Debate Magazine

Las Vegas Murders Up 50% from Last Year

Posted on the 26 June 2013 by Mikeb302000
Huffington Post
The city's homicide rate for the first quarter of this year is up 50 percent from the same period in 2012 In February, for example, a fatal shooting on the Strip only a couple of blocks from our hotel led to a car crash that also killed a cab driver and his passenger, for a total of three deaths, and just two weeks before we arrived, two died and two were injured in a gun-related, double murder-attempted suicide.
The Vegas police department has above average success arresting the perpetrators -- 75 percent against the national rate of 65 percent -- but oddly, as columnist J. Patrick Coolican of the Las Vegas Sun reports, "In nonlethal shootings, when the victim survives, the criminal is more than 90 percent likely to get away with the crime... In 2012, for instance, there were 313 nonlethal assaults with firearms. Just 20 of the cases led to an arrest." 

And the day before we arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada's Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill authorizing universal background checks for gun purchases in the state. According to the website ThinkProgress,"The bill, passed by Nevada's Democratically controlled state legislature, would have required a background check prior to all gun sales and would have increased reporting of mental illness data. The National Rifle Association's lobbying arm called the proposal 'misguided gun control legislation being forced on law-abiding citizens of Nevada.'"

In fact, an April poll found that 87 percent of Nevada voters favored the background check, but "Sandoval said his decision was in part due to the loud voices of that small minority that does not believe criminal background checks should be required prior to gun purchases. He told a local TV station that he'd received 28,000 calls from opponents, and only about 7,000 from supporters."

There's the real power of the NRA and the gun lobby for you. Not just the money they throw at media buys and at officeholders and candidates -- in fact, last year only three of the sixteen U.S. Senate candidates endorsed by the NRA won. No, it's the sheer stridency and lungpower of their opposition to any perceived threat to gun ownership. 

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