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Letters to the Editor (8/17/16) 

Gun Done?

The anti-gun rally featured in [Off Message: "Democratic Candidates Call for Vermont Gun Legislation," August 4] is further evidence of the demographic change in Vermont that began with the hippie influx of the late 1960s. It certainly isn't evidence of an increase in gun violence over the past 50 years, because data show there hasn't been an increase, either in Vermont or in the USA generally.

I have witnessed Vermont transform from a mostly agricultural-industrial economy to a culture dominated by an ex-urban professional class. Not really bad, but it's sad to have lost the farms along with the independent-minded spirit that left the purchase of guns a private matter between buyer and seller.

Historically, besides having the fewest gun laws in the U.S., along with the fewest gun crimes, Vermont has led the nation in producing and importing guns for citizens. Smith & Wesson and the Winchester arms companies both had their origins in Windsor in the mid-1800s. And the Robbins & Lawrence factory in Windsor produced some 1.5 million rifles to arm the Union Army, along with many more firearms. The nation's top importer of surplus pistols and rifles, Century Arms, still has headquarters in Franklin County.

To say the anti-gun politicians are working against the Vermont grain isn't quite true any more. However, the Democratic push to effectively register guns is the essential first step toward ultimate confiscation of all firearms owned by common citizens, an expression of old-world elitism that our founders meant to dismantle, and a hallmark of totalitarianism.

Andy Leader


Mystery Solved

As someone who has lived in Middlesex and Montpelier for most of my life, I have always wondered about that shack [WTF: "Why Is There a House in the Middle of the Winooski River?" August 3]. We too speculated about what the story of it was and dreamed of fixing it up. Thanks so much for digging into this story!

Rebecca Copans


Not Laughing

As a longtime Milton resident, I was looking forward to this article ["Remaking Milton," August 10]. I had been included in one of the interviews and was happy that Milton would be getting some long-deserved positive press. I eagerly started reading the article and was dismayed to find that the lead-in was two very crude Milton jokes. I have been on the receiving end of these "jokes" for too many years and have always found them to be in extremely poor taste and, to me, displays of the ignorance of the ones who find them so entertaining. I have been trying for years to understand why Milton is the butt of so many rude comments. People who are unsure of their own place in the world find solace in belittling others and will do so at anyone's expense, even schoolchildren. Milton is not one of the wealthy towns of Chittenden County. I have come to the conclusion that many people cannot acknowledge that people on the lower end of the economic scale have value and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Because the only housing one can afford is living in a mobile home community is not a reason to be the target of demeaning, derogatory jokes. It seems people are uncomfortable with poverty. Joking is a way to relieve the discomfort.

Milton is a community with many wonderful, caring people. I was very disappointed to see the "jokes" included in this article. I expected more from Seven Days.

Kate Cadreact


Savoy Suggestions

[Re Live Culture: "Montpelier's Savoy Theater to Get New Owner," August 8]: The downstairs theater has no AC, and it gets hot! Plus, people are always walking in front of the screen. I suggest: 1. Ditch the basement theater, which is terrible. 2. Add midnight screenings of cult classics. 3. Replace those horrible seats with some produced post-World War II.

Joshua Meyer


Twisted Justice

Imagine if Judge Rainville had flipped the script ["Case Dismissed: Echoes of National Police Issues in a Vermont Courtroom," August 10] and sentenced a repeat driving-under-the-influence/driving-with-license-suspended driver to twice the sentence for having more skin cell melatonin than Caucasians and said something like, "You're black, and statistics show a higher propensity to commit crimes, so I'm sentencing you to 20 years." The outcry and media coverage would be swift and ongoing. With fully a quarter to a third of the local "day in court" crime stats up here involving DUI, DLS or a combo of both and the "sentence" being (on average) a $500 fine, maybe we should change those roadside signs everywhere to say "DUI —You Can Afford It!"

I pray that neither this so-called judge nor his family ever suffers from injury or death at the hands of a drunken driver.

Steve Merrill

North Troy

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