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Laxalt’s Calls for Silence on Gun Violence Put Him Further to the Right of Sandoval

This weekend, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval promised to personally engage in a national conversation about curbing gun violence. Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt thinks we should “slow down” talking about how to prevent future massacres.

Sandoval: “This event in Las Vegas has changed everything for me. Having met with the families, having met with the victims, having seen myself what had happened there, it’s affected me deeply. The vice president yesterday said we’re going to have a conversation on Monday with regard to firearms. I think it’s long past due, and it’s one that I’m going to engage in personally.” [Vox, 2/26/18]

While Sandoval affirms that being governor of Nevada during 1 October “changed everything” about his views on gun violence, Laxalt thinks not even having the nation’s worst mass shooting happen in your home state is a good reason to talk about preventing more shootings.

FOX News: “Democrats like Sen. Schumer are calling for new gun legislation nationally. I’m curious, could you describe Nevada’s gun laws compared to, say, the rest of the country?”

Laxalt: “Well, I’m standing right in front of the horrific scene of what we experienced just two nights ago. I’ve been in the command center since yesterday 1:00 AM to late last night and we’re working very hard as a city and a state to deal with one of the worst tragedies we could imagine. So I don’t think talking about gun issues right now is the right time.” [FOX News, 10/3/17]

While Sandoval thinks the conversation about gun violence is “long past due,” Laxalt thinks there’s never a good time to talk about it — not right after a shooting, nor four and a half months later.

Laxalt: “You know, I think it’s important to slow down on this October 1. […] I think it’s unfortunate that these types of incidents are used politically every time.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/15/18]

While Sandoval is going to “engage personally” in a national conversation about gun violence prevention, Laxalt wants to “give it some time.”

Laxalt: “We need to start the conversation about what schools want to do, whether it’s going to be more security in schools, I think that’s something we need to look at. But it’s very raw right now, there’s no question, and we gotta give it some time to be able to have a very calm and deliberative conversation about this.” [Audio obtained from Laxalt campaign event in Mesquite, NV, 2/21/18]

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:

“Laxalt continues to drift further to the right of Sandoval on almost every issue. His continued silence on gun violence issues is deafening. How many more Americans must die in a mass shooting before Laxalt thinks it’s time to talk about common sense gun violence prevention? Nevadans deserve a governor who will lead on this issue, and Laxalt has shown time and again he’s unwilling to step up.”