The state of Nevada thinks that universal background checks are a swell idea.
Correction: A majority of lawmakers in the state of Nevada think that.
Like most states, though, there are strong pockets of pro-gun sentiment throughout Nevada, regardless of how blue it may be. Like many other states, Nevada is mostly rural with small pockets of urban voters that overwhelm the rest. As such, the representatives from those urban areas tend to think universal background checks are a good thing.
Unlike the urban areas, the news media for the rural regions are willing to say just how messed up that is when it comes to gun issues.
In short, the bill does little more than make the activists feel good. With the governor’s signature secured scarcely an hour after passage of the bill, no doubt everyone returned home and slept well, feeling safer. But they are not really safer at all. Nothing was accomplished towards curbing gun violence. In the real world, bad guys can, and will, still obtain firearms on the street. And they will still put them to deadly use. Nothing has changed there.
But the bill will be quite effective at burying a law-abiding populace under unnecessary red tape and regulation; as any self-respecting big-government law would. In addition to that, SB 143 stomps on long-held traditions of the outlying communities. The residents of Nevada’s unique rural culture once again will find themselves being steam-rolled over in the state’s urban-centric push toward a one-size-fits-all approach to governing.
The bill’s lack of relevancy to the rural experience reveals the broad cultural divide existing on this issue and many more. Indeed, the two sides speak entirely different languages. The wording in SB 143 may seem sensible and clear for urbanites, a few of whom may keep a single weapon in the back of a closet, taking it out two or three times a year for a trip to the gun range. But it leaves gaping holes of uncertainty out in the rurals where an outdoor/hunting tradition makes firearms ubiquitous and where guns are widely used and shared among friends and family. A responsible legislative process would allow time and effort for listening and understanding on both sides; and an eventual joining in the middle. Last week’s urban assault didn’t even attempt that.
It’s not wrong.
Not at all.
That’s part of the challenge when one or two urban areas dominate a state’s political landscape. It’s why there’s talk in Washington of splitting it in two. It turns out there’s a similar move afoot in Illinois as well. Folks in the rural areas are sick and tired of a few urban enclaves thinking they know what’s best for everyone.
There’s always been some divide between city folks and country folks, and much of it stems from very different experiences. A farmer in Illinois and a factory worker in Chicago live vastly different lives and have different opinions because of those differences.
Guns are just one example.
In rural areas, people learn about guns at an early age. They grow up with them, use them to hunt or defend their homes. They recognize the importance of firearms in everyday life.
Urban centers, however, don’t. They don’t do any of that, and because of that, they think criminals only use guns because that’s all they ever see.
There’s a lot more that could be said on the topic, but that’ll be getting way off track.
Nevada is dominated by places like Las Vegas, a city that’s still reeling after the deadly attack there. It’s not surprising that people are wanting to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. But they don’t seem to get that their attempts at laws aren’t going to have that effect.