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Smoking And Guns At The Del Mar Fairground

The Del Mar Fairgrounds has hosted gun shows for more than two decades. No assault weapons are sold, that would be illegal in California, and the events are highly regulated.

Aired 1/14/13 on KPBS News.

A petition to stop gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is gaining momentum.

Crossroads Of the West Gun Show

Crossroads of the West gunshow is scheduled to visit the Del Mar Fairgrounds in March 2013.

But a group called “Stop the Del Mar Gun Shows” formed after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They have collected more than 1,000 signatures on their petition so far.

Member Bud Emerson said the Del Mar Fair Board recently agreed to ban smoking at the Del Mar Fair.

“So if they think smoking is bad, tell me how that compares to a gun being bad,” Emerson said. “We’ve got to be consistent here with our values. For them to say, 'because it’s legal they can’t do anything,' they CAN do something.“

Linda Zweig, spokesperson for the Fair Board, said selling guns at a well-regulated public gun show is one of the safest ways to sell them.

She said the change to make the Del Mar Fair a non-smoking event took years of public pressure.

“It was requested for a very long time by a committee of concerned citizens,” she said, “ and they came to not one, not two, but years of board meetings, during the public comment period.“

Emerson said the group “Stop the Del Mar Gun Shows” plans to mobilize its growing supporters to lobby elected officials around the region.

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Avatar for user 'Anon1'

Anon1 | January 14, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

This is nothing more than an emotional reaction to an anomaly, helped in large part by the media's martyring of Adam Lanza. I think it was best said in a post-Columbine interview between Bill O'Reilly and Marilyn Manson:

O'REILLY: You can take some of your lyrics as, you know, "You'll understand when I'm dead." I mean, disturbed kids could take the lyrics and say, you know, When I'm dead, everybody's going to know me.

"MANSON: Well, I think that's a very valid point, and I think that that's a reflection of a -- not necessarily this program, but of television in general. If you die and enough people are watching, then you become a martyr, you become a hero, you become well-known. So when you have things like Columbine and you have these kids that are angry and they have something to say and no one's listening, the media sends a message that if you do something loud enough and it gets our attention, then you will be famous for it. Those kids ended up on the cover of "Time" magazine. The media gave them exactly what they wanted...."

Let's be real... If we were going to prioritize what guns to ban/control/prohibit based on how deadly they have proven to be, handguns would be getting banned before rifles. For those that argue handguns are not as deadly in mass shootings, allow me to remind you that the Virginia Tech shooter Cho killed 32 adults with only 2 handguns. It was the 2nd deadliest school shooting in America. Why are no gun prohibition advocates arguing for the prohibition of handguns, despite being proven as a greater overall danger? It certainly speaks to the weaknesses of their position.

By the way, the petitioners mentioned in this article should remind themselves that they're using 1st amendment freedoms to try and take away 2nd amendment freedoms.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 14, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

What do these people think they will accomplish by stopping gun shows at the del mar fair grounds? Will all the gang members stop killing? Because we all know the criminals get their guns from gun shows, where background checks are required.

They just want to feel like they did something, even though they are doing nothing. Then they can go home and pat themselves on the back and say "good job, we helped stop gun violence" which would be an utterly stupid thing to think.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 14, 2013 at 11:10 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Not to mention they had 1000 signatures I believe. That is 0.075% of the population of San Diego. So 0.075% of the population doesn't like something? Oh well. 49% of the country didn't like Obama but he still won.

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Avatar for user 'mikefair'

mikefair | January 15, 2013 at 6:40 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

where is the petition to save the gun show and ban the liberals from del mar?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 15, 2013 at 8:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

AL ANON 1, you are grossly misusing the word "martyrdom."

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 15, 2013 at 8:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Send the gun show to East County. Maybe Rickkk Roberts can emcee.

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Avatar for user 'Joe6Pack'

Joe6Pack | March 11, 2013 at 8:55 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The people who are the subject of these articles have no idea what happens after a nation is disarmed.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 11, 2013 at 10:02 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

~12,000 pay to attend, ~1,000 sign a statement asking to close the show. Looks like a 92% approval rating to me and seems pretty clear that there is a fairly strong preference from those interested enough to take one stand or another.
Not that popularity should be the determining factor, but it's nice to know there are vastly more people on the side I prefer.

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Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | March 11, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

As witnessed by the turn out, weapons control can be very effective if you restrict the ammo. Sensible weapons regulations like hiking the cost of ammo, decreasing ammo production, and allowing those harmed to sue the manufactures and those who sell them, would go a long way to curb the slaughter. Address the problem at its source, its origin and distribution. The more sensible the restriction, the louder the weapons proponents will scream foul. Better that they scream and cry themselves to sleep than to continue to helplessly watch our children being slaughtered.

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Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | March 11, 2013 at 12:50 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

I wish I was smart enough to be a gun and ammo merchant a few years ago. This is like real estate in the 90's. Can there be such a thing as an ammo bubble?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 11, 2013 at 5:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Joe6Pack | today at 8:55 a.m. ― 8 hours, 13 minutes ago
"The people who are the subject of these articles have no idea what happens after a nation is disarmed".

So few words, yet so much ignorance.

First off, nobody is "disarming" anyone. The President has proposed reasonable restrictions, and alarmists have translated this into "disarming". If you disagree with the proposed restrictions, then argue that on the merits or lack thereof, but don't extrapolate this into "the government's coming to take your guns away".

Now that we have that cleared up, care to let us know which modern-day country has disintegrated because of outlawed guns? Japan? The UK? Nope, it seems like the countries in the biggest mess are nation's like Somalia where different factions have their weapons but that doesn't translate into a stable government.

This silly idea that somehow an armed society protects us from our own government is naive idiocy.

We are a nuclear superpower. If it ever came down to a revolt involving people v the government, whoever has control of the nukes would win and the number of people with guns would be moot.

Even if you take nukes out of the picture, this insane fallacy some have about armed citizens being needed in case of national emergency/corrupt government is absurd. It makes the extremely naive assumption that you would have two clear sides - an evil government vs. a good citizenry.

What is more likely to happen is many warring factions breakoff, and you get guerilla warfare similar to what's happening in some areas of Africa.

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