A Democrat Nevada state Senator, Pat Spearman, who is running for North Las Vegas Mayor, is in the spotlight speaking about gun violence. This is because Spearman’s son, whom she adopted, shot her nephew on Thursday night around 6:43 p.m. Naonche Tamar Osborne, 21, was arrested on attempted murder, battery with the use of a deadly weapon, and discharging a gun into an occupied structure or vehicle. All three charges are felonies. The male victim, thought to be in his 40’s, was transported to UMC Medical Center, in stable condition. The shooting occurred at Spearman’s home, and she said that she was attending a Halloween event at a nearby middle school when the incident took place.
An emotional Spearman held a press conference on Friday, where she said,
As a mother, I support the justice system and my son. It’s with a heavy heart that my family is impacted by gun violence. I have more empathy than ever before for families that have to deal with such tragedies.
Spearman plans on continuing in her race for North Las Vegas Mayor, in an election where early voting has since started. Spearman declared that the incident shouldn’t be politicized, saying,
So let me be clear, this is not about politics. It is not about politics. It’s about a family that’s struggling.
For Nevadans, it’s both easy to empathize with a mother in Spearman’s position and to reject the notion that a shooting occurring in a sitting Senator’s home is not political, when themes of the criminal justice system and gun violence are raised. Those are both political issues.
Earlier in October, a veteran Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer, Truong Thai, died in the line of duty. Local media 8NewsNow ran a segment claiming that the firearm used in the commission of the officer’s murder was capable of firing 600 rounds per minute. On Twitter, I have asked them to retract that statement, saying such a claim has no basis in reality.
Well, before the Governor bothers to order the flag half mast for a line of duty death— they have to circulate rhetoric, of course. Who told @8NewsNow this gun was capable of firing 600 rounds a minute? You should retract. There’s no reality in that statement. #2A pic.twitter.com/ZJ3JC6CRjR
— BrutalBrittany💕 (@BrutalBrittany2) October 22, 2022
The alleged attempted murder comes after a string of politically adjacent crimes in the Silver State. In September, a sitting public official, Robert Telles (D) was charged with open murder for the slaying of Jeff German, a local investigative reporter. Telles had also been appointed to serve on a state board by the incumbent Governor Sisolak (D). Later that month, a brutal 50-year cold case murder of a 19-year-old resulted in the arrest of Tudor Chirila, 77, a former Nevada Deputy Attorney General. Then another Nevada murder story made national news, when a prisoner convicted of a pipe-bomb homicide escaped prison, and nobody noticed or reported it for four days.
This highlighted the ongoing issues at the state’s Department of Corrections, such as critical staffing shortages, exasperated by Sisolak’s vaccine requirements, which the Governor failed to address. Again, as in the Telles case, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department became the hero of the story, led by Republican gubernatorial candidate, Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
Spearman can say it’s not political, but along with the murderous stories coming out with political angles– she has a voting record on the issues, too. She voted in favor of SB 452, which was a logistical nightmare for firearm carriers, adding criminality for possession on any private property with no firearms signage. The ACLU even opposed the bill, calling it a “stop and frisk” power. She voted with the Democrat party line on SB286, targeting lower receiver manufacturing that the anti-gun lobby calls “ghost guns”; the judiciary would throw out parts of the law.
The Nevada Independent reported Lombardo’s position on the law:
During a question-and-answer session with members of the Nevada Firearms Coalition in June, Lombardo — who is running for governor as a Republican — said Las Vegas police had only tracked six instances of homemade, non-serialized firearms over the past year and that none of the firearms were used in a crime. He added that his department would not be proactive in enforcing the provisions of AB286.
Meanwhile, Everytown For Gun Safety Victory Fund canvassed for Spearman in her mayoral race. Everytown has been called upon by local police groups to stop running police attack ads targeting Lombardo.
Given the politically relevant murder cases in recent months, the current wild media claims about how many rounds a firearm is capable of discharging in one minute, Spearman’s record, endorsements, rhetoric, and an election underway… it is a voting issue for Nevadans who are impacted by both public safety issues and firearms laws.