Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hypocrisy? - What Should We Do?

Gun control/2nd Amendment rights aka the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) is a critical issue with me. In many elections it is the one issue on which I base my vote because the candidates' stands on other issues are so similar.

Here in Virginia we were on a slide down slope from the ideals of liberty until the Virginia Citizens' Defense League (VCDL) was formed. This is an outstanding organization primarily because the founders were able to build a base of hard-charging, self-sacrificing, intelligent people to do the work. They made Virginia a shall issue state but that was just the start for them. As a group they've managed to use tact as well as the intimidation of numbers to turn Virginia around and make us one of the better states in which to own and use guns.

But today I was reminded of an issue that's been bugging me for a while.

I attended the Harrisonburg Gun Show today. I believe the promoter is C&E/Showmasters. Once again I noted that they disarm everyone, CHP included but we have a booth. I was told the space was donated. I'd been thinking about their policy as I drove the 33 miles to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.

When I got there I "secured" my CHP firearm in my truck and moved towards the door. I was greeted by the absolutely no loaded firearms, no exceptions sign. I went inside and counted out my $6 and turned to get stamped. The fellow with the stamp asked me, "do you have any loaded firearms?" to which I responded, "no, do you?"

Now, that might not have been the very BEST way to approach this but I'd been thinking about their policy for a while and I truly wanted to know. His response, "YES! I DO!" to which I said, "well good for YOU." I have to admit, his tone struck me as confrontational, not as a businessperson dealing with a customer (which is exactly what an attendee is!). He asked again (apparently thinking I thought it was a joke) to which I told him no.

Forgive me my ignorance but how is this different than restaurants/bars banning firearms or carry by persons having a CHP? How is it different from any government owned, i.e. public place, banning concealed carry.

Yes, this has been going on a while. Apparently a DEALER had a negligent discharge (not a CHP) and this policy was enacted shortly thereafter. Apparently, this is an insurance concern to the promoter. But today, for some reason, this is really irritating to me. It seems the height of hypocrisy.

I'll be frank. I quit attending Old Dominion gunshows because they couldn't get good vendors in. C&E/Showmasters is better but for this one issue. This one issue is likely to cause me to cease attendance at CE/Showmasters shows. Why?

Look, C&E/Showmasters makes money from promoting gun shows. They entice gun dealers to go to the shows and many of those big dealers are catering to either the EBR (evil black rifle) or concealed carry crowd. So, C&E/Showmasters is making money from people they are effectively banning. Makes no sense to me on any level.

Well, there have been some responses. As I read it the upshot is that there are lots of guns AND ammo at a gun show and it is all about guns. A CHP or somebody carrying concealed could lose it and whip out their piece to try a new holster, ask for magazines, show off or something and shoot somebody. There was an anecdotal reference which doesn't mean much to me. It is much the same ridicule of CHP holders as the anti-gunners have been repeating. Anyway, there's some support for the C&E/Showmasters view.

I can understand supporting private property rights but these shows are conducted on PUBLIC property. We fought that fight about a mall owned by a city government (in part) and I see no difference.

I understand about insurance coverage. It is inevitable that somebody (and at least once it was a dealer) will make an error. Liability has to be addressed. Unfortunately, as we see in Illinois, this has been considered as a limitation on individual owners as well. The person I spoke to told me he did have a loaded gun. I see nothing wrong with that on the face of it but it violates their own policy. I suppose that they know this individual (or others) and are willing to trust them but not others who are customers.

I also know that a number of people are simply lying to the handler(s) at the door. They know they likely won't be searched and there is no penalty for lying other than being asked to leave. I'm not into lying.

You can't have it both ways. You destroy your arguments that CHP holders are safe, reliable, non-criminal and worthy of carrying anyplace including bars if you say they can't carry at gun shows. Since I won't get any traction on my argument I'll simply not attend any further gun shows. I guess I've finally found a point on which I disagree with the VCDL leadership. I'm disappointed.

1 comment:

DiamondD said...

I agree with you 100%. I believe I too would punish them, and maybe myself, by not attendening any more. I really like gun shows but disarming you to get in one is like making you turn in your Bible at the Church door.

Doesn't matter what their intent is, the rule goes against the very nature of their lifeblood, people like you.

Dean D.