More Kiss on Guns | Freyne Land

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Kiss on Guns

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2006 at 11:02 AM

Tuesday afternoon we sat down with Burlington's Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss to get it straight from the horse's mouth on the Mayors Against Illegal Guns "Statement of Principles" (posted in the Tuesday post below), that he signed without advance warning at Monday's Burlington City Council Meeting. Said Mayor Kiss:

"I’m making a statement along with other mayors across the country. It’s very clear to say our mayors are duty bound to do everything in our power to protect our residents, especially our children, from harm,  and there is no greater threat to public safety than the threat of illegal guns.

"I will continue the discussion and include the city council in that process. It’s one of those things I can sign onto without looking for support or authority from the city council. Since it’s very clearly a statement of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, that’s why I chose that route. I think it is an issue that people on the city council are going to be interested in and I think we should continue that discussion."

But isn't the Second Amendment's right to bear arms a strong principle in Vermont?

Kiss: "I think everybody has to agree that we want responsible gun-ownership. I would say in the same way that I talk about responsible ownership in terms of rental property and responsible tenancy, I mean I think there are a lot of responsibilities in our society that we have to pay attention to, and how we do that make a difference in the outcome. My goal here is to work on responsible gun-ownership and to aim at preventing gun violence. And I don’t know that we all wouldn’t be in agreement with those kinds of goals."

But "gun control" in Vermont?

Kiss: "Again, should there be waiting periods before people can buy handguns? I don’t object to that. I think it’s a reasonable thing to do. That might be portrayed as gun control, but I think that has a lot more to do with responsible gun ownership. In the same way that in Vermont before you get a hunting license, you have to take a firearms class so you’re prepared to do that appropriately. Is that gun control?  I think it’s probably responsible training so everyone’s safe in the practice of hunting. I might say, no, it’s gun control because if I don’t take the course, I can’t use my gun. But again, I think it misses the point. So I would say that Vermont and society can develop a reasonable set of rules that does a better job at protecting us at the same time it allows guns to be in the community."

Have you anticipated any kind of pro-gun backlash to this?

Kiss: "I have not. I think that having a discussion about guns, and even having a disagreement about guns, isn’t a backlash. I think we have to have that. And I think through that kind of discussion that you actually see change. And that’s what Mayors Against Illegal Guns are saying - we’ve got to do something about guns that come into our community illegally and have a negative consequence because people are dying on the street."

What do you think?

Incidentally, Burlington's mayor is not a gun owner.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact

About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More By This Author


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Freyne Land

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation