Shooting at Texas State Fair Shouldn't Raise Questions

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Anytime you get a lot of people in a single place, there’s a chance of something bad happening. The truth is that a lot of people aren’t good people for whatever reason, so there’s always a chance that they’ll act out violently.


That happened at the State Fair of Texas on Saturday.

Three people were wounded when a man pulled a gun and opened fire.

Now, officials are questioning the decision to allow people with concealed carry permits to carry firearms at the fair.

On the second weekend of State Fair of Texas, just before 8 p.m., gunshots sent fairgoers in the Tower Building running. Three people were wounded. Not long after, the alleged shooter, Cameron Turner, was arrested.

Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua’s district includes Fair Park. On social media last night, he said that the incident was “sparked from a conflict between two people who knew each other.”

Nevertheless, the gunfire was frightening and at least one fair employee had to be hospitalized. It has also further fueled a debate over security and gun violence.

Last year, more than 2.5 million people visited the fair, so it is safe to assume that at least that many will come to Fair Park this year, too. As much as we’d like to feel that we are always safe, Saturday night’s incident drives home how differently an altercation can proceed when someone has a gun.

According to the State Fair’s website, only people who are licensed to carry a gun are allowed to bring their weapon to the fairgrounds, and even then, it must be concealed. Dallas police say that the shooter was not licensed, and the incident was not random. They have not detailed how the shooter got the gun inside.


So, based on how much of this–and stuff I didn’t quote–revolves around licensed individuals, one might assume that the shooter had a carry permit.

The thing is, he didn’t, as noted above.

That’s right, all the kvetching about people with permits being able to bring guns into the fair and the situation precipitating this debate and the gunman didn’t have one, meaning he was already breaking the rules.

Now, let’s remember that Texas is a permitless carry state, so people can lawfully carry without a permit. Yet the State Fair of Texas apparently has the authority to set its own standards, and if that’s the case, so be it.

Yet this person didn’t follow those rules.

That’s absolutely shocking. Normally, the kind of guy who pulls a gun over some personal beef and shoots three people despite all the laws–not just “rules” but actual laws–is normally pretty rule-following.

How something like this could happen is a mystery.

What it doesn’t mean, though, is that there needs to be any rethinking of the rules about carrying a gun at the State Fair of Texas. The people permitted to carry a firearm weren’t responsible for the problem. It was someone who carried one despite the rules in place.


It’s unfortunate that so many people seem to believe that when one group of people breaks the rules, a different group should be punished for it as well.

Then again, that’s just gun control for you in a nutshell.

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