Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2015

Currently: 86° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Tears after Senate voted on gun rules

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

I cried — literally cried — when I heard our Senate’s “no” vote on gun regulations. They are such frauds, so self-serving, crying crocodile tears at the gravesides of the bullet-riddled bodies of dead children but voting for political advantage.

I am 79 years old and too old to cry. But I did. I could not help it.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 47 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. I sympathize with you Mr. Dombek.

    It is a psychological phenomenon. It has nothing to do with the second amendment. It has something to do with compensating for feelings of inadequacies and fear, real or imagined. These are very real fears and people would go to great lengths to feel 'Powerful' including spending inordinate amounts of money to thwart any efforts that will take away the instruments that make them feel 'big.'

    The law's intent was never to take away guns or take away rights. The failures in this hullabaloo are those senators who gave in to pressures and money. The senators who voted 'no' are from states whose population is big in gun ownership. They voted no because they want to win the next election, and you know they will.

    The hallmarks of conservatism is its inability to accept new ideas along with deep beliefs that its idea IS the 'only right' idea. It is sad, really, because we trust our elected officials are supposedly higher in intellect than ordinary citizens. They probably are, but money and power are too tantalizing.

    I don't see any possibilities of changing the minds of people who feel the need to have guns. Those who sponsored and supported the bill will just have to do better in campaigning and explaining their positions.

    Let us hope that sanity prevails, although it's highly unlikely.

  2. Many did cry. But many cheered the victory for the Constitution and the second amendment. That's what happens when passions and opinions run strong on both sides of the issue, as they do and did on this one. At least there was an up and down vote, not a filibuster, so the Senators could voice and vote the peoples' [their constituents] will.

    Carmine D

  3. For John and Nancy, and others who are disappointed when legislation they favor fails, even though a majority of Americans also favor it, I say the following:

    It is partly that these members of Congress fear the votes of people in their districts and states, but what they really fear is the powerful interest groups with lobbyists... like the NRA and many others.

    If you want to cry less and be disappointed less, push for Congressional term limits, so 'serving' cannot be a 'career', push for public financing of campaigns, so that people running to be elected or re-elected don't have to depend on money from powerful interests to fund their campaigns and push for lobbying reform, so that lobbyists cannot 'write' the legislation they want, right beside our elected officials.

    We often send good people to Congress and then we trap them in this awful and corrupted system, where to prosper and retain their position, they must do as the powerful interests tell them.


  4. Carmine,

    In this vote, like most others in Congress, members are not voting according to the will of the people. They are voting 'partly' due to the opinions of the people in their districts and state, but much more based on which powerful interests with money and lobbyists will support them in the future.

    This is exactly why Congress provides mostly terrible results and is a corrupted institution. I know you like this outcome, but it, like outcomes you will not favor, is a result of this corrupted system and it must be changed.


  5. "but much more based on which powerful interests with money and lobbyists will support them in the future.

    Those would be called the voters, Michael.

    Carmine D

  6. Michael:

    There really is no way term limits will ever pass.


    Please. It has nothing to do with the Constitution. I beg you not to perpetrate that idea because it is false. You should be helping to get the truth out. That is a responsibility of a contributing member of society. Even Busch, a very rich influential guy understood it and resigned from the NRA.

    The NRA lobby is for gun manufacturers, not for its ordinary members.

    We may not be able to stop insanity, but let us prevent its spread, please.

  7. The Senate vote on background checks should forever dispell the long-held fantasy that our representatives in Congress actually represent us.

  8. Your truth is another's lies. And vice versa. When we [including President Obama] recognize that persons on both sides of the issue have sincere and genuine opinions, then we can move closer to truth. Until then, declaring which side is true and which is false by righteous indignation is not just shortsighted but shallow.

    Carmine D

  9. Jim:

    Actually not. The U.S. popularity for background checks peaked in February and waned since. The country by recent polls, and I'm not a fan of using them, supports gun rights more than gun controls. If any body of U.S. government knows this best, it is the U.S. Senate. I don't give it credit for much, but on this it was right.

    If I'm not mistaken you said several weeks ago that 13 Senate Republicans led by Rand and Cruz would filibuster the vote. Recall what I posted to you?

    The people, believe it or not and like it or not, have spoken. They didn't believe this President on this issue [gee I wonder why?]. They believed the NRA.

    Carmine D

  10. Is it the people who have spoken? Or is it the money?

    Carmine, you always speak as if you have the only handle on things. You were wrong with your predictions on the elections, on Bemghazi, and on many other counts, and as the poster boy of conservatives, asking you to tell the truth was unfair.

    I am sorry.

  11. Carmine,
    "Many did cry. But many cheered the victory for the Constitution and the second amendment."

    Over 1,384,171 cannot cheer this vote as that is the number that have died since 1968 from guns. This is over 212,994 MORE people than have died in all our wars.

  12. It's never been about what's best for the Citizens of this country. It's always been what's best for the elected officials.Some things will never change.and this is one of them.

  13. The Supreme Court has already said that some forms of firearms regulation meet Constitutional. While it is unlikely that Congress will pass any regulation at this time, nothing prohibits states and municipalities from crafting regulations appropriate to their jurisdiction. A state, for example, could require that any household or individual possessing firearms be properly insured and could allow insurance companies to accept or decline customers.

    The Senate vote was a great bit of theatre. I commend Senator Reid for orchestrating a vote which gained a majority but failed under the rules. This allowed various Senators to go on record with little risk while providing great campaign material. If you don't believe that was the intent then read Senator Heller's statement in its entirety. The man [and I use that term advisedly] really, really believed that we need to expand background checks and keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals but, but...there were just too many flaws in this particular bill in which he had no part. Croc tears flowed heavily.

  14. Carmine

    We're discussing background checks not gun control and I'm not delusional about polling on background checks.

    As for Rand, Cruz and 11 other Republicans filibustering, I said they would try to prevent any debate (their words, not mine). In fact, how did they vote when it came to deciding whether to bring the issue up for debate on the Senate floor?

    Stop being the apologist for this sorry bunch!

  15. Nancy,

    You may be right and we may never get term limits, public funding for campaigns or lobbying reform, but if we don't, we can all resign ourselves to the fact that our country will be run by powerful interests with money and lobbyists.... no matter who we choose to elect.

    No problem can be resolved until it is identified. Too many Americans don't understand how Congress really operates and as long as that is true, we are doomed.

    Like most others, you 'brush off' what is probably the most important reason our country is going the wrong way. The legislative branch.... all of it... the branch that makes the laws and set tax controlled by a relatively small group of very powerful interests. We can all see the results, no matter who we elect.

    You say my solution can never pass. Do you have an alternative to offer?


  16. "I cried -- literally cried -- when I heard our Senate's "no" vote on gun regulations."

    Dombek -- if you're that fragile in your near-fourscore years, then you learned little about life in this republic. What a waste.

    "It is a psychological phenomenon. It has nothing to do with the second amendment."

    ASadTeacher -- wrong. It had everything to do with the Bill of Rights. Although the exercise of any right is limited by the equal rights of others, as the U.S. Supremes have made clear since 2008's Heller decision, it has everything to do with self-defense. Offensive actions involving weapons mostly are NOT protected by the Second Amendment and state counterparts.

    "In this vote, like most others in Congress, members are not voting according to the will of the people."

    wtplv -- I certainly hope not! One purpose of Constitutions is to protect minority rights from majority factions. I think that was covered in the Federalist #29.

    "While it is unlikely that Congress will pass any regulation at this time, nothing prohibits states and municipalities from crafting regulations appropriate to their jurisdiction. A state, for example, could require that any household or individual possessing firearms be properly insured and could allow insurance companies to accept or decline customers."

    wharfrat -- and as you can see many municipalities do, often to the detriment of liberties. A good example is this county's blatantly unConstitutional restriction on renting homes for less than a certain term. As for your insurance suggestion, why not choke off the exercise of that fundamental liberty through the back door? It worked for cars.

    "We're discussing background checks not gun control. . ."

    pisces -- depending on the enacted law, likely the same thing. The U.S. Supremes' decisions striking down 1950s Communist witchunts are instructive on that point.

    "...the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (slip opinion at 64) (2008)

  17. Carmine,

    Do you actually believe that if we had public financing of campaigns and term limits and the gun legislation came up again, it would fail with exactly the same vote it just did? If you do, all I can say is WOW!

    Many polls show that 85 % of Americans support background checks. All elected officials must check public sentiment, but most of these elected officials know that if they vote yes on this legislation, they will be targeted by the NRA for defeat in the next election.

    The NRA should be able to target those they disagree with for defeat, but 'all' candidates should not have to worry about being outspent by an opponent because some 'interest' targets them for defeat.


  18. KillerB,

    On what the Constitution intended, you are correct. But, how can you live here and believe that is the way Congress actually works.

    Elected officials want 'careers' in Congress. How can they maintain those careers? Do what 'majority factions' ie, interest groups with money and lobbyists... want them to do.

    'Intent' is fine, but we have to examine the reality.... and today the reality is that how Congress actually operates has morphed 'far, far' from what the Constitution and the Federalist Papers 'intended'.


  19. "Carmine lied some more....."

    JeffFromVegas -- evidently you are completely ignorant of the difference between opinions and deliberate deception. So why should you be taken seriously here?

    " can you live here and believe that is the way Congress actually works."

    wtplv -- oh, it's hardly just Congress. Government at every level has this problem. Look at our current legislature session in Carson City -- spent more than the first half doing little more than wringing their hands about expelling a member because some "don't feel safe." Now the session is fast coming to a close and what sound policy are they giving us to fix our state??

    "Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world." -- Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)

  20. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  21. KillerB

    For one so disdainful of popular opinion, you seem to have an excessively high opinion of your own ability to determine what's Constitutional.

  22. Again, the words in the 2nd Amendment were ignored ... a well regulated militia. My understanding is that our Founders intended to control weaponry.

  23. "Your opinions are so bizarre so often, you are usually easy to ignore..."

    Jeff -- mine are typically back up with a citation of actual law, like the Constitutions and/or the high courts. Unlike your nude pronouncements.

    "For one so disdainful of popular opinion, you seem to have an excessively high opinion of your own ability to determine what's Constitutional."

    pisces -- I can read and think and post. What's your excuse?

    "Again, the words in the 2nd Amendment were ignored ... a well regulated militia. My understanding is that our Founders intended to control weaponry."

    VernosB -- of course some control was intended. And the U.S. Supremes have explained that twice in the last five years in several hundred pages.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  24. With all the news released about the marathon bombing, the killing of a MIT police officer, and the following shootout in Watertown, I have yet to hear the question, "how and where did the brothers get their guns?"

  25. KillerB,

    You at least recognize this important issue... and yes, it exists in every legislature in every state but also in Congress, and it is killing this country.

    We cannot have a system where wealthy, powerful and influential 'interests' basically 'buy' our legislators and get what they want... and expect this country to survive.

    I don't intend to single out Harry Reid, but look at Coyote Springs and Whittemore. In 2003 Reid and others push though a land bill that makes Whittemore be able to develop Coyote Springs. In 2007, Whittemore helps Reid raise $ 150,000 for his re-election campaign. Come on! All people have to do is connect the dots and stop yawning long enough to demand that this 'system' is changed.


  26. Vernos,

    The question you asked is a valid question but even more important is how did these two people become radicalized. If it was by attending Islamic schools or places of worship in america that preach jihad and the destruction of western civilization, I think we have to start asking just how much freedom of religion are we going to allow if this is the result.


  27. No Michael, I really don't.

    Like Mr. Dombek, I feel depressed when I think how our children are being cheated of their future because of the irresponsibility of the adults. It is very depressing to watch the news and how humans treat each other, all for the sake of money.

    I know there are positive things happening, but it seems like EVIL is winning and the decent people are having the most difficult time. I cannot find heroes anymore.

    Every day, I toil in teaching children to respect each other, other people, and the environment; to be responsible about their work and themselves, and to be resilient whenever there are difficulties. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle, considering what the children see and hear from adults and from society.

    I take one day at a time, celebrate little triumphs, and try to hang on to them for as long as I could to keep my sanity. The pendulum has swung all the way to one side. Maybe soon, it will start swinging back. I will be happy if it stays put in the middle.

  28. At the top, Future claims: "Democrats should have addressed corralling criminals, terrorist and deranged mentally ill." It's obvious he feels that Republicant's were prohibited under penalty of law from offering any possible amendments to do so.

    Anyone who does no more than cry: "We can't DO that!" or "That idea can't possibly work!" or more basically "I SAID NO!" is not part of the solution, they are THE problem. That includes Republican'ts. That includes Future.

  29. It's obvious from reading SgtRock's various comments that he actually and seriously agrees with my facetious suggestion that we repeal EVERY law enacted in the last 75 years that has EVER been violated! After all, they obviously haven't worked...

  30. At 10:37, VernosB (vernos branco) posted: "Again, the words in the 2nd Amendment were ignored ... a well regulated militia. My understanding is that our Founders intended to control weaponry."

    Please read the history, Vernos. Their primary intent was to eliminate the need for a standing army - one of which had just presented them with some serious problems. A standing army is, after all, primarily responsible to those running it - i.e. the King of England - and not to the general population.

  31. Per LastThroes (2:23 p.m.): "John Dombek, try to understand that the Party of No is in the pocket of the NRA."

    I've argued for years that the United States has the best legislature that money can buy. Right now, the Republican'ts are on a downhill slide and are offering some real bargains!

  32. Nancy,

    The reason that you and everyone else cannot suggest an alternative is because there isn't one, except to hope and continue to do what we are doing now. That won't work.

    We'd have a shot if it were true that one party supports the working class and the other the wealthy. Just elect more D's and everything would be fine. We've tried electing mostly D's and mostly R's and it doesn't work. That's because our system is now set up in a way that forces our elected officials to do the bidding of the powerful interests with money once they are in office, despite what they may claim. If they don't do that, they lose elections and are replaced with someone more compliant. Until that dynamic is altered, our own government does not support the working class and average Americans. That's just a fact.


  33. Robert is right to point out that nothing is keeping R's from creating legislation that would allow more mentally ill people to be involuntarily placed in treatment. By doing zero on that front while fighting gun background checks, R's just inflict more wounds on themselves and their party. Jindel was correct when he called R's the party of stupid.... and it continues.


  34. wtplv - "I think we have to start asking just how much freedom of religion are we going to allow if this is the result."

    Are you suggesting we circumvent our Constitution? I can see it now, pitting religion against religion and sect against sect, eventually leading to baptists taking up arms against Latter Day Saints because they don't practice christianity the same. Should we establish a state religion?

    I have little doubt there are spies galore in temples all across the country, more so than when the KKK or Black Panthers were infiltrated during the 60's. In my experience radicalism is taught at home across the breakfast or dinner table similar to political views.

    There are over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and millions in the United States. If they were taught to hate us all, I think we'd have a much larger problem than two stupid, delusional, kids bombing Boston.

  35. Michael:

    Certainly, there are things that can and should be done. However, our society runs on 'it's not WHAT you know, but whom you know.' That is why REALLY smart and decent people shy away from getting themselves involved with government because you almost have to sell your soul to the devil to get anywhere and make a real difference.

    I admire Elizabeth Warren and her attempts to fight the 'too big to fail banks.' However, how long is she going to last? In the last video I saw, she was the only one, amidst rows and rows of seats, demanding answers from bank representatives and regulators! How long is she going to be able to keep it up when NO ONE was even there to simply provide moral support!

    I am sure those people were probably snickering at her when they're back in their 'locker rooms,' I am sure also that they have already something in motion to 'keep her quiet.'

    I remember a saying - something like a hedge and that if you stick yourself out, you get clipped.

    Meanwhile, smart alecks comment here like they know everything and all they are really blowing is hot air!

  36. Mr. Dombek: The Senate vote just saved a little time--SCOTUS would strike down the legislation. How about some EFFECTIVE and constitutional gun control? How about making it a federal crime to carry an unregistered gun, a federal crime to carry if you are a convicted felon/ex-con, a federal crime if you are not a citizen (even if legally here), a federal crime if you use a gun during a felony with a MANDATORY federal prison sentence of 5-10 years--just for being caught with a gun. That would take much of the violent criminal element off our streets AND would dramatically cut the demand for illegal guns.

  37. JeffFromVegas - "Let's remember that almost all of the people involved in the apprehension are government employees and almost all are union members."

    Great point, imagine that, we need government after all.

    "The prez is on TV taking all the credit for taking down the marathon bomber"

    You truly are delusional, hearing voices as well?

  38. I think my tears were for all of us, everyone living before us,those living today and those who will live after we are dead. Our unlimited creativeness as a human being is gradually proving itself to be divine with our stunning scientific and technological advancements. While our grasp of compassion, the truth that we are one human being is completely lost on us. I have no answers and no beliefs to present, no enlightened comments to express. I just have the tears. I think now, after 79 years they are tears for something we could have had, but lost.

  39. "FIVE Democrats voted against it --

    Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid,
    Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas,
    Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska,
    Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
    Sen. Max Baucus of Montana."

    Thank you, Future. It seems some here like to blame the GOP and the NRA for the bill's failure and forget the Democrats and President lost the vote based on the facts and the evidence.

    Two factors did in the Toomey-Manchin bill. Among others. First, the bill didn't address the matter of a national registry. Two, the bill didn't address the matter of transfer and sale of guns between friends, neighbors and relatives. While the bill said that the Attorney General could not use the background data to keep a national registry of gun owners, the bill did not preempt another government agency from doing so. And the issue of decriminalizing private gun transfers was not addressed. I said here it needed to be before the bill would be passed.

    Michael, it's hard to say how the vote would have come out. To answer your question, neither you or I know for sure.

    Polls, for those who like to quote that 90 percent in favor of background checks, are moot. You don't know the background of the persons asked. [No pun intended]. Are they gun owners or not? Are they city dwellers or rural residents. Dems or Reps? If you ask the questions about stricter gun laws of the persons from these different backgrounds you are likely to get completely opposite answers for and against.

    Am I disappointed that the background checks didn't pass? Yes, I thought they stood the best chance to get something passed that at least symbolically let the families of the Newtown massacre feel as though something good came out of the horrific tragedy. But do I think that if passed it would have made a hill of beans worth of difference in the case of Adam Lanza and what he did? Absolutely not. That was a lie that did the bill in. The President and those who tried used the tragedy to gain a political victory over the NRA, and it failed.

    Carmine D

  40. Now as for you Sad Nancy, if that last post sounds like I am the only one here who has a handle on this, then so be it. It is what it is.

    Carmine D

  41. CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): at 4:25 a.m. you questioned the accuracy, saying, in part, "Polls, for those who like to quote that 90 percent in favor of background checks, are moot. You don't know the background of the persons asked. [No pun intended]. ... Are they city dwellers or rural residents."

    To use Nevada as an example: per the 2010 census, we had 2.7 million residents. Together your Clark County and my Washoe County accounted for 2.4 million of them. If, together, we agree on a course of action, is it going to really affect the outcome if the residents of the other 15 counties disagree?

    The same dichotomy exists in each of the areas you address - Nationwide in 2010: urban residents - 79% of the population, rural residents - 21%; gun owners - 36%, non-owners - 64%; Independents - 38%, Dems - 31%, Repubs - 29%. A well-designed poll (as the top ones normally are) will select a sample that is intended to reflect these data.

    True, ask one random resident, either nationally or just from Nevada, from an urban and a rural area some gun control question and they will quite probably give widely different answers. But what are the odds that the total number of urban people agreeing with their pollee will be larger than the total number of rural people agreeing with their pollee? THAT is what polls measure. Yes - there are occasional polls with significant errors but most are correct within their stated margins of error.

    Are polls moot? Absolutely not. Are polls usually fairly accurate? Of course. Are polls occasionally wrong? Definitely - Remember the 1948 Chicago Trib headline "Dewey Defeats Truman"? Are they sometimes wildly wrong? Absolutely - remember Carl Rove's personal poll as shown live by Fox News on election night 2012?

  42. Robert:

    I said the gun polls about 90 percent favoring expanded background checks is moot. Why? For all the reasons I posted.


    No response is warranted for your idiocy.

    El Lobo


    Carmine D

  43. Those of you who literally cried should toughen up.
    This was another attempt by an out of control government to grab more power, and nose its way into our lives. I cheered the Senate's vote. Secondly, anything that makes Obama loose his cool as did this vote has to be right for America because he is a power grabbing ideologue devoted to more government controls, and eventually would trample all over our constitutional rights.

  44. You're wrong Jeff. The Toomey-Manchin bill did not address the issue of national registry of gun data. The bill specifically said the Attorney General could not use the data to maintain a national registry. The bill did not preempt other Federal agencies from doing so. It could have included language to say this. It did not and those like me who know how laws are written objected on these grounds. I presume Senators know how laws are written and the 46 Dems and Reps who voted against the bill did so because of it.

    Carmine D

  45. Jeff:

    Stop playing mind games and read the law before you call others liars. The President lied to the American people on this issue in the rose garden. He knows he did. I know he did. Senators, both Dems and Rep, know he did. And he always has. I hear the words of Abe: "You can fool ...."and you know the rest. Look it up if you don't.

    CHECKMATE Your KING is down.

    Carmine D

  46. JD 8:53, WHEN did we lose it? I think we lost it all when we guaranteed teen moms income / care for life. When we ..... illegal invaders, students with self-importance entitlement to education despite NEVER having earned a living....

  47. Jeff:

    Direct me please to exactly where in what you posted above, or anywhere in the Toomey-Manchin bill, it says that the creation of a national registry by any Federal agency [other than the Attorney General] is prohibited by Federal law. I'm all eyes and ears.

    Carmine D