Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nevada: Brave Fight, Heartbreaking loss, Gun Control Proposition Passes

In 2016, Nevada was one of four states facing Michael Bloomberg funded attacks on Second Amendment rights.  As with most such attacks, deceit and misdirection were the focus.  Outright lies were repeated endlessly.  Much was made of bogus "studies" that  were carried out by activists behind the flimsiest of academic cover.  Second Amendment defenders in Nevada were outspent 3 to 1 in cash outlays, 19.7 million dollars to 6.6 million from Second Amendment supporters, primarily the NRA.

The key to the proposition was what it was being marketed as doing, compared to what it would really do.  

On that question, cash was merely the tip of the iceberg.  The direct media support for the Bloomberg measure was immense.  Never has the media been so overtly partisan as in 2016.  That was reflected in the broadcast media in Nevada, which showed itself to be focused in favor of the gun control proposition. The media situation was similar to the media situation in Washington State in 2014, where a similar measure was passed with Bloomberg money.

Proponents claimed that the measure would only require "background checks" and that it would stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms.  Both promises were misleading.  But it is hard to convey the complexity of the falsehoods in the face of brazen media complicity in the big lie.

First, background checks have never correlated with reduced crime.  They do not work.  States that instituted background checks have not seen crime reductions.

Second, the measure required far more than background checks.  It would have been easy to design a system where background checks were done, without recording sensitive information such as gun owner identities and gun serial numbers.  Instead, the proposal in Nevada specifically demands that this information be recorded in federal paperwork. The most reasonable assumption is as an incremental step to create a gun registration system.  

Second Amendment supporters had learned lessons after the defeat in Washington State.  They learned to focus on one objective, to work hard to get out a unified, clear message.  They were able to bring more resources to bear to get the message out. In Nevada, they were only out spent 3-1. In Washington State, proposition I-594 proponents outspent Second Amendment Supporters 10-1.  

The Nevada defenders almost pulled it off. It wasn't enough.  Almost, but not quite.  Question 1 passed by a tiny margin, less than 10,000 votes out of 1.1 million.   According to Ballodpedia, it passed 558,586(50.45%) to 548,685 (49.55%).  That margin occurred in Clark County, the center of Democrat political power in Nevada.  Nevada is the third most urbanized state in the United States.  Clark County has 1 million of the 1.5 million voters in the state.  In Clark County, Question 1 won by 13 percent.

Second Amendment supporters can win in Nevada.  They came very close. But in 2016, they could not quite overcome the combined forces of 3-1 cash expenditures and the overwhelming support of broadcast media against them.

All is not lost.  In three years, the measure can be countered in the legislature.

The media cartel's dominance is fading, as shown by the election of President Donald Trump.

This was a squeaker.  Nevada was also the only state where the NRA backed candidate for U. S. Senate lost.  Joe Heck lost to Cortez Masto by 35,000 votes.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

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