Monday, June 10, 2013

What Else Does He Need to Know?

Just before I left for Orange County, I saw news broke of yet another mass shooting. And once the plane touched down in Long Beach, it didn't take long for me to see even more details on what had just occurred. No one expected Santa Monica College to become the backdrop for the next horrific American massacre.

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Five people died in the attack, and many more were injured. Here is just one of the many tragic stories from Friday's massacre.

We now know the suspected shooter was heavily armed. And he used an AR-15 semi-automatic assault weapon. Even though California banned civilian possession and use of this weapon long ago, the suspected shooter nonetheless found a way to obtain it.

So what happened? He likely purchased an AR-15 originally from out of state. This is far from uncommon, as we've discussed here before. We know Christopher Dorner frequented Lock N' Load in Henderson before embarking on his Southern California shooting rampage.

Because it's so easy to access dangerous weapons in Nevada, dangerous criminals go to Nevada (and to other states with lax gun laws) to find the weapons they want.

Against this backdrop, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) holds the fate of the most basic gun safety reform (expanded background checks for gun purchases) in his hands. During the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature, State Senator Justin Jones (D-Enterprise) pulled an amazing feat in finding just enough of his colleagues to pass SB 221. When was the last time the Legislature passed a bill the NRA pushed against?

But now, Governor Sandoval is threatening to veto this simple, common sense bill. Is the NRA's seal of approval actually that important? Is it more important than saving lives?

We don't know yet where the AR-15 used in the Santa Monica Massacre was purchased. We do, however, know that many criminals go to Nevada to access dangerous weapons used in crimes committed in Nevada, in California, and elsewhere. What else does Governor Sandoval need to know?

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