Note to FFLs: this is an example of how not to do social media.
The proprietor of On Target Guns, 560 N. Nellis Blvd. in Las Vegas, wants you to boycott gun shows over private sales/background checks. After the second post (see below), I tempered my feelings as it appeared this was really a dispute over business (private dealers selling more cheaply), but that is not the case. There has been much back-and-forth on Facebook in the past view days over these controversial statements. Let's dissect each post, one by one, and I'll show you the thinking behind my opinion.
First, in this post there are two problems, according to On Target. 1, "unlicensed dealers" are selling guns. 2, that these sales (and it is implied other private sales) are being done without background checks.
Unlicensed dealers are problematic, but only for themselves. It is illegal to sell an arbitrary number of guns that the ATF considers "too many" without being licensed as a firearms dealer. In a free country where the Second Amendment is as respected as the first, these unlicensed dealers doing business openly in gun shows (rather than out of a trunk or drug house) have every right to sell their guns to whoever they want (in good conscience of course) in whatever quantity they want. You don't ban someone from selling books at a flea market and tell them to get a business license. These unlicensed dealers can and do get themselves in deep trouble for their business, but again, that's their problem.
If I want a good deal on a gun that's off the books that's my prerogative. If I can get a good deal on a gun because someone else doesn't have the markup and overhead that an FFL has to deal with, even better.
Now these unlicensed dealers with better prices than the gun store are competition for brick and mortar FFLs. I'd hate the competition too as much as I, as a consumer, hate seeing table after table of FFLs at gun shows. I come for the private sale guns, not stuff from some traveling salesman from out-of-state. I'd rather support my local gun store owned by someone who doesn't make posts like this on Facebook.
Second, we've had the background checks debate. Background checks do little to prevent actual crime or keep guns out of the hands of bad guys. Most guns used in violence went through a background check; the killer suddenly snapped or their evil went undetected. All background checks are is a nice little security blanket to make people feel better.
Background checks are a way of enforcing gun registration by tracking them through purchase and transfer. This cuts off the supply of "unknown" guns that can't be identified and hidden when confiscation starts. When everyone must declare and register their guns, what'll happen is dealers will be required to turn over the Form 4473s, which will be scanned and input into a database. Ownership can be easily identified and tracked at that point.
The Facebook comments exploded, basically accusing the owner of not supporting the Second Amendment and only looking out for his profits. He offers an excuse in this reply that his beef was with the unlicensed dealers selling at higher prices, not private sales, but then goes into "the bad guys."
Once again, the issue is with no background checks. Sure, gun owners and dealers do look bad when someone commits a heinous crime with a gun, but as we known, private sales in the context that universal background checks would regulate are not the problem. It's some shady guy selling guns out of his trunk or people outright stealing them.
As I said before, I don't care at this point what makes us look bad. Guns and gun owners have already been demonized as bad as they have been in history. Criminals will obtain firearms via any means and statistics have shown gun shows and Internet classifieds are in the minority. So here I see On Target Guns caring more about appearances than fact or actual danger.
"Helping" ourselves by giving in to banning private gun sales at this point won't save anything. We've been giving in for nearly a century hoping that something works and the hoplopaths leave us alone. Each time we give ground, they take more. We're nearing the end game and a civil war, so let's forget about niceties. If they want to take away our guns, then they will do so by whatever means are necessary and they do not need our help as is implied here.
No gun store owner should ever say "It's not about the 2nd. amendment..." This entire post belies ignorance of how criminals obtain guns and how private sales are involved. It is blatant support for banning private gun sales.
We have no way of verifying if "record sales" is even true or if it is in anyway connected to support for the owner's beliefs. All this sounds like is digging the hole deeper.
I will leave it up to you if you choose to boycott On Target Guns. I have chosen a staunch Second Amendment supporting business to buy my FFL guns from and will continue to patronize gun shows to buy privately until I no longer can (which will probably be around July 2019).
Unfortunately, the worst has come to pass and Steve Sisolak will be Nevada’s next governor. Nevada has fallen. A fate similar to that of Oregon and Washington, which are rapidly turning into California, will soon befall us.
The clock is ticking on your gun rights and what you can buy. Make your dispositions accordingly.
With a legislature that is dominated by Democrats, there is no obstacle to even the worst ideas passing. The best we as gun owning voters can do is hound our legislators—especially the vulnerable assemblymen and women—to put brakes on the anti-gun agenda. There is no governor’s veto that can stop anything with momentum.
Sisolak was once reasonable on the topic of gun control—like most Nevada politicians of the time, red or blue—but he has been caught up in the left-ward tide of the Democratic Party. Democrats today must be ardent leftists or be willing to go along with the hardcore totalitarian socialist agenda or be ostracized from the party. There is no room for sort Democrats. A corrupt and self-serving Steve Sisolak will not take a position contrary to the hand that gave him his power.
All Nevada gun owners should be aware that our hard-won victories at now in jeopardy. Everything is on the table. Colorado in 2013 is a good example of how it will start.
What we are likely to lose first:
If you would like to panic and buy now, you have until May/June or so before any potential bills would take effect. If not this legislative section, then the next, an “assault weapons” ban and “high capacity” magazine ban.
How did this happen? First of all, the Republican party has traditionally been poor at getting out the vote. The Democrats are an absolute machine at getting people to vote and the way they want them to. It's pretty much like the communist party "votes" except without the bayonets and secret police.
Changing demographics have turned Nevada into a Democrat-voting state led by Clark County. As more and more third-world immigrants and brainwashed or liberal Californians flood the state, the rural conservative votes will be utterly overpowered. Reno will turn into a new haven for crunchy granola Californians. It will only get worse.
We all know that Clark County schools have a problem with kids bringing in guns. We also know that the district has no plans on teaching "Stop, Don't Touch, Run Away, Tell A Grown Up," to the young-uns. They have decided to "do something" instead of solve the root of the problems. Further details have emerged about how the school district plans to implement their new "Random Searches" program. It's horrific. Here's the letter to the editor that I submitted, as well as the email I sent to the Principal at my sons' school.
I have submitted the following Letter to the Editor at the RJ:
Regarding the new CCSD Policy of Random Searches of Students:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin
I have done my best to instill in my children a respect for Liberty, and the premises that this nation were founded on. “Random Searches” flies in the face all that has made this nation great. I realize what this new policy is attempting to accomplish. But if we throw out essential liberty every time there is a new perceived threat, we never had liberty in the first place.
Bear in mind that my main concern with this new policy is the “random” aspect of it. That makes it wholly unconstitutional. This is not to be confused with targeted, for-cause searches, which already have well established legal doctrine to abide by.
In response to the Frequently Asked Questions provided on CCSD.net:
Q: How will CCSD ensure that random weapons searches do not target certain
A: We are very cognizant of this concern. The schools, classrooms, and students will
be randomly selected.
This makes it worse, not better. You are conditioning the next generation of adults that they must comply with search without cause, a dangerous and un-American precedent.
Q: Does CCSD have the right to randomly search students for weapons?
A: Yes, because the District has confiscated 11 guns from students so far this school
year and needs to ensure student safety.
You didn't answer your own hypothetical question. What specific authority does CCSD have to conduct random, non-targeted not-for-cause searches of students? The actions of other people do not diminish the rights of my children.
Q: What if I don't want my child searched unless I am present?
A: Safety needs to be a top priority. Students who fail to comply with the search
procedures will not be allowed on school property.
Safety DOES need to be a top priority. That includes my children’s safety from unjustified government searches. My children are on school property because it is required by law.
Q: How is this not a violation of the 4th amendment?
A: Courts have recognized the need for searches without reasonable suspicion in
certain circumstances. We must weigh the need to take action versus the potential
intrusion of privacy. The 11 firearms confiscated from students so far this year
creates an urgent enough situation to allow for the type of search that will be
It is absolutely a violation of the 4th amendment. Please cite the "certain circumstances" allowed by the courts. Nevermind, I'll save you the effort. It's called a "Terry Frisk" (See Terry v Ohio), and applies when there is already lawful cause for detention. For a detention to be lawful, there must be "reasonable suspicion, based on articulable facts that a crime has been, is about to be, or is being committed". "Random Searches" is exactly the opposite of that, and does not even come close to passing Constitutional muster.
Under your logic of "the 11 firearms confiscated from students so far this year creates an urgent enough situation to allow for the type of search that will be implemented", we might as well throw the Constitution out the window. Since OTHER PEOPLE have committed crimes, that justifies search of a completely unrelated, random person? I think not. Shame on you for trying to pass this off as legal and justified. I have a sneaking suspicion that Clark County taxpayers already pay an exorbitant amount of money for the district to have legal counsel. Did you not even bother to have them glance at this before launching it? No wonder we are at the bottom of school rankings! If the leaders of our school district can't understand the basic tenets of the Constitution, how can we expect them to administer one of the largest school districts in the nation?
Q: What about students that parents have said they don't want their child
A: This is a new procedure designed to address an urgent safety situation. Students
who do not comply with the search will be subject to school discipline, just as if they
violate other school procedures.
"Parents have no say in the matter". Good luck with that.
Let me be perfectly clear: I have instructed my children that, in no uncertain terms, they are to politely refuse any such search, call me immediately, and leave the campus if necessary. I have assured them that they will not suffer any repercussions at home for doing so.
I am a single father of two well-behaved (and dashingly handsome) high school age boys in the Clark County School District. I call for the immediate suspension of this program, and the immediate resignation of all senior officials that had a hand in crafting the policy.
(end of letter to the editor)
I realize that this decision is most likely above your head, but ultimately, YOU are the principal of my sons’ school. I have a very positive impression of you from the times I’ve attended events at the school and seen you speak. It is my hope that you already share my concerns. That’s why I am reaching out to you. Feel free to carry my concerns up your chain of authority.
With regard to “random searches”:
I do not, under any circumstances, authorize a random search of my children or their property. In fact, I explicitly forbid any such activity.
With regard to a targeted, for-cause search:
I expect the basic tenets of the 4th amendment to be upheld, and for no search to be performed without a warrant. In addition, I would expect that Terry v Ohio be carefully adhered to, and that my child not be detained without the required “reasonable suspicion, based on articulable facts, that a crime has been, is about to be, or is being committed”. And I would expect and insist that such a detention/search be performed by a sworn law enforcement officer, who can be held accountable to these standards.
In the hypothetical event that your staff and law enforcement feel a lawful search is justified, I insist that I be present for such a search, if at all possible.
I realize that my act of sending you this notice may come across as a red flag, and give you some cause for speculation about my children. I considered that before writing it. I considered just leaving well enough alone, and figuring that it would never really be an issue. But I couldn’t, in good conscience, just duck down and ignore the gross violation of liberty that this new policy proposes. While this message specifically references the policy in regards to MY children, I really mean this to address the policy as a whole, as it affects all students.
Rest assured that my children are not a problem, and are very unlikely to ever possess contraband (they loathe drug users and the ilk). They have no history of any violence, and no access to weapons in the home. We discuss such things regularly, so I am quite confident that I have a good read on them.
The principal responded as follows:
"Although I do understand and respect your concern, I will abide by the directions given to me by the superintendent. Please know that this new policy has been vetted by CCSD's legal team. Furthermore, if a search were to take place here at [redacted], it would be no different than walking through a metal detector at an airport with the exception of the random component. In fact, if your children have attended sporting events at [redacted] HS, they have likely already been wanded upon entrance or have already walked through a metal detector. It is that simple, unless they are in possession of an unknown metal object with a large mass, which in fact would provide a reasonable suspicion. (New Jersey v. TLO) The reason for the random component is to prevent any potential profiling. I do understand your objection and can tell that you have put a lot of thought into it. If you are correct, then I believe it would have to be argued in a court setting. It is also very possible that your children will never be in the position in the first place. I would be happy to meet with you about this; however, I believe your argument should be directed to the superintendent or the school board of trustees. I hope you understand my position."
Random searches are not well-defined by case law and the cases that did rise to the US Supreme Court deal with drug testing. Pulling children aside to search their bodies and belongings is far different from metal detectors at the entrance (your typical ghetto school scene) or random locker searched based on credible information. The “11 guns” and “urgent security situation” justifications cannot be used as reasonable suspicion anymore than police can justify stopping random cars because “we arrested 11 DUIs this year and there is an urgent traffic safety situation.”
The legal questions are secondary to the question of whether or not this is something that Clark County schools should be doing. Clark County schools have a problem with kids bringing guns to school, but it is not addressing why students are bringing guns to school. Addressing the violent drug and gang problem among teens would probably lead to uncomfortable questions. Violence among youths is a predominately minority problem and many educators don’t wish to go down that route.
Young students are getting a hold of them because their irresponsible parents make them accessible. This is a parental failure; schools can’t teach the parent, but they can teach the child to leave the gun alone. The NRA has just such a program, but the Left has made the NRA such a taboo that even the true gun safety program Eddie Eagle would be toxic for them to teach. Also, responsible gun ownership does not jive with the disarmament belief of many within the educational community.
In 1989, the very same district had the very same problem with gang members (students and slightly older non-students) bringing weapons on to campus. The unintended consequences of prosecuting these gang-bangers and troublemakers was that legally armed parents (shall-issue CCWs were not yet a thing) were criminalized if they so much as entered the parking lot and college/universities glommed on to the bill as well.
The Clark County School District is once again failing children. They are taking what they believe to be an expedient route to negate any bad press against them as well as mitigate any civil liability they may have. Their new search policy is nothing more than a smoke screen for the fact that they are unwilling to confront the roots of the problem or take meaningful steps to stop it. This effort will likely be unsuccessful and lead to a wasteful lawsuit.
By failing to deal with gang/drug/violence problems in schools and failing to educate children with legitimate gun safety it is no better than the district ignoring sexual abuse and trying to curb teen pregnancy by teaching an abstinence-only sex ed curriculum. The inevitable "safe storage" law that will hit the legislature in 2019 is not the answer. This is not a problem that Clark County can half-ass its way out of.
Who is my trustee? Click here and scroll down to the maps.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Early voting begins Saturday, Oct. 20.
The armies of the forces of darkness are lurking beyond November, snapping their jaws at the chance to devour a free Nevada and the United States as we know them. This is the third most important election you will ever vote in. 2016 was the most important and bought our four more years of freedom. 2020 will be to save America from plunging into economic and domestic chaos under the hand of leftist totalitarian masters. This year, we must save Nevada and keep Trump's agenda effective.
I will not waste your time; 2018 is the final chance to save Nevada from a slow death by Californication. The lop-sided voter rolls filled with liberal refugees in Reno and Las Vegas have drug Nevada into a near Democratic disaster. As Latin American immigration and liberals infected with leftism flee a state they’ve ruined, they are bringing destruction to Nevada.
The Silver State is at a tipping point. The state Republican Party is a disorganized, and some say corrupt, mess. Democrats all have to toe the radical, anti-gun, anti-liberty, and globalist party line or lose funding and face challengers. The Democrats who were allied with unions and labor many years ago are dead; the Democratic Party is nothing but a front for leftists who want socialism and every kind of evil to flourish.
A civil war is on the horizon with the awful possibility that should the leftists win, everything we love about America will be stolen and destroyed. This is a fight for survival, or at least enough time to prepare for the evil that is to come.
The only choice this year to save Nevada and buy time is to vote Republican. A Republican governor (Adam Laxalt) can veto bad bills and any Republicans seats we can pick up in the Legislature can help pump the brakes on the insanity. Without those two, any bad idea will go from thought to reality with no resistance.
Federally, we must hold the Congress and take more seats. After the Kavanaugh hearings, hopefully President Trump has taught the spineless Republicans to fight back. We can win the border wall, better trade deals, lower taxes, and all the gun-rights goodies we’ve been asking for. But we have to vote Republican, as noxious as the choices may be. To choose a Democrat would be suicide and mean the impeachment of Trump.
Save Nevada, Vote Laxalt
Vote Adam Laxalt for governor. He can win and he will be able to govern. This is the guy who as Attorney General led the charge against the opioid problem, cleared out the rape kit backlog, and put the brakes on Question 1. He is the grandson of the late Paul Laxalt, who, while in the US Senate, was a supporter and friend of President Reagan.
He is NVFAC A+ rated. He is the real deal. What other campaign welcomed gun owners and open carriers to his campaign events and offices? We can forgive his comments on bump fire stocks since the NRA gave a green light for President Trump on down to throw them under the bus. If he was willing to bear the slings and arrows of taking down Question 1 and also refused to suggest ill-relevant gun restrictions in his office’s report on school safety post-Parkland, we can trust him to protect our gun rights.
Adam Laxalt is our last chance to save Nevada from a California-style abyss. We will likely not have a conservative majority in the legislature, only a deeply contested slim Democrat majority. Laxalt’s veto is crucial to stop the insane gun bills that are certain to be floated by the leftists. Without Laxalt, the free-spirited independent Nevada we all love will die.
A Vote for Bundy is a Vote for Sisolak
I apologize for being dramatic; I don't mean to insult Mr. Bundy. His heart is in a good place and he's a decent, honorable man. But Ryan Bundy cannot win the election. Do not throw your vote away on him. The margin between Laxalt and Sisolak is razor thin. Well-intentioned voters making a protest vote for Bundy or indulging themselves in a fantasy may very well cost Republicans the election. Ryan Bundy would make an excellent representative in the Legislature, sadly his advisors are just as wrapped up in fantasy as Bundy's supporters.
I would really like to see Mr. Bundy in an office where he can do good and be an effective speaker for the marginalized and forgotten Nevadans. Nonetheless, in our political system Nevada cannot afford for the conservative vote to be split on a candidate with no chance of winning. Do not vote for Bundy; instead encourage him to run for other offices and urge Laxalt to take a strong stance against federal over-reach.
There is no endorsement for Lieutenant Governor. Republican is better than Democrat, however, despite whatever shenanigans might have gone on down behind the scenes in 2015 at the statehouse, Sen. Roberson was an absolute pitbull for the Second Amendment in 2017. If you were there for the SB 115 hearing (library gun-free zone bill), he demolished the sponsors. His support for Sandoval’s business tax really sucks though.
Wes Duncan is the only choice for Attorney General to replace Laxalt. Reader Tom spoke with him and Duncan clearly expressed his understanding and support of the Second Amendment.
Supreme Court: Seat C, Jerry Tao (NVFAC A rated); Seat G, Matthew Harter (Nevada Carry A rated)
From reader Tom: Elissa Cadish is a registered Democrat and very progressive anti-gunner. Cadish answered a question from the conservative group, Citizens for Responsible Government, during the 2008 campaign. The actual handwritten answer is posted at right. "I do not believe this is a constitutional right," Cadish wrote. "Thus, I believe that reasonable restrictions may be imposed on gun ownership in the interest of public safety. Of course, I will enforce the laws as they exist as a judge." Don't vote for Cadish.
US Senate and House: hold your nose, vote Republican. Heller, Amodei, Tarkanian, and Hardy are far better than any Democrat.
Solid conservative Stephen Sedlmeyer is running for the Assembly in District 3. A fan of hot peppers and a Navy vet, he is endorsed by the Nevada Firearms Coalition (NVFAC). He’s no carpetbagger.
Clark County needs Republicans on the county commission. For far too long, there has not been a single Republican. Democrats with a California mentality dominate local politics in the south.
Cindy Lake to replace Democrat James Gibson for District G (Green Valley, Henderson, eastern Paradise). Feisty, intelligent, and definitely not tied up in controversial contracts, she will be a breath of fresh air on the commission. This NVFAC member and A rated candidate is our only real chance to get an actual conservative on the commission.
Tisha Black for District F (that’s the far west—Summerlin) is…well…as reader Tom said in his primary guide: “Word is she is a liberal masquerading as a Republican. She is supported by numerous Democrats and she has supported Democrats in the past, including Catherine Cortez Masto.” She did not return the NVFAC firearm survey.
Want to reform the “shall deny” system of campus carry permits? The only hope is electing non-biased regents to govern the state university system. Jo Cato for University Regent District 1 is a NVFAC A-rated candidate. District 1 is basically North Las Vegas.
Check Reader Tom's voter guide for more races.
Question 5; automatic voter registratio
Question 5, automatic voter registration via the DMV (aka "motor voter) is what is responsible for countless illegal immigrants and other non-citizens being signed up to vote in California. If Question 5 passes and anyone who gets a driver license (which illegals can get—thanks Gov. Sandoval!) will be registered to vote. This is a highway to voter fraud and pumping the rolls full of Democrat-voting third-worlders who will destroy America as we know her. Vote no on Question 5 or kiss freedom goodbye.
To all other candidates, sorry that we were unable to cover you. I only have the time to cover the high points and friends, so please don't take it personally if you weren't mentioned.
Why doesn't Nevada have it's own Electoral College?
It's well known that dense cities sway the vote towards Democrats. That's where liberals and third-world immigrants tend to live. Conservatives live in less-populous areas and tend not to have the same political power as cities. I guess leftism spreads like a disease in close quarters...
Anyhow, the cure for large populations dominating minority populations was in the Founding Father's creation of the Senate to counter-balance the population driven House. In the Senate, each state had an equal vote. Many states were setup with a similar system; the lower house (Assembly) was apportioned by population, giving power to large, urban areas, but balanced by each county having a senator.
This was challenged in the 1960s in the landmark case Reynold v. Sims. Los Angeles in particular was one example that complained a rural senator could outweigh six million citizens. In Nevada, the ratio was as much as 568 to 127,000. This was the point; to avoid mobocracy and modeled after the federal system. There was nothing inherently wrong with the system except that the powerful in the cities were not getting their way.
The controversial Warren Court decided "one person, one vote" and ended the balance of power in the states. Many of the Warren Court's actions have been panned as a gross abuse of power, despite many ultimately good decisions. Reynold v. Sims was the beginning of the downhill slide giving liberals power in California and many states across the nation as the rural conservative "checks" were eliminated.
So unless Nevada wanted to buck case law and dare someone to enforce the decision, Nevada cannot stop the demographic tyranny of Clark County.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Early voting begins Saturday, Oct. 20.
Nevada Carry is an individual effort and is not a political or other organization. No funding has been accepted for this ad and is not the work of any candidate. This is personal opinion only.
Mr. Bundy, will you please endorse Adam Laxalt for governor and marshal your forces to ensure the defeat of Steve Sisolak?
We need a man who can and will hold the government accountable. The governor does not have that latitude. He must be a leader and a manager, careful to offend no one and befriend everyone. Liberty is not increased by cutting ribbons and kissing babies. Can a man fight when he is torn in every direction, pulling him away from his mission?
You have assumed the mantle of patriarch of the Liberty Movement, to lead and guide the Silver State, unfettered by the demands of office, but focused on one thing; freedom. Surely you have seen the Lord’s hand guiding you from childhood, training you, and shaping your destiny. Be the leader Nevada needs who is free to vote and follow his conscience; one who wears the flexibility of honor, not the handcuffs of office.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will die under the boots of tyrants if we do not put good men in the right places to fight for us. Our government is no longer for or by the people. Our God given rights have been trampled and mocked. Men and women in high places plot ways to steal what we have left. Where is the man who will stand among them and point out their transgressions?
Where might a man do the most good? We need a moral and religious man in a body that is sadly lacking them. The Legislature will not listen to even the most passionate pleas of the governor--
the voice of their conscience must come from among them. In the tumultuous times ahead, the power of survival of good, liberty-loving people is in the Legislature, for it is in the people’s branch that the hope for freedom lives.
A politician governs and is a slave to the rules and beliefs of others. A patriarch guides his family forward, his only master honor, truth, and justice. Be the voice of liberty among the assembly.
It would be a great tragedy if your well-meaning voters gave Steve Sisolak a narrow victory, something that you surely do not want. We cannot afford to have that man in office; Nevada will wither away just as she gets her second wind. Will you please endorse Adam Laxalt and focus your commendable efforts on becoming the Liberty Movement’s Patriarch to the Assembly in 2020?
Clark County School District has been having a rash of gun incidents lately. At Canyon Springs High School, a 16 year old shot another student near the ball fields. One student brought a BB gun to school. A 9 year old brought an unloaded gun to class. In the 1980s, gun incidents resulted in banning campus carry; not just the intended criminal charges for gun-toting gangbangers.
Such a "simple" legislative solution like a California style gun ban appears on the horizon.
For these younger kids that take guns to school, there is a simple solution that does not involve the DA trying to press child endangerment charges. NRS 202.300 adequately covers a 9 year old grabbing an unsecured handgun. Of course child endangerment is a felony, which means that DA Wolfson can take away the 9 year old's parent's guns.
A 9 year old should be better educated not to play with guns the same way most children are taught to run away from strangers. As one instructor said to me; "Why don't we hear about children catching on fire?" That's because children are taught that fire is dangerous and to stay away with it. If STOP-DROP-AND ROLL can be taught to kids, why can't we do the same thing with guns?
The NRA has just such a program. The problem is that schools don't teach it and so-called "gun safety" organizations don't teach actual gun safety either. Using NRA material in class would probably be a fire-able offense for even a tenured teacher. In my days in law enforcement, we had boxes of unused Eddie Eagle material sitting in the storage room of the police station.
If children are taught to leave guns alone, run away, and tell an adult, many of these tragedies would be averted. Schools can't control bad parents who leave guns lying around, but they can at least try–and have a duty–to teach kids a mental fail-safe. It's not as if they don't step in to parental territory already; sex ed is a prime example.
The one real measure that the school board is blind to is actual gun safety education for young kids. No more students dying at home playing with guns and no more unauthorized show-and-tell out of a backpack. And just maybe, if they get serious about educating kids about basic gun safety.
The problem of violent teens is a cultural one that education will not solve. The black community is the main source of the problem; a group that is bereft of good parenting and glorifies the ghetto and gangster lifestyle. Discipline at home, quality role models, and a community-wide rejection of violence is the only way to solve this problem. I'm not sure schools can teach morality.
Did you know that Nevada has its own gun-free micronation? That's right, one-acre of the Dayton Valley is the gun-free and independent Molossia, the creation of President Kevin Baugh. The video explains it better than I can.
I took a trip there and documented my findings, but could not clear customs so I didn't try to enter (and I don't smoke weed so you guess why).
Under "Customs Regulations", "Firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs and tobacco are all prohibited."
I did some research to see if this was just because drugs are illegal and Baugh is a non-smoker, but apparently the Republic of Molossia is a progressive republic and progressives see guns as bad. Sorta like California, except Baugh doesn't take himself as seriously as California takes itself.
The reason I don't think the gun-free zone is just a sensible anti-assassination precaution because Molossia's April 2018 newsletter praised the March for Our Lives rally in Reno, which the Baugh's attended in support.
Readers are reminded not to attempt an invasion of Molossia because the President may very well hypocritically own firearms for his defense like Nancy Pelosi has armed bodyguards and also as Nevada does not recognize Molossia's independance, the Storey County sheriff will kick your ass.
A Las Vegas resident was detained by LVMPD Friday Sept. 14 while he was wearing a plate carrier (chest rig vest), his Glock, and an extra magazine. Per the citizen, YouTube username Pizzazz Picasso, stated he was detained and handcuffed. The citizen has not (as of yet) explained why he was out on the street with a plate carrier and a GoPro camera. Disclaimer: we do not have the full video, we do not have the bodycam video, and we do not have the 911 call and radio traffic.
There are two issues here:
Wearing a plate carrier in public will generate negative attention; something that any reasonably intelligent person should expect. Wearing a plate carrier in public is more than likely done deliberately to get attention from the public or the police. Because of today’s sad state of affairs, the average person is likely to think there is something dangerous or illegal afoot when they see someone wearing tactical gear for apparently no reason.
One’s belief of what is constitutionally permissible or what “should” be considered un-alarming by society does mean everyone else thinks the same way. The ideal is not reality. People tend to take away negative experiences more than they do positive ones. The discreet open carry in the grocery store that they probably didn’t even notice won’t stick in their memory as much as a guy on a street corner in a “flak jacket” arguing with a cop.
Open carry as a reasonable, normal, everyday practice is harmed when people tote rifles or wear unnecessary tactical kit and then become indignant when the police respond. People ignorant about the Second Amendment and open carry do not understand what we gun folks intrinsically understand. We might regard a plate carrier as “different strokes,” like wearing a kilt, but they see it as highly usual and an indication of danger.
If there is no reason to do it, don’t do it. Elsewhere I have discussed a similar issue of long-gun open carry protests and the problems they present. That being said, it does not excuse LVMPD from rising to the take the bait and illegally detaining someone.
Open carry is not a reason to be detained, even if it is weird or appears unethical. A call of a man wearing a plate carrier alone is not reasonable suspicion for a detention; perhaps the caller exaggerated Will's behavior. If the caller claimed Will was brandishing, police would have additional grounds, though wisely taken with a grain of salt, to effect a brief detention to establish if there is a crime.
We have to realize that the average person's opinion is the legal standard; not that of a well-informed cop or regular open carrier. Officers are obligated by most departments to contact the suspicious individual. Officers and departments must stop treating open carriers as suspicious persons without additional justification.
Ideally, if the caller is honest that the person is not doing anything dangerous or obviously illegal, the dispatcher should not put in a call for service and educate the citizen. Here’s how a citizen contact should go:
Officer: “Uh hi, we got a call. What’s going on?”
Citizen: “I’m just openly carrying and exercising my rights.”
Officer: “Okay cool. Take care.”
Citizen: “Thanks, have a nice day.”
Of course, if the cops roll up and you can immediately tell you’re going to get a ride up and down the justice shaft, it’s probably a good idea at that point to just shut up and think of your lawyer’s phone number.
Using the above cooperative model, the police did its due diligence and no one’s rights or feelings were hurt, except the ignorant citizen who called police. A really dangerous person would start running away or shooting at the police; they would not be compliant and talk about their rights.
The more you talk and the more you go round and round with the police, the more you appear like a troublemaker and the less like a freedom-loving citizen. Cops will not respect you for running your mouth making excuses, “explaining” things to them, or trying to argue. Trying to litigate your case on the street is something that criminals do and an officer will regard you with the same low opinion.
If you are doing nothing wrong and not provoking authorities, you will get more respect from police and better respect for your rights if you use them. These “confrontations” continue because we allow them, first by provoking them, then by sticking around and arguing them out. The Hiibel decision came about because Mr. Hiibel refused to “identify himself.” As a result, in Nevada all one has to do when detained by police is give their name, not an ID card. All Nevada officers should be aware of the Hiibel case.
By not jaw-jacking with officers, this already waste of time call becomes a bigger waste of their time. If all they get is “I’m exercising my rights by openly carrying,” and at most, a name, they will eventually be conditioned into that response in the future. You will not change the officer’s mind or his opinion of you by telling him how “badass” cops are, how you vote, or how much you secretly want them to like you.
Things like unnecessary tactical kit and long-gun carry are bad ambassadorship to the rest of the public. Even if it isn't actually trolling the police, that is what many see these instances as. Open carriers are portrayed poorly because there was no need to tote that rifle or wear that vest. An argumentative person decked out with tactical gear arguing that it's his right doesn't make a sympathetic character. We all remember Rosa Parks, not some angry teenage boy who yelled at the bus driver.
Las Vegas’ own KNPR featured concealed carry on the Friday Sept. 7th edition of “State of Nevada.” Guests included CCW instructor Maggie Mordaunt, Nevada conservative and NRA Membership Committee board member Niger Innis, and author Craig Collins. Collins was the anti-gun Fudd, author of Thunder in the Mountains: a memoir subtitled “A Portrait of American Gun Culture.”
At 13 years old, Collins was injured in a shooting accident where he shot himself in the foot after an negligent discharge. Collins shares hallmarks with emotional hoplopaths who have experienced a gun tragedy. He shot himself and had a harrowing journey to the hospital. His research has been centered around examining gun accidents. He has the intelligence and ability to think rationally about guns, but the emotional aspect prevents him from using those tools to come to the correct conclusions. His experiences and his coping mechanisms force him to come to an assumption that he already wants to believe.
In his interview, Collins simply gets guns all wrong. Listening to him was nearly intolerable because everything he said was incorrect or warped. Very little of what he said stands up to scrutiny. Collins denied that he is anti-gun, rather “I am anti-150k gun casualties in the United States,” and believes that it is more likely for someone to be harmed in violence, suicide, or an accident with a gun than use one positively in self-defense. He is completely wrong.
The CDC statistics on death and injuries are frequently used to showcase gun deaths and injuries. The WISQARS database records 14,415 gun homicides and 22,938 suicides in 2016 and 88,702 gun injuries from assaults and 4,357 injuries from self-harm (i.e. suicide attempt, negligence). That's a little over 100,000 criminal gun uses resulting in death or injury a year and 130,000 or so total “bad things from guns” in 2016.
Even with the most conservative estimate of defensive gun uses (in the 100,000 range), bad things with guns are generally a wash compared to saving lives and stopping crimes. But recently the expert in defensive gun use estimates Gary Kleck confirmed that there are at least one million defensive gun uses annually, perhaps as many as 2.4 million. Most defensive gun uses never result in a shot being fired. [source]
Collins no longer owns a gun, implying it is because hunting is poor in his now-home of San Diego, but as a Fudd, he might own a rifle or shotgun if he lived elsewhere. “I just don’t think that [handguns] are really great defense systems. They're cumbersome, they're dangerous and if you really want to protect your home the best thing to do is get a dog.” What an awkward way of saying he doesn’t believe in private handgun ownership.
Collins seemed to be a wealth of ignorance, misinformation, and propaganda, discounting the usefulness of handguns for self-defense. “These guns that they're making for concealed carry are actually quite dangerous. They smaller...not much bigger than a credit card...these are 9mm guns and they'll kill you just as dead as any other gun.” He complained about subcompact pistols with “hair-triggers” being put in pockets and purses. Purse and pocket carry is a bad idea, but nothing will insulate the world from ignorance and stupidity.
He sends a mixed message on the design or the user being the problem of the gun. Most production firearms, especially the subcompact concealed market, do not have “hair-triggers,” but factory triggers of around 4-5lb weight. This is totally standard. Collins is clearly complaining about striker fired guns, which, if handled negligently, as he handled his rifle, can be fired more easily than a long, heavy double-action trigger.
Collins might be a fan of NYPD weight Glock triggers, as he blamed LA County Sheriff's negligent discharge problem on striker fired guns. This totally ignores the training problems that led NYPD to adopt the heavy triggers (officers accustomed to placing their finger on revolver triggers couldn't unlearn that habit after the switch to Glock).
Frankly, there are vastly more deaths and injuries from bad drivers than there are firearm accidents. Collins' statements on women carrying guns in their purses borders on misogyny; a common anti-gun argument is that women are not safe with firearms.
Much of Collins work focuses on firearms accidents and irresponsible gun use, forming a large portion of his book (I have not read it). In researching his book, Collins said that he learned the “wild” West was extraordinarily violent. Statistically, it was, but not so much in reality as one journalist debunks:
The homicide rate was high in these towns because the population was very small. Even one murder in a town with only a few dozen residents leads to a high homicide rate. These towns were violent, but not nearly as violent as some imagine.
The notorious town of Bodie, California, had an astronomical homicide rate far in excess of even today’s Chicago; however, the town only had 29 killings in a five-year period. Chicago had 2,562 in the past five years. A small population inflates the ratio of homicides, but does not adequately represent the risk to the public nor the nature of the killings. A bare number cannot tell the story of why men killed.
Many frontier killings were done in the heat of passion among persons known to each other, usually in bars or disputes over gambling—there was little risk of today’s random violence. I wrote a little more about this in a post on the history of concealed weapon laws. We can’t look at homicide rates outside of context or extrapolate facts from the past that are no longer applicable to modern America. Using Old West violence as an influence on modern gun control is like studying wagon accidents to reduce traffic deaths.
The fact that rough, single men, usually intoxicated and surrounded by a frontier society that was permissive to violence generally goes ignored by the lightweight gun control authors, much like minority violence is ignored today. Collins complained to the San Diego Union-Tribune that the CDC doesn't track “who’s doing the shooting.” It's probably good (for hoplopaths) that they don’t because blacks, at 12-14% of the US population, disproportionately commit the majority of murders in the country.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of all homicides committed between 1980 and 2008, 47.4 percent of the victims were black while 52.5 percent of all offenders were black. Of all felony murders during the same time period, blacks accounted for 44.1 percent of those murdered while accounting for 59.9 percent of the offenders. Blacks accounted for 56.9 percent of all gun homicides. [Source]
We know who commits the murders/suicides and we know why. Families weakened by welfare—where the state replaces the need for traditional family ties—results in poor parenting, absent fathers, and gangs substituting for intimate relationships while drugs are used as an escape. Mass shootings have pointed to a general breakdown in civility between people and a huge crisis in mental health care. Vast economic changes have altered rural America, leading to the suicide spike for white men in those areas.
Addressing the murder/suicide causes requires an uncomfortable discussion about the causes that we can no longer have in America. It is an inhumane disserve, and indeed racist (in the case of minorities) to ignore root causes of violence and let it go on unchecked because speaking the truth is distressing. The only way to solve a problem is to openly admit its cause. We cannot, as Collins did, misrepresent fact and abuse logic to blame inanimate objects for human factors. Firearms are far more a tool for good than for evil or misfortune.
 Kessler, Glenn. “Rick Santorum’s misguided view of gun control in the Wild West.” Washington Post. April 29, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/04/29/rick-santorums-misguided-view-of-gun-control-in-the-wild-west/
We all probably know someone in our lives that is an emotional thinker. How they “feel” is more important than facts. Critical thinking is subordinate to emotions in these people. Decisions are often made in a way that resolves internal, emotional conflicts by deflecting the pain. There are two main types of emotional hoplopaths; the traumatized and the irrational. The traumatized exhibit psychological damage, locking their reasoning up. The irrational have little or no ability (or desire) to think critically. Both are often guilty of ignoring evidence that contradicts their beliefs.
These emotional thinkers are not able to properly deal with their emotions. Those of lower intelligence will react impulsively, often out of anger or overwhelming sadness. These irrational individuals cannot use reason to reconcile how they feel with how they interact with guns. Traumatized and higher intelligence persons use perverted logic to come to a false conclusion; that is a negligent discharge was not caused by the shooter, but because the gun was faulty.
The average emotionally driven person will engage in activism to resolve inner feelings on guns and violence. “If I go to this anti-gun rally, it will make me feel better when I think about gun violence.” That’s a choice that isn’t made with much thought; the decision to join the cause is made reflexively as the unconscious motion to scratch an itch. Emotion calls for an action that will resolve the internal conflict; not necessarily solve the problem.
The emotional hoplopath’s dislike of guns can be emotional, based on personal experience or simply opinion. It can also be based out of ignorance (again, there is always considerable overlap), such as they have no experience with guns and are conscious largely only on the negative aspects of firearms. They have “knowledge” of firearms that is not a constructive or especially factual knowledge, but based on their experiences, direct or inferred. These would be the folks horrified by media reports of gun crimes.
An emotional hoplophobe may have experienced tragedy involving guns or may have been traumatized at a young age. The emotional generally have been so conditioned by living in, for instance, a violent, gang infested neighborhood, that their perception has been entirely altered. Some have undergone mental changes due to the effects serious psychological trauma. The thought skills to rationally think about guns are there, but the emotional aspect prevents them from using those tools. The conditioning aspect of constant exposure to negativity is difficult to overcome from without and least likely to be altered by positive reinforcement.
The emotional aversion usually results in hate and activism, while ignorance typically is limited to only expressing one’s opinion. Lacking awareness of their own emotions or the control that emotion has is another major difference between ignorance and emotional aversions. Emotional types are rather like egocentric individuals trying to be introspective; thoughts critical to their established beliefs make them uncomfortable, so deep thought is avoided.
An example is a man who lost his son in a gang murder; rather than blame his son’s membership in a gang, blames easy access to guns. Personal responsibility for violence (or avoiding it) causes an intense conflict when the person or a loved one is to blame, or at least contributed, for the trauma. No one wants to be at fault for their problems, nor do they wish to besmirch the memory of a loved one. Trying to ban guns is an easier task (and requires less painful emotional introspection) than addressing the root causes of crime. Admitting that someone had a drug, temper, or gang problem requires an acceptance of personal blame that must be avoided to preserve the person’s ego.
Likewise, blaming an individual group for its contribution to violence is also unacceptable to many. African-Americans are statistically the most homicidal race in America and account for the majority of violence. Poverty, gangs, and drugs are endemic among lower-class blacks and all contribute to crime and victimization in that community. Yet admitting that the black community has a problem with those things is a de facto accusation against the community. Though it is true that drug abuse and gang violence is out of control in black America, anyone who points out that factor is labeled a racist. Instead of trying to eliminate the roots of black drug use, poverty, and gang membership, it is more politically correct for lawmakers to target guns in the quest for ending inner city violence.
Lawmakers look at problems and provide a solution using the tools at their disposal; legislation. Often, the actual solution is beyond the control of a legislator. They cannot control how aggressively police and prosecutors combat crime using the laws at their disposal. They cannot control social factors that influence the individual’s decision to engage in criminal behavior. But by writing a law, effective or not, it satisfies their emotional drive to “do something.” It is the classic problem of “when the your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” When the new law proves effective, another one is called for, promising to be the next cure.
To change emotional thinking, we have to identify the thought processes that lead to the emotional decision. Identification of what’s really going on inside the mind allows for the formulation of effective strategies to challenge the emotional thought process. For instance, someone who based their opinion on gang murders from the evening news may have their mind changed by regularly seeing stories about successful defensive gun uses and the positive aspects of the shooting sports.
Think of a prisoner raised from birth in solitary confinement. Every time the door opens, he is blinded by daylight, kicked, and sprayed with a hose. If light brings with it pain and humiliation--the prisoner having no concept of the joys of the outside world--can we blame him for hating light? All of us (perhaps even ourselves) had an emotionally based opinion changed by being exposed to the balance of an issue that we were missing.
This interruption in emotional thinking will not take place if one is never exposed to opposing viewpoints or the positive aspects of a negative subject. Additionally, if one deliberately ignores the other side and/or mentally blocks its effect, there will be no interruption. Imagine the prisoner ignoring the cries of his cellmates to look out the door at the beautiful world outside. The emotionally bound thinkers consciously or unconsciously choose to keep information contrary to their emotional conclusion from their thought process.
Why some are like this, I don’t know. The best quote on the topic comes from Robert A. Heinlein: “Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion--in the long run these are the only people who count…” However, there is a fraction of emotional hoplopaths that are beyond our reach.
The hoplophobe is ignorant of guns and afraid is therefore afraid of them; whether this results in hoplopathy is dependent on the individual.
An example of a hoplophobe would be a New Yorker who, back home, is verbally aggressive when someone is rude or inconsiderate. Westerns tend to be slightly more quiet, reserved, and non-confrontational. This New Yorker is afraid to vocalize her frustrations (yell at people) because “you all have guns out here and I’m afraid someone will pull one out and shoot me.” This isn’t true, however, she combines her experience of a more aggressive culture with the armed culture of western America and imagines that we would respond as one might have in the days of the bygone Wild West.
Most hoplophobes are ignorant persons who never actually manifest their ignorance and fear as hatred of guns. Where the transition from simple ignorance, hoplophobia, to hoplopathy lies would be if the New Yorker joined an gun control group and did more than just vote and express her opinion privately. The second chief difference between -phobia and -pathy is what actions one takes.
The ignorant have no depth of knowledge to draw from or lack the mental tools to think critically. Those with limited access to information are the people who pro-gun thoughts never occur to because there is no exposure to other ways of thinking or information. Their store of gun knowledge is either empty or filled with useless junk. The first group have a deficit of correct information and the second are those who also lack an ability to retain and process information. These latter group simply are not intelligent and make their minds up based on what others tell them; in other words, stupid people.
A limited frame of reference prevents new information from challenging assumptions. This can be a personal choice of excluding information outlets or until recently, no alternative sources. The structure of pre-Internet media is a perfect example of this. Nightly reports of drive-by shootings, school massacres, and politicians and “experts” explaining how guns are dangerous creates a unified wall of opinion and negative reinforcement. Groups like the NRA were generally treated as “fringe” by the media and society for most of our lives.
Those who are informed and thus influenced by the media are like the winds and tides; powerful because they have mass, yet they do not control their own direction are at the mercy of far more powerful forces. The sheep that get their news without thought and have their opinion shaped by the mainstream media can literally be described as changing their politics with the tide. This ignorance breeds aversion because years of negative reinforcement is unbalanced by anything positive.
However, the ignorant who lack informed knowledge (vs. the stupid) can be converted to pro-gun positions the most easily. Many have uninformed knowledge based on the media, but personal exposure to gun owners or experiencing a life-changing event can lead them to viewing guns as defensive tools, not makers of mayhem. Thankfully, many can be redeemed in today’s information society. Examples abound of those who grew up in the suburban areas of anti-gun states becoming ardent Second Amendment supporters simply because they were exposed to new knowledge. These converts are very rarely emotional thinkers.
Since the 1990s, we have seen the destruction of the mass media narrative and the erosion of the monolith that much of the public would not question. Factual information about guns and gun violence was limited to specialist publications that the disinterested would not take the time to buy or seek out. Alternative news sites, blogs, and the sharing of ideas and discussions that social media has facilitated made it much easier for an average person to have access to contrary viewpoints. As a result, in the last twenty years there has been a dramatic shift in public opinion against gun control.
The other division are the stupid; those that Heinlein would define as “can’t think.” The reasons could be many; low intelligence, poor education, no interest in all but base pleasures and necessary work, or disinterest in anything even slightly intellectual. Those who might care rely on those in authority to do the thinking for them. They have been told by the news, a politician, a clergyman, or a respected relative that guns are bad or had bad experiences themselves. No mental structure exists for processing contrary information and weighing out which is more likely to be correct. To be cynical, this is the block that if they are involved in gun control at all, it is as mere votes, cheap labor (signatures or demonstrators), or human props.
The main difference between the first two groups and the antagonistic is that the former two generally don’t know any better or simply do not possess the ability or access to information to think critically about the topic.
To be continued...