By: Robert Davis
Around 30 protesters lined up across the street from Crossroads Gun Show in Del Mar, California in July to play music and call for an end to the show as attendants entered the event.
Many of them held homemade signs with gun violence statistics and pleas for tighter firearms sales regulations.
Other passed out literature suggesting the vendors routinely break state and federal law while selling weapons.
“They imply that you can buy high capacity magazines, machine guns, and automatic weapons at the show all without a background check,” San Diego County Gun Owners executive director Michael Schwartz told Gunpowder Magazine.
In response, Schwartz offered a $10,000 donation to a charity of the protesters’ choice if they entered the gun show and found evidence to support their claims.
“You can’t buy magazines over 10 rounds, machine guns, etc. It’s all an effort to mislead the public,” Schwartz said.
One of the protest organizers claimed that her group—NeverAgainCA—has never made any claims of criminality against the gun show. A recent article by Breitbart columnist AWR Hawkins showed otherwise.
In fact, the organizer went on the record with the San Diego Union-Tribune to say “[Our] point is to end the gun shows. The gun shows are just not healthy for our community.”
To Schwartz, this kind of changing rhetoric shows that the protesters do not have a unified message. Instead, they are reacting to news cycles and using fear-mongering to spread their message.
“It all culminates in that they don’t like the gun culture. Frankly, it’s bigotry against gun owners in general. They’re saying that gun owners are undesirable in their community and are trying to kick us out because of our culture. That’s about as un-American as it gets,” Schwartz said.
Crossroads has been a staple in the Del Mar area for nearly 30 years, putting on five shows per year. Each show attracts up to 10,000 attendees, Schwartz estimates.
Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him with comments or tips at [email protected].
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