In case you didn’t make it to tonight’s town meeting, Article 34 was approved in a fairly lopsided vote. We will post precise totals and roll call as soon as we have them.
The language that passed tonight was a non-binding resolution which called for a town-wide dialog on the issue of gun violence, with the goal of proposing a recommendation to the General Court.
We opposed this resolution as a matter of principle for a number of reasons, but make no mistake, it is very weak tea when compared with Article 34’s original formulation. That language, which would have imposed a sweeping ban on common firearms and accessories, was defeated, rather anticlimactically, weeks ago. Rotberg and his allies tried to take a loaf, but had to end up settling for whatever crumbs fell to the floor.
Now that Article 34 has finally seen its day in the dock, we can pause to celebrate the fact that we were able to stop the town-wide ban dead in its tracks. That is a huge victory, and genuine cause for celebration. At the same time, however, we also have to realize that the longer struggle will be with us for some time, and we can’t give up that fight.
In short, our so-called “assault weapons” are safe — for now. But if there’s one thing we learned tonight, it is that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and that the struggle to protect our rights will never end.
Similar local gun measures are breaking out like wildfire across the commonwealth, and throughout the nation as well. Who knows whether these town-wide “dialogs” that were sanctioned tonight will ever actually materialize. But if they do, even the present struggle is not over. As Churchill said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”