Last month, I blogged about Republican Vermont governor Phil Scott’s complete change in stance on the Second Amendment.  At that time, he had signed a “raft of gun control measures” and explained that his thinking about Americans’ right to bear arms had “changed completely” after the Parkland shooting.

Last week, he signed a brand new “raft” of gun control measures, and in doing so, has provoked the ire of the NRA.

The Burlington Free Press reports:

The National Rifle Association is calling on gun owners to abandon Gov. Phil Scott after he approved a package of gun-related laws this week.

“This governor in Vermont completely gave a one-finger salute to the Constitution and to gun owners,” said Dana Loesch, a national spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, during her NRATV program Thursday.

“He is no friend of firearm owners,” Loesch continued, “and I hope that all firearm owners remember this betrayal the next time he’s up for re-election.”

Scott’s office released an announcement regarding the latest raft of anti-gun legislation:  S.55, S.221 , and H.422.  Each of which he signed into law.

Here’s the official statement:

“Vermont is currently one of the healthiest and safest states in America. However, as tragedies in Florida, Las Vegas, Newtown and elsewhere—as well as the averted plot to shoot up Fair Haven High School—have demonstrated, no state is immune to the risk of extreme violence.

“As Governor, I have a moral and legal obligation and responsibility to provide for the safety of our citizens. If we are at a point when our kids are afraid to go to school and parents are afraid to put their kids on a bus, who are we?

“That’s why I put forward an action plan last month with steps to better ensure the safety and well-being of all Vermonters. My proposals included enhancing school safety, identifying and addressing root causes of violence and developing avenues for open conversations about gun safety, while preserving our Constitutional rights.

“I thank the Legislature for responding to my request to act, moving forward on bills that will help keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

“As I’ve said, I strongly support the second amendment and all Constitutional rights. I support S.55, S.221 and H.422 because I believe these bills uphold these rights, while taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of violence.

“I want to be clear, however, that more must be done to address the underlying causes of violence. We must redouble our efforts to strengthen our mental health care system, continue to combat opiate addiction, be better role models, reduce political polarization and treat all people with dignity and respect, as well as working to ensure every family has the hope that economic opportunity provides. These are essential to reducing violence in our state and our nation.

“It’s now time to work together to strengthen our communities and families – because better regulating guns to reduce violence in our society isn’t the complete answer.”

The NRA responded with withdrawal of support for Scott.

The NRA writes:

Governor Phil Scott took to the steps of the Statehouse Wednesday afternoon to ink his signature on the wildly unpopular S.55. Rather than quietly sign the bill, Scott opted for a full public display to rub salt in the wounds of the law-abiding gun owners and NRA members who donned orange to witness the epic betrayal for themselves. It seems like just yesterday candidate Phil Scott was promising “no new gun laws.” Elected with the support of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen, the Governor has now signed into law the most drastic gun control in the history of the state.

S.55 bans the sale of commonly owned rifle magazines holding more than 10 rounds and handgun magazines accepting more than 15 rounds. The bill also prohibits those under 21 years of age from buying rifles and shotguns as they are currently allowed to do under both federal and state law. In addition S. 55 bans certain firearm accessories and requires mandatory background checks on most private firearm transfers. Of course, none of these bills will truly address school safety or enhance public safety. This bill does one thing, punish law-abiding gun owners in one of the safest states in the country.

Election Day may seem like the distant future, but fortunately Vermont gun owners have long memories. Please make sure all your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, hunting partners and gun club members are registered to vote. It’s now time to start working to make sure Gov. Scott becomes a full-time stock car driver.

A lot of people, including myself, have been scratching their heads, wondering how an A-rated NRA-backed politician can take such a sudden change of heart.

The Hill reports:

Scott said his stances on gun control “changed completely” after the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in which 17 people died. Vermont also averted a school shooting in February after a tip to law enforcement, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Scott says that Parkland influenced his thinking, as did the alleged (ultimately foiled) plan of a Vermont citizen who planned to perpetrate a school shooting that would “exceed the body count from the Virginia Tech shooting.”  This person was arrested before he could carry out his plan, but according to Scott, the non-incident helped reshape his view of our Second Amendment rights.

The Washington Post reports:

Two days after the Parkland shooting, police in Fair Haven, Vt., arrested Jack H. Sawyer for his alleged plot to shoot up Fair Haven Union High School. That morning, Scott said, is when “everything changed” for him.

After police were notified of a threatening Facebook message Sawyer allegedly sent about his alleged plot, they brought him into the station for an interview. According to Vermont Supreme Court documents, Sawyer told police that he wanted to “exceed the body count from the Virginia Tech shooting”— which left 33 dead including the shooter — “and that he had chosen his ammunition accordingly.” He wanted to end the shooting in the school library, “in mimicry of the Columbine shooting,” the court document said.

When police searched his car, they found a shotgun, 17 rounds of ammunition and four books about school shootings, including the Columbine massacre. They found a journal titled, “The Journal of an Active Shooter,” in which Sawyer allegedly wrote about his desire to “commit suicide by homicide.”

. . . . An affidavit describing the allegations against Sawyer landed on Scott’s desk.

“As I processed this information, I was shocked,” he said at the news conference. “Just 24 hours before — even in the aftermath of Parkland — I thought, as the safest state in the nation, Vermont was immune to this type of violence. … Sitting there, I realized, only by the grace of God did we avert a horrific outcome.”

The realization caused him to “do some soul searching.” He had been a gun owner his entire life, he said. He was a hunter and a fisherman, and at home he had a safe full of guns, including the one he got when he was 13. While he was a state senator and lieutenant governor he never felt the need to change the gun laws. He thought the state was somehow “different” from the others, “somewhat insulated from the violence the rest of the world was seeing.”

“But I was wrong. And that’s not always easy to admit,” he said. “I support the Second Amendment, but I had to ask myself, ‘Are we truly doing everything we can to make our kids and communities safer?’ Because if we’re at a point where our kids are afraid to go to school, and parents are afraid to put them on a bus, or police don’t have the tools they need to protect victims of violence, or families can’t step in to prevent a loved one from taking their own life — then who are we?”

Scott acknowledges that “regulating guns to reduce violence in our society isn’t the complete answer.”  Yet he anchors his flip-flop in leftist, gun-grabbing hedging:  “I support the Second Amendment, but . . . .”.

He then also asks “who are we?,” and I think Mark Robinson from North Carolina speaks volumes in answer to that question.

Who, Robinson asks, is representing the law-abiding majority?  Certainly not Vermont governor Flip-Flop Phil Scott.


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