Ann Bradon

Vigil for gun safety legislation on June 15

June 14 will mark the sixth-month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. massacre. Since that tragic day, it is estimated that more than 84 children in the United States have been killed by guns, according to Slate and @GunDeaths.

Teens add 219 more to this tally and, if we look at all gun deaths for all ages in the United States since Newtown, the estimated number is an astonishing 4,332. If these were deaths due to eastern equine encephalitis, west Nile virus, or a new strain of the flu, politicians would demand immediate action.

But here in Vermont, Governor Peter Shumlin has publicly stated that he does not favor any changes in gun legislation at the state level. He has called for a “50-state solution” and has dismissed efforts at the state level as little more than “feel-good legislation.”

He has said this despite the fact that we have the highest rate of gun deaths in New England (according to the Centers for Disease Control), the 12th-highest suicide rate in the country (according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention), and the distinction of being the only state in the nation that doesn't prohibit felons from possessing firearms.

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