Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Response to CCSD's Exam of Gun Permission Policy

Though it is late in coming, we welcome CCSD’s policy examination of allowing willing participants to carry handguns on campus and dramatically reduce the risk of mass shootings. We sincerely hope that they will adopt a sensible, well-thought out, practical policy that is as inclusive of as many teachers, staff members, and parents as possible.

We do note a tone of trepidation and fear in the memo. Administrators have nothing to fear from people who willingly seek to protect themselves and others at schools. Concealed carriers are among the most law abiding segment of the population. Firearm accidents by concealed carriers at schools are extraordinarily rare.

A reasonable interpretation of state firearm preemption laws, NRS 202.265 (school firearms ban), and public employer law would conclude that schools have the ability to dictate guidelines to its principals and staff regarding carry on school ground. NRS 386.360, dating from AB 346 of 1989 which created the first school gun ban, required trustees to set rules granting permission to carry firearms on campus. It is unclear if any ever did that, however, this law was repealed and no longer exists. What is clear is that no reasonable interpretation of the law allows conditions to be set upon non-employees carrying on campus, other than permission is required.

The memo raises several concerns. Here are our responses:

Types of weapons: concealable handguns should not be restricted in any manner. Rifles and shotguns would require secure storage and are not practical for all but police officers or dedicated security officers to possess.

Schools have no business dictating what type of handgun, caliber, cartridge, etc. should be allowed other than the firearm can be completely concealed. Some may feel comfortable with just a .22 Magnum revolver, which would be better than nothing.

Background checks: A valid concealed firearm permit and standard hiring background check would be sufficient. Pre-carry background checks cannot identify ill-intent of anyone. For instance, there is no background check that can detect if a teacher is trying to sleep with his or her students.

Training: Any additional training should be tactics and skill based. If legislators (in particular) or local officials want to add on additional training requirements, the curriculum should be uniform and practical. For instance, marksmanship requirements and an action-style shoot. Example:

Grouping of six inches or less at 25 yards
Shoot the head of a hostage-type target at 10 yards (length of a class room)
Fire/don’t fire exercise using simulator or live-action exercise

Such criteria could be the responsibility of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, as the CFP and instructor criteria is, or DPS. This way, it is uniform across the state and something that can help reduce the fears that people might have that a poor shooter might hit an innocent student instead of the bad guy. Certainly prior law enforcement experience or being a veteran should not be a requirement to carry.

Open carry vs. concealed carry: Teachers openly carrying is not a good idea. Concealed firearm permittees should be permitted to carry concealed on campus. However, future legislative changes should remove restrictions for any parent or other authorized person on campus from carrying any way they wish. Employer restrictions on teachers, staff, and volunteers should be the only restrictions on mode of carry.

Liability: Individuals should assume the risk if they carry and misuse a firearm on campus. Individuals misdeeds should remain the problem of the individual. Future legislative changes can address liability better. In the short term, the state policy should be looked to as an example.

A few items of note. First, the “teacher” who negligently discharged a firearm is also a reserve police officer, a detail that gets buried in most stories. He should have known better to draw a firearm at all. This man should be fired from both teaching and policing and arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm and potentially child endangerment. Not every qualification and precaution will ensure safety, but the very small risk is worth the benefit.

Second, the other teacher that went nuts in his classroom could happen anywhere. A teacher committing a violent, criminal act on campus is no different than a teacher that molests a student. The act is the responsibility of the criminal, ensuring the district had no way of knowing of criminal proclivities beforehand. Financial liabilities for accidents and criminal misuse pale in comparison to the priceless cost of human lives.

Guns in the hands of good guys save lives. We cannot afford to continue throwing up arbitrary barriers to allowing willing participants to stop mass murderers. Nevada needs to drastically amend NRS 202.265 to allow parents, teachers, and college students to defend their lives with the most effective means possible.

Practical Suggestions for Ending Teacher Disarmament

School districts in Nevada are talking about arming teachers. Most people who are opposed to concealed carry in schools are mostly concerned about the potential side-effects. What if a student disarms the teacher? What if the teacher fumbles the gun and negligently discharges? What if the teacher is a bad shot and wounds a bystander? The rest are simply vehement hoplopaths and don’t deserve a seat at the table; this goes for teachers’ unions, which are firmly entrenched in the tail-chasing sniff circle.

All too often, schools, colleges, and universities refuse to exercise their discretion in allowing responsible people to carry guns purely out of fear. No administrator wants to lose their job or cost their institution money. The time has passed for us to sacrifice our students’ lives over such petty fears as careers and budgets. We must implement the one practical solution that does hold promise; good guys with guns.

First, no one is talking about mandating all teachers carry guns. That is hype meant to discredit the idea of ending the long prohibition of letting teachers, parents, and staff fight back with the most effective means of doing so. For 29 years, teachers, professors, staff, college students, and parents have been disarmed because Clark County wanted a law to arrest gang members who brought guns on campus. Since very few Americans carried regularly at that time, no one thought to exclude law abiding adults from the ban.

After many tragedies, we are finally waking up to the reality that we must have people on campus who can fight back with guns; unfortunately, police cannot always be there and cannot be guaranteed to enter the fray. An armed teacher or parent can be in the thick of it and do some good. It would cost schools very little to simply stop objecting to campus carry laws or refusing permission to carry on campus.

Liability is probably the number one concern for administrators who might otherwise grant permission. Unfortunately, money and personal consequences override the safety of students. Its financially and career-wise safer to say “no guns” than to say yes.

Financially, school districts or the state should suck it up; even in Nevada, we give enough money to education that even if there were an increase in premium, it’s worth it to avert a mass killing. What would really be nice is for insurers to realize that risk isn’t going up and just leave premiums alone, but asking bean counters for this is like asking a personal injury attorney to get an honest job.

State law ought to require that insurers not use armed staff and parents as a basis for premium rating. If the legislature wants, they can really make life miserable for insurance companies. Second, for self-insured schools, absolve them of any liability by statute. Any misdeed by an armed teacher, staff member, or a parents is the individual’s problem. Money saved and one excuse gone.

Finally, solid decision making guidelines need to be set forth. Ideally, a simple change in law allowing concealed carry on campuses without prior approval would be the law. End of story, no one needs permission, so an administrator nervous about losing his job won’t be able to use that as an excuse to deny permission to carry. If we cannot get a simple bill passed, a bill should specify the exact conditions, as few as possible, to be satisfied and grant authority.

Discretion should be strictly limited. Have a concealed firearm permit? Meet any extra criteria? Permission is guaranteed under the law or shall-be given. The flaw in Florida’s new law is that it requires both school and sheriff’s permission; one or both can sink the ship. Anti-gun administrators or politicians can easily quash requests to carry. Children’s lives should not be at risk because a principal wants to virtue signal or is empty-headed about safety.

Secrecy needs to be paramount, and not just so would-be killers don’t know to target who first. Parents, teachers, and staff who have permission to carry should have their information shielded. This may need to be a part of state law. The current vague standards in place for K-12 schools allows a principal to grant permission in the form of a letter, a single copy, to the person, while retaining that information in their mind.

That would not be subject to a public records request. As we have seen in the past, unscrupulous reporters have created CCW databases. Democrat operatives or Everytown employees could do the same to shame teachers or administrators. One fear of administrators, from the colleges down, is that if they grant permission, they will be exposed ridiculed, disciplined, or even fired. We have to alleviate that concern.

As a side note, all “blue card” handgun registration information was public information. Until the database was destroyed, anyone could have requested specifics on what hands guns anyone in Clark County owned, including police.

Any additional training should be tactics and skill based. If legislators (in particular) or local officials want to add on additional training requirements, the curriculum should be uniform and practical. For instance, marksmanship requirements and an action-style shoot. Example:

Grouping of six inches or less at 25 yards
Shoot the head of a hostage-type target at 10 yards (length of a class room)
Fire/don’t fire exercise using simulator or live-action exercise

Such criteria could be the responsibility of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, as the CFP and instructor criteria is, or DPS. This way, it is uniform across the state and something that can help reduce the fears that people might have that a poor shooter might hit an innocent student instead of the bad guy. Certainly prior law enforcement experience or being a veteran should not be a requirement to carry.

We cannot let misplaced feelings and ideas about guns and the law-abiding people who carry them stand in the way of our children’s safety any longer. Fear is not an acceptable excuse for taking no action to allow adults to carry at schools. Nor can we let a hodgepodge and subjective system for allowing teachers to defend themselves limit that right. Let no anti-gun organization masquerading as a gun safety group tell us our children are better off undefended.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Long Gun Protests Don't Do What You Think They Do

Long gun protests are counter-productive because they antagonize through an implied threat of violence, whether the threat is intended or imagined. In most cases, adding long guns to protests against gun control is nothing more than flamboyant punctuation of our indignation. The media’s fake moral outrage and the public angst over spree killings manifested against guns has rightly fired up most gun owners. With the NRA, GOP, and Trump turning their backs on us, it feels like no one is fighting for the one right that protects them all. The gains of the past two decades seem to be slipping away through our fingers.

​All of us are angry. Righteous indignation can produce a lot of good results, but blindly reacting to these protests in haste is only destructive to our side. Sometimes, it’s easy to feel as if a sufficient quantity of moral indignation will sway the arguments and undecided minds in our favor. It is satisfying to proclaim to the world that we will defend our right to bear arms with our lives, if necessary. We can show the misguided and deceptive that we feel as vehemently over our side of the debate as they do, but willing to make the final sacrifice for liberty’s greater good. But we’re preaching to the choir.
Implied by the long guns in our rallies is the very fact we will resist gun confiscation by force. Demonstrations of resolve work to wear down an opponent who is unwilling or unable to overcome the resistance the other poses. It’s usually non-violent and political in nature, something the anti-gunners are winning at. The mushy hearts and minds unable to fathom defending themselves against tyrant or teen killer are scared by angry men with guns.

Facing off with long guns against deluded and na├»ve gun control supporters is counter-productive because it subconsciously sends the message “We’ll kill you too.” These hoplophobes and hoplopaths take the implied threat personally. Media and the gun control apparatus exploits the imagery of AR-15s, Gadsden flags, and “come and take it” signs as support for their argument that gun owners are dangerous. The ignorant and ill-informed take away that impression because it is an overreaction to what is nothing more than the misguided expression of grief, fear, and a desire to end senseless violence.
We are seen as unreasonable; these children are protesting for their safety, and we’re showing up with rifles? We must remember the people in the middle aren’t aware of what’s behind these astroturf protests and walk-outs. They are unable to see the connection of exploitation of the tragedy to push “assault weapon” bans and more. By standing off across from the with rifles, we become the threat to them. Like it or not, the weapons that have been demonized are seen as not a guarantee of freedom, but tools threatening death to them.

From time to time, long gun carrying groups hold open carry protests outside of state legislatures or local government offices, usually in response to gun control measures. The implication in these protests is that the rifles the participants are shouldering could easily be turned against legislators. The message is: “If you try to take away our guns, we will resist you and kill you with these very guns.” It is a subtle and indirect threat that the ultimate power of the people, as our forefathers exercised and intended to preserve for us, is to resist and remove an abusive government.

For gun owners, long gun protests only work if the other side can be persuaded by what is essentially an implied threat of armed violence—usually the government. The sheep holding signs and wearing orange don’t see a message of resolve the same way a politician in the statehouse sees hundreds or thousands of armed citizens on the lawn. Legislators know they can be voted out or worse, should they ignore the will of the people. For moms, students, and snowflakes, long gun counter-protests don’t persuade, they polarize the same way someone asking to have a conversation about “common sense gun laws” polarizes us.

Both groups at these events are like a married couple yelling at each other over their relationship. The messages being sent to the other side are contradictory and totally ignore what the other side is trying to say. What goes ignored is the subconscious reasons both sides are there; anti-gunners expressing moral outrage over violence (directed towards guns) and gun owners expressing their opposition to more gun control. It’s an exercise in satisfying the need to act out loud and in public to express inner turmoil—sometimes it feels good to tell the other guy off. But neither group is listening to each other.

Two messages are being sent and neither is on the same wavelength. “Do something about all this violence,” often manifested as “more gun control, now!” because politicians and the media portray guns as the sole cause and solution of mass killings. Gun owners are saying “We resist you and your support/proposal for more gun control!” with the unstated insinuation being “…by violence, if necessary.”

I’m against the idea of any sort of counter-protest now. Why validate the other side (in their own minds) at all? By showing up to their usually underwhelming victim-disarmament celebrations, we send the message that they’re getting under our skin or that they must be doing something right if those gun nuts show up. We have to stop reacting to them and make them react to us. Gun owners have to get out of the feel-good mindset of counter-protesting and hitting the enemy in ways they don’t expect and can’t counter. For instance, where are the discounts on CCW classes or range time for teachers? We’ve got more than enough vets, servicemen, and cops on our side.

But it worked in Texas! Well it didn’t in California. In Texas, long gun open carry rallies, protests, and walks were generally done to show how idiosyncratic it was that Texas allowed long gun open carry but prohibited unconcealed holstered handguns. The rifles and shotguns had a direct connection to the message being sent; not a superfluous and colorful addition that convinces no one of anything they didn’t already believe.

For the public who was unaware of the debate and before media coverage of the phenomenon was widespread, the sight of men and women carrying, and slinging rifles was startling. Some were alarmed and alienated by behavior, as the intense pressure from groups like Moms Demand Action showed. Negative media coverage harmed open carry in Texas.

Open Carry Texas and similar groups did not win open carry for Texas; licensed open carry was passed in spite of the rifle-toters by the work of extremely dedicated lobbyists who convinced legislators that handgun open carry was not a threat to Texans. If the long gun open carry activists did anything to gain handgun open carry, it was creating a desire to end their silly antics.

Malevolent hoplopaths organizing anti-gun protests and their true believers are the enemy, but the drones duped into the crowd are not fully aware of the consequences of the proposed actions. Children, indoctrinated in public schools, and the poorly informed public are swayed by a biased media that salivates over the photo-op of a lifetime. They see a man with a rifle and see a threat that further alienates them from our side. Their minds will never be changed if gun owners play into the stereotypes that they are fed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Breaking: 5,000ft Hunting Ban Proposal Origin

Are evil forces trying to drive target shooters deep into the Nevada desert, their two-wheel drive sedans and PreRunners to be stranded, putting money into the pockets of off-road towing companies? No. The Wildlife Commission proposal to ban hunting discharge of firearms within 5,000 feet of residences come from a multitude of complaints about bad hunting behavior and is driven primarily by game wardens’ complaints that they are effectively powerless to do anything about it.

Read the rest at the new blog on the website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

One mile shooting ban? Take Action!

NDOW wants to ban hunting within 5,000 feet of a residence statewide. Is this a set-up for a target shooting ban?

The Wildlife Commission wants to ban discharge of a firearm within 5,000 feet of a residence while hunting. The NRA-ILA pointed out that this could affect many areas where the act of hunting is safe, but the point of fire is within an arbitrary zone, rather than shooting itself being hazardous. Hunters shooting in a safe direction shouldn’t be subjected to a bureaucrat’s whim.
But I don’t hunt, you might say. If you live in urban Washoe County, you know that you have to be 5,000 from anything to go target shooting. Like many things with guns, it’s not the obvious we have to worry about, but how the law can be abused. What if this is a set-up to creating a new state law governing target shooting?

If this regulation makes it into state law, it’s not unreasonable to expect an anti-gun legislature using this as a basis for a state law for target shooting. “We do it for hunting; why not do it for target shooting?” Assemblyman Ira Hansen said: "NDOW seems to think they are now the Legislature!" Many other legislators are shocked that the commission is going this far.

Nye County doesn’t have any arbitrary restriction. Many common areas in Clark County would be out-of-reach for all but those with 4x4s. Ranges are crowded and expensive as it is. If you’re from Las Vegas, Reno, or California, you know that shooting areas get pushed further and further out as time goes by until it’s a pain to go shooting. Shut down the bureaucrats!

Discharge of firearms needs to be left with local authorities who know their areas best and are more responsive to local residents. We cannot afford to give hoplopaths and anti-hunters an inch. Take action before March 16th!

Nevada Carry has a public records request in to NDOW to find out where this proposal came from.