86% of Nevada residents want every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check. [CPA pdf] So, a person might have thought that legislation in the last session of the Assembled Wisdom would have been enacted — and it was, only to be vetoed by a Governor who felt it would be too “burdensome” and a “violation” of someone’s 2nd Amendment rights. Undaunted, and unmoved by the pretzel-twisted illogical prolix of NRA dependent politicians, Nevada for Background Checks launched an initiative.
The group has until November 11th to collect 101,677 signatures, or to put it in more legalese, 25,416 qualified signatures in each of Nevada’s four Congressional Districts, in order to get this measure on the 2016 general election ballot.
We already know the statistics on guns in this part of the country. We are the 9th deadliest state in terms of gun violence; we have 15.9 gun deaths per 100,000 people which is the 5th highest rate in the nation. In 2010 we had the 4th worst homicide rate for women, most of whom were killed by firearms. And, there’s another statistic of which we can’t be all that proud: We’re the 9th highest exporter (trafficker) of guns the it country. None of this will stop the opposition from the National Right to Shoot’em Up Association.
The right wing’s ready for this one, but the arguments being pressed contain their own seeds of self destruction. Nothing quite like wearing reflective sun glasses at the poker table to give away one’s hand? First, there’s guilt by association — the Nevada effort is supported in part by Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors MAIG action fund. Gasp. Yes, and the opposition to the measure is coming from the National Rifle Association and its affiliates, so the point is exactly what? That major national organizations are on opposing sides of the issue? I sincerely hope no one is surprised by this development. What might be more surprising is the transformation of the opponents dog whistles into bull horns.
The aforementioned opposition piece is delighted to tell the audience there must be something secretive, something associated with those infamous outside agitators, because — addresses for Everytown are connected to New York City. Bloomberg + New York = ? Here’s the part where we have to decide if this sounds a bit too audible to be a dog whistle. Is the question: NRA = Good Big National Group, Everytown = Bad Big National Group?
The second line Nevadans can expect from opponents is the old reliable ‘This won’t solve the problem’ canard. If the initiative won’t prevent Bubba from blasting Bertha because the mayo went south in the refrigerator, then It Won’t Work assemblage of the south bound products of north bound bulls is getting old. The response to this one is simplicity itself. Do you want to support a law which will make it harder for felons, fugitives, undocumented people, the severely mentally ill, and unsupervised juveniles to get guns? That’s it. Yes? No?
The third main line of contention from the opponents is that it will inconvenience some gun buyers. Yes, and being dead is very inconvenient as well. It’s also inconvenient and unpleasant to find out we’re in the Top Ten Gun Exporters in the Country category too. Once more, proponents can counter this object by repeating the question to the second argument. Do you support a law which makes it harder for felons, fugitives, undocumented people, the severely mentally ill, and unsupervised juveniles to get guns? Yes? No?
Will some people be inconvenienced by having to wait for a purchase to be complete? Probably. Does that impinge on the ultimate ownership of a firearm by a person who can easily clear a criminal background check? Probably not.
A more difficult rejoinder to the right wing objections might be created by their quibbling over the word “transfer,” as in “Gee whiz, I’d be all for this but but but the word transfer isn’t clear.” In fact, yes it is, if Black’s Law Dictionary is to be believed. First, “transfer” is the “all encompassing term use by the Uniform Commercial Code to describe the act which passes an interest in an instrument to another. Or, we can make this even more simple: “A transfer (n): An Act of the parties, or of the law, by which the title to property is conveyed from one person to another.” However, this probably won’t stop the opponents of gun sale reform legislation from litigating hypothetical situations out of whole cloth and perfervid imaginations.
In the mean time, organizers and supporters have a limited amount of time to do the maximum amount of work to get this initiative on the 2016 ballot. Here’s wishing them some very good luck.