In a place where gun ranges advertise assault rifles and machine guns on billboards and taxicab doors, it's clear Nevadans like their guns.
Almost four in five registered voters questioned in a poll taken for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV, Channel 8, said they agree with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that gun ownership is a fundamental right for all law-abiding citizens. Fifteen percent said they disagreed with the ruling and 6 percent were unsure.
There's certainly no surprise there. I wondered how these attitudes affect the millions of visitors and transient residents of the state. These folks, who are not Nevada voters, far outnumber the residents who are. Perhaps it's something like the way they handle prostitution. Within the city limits of Las Vegas, it's illegal but tolerated, in the rest of the state there are legal brothels. Maybe they treat guns the same way.
Bob Irwin, owner of The Gun Store, said the polling results are not surprising because the Founding Fathers "made their intent clear in the Constitution."
"You're dealing with guys who had just finished throwing off a British tyranny with guns. If they hadn't, we'd be counting our change in shillings and speaking with British accents," Irwin said.
"If you don't have a right to a gun, you don't have the right to defend your own life. You have a basic right to survive and to protect yourself and your family from criminals."
Don't these guys ever tire of referring back to the Founders? Bob Irwin and his clientele have about as much to do with the Founding Fathers as they do with Cochise and Sitting Bull.
Something I don't accept is the idea that owning a gun is necessary to defend your life. Where does that come from? You could just as easily claim that you need claymore mines and rocket launchers to defend yourself and your family.
What's your opinion? Is the Libertarian spirit of Nevada something we want to base national policy on?
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