VSP in contact with Maine authorities
by Guy Page
Burlington Mayor and likely candidate for governor Miro Weinberger blamed legal possession and sale of popular ‘military style’ semi-automatic weapons for the spate of mass shootings, including yesterday’s in Lewiston, Maine.
Surveillance photos show the Lewiston shooter pointing a semi-automatic. Weinberger’s office issued this statement:
“This morning, tragic events continue to unfold in small communities across Maine following a mass shooting event last night in Lewiston. Early reports describe a scene of ongoing mayhem with at least sixteen people dead, more than fifty injured, and the shooter still at large. This is one of 565 mass shootings in America this year. Mayor Weinberger made the following statement:
‘Even amidst a climate in which American mass shootings have become routine, the events unfolding in Maine are shocking. This time, the tragedy is taking place in a New England college city much like Burlington. The community life of Lewiston, Maine is one that we know and understand. As a city of neighbors, we know what it is like to walk into any bar, restaurant, or bowling alley and see friends, schoolmates, coworkers, and family. Yet, the devastation and terror that Lewiston and surrounding communities are faced with this morning is unimaginable and horrifying.
‘As in so many past tragedies in the twelve years since Newtown, early reports say this lone shooter used a military-style semi-automatic weapon to commit these murders. As long as we allow these weapons to circulate in mass numbers with virtually no regulation, these catastrophes will continue. We can, and must, pass common-sense gun laws to end this scourge of violence. No other nation lives this way, and neither should we.”
One semi-automatic, the AR-15, is considered the most popular gun in America. By some estimates (see link below), about one in 20 Americans own one.
It was developed as a civilian weapon. According to a BBC report. “The AR-15 was first developed as a semi-automatic rifle for civilians in the 1950s by Armalite, a US firm after which the “AR” is named. In 1959, the design of the weapon was sold to another company, Colt, which soon adapted it into a military, fully automatic version known as the M-16.”
The shooting occurred just a day after Lt. Gov. and 2020 gubernatorial candidate David Zuckerman attended a ‘gun violence’ summit in Washington DC.
Balint calls for donations for Lewiston rep seeking ‘assault rifle’ ban – Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT) yesterday called for campaign donations for Jared Golden, the Lewiston-area congressman who has called for a ban on so-called assault rifles. “We don’t have to live like this. Americans deserve comprehensive gun laws that keep our communities safe,” Balint tweeted today.
Vermont State Police in contact with Maine authorities– Vermont and Maine are among the six states that compose the New England State Police Administrators Compact, also known as NESPAC. Joined by Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, NESPAC allows all state police agencies in New England to share resources and operate with full legal authority throughout the region without jurisdictional red tape.
There is no indication that the suspect in the Maine mass shooting is traveling to Vermont or that there is any danger to residents here. However, like all law enforcement throughout the region and beyond, police in Vermont have received bulletins with full descriptions, photographs and other information regarding the suspect and are on the lookout for him as part of their routine patrol duties. The public should remain vigilant, and if anyone sees an individual who resembles the Maine suspect, they should immediately call 911 and not approach the individual. A photograph of the Maine suspect is available via a Facebook post from the Lewiston, Maine, Police Department.