Activists bring gun control discussion to gun show

Activists bring gun control discussion to gun show

PORTLAND, Ore. – Gun enthusiasts this weekend flocked to a gun show at the Portland Expo Center, and outside they found a small group of people holding a vigil in the hopes of changing a few opinions about gun ownership.

“If you want to hunt, that’s fine, get a hunting license, get a permit, get trained. But I challenge anyone to walk in there and show me what the purpose of 90 percent of that crap is. That’s just designed to kill people,” said Mike Rosen, who organized the vigil.

During similar instances in the past, we’ve seen things get heated, but on Sunday people seemed to be in a solemn mood. Folks on both sides made their points strongly but quietly about where our country should go with guns and gun control.

Rosen and about a dozen friends posted pictures of the people killed during the two shootings last week and read accounts of the victims’ lives.

“If people walk by and pause and think about it for a minute, it’s fine with me,” Rosen said.

Not many of the gun show customers stopped to speak with the group, but the people who spoke with reporters generally thought that increased gun control would probably only affect law-abiding gun owners.

Still, many gun owners thought it might be a good idea to limit high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“People are always going to have guns, people are always going to have high-capacity clips. Even if you outlaw them, they can go out on the black market anywhere, so is it going to stop anything? Probably not. Is it going to slow anything down? It might,” said gun owner Rob Barrett.

“Organizations who are anti-gun tent to sensationalize it to promote their agenda and they don’t really have the facts,” said gun owner Ben Strand.

State Senator Ginny Burdick says she plans to introduce legislation to ban the high-capacity magazines.

“What you really have to ask yourself is do 50 round clips really have a place in a civilized society? Hunters are only allowed to use five shots,” Burdick said on KATU’s political show “Your Voice, Your Vote.” “There’s just no legitimate use for these things.”

Many of the gun owners we spoke too also said it would be difficult to cut the number of guns in this country and that people need to protect themselves from armed criminals.