Louis Meyers, M.D.

A Voice of Experience in Healthcare

Louis Meyers for State Senate

Policy Statements on Public Safety

There is a corollary to our current national discussion on gun legislation.  Thirty years ago there were essentially no public restrictions on smoking cigarettes. People could light up in restaurants, planes, even hospitals. Medical studies began to demonstrate the very harmful effects of  second-hand smoke.  Non-smokers began to migrate to establishments which had true non-smoking sections, and soon the economic effects of this became persuasive.  Smoking areas became more restricted in this country, to the point where smokers now can usually only smoke at home or outdoors.  Big Tobacco - which was as wealthy and politically powerful then as the NRA is now - began to lose its clout. Smokers protested that their rights were being infringed, but the restrictions actually helped many people stop smoking...and a lot of those people are alive today because they quit.    Come on America, let’s do this for our children!

Following recent mass shootings in Las Vegas and Florida - as well as the near-catastrophe closer to home in Fair Haven - there are common-sense steps Vermont can and should take immediately:

1) Ban the sale or possession of bump stocks.

2) Prohibit the sale of magazines with more than ten rounds.

3) Enable enforcement of extreme risk protection orders, which give police the authority to temporarily remove guns if a person makes threats, acts violently, or commits animal cruelty.

4) Raise the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21.

These are troubled times, as Americans face new dangers from both within and outside our borders. Aside from the threat of politically motivated terrorist acts, we are aware of the almost daily mass shootings which scar our country.

A debate on gun control - one which has been ongoing for nearly 50 years - is much in the news.

Vermont has a stake in this debate. We have a history of hunting which is part of the very fabric of the state, and despite the easy availability of guns there has been relatively little gun violence in Vermont. Because of this, a number of Vermont politicians over the years have hedged or skirted entirely the issue of gun control. There are certainly well-known political risks for crossing the NRA. And yet we do not live on an island and are not immune from the possibility of gun-related tragedies. In Vermont, unfortunately, we have a high rate of suicide by guns.

I believe that what is needed is less shouting and more common sense. The second amendment of the Constitution needs to be respected and law-abiding adults in Vermont have the right to own handguns and rifles.

Having said that, I also support the following principles:

1) All firearms should be registered with the state. Registration should be free of charge.

2) There should be a background check on all gun buyers. This should completed within 7 days of purchase application.

3) Persons who have been charged with domestic abuse or convicted of violent felonies should not be allowed to purchase firearms.

4) We need to consider limiting the size of ammunition clips, in an effort to save lives. A 30-round clip in an automatic weapon can kill 25-30 people in a matter of seconds. A 10-round clip would at least give more people a chance to escape or overpower the shooter. And as for hunting, any hunter who needs more than ten bullets to bring down a deer or other animal isn't much of a hunter.

I have previously worked as a probation officer in crime-ridden inner city neighborhoods which resembled killing fields. And for the past 25 years I have been a physician, working to save lives. The proposals I have outlined will save lives.

Other Policy Statements

Quality of Life

Save Vermonters Money

Criminal Justice

Economy

Healthcare

Public Safety

Transportation

Education

Military

Social Services

General

Environment