ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, AND THE CORRECT DECISION
By James Turnage:
State assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, proposed a discussion banning ownership of assault rifles in Nevada this week. Mr. Horne is the chairman of a 17 member panel including representatives from the judicial community, as well as law enforcement and lawmakers. The discussion was titled “Presentation on Assault Weapons Laws”. His intentions were admirable.
The discussion was pulled before it had a chance to be heard. Clark County District Judge David Barker, a member of the panel, questioned if the committee had the right to hold such a discussion. He said that this discussion was attached to the second amendment. The motion to suspend the discussion was seconded by Clark County Public Defender Phil Kohn, citing the reasons previously mentioned.
I have no understanding why we allow an average citizen to possess and own handguns and assault rifles. There were several law enforcement officers ready to testify that often the criminals are better armed than they are. But I agree with the 8 to 5 vote to remove the discussion.
This entire effort by the panel came to the Nevada legislature because of the all too frequent attacks by individuals on average citizens in the recent past. In Sparks, we had an incident over a week ago when a 54 year old man attending a multiplex theatre suffered an unfortunate incident. He was adjusting his seat, his handgun fell out of his pocket, fell on the floor, and shot him in his buttocks region. He apologized to the crowd, and walked out of the theatre, and drove himself to the hospital. Today, the DA decided to charge him with discharge of a weapon in a public place. He had a permit, but didn’t have the sense to put the safety on.
I firmly believe that our federal government should take up this discussion. They need to stand up to the NRA and do what is right. I know it will never happen in an election year, any candidate who would make any statement governing any type of weapon would lose Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and all the southern states, the NRA emotionally affects gun buffs as effectively as a Baptist preacher inciting his congregation to praise God or suffer eternity in flames. But next year, there needs to be some common sense shown by our legislative bodies. We are the most gun crazy society in the civilized world. Are we to cater to a bunch of fanatics, or protect the majority of our citizens?
Our founding fathers are often misrepresented by political concerns, which are often supported by big money. They have been reported as stating that we are a Christian country, and they have been misunderstood as to the intent of the second amendment. Addressing the former, they said just the opposite. We were founded on no individual religion. Our country was founded on religious freedom. Read history, don’t try to re-write it. The second amendment was to ensure the government could not become a kingdom, or, in modern times a dictatorship. Private citizens should be allowed to be armed to protect themselves from a rogue standing army.
Obviously this idea, this second amendment, had no way of predicting handguns with clips that can shoot hundreds of rounds in seconds, or assault rifles that can expel thousands of rounds in minutes.
I support the second amendment with all of my being. But I support it for what it was meant to be. Rifles and shotguns are both extremely effective weapons for two purposes, hunting, and home protection. Handguns and assault rifles were invented with one purpose, to kill other people, and they work all too well.