Former NRA president David Keene thinks that the upcoming Great American Outdoors Show is a victory for gun rights advocates, sportsmen, and collectors who have allied against restrictions. But is hosting the show in Harrisburg, a city with a troubling homicide rate, really a victory?
While the NRA is trumpeting this gun show as a “win” for its cause, can that truly be what’s going on when, on Sunday, a Steelton-Highspire High School student became the second 18 year-old to be shot and killed in just over a month?
Yes, the Second Amendment gives us all the right to bear arms. And people attending the show are certainly allowed to display theirs—including AR-15s and other guns that Reed Exhibitions, the promoter for the now-defunct Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, would have banned.
CeaseFirePA’s executive director, Shira Goodman, was quoted in the Penn Live piece as saying that “people have a Second Amendment right to have guns but that doesn’t mean guns everywhere all the time and any gun you want.”
According to Keene, “there is a change going on in the way people look at firearm controls. Once you get through the emotional argument and the issue gets debated, then the public looks at proposals that do not make any sense.”
What doesn’t make sense to us here at CeaseFirePA is that gun violence continues to plague our communities. Of course we’re emotional. Anybody who loses a friend or family member to gun violence is emotional.
But we also know that better policies regarding firearms, including expanded background checks, will save countless lives. As Goodman said, “We will see change . . . we will eventually create a new reality.”