The last weekend of 2012 my very own city, Las Vegas, will be the next stop on the national tour of death merchants, the Crossroads Gunshow. As a concerned citizen, I surmised I should know more about an event where one can purchase high capacity clips and other killing accoutrements. I suppose what I learned should really not surprise anyone.
I pulled this ironic tidbit from the Crossroads Gunshow Website frequently asked questions section: Q: Can I carry a loaded gun in the gun show? I have a Concealed Carry Permit.
A: We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show. There is no need for any commentary on this statement. It is the very definition of Q.E.D.
In previous articles, I’ve discussed how the folks in Utah, namely those of the Latter Day Saints persuasion, are obsessed with arming themselves for the imminent apocalypse. I was not surprised to see “America’s largest producer of gun shows, Crossroads,” has its headquarters located in Kaysville, Utah. The family in charge: the Templetons, are shameless gun show promoters. They were the very folks who, just one week after the Gaby Giffords mass shooting at a Tucson supermarket, hosted a gun show just blocks away from the tragedy.
The Templeton family is not exactly what one might consider a paragon of virtue. In 2002, Crossroads Gunshow VP Jeffrey Templeton called the police after hearing a suspicious noise outside his house. The police found more than just a suspected prowler, as this report states. The indictment lists 57 firearms confiscated at the home by agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Kaysville police on Dec. 11. The discovery was made after someone at the Templetons’ home in Kaysville called police to report something suspicious, possibly a burglar or prowler. But when Kaysville police arrived, they spotted a slew of weapons with illegal drugs nearby, said Kaysville Police Chief Dave Helquist. He said the drugs appeared to be methamphetamine and are being tested. I suppose they are just the type of criminals 2nd Amendment enthusiasts want to arm themselves against.
The 2nd Amendment has been perverted by the Right. They redefine a well-regulated militia as every gun-crazed, paranoid lunatic should have all the weaponry and ammo of a Colombian drug cartel. So, the Second Amendment read: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Contrary to some current right-wing fantasies about the Framers wanting to encourage popular uprisings over grievances, the language of the amendment is clearly aimed at maintaining order within the country. The Founding Fathers wanted to maintain a civilized society where armed insurrections like Shay’s Rebellion could be easily quashed, not the other way around.
Folks blame President Obama for not being “tougher on guns”. President Bush let the assault weapons ban of 1994 expire in 2004, as it was common knowledge the NRA ran the show in the Bush 43 White House. In fact, The National Rifle Association’s second-ranking officer boasted at a closed meeting of NRA members in May of 2000 that if Republican nominee George W. Bush wins in November, “we’ll have . . . a president where we work out of their office.”
President Obama tried in March, 2009 to reinstate the ban, but with sixty-five House Democrats opposing the ban, he and Attorney General Eric Holder could not get this through Congress. Too many are beholden to Wayne Lapierre and his terrorist organization, the National Rifle Association.
LaPierre is a seemingly unstable leader who claims criminals hear voices and demons to encourage their heinous acts. On Meet the Press last week he proclaimed:
“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them”
When one truly believes in demonic possession, it’s not wise for this person to hold so much influence over so many insane people, like those who read his NRA publication.
In order to gin up fear and gun sales, he regularly and erroneously claims the Obama Administration is coming for your guns. Here is a recent excerpt from NRA Publications Inc.
Over the past three years, the Obama administration and its anti-gun allies have been engaged in a silent but sophisticated long-term conspiracy to:
1. Neutralize gun owners and NRA voters as a political force in national elections, and thereby:
2. Win re-election to a second term in the White House, where they then will be immune to the will of voters and free to continue consolidating and misusing their ever-increasing power to:
3. Prosecute a full-scale, sustained, all-out campaign to excise the Second Amendment from our Bill of Rights through legislation, litigation, regulation, executive orders, judicial fiat, international treaties—in short, all the levers of power of all three branches of government.
And the key to their success lies in keeping gun owners like you in the dark.
There are roughly 5,000 annual gun shows nationwide and 40% of gun-owners purchase their firearms either at a gun show or through classified ads and private exchanges, with little or no regulation. Perhaps just eliminating gun shows is a fine way to start cutting down on violence via assault weapons. It will certainly not eliminate all mass shootings, but taking the profitability out of human carnage might just be a great way to start.