Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will Nevada Act on Gun Safety?

Just today, there's been yet another school shooting. This time, at least 2 people have been shot in a high school in Taft, California (near Bakersfield).

At least two people were shot at Taft Union High School in Kern County on Thursday morning and the suspected shooter has been taken into custody, according to local media reports.

23ABC News in Bakersfield said that the incident happened about 9 a.m. and that the suspect was taken into custody about 20 minutes later.

The television station said it received phone calls from people hiding in closets inside the school, which was being evacuated and searched.

This is happening just after the 2 year anniversary of the Tucson shooting, and less than a month after the Newtown shooting. So the beat goes on. And even more people are dying.

Going back to Newtown, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) delivered his State of the State Address. And in that address, he demanded gun safety reform. He reiterated this message earlier today on MSNBC.

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The White House is wasting no time in actually responding to the demands of Governor Malloy and other gun safety advocates who want to see real federal action.

At a brief appearance Thursday ahead of his day of meetings with gun rights advocates, [Vice President Joe] Biden previewed what those recommendations might be, saying he has had “a lot of discussion” about closing the so-called “gun show loophole” and saying “I’ve never heard so much talk about high-capacity magazines” as he has during the meetings of his task force.

Biden went beyond the gun show loophole, saying he had heard a lot about “universal background checks during private sales.” Should that and the magazine ban make it into a final White House package, expect both to garner serious opposition from gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

Biden also said he’s held discussions on “the whole question of the ability of any federal agency to do any research on the issue of gun violence.” According to the White House pool report of the appearance, Biden “compared the current limits on federal data gathering with the 1970s restrictions on federal research over the cause of traffic fatalities” and said here was a need to gather information on ‘what kind of weapons are used most to kill people’ and ‘what kind of weapons are trafficked weapons.’”

Yet while the federal government and various other state governments are having a meaningful conversation on smart gun safety reform, some here in Nevada want to continue stifling that conversation here. In fact, the NRA will be hosting a(n) infomercial "seminar" to brainwash "educate" state legislators on the joys of semiautomatic weapons. And there's been a strong push by the above mentioned gun lobby to silence pretty much any talk of considering the gun safety legislation that Senator Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) will be introducing this session.

This is yet another challenge Nevada faces as the next legislative session will soon begin. It's not as if Nevada is immune to mass shootings. Do we want more out-of-control gun violence happening here?

Perhaps we will see a breakthrough in Congress on comprehensive gun safety reform. But in the mean time, action is needed here in Nevada. Will there be enough brave souls in Carson City to act?

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