Home Commentary Letters to the Editor, June 8, 2022

Letters to the Editor, June 8, 2022

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VSECU Montpelier Forum on the Proposed Merger Did NOT Persuade Us

To the Editor:

We attended the recent member forum on the proposed VSECU/NEFCU merger. After all was said, we left more convinced than ever that this merger is not in the best interests of VSECU members. Several attendees noted that there was still no compelling reason why members should choose to give away their independent, successful, strong credit union. 

In fact, the CEOs of both VSECU and NEFCU stated that each credit union would be perfectly fine if this merger did not happen. 

The claim that this merger will improve our competitive position against Apple, Walmart, and Chase did not fall on deaf ears but did fall on smart ears. The thought that this merger will change the dynamics of Vermont’s environmental and housing challenges sounds good but was not backed up. The supposed rate and fee advantages of this merger really only point out that management has CHOSEN to be non-competitive and are fabricating conditions that make the merger appear beneficial. 

Representatives of VSECU just repeated in a variety of ways: Trust us, bigger will be better. 

What remains missing is acknowledgment of what will be lost with this merger.

The answer to that is clear to us and we think pretty clear to many VSECU members. The credit union built by Vermonters for Vermonters will be gone and in its place will be a single dominant institution with visions far beyond Vermont borders.

During a discussion at the forum about the loss of Vermont State Employee Credit Union name, one attendee summed the situation up quite nicely when she said; “there is no Vermont in New England Federal Credit Union.”

Wally Farnum, former VSECU Board Chair
Steven Post, former VSECU CEO 

Second Amendment Words Matter

To the Editor:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

This is the Second Amendment to the Constitution. To the surprise of many and the discomfort of some, including the NRA and other first-clause deniers, the Second Amendment of the Constitution does not begin with the words “The right of the people.”

What was the intent of those who wrote the Second Amendment?

These were people for whom words mattered. These words, every one, should matter for us as well. If their intent was to state solely that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” they would have said that and that alone. But they chose to precede that clause with the “Well regulated militia” clause. Why? Their purpose was to ensure the swift mobilization of a militia to secure our new nation.

At that time in our country “a well regulated militia” was formed by citizen soldiers who mustered directly from their homes with their weapons. Today, our “well regulated militia” is formed by members of the armed services who bear arms maintained on military bases, ships, and other military locations.

There is nothing “well regulated” about a citizenry that currently possesses over 400 million firearms by which 38,000 Americans die annually by murder, suicide, and accident. Today, a well-educated citizenry, not one that is well armed, holds far greater promise for the security of our free state.

Once again, the mass murder of school children raises Second Amendment issues to the fore. Civil and informed dialogue concerning the Second Amendment requires that we acknowledge its full text. If we are to remain a free people, we are not free to cherry pick words and clauses in the amendments that constitute our Bill of Rights.

David R. Abbott, Montpelier