Letter: Disagreement With His Disagreement
To the Editor:
I was not surprised to see Mitchell A. Ota disagreeing with someone who suggests that Vermont has a gun problem (“No Gun Problem in Vermont,” Aug. 18). He has posted in a similar vein several times previously.
Mr. Ota admits that he carries a hidden pistol, a Glock Model 17 (gun advocates often name make and model of their preferred weapon, and whether it’s hidden or carried in plain sight), and that he is alertly on the lookout for any bad guy he can shoot. Examples he cites are “someone committing assault and battery on a child, or committing arson at a school, or robbing a bank or grocery store.”
I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe the examples cited as incidents that would prompt Mr. Ota to whip out his Glock and blast the perp are, in fact, criminal acts that could draw the death penalty, unless a death had resulted from any of them. So Mr. Ota is claiming that he would be judge, jury and executioner during an incident that might or might not be what he thinks it is.
Mr. Ota cites the Second Amendment as justification for his proposed lethal actions, but takes things a step further than even Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law. In Mr. Ota’s examples, he is not being threatened. He is the protector of the innocent. As usual when people cite the Second Amendment, Mr. Ota neglects to cite all the amendment, which in its entirety reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Please note, nowhere does it say that Mr. Ota is hereby granted the right to protect himself or nearby innocent persons. It says that if Mr. Ota is a member of the duly regulated local militia, he may not be denied his single-shot flintlock musket to be used to defend Vermont against invasion, or for any purpose the federal government deems necessary.
Charles K. Scott