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Don't Own A Gun? That'll Be $500, Please!

Updated on February 21, 2014
The Right to Bear Arms
The Right to Bear Arms

Pass or Fail in Vermont?


Perhaps my attitude on gun control – or lack thereof – is due to the fact that I’m a resident of Texas and the majority of us are pro-gun. Particularly in rural Texas, guns are a fact of life from the time one leaves the cradle and remains so our entire lives. Oh yes, we have the folks that don’t like guns and raise more fuss about it than the law should allow but for the most part gun-owners sort of smile, shoot the bird – and keep on shooting flying birds, deer, varmints and burglars.

Recently State Rep. Fred Maslack from Vermont has come forward with a bill and although it may not make it into law; it's great fodder for thought. It’s also amusing as hell when one considers the hue and cry the gun control folks will raise if/when it’s seriously considered.

Seems Maslack has done in-depth studies of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the State of Vermont’s Constitution and his conclusions have a lot of folks talking -- not only in Vermont but lots of other places. Maslack is obviously serious about his study as he recently proposed a bill in Vermont that would require "non-gun-owners" to register and pay a $500 fee to the State of Vermont for NOT owning a gun!

Now if this never went any farther; that’s amusing in and of itself. Ah, but it does go farther! Maslack reads the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the rights of citizens to bear arms but as a mandate to bear arms and thinks universal gun ownership was advocated by the Constitution guys to prevent "monopoly of force" not only by criminals but also by the government. It’s kinda hard not to consider that a certified hoot – particularly in view of what’s been happening in this country recently?

Vermont’s Constitution gets explicit: They give their citizens the right to carry concealed guns – without a permit – and describe that situation as "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State." It goes on – and those persons who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Therefore – Maslack says Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise" where force is necessary to protect the State of Vermont.

Play or Pay?

He also advocates (and it’s in his bill) that adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number and driver’s license number with the State. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing WHO IS NOT prepared to defend the State should they be asked to do so." Well, dear hearts, think about it! There’s gonna be some defenders and the rest will be "defendees" meaning they ain’t gonna do one damn thing if the State is threatened except get out there and hunt up someone WITH a gun to defend them!

Bottom line: Mr. Maslack is trying to pass a bill that will assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of NOT owning a gun ‘cause everybody else that DOES OWN A GUN has to take care of their unarmed little butts! Now, in Texas that bill might ride on through like a big dog – mostly because it would keep non-armed persons from aggravating the hell out of everyone that is armed ‘cause none of them would admit to not owning a gun as it would cost them money.

Whether it can scoot through in Vermont is anyone’s guess but Vermont is pretty serious about their gun laws and right to carry and might just be the first state to turn such a bill into a law. Vermont boasts a high rate of gun ownership and has the least restrictive laws of any state in the Union.

The whole thing absolutely makes sense. There’s no reason gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not willing to own guns and take care of themselves and their families – so, let them pay their fair share and pay their own way!

One last interesting fact: In Vermont the combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in them having the third lowest crime rate in the nation! Sittin’ here in the Lone Star State – gun advocates that we are – all I can say is "Hey, Vermont! Y’all go ahead on now, ya’ hear?" If it works for Vermont maybe Governor Good Hair of Texas will take it into consideration? Well, maybe not – it wouldn’t produce much revenue in Texas for obvious reasons!

Author's Note: Today is June 28, 2012 and in the comments below we've been advised that the Supreme Court has declared this law to be legal and it is now law in Vermont.

Copyright 2012 Angela T. Blair -- All Rights Reserved

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    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for commenting! Best/Sis

    • profile image

      mezchr 4 years ago

      Tyranny.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      devans40160 -- your points are well taken -- but seems the Supreme Court approved the law -- and now it's the law according to my correspondents who follow this sort of thing (I usually get 'em second hand but from very reliable sources.) I'm thrilled to death the law passed -- there's something to be said for State's Rights, too! Thanks so much for your astute comments. Best/Sis

    • profile image

      devans40160 4 years ago

      I am pro-gun all the way but this legislation will be an epic fail and here is why. First, as a pro-gun owner the reverse test to this registration phase is that those who do NOT register are presumed to be gun owners and therefore are "registered" which is an invasion of my privacy and right to same. Secondly, this piece of legislation will fail the legal test and for the following reasons:

      1. What do you do for those individuals who have a firearm stolen? Do they now become required to purchase a "New" firearm or pay the tax?

      2. What do you do with convicted felons? Do they just pay the tax?

      3. What about the indigent population? Are you just going to throw them in jail for not being able to afford the tax? (Sounds a lot like Obamacare doesn't it?)

      4. What do you do about those misdemeanor offenses like Domestic Violence where firearms need to be surrendered and the offense occurs mid-year. Do these people get a waiver, pay a pro-rated tax, or what?

      I could continue on and on here but what's the point.

      The entire thought of a new "tax" is just one more form of governmental control over the population despite the "good intentions" to support pro-gun legislation; even if it is convoluted and under the auspice of constitutional compliance.

      EPIC FAIL!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Harley -- thanks for commenting! Always nice to hear from a fellow Texan. Yep, most of us do own guns -- but like everywhere else, some don't! Best/Sis

    • profile image

      Harley 5 years ago

      I'm from Texas...y'all don't own a gun?!!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Americanpride -- glad to have your opinion. Best/Sis

    • profile image

      Americanpride 5 years ago

      Yeah this is as great of an idea and as short sited as obamacare.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Yaaaaa-hooooo -- thanks Fred. Don't know which Fred you are among the Freds I know -- but I'm tickled pink over this one passing. Congratulations to State Rep. Fred Maslack of Vermont for his foresight and ingenuity in getting this one out there and done! (And if indeed the Fred that's advised us of this wonderful event should be Rep. Maslack -- we're honored!) Best, Sis

    • profile image

      Fred 5 years ago

      Supreme court today affirmed that this will be legal.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hello Dr. -- interesting observations and your comments are much appreciated. Doubt the law ever had a chance but I found it interesting -- thanks again for stopping by. Best/Sis

    • Dr Kavita Shaikh profile image

      Dr Kavita Shaikh 5 years ago from MUSCAT

      Weird laws to say the least. Seriously, a fine for not owning a gun? To me it seems that this Fred fella is hand in gloves with gun manufacturers and is earning a commission in enforcing guns on everyone.How about calculating how much the govt and Fred might be earning from gun manufacturers? Voted up, beautiful style of writing. My previous comment got hijaacked; don't know what happened but just disappeared on submitting.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Jamil --yep, that's the way it is in a lot of states. I'll not comment on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing but one thing's for sure -- that law keeps the government informed as to where all the guns are in this country. It's a fact that honest, law-abiding citizens follow the laws pertaining to guns. Most criminals don't and won't. There's a concealed weapon law in Texas, too. Thanks for your comments. Best, Sis

    • profile image

      jamil 6 years ago

      It is a potential felony in California to carry a loaded handgun in your vehicle unless you have a conceal carry permit, and your pistol has been registered in the California Department of Justice...

    • profile image

      jamil 6 years ago

      It is a potential felony in California to carry a loaded handgun in your vehicle unless you have a conceal carry permit, and your pistol has been registered in the California Department of Justice...

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

      WillStarr -- thanks for the kind comments and vote -- 'preciate you muchly. Best, Sis

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow!

      Am I ever glad that I stumbled on this gem and the gem of a lady who wrote it!

      I am definitely gonna read me some more Angela Blair, bad hair and all!

      Voted up and very awesome!

    • profile image

      Joey Bennett 7 years ago

      This is a very interesting law. Do you know is everyone would have to take some type of training class before they were able to get a gun? I think guns are a great to have, but do not want people not knowing how to use them properly to have them.

    • profile image

      david 7 years ago

      I was interested in the quote, "the combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in them having the third lowest crime rate in the nation!" Is that per capita? If not, Vermont is the second least populated state in the Nation so it would make sense to have a lower crime rate.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Interesting thought, Hi-Jinks and thanks for sharing with us. Best, Sis

    • Hi-Jinks profile image

      Hi-Jinks 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Somebody has too much time on their hands. It is not because someone is afraid, it is because someone wants to make money on guns.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Sablirab -- another example of the strange world we live in! Best, Sis

    • profile image

      TheSablirab 7 years ago

      Agreed that it is strange! Especially, to me at least, in a liberal state.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Sablirab and glad you enjoyed the Hub. There's lots of folks that don't keep or use guns -- it's definitely a personal preference. I thought this was funny as laws are usually against guns and considering a law that would demand a person owned one just struck me as unusual. Best, Sis

    • profile image

      TheSablirab 7 years ago

      My first thought is this (among others): what about the folks who can't afford the $500? For some, maybe that's why they don't own a gun, let alone pay for a permit (you do have to pay for a permit, correct?).

      Personally, I am not a big fan of guns, simply because I've never really owned one and am too afraid that a kid will come in and find it and shoot it. Just the other day, my cousin's friend started snooping around in my aunt and uncle's room, found a gun, and asked my cousin why it was where it was. Apparently, there is this guy who is going around the neighborhood, starting fights and then breaking and entering later that night, so my uncle (the avid hunter he is), took a gun out for protection.

      A situation like that, scares me, so I don't want to own a gun and run the risk. Thankfully, I live a couple blocks down from my aunt and uncle, so I feel safe in knowing that if push came to shove, I can probably get a gun from them (although that'd be illegal), if I needed to defend myself.

      Interesting Hub, enjoyed the read!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      NotRush - thanks for stopping by. Can understand needing a gun in Chicago. Some years ago I went there for trade shows 3 times a year -- wished I'd had protection every time! Truth is, I love Chicago -- it just makes me uneasy some time! Yep, Old Tom Jefferson would be riled up with our gun laws as they stand today. Best, Sis

    • NotRush profile image

      NotRush 7 years ago

      At first glance the bill seemed to be way out there but after reading the entire article it does make sense. The $500 might be too much money but then guns aren't cheap so maybe it's right. I think the federal government needs to get out and back up our rights and make the gun laws uniform from state to state. I live in Indiana just outside of Chicago and it's like apple to oranges with the gun laws. I don't even own a gun because I am in Chicago so much I would never be able to take it with me. The sad thing is I need the gun for protection more in Chicago then I do at home. People get shot every day in a city where guns are illegal. Sounds like the opposite of what the founding fathers had in mind. Where's the right to protect myself at all times at? Thomas Jefferson would be very pissed if he saw the gun laws today!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi dahoglund - thanks for your comments! The Hill Country of Texas is beautiful -- and yes, some "hills" do look more like mountains! Best, Sis

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for stopping by jpop13 -- it's a toss up as to how this one should go - I just found it amusing! Best, Sis

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I do not own guns,but largely because I never had a need for one. I remembe though about 1963 when most of my friends had bought handguns because of the fast draw fad, I was inclined to get one. I was living in Iowa in a small town at the time. Since I worked on the newspaper the game warden was one of my contacts, so I asked him about the rules. It turned out that the gun laws varied from state to state and even county to county. What wAS legal one place was not legel in the others.I figured it would be just too much trouble.

      I'm visiting you great state of Texas in what they describe as Hill country, although they look like mountains to me.

    • jpop13 profile image

      jpop13 7 years ago from Trenton New Jersey

      Well Guys I must say that I am pro-gun rights, but to force people to own is kind of anti-constitutional. LOL it's weird that I a conservative am against a bill that would force people to own guns. I just think that some people should never be aloud near them. Can you imagine the inner cities with more guns! But them again maybe they kill them selves off, by the way its not a racist comment I live in the city.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hey Sweetie -- come on down -- folks in Texas will love you! Thanks for your thoughts on this - and I agree. This bill is being promoted in Vermont -- wish Texas had thought of it first! Luv, Sis

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Hey Angela this is really interesting twist of a bill. Possibly because it is Texas? Here in NY and other states that I have lived in-except Montana of course-they make it nearly impossible to be a firearms owner. It is unbelievable the 'reasoning' behind why you can't be a gun owner now...in fact many of our War Vets are not even given a chance! EVERYONE SHOULD wake up-far better to own one just in case than not. G seems to know who and who does not own guns-not good-Tyranny can sneak right in-when the people are not looking. I like Texas! I think I am making the move down there shortly! :) Yeeehaw! I got my fancy pink cowboy hat..and I am on my way!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Hero - yep, the guy thinks outside the box but it's an interesting concept! Thanks for stopping by. Best, Sis

    • ateenyi profile image

      ateenyi 7 years ago from Chicago

      Great Hub!!!!!

      The hub is explicitly dedicated to gun. The statement as, Mr. Maslack is trying to pass a bill that will assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of NOT owning a gun ‘cause everybody else that DOES OWN A GUN has to take care of their unarmed little butts! This totally depicts the exact scenario which is supposed to be processed. Thanks for sharing the information.

    • profile image

      LegendaryHero 7 years ago

      I like the way that guy thinks!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks, Evan -- agreed -- not much chance but seemed amusing idea to me! Best, Sis

    • Evan G Rogers profile image

      Evan G Rogers 7 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

      Love the article.

      I agree with him on a few things, and disagree with him on a few things.

      If people want gun-owners to register, then non-gun-owners should register as well. Indeed, a militia should be highly encouraged by the state, but unfortunately our federal government (it really is a national government) has decided to disobey the constitution (article 1 section 8) and make a permanent standing army/navy.

      Unfortunately I don't agree with the weird way he tries to re-work the second amendment: it does not say "congress has the power to require gun ownership". Maybe it should, but it doesn't. Also he seems to be claiming that the federal government has the authority to lay taxes on people who don't own guns - that isn't anywhere in the Constitution that I read.

      Good stuff, Hope it passes and we return to a militia system instead of a permanent military... yeah right!

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you prasetio30 -- appreciate your comments and stopping by! Best, Sis

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      In my country people shouldn't have a weapon. That's forbidden for as a citizen. I know that US is a free country and gun ownership is legal. I hope there's no happen with that gun. I pray the best for us. Just keep the peace. Nice hub, Angela.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Agreed -- fact is, they don't and won't. Thanks for stopping by. Best, Sis

    • greatAmerican profile image

      greatAmerican 7 years ago

      Angela ,, very thought provoking.. Owning a gun is a right but it should be 'private' and the government should not expect to know where all these guns are..

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Ictodd1947 - thanks for stopping by. I agree, as strange as the world is today we all need protection! Best, Sis

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      My son is an avid hunter. It is his salvation for being alone and clears his mind. Personally, I don't know if I could even shoot a gun but I think people need them for safety measures.

      Great article.

    • Angela Blair profile image
      Author

      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks, Tammy -- it's definitely a personal thing as to firearms -- some do/some don't and it's always going to be a touchy question! Appreciate your comments! Best, Sis

    • Tammy Lochmann profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

      Interesting bill. I don't have a firearm I wasn't brought up around them. But I support the right to have them.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Sheila -- oh, well, I can dream! Thanks so very much for your comments. Best, Sis

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Wow -- skeet shooter! I could hit snakes on a regular basis but never was a good hunter (and never tried skeet). We do have a lot in common! Best, Sis

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Good hub! I'm totally for the 2nd amendment! My dad was a gun dealer, collector, and hunter, and I was a hunter and champion skeet shooter!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Vermont is rural but the votes come from Burlington, and that's why the state is a socialist state. So it'll never happen. But I enjoyed this article of yours.

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks eovery -- appreciate you stopping by. Best, Sis

    • Angela Blair profile image
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      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Hey Daniel - I'd support it in Texas, too. Thanks for your astute comments -- yep, think you've got it right about the Swiss! Best, Sis

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Very interesting little bill.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Daniel Townsend profile image

      Daniel Townsend 7 years ago

      I would totally support such a measure in my state of Ohio. The second amendment should not only be viewed as a right, but as an obligation as well, to yourself and to those around you. When the government, or criminals, or a foreign power chooses to take that which does not belong to them, then the common man should have a means to defend himself.

      We should follow the example of the Swiss, who require every male under 30 to own a gun as a member of the Swiss militia. I think that it is interesting to note that Switzerland was not involved in World War Two. Is this due at least in part to the rate of gun ownership? I think so.

      Great hub!