Page: Mr. Mayor, what about the stabbing and two weekend shootings in your city?

By Guy Page

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger issued this press release about Sunday’s white-on-black mass shooting: “I am outraged and heartbroken by the news unfolding about what is clearly a racially targeted mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. This type of hate should have no place in our country…..As I’ve said too many times, it is far too easy for violent white supremacists, dangerous criminals, and unstable individuals in this country to get their hands on guns.”

Guy Page

We’re outraged and heartbroken too, Mr. Mayor. Ten lives snuffed out. Racism is an awful motive for murder. 

So is greed. So is drug-fueled rage. So is an empty hole where your empathy used to be. So is….well, anything. Which makes us wonder, Mr. Mayor, where is your press statement about the five people shot and killed this weekend in Chicago? 

Sure, five corpses are small potatoes by Chicago weekend gun murder standards. But throw in the six from the previous weekend and Chicago tops Buffalo by one in the distraught mother category.

But, huh. No press release. 

Maybe it’s because Chicago already has gun control. Which doesn’t seem to slow down the shooters. 

Maybe it’s because the typical Chicago murder involves a young man of color pulling the trigger. 

Now let’s repeat – what happened in Buffalo was an outrage. The difference between the Holocaust and the Buffalo mass racial murder is just one of scale. America can’t just let it slide. Neither should we let black-on-black crime slide, whether in the Jim Crow “we don’t care as long as they just kill each other” era or the current BLM “blame systemic racism, not the shooter” era. 

Because, y’know, Black Lives really do Matter. Every one of them. But somehow there’s always an excuse for not getting too worked up when a little black girl is shot down on the street, if the killer is a young black man with no father and no hope.

And speaking of shootings this weekend, Mr. Mayor – How about Numbers Seven and Eight this year in the Queen City? At 4 AM this Sunday morning a man was shot and injured in the North Willard Street, Burlington neighborhood. Just 13 hours earlier some minivan-driving yahoo shot off a gun near Burlington High School. And let’s not forget the 2:15 Sunday AM City Hall Park knife fight between two women watched by a big crowd and broken up by ONE lone police officer. These could-have-easily-been fatal events happened in your backyard and on your watch. Unlike the mass murder in Buffalo, these are shootings that you can do something about. That you have to do something about. 

Were there enough police officers available at 4 AM to respond quickly? We know you’re not as ‘defund the police’ wacko as your City Council, but the buck stops with you. What’s your plan to stop the outbreak of shootings in your city?

For that matter, what’s your plan, Gov. Scott? And you, Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling? At last week’s press conference, you both were asked about the unprecedented spate of drug-related car chases and shootings – many of them by out-of-state drug criminals. 

A reporter (not Vermont Daily Chronicle) asked: ”We’ve had some pretty remarkable gun violence in Highgate, Springfield and elsewhere. What are your thoughts on what we’re seeing?”

Scott: “Yeah, yeah I’m going to ask Commissioner Schirling to weigh in on this. But I’m obviously concerned when we see it so widespread. It seems to all revolve around illegal drug trafficking. So that’s a big concern. Commissioner Schirling?”

Schirling: “I think the phrasing of the question is probably, that also contains the best answer, it is remarkable having watched, in particular in Vermont for 30 plus years since, the widest swath of geographic distribution and fastest frequency of these kinds of events that I think any of us have ever seen. It is very concerning. 

“There’s great work being done in communities to try to address drugs from the treatment level all the way up. I do think we are having some success with the investigations, but that is not much comfort after bullets are moving through the air in various communities a couple of times a week at the current pace. So the most important message I think for Vermonters is you’re seeing activity that’s problematic even if it is not at the highest level of gun violence, the problems in the community, please engage your community leaders, law enforcement and others to try to stem this tide as swiftly as possible.”

To sum up the response of our state leaders: ‘Yep. Worst it’s ever been. We’re investigating. Engage with your community leaders.’

What a depressing response. 

Mr. Mayor, Gov. Scott, Commissioner Schirling: we know police are trying. We also know they’re understaffed and overwhelmed. Vermont has become a hostile place for professional police officers and a safer-than-ever place for drug dealers. Legislation eats away at the concept of drug crime and necessary protections for police. Some prosecutors consider most drug crime as unworthy of notice. 

The drug violence is growing. The cops are leaving. 

City and state leaders: what are you going to do about it?

The author was born in Burlington, graduated from Burlington High School and UVM, bought his first home in Burlington, and has worked for three Burlington newspapers including The North Avenue News community newspaper that he co-founded.

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15 replies »

  1. New York state laws regarding civilian carrying of firearms are as much responsible for the Buffalo shooting as any of the other often-cited factors. It is very difficult for the average, law-abiding citizen to obtain a permit to carry a firearm there and a “good guy with a gun” could have minimized the rampage. This is another case where serious warning signs were laid out and cursorily investigated. However, we as a society have made the choice to not institutionalize or otherwise restrict people who make serious threats of violence. Occasionally there will be consequences, and I just dont want to see the rights of the law-abiding compromised as a result of the outrage.

  2. Let’s go a little further back Mr. Mayor, what about the injuring and killing of 6 white children during last Christmases during a holiday parade by a black man. A man who stated that he hated white people for oppressing him and wanted to kill as many as possible on social media. He then drove down a parade route and ran over a little girl dance team marching in the parade. I do not recall you communicating any outrade of racial hate or sympathy for parents and the community in that instance.

    The telling part is that the media reported on the issue as a car drove down the street and ran over children at a parade. What the media and progressive politicians like you are doing to this country and Americans is disgusting. The progressive liberal agenda, working hand-in-hand with corporate media, and teacher’s unions are the real the perpetrators of hate, expertly playing their hand in the ultimate game of power over the American people.

  3. What about the gas mask wearing shooter on the subway in ny city? Was that a hate crime or can only light skinned people commit hate crimes? I agree what happened in Buffalo is a sad and terrible thing but what the media and policy makers are doing with it is equally as disgusting.

    • To answer your assumedly rhetorical question: by the current definition of policy makers and the media, yes, a hate crime can only be committed by a person of not-color. A crime of violence committed by a person of color against a person of not-color is simply an act of reparation in response to centuries of oppression. Got it?

  4. Constant grasp for the obvious. Policies set by those elected and placed in their positions refuse to acknowledge the failure of their said policies. However, the carnage serves a purpose and is part of the plan. Most, if not all, of the suspects in these cases were known to law enforcement prior to the “incident.” Is it not clear that they want to destroy the USA? Is it not clear they want to remove the Constitution as the law of the land? Each incident is set up to take away 2A – they all ready pretend we do not have 1A.

  5. Blaming inanimate objects is always easier than, arresting, convicting, and sentencing a human being for anti-social behavior. So why do we not blame the missiles, the artillery, the bombers, and the tanks for war ? That would be crazy, right ?

  6. By the way, are the Burlington Aldermen still thinking about disarming the police ? You really could not make up this kind of lunacy without a fiction label, until now.

    • By referring to the City Council as the formerly-used term “Aldermen”, you are putting your institutional bias and sexism on display. The Vermont Human Rights Commission will be getting in touch with you shortly…

  7. Guy……. You make excellent and timely points throughout your entire commentary. Points that all needed to be publicly voiced. Points that your colleagues in all of Vermont’s media, both left and right, need to join you in addressing.

    My only suggestion is that your commentary could have been directed to both the Mayor and City Council of Burlington…….The Burlington City Council and its reckless policies are causing long lasting harm to Burlington and beyond that will continue to grow along with the shootings…….Harm to people of all colors, all incomes and all political beliefs.

    A responsible press needs to point out the faults of our elected officials. Your commentary sets the standard for your peers around Vermont to follow.

  8. There’s more than Defund the Police in this equation, but one most want to recognize until you see more and more – commercialized cannabis is part of this equation, too. Territorial wars, deals gone sour, and more drug hazed brains behind the wheels, behind the triggers, and behind the schools.

    Have you helped? Watch these short clips to music and put up a poster to warn the youth and community.

    Cannabis Concerns


    All the slides in these clips can be found in the drop box below with their blue ribbon primary source information included in the dropbox below.

  9. The trouble in Burlington is not the Mayor and not the Police.
    All these gun wielding criminals are known to everybody, and they have been arrested many times !!

    To what end. the police arrest, the prosecutor might or might not make a strongest charge or any charge at all !!

    Then the judge gives them a “good talking to” and maybe a few days in the crowbar hotel, then they are on the street, getting still another illegal stolen gun and shooting up the neighborhood darned few weeks later.

    And the circus goes on!!

  10. Just remember when they keep telling you that they have to change gun laws to fix this that this gun was already banned in NY by the safe act, the same act that also made sure that none of those victims had a gun on them to be able to defend themselves.

    “When seconds count police are minutes away.”

    Also think about the timing of this shooting and the food shortages looming in the near future. It would be a heck of a reason to put police in grocery stores…

    Then remember the timing of the leaked abortion papers from the supreme court and tie that with the release of 2000 mules, the latest Pfizer reports, and the Michael Sussman trial today.

  11. Mayor Weinberger and the city council are a one trick pony. Anytime they witness a newsworthy item that contributes to their cultural civil war they suddenly show up. Of course, they completely ignore the consequences of their policies that lead to these unnecessary violent tragedies. The ideological fantasy and hypocrisy of these so called leaders is downright pathological,

    • If leftists didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all…

  12. Biden’s trip will give new meaning to “shuffle off to Buffalo”. Some people do things because of mental illness.