Letter
October 29, 2015

Seeking true public, grassroots conversation about guns in Vermont

Dear Editor,

On Oct. 20, 2015, two dozen members of Gun Owners of Vermont went to an advertised “fall regional meeting” of Gun Sense Vermont (GSV) which was supposed to be a public forum.

We did this because we wanted to have a conversation with the officers and members of GSV and the general public in attendance.We were planning on providing them with actual FBI and ATF statistics and listening to their thoughts. We wanted to show that we were sincere in our effort to discuss the matter in a peaceful and respectful manner. During the committee hearings at the State House last session, we were extremely polite to Ann Braden and all the people in attendance.

We were disappointed to find out that the meeting location was suddenly changed just mere hours before the advertised event. The conversation that we have repeatedly offered since 2013 still stands. Gun Sense has refused every offer for any dialog. We would be overjoyed to meet with GSV, and they are welcome at any of our meetings or functions around the state. These questions need to be asked:

Why will they not meet with us?

Why are they unable to prove the statements about the good and honest people of Vermont?

Why are their meetings secret when they say “they want to have a conversation?”

How can they still call themselves a Vermont “grassroots” organization when their paid directors have ties to national organizations?

How can they still call themselves a Vermont “grassroots” organization when their paid directors each receive over $40,000 in compensation?

How can they still call themselves a Vermont “grassroots” organization when they pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists, candidate donations, advertising, and salaries?

Why did Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety release a nationwide barrage of anti-Vermont advertising, in perfect time for GSV’s “press conference” for universal background check legislation? It is clear to everyone that Gun Sense is NOT an independent, grassroots organization, because if they were, they would not be having secret meetings and changing locations when the public wants to attend. Please attend our upcoming public forum on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at the Rutland Free Library from 12-4 p.m. We are cordially inviting any GSV board member to speak at this forum.  We have nothing to hide.

President Ed Cutler, Gun Owners of Vermont

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5 Comments

  • Gun Owners of Vermont has reached out to Gun Sense Vermont on 10/21/15.
    As you can see from the emails below, Gun Sense immediately refused our offer to participate in our forum.

    Bob DePino
    Vice President
    Gun Owners of Vermont

    – – – – – – ORIGINAL MESSAGE

    On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 5:43 PM, Bob DePino wrote:

    Dear Ann,

    This note is to inform you that The Gun Owners of Vermont are having an educational forum in Rutland on November 14th at 12:30pm.

    We would like to cordially invite two of your board members to join our panel.

    Please let us know if any of your members would like to present your side of the discussion so we can save them a spot.

    It would be nice to see you again before the next session starts.

    Details are below.

    Thanks in advance.

    Bob
    Vice President, Gun Owners of Vermont

    Location: Rutland Free Library
    Event: “Vermont: The Safest State in the Nation”
    Room: Fox Room
    Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
    Start of Setup Time: 12:00PM
    Event Begins: 12:30PM
    Event Ends: 4:00PM

    – – – – – – REPLY

    from: Ann Braden
    to: Bob DePino

    cc: Dan Mulligan , Eddie Cutler

    date: Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 8:53 PM
    subject: Re: GoVT Event: “Vermont: The Safest State in the Nation”
    mailed-by: gunsensevt.org

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you for the invitation. Given the fact that your organization’s starting point is “no compromise,” the concept of participating in a back-and-forth is something that, to me, doesn’t seem worth the time or effort.

    I hope your event goes well, though, and I look forward to seeing you next time our paths cross.

    Take care,
    Ann

  • As William Buckley said it best: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offedned to discover that their are other views.”
    Gun Sense Vermont does not want an honest discussion. Tracing their money quickly found that it came from Bloomberg. They are not a grassroots movement as they claim. The only grassroots movement I see is this group Gun Owners of Vermont. I was there when they were shoo’d away from the “public” meeting as if they were (what Hillary calls) the enemy. Yes, they treat real Vermonters as outsiders to their meetings. I for one am backing Gun Owners of Vermont from no on. Not that I ever trusted Ann Braden after her many lies last year.

  • Saturday November,14th is “Hunting Season”! Everyone with a firearm will be in the woods!

  • Gun Sense Vermont unabashedly engages in scullduggery and subterfuge of the most insidious and reprehensible kind. They routinely hide from truth, while lying about everything from crime statistics, to their *true* intentions regarding gun freedoms in Vermont, to their sources of funding (which connect back to Mike Bloomberg). There is nothing “grassroots” about them. They are, in fact, nothing but snakes in the grass — Ann Braden chief serpent among them. They disgust me.

  • I bet it would be great if any Vermont politician would come, lend their honest thoughts to the discussion. Not just as panelists but in the audience, at least. I’m planning on going and would love to have a chance to have one-on-one conversations with my local politicians.

    I was at the Gun Sense “forum” held last year at the same Rutland library that, to be honest, was something of a sham. Questions were hand picked…”information” was nothing more than carefully created gun control narrative. So-called “stats” and “facts” were so obviously made up that I felt I had accidentally walked into a cartoon. Seating was carefully orchestrated. It was nothing more than propaganda at its worst, which the audience had picked up on, making for an extremely tense environment.

    Rutland Mayor Chris Louras, who has aligned himself with Bloomberg-sponsored gun control organizations was one of the scheduled panelists at the Gun Sense forum last year. There was a little name card on the front table announcing where he was supposed to sit. Unfortunately, he conveniently couldn’t make it at the last minute due to some unforseen situation (at 7:30 in the evening…after it was obvious there were too many Vermont gun owners in the room).

    I’m looking forward to this actually being an honest discussion, with verifiable facts.

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