While the nation demands specific action, many NRA supported politicians or potentially targeted by the NRA politicians continue with offering thoughts and prayers to weapons violence victims and read their cue cards with obviously feigned sincerity “We hear you”. They call for “sensible” gun controls and claim to want to find a “common ground” for legislative action. For the last two decades not one of them has declared as to what is sensible and where the common ground is to be found.
A group of high school students whose friends and colleges where among the victims of the Parkland Florida massacre, organized the “March for our Lives” and are receiving national attention of unprecedented proportions. Millions participated in the “March for our Lives”, not only in every city in the United States, but around the globe. On Saturday March 24, 2018, an estimated crowd of 1200 demonstrator gathered at the Smith Center and marched to the Las Vegas city hall. While most Nevada politicians did not attend or participated by keeping a low profile, we did note that Dina Titus (Congresswoman-CD1) made a brief appearance along with Nevada State Senator Aaron Ford but did not speak at the rally. We did meet Michael Weiss a Democratic Congressional Candidate for District 3 who offered his support and detailed his stance on weapons control by explaining what he means by “sensible” weapons controls.
A vocal religious group was also on hand and joined in with loudspeakers supporting the demonstrators’ demand for action.
The call for political action was expressed by the demonstrators and we noted many signs calling for changes in who we elect to political office. The marchers also expressed their outrage and contempt for elected officials that continue to do nothing, with chants of “Vote them Out”.
We noted the crowd to be mostly elderly citizens and the demographics of all the marches across the country also indicated that the average age of the participants to be around 50. Seventy percent were female and 75% were college educated.
We asked some twenty-five of the marchers as to what aspects of weapon controls they want the legislators to enact. We were not surprised that most wanted to have sensible weapon control laws, but when we asked for more specific controls the majority (19/25) favored assault weapon bans and agreed that semi-automatic weapons are assault weapons. The following aspects of weapons controls were also specifically targeted for legislative action by lawmakers by most of the marchers and these include:
- Require permits and background checks for all weapons purchase transactions (private or by dealers).
- Require registration of all weapons in a federal data base accessible to all law enforcement authorities.
- Require permits and background checks for all ammunition purchase and registration of the purchase transaction in a federal database.
- Vetting of all weapons purchasers by mental health authorities before taking possession of weapons.
- Vetting and clearance by local police departments of all weapons purchasers before taking possession of weapons.
- Ban on all semi-automatic weapons.
- Ban on all semi and/or automatic magazines.
- Require liability insurance coverage for all weapons owners.
A minority (4/25) also favored the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is a strange proposition in that is establishes the right to bear arms to violently overthrow the federal government if deemed necessary. The scenario that calls for a violent overthrow of the federal government has only been attempted once and that was over 150 years ago. A violent and armed overthrow of our federal government in our time even by a heavily armed (AR-15) militia is absurd. So, if not for the overthrow of the federal government, then what purpose does this nonsense of a constitutional amendment serve? Some weapons enthusiasts claim that the 2nd Amendment is a God given right. It should therefore remain a God given right and not a right given by the state. We therefore should call for the immediate repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
A second question posed to the 25 surveyed participants was about how they would “vote them out” and who they would vote into office for support of their call for a safer America. None of the respondents could identify an elected official or a candidate at the federal or the state level that supports any specific weapons control legislation. Marco Rubio an NRA man fully paid for and has therefore done absolutely nothing to make “America Safe Again”. Rubio is a sitting US Senator for the state of Florida which has witnessed some of the more tragic AR-15 massacres. Rubio has always called for “sensible” weapons control, which resulted in nothing but voicing opposition to any weapons control legislation. Rubio however continues to maintain a stance calling for ‘sensible’ weapons controls and is looking for a common ground to pursue such measures. Our prayers and thoughts will not be with this totally ingenious buffoon and lacky of the NRA when he is “voted out”.
The movement hailed as one that will make a difference in making “America Safe Again”, may again fail in the end, not because we haven’t been paying attention, but because we have not been able to make our politicians pay attention. For the most part they expect us to vote for them no matter that they will do nothing. A brief comment about how they favor “sensible” gun control continues to be an insult to those that know that it means absolutely nothing. Keep watching this space and find out how our own Nevada politicians are perhaps changing their stance on weapons control or not. Hopefully when we go to the polls we shall know them by what they have done and said. We also need some good people to run (for political office) for our lives.