When I moved to Nevada a couple of months ago, it was for two primary reasons: Lower cost of living/taxes and their guns laws - or lack thereof.
In both respects, Nevada tends to treat its citizens as adults. Unlike Kalifornia, where every time you want to scratch your ass you need a permit, in general, Nevada lets you go about your life with little interference. In fact, when you do have interaction it is..... wait for it... pleasant.
To date, whether it be our trip to the DMV, getting property tax information from the county, or figuring out the schedules for igniting our burn pile, state and local government employees have been astonishingly helpful. They truly earn their pay.
It's been very refreshing.
Billionaire anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg and his group, "Wimpering Women Against Guns", or whatever it's called, were able to get a background check initiative (pdf) on the upcoming ballot. As usual, they're painting this as a, "common sense" law that will keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys.
Also as usual, they're full of bullshit. It will do little or nothing to keep felons from getting the guns they want. On the surface, the marketing campaign for Question 1 says that all it wants to do is to close the notorious, "gun show loophole" - the ability of private parties to sell guns without a mandatory background check of the buyer.
But it goes much deeper. It has the aforementioned background check provision, and another that is getting little to no coverage: Limitations on to whom and when you can lend one of your guns. If you lend your next door neighbor of the past 20 years a rifle to for target practice, you have just committed a gross misdemeanor, punishable up to 1 year in jail. Do it again, and it's a felony, and you're going away for up to 5 years.
Or maybe you lend a pistol to your girlfriend who is going on an extended backpacking trip. Or your cousin wants to go duck hunting, and you lend him a shotgun for a weekend. Or you lend your co-worker - who you've known for 5 years - a hunting rifle for his vacation during deer season.
This law presumes citizens have no common sense, and someone in state government needs to start making some decisions for you. Was there a recent rash of bad guys buying guns at gun shows or from private parties, and they're shooting up the joint? Or do bad guys STILL get 99% of their guns illegally - by robbery, from other criminals or via strawman purchases?
Like Kalifornia, BOTH PROVISIONS of this new law would turn honest, decent Nevadans into felons - forfeiting their right to own firearms.
Here are the FACTS - not the fascist propaganda - about Question 1:
1. "...the right to keep and bear arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED." It doesn't mention, "except when someone doesn't like guns," or "except when someone may use a gun illegally". The second amendment is a guarantee of a God-given right to self-defense. That is NOT negotiable!
2. Depending on your source, gun show "crime guns" account for around 1% of bad guy guns. A 2002 US Department of Justice report put it at 0.7% (pdf). A 2006 report, also by the US Department of Justice puts it at 1% (down from 2% in 1997 - pdf).
The source of the gun is not the problem. The gun itself is not the problem. The criminal is the problem.
3. Their retort is always, "If just one life is saved, it's worth the inconvenience." Again, bullshit. I reject the entire premise of this statement. We don't write laws to save a single life. We write laws to protect all of society. This is a law looking for a problem to solve. Restricting access to life-saving firearms in any way is criminal and unconstitutional.
Does anyone in their right mind think that if this law is passed, it will stop a criminal from getting the gun they want? Of course not. He'll just go to his normal sources where 99% of the guns are bought by criminals.
All it does is jeopardize the freedom of good citizens.
In Nevada, of the 169 murders committed in 2014, 94 of them were done with some sort of firearm. That means that 0.65 people are killed by gun show or private party guns (0.7% DOJ stats for gun show purchases x 94 gun murders). And they're going to write a law for this?!?!?!
Once again, depending on your source, guns in the hands of citizens are used between 235,000 and 2,500,000 times to stop an attack, almost all without firing a shot (bad guy sees gun, pisses pants, and runs).
Think about that: At a minimum, we have nearly a quarter of a million armed citizens who don't get raped, beaten, robbed or killed, each and every year.
4. The "Gun Show Loophole" is a strawman argument. There's no there there. The argument is that millions of guns are sold by private parties at gun shows each year where background checks don't happen, and criminals could buy guns there. As the facts attest in number 2 above, this just doesn't happen with any kind of frequency.
More importantly, it mixes apples and oranges - Federal Firearms Licensses (FFL) vs. private citizens. An FFL is licensed by the federal government to sell guns in-state and out-of-state. Their business is to sell guns. Anytime and anywhere they sell a gun, they have to follow the same rules, which in this case, includes performing a background check on the buyer.
In this new law, the "Unlicensed Person" is you and me - private citizens selling our private property. Just as we're an unlicensed person when we sell our sporting equipment at a garage sale to another unlicensed person, our right to sell our private property without government interference is at stake here. We're not in business to sell guns or sporting equipment, we're just selling our lawful private property.
Chief, holy crap! How can you compare sporting equipment and guns?
Don't scoff at this example. Bats, clubs and hammers kill more Americans each year than shotguns or rifles. Should we be required to get a background check on someone who buys our used baseball equipment or our extra roofing hammer? Why not? It might save one life...
This sounds ludicrous, but remember, not too long ago, you could buy a gun from the Sears mail-order catalogue. Ludicrous can become "common sense" in a very short period time.
We are not responsible for the actions of others. If I sell you a gun, a hammer, a bat or a car, and you go out and kill someone with it, I'm not responsible, the object isn't responsible, YOU are responsible.
And another "feel good" or "at least we're doing SOMETHING" law isn't going to change the facts nor reduce the number of bad guys getting guns. It will simply make more good citizens into criminals.
Do you see what this type of language does to the psyche of free people? You're "unlicensed" - you can't act without the permission of government. This is a wholly repugnant and unacceptable concept.
This proposed law also includes an exemption for police. What the hell? Police officers are civilians, and those civilians work for us. I know many people exclude police and fire fighters from the definition of civilian, but they're wrong. The original and true definition has to do with the type of law under which you're judged - military or civilian. Last time I check, police were judged under civilian law.
So laws like this help to reinforce at least 3 levels of citizenry: Military, Super-Civilians (politicians, police, etc.) and us lowly proletariat citizens. Ironically, in theory at least, the two levels above us are supposed to work for us.
I'm sick of it.
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