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Reno, Las Vegas Mayors Differ On Gun Control


Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman's heart still breaks thinking about the 58 people murdered in Las Vegas in 2017.

Her eyes well with tears talking about the 20 children and six adults murdered at Sandy Hook elementary in 2012.

And she signed a letter with other U.S. mayors a week ago to Congress asking them to do something about gun control.

But she doesn't believe it will do any good.

She told State of Nevada she did it out of respect for the other mayors. But her heart wasn't in it. Goodman said guns are not  the issue in the United States. She believes mass shootings are the result of many factors, including the break down of the family and lack of mental health care.

“This is such a bigger, complex issue and we’re not touching any of it. We’re all screaming, ‘We hate this! We hate this! ... To me it needs a bigger talk."

She added that it is time for action. “Enough talk. I am so sick of all the talk, all the meetings, all the hatred, I want to see things done."

Goodman would like to see Nevada lawmakers do more. She said gun control regulated like marijuana, where states legalized the drug even though it's illegal at the federal level.l. 

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve also signed the letter. Contrary to Goodman, she believes it will do some good. She said members of Congress listen to mayors, seeing them as closer to their constituents and potential voters.

“I think right here on the ground mayors look at it in a much more sensible approach but I also do think Washington needs to hear this,” she said.

Schieve pointed to a crackdown on illegal guns in her city, where more than 200 guns were seized through efforts involving local police, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

Mayor Schieve believes the letter will make a difference because it shows voters and politicians that mayors are involved.

“I think by signing onto those letters it shows that we are paying attention," she added. "It really does send a message."

Carolyn Goodman, mayor, City of Las Vegas; Hillary Schieve, mayor, City of Reno 

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.