The Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Del Mar, California is a story we’ve covered here at Bearing Arms for a little while. The city freaked the hell out and wanted the gun show to be removed from city grounds. There hadn’t been a problem with the show, but that didn’t matter to them.
That led to a series of woes for the show, but those are in the past.
This weekend, the show is back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in a triumphant return.
The Crossroads of the West Gun Show returns this weekend after a nine-month absence, along with the demonstrators who want to end sales of firearms and ammunition at the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Meanwhile, legislation that could permanently ban gun shows there awaits the governor’s signature. Similar efforts are underway elsewhere in California, fueled by increasing concern about gun violence across the United States.
The Del Mar gun shows have been popular and well-attended for 30 years, attracting thousands of visitors per event. Recent mass shootings have prompted a growing number of people to question the need to hold the festivals on state property.
Groups such as the Del Mar-based NeverAgainCA take the position that “gun shows do not belong on state-owned property; they are dangerous; crimes do occur and the operators have … (a) disregard for safety, lawfulness and responsible gun ownership.”
Of course, crimes occur everywhere, even when there’s not a gun show.
Besides, Crossroads of the West argues that firearm sales are only a small part of what happens.
Crossroads officials say the gun shows are fun, safe, law-abiding, family-oriented events, and that weapons are only part of the attraction.
“The reality is that less than 10 percent of the activity at a gun show involves firearms or ammunition,” said Crossroads attorney Tiffany Cheuvront in a recent statement posted on the company’s website. “The shows are a modern bazaar, with a wide assortment of food, interesting merchandise, and services available.”
That’s actually not surprising. Gun shows are ideal gathering places for people who share a passion for firearms. I’ve argued it’s a great place to learn about area gun ranges, find which instructors in the area are good and which aren’t, and so on. I stand by that.
And yeah, it can also be a bit of a carnival atmosphere.
While these events may center around guns, so what? It’s time for some people to recognize that guns are now and forever will be part of the American landscape. Trying to push them into the fringes won’t accomplish anything at all except to anger those who are being pushed there with them. That’s not a good thing for anyone.
The return to Del Mar is a huge win for not just Crossroads of the West, but for all Californians, even if they disagree that it really is a win. People should be free to hold gun shows on publicly-owned property so long as they comply with the existing rules. Trying to change those rules just because you don’t like the focus is petty tyranny at its finest.
I’m just glad they got smacked down over it.