NV Gubernatorial Candidate Takes First Second Amendment Stance

(AP Photo/John Locher, Pool)

The Second Amendment is basically the insurance policy for the Constitution. While free speech and freedom of assembly are useful for preserving our great nation, the potential exists for someone to ignore all that and implement tyranny.

Our rights are sacred and should be preserved.

If we pick and choose our candidates based on how they vow to preserve those key rights, particularly our gun rights, then some political races become pretty simple.

Former U.S. Sen.  drew a line in the sand between himself and fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo Thursday evening, referring to Lombardo as a “liberal” and expressing support for allowing Nevadans to carry weapons without a permit, a policy the sheriff opposes.

Heller took a hardline stance on firearms, taxes and election reform during an hour-long Zoom question-and-answer session with members of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association in an effort to bolster his conservative bonafides. Moderator Randi Thompson, the association’s lobbyist, noted during the event that conservatives have, in recent years, viewed Heller as somewhat of a RINO, or Republican in Name Only.

Heller stressed his support for a policy known as “constitutional carry,” the ability to concealed carry weapons without a permit, and for no limits on high-capacity magazines. Both policies stand in stark contrast to Lombardo’s more moderate stances discussed in the same forum almost four months prior.

During the June forum, the sheriff shared his support of universal background checks and limits on certain high-capacity magazines. Both Heller and Lombardo spoke against several gun control measures passed during the last legislative sessions, including the state’s ‘Red Flag’ law and a measure banning so-called “ghost guns,” which are homemade firearms without serial numbers.

In a response about preserving Second Amendment rights, Heller noted that in the aftermath of the shooting on October 1 in Las Vegas, “the first thing the media wants to talk about is what gun controls should be enacted.” The event was terrible, but the solution was not gun control, Heller said.

“My response was that we’re not going to water down the Second Amendment because some lunatic decided to get up on the 30th floor and shoot down a bunch of concert-goers,” Heller said. “That’s not me and that’s not what I will support.”

Though Heller acknowledged officials on both sides of the aisle support gun control measures, he said lawmakers are either “adamantly pro-Second Amendment” or “you radically want to water it down.” He added that mental health problems are real but said he doesn’t believe that means lawmakers should make changes to the Constitution.

Heller was endorsed by the NRA back in 2018 and gave him an “A” rating. This isn’t exactly a new position for Heller.

However, is this going to benefit him in the long run?

Well, I suspect it will be beneficial during the primary when GOP voters are far more likely to be pro-gun. Lombardo really doesn’t sound any different than a standard-issue Democrat when it comes to Second Amendment issues. I get that his time as the sheriff handling the Las Vegas shooting may have skewed his perspective, but that’s all the more reason to keep him from becoming governor.

So, we can establish this is at least partially a good move for Heller. The question is whether it’ll help him in the general election, and I’m not so sure.

Nevada is one of those states heavily dominated by one or two large urban centers. Las Vegas holds an awful lot of power and residents there aren’t as likely to appreciate Heller’s stances.

I think this might well help him win the primary, but lose in the general election.

Of course, if he doesn’t win the primary, it doesn’t really matter if it’ll win points in the general.

Yet despite that, I think he made the right move, especially in essentially saying you either support the Second Amendment as it is or you don’t. There’s not really any middle ground on this one.

It’s well past time we start making it clear that support for gun control–any gun control–is an anti-Second Amendment stance. We can’t let people take those positions then try to say they support the right to keep and bear arms. It just doesn’t make any sense and we need to start having people get called out over that.

Whether Heller wins or loses, he still did the right thing.