Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Well, my first post. Okay, so why did I finally start a blog after thinking about it in the past but never getting around to it? Today's experience. See, I plan on "homesteading" in Alaska, but for several reasons, haven't moved yet to my 20 acres. So I'm stuck in Vermont currently. Vermont has some of the best (most free) gun laws in the U.S. (Alaska is perhaps better). Open carry, concealed carry, it's all legal, no license needed. The police aren't supposed to hassle anyone for doing so, either. But some cities insist on bothering people. Burlington, Rutland...but today I'll talk about my experience open carrying in Rutland City today. It's far from my first time open carrying, but today, I was stopped by the police for doing so. Apparently someone supposedly called in a complaint about a "man with a gun" (perhaps it never happened but was an excuse, or perhaps it was some flatlander from NJ or MA or such who forgets this is VT) so these two city police officers stop me while I was walking to my garden (several blocks away from home) and begin questioning me on why I'm carrying it, am I a felon, etc. At some point another officer pulled up. They demanded I hand it over so they could run the serial number to see if it was stolen. So before they leave, realizing they could legally do nothing to me, this one officer decides to lecture me against carrying my gun visibly--claiming I must be after attention or something (which I'm not, it's merely pointless to try to conceal a decent sized revolver while wearing light clothing, and I'm not carrying a mouse gun or wearing heavier clothing all summer to suit some anti). He also tried to scare me, by saying if I even step foot on school grounds, I'd go to jail (which I have no intention of doing, but clearly, he wanted to make me uncomfortable). He said there used to be a city ordinance against carrying, to which I responded that yes, the courts threw it out as being illegal. Furthermore, and the worst statement, he said if I continued carrying I'll be getting stopped frequently, to which I responded harassment will result in a lawsuit. He said, "is it worth it?"

Rutland seems to have a history of this harassment of those who wish to exercise their rights. In 1903, the VT Supreme Court threw out a city ordinance forbidding the carrying of weapons without getting "permission" and in the mid 1990's, the city again had such an ordinance, which was removed to avoid a lawsuit. I will not be intimidated into giving up my rights, however.

Now, after all of that hassle, I did check on my garden. The potatoes are doing nicely, as are the peas. The carrots are slowly growing, once they're bigger I have quite a bit of weeding to do. My tomato plants, peppers, onions, are doing okay but are still somewhat small plants (expected this time of year, I just barely planted the peppers and tomatoes over the weekend). The beans, squash and cucumbers seem to be slowly sprouting. I have some watermelon plants started (sugar baby and moon & stars) and clear plastic warming up the ground and will soon have those in the ground. I'm using all open-pollinated seeds, I avoid hybrids. I truly like the fact that I can save my seeds this year, and not need to buy them next year, or the year after...it's much better for the independent sort of person like myself.

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