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Dan Schinhofen on gun law: political points scored, no one is safer

All mass shootings are tragedies. One October was one mass murder that was real close to home. It was committed by a man whose name should never be mentioned.

If our Legislature wants to pass a new law with very little debate and give the opposition only a few hours to read a bill, how about they pass a law that the next evil person who murders a group of people at a concert, a church, synagogue or school, not have their name mentioned in public or on any news outlet.

Taking away their notoriety may actually deter the next idiot.

Instead of having to do the actual hard work of finding ways to protect law-abiding citizens, we have a group of political opportunists pass a gun law that would have done nothing to make the crowd at the concert any safer. By passing this law, again with short notice and no real debate, they have shown themselves to be the worst kind of politicians we could elect.

Preying on people’s fear of guns is easy. Finding real solutions is not.

In 2016, at a political rally in Sacramento, California, a man stabbed about 10 people. Where was the outcry against knives?

Having more and more laws against gun ownership doesn’t make anyone safer – just look at Chicago, Illinois. Arguably, they have the strictest gun laws in the country and the highest murder rate.

Still, the left tells us we need more gun laws. Maybe if they actually punished people for using a gun in a crime then only criminals would be punished.

That seems harder to do these days when we have a governor of California who has decided he will not enforce the death penalty. Now I may be wrong, but aren’t governors supposed to uphold laws? I know many of you will feel outrage at this, as I did when I heard of it.

I was similarly outraged when I heard some sheriffs have stated that they will not enforce this gun law. Now think for a minute before you cuss me out. We elected our representatives to make laws and policy, we do not elect sheriffs or judges to represent us as they are supposed to be neutral in their jobs, which is to uphold the law.

If the governor cannot uphold his oath, he should resign. The same goes for those sheriffs. Yes, they took an oath to defend the Constitution and by enforcing this while they personally disagree and allowing the Constitution and rule of law to stand, we will all be better off. By all means, have an opinion, but it is the courts that decided the constitutionality of laws, not one elected official.

Our county commission chimed in on this issue, as their position allows, by making a statement about the law. I myself think it is an unconstitutional and unenforceable law and would have voted in favor of the position the board put forth, but for us to applaud the sheriff is a dangerous path. What if the next elected sheriff does not hold your political beliefs? What if the governor decided that the death penalty was too cruel?

This law is Kabuki Theater and nothing else. Everyone got to score political points, and no one is safer for it.

Instead of more Kabuki Theater, maybe the governor should set up a committee to talk about real ways to make venues safer.

And for us gun owners, how about we start making cogent arguments instead of just shouting about our rights and how Democrats are evil. I know many Democrats who own guns and see this for what it is, a stunt. Facts, not fear.

No matter what law this Legislature passes, the next one can strike it down or maybe we just wait for the courts to do their constitutional duty.

Now if the courts decide this is a good law … well then, we can talk some more about the next steps if that happens.

Dan Schinhofen is a former Nye County commissioner.

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