Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Letter to Speaker of the Vermont House

Today we sent this letter, with the signatures of fifty-five Vermonters from the Upper Valley. Our next letter will be sent to Congressman Peter Welch at the end of the week.

Shap Smith
Office of the Speaker
Montpelier, Vermont

Dear Speaker Smith,

In the aftermath of the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, we are confident that you are as concerned about the safety of our communities as we are. The question that many in our community are asking is what action you and other state leaders will take in response.

We hope that you are willing to demonstrate the kind of leadership and courage that has begun to emerge in other parts of the country. A California State Senator, Kevin DeLeon, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would require anyone in that state who wants to buy ammunition, for any kind of weapon, to undergo a background check. The individual would also have to obtain a one-year permit costing $50. And finally, the legislation would ban the sale of ammunition in California by mail.

That seems like a reasonable first step, particularly in our state where there are no background check requirements attached to the purchase of either guns or ammunition. Like California, Democrats in Vermont are in a powerful position through their significant control of the legislature. With that strength, we hope that you will be willing to lead boldly and join California in passing legislation that could set a model for other states around the country.

The tradition of public policy leadership from our small state of Vermont is a matter of great pride to many of us. It's a pride that we hope you share and will have the courage to act on.

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