Both Sides of Gun Debate in Las Vegas This Week

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

This week is SHOT Show week, and neither Cam nor I are there.

Yes, I’m a little salty about it, but only a tad. Being there can be a lot of work, but the upside is that you’re in Las Vegas for a week. Assuming you actually want to visit Vegas, that is.


And this year, as in years prior, a good chunk of the gun world is in town for SHOT.

It also seems they’re not alone. In fact, the anti-gun side is in town and while it hasn’t necessarily translated into picketing–at least, not that I’m aware of, anyway–they’re not sitting around and enjoying all-you-can-eat buffets, either.

Guns will be a hot topic during the 2024 election season and as it gears up, two very different gun discussions were happening across the valley on Tuesday.

It comes as Las Vegas Metro police reported 37 shooting victims so far in 2024 which is nearly double from the same time in 2023. It’s a problem that people have very different views on how to address it.

Carolyn Saovadoravlia was one of the students who was there during the UNLV shooting and was at a roundtable discussion about gun violence. She is advocating for changes in gun laws and said lawmakers don’t get it because they didn’t grow up with the threat of it.

“For gun violence, the people in power are having disagreements because they don’t understand how it feels. I think the changes that need to be seen would probably not be seen by these people,” Saovadoravlia explained.

Yes, because people being shot is an entirely new phenomenon. Absolutely no one over the age of 25 knows what it’s like to lose someone to a maniac with a firearm. Oh, wait…


I really do try not to belittle young anti-gun activists for just being young, but it gets really hard when they say incredibly stupid stuff like this.

Especially when here “understand how it feels” was to be on a campus where something happened but she was likely not even directly exposed to.

What she doesn’t get, likely because she’s got a case of the “you’re too old to understand” going, is that it’s not that we don’t understand how it feels, we just think there are better solutions. Moreover, we don’t see any evidence gun control actually prevents it.

However, there are at least some sane voice there this week.

While the roundtable discussion was happening across town the SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show) which is a big event for the firearms industry.

It’s not just firearms the event also showcases apparel, accessories, and other things you would not expect at a show like this including jewelry and trucks.

Matt Manda with the National Shooting Sports Foundation said they help people better understand firearms and always advocate keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

“We are seeing people who are lawfully owning firearms are doing so in a safe and responsible way. We need to hold criminals who are not following the laws we are passing those people need to be held responsible. It’s not law-abiding gun owners,” Manda said.

He also added that they are seeing a changing demographic of more women and minorities purchasing guns for safety. Other safety things he stressed the industry is doing are offering free gun locks, suicide awareness campaigns, and educating on the proper use of guns. He said gun owners are paying attention to changing laws.


Ironically, none of that enters consideration when activists want to blast the firearm industry.

It seems that Las Vegas is a unique place right now, where people can find both sides of the debate and actually hear from more than what the mainstream media typically likes to provide.

I’ll give credit to the Las Vegas station for getting both sides, at least, because a lot of places wouldn’t, so there’s that.

At the end of the day, this debate isn’t going anywhere whether we like it or not. Yet as long as SHOT Show is in Las Vegas, we’re going to have people who take issue with our right to keep and bear arms taking issue with it being there.

And if NSSF were to move it, they’d complain about it being there, too.

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