Summary

STATE 1. Background checks for all gun transfers — NO
STATE 2. Recreational marijuana — NO
STATE 3. Free market for electricity — NO
STATE 4. No sales tax on medical equipment — YES
CARSON CITY 1. Sales tax hike on gasoline — NO

Details

STATE 1. Background checks for all gun transfers — NO

Digest and arguments:

http://files.constantcontact.com/d2820800501/c76d91ef-30c6-4744-833a-7277bf3d5866.pdf

Actual text:

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=51136

First, let’s begin with the simple fact that all gun control measures, actual or proposed, are prima facie unconstitutional. Why? Because the Second Amendment plainly says “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Second, like all gun control attempts, this proposal suffers from a list of findings (Section 2, paragraph 3, 4, 6) that are contrary to well known facts. The biggest whopper of course is paragraph 7; it’s not the people of Nevada who are proposing this, the proponents are outsiders paid by a left-wing NY billionaire.

Third, the proponents of gun control laws — and therefore the victims of gun control laws — have the problem of foreseeing and regulating behavior. ALL relevant behavior. Of course that’s an impossible task; you can’t foresee all possible behavior, but it does not stop them from trying. Just look at how they try to account for all instances of a “transfer” from one person to another (Section 5, 6, 7).

And therefore all sorts of difficulties arise which put the actors participating in the regulated behavior into an area of uncertainly that only extensive and expensive litigation can resolve; in this case at the risk of arrest, fines and jail time. Who’d want to risk that? And that’s precisely the point: to make the actor decide to forego the act, rather than risk the consequences and expense of finding out whether the act is legal or not.

Case in point:

Initiative Section 5. The provisions of NRS 202.254 do not apply to:

5. A temporary transfer of a firearm to a person who is not prohibited from buying or possessing firearms under state or federal law…

6. A temporary transfer of a firearm if:

(a) The transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is prohibited from buying or possessing firearms under state or federal law;

(b) The transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee will use or intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime; 

HOW would I know that, for sure, about anybody? It’s not exactly a detail about one’s life that one goes around publicizing. The only way to be sure, even in the middle of the dire emergencies acknowledged in these sections of the ballot initiative, is by stopping, going to a federally licensed gun dealer, and running a background check. Yes… while the bad guys are shooting at you.

And of course this is the fundamental problem with all gun control laws. They have nothing to do with guns, gun control, or public safety. The real target is a person’s god-given right of self-defense. When seconds count, the police are minutes away. They arrive in time to scrape your carcass off the floor, then investigate. Just ask all those dead people in Chicago, how gun control is working for them. (You should not have any trouble finding them; some have voted, for many years after dying.)

The authors of the Bill of RIghts got it right: “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Not by law. Not by executive order. Not by the federal government. Not by state government. Not by local government. Not by anybody.

Note a subtle difference in terminology in the Amendments. The First Amendment starts with “Congress shall make no law…” Everybody else can (and does), but Congress cannot. But in the rest of the Bill of Rights the governmental entity is not specified, which means that NONE of them can infringe on these fundamental rights.

STATE 2. Recreational marijuana — NO

Digest and arguments:

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=51146

Actual text:

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=51138

I’m sorry to raise hackles, but there is no such thing as “medical” marijuana. If there were, we’d have seen properly conducted scientific studies to identify the active ingredient, its medical effects, its side-effects, its medical benefits, its on-label and off-label uses, its contraindications, its safe and unsafe dosages, the dosage to effect the benefit(s), studied and determined in properly conducted clinical trials, and of course properly prescribed and monitored by a legitimate physician — just like all other medicines. I don’t think any of this was ever claimed, offered or provided for “medical” marijuana. (No, but there have been imaging studies that show marijuana literally turns your brain into a sponge.)

What we do know for certain is that for generations marijuana has been a “gateway drug” to other, much more dangerous street drugs, and, like other substances of self-medication, it impairs a person’s attention, judgement and physical activities.

Nobody has bothered to provide a reasonable explanation why we needed to turn to “medical” marijuana for relief, and now nobody bothers to explain why we need now to make the jump from “medical” marijuana to “recreational” marijuana. I personally find no “recreation” in being zonked, and had found no evidence of any relief, benefit or recreation among those that I observed being high on everything from marijuana to heroine. (Living in SF has dubious educational value.)

I am libertarian enough to say, hey, idiot, you want to kill yourself, it’s your business. Just don’t take me with you. Have a car with the safety interlocks to keep you from driving under the influence. Wear bright clothing so I’ll see you when you stumble into a traffic lane. But you see, that’s where this thing breaks down. There is no such thing as a victimless crime. We are a communal species, not hermits. Everybody has family, friends, neighbors, coworkers. Everything we do affects other people, and especially those who are stupid enough to care for someone on a path of self-destruction. (I’ve been there too, trying to “save” someone like that; still showing the scars.)

I am also libertarian enough to say that no level of government has the constitutional right to regulate morality. But the immediately practical fact is that even if we legalize recreational as well as medical marijuana, there still are (unconstitutional) federal laws that do remain in effect. So the best we can count on is actually the worst consequence of all this nonsense: expect the feds to look the other way. Yupp, that sure is THE right thing to do, for a nation that so proudly proclaims its faith in the rule of law — just don’t enforce the law… One law for us, one law for the druggies, one law for Hillary,…

Well, good luck with that one. We have the problem of an entire industry having been perpetuated to deal with the problems of drug abuse — the livelihoods of countless police, drug enforcement agents, prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, court clerks, jailers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, treatment center operators, politicians and pundits directly depend on it. And no, legalizing drugs would force only some of these people to find productive employment in other areas.

We have enough problems. We don’t need to deliberately make more, except maybe a law to retrofit all vehicles with impaired driving interlocks.

STATE 3. Free market for electricity — NO

Digest and arguments:

http://files.constantcontact.com/d2820800501/2f6efdcd-adba-4a65-8752-2eec11d9f734.pdf

Actual text:

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=51140

What? Peter is against the free market? I hate to say it, but this is another dishonest proposition on the ballot this year. Oh, it sure sounds good, a free market in energy. The problem is, if we DID have a free market, and if we DID believe in a free market, and if we did practice what we believe, we would not need to pass a law to make it free — we would simply repeal the laws that had replaced the previously existing free market with the legal fiction of a regulated monopoly called a “utility.”

The other problem is that this is not a proposition to allow a free market. This is just another ruse for “green” energy. And the reason that’s a problem is that the economics of “green energy” will never make it competitive with fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Wind and solar will always require massive subsidies to make them look competitive with the others. Also, while it is technically possible and economically practical to make fossil, nuclear and hydro power environmentally safe, the inescapable fact is that the manufacturing process to build solar panels and wind mills is by itself far more detrimental to the environment than the extraction and use of conventional fuels, and the operation of “green energy” plants is lethal to wildlife, especially to birds that are chopped to pieces or fried mid-flight.

When I was a kid, my father used to mock the something-for-nothing crowd by saying that they just want to look up in the sky and expect roast pigeon to fall into their mouths. Well, hang around a solar farm and it just might happen that way.

STATE 4. No sales tax on medical equipment — YES

Digest and arguments:

http://files.constantcontact.com/d2820800501/ff9ea538-16fd-412a-b2df-807cf708a94e.pdf

Actual text:

http://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=51142

Yes, as a geezer I am taking this position out of self-interest. But medical equipment is hardly discretionary, and in that respect should no more be subject to a tax than food is. Also, a tax only makes the equipment more expensive to the people who actually pay for it — ultimately the government, whether under 0bamacare, Medicaid or Medicare. Which, as you must well know by now, translates to… taxpayers. Which, in a state with a sales tax, means everybody.

CARSON CITY 1. Sales tax hike on gasoline — NO

Digest and arguments:

http://files.constantcontact.com/d2820800501/91c2a0b7-9df5-43a8-b674-b4c228b1f0d4.pdf

Fuel is expensive enough already, especially for those of us on severely fixed income. (Social Security just announced a raise of $3-4, while Medicare, supplemental insurance and co-pays are going up tens of dollars — each.) And our city “fathers” are demanding MORE tax hikes. No, we do not need ANNUAL increases of THREE CENTS each year, between now and 2026. That will raise the price of a gallon of gasoline by $3 in 2026. WHO ARE YOU KIDDING??? We already have a fuel tax in Carson City. That money was and is already supposed to go ONLY for road and street repair.

If the argument for this tax hike is that it is required by state law (AB191, 2015), then I submit the legal requirement can be fulfilled by setting the hike to something ridiculously low, such as a mil or tenth of a mil; whatever the pumps can handle.

HOWEVER, AB191 (2015) says nothing of the sort. It says, as county MAY impose or continue the surcharge IF the people approve it by a two thirds vote. It is the VOTE of the people that is REQUIRED, not the tax hike.

So, the first thing to ask is, why has the city not spent that money as required all these years? And because they have not, what assurance do we have that they would, in the future? And if we don’t have the money now to keep our existing streets in good repair, why has the Board of Supervisors been approving the construction of MORE streets in all those new hyperdensity projects (Schulz Ranch, Lompa Ranch, Little Lane, The Vintage, …), to be maintained by the city?

Money is fungible; one dollar bill doesn’t know from another that is has to be spent on one thing, not another. That’s why we have a budget. If only that budget were written with an eye on the city’s essential services and priorities. The fact that we have all those roads and streets that need repair should be a good enough argument for replacing those on the current Board who have set the city’s spending priorities on things other than the basic essentials.

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