Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Real "Gun Show Loophole"?

What happens when Liberals get control of a county?

Several years ago (and this is a true story, children.. well, mostly ... but the names have been changed to protect the innocent) in a small North-Western town which we will call "Corn Valley",   which was the County Seat, The County took control of The People.

One day, the County Commissioners (we'll call the county ""Benjamin"),  decided that gun shows would no longer be permitted at the Benjamin County Fair Grounds.

Now, there had been no complaints registered about the Benjamin County Gun Shows, which had been an annual event for decades.  The Citizens of Corn Valley, or of Benjamin County, had not objected to a "Free Market" in firearms.   There was no external reason for the Benjamin County Commissioners to establish a restriction on County Fairgrounds events. In fact, it was a money-making event for both the county and the fairgrounds.

They just decided this was The Right Thing To Do .. and the decision was passed seven-to-one by the Board.

The people of Corn Valley and Benjamin County objected to this arbitrary decision, and so a hearing was held one Tuesday evening at the fairgrounds.

The fairground board .. all five of them .. found themselves facing an angry mob of fifty or more local citizens.  The meeting room was small, allowing room for only a half-dozen chairs in the front row .. all of the other citizens found themselves standing cheek-by-jowl in a tiny room which had probably never held more than a scant handful of 'citizen observers' .. certainly they had rarely seen people standing in the room before this night.

At 7:30pm, the chairman of the five person Fairgrounds Board opened the meeting, and they knew why so many people had appeared, so they tabled all other items on their agenda and went right to the obvious topic:  the ruling that the fairgrounds could no longer host Gun Shows.

When they opened the meeting to "Public Comments", the well-behaved group became vociferous.  One after another, the citizens asked why ... why were gun shows no longer permitted?

Of course, the Fairgrounds Board members had no answer.

Finally, someone in the crowd asked:  "Is there a member of the County Board of Commissioners present tonight?"

Silence.  And then, in one of the few chairs at the front of the room (he must have arrived at the meeting very early, to get a chair), one quavering hand was raised.

"I'm a member of the Board of County Commissioners", said the elderly man in the gray shark-skin suit.

"Did you vote for this ruling?" he was asked.

"NO", he said, "I thought it was silly.  But I was the only one there who voted against it".

"So, where are the rest of the board members?" was the question.

An elegant shrug.  "I don't know."

"Do you mean to tell me .." the questioner in the crowd asked, "... that the board members who voted to forbid gun shows cared so little about their decision that they didn't even bother to show up for this public hearing?"  It was a tone of disbelief.

Another elegant shrug.   "I can't speak for them" said The Commissioner.  "I'm not here to defend the decision of the majority.  I'm just here to say .. well, I'm sorry.  I did the best I could. I know it's not enough."

He was right.  It wasn't enough.  But it was something.  Nobody blames the lone hold-out in a political fight.

"Why did the Board of Commissioners shut us down?" he was asked.

"I'm not sure", he said.  "Something about a 'Gun Show Loophole'," he said.

Eventually the meeting was ended, with grumbling citizens wandering away to their pickups and then to their homes.   They had no effective political voice, except for one brave man.  That wasn't enough.

There was no Gun Show at the Benjamin County Fairgrounds that year, or any year since.

Instead, the Gun Show was moved to the County Fairgrounds at the adjacent county across the river .. across the county line.  And it grew, and grew, and brought some profit to the adjacent county.

The Benjamin County Fairgrounds, and the Benjamin County coffers were much smaller in succeeding years, and the Fairgrounds had to scramble for "Strawberry Festivals" and other activities to fill the gap in the schedule.  But nobody pays five dollars for parking and five dollars for entry to a Strawberry Festival.

The County Commissioners?  Only one member was re-elected that year, and for succeeding years until he retired.   The lone Republican, who said he was sorry.

(The County Board of Commissioners has since been replaced by 100% Liberal Democrats. There's nothing those who believe in Citizen Rights can do about it; it's a Democratic Society there.  But then, they never could do more than protest.)

"Sorry" doesn't get it.  But it's a hell of a lot better than "FUCK YOU".   Or a Strawberry Festival.

The people have long memories.  And they vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liberal democrats and their rule are the future. Our policy on immigration and loose voter laws ensure it. Few states are able to enact voter ID laws that pass federal court muster.