Keelan: Could it be time to buy a gun?

Photo by Pat WilsonCZ75 at 

By Don Keelan

Several months ago, my co-host of our GNAT-TV show, Civil Discourse, posed the question for a possible future show, “Why is it that there are so many guns in America”? My initial response was whether we really wanted to debate the Second Amendment, and we let the question pass. 

Now, I am not sure I should have walked away from the question. Why are so many guns being purchased and stored in American homes? 

Set aside those who own guns for hunting, competitive target shooting, work-related, and, of course, the criminal element. There are still tens of millions of guns of all types in homes today, and the number continues to grow. But why? 

Don Keelan

When I asked several folks, who had never previously owned a gun, why they now own a semi-automatic handgun or an AR-15 rifle, the answer, without hesitation, was to provide home protection. 

Not too long ago, criminal justice experts advised folks that the chance of encountering an intruder at one’s residence was comparable to having a meteor strike your home. Such a comparison is no longer valid in the minds of millions of Americans. The recent news items of outright lawlessness, lack of police patrols, and repeated failures of the criminal courts validate their concerns. The criminal element knows this and has become emboldened. 

We don’t have to venture far if we start with the criminal courts: Bennington County is a sad example. In an October 6, 2023 piece in the Bennington Banner, reporter Michael Albans details the collective frustrations of crime victims, the State’s Attorney, and the State Superior Court judge.

Albans points out that many are arrested and have been in and out of court while awaiting trial. They have prior felony convictions, consistently disregard court orders, and often fail to attend their hearing. As Albans noted these were not petty crimes. 

One example is a Bennington resident with 46 open criminal cases: the majority are misdemeanors but eight felonies—burglary, aggravated assault, drug possession, etc. I will not elaborate on the indicted major child sex offenders currently out on the street, ignoring the court’s no-contact orders. 

Bennington County has had and continues to have good people trying to do their jobs in law enforcement, but listening to them is to experience the Blame Game once again: it is not us, but the Legislature; not us, but the Supreme Court. Is it any wonder law-abiding citizens have purchased guns? 

Another fear factor is seeing gangs loot stores with no consequences whatsoever. It is not just in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York, but in Vermont. Store employees and their security are asked to stand down and take no action. Will our homes be next? 

Our police and the Vermont State Police are the last bastion between us and chaos. Statewide, it ranks 50-60 fewer troopers than what has been authorized. In practical terms, only three troopers are on patrol between Pownal and the northern end of the coverage, Rupert, Vermont. It is an hour’s drive between the two areas. 

The VSP can only do so much, and in some towns/cities, private security agencies have been employed to patrol certain areas of towns. The criminal element knows this better than anyone. 

Unfortunately, so many are now in possession of guns. Having done so brings forth awesome responsibilities as well as untold risks. These are the times in which we live. With more to come, the level of fear that grips these recent gun purchasers can be placed on the doorsteps of politicians, the media, and government officials. The public looks to law enforcement for its safety. Well, that safety net has been torn apart. What is worse is that no one has the courage to fix it.

The author is a U.S. Marine (retired), CPA, and columnist living in Arlington, VT.

9 replies »

  1. Vermont’s overall governance philosophy is now heavily leftist and leftists detest do-it-yourselfers and people who take personal responsibility for things such as defense of home and loved-ones. That ideology may be more acceptable IF the normal protections of law enforcement and the courts still existed. In the post-George Floyd era, the left has also diminished the reach and effectiveness of law enforcement, leaving people helpless and vulnerable. That’s odd, considering that leftists also claim to be the champions of the downtrodden. This all shows just how hypocritical and inconsistent their philosophy really is. What leftists really seek is to make people cower in fear and feel dependent on Big Govt and to experience a sense of self-hatred for the fact that we live in the most civilized, diverse and prosperous nation on the planet. That messes with their “equity” thang.
    When Vermonters look to acquire firearms, our elected legislature now seeks to limit their effectiveness for defensive uses by their recent enactment of magazine capacity limits, so-called “safe storage” requirements and a 3 day waiting period, with more restrictions on the horizon no doubt. A majority of us voted for this garbage, inexplicably even in the anonymity of the voting booth.
    Those who quote statistics about the unlikelihood of a home invasion downplay the need for weaponry, when you should just call 911. Do they also claim that you dont need a fire extinguisher at home because such matters should be handled by the fire dept? They dont seem to understand the concept of an imminent and immediate need. What Vermont really needs is a legislature that acknowledges that there are evil people in the world, instead of making excuses for their behavior. Vermont’s self-defense statutes are still “duty to retreat” in the face of a serious threat. What we really need is what some other states have adopted…castle doctrine and stand-your-ground self defense laws that give greater latitude to those under imminent threat.
    These issues could all be solved in one election but we have a voting majority of “self-hating Vermonters” who instead put their faith in public officials who coddle and embolden criminals and restrict the rights of decent, law-abiding citizens to defend ourselves from that criminal element. God help us.

    • The same Commiecrat politicians who don’t understand the concept of “imminent and immediate need” I wonder if they have fire extinguishers in their houses?

  2. Don, Nah this isn’t the time, as most Vermonters already have a house full, the only ones that need to fear any criminal intent, are all the leftists, especially those having seats in the state house, who hate the police by de-funding them and then be the first to want them to respond………fools in charge.

    Don’t worry, law-abiding citizens will even defend & protect a leftist that hate them !!

    • “Don’t worry, law-abiding citizens will even defend & protect a leftist that hate them”
      Speak for yourself…have you seen the price of ammo lately?

  3. A gun is a tool you have different tools in your tool box for different purposes. Guns are no different.

  4. Why is criminal behavior now suddenly acceptable and tolerated? Why is it ok with our justice and legal system allowing people to STEAL up to $1,000.00 worth of merchandise with no repercussions? Why are we allowing cars to drive our streets unregistered, uninspected and most likely uninsured? This sounds like the leadership wants chaos, anarchy and civil unrest, why would they want that which they are fomenting?

  5. The fact of the matter is police have families to protect as well. If, or when, the FBI warned attacks happen, where do you think the police will be? I heard a statistic that our current millitary has 450,000 active members. How many of them are currently not on American soil to defend us against an attack the FBI is warning about? Considering what retired Army Colonal Douglas Macgregor is saying, we are in for some serious and deadly attacks. Not hyperbole – just straight on facts due to open borders and blood-thirsty, money grubbing war hawks running their pie holes daily. Consider also, no amount of guns or ammo will suffice if dirty bombs or tacticle nukes are popped off here or abroad. The problem is much, much bigger than many comprehend. Vermont is not immune – our Northern border is as pourous as the Southern one and no one is tracking who is here carrying cell phones for instructions and coordinates.