In the past few months I have written two columns that touch on gun rights. The first was Dec. 20 in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting. The other was last week when I questioned having a gun show attached to the Spring Jamboree.
In neither column did I ever write that I wanted guns banned or wanted to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns.
You would think I did by how many people approached me during Spring Jamboree on Saturday and Sunday hooting and hollering about gun rights.
Yes, despite my concerns about having the gun show at the family-friendly Spring Jamboree, I brought, as I said I would at the end of last week’s column, my 10-year-old daughter, Emma, and my wife on Saturday.
I even returned on Sunday just to go to the gun show myself, without my daughter. While the promoters of the gun show said it was a family-friendly event, I did not see one kid in the building for the 45 minutes I was there.
But I ran into person after person both days who accused me of wanting to ban guns and who criticized me about my concerns about the gun show.
First off, I don’t want to ban guns. Second, the third paragraph of my editorial last week read, in plain and simple terms: “To be clear, I am not against guns or having a gun show in Boulder City.”
I don’t know how much clearer I can make my point.
Did I grow up in a house with guns? No.
Have I ever fired a gun? No.
Would I ever own a gun in my house? No.
Am I against you owning a gun — provided you’re not a felon or mentally ill? No.
Will I go with you to fire off a gun? If you’re providing the gun and ammo, and it’s at a shooting range with plenty of witnesses, I’d love to go.
I stand by my statements that having the gun show with the Spring Jamboree was a bad idea. Just because nothing happened, the potential is just too great.
And to those of you want to bolster your argument by saying, “What about alcohol? They sell that at Spring Jam too.”
To that I say what my mom used to say: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Maybe selling alcohol isn’t the best idea either, especially at a place that glorifies cars and, now, guns.
And to those who come at me with something like, “Maybe we should ban glass bottles. They could be dangerous.” I ask you, is that the best defense you can come up with? A glass-bottle analogy?
If you want to have a rational discussion on the gun issue, I’m in my office.
My concern with the gun show stands. Until Nevada toughens its gun laws, which are some of the weakest in the U.S., I will have my concerns about gun shows at a kids’ event.
Want to have it on a different weekend, or at Art in the Park, fine. (I would, however, have to think there would be some irony in the fact that there would be a gun show at a hospital fundraiser.)
Mayors Against Illegal Guns issued two reports in January stating that Nevada ranked ninth in guns exported used to commit crimes elsewhere.
The top state where Nevada guns ended up? California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
During a six-year span through 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported 2,824 crime guns recovered in California originally bought in Nevada.
Is that really what any of us wants this state to be known for?