Gun shows are awesome. Even if you don’t buy anything, they’re just fun to go and look at all the stuff. You get the chance to see and handle firearms you might not have found in your local store, but there’s still plenty to spend money on if you so desire.
It’s also a good way to meet up with fellow members of your local gun community, to network with pro-gun activists, and so on.
Yet in Allen, TX, an upcoming gun show is a problem. Why? Because a mass shooting happened and no one is allowed to move on.
Four monthsafter a gunman killed eight people and injured seven more at an outlet mall in Allen, a local company is organizing a gun show less than a mile away.
Driving the news: The Allen Gun Show will take place this weekend at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center.
Why it matters: An event promising “over 500 tables of guns, knives, ammo and shooting supplies” so close to the site of a recent mass shooting is paradigmatic of the gun-rights divide in America.
- While mass shootings often fuel debate over gun regulation, several studies have shown that they also lead to a temporary increase in gun sales.
See, here’s how it goes. If there’s a mass shooting in a given location, absolutely nothing pro-gun can happen there ever again. That includes things like gun shows that were probably already scheduled and planned out, but even a convention for a gun rights organization that was planned at least a year earlier is supposed to cancel its plans, causing thousands to have to cancel their own and likely cost a lot of people a significant amount of money.
The shooting in Allen was a terrible thing and only stopped being awful because a good guy with a gun happened to be there–in this case, a police officer on the scene for something different–the whole world is supposed to stop and pretend that life doesn’t go on.
Part of that life is gun shows.
“But the gun show loophole…”
It doesn’t exist. People keep pretending it does, but every licensed dealer at a gun show conducts a NICS background check on every buyer just like they were in a store. Those who are just liquidating parts of their own collection and don’t meet the guidelines for being a dealer don’t have to just like anywhere else in the state.
Yet while I have no doubt people will still bring up the whole “gun show loophole” thing while discussing this show, the truth is that it’s a red herring. It’s a line of attack they think they can use to undermine gun shows entirely.
What they want is for you to feel isolated. They want to limit your exposure to fellow gun enthusiasts. If you think you’re alone, your subconscious might start adjusting your views so that you can once again feel part of the community.
Gun shows, however, prevent that. They allow you to see you’re far from alone, that there are legions who stand for our right to keep and bear arms. They allow you to potentially connect with others so that your voices can be heard collectively.
And gun grabbers don’t like that, so they attack gun shows as a whole.
When there’s been a mass shooting, however, then they pretend that the entire city is somehow too sacred to ever have another gun show again, even though there’s no link between the shows and the shootings.