“The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists. Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings,” reads a bill introduced in Vermont that defies logic, common sense and reality.
The bill, S.212, has been introduced in the state Senate that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use or possess a cellphone. Such possession or use would be a misdemeanor that would be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Legislators say that cellphone usage while driving is one of the leading causes of teen deaths. They also claim that young people use cellphones to bully and threaten one another, which they linked to teen suicide.
The bill was introduced by Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex-Orleans. Rodgers said Wednesday he introduced the bill to make a point.
“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself,” he said.
Nothing like introducing an idiotic piece of legislation knowing that it would not go anywhere.
Michelle Fay is the executive director of Voices for Vermont’s Children, an organization based out of Montpelier that promotes public policy that enhances the lives of children and youth in the state.
Fay issued a statement saying, “There are so many critical issues impacting the lives of working families in Vermont today, from increasing minimum wage to implementing equitable family and medical leave insurance programs to establishing an office of child advocate. We urge the Legislature to focus on the important work at hand instead of getting tied up in hollow diversions.”
Fay also mentioned that parents rely on cellphones to be able to get in touch with their kids. She said most of the calls teen drivers receive come from their parents.
She said it’s already against the law to text and drive. Fay said there need to be more conversations about distracted driving.
“For teenagers, people in their car is a bigger distraction than cellphones,” she said.
She alluded to giving children conflict resolution skills and helping them feel more accountability for each other will help avoid cyberbullying.
As a parent of four, I would lose my mind if my state took away a teen’s right to own and use cell phones. My daughter drives to and from work, to and from ballet and other various places around town.
If she were in an accident, or worse yet, someone was following her, and she was not allowed to use a phone, she could potentially be in a life-threatening situation.
She would have no means of communication. What could potentially be a small injury could cost her life, and I would have no way of finding her.
Were that the case, could the legislators be held responsible for enacting such an irresponsible law?
And speaking of illogical ideas coming out of Vermont, there is work at hand over in Montpelier, Vermont, to enact even stricter gun control than is already present within the state.
Lawmaker in Vermont introduces bill that would ban the use of cellphones by anyone under age 21. https://t.co/AaddzCCYVp
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 11, 2020
According to reports from the VT Digger, Senator Philip Baruth is looking to create legislation that would ban the carrying of semi-automatic guns in areas deemed to be public gatherings… So basically, get rid of weapons wherever there are – you know… people.
This is a bill that would affect most ever average, law-abiding citizen who chooses to arm themselves for the purposes of personal protection, but this Democratic lawmaker doesn’t care. He’s aiming to strip those very rights from citizens – threatening to turn these areas into major “Gun-Free Zones” – and we all know how well those work…
Just yesterday, Senator Philip Baruth announced that he was working on a bill that will ban the carrying of semi-automatic weapons in places that include theaters, childcare facilities, churches or places of worship, airports, stores, and a myriad of other public areas.
According to Baruth, all semi-automatic guns are “assault weapons”.
Ten bucks says this guy has never shot a gun in his life.
While speaking to a local news outlet, Baruth provided the framing for his motivations to bring about this sort of legislation:
“Everybody’s sort of conditioned to accept the fact that in public, people are going to carry weapons that are designed to kill large numbers of human beings. I don’t think we’ve reached a consensus on banning assault weapons, but I do think we’ve reached a consensus that we don’t want them in the public square.”
The proposed bill doesn’t include non-semi-automatic weapons from being present in the public arenas outlined in the proposed bill; and, according to the draft, citizens of will still be allowed carry semi-automatic weapons while on public streets and in downtown areas.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott isn’t against hearing out what Baruth is looking to implement but isn’t completely on board with bringing about more restrictive guns laws within the state.
When Scott commented on the proposed legislation, he said that he thought there were already enough laws on the books within the state to manage the balance between the second amendment and also creating an environment of gun safety:
“I think there’s an opportunity to take the laws that we passed and make them better and make sure we’re putting them into practice and making sure we’re educating people on how to use, particularly, the red flag laws. So, I think there’s a lot of opportunity to do better with what we have right now other than stepping out and proposing new legislation.”
Still, Baruth thinks that he’ll be able to nudge the governor toward his position on the matter. He had mentioned that Scott had once clamored that he wasn’t going to create more restrictive gun laws in the past; but did so anyway.
“Phil Scott originally had said he would pass no gun legislation. He said many times we don’t need gun laws until events proved otherwise. Nationally, we’ve had mass shootings and Phil Scott, to his credit, changed his mind. I’d hope he’d be the same way with this bill.”
The Senator isn’t wrong on that note either, in mentioning Scott having enacted gun laws within the past.
In 2018, Scott had introduced measures that required people to be 21 to purchase any firearm, expanded the background checks for private gun sales, banned bump stocks, and also limited the capacity of magazines. Yet, his office’s spokesperson, Rebecca Kelley, echoed the Governor’s sentiments that perhaps reviewing current laws in effect are the better route to take:
“I’d reiterate that the Governor has also said he believes we need to focus on ensuring the sweeping gun safety reforms we passed last year are working well and as intended, and on addressing the root causes of violence and suicide.”
There’s one Senator in the mix that introduced logic into the equation of reviewing the bill. Senator John Rodgers (D) stated:
“Taking rights away from law-biding citizens is not going to help. Criminals are going to carry them because they don’t care about the law. They want to stop people from being able to carry guns for self-protection, and I can’t vote for that.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Sears hasn’t provided an official position on the bill in question but seems to be leaning more toward agreeing with the notion it represents; citing it as “hard to argue.”
While Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe has essentially agreed to the bill prior to actually reading it, simply going on the synopsis provided by Baruth.
While Vermont lawmakers are pushing for giant “gun-free zones” throughout major areas, Michigan is trying to do away with them.
The vast majority of mass-shootings occur in gun-free zones. That is not an accident or a coincidence. It is by design.
Why? Because the sick individuals who commit such heinous acts are looking for a way to accumulate a large casualty count. That is hard to do in an area where an individual, or many individuals, may respond by pulling their concealed weapon and return fire, potentially neutralizing the threat. So how are we protected in these environments?
We aren’t. But maybe there is hope, at least for the people of Michigan.
Ironically, the only people who abide by the gun-free zone signs are the ones that are following the laws to begin with.
A state representative has introduced legislation that would hold government offices and private businesses liable if anyone is injured during a shooting in a gun-free zone on their premises.
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State Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, introduced House Bill 4975, which would revoke governmental immunity from lawsuits arising from injuries sustained on government property where guns are banned. Eisen is also the sponsor of House Bill 4976, which would make a government, business or individual that designates a property a gun-free zone legally responsible for the safety of individuals who enter it.
Eisen said the intention was to require a business or government that enforces a gun-free policy to take responsibility through measures like hiring security guards.
“I have to presume that no one will have a gun inside, and I will be safe,” Eisen said. “They are telling me, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Eisen, this is a gun-free zone. You’ll be perfectly safe in here.’ We know that is not the case.”
Eisen said by not allowing him to carry a gun, government and companies that declare their property a gun-free zone could be held liable under his bills.
Why not? If politicians can seek to have weapons manufacturers and gun shop owners held liable for what a bad guy does with a gun, surely we can seek to hold gun-free zone owners responsible for not allowing us our Constitutional right to defend ourselves and our families.
Not only do lawmakers in Vermont want to take guns from citizens, there are those that seek to disarm cops.
A city councilor in Burlington, Vermont is pushing to disarm police officers in the Queen City.
“How much is the lethal force — is it really causing at the end of the day, more harm than benefit?” said Perri Freeman, a self-proclaimed progressive representing the city.
She floated the idea at a recent council meeting. Her suggestion was that communities should be thinking about new ways of policing in the United States.
According to Freeman, she spent lots of time in Iceland and police are unarmed there.
Where is the “eyeroll” emoji when you need one?
She tries to make the argument that there are only a few times that police need weapons.
You know, like the recent “mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso and such”.
She also added that “the day in and day out of police work is not engaging with that”, and so they apparently don’t need guns.
She argues it’s time to change the culture of policing. She argues that current policing a reaction to “systemic problems like inequality”.
Here’s the good news.
Right now, it’s only conversations she’s having with other local politicians or police leaders – but apparently, she’s trying to gauge support from the Burlington community.
According to the head of Burlington’s police officer’s union, such a plan “wouldn’t fit” in any American city.
“There are a lot of guns around, and we as the police try to put ourselves in the position of advantage all the time, and to show up to an armed incident unarmed? I can’t think of anything more disadvantaged than that,” said Dan Gilligan, president of the Burlington Police Officer’s Association.
Translation: go back under the rock you’ve been hiding under.
Don’t take it personally, Freeman wants cops to know. Her goal is simply to “keep everyone safe”.
“It’s not an overnight thing. It’s a gradual program. It’s talking about how to we really shift and talk about doing things maybe differently in a way that might be better in the long run,” she said.
She’s not the first genius to push for unarmed police officers.
Last year in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler pushed for unarmed police officers. They’d be “Public Safety Support Specialists”, or PS3s, who would be non-sworn officers who do not carry guns.
“They will be engaged in the community in non-emergency calls, so that’s things like property crimes, break-ins,” Wheeler tells WW.
The concept came from a proposal in the 2016 police union contract approved under then-Mayor Charlie Hales. The idea was to create Community Service Officers who would respond to minor property crimes and nuisance calls, among other things.
So, where did they find the money? By cutting the Mounted Patrol – or cops on horseback – from the 2018-2018 city budget.
The actual deadline was set for January 1, 2019 to implement the PS3s – but it was a date that they didn’t anticipate having the PS3s hired by.
The Portland Police Bureau says it would begin processing some background checks for potential hires in January.
But there remained a dispute about how autonomous the unarmed officers will be.
Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner, a police officer and staunch supporter of law and order, says the PS3s will not respond to calls for service without a sworn officer. That said… they might provide support by manning the front desks at precincts or waiting for tow trucks at car accidents.
It’s a much smaller and less public role than what Portland mayors have pledged.