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Intersections: How do guns make us better off?

March 06, 2013|By Liana Aghajanian

A gun show was held in Glendale last weekend, what may be the last one in the city as the City Council gets ready to vote on banning gun shows on city property after the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shooting tragedy shook the United States during the holiday season.

The banning of gun shows after last year's tragedy, in which 26 people, most of them children, were gunned down, isn't unique to Glendale. In Maryland, Prince George's County has banned gun shows indefinitely. Closer to home in Del Mar, the City Council has urged the banning of the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, held in the city the last 22 years.

At the local gun show — which annually contributes $54,000 in facility rental fees to city coffers, according to a report Sunday in the Glendale News-Press — promoters expected around 4,000 attendees. But they were also met with groups of sign-wielding citizens on each side of the gun debate.

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As I browsed through photos of Saturday's gun show, one sign stuck out to me among all the others. It read, “Good people with guns don't cause tragedies.”

I thought about Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympian who fatally and, as he claims, accidentally, shot his girlfriend to death on Valentine's Day, mistaking her for an intruder. I thought about the dozens of news reports I've seen and read about kids finding guns in their houses and accidentally ending up hurting themselves or others. I even thought about a recent story out of Florida about a dog that accidentally kicked a gun and ended up shooting his owner in the leg.

Then another clichéd catchphrase you might find on a pro-gun sign came to mind: “Guns don't kill people, people kill people.”

That statement has never made any sense to me. For all intents and purposes, the very reason a gun exists is to cause harm or inflict damage, whether you're going out to shoot a helpless deer or a human. You're not going to put flowers in the barrel, you are going to use it, plainly and simply, to kill.

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