As a constitutional conservative, I believe that the Second Amendment is at the heart of all of our other God-given rights. As a gun owner with a CCW, I consider it my responsibility to be well-trained on the use of my firearms, and to be well-educated on the history and significance of the Second Amendment. I recently had an experience that reinforced both areas: I took a 4-day Defensive Handgun course at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute outside Pahrump, NV.
Front Sight is on 550 acres of desert land about a 25-minute drive from the center of Pahrump. They have about 50 different ranges, and teach handgun, rifle, and shotgun courses focused on defensive use. They teach somewhere between 30,000 to 50,000 students per year.
Taking a course at Front Sight is no vacation. Desert conditions vary from extremely hot to cold, wet, and windy. This was my second course at Front Sight, and just like the first experience, I found all of the staff professional, courteous, and friendly.
We had about 400 people taking different classes that week, and I was pleasantly surprised at the demographic makeup of the students. Yes, there were a bunch of us who were in our 50s and 60s, but there were maybe 20+ teenagers including a 12-year old boy, and maybe another 60 or more people in their 20s and 30s. And there were some people in their 80s. I estimate that around 40% of the students were female. There were a lot of families.
Out of the gate, head trainer Brad Ackman emphasized that the purpose of the training was to enable the students to be able to recognize threats, avoid confrontations if possible, and if violence was inevitable, to know how to stop the threat. That was the theme throughout the training.
We were all divided into groups of 35-40 people and assigned a particular range with its own set of instructors. Our group of students had two police officers from Cincinnati, at least one teenager, and a woman who appeared to be in her 80s, so it was quite a mix. Our head instructor was a woman from Minnesota who was a bartender in her regular job. We also had 2 instructors with significant firearms training experience. The cool thing about this training is that all the instructors demonstrated their shooting skills prior to having us begin our training. They were all amazingly accurate and fast.
The first day was focused on basics: safe handling of our guns, loading and unloading, and using our holsters. The instructors kept a close eye on all of us, and taught us with professionalism and with humor. After our afternoon on the range, we went back to the classroom and were treated to a discussion on the Second Amendment from Rick Green, a former Texas congressman who now teaches the Constitution and trains young people full time. It was crystal clear that the founders of our nation regarded the Second Amendment as a God given right that was critically important to defending our liberty.
The next two days built on the foundation from the first day, as we began to shoot from 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards, but we also learned how to quickly clear malfunctions and reload. On the third day, time-pressure for shooting and clearing malfunctions was added, and we also went through a house-clearing simulation which got the adrenaline pumping. On the last day, the morning was devoted to practicing for our timed skills test, followed by the actual skills test before lunch. Only those who were very fast and accurate were able to take more advanced courses, which I estimate only about 8-9 people achieved. I wasn’t in that group, but my scores were definitely better than the last time I took the course. After lunch, we had more drills and exercises that were simulation based, requiring more advanced decision making under pressure, including hostage situations. I estimate that during the course, we pulled the trigger on our handguns about 1,500 times, of which perhaps 475 were live rounds.
I highly recommend that all Second Amendment supporters who are gun owners, especially those with CCWs, make the time for this intense mental and physical training.
Those of us in the greater Reno area might forget that Washoe County, while only 40 miles at its widest, extends some 200 miles to the north. Up there, beyond the Black Rock Desert, Washoe County shares a border with Lake County, Oregon. Population, around 8,000. Lake County is very large and very republican, with almost 80% of the vote in 2020 going for President Trump. Surrounding counties are similar in size, population density and political leaning.
Something interesting is going on in Lake County, and in the surrounding rural areas. They are trying to become a part of Idaho. https://www.greateridaho.org/ If successful, Washoe County will end up sharing a border not with Oregon, but with a conservative mega-state nearly the size of Texas, extending from the Pacific Ocean to Yellowstone National Park, and from the Sacramento River Valley to the US/Canada Border. That’s a lot of Freedom, right on our doorstep.
2016 Electoral Heat Map and Notional Outline of Greater Idaho
Skeptics and detractors abound. We’ve all seen this before, I know. The State of Jefferson movement comes to mind. This effort, however, might have some legs to it – the battles are already being fought, and the inches are already being won. In November 2020, enough signatures had been collected in four Oregon counties to put on the ballot a measure to compel their county commissions to discuss the idea. Two of these measures, in Union and Jefferson Counties, passed – the others failed by a small margin. Earlier this week, proponents of the effort briefed a joint committee of the Idaho State Legislature, and in May, just weeks from now, five more Oregon counties, including our neighbors in Lake County, will vote on similar measures. With the relatively low population in each of these counties, the strong conservative base, and the continued leftward drift of Portland-dominated Oregon politics, we can expect many of these efforts will be successful.
It’s not unreasonable to go where you are treated best. Our friends to the north are trying to take their land and their counties with them. Keep a close eye on these local Oregon elections next month, learn more at https://www.greateridaho.org/.
Trivia: it looks to me like Washoe County is bordered by 12 other counties. I have yet to find another county that shares a border with that many other counties; most others are bordered by four to seven other counties. Can you find any counties that share a border with 12 or more other counties? United States – Counties – MapChart
The Nevada GOP issued a statement recently that they found evidence of 122,918 fraudulent votes. I did some research of my own and I found quite a different story which Nevada Republicans deserve to hear.
The NVGOP identified 42,284 duplicate votes purportedly using three data points. When I ran a data query using the same three data points, I came up with 3,058 potential duplicate votes. That is 39,226 less duplicate votes than they reported. I believe they actually used only two data points, last name, and DOB, to obtain the 42,284 duplicate votes.
Additionally, they stated that 31,643 votes were flagged for “ID Required”. However, there is no data to suggest these “flagged” voters actually voted. I identified only 171 voters that were “flagged” that actually voted. If you deduct the 171 actual “flagged” voters who voted from the 31,643 “flagged only” votes, the number is 31, 472. If you deduct the adjusted numbers of 39,226 and 31,472 (70,698), there remains 52,220 potential fraudulent votes.
In order to verify the remaining 52,220 votes in question further data and legwork would be required to substantiate fraud.
My conclusion is the claim of 122,918 fraudulent votes is likely an overstatement. The 52,220 may be fraudulent but a verification would need to be completed through further investigation.
Note: The data team for the Washoe County Republican Party verified the numbers presented in this article are accurate.
Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Governor Sisolak’s 30-day shutdown to flatten the curve. As we know, this was followed by a series of stay-at-home orders, park closures, mask mandates and a host of other restrictions through executive orders. Today, a year later, many businesses are still forced to operate at 50% capacity. Starting May 1, the Governor has announced that he may allow local governments to determine the gathering and capacity sizes.
Let’s review the genesis of these restrictions. We were told the restrictions were for two weeks…. Just two weeks. Then it was to flatten the curve. Then it was about hospital capacity. Then it was about deaths. Now it is about cases. Stay home, save lives said the bumper sticker. It’s the science, claimed the networks. While the goal posts have consistently shifted, the impact has been the same: High unemployment, where Nevada sits at 8.1% and is now tied for 6th in the country.
The question is, was it all worth the sacrifice? Did Nevada save lives with these restrictions? Let us look at the data to see if shutdowns made a difference. The United States has a population of around 333 million based on the most recent estimates. There have been 507,227 COVID deaths as of March 6th. That calculates to 1.55 COVID deaths per 1000 population. Nevada, which has had significant restrictions, has a greater than average death rate at 1.66 COVID deaths per 1000 population. Compare that with Florida and Texas where the businesses have been mostly open. Florida’s COVID deaths per 1000 population is 1.37 and Texas clocks in at 1.62, better than Nevada in both cases. As we look across all states, the data is mixed at best, and there is no significant difference in mortality rates between states which shutdown and states which did not. Given that information, what is the rationale to continue with restrictions which cripple the economy?
Nevada’s mandate to partially or fully shutdown businesses completely ignores the more detailed data that has been available for quite some time. We can all understand a panic-induced shutdown in March 2020 when we did not have enough data to draw conclusions. Starting last fall, however, we had plenty of data presenting solid patterns which should have been informing our decisions. For instance, let’s review the school closures. The under-18 years-old population in the US is around 75 million. Total COVID deaths in that age group across the entire nation stands at 216. That is under three deaths in a million. Explain to me again why we closed our schools? Now, let’s discuss business closures. The national COVID mortality rate for the working age population, under-65, is 0.00039. Does the mortality rate of 0.00039 warrant a government mandated shutdown? I recognize that individual circumstances may vary, and if one considers his/her risk to be high, he/she should be allowed to stay home and no one should lose their job as a consequence. (Note: Data in the above two paragraphs come from US Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control)
One final point: In addition to ravaging Nevada’s economy, Nevada has also squandered a precious opportunity to attract businesses exiting California. Businesses moving out of California are skipping clear over Reno/Sparks and moving straight to places like Salt Lake City, which is #1 in the nation in population growth, clocking in at a whopping 12.3% growth since last April (Source: LinkedIn).
With strong executive leadership and utilization of data, Nevada could have kept schools and businesses open with minimal restrictions, created a positive business environment, captured exiting California businesses, gained high paying jobs, and broadened its tax base. While we have lost a good chunk of that opportunity, let’s at least try to salvage what’s left. Let businesses decide on whether to stay open and let the employees and customers decide if they feel comfortable returning. Let us end the broad government mandated restrictions, open Nevada, and let people live their lives. It’s long overdue!
Sam Kumar is a guest writer and former Chairman for the Washoe County Republican Party.
National media recently reported on an unexpected upheaval within the Nevada Democratic Party: as of a few weeks ago, the Democratic Party of the State of Nevada is now staffed and controlled entirely by supporters of the Democratic Socialists of America. Would-be socialists now operate the largest political party in our state.
Initial judgement on this new Nevada Democratic Party was rendered by Democrats themselves – the entirety of the existing party staff resigned en-mass. Not much of an endorsement. Subsequent judgement will be rendered in 2022 by the voters of Nevada: Democrats, Republicans, and most importantly: Independents.
While it is never fun to have wolves at the gate, it is far better to know they are wolves, than to think that maybe they are just foxes. Our political opponents have now revealed themselves in full. Game on.
The Nevada GOP stands in firm opposition to socialism in our state and our nation, and in support of Freedom. Freedom is the opposite of socialism. Freedom, to us, defines what it is to be American. Freedom is our nation’s principle differentiator and discriminator on the world stage, and what has facilitated the ascendancy of America from a distant backwoods colony to our enviable global position and high standard of living.
The choice between redistributive socialism and American Freedom is becoming increasingly clear, and increasingly salient. Join us in defending Freedom in Nevada.
Most of you vote Democrat. About 65% in 2020. Fair enough. You’ve found the Democrat offering to be more compelling than that of the Republicans, or any other party. Frankly, in the realm of marketing and information control, we can’t compete with the Democrat machine. But our product is better.
The product we offer is Freedom. We think it’s a great alternative to the centrally-managed, socially-divisive, perpetual-crisis system pushed by the left, and it’s why we vote Republican. We hope you’ll consider voting for Freedom as well.
We desire an America in which we are all bound together by our common love of Freedom. Being Free is our national identity, and it’s what we wish to defend.
We’d like to live in a society in which the coercive force of government is the last line of defense against mutual peril, rather than the go-to solution for every conceivable concern.
We’d like to live in a society where everybody is free to positively identify with their heritage, ethnicity, lifestyle or religion – or be happy identifying as simply human – and not be forced into viewing themselves and their fellow citizens as members of some ready-made hierarchy of grievance and oppression.
Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he and four others drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, establishing the United States as a refuge from the demands of an overbearing, controlling, and distant government. Were he writing today, he would have been born in 1988 – squarely in the Millennial generation. Freedom once was, and can still be, a youthful pursuit.
Freedom is here for you, if you want it. It’s your birthright, but also your treasure to defend. We hope you’ll join us in voting for Freedom. We can’t wait to see what you do with it.