Self Defense in Vermont

by Chris Bradley

When we consider Vermont, we must recognize that the vast majority of Vermont is rural.

We also must recognize that Vermont has a chronic issue with the proper staffing of law enforcement, such that Vermont typically has one of the lowest Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) law enforcement officers per 100,000 residents in the nation.  For 2019 we were the absolute lowest.

Today approximately 200 Vermont towns rely solely on the Vermont State Police (VSP) to provide law enforcement coverage, with that equating to approximately 50% of Vermont’s population and approximately 90% of Vermont’s land mass.  Further, VSP’s coverage is not 24 hours.  By necessity the VSP only runs two 10-hour shifts, leaving 2 AM to 6AM with “on call” coverage only.  Finally:  VSP is very concernedly short-staffed (as are many police departments).

“The logic there is pretty simple.  Criminals want easy victims; they do not want armed adversaries.” – Chris Bradley

Depending on when a crime happens, what may be happening at the same time elsewhere, not to mention the weather:  It could be quite a long time before law enforcement can get to the scene of a Vermont crime.

A great many Vermonters know that not only can they be the first person affected by crime, they also know that they will likely be their own first responder.  A high percentage of Vermont homes have firearms in them, and the vast, vast majority of the Vermonters who own those firearms know how to safely and competently handle them.  Combined, these two facts go a long way to explain why Vermont is consistently one of the safest states in the nation when it comes to both violent crime and property crime.

The logic there is pretty simple.  Criminals want easy victims; they do not want armed adversaries.  Yet there are those who will ridicule the notion that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.  Given that we cannot seem to stop bad guys from getting guns, and we have certainly tried hard at that goal, I suggest that enacting laws that force good guys to be disarmed is simply providing for more easy victims.  And aren’t those people really saying:  “A bad guy with a gun should always get their way?” 

We have all been inundated with the media stories where completely innocent people become victims of gun violence, and there appears to be no shortage of people who are intent on committing such heinous and unconscionable acts.   

But:  How often do you hear of lives being saved, or crime being stopped cold, because of an honest citizen being armed?  Just about never; which could lead someone to believe that defensive use almost never happens.

When Barack Obama was president, he issued a number of Executive Orders, one of which directed the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to study the causes and prevention of gun violence.  That study was then sub-contracted to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council – two highly respected research organizations.

The resulting study found that the defensive use of firearms was a “common occurrence.”

Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

We can address gun violence by strictly enforcing the firearm laws already on the books, laws which dictate strict sentences for when a crime is committed with a gun.  We need to retain cash bail, not allow criminals to simply walk free.  Further, we need our legal system to aggressively prosecute these crimes, not allow them to be pled away because they are purposefully harsh.

We can do these things today, right now, and we will see measurable results.

The author is a resident of Northfield and is also a registered lobbyist with the VT Secretary of State on behalf of the Vermont Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs (VTFSC) where he is President & Executive Director. The VTFSC was first formed in 1875; it is the designated NRA State Association; and it represents approximately 50 member clubs with approximately 14,000 members.

Categories: Commentary

11 replies »

  1. “Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council – two highly respected research organizations.” Seriously? The two institutions that are responsible for more death in the past two years than any other time in history.

  2. His views are full of common sense solutions to social ills infecting liberal haunts such as NYC and Chicago.

  3. Thanks Chris, well stated. Good luck this year. I fear we are in for an exceptionally brutal one this year with Phil (Baby Ruth) Baruth as Senate Pro Tem. This gun fearing refugee is a danger to all that real Vermonters hold near and dear. He should be sent back to Lockport NY. Problem being, they probable don’t want him there either.

    • I should probably explain my nick name for this pain in the @$$. Remember the movie Caddy Shack ? The “floater” in the pool ??? Well he ain’t a Baby Ruth as that floater turned out to be in the movie, he’s the real deal…….

  4. Same thing the administration wants. No law abiding gun owners no resistance to their idiotic policies.

  5. I saw a movie where only the police and military had guns; it was called Schindler’s List. Vermonters need to give phil beirut the boot. Several other progressives too.

  6. Come on man, you know it’s all those wild NRA members shooting up America and Vermont! At least that’s what the left wants people to think. These implanted felons from our southern cities running poison into Vermont all carry illegal guns and use them to enforce their drug mules.

    Another point never considered is that Vermont is a border state. Trudeau in Canada is on a mission to disarm Canadians. He is also aligned with China. If China attacked Canada they would be on Vermont’s border. King Phillip and Phil Baruth (must be something in the name Phil) would have patriots defending Vermont with 10 round magazines. The 2nd amendment requires the militia (able bodied citizens) to be armed for the protection of a free state, Vermont. Article 16 of our constitution says this, “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State”.

    It is long past due that the governor and elected representatives, many not from Vermont, start to honor their oaths of office and recognize that the law of our country and our states are defined in our respective constitutions. As people we are not granted these rights by government, they are natural rights in which the government is to keep their hands off. The two named Phil who repeatedly try to legislate rights have no power to do so. It’s time they read and follow both of our constitutions. There is no freedom from those who wish to be rulers. In America there are no rulers, it’s WE THE PEOPLE, and they are our servants not the other way around.

  7. The shooter in the Buffalo, NY, shooting stated to the police that “I did it because I knew that with New York gun laws that nobody would be able to stop me.”
    Chris nailed it when he stated that criminals are looking for easy victims. Those who want more gun laws don’t look at the fact the Vermont STILL has the lowest gun crime rate in the country. Why? Those criminals know that someone MAY be carrying and isn’t worth the few dollars they will try and take. Also, Chris mentions the reliance on State Police around the state. Couple that with the Vermont mentality of “defund the police” and you have a recipe for more crime, a recipe that district attorneys continue to play the mental health card.
    I carry and will continue to do so, illegally if I must. The military taught me proper use of a gun and it’s safety. In short, I refuse to be a victim.

  8. Great article full of common sense which unfortunately isn’t common anymore 😕 look at Burlington just to name one, police are down to 63 officers and the city council is more concerned about needle exchanges for addicts and being politically correct.