How much more gun violence do we need before the Fair Board steps up and takes a stand on the gun trafficking they sponsor with five gun shows a year? So far not one board member has even asked for something that is so offensive to our community be put on their agenda at least for discussion, even if they don’t have the courage to take action.
This is a powerful illustration of how unaccountable to the public this appointed body is. Letters, testimony, a petition with more than 1,500 signers, city council resolutions —none of it means anything to them. They are a law unto themselves, feeling no obligation to explain themselves to the public. This board’s unwillingness to even discuss the issue is an insult to citizens struggling with horror and grief at what is happening to our children because of a gun culture that has grown out of control.
Shame on them for hiding from the public and pointing their fingers elsewhere for others to take action. Yes, it is a complicated problem requiring action at all levels of government and society. But each of us has a moral obligation to take whatever action we can, whether as a parent, physician, teacher, or fair board appointee sponsors of gun proliferation.
Nothing less than our own children are at stake. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, gun-related injuries accounted for 6,570 deaths of children. Seven deaths per day among kids 1 to 19 years of age. Gun injuries cause twice as many deaths as cancer, five times heart disease. We cannot continue to do the same things we have been doing and expect a different result. It is unacceptable to do nothing different when we know it has not been working.
The Fair Board must do its part. It is not a legal issue but a moral issue. Gun shows send a terrible message to our children, the glorification of guns. Gun shows, with their festive aura, are a toxic element that subtly attracts young, impressionable new customers to grow the market for the gun industry. Gun shows are part of the industry’s well documented marketing effort to lure young people to guns
Fair Board, it isn’t good enough to say your hands are tied. The Fair Board sets policies and makes choices all the time about appropriate events on these family-oriented public lands. (No smoking, no drugs, no porn...)
Nor does excluding gun shows from the 22nd Ag. District impair the 2nd amendment rights of citizens. There are plenty of remaining venues where firearms can be bought or sold.
What kind of a society are we? It is time to dial back our obsession with guns, starting here in San Diego County. Let’s ask these Fair Board members to examine their consciences and show some moral leadership.