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Mayor’s race finds Suttle alone on gun control

By   /   February 15, 2013  /   24 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

OMAHA—When it comes to gun control and this year’s mayor’s race incumbent Democrat Jim Suttle is on his own.

On his own politically and, at least for now, publicly as well.

Two months ago, shortly after the Connecticut school massacre, Suttle and hundreds of mayor’s across the country signed a letter urging President Obama and Congress to “mandate criminal background checks on all U.S. gun sales and remove military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines from our streets.”

Nebraska Watchdog asked Suttle’s four major opponents if they would have signed the letter.

All four said “no.”

From left: Dave Nabity, Brad Ashford, Jean Stothert, Jim Suttle, Dan Welch

In addition during the only two mayoral question and answer sessions of the campaign so far—with all five candidates asked by the public for their views on a variety of issues such as taxes, pension reform, race relations and public access TV—the question of gun control was never raised.

And that includes this week’s two hour Q&A held near 24th and Lake Streets on the city’s bullet plagued north side.

As for Suttle’s letter to President Obama, State Sen. Brad Ashford, an independent, tells Nebraska Watchdog he wouldn’t sign the letter because “it wouldn’t work.”

Ashford believes the emphasis must be put on treating those with mental illnesses.

Republican Dave Nabity said the best protection against “an insane person with a gun is a sane person with a gun.”

Nabity’s fellow Republican, City Councilwoman Jean Stothert, who blamed criminals for Omaha’s violent streak, was more diplomatic.

“We need leaders to focus on the underlying causes of crime and violence, including illegal guns, rather than dissuade law abiding citizens from responsible gun ownership,” Stothert told Nebraska Watchdog.

A statement issued by Republican Dan Welch’s campaign said Welch, a former city council president, would not have signed the letter. The statement did not elaborate.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • LukeinNE

    Semi related question for Omaha people: how do your mayoral races work? Nonpartisan primary and then two finalists or what?

  • Joan

    Final…1 Democrat, 1 Republican, 1 Independant, A write in space

  • Joan

    Thank you Mayor Suttle. A criminal back ground check is a good thing and to remove all military style weapons and high capacity magazines is the least we can do for the safety of the people of Omaha. I feel we need to extend back ground checks and register all those who purchase guns myself. After all we require serious checking on those who buy narcotics for medical purposes. Why not monitor guns where as the person who owns a gun is a possible endangerment to others? Who eats a deer that has been killed by an AK-47? The last gun show in Carter Lake had the AK-47 for sale, who bought it? It is insanity to think that more guns will make us safer. All four of the mayors opponents live in upper class nieghborhoods and do not have a clue of how the 47% population struggle with the crime rate and guns are an issue.

  • The top two vote getters go on tho the General Election, it makes no difference what their party affiliation is. It could be two Republicans, two democrats or any combination. Most times it works out to be 1 Democrat and 1 Republican but that is not how it is set up to be.

  • ImJustAGuy

    I’ve looked at several maps of crime and unemployment in Omaha. The higher crime and unemployment quadrants of Obama happen to be Democrat dominated areas. Perhaps we should look at removing the common denominator in those problem districts. BTW, my AK-74 has killed less people than Ted Kennedy’s car. It’s perfectly safe because it’s owner is a law abiding citizen.

  • Jonah Alvarez

    Who eats a deer killed buy and ak-47 is the same chamber as a 30.06 it taste the same no matter what you shoot a deer with. Second the second amendment isn’t to protect hunting rights. You have a warped conception of what a gun is. Its only a tool I can turn your common 10/22 to look like any other ar-15 make it look like an an. But it doesn’t change that it is only a 10/22 with a dress on it.

  • Joan, a sixth candidate collecting signatures to be on the ballot lives in North Omaha and sees everyday how difficult the population in that area has just to keep food on the table. The poverty rate in that census tract is unacceptable.
    The only problem with knowing what the sixth candidate’s views are is that he has not been included in the public forums. They will introduce me at the beginning, but they don’t alter their program to include me.

    The sixth candidate’s name is John Sciara, I live in North Omaha near Kountze Park. Even Mayor Suttle lives in an upper class neighborhood.

  • Joan

    Really? Explain how that works please. All the times I have voted it seemed my party affiliation was some how involved. Maybe I am just having a senior moment? I don’t recall choosing between two people of the same party for Mayor.

  • Joan

    I am saying the deer will be so full of bullets you won’t want to eat it. I was trying to make a point…the babies killed out East had three to eleven bullets a piece in their little bodies. AK-47 are not needed on the streets, only in the military. Lastly I know what the Second Amendment is and it isn’t designed to give the ordinary man on the street the right to carry Military Style weapons and 30 round magazines. When the Amendment was written our fore fathers could fire one bullet and then they had to reload.

  • ImJustAGuy

    I don’t carry my AK on the streets. And besides, go look it up. Those children were NOT killed by “assault rifles” as Obama, Piers Morgan and all the other Democrats have been saying. They were killed by handgunds. Do you want to ban those too?

  • Doug

    Jean Stothert has been talking an awful lot about North Omaha this week.

    I look forward to hearing her explain how soliciting bribes to delay North Omaha job creation and favoring assault weapons helps to keep our streets safe.

  • ImJustAGuy

    This is a video of NBC Connecticut reporting. The “long gun” was discovered in the trunk of the car, not next to Adam Lanza’s body.


  • ImJustAGuy

    She favors LAW ABIDING citizens having firearms, not criminals preying on citizens in North Omaha.

  • Guest

    All I can say to you Joan is you are a sheep that has fallen into the trap .. Go read the Constitution and the federalist papers regarding the 2nd Amendment…You obviously have done neither……. It has nothing to do with hunting….It has EVERYTHING to do with protecting ones self and country from tyrants…..It’s the only reason Japan didn’t invade and it is the only reason we are not enslaved by our own government…. Joan you know nothing about what you speak…. Educated yourself before you open up your mouth and try to give away MY RIGHTS…. No registration, No confiscation, No limitations to my RIGHTS….. If you believe in limiting one you believe in limiting them all…. That is called a traitor to his / her country….. Punishable by……. You figure it out… Oh and I killed a deer this year… One shot from a mini 14…. shoots a .223 bullet….SEMI AUTO RIFLE…. JUST LIKE A AR15 and AK47….It’s laughable how idiotic you are.

  • The city primary is nonpartisan, the candidates political party is not included on the ballot. The National primaries in May on a presidential election year, the party affiliation is included and you can only vote in a Democratic or Republican ballot depending on your party affiliation.
    In the last city primary for mayor, there were two Republicans and three Democrats on the primary but only Suttle was a viable Democratic candidate.

  • Joan, Please understand that I am not replying to your postings to criticize you, you seem to be willing to have a conversation and discuss this issue in a proper way, and we need more people willing to discuss this without invoking emotion.

    An AK-47 is not a weapon that continues to fire as long as you hold the trigger, one trigger pull, one bullet. To shoot a deer full of bullets you would have to keep pulling the trigger. No one would do that for hunting. An AK-47 is not used by the US Military in general, a M-16 is used.
    When the constitution was written, the American rifle was the weapon of choice and could fire more accurately than the British muskets, so they had the more advanced weapons of the time. (But I do believe that they did have to reload)

    Joan, thank you for your comments here. We need conversations like this to fix this problem.

  • Joan


  • Joan

    EXCUSE me Mr Guest. Last I heard I was entitled to my opinion also as it is my right in this country. I know the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with deer hunting. See John Scriara above, I thought “automatic” guns fired repeatedly until all bullets were expelled. My family only had rifles to hunt wirh. You do not in this country have the right to as you say, “No registration, No confiscation, No limitations and tell me I have to keep my mouth shut” When you become an endangerment to society, society has the right to institutionalize you. You are over reacting, the people want Universal gun checks, assult weapon ban and 10 clip magazine ban.
    Go look in the mirrior and you will find the true idiot.

  • Joan

    Thank you

  • Joan

    And your suggestion to solve the problem in these areas would be? I am always open to a good cause. Is it a Paul Ryan plan?

  • ImJustAGuy

    This is how, as reported by NBC News. Democrats who believe Onama are led down a road of lies.


  • ImJustAGuy

    It’s a cultural thing. Democrat values lead to entitlement attitudes, dependency, and a base instinct contrary to a civil society! Look at Chicago, look at Detroit. I can go on! 🙂

  • ImJustAGuy

    LIBERALS want universal gun checks, scary-looking gun bans, and a ban on magazines with 10 or more rounds.

  • If we follow the logic of the “Ban All Guns or Even Some Guns” crowd (Even the AK as Joan said) then we need to apply this same logic to a nationwide killer that takes more life’s then Mass murders due to Gun Violence, and that is Drunk Driving.

    Drunk Driving kills more people a year, and disrupts more lives then any mass shooting involving a so called “Assault Rifle” (Which in my opinion is an offensive term, coined by anti-gun folks to make these guns seem more dangerous then they really are). If we follow their logic, we should be blaming the alcohol or the car for drunk driving deaths, but I don’t hear any cries of public change for this? We look at more law enforcement and treatment programs to combat this. Why do we have this double standard or hypocrisy?

    One reason can be found in what occurred in the 19th century, most people found out real fast that legislating law abiding citizens will not work to fix, what is broken. Anyone read the stories of Prohibition or the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution? There was a group of folks doing the same thing the Anti-Gun crowd is doing now, and they decided “Hey, if we can’t get the people to behave, then we will go after the so-called source of the problem!” Well guess what, once they did this, it got worse, much worse.

    So before going off on guns as the main reason for the violence ask yourself this question “How will taking guns off the street fix a broken society who is hell bent on killing people, how will it stop a criminal from killing people?” All you are really doing is disarming the law abiding citizen who wants these types of guns for protection both foreign and domestic! There is reason they call these people a criminal, they are breaking a law, so putting a ban on these guns, will not stop them from breaking the law, and if they want to kill large amounts of people they will find a way!

    So for Mayor Suttle to come out and say this, tells me something about his leadership, he is an ineffectual mayor. He is not looking at the real issues, but rather wanting to to put a band-aid on a deep gash. Banning Guns will not fix his city, but cleaning up Crime, address the reasons why Omaha’s hot zones are flaring up, and building a deep/rich economical base for Omaha will help fix things.

    Mayor Suttle is jumping on a bandwagon, that will do nothing to fix the real problem at hand, and doing so will ostracize his Law Abiding citizens who believe in the 2nd Amendment AND their rights to own the very guns he is targeting. He will NOT get my vote in this election!