Tag Archives: March for Our Lives

Laxalt on my phone, Heller in my paper

Hmm, that was interesting.  Last evening I had one of those “push polls” on my telephone from the Adam Laxalt brigade, which was ever so anxious that I know that Mr. Laxalt was a Primary proponent, an Assiduous advocate for women’s health and safety — why, just look at what he did about that backlog of rape kits!  (?)  Yeah right.  This is  supposed to make me forget he’s not wanting to denounce the Storey County Sheriff who has this “little problem” with the women-folk? [Sun] Or, that he had NO plans to file charges against that self-same embattled sheriff. [NVIndy] Or,  that the best he could do was put some ‘space’ between himself and the embattled one? [LVnow]  When a politician’s name and the word “embattled” show up together, it’s never good news.  And, no, some spiel about rape kit backlogs isn’t going to make me gloss over the retention of affection for the Embattled One.  Nice try, as they say, but close is only good according to the old saw in horse shoes and hand grenades.

About 22 hours ago the press told me Senator Dean Heller met with Orange Blossom’s latest pick for the Supreme Court and was SOOOOO impressed… [LVRJ] I am less impressed.  The Pick seems to have issues with the whole idea of having presidents held accountable for their actions, no special counsels or commissions for him. [CNN]  Then there’s the whole Planned Parenthood thing. [PPA]

I could use a bit less of this.

I could use more of those kids from March for Our Lives.   I could use more pictures from the District of Columbia, showing people protesting the Capitulation Summit, the incarceration of babies and toddlers, the general cruelty and incompetence of the current administration. [Hill]

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Filed under Nevada politics, Politics

Kids These Days: Focus on Voting

The Reno Gazette Journal ran a piece this morning on the Student Walk Out in remembrance of the Columbine massacre.

“Students from at least eight Washoe County schools are planning to walk out of their classrooms, march through the streets or call their representatives on Friday to demand action over gun violence in schools.

The walkout is expected to start at 10 a.m., the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, and in conjunction with hundreds of other planned walkouts across the country.” [RGJ]

It seems appropriate to note that while the students are good at keeping their focus on the issues at hand, the media and all too many adults are having some difficulties doing the same.   The Las Vegas Sun ran what read like a canned article, the online edition of the Review Journal didn’t mention the walk out.

What should we, as adults, do to help the kids get their message out — and keep it in the public spotlight?  Get informedThe Trace is a good place to start.  However, I’m probably typing for the choir here.  There are other sites which collect and disseminate statistics such as the Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research; Everytown Research; and the Gun Violence Archive.

Get Registered.  Okay, we’re already registered, but what about friends and neighbors?  The Secretary of State’s Office posts basic information.  Not in Las Vegas or Reno/Sparks areas?  County Clerk information is here DMV.org also provides basic information:

  • Be a:
    • Citizen of the United States.
    • Nevada resident for at least 30 days before the date of an election.
    • Resident of your precinct for at least 10 days before the election.
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the date of the election.
  • Not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.
  • Not claim any other place as your legal residence.

If you have been convicted of a non-violent felony your voting rights are restored after you are discharged from incarceration and/or parole. If you have been convicted of a violent felony, or a second felony, you will need to apply to have your civil rights restored.

Vote.

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Filed under Gun Issues, Nevada, Nevada politics, Politics

We Are Not Being Well Served: A Lethal Pattern of Administration Obstruction

We aren’t well served when the Department of Justice declines to work WITH state officials to implement policy.  When the DoJ dithers about assisting Nevada’s attempt to improve the background check process for firearm purchases — [NV Indy] Gee, it almost seems like someone at the federal level is doing a bureaucratic dance routine to subvert the intent of those who want to expand background checks?  Someone doesn’t want to alienate the powers that be at the NRA?  Meanwhile candidate Adam Laxalt, subservient as ever to the NRA line, must be pleased with Governor Sandoval’s discomfort.

We also aren’t well served by the right wing echo chamber which has now evidently decided that if they can’t find logical arguments to deflect the demands made by the kids in March for Our Lives they will happily start tooting the Swift Boat Parade Brigade horns with personal attacks on the kids themselves.  [TampaBT] [WaPo] [KCStar] However, ad hominem is all too often the preferred argument for many on the right side of the political spectrum.  These people might be dismissed as small people with smaller, narrower, minds except that they have the ear of the current mis-administration, and those ears are receiving messages out of step with American concerns.  Listening to these radical voices obscures national issues we should be focusing upon.

Nor are we well served when the message comes from the podium at the White House briefing room that the Department of Justice will take no role in the investigation of the shooting of Sacramento citizen Stephon Clark.  There’s a pattern here.

The FBI will not facilitate the implementation of Nevada’s Question 1 decision. The Department of Justice will take its sweet time promulgating rules concerning the sale of bump stocks (see Las Vegas concert massacre). The Department of Justice will do an about-face on federal participation in the investigation of law enforcement use of lethal force on members of minority communities.  This pattern may explain why the citizens of Nevada continue to be frustrated by the lack of Question 1 implementation, the citizens of the US continue to see protests related to Black Lives Matter, and young people bemoan (and organize) against the inflexible obstruction to their demands for sensible restrictions on gun ownership and sales.

What the pattern won’t accomplish is the solution to any of the problems addressed by the Black Lives Matter organization or the young people involved in March for Our Lives.  The two issue areas are not unrelated.

Bullets fired from guns kill people.  The bullet may be a .223 round (5.56 mm) coming at a person at 3,330 feet per second (about three times the velocity of a typical Glock pistol.) [BI]  The bullets may also come from a Glock 19 or the Glock 22, or perhaps the Smith & Wesson M or P9, the most popular service handguns for law enforcement personnel. [SRI]  Instances of bullets being fired by one human being at another human being, or beings, should be investigated fully.  We have no problem with this concept when thinking about murder investigations in general.  We do have a problem with the concept when it’s in the context of a mass shooting or in a case of the use of lethal force by a police officer.

In the instances of mass shootings authorities appear to want to investigate everything except the actual cause of death — the AR 15 is often the weapon of choice for mass shooters [BI] who want to use the gun as it was designed — to cause the greatest level of lethality in the briefest possible time.  If we know the level of lethality associated with the use of assault style weapons like the AR 15 why don’t we directly address the issue of whether or not these should be in the hands of civilians?

In the instances of officer involved shootings almost the first thing reported is that the “officers feared for their lives.”

“Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as white people, according to a Guardian investigation which found 102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.

An analysis of public records, local news reports and Guardian reporting found that 32% of black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed, as were 25% of Hispanic and Latino people, compared with 15% of white people killed.” [Guardian 2015]

Question: Why do law enforcement personnel “fear for their lives” more often when confronting a person of color than when facing a white person?  I think we know the answer, it is just that this aspect of the problem isn’t something the present Department of Justice is particularly interested in pursuing.

We aren’t well served by an administration which will not admit the vast scope of the problems presented by mass shooters and highly questionable use of force by some members of law enforcement.  These are national problems which beg for national solutions, whether the current Department of Justice wants to step up to the plate or not.


The kids have broken the 10,000 contract plateau in their Parents Promise To Kids project.  Right now it’s at 10,127.  That’s 10,127 parents, grandparents, and other interested people who have pledged to kids they will make gun reform a major feature in their voting decisions.  Step Up. Thank You.

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Filed under Gun Issues, Nevada, Nevada politics, Politics

Nevada’s Most Super Sensitive GOP Staffer (with suggestions for alternative messages)

Before all elseMarch for Our LivesReno 11:30 AM, Downtown City Plaza (10 N. Virginia Street) Saturday, March 24, 2018.  Forecast: Mostly sunny, 45F high.

March for Our LivesLas Vegas 10:00 AM, Smith Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Las Vegas 361 Symphony Park. March 24, 2018.  Partly cloudy, 70F high.

March for Our LivesMesquite 10:00 AM, Mesquite City Hall, South Yucca St. and Mesquite Blvd. March 24, 2018.  Partly cloudy, gusty wind, 73F High.

March for Our LivesTruckee (CA) 11:00 AM, Truckee Regional Park, rodeo staging area, Brockway Road, March 24, 2018.  Possible chance of  snow showers (50%), 31F high.

And then there’s Mark Amodei (R-NV2)  whose staff was offended by a student dropping the F-word during a call to his office concerning gun control issues.  According to Amodei, the staffer called the young man’s high school without asking for retaliation or retribution. Amodei promptly ascribed the teen’s suspension to the school and took no responsibility for what happened — which SO sounds like the District 2 representative.

And here’s another Amodei-an excuse for the ages:

“Amodei defended his staffer and said no apology is necessary. The congressman said the situation was not a matter of shutting down the student’s First Amendment rights.

“I’m not apologizing because my guy accurately described what happened in the phone call,” he said.

Amodei said the student’s rudeness prompted Arturo Garzon, who serves as one of the Nevada Republican constituent services representatives, to call the school. Garzon managed to reach the principal by chance, he said.”

Just a few points to make here.  First, no one appears to be arguing about what the young man said.  No one is arguing about whether what our super sensitive staffer heard. No one is arguing that the super sensitive staffer didn’t relay this information.  However, no one should be buying the excuse being shopped by the Representative.  What we might want to ask is: If the person who dropped the F-bomb in the course of calling the Congressman’s office was a 45 year old man — would the super sensitive staffer have called the person’s place of employment?  If the constituent caller was a 30 year old housewife, would our super sensitive staffer call the spouse?  If the caller was an 80 year old retiree would our super sensitive staffer call the retirement home?  Somehow I don’t think so.

Yes, our Super Sensitive Staffer has “first amendment rights,” and is entitled to be as offended as Great Auntie Ellie might be; what he does NOT have is the privilege of whining to a person’s school, place of employment, or others in authority, to express that sentiment to the detriment of the individual.  The ACLU argues that a constituent has the right to expect a reasonable measure of privacy:

“We at the ACLU of Nevada and the public would certainly welcome Congressman Amodei’s justification of his office’s retaliation against his constituent. While congressional staffers do have First Amendment rights, they do not have rights to retaliate against constituents by exposing their confidential conversations and communications,” Story said. “Every constituent petitions the government with an expectation of privacy, if their opinion is to be made public, that choice is the constituents to make, not the Congressman’s or his staff’s. The oath the congressman swore to uphold applies to every constituent, not just the ones with whom he agrees.”

There’s a bit more to examine here:

After this call, a staffer from Congressman Amodei’s office called Noah’s school and, in an act of unconstitutional retaliation, reported this conversation as “offensive.” Noah was then suspended for two days for “disrespectful behavior/language,” even though none of his speech was directed at school staff or other students.

It would seem that the Super Sensitive Staffer decided to not only contact the school with a direct report of the young man’s comment, but added his own opinion stating the call was “offensive.”  Indeed, the Super Sensitive Staffer may have his opinion, but why else would he call McQueen High School unless he intended for the school to do something in retribution for the so-called “offense?”  To do so would leave us with the impression that our Super Sensitive Staffer is the sort of person who would hang out at the mall, and then call schools should those wearing their school identifying clothing engage in public displays of affection?  “I just thought I should tell you that _____ was hanging out with a ____ at the mall, and they were…kissing…in public…right there in front of everyone…”

As a public service, Desert Beacon offers a glossary of terms one might wish to use during calls to Congressman Amodei’s office lest his Super Sensitive Staffers be “offended.”

For “get off your f-ing asses” we might substitute the following:

Please abjure fornication with a beast of burden (or posteriors, backsides) such that time is available for legislative action. 

Do terminate coition with any equus asinus (or buttocks, bottoms) for an interval of sufficient length for the consideration of necessary legislation.

It is requested that coitus be interrupted with a neddy (or hindquarters, fanny, rumps) so that legislative issues might be discussed and debated.

We call for the cessation of copulation with any and all burros (or derriéres)   in order to give ample time to consider the passage of desired legislative action.

We encourage the Representative to discontinue any intimate relationship with donkeys (or posteriors, fundaments) so that necessary legislation may be considered and enacted. 

Here’s hoping other Amodei constituents will find these suggestions helpful when dealing with Amodei’s Super Sensitive Staffers.  Good Luck.

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Filed under Amodei, Nevada politics, Politics