In what may appear to be the first tremor of an earthquake in the labor movement, the Vermont AFL-CIO union group has passed a statewide resolution opposing gun control and will transmit this resolution to the government in Montpelier and the state’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the union group represents 11,000 workers. The resolution was adopted at the Vermont AFL-CIO’s 2021 convention held over the weekend.
The two-page document, which may be read here, concludes:
“Whereas the Vermont Constitution states that ‘the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.’
“Let It Therefore Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO, being anti-fascist, recognize a people’s right to self-defense;
“Let It Further Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO directs our elected Union leadership to defend our collective right to own firearms.
“Let It Further Be Resolved that this Vermont AFL-CIO policy shall be communicated to the Government in Montpelier and to our Congressional Delegation in Washington DC.”
While labor union groups traditionally side with Democrats, this resolution appears to be a smack in the face to the party that has become the driver behind gun control and even gun prohibition efforts on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the country. Democrat President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are avowed anti-gunners and earlier this year during a CNN Townhall broadcast, Biden let slip that he would like to ban not only semi-automatic modern sporting rifles—mischaracterized as so-called “assault weapons”—but also that he would do the same with 9mm pistols. He said so in Cincinnati.
However, while passage of the resolution may seem like a departure, the language focuses on the need for gun rights as a means of defense against “fascists, white supremacists, and individual extremists” who are “already armed.”
The gun rights resolution speaks bluntly about how the “working class must be able and ready to defend democracy, their communities, labor organizations, allies, and regular people in the event of attacks by fascists, white supremacists, and individual extremists…”
The resolution also alleges that the U.S. “faced the real threat of a neo-fascist coup in 2020-2021” and that this threat has “not sufficiently subsided.”
It goes on to assert “the events of 2020-2021 have shown democracy in the U.S. to be more precarious than at any other recent time in our modern history.”
Whether that assessment is accurate is a matter of speculation, but what is certain is that blue collar workers, at least in Vermont, support the right to keep and bear arms, and their union is making that clear to those in government who may be working to undermine that right.