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Think Again: City Council should rethink Glendale Gun Show

December 26, 2012

On Dec.14, I was sitting in a session of the Los Angeles City Council for a pending council matter when a news flash came across my iPhone on the Newtown, Conn. school shooting. My heart sank and a shiver went through my body like it did for so many other people across our country.

The eerie coincidence for me was that later that afternoon, employees at Southern California Edison, where I work, were observing a moment of silence for the colleagues we lost almost exactly a year ago when an employee committed the same kind of rampage in the workplace.

That experience is still very vivid for me as I was on the front lines of helping manage through the traumatic event, working with families who are forever impacted by the tragic experience.

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When I got home, I read posts on Facebook from a friend and former colleague from Washington, D.C. who initially posted that her brother-in-law and sister-in-law were awaiting word to see if their niece Gracie was among the Connecticut victims, asking for prayers for her well-being.

Then the Facebook posts turned for the worse when news arrived that Gracie was one of the dozens of children who had been killed.

This tragedy then got closer with a few degrees of separation and was yet another reminder of the hundreds of families that will now be coping with the effects of the shooting for the rest of their lives. This is not to mention the trauma that everyone at that school will carry for a long time.

My intent is not to tackle the entire gun-control issue and whether people have a right to own guns. That is a big issue that on a high level loses the human connection.

The issue for me on the ground level, however, has a live example in Glendale. The Glendale Gun Show comes to town three times annually in March, August and around Thanksgiving. It is held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, which is city property, and where gun dealers display and sell all types of guns.

What makes it more bewildering for me is that the Civic Auditorium is across the street from Glendale Community College on one side, the Armenian Catholic Church on the other, a playground one block north and a residential neighborhood where I live on the fourth side.

Every time this show comes to town and their large signs go up on the auditorium property I have a bad reaction to it, especially for where it is held and particularly the one held on the eve of Thanksgiving. It just doesn’t sit right.

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