Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Safe Nevada: Getter a Better Poster Boy

The Las Vegas Sun’s The Sunday (p. 20) interviewed Jim Dunlap, a police association president who is the current poster boy (literally, he’s on the flyers) for the Bloomberg backed group (Safe Nevada, the head of the snake in this case) supporting Ballot Question 1. Ballot Question 1, also called universal background checks, would ban private gun sales and transfers, criminalizing even lending a hunting rifle to a trusted friend. Dunlap supports taking away your gun rights and does a piss poor job of supporting his argument. We find him laughably stupid. Here are some of his comments from his interview and our rebuttals.

If this saves one life, doesn’t it make sense? Isn’t that what laws are for, public safety?

No supporter of universal background checks has ever shown that banning private gun sales has ever saved a life. California and New York have such systems and yet violence still plagues urban areas there. Another law will not stop crime, nor deter criminals.

If background checks on sales of dangerous items makes sense, why don’t we prohibit habitual drunk drivers from driving cars? Why don’t we require that every time you sell a car, let a friend borrow your car, or let your friend work on your car, you have to meet the person at the DMV to get a background check to make sure they aren’t a dangerous drunk driver?

As easily searchable information shows, Dunlap is a traffic cop who well knows the danger of cars. Does he support mandating helmets for everyone riding in a car? Mandatory speed limit restrictions? Breathalyzers in cars? Dropping the DUI limit to .05 BAC? If it saves one life, doesn’t it make sense?

No one has shown any benefit to these laws and in the absence of any significant gain, sacrificing freedom with the real risk to gun rights that increased gun control brings, this law is not worth it.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin

Let’s say someone, acting in anger, tries to get a firearm. They can’t go to a dealer because they’d have to undergo a background check, so they go to the internet or a gun show and get a weapon relatively quickly, then go back and do a heinous crime.

This argument is two-fold, indicating a belief on Dunlap’s part in waiting periods. It’s highly likely that he supported the old Clark County “blue card” system with its three-day waiting period. First, statistics have proven that waiting periods don’t work to reduce gun deaths. Murder and suicide are largely impulsive acts uninfluenced by the availability of weapons.

“Relatively quickly” is misleading. Gun shows may seem like they happen every weekend, but they don’t. One who wanted to commit murder with a gun, mid-week, would have to wait until the magic weekend with a gun show, drive there, pay to get in, find a private seller (rarer and rarer at gun shows these days), and buy a gun, then drive back and commit the crime. Same with buying a gun from an internet classified ad; hope someone responds, drive, meet, exchange, then drive back and commit the crime.

Someone in the heat of passion isn’t going to do that. They will use whatever means are available to them while they are angry; fists; knives, blunt objects, etc. And if they are cold blooded enough to seek a firearm, laws are unlikely to prevent them from obtaining one. Even with private sales being banned, there is certain to be someone who hasn’t heard or doesn’t care about the law, willing to sell to sketchy individuals

And how about the multitude of now-criminals who obtained guns legally after passing a background check? This law will do nothing to stop crimes with guns already legally owned by future criminals.

The criminal element, the people who are involved in the black market, they sell only to people they know. That’s why cops use confidential informants to buy drugs. And even within those organizations in the drug trade, and when you have a confidential informant, trying to purchase a gun is even more of a challenge, because use or possession of a firearm with those crimes comes with heightened penalties. So how do you find someone to buy a gun from on the black market? If you did find someone dealing guns illegally and said, “Hey, you got a gun I can buy?” They’d probably say, “Are you a cop?” So that just won’t happen. People see it on TV shows, but it doesn’t happen.

This is an argument to vote no! Dunlap basically just denied that criminals and drug dealers use the “black market” of gun shows and the Internet...which he fretted over earlier. The answer is in response to a question that those who can't go to dealers will turn to the "black market," which Dunlap says is is make-believe. 

So here Dunlap just admitted that criminals 1, buy/sell from people they know; and 2, it’s hard for cops to buy guns in stings. He admits that police can’t easily enforce existing laws on illegal gun sales because criminals are savvy to undercover busts. Um, so how are police supposed to detect and arrest people who are buying amongst themselves secretly, taking precautions to avoid being caught by the police? 

Okay, I guess what Dunlap is trying to say is that some random person won't go to the mysterious "black market", approach a shady looking gun leaning against a lamp post and ask to buy a gun. Dunlap apparently doesn't know how the "black market" works. Just like with a lot of drug deals, the buyer already knows the seller or is part of a network that can direct the sale without the help of a bazaar or directory (gun show and Internet, respectively). The "black market" is a series of connections and knowing the "guy who can get things" or a guy who knows him. Think of Morgan Freeman's Red from The Shawshank Redemption

Now, for some random guy who wants a gun but doesn't know anyone, all he has to do is still place an ad. I'm sure he's going to be willing to find someone who doesn't care about the law (either maliciously or otherwise) who will sell anyway. Not to mention the tons of people who will have no clue that this law passed.

What people need to understand is that crimes are generally reported to us (as opposed
to officers rooting them out). Are we going to go door to door and ask, “Did you sell a gun to someone who shouldn’t have one?” No, we’re not, anymore than we go door to door asking, “Are you selling illegal drugs?” If people report to us that guns were sold illegally, we’d respond. And as with any situation, we prioritize our calls for service.

Who is going to report an illegal gun sale? Washington state only denied 50 dealer background checks in 14 months and no one was arrested. As we have pointed out time after time, the only way to enforce this law is with a sting or a confession. 

So let's say the Bullfrog County Sheriff gets a phone call that Mr. Joe Blow sold his 1946 Schenectady Arms Co. 16ga shotgun to his neighbor Earl Hogwaller to dispatch some pesky ground squirrels. If neither man confesses, Bullfrog County has to prove that neither man conducted the sale through a dealer and prove that Hogwaller never owned the shotgun all along. As John pointed out, proving a case without a confession is darn near impossible. 

Dunlap is unable to make a convincing argument and showcases his incredible bias towards gun control in making asinine arguments that are actually contrary to his opinion. He’s all over the place and doesn’t make any sense. He is an embarrassment to Nevada, law enforcement, and most of all the Bloomberg groups that put him up to this. Everyone needs to remember Jim Dunlap’s treachery on your gun rights should he ever run for public office. Save those flyers with his face on it.

This law would make ordinary citizens criminals, do nothing to stop crime and violence, and set the stage for gun registration. Vote no on One!

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