in social reform (such as LaLonde, Baruth, Rachelson and Pugh, look at their bills being introduced) to transform VT into an ideology as an experiment (being a small state) that can be observed easier to extend the policies to other states, one at a time for eventual takeover of all. Agenda 21. It all makes sense when the events during the past 40+ years are summarized / condensed in a nut shell and note the steady progression. There are evil forces at work and the good people have been slowly ruled over, I believe they are waking. Liberals desire everything, Conservatives are and have been laid back, live and let live.
      Many of these Flatlanders settled into Chittenden County, they become a single political force of one mind to control.
      That’s one reason Trump is so hated by the “outside forces” and within Congress. Keep an open eye and mind to the realities. Where will the breaking point be?

      • That’s all fine and dandy until it’s torch and pitch fork time,the plain folk always have to hunt the tyrannical monster down.

    • “What the hell is going on?”

      Trump Derangement Syndrome. The Donald lives in their brain cavity (empty) for free.
      The major push for Baby killing and gun grabbing and Fascist agenda, is the childlike left
      stomping their feet and holding their hands over their ears and screaming
      at the moon NO no NO no……

  3. ” I’m not sure who loves this proposed law more — the coyotes or the burglars.” Only the burglars will know the difference and they will know. Passing these laws is like putting a sign on Vermont that “this is a gun free zone (for some)” Well written piece by attorney, farmer, preacher Klar! Thanks John.


    Article 6. [Officers servants of the people]

    That all power being originally inherent in and co[n]sequently derived from the people, therefore, all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants; and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.

    Article 9. [Citizens’ rights and duties in the state; bearing arms; taxation]

    That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute the member’s proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto, but no part of any person’s property can be justly taken, or applied to public uses, without the person’s own consent, or that of the Representative Body, nor can any person who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if such person will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any law but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common good: and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.

    Article 16. [Right to bear arms; standing armies; military power subordinate to civil]

    That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State–and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

    Legislative oath administered prior to representatives and senators taking office in Vermont. How many have violated the following oath and why have it if it has no enforcement mechanism?

    You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.

    Subsection 15 Legislative laws


    No person shall be elected a Representative or a Senator until the person has resided in this State two years, the last year of which shall be in the legislative district for which the person is elected.

    Under the pains and penalties of perjury.
    Has anyone checked to see if these laws are upheld.

    • And the most important right and freedom:

      Article 1. [All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery prohibited]

      That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety

  5. As I continue to watch the state I spent the last 30 years in sink deeper and deeper into muck hole of liberal/socialism, these current firearms restriction bills and the bill condoning the abortion of living human beings are examples of why I believe life in Vermont of is only going to get more and more intolerable for people who still possess any a level of morality or desire for self preservation. According to Wikipedia, VT is the ONLY state in the nation that had a duty to retreat law. Every other state at least has a castle doctrine law in place, even CA, NY, and HI. So add to that S.22 that states you must lock up your firearms within your own home and you have no legal defense against an intruder. The duty to retreat law implies that you must run out the back door of your own house if someone is trying to attack you through the front door. This is a classic example of liberal delusional idiocy. This downward spiral of the loss of constitutional rights in Vermont and many other states in our nation is only going to get worse.

    • Strange how the ‘duty to retreat’ doesn’t apply to law enforcement, even though some of us have had more experience and training in the ‘rules of deadly force’. Also, if one or more people are coming through a front door, who in their right mind would believe there’s not a bad guy waiting at the back door?

      My home, my rules and ‘retreat’ isn’t one of the options. That word is mentioned nowhere in the Vermont Constitution.

      • “Also, if one or more people are coming through a front door, who in their right mind would believe there’s not a bad guy waiting at the back door?

        My home, my rules and ‘retreat’ isn’t one of the options. That word is mentioned nowhere in the Vermont Constitution.”

        100% concurrance with your post. As a geezer with a bum leg, you can bet your socks the only thing that will be running is a full mag–if necessary.

        • You and I are in the ‘Too old to run, too young to die’ category, which makes us quite dangerous to young thugs. There’s nothing wrong with either my eyes or my fingers, and I’m equal opportunity when it comes to dispatching criminals attacking my castle.


    “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
                                          – Norton vs. Shelby County
                                            118 US 425 p.442

  7. If Bates is from Iowa, he’s another out-of-stater in Montpelier telling Vermonters how to live their lives. Will it ever end. Unlikely.

  8. The Fascist Socialist can’t assume full control until they have your weapons or have made
    you a criminal and safely put you in jail. One only has to look at the Demonrat gun confiscation
    bill currently in the house of representative. They will not prosecute a illegal alien in possession of
    an illegal gun but will jail a citizen that lets a friend borrow a gun or family that gives to other
    family member would be criminal… The anti American Hate faction is hell bent to Get it all…. lucky,
    i think, we still hold senate and Pres vetos of this communist in fashion bill.

  9. I’ll forward this to Christopher Bates D-Bennington who’s projected bill H211 titled H.211 “An act relating to prohibiting the use of air guns to take big game” wants to ban air rifles.

    He’s from Iowa, you’d think otherwise-Iowa is a nice state.Why ban air rifles, hardly no one uses them?

      • I knew they are and I met a fellow that makes them in the mid-west. They are very popular and he has to hold a raffle as h can only make 50 in a given time period. I didn’t win in one such raffle. His air gun took down a large wild hog and big game. His area has cold weather so they work in spite of Chris Bates D-Bennington. assertions.

        The quietness and power appealed to me and he price was in line. You’d never know it was a air rifle.

  10. Montpelier’s Liberal DemocRATs are only interested in their agenda and as you can see
    by S.22, nonsense ” waiting period ” and an unenforceable “gun secure ” provision, they
    must not have anything to do because of the state having no real issues …….Right ??

    It all about the Liberals Anti-Gun Agenda bought & paid for by Bloomberg & Others.

    Here in Vermont follow, join the ( ) they’re fighting for your rights in the

  11. Besides the NRA I also belong to Gun Owners of America,Second Amendment Foundation,Firearms Policy Coalition,which I see as more fundamental to the protection of the second amendment than what Negotiating Rights Away since 1934 has become,sadly.
    I would also recommend membership in Vermont’s GOA based organization Gun Owners of Vermont and the NRA based Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs.
    To me of more importance as they are both on the ground here in Vermont and at the state house daily when in session,working their behinds off protecting the US 2 nd. and Article 16 of Vermont ,for Vermonters.

  12. Thank you John for writing this, I hope you have submitted it to vtDigger the official web rag of the left. Baruth’s storage law and any other laws they propose proves that gun control laws do not work. If they did why would they need to keep proposing more when there are 20,000 federal, state and local laws that already deal with gun regulations already passed. We have laws against murder, rape, assault, drugs and others dealing with every kind of crime imaginable yet criminals still violate the laws because they are criminals. So in a feeble attempt to look and feel good about themselves they write laws restricting the rights of people who generally do not break laws and leave the criminals on the streets in revolving criminal justice merry go round. Baruth’s storage law has already been declared unconstitutional in both the Heller (2007) and the McDonald (2010) supreme court cases.

    Buruth’s storage law will be as unenforceable and as effective as the limit on idling your car for more than 5 minutes in winter. Another brain storm from the golden dome. His counterpart in the house, Martin Lalond is another liberty thief from California. The other bill is the waiting period of 48 to 72 hours to buy a gun. This harms our rights by eliminating a person’s right of self defense now if they need protection not later after they are dead. While they are advocating for saving one life from a gun shot they just passed a bill in the house to allow infanticide which is headed to the senate and then to be voted on by Vermonters to become a woman’s right to have an abortion added to the Vermont constitution.

    Every person who was born here or moved here because of our history of rugged individualism and the freedom enshrined in our constitution needs to stand up to take our state back from these implanted do oath violators. As an attorney, please ask among your legal community what can be done about violations of the oath of office taken by legislators. They are bound by oath to not attack our rights or injure our citizens. Nothing has changed about the oath other than the fact that it is being violated by people who will sell their souls to lobbyists to get re-elected and to hell with the people and honor. Take back Vermont!

  13. So glad to hear you are renewing your membership to the NRA who works constantly to defend our second amendment!

  14. Excellent article, well said, powerful. I’d add by characterizing the Vermont legislation John Klarr refers to as Anti-Self Defense to drive home the concept that humans act to preserve their own lives and that of their loved ones by instinct, by reflex, as an inborn self preservation drive. You can no more legislate against self defense, then you can legislate against breathing.

    As important as direct self defense is the deterrent effect of firearms. Deterrence saved the world from war during the Cuban missile crisis. Deterrence has made Vermont the safest (or second safest) state in the country relative to firearm related murder and homicide and one of the safest for firearm related violent crime. Having a high percentage of homes known to contain firearms serve as an excellent deterrent to approach by criminals intent on causing harm. Unfortunately, as Baruth bills erode these safeguards, Vermonters will find themselves at greater risk from violent criminals.

    The deterrent effect of firearm ownership influences the safety of communities, towns, cities and countries as well. Moreover, deterrence has protected our sovereignty. The stronger the deterrence, the less likely a weapon need be fired. Yet all of these critical benefits and protections disappear with the shortsighted disarming actions of these Progressive/Marxist/Socialist legislators.

  15. Senator Baruch is far from a constutional expert. I urge all of you to read article 16 of the Vermont constitution which prefers armed citizens to armed militia or police. It really does Senator, you should read it,

  16. The foolishness of these gun control types has propelled me to also renew my membership in the NRA and I have also become a member of a state gun rights group. It is time for the good people of our state to stand up to the tyrrany of the gun control lobby by joining advocacy groups and, most important of all, VOTING! What kind of diminished mental capacity is required to think that one more gun law, on top of the thousands already on the books, will succeed where all others have failed and will be the one law that criminals intent on murder, mayhem, drug dealing, or rape will actually obey? This isn’t about preventing crime, it is most assuredly about controlling the population.

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