Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Will #NVLeg Consider Common-sense Gun Safety?

Last weekend, there was (again) talk of bringing guns onto school campuses. So far, it looks like that bill may end up with the same fate as the one introduced in 2011. Now with that being said, is there any chance of reasonable gun safety being discussed in the Nevada Legislature next session? Believe it or not, one legislator is putting this to the test.

“I think the expansion of gun rights has reached its apogee,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I look forward to spending the next decade trying to limit weapons of mass destruction.”

Segerblom said he “supports reasonable restrictions on handguns and assault weapons and concealed weapons.” [...]

“With Nevada’s history with hunting and ranching, there’s a legitimate use for guns. And we also have one of the most expansive concealed weapons laws in the country,” he said. “But we’ve become increasingly urbanized. We have to recognize there’s no reason to have assault weapons and concealed weapons on campuses.”

So what can be done? On one hand, the Nevada Constitution actually enshrines the individual right to keep and bear arms. However, it does not specifically enshrine the right to assault weapons, unlimited magazine capacity, and/or exceptionally easy concealed carry permits.

So there may be some middle ground here. Hardly anyone really wants to take everyone's guns away. And let's face it, that will likely never happen here in Nevada or nationwide.

But really, what's the point of civilians owning very high-powered assault weapons that were originally meant for military use? And what's the point of such high magazine capacity? And what's the point of allowing guns just about anywhere and everywhere?

Sure, there's a time and a place for people to use guns for things like hunting and recreational shooting in designated areas. And standard concealed carry permits probably won't even be going away any time soon. But really, isn't now the time to consider the ramifications of allowing everywhere to become an armed battlefield?

Oh, and there's been yet another shooting this morning. Apparently, five people died in a murder-suicide in Longview, Colorado. And sadly, this probably won't even be the end of it.

So last year, there was a mass shooting right there in Carson City, in an IHOP less than 3 miles from the Legislature building. And on Friday, there was a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip just hours after the Newtown massacre. Do we reallt want a society where we must constantly fear for our lives because everywhere is an armed battlefield? That's what we must ask ourselves. And that's especially what legislators must ask each other next spring.

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