Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Final Say

So it finally happened yesterday. The first signatures were recorded for the The Background Check Initiative. State Senator Justin Jones (D-Enterprise), Victory Baptist Church Pastor Robert E. Fowler, Former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, and Safe Nest Community Relations Director Lisa Lynn Chapman were the very first Nevadans to sign at Victory Baptist Church in Las Vegas. And they'll be far from the last.

Nevadans for Background Checks must collect at least 101,667 signatures by November 11. This means they must collect at least 25,416 signatures from each of Nevada's Congressional Districts by November 11. That's one tall order.

However, that's an order they're confident they can fill. And why's that? Check the poll numbers. Well over 80% of Americans (and Nevadans) support expanding background checks for gun purchases. And for the first time ever, gun violence was one of the top concerns for American parents in the University of Michigan's national poll on children's health.

Of course, the actual campaign going forward may not be as easy as those national poll numbers suggest. After all, we know the NRA will do anything to stop even modest gun safety reform (and spend plenty of money while doing it). Despite the NRA's own history of supporting gun safety reform legislation in the past, it now even fights against expanding background checks.

Already, Senator Jones' Republican opponent is trying to have it both ways on gun violence. While she claims she "hasn't made up her mind yet" on The Background Checks Initiative, she stridently opposed SB 221 (last year's bill on which the new initiative is based) because she wanted to argue over the definition of "transfer". Apparently, she hasn't read the initiative. And apparently, neither she nor her political mentor will admit that someone who's planning to use firearms for nefarious purposes does not "volunteer" for background checks.

So it's finally happening. The Background Checks Initiative is moving forward. Signatures are now being gathered. And despite the best efforts of the usual G-O-TEA suspects to obfuscate and delay this matter to death, the people of Nevada are about to have the final say on this matter.

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