Last week, the FBI arrested a Las Vegas man for encrypted online threats against Jews and the LGBTQ community. Court documents say bomb-making materials were found in his house. They also say he was communicating with a white supremacy group.
This is an open-carry state. If you want to sling a rifle over your back, or a pistol on your hip our state lawmakers say that’s fine.
But if you want to change the law and do something about gun laws, either at the state or federal level -- you better have money.
At least, that’s the conclusion of a controversial Las Vegas Sun column that challenges casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson to do something about gun control in the United States.
Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Sun, wrote the column.
“I was making a plea for his help,” he explained to KNPR's State of Nevada.
Greenspun would like Adelson to withhold campaign contributions to President Donald Trump and other Republicans until something is done about gun control.
He said he made that realization while going to a shopping mall to meet some friends when the news about the mass shooting in El Paso broke.
“What makes our mall any different from the mall in El Paso?” he said.
He believes enough is enough when it comes to gun violence in the country but he also believes that without financial pressure politicians won't do much.
“Ordinary people don’t seem to get anything done without the kind of pressure that politicians listen to and unfortunately, in this country, it’s money," he said.
Greenspun notes that Adelson contributes millions to the GOP and President Trump because the casino boss believes they will better support Israel. While Greenspun also supports Israel and the United States' relationship with the country, he thinks Adelson could do more.
“So, everything else that President Trump does or allows to happen, Sheldon, in my mind, turns his back and says, ‘it is more important that I support Israel.” I’m saying we can chew gum and walk at the same time,” Greenspun said.
The newspaper publisher thinks Adelson can support Israel and the values of the United States at the same time.
“And the real value is we shouldn’t let our children get mowed down at a mall, period – end of the story,” he said. “Tell them you’re not going to write the check, Sheldon. Write the check to the political party that fixes this not that ignores it.”
Greenspun admits Adelson most likely doesn't really care what he thinks but he does believe he is a caring person.
“I think he cares about mothers and fathers and children getting mowed down in malls. There are only a few people in this country who don’t," he said, "The issue is what do you do about it. Do you stand up and step up and do something about it?”
For his part, Greenspun would like to see universal background checks, not just at gun stores but online and at gun shows.
He would also like to see more states adopt red flag laws, like those passed this year in Nevada. The law allows a person to petition a court to have guns removed from another person's possession if a judge deems that he or she is a threat to themselves or other people.
He also supports a ban on assault firearms.
“I’ve never been convinced that anyone needs an assault weapon to do anything other than kill people and kill them fast and make it messy,” he said.
Greenspun is not against guns. He has some in his home for personal protection but he doesn't believe people should be allowed to walk around with firearms without special licensing and training.
Despite his beliefs on guns and his push to get Adelson to be involved, Greenspun understands it is unlikely anything will change soon. He hopes something happens, but he's not holding his breath.
Brian Greenspun, publisher, Las Vegas Sun
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