Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Happens in Vegas...

Las Vegas: "What happens here stays here." Yeah, right! Actually, what happens here often ends up taking the world by storm!

Case in point: Last week's Consumer Electronics Show. Everyone is still talking about all the hot new gadgets coming soon to a store near you. And that's not all. Las Vegas has become a major destination for business conventions highlighting trends of the future. In fact, we have another headline grabbing convention in town this week...

It's the SHOT Show. It's at Sands Expo this week. And it will showcase all the hot new firearms, ammunition, "outdoor living accessories" (Quack), and even military grade survival kits coming onto the market. The latter should make a great gift for all the doomsday preppers in your life.

But wait, there's more. Freedom Group is upping the ante this week with its militaristic campaign to sell its military grade assault weapons and accompanying accessories. Freedom Group promises ease in "killin' zombies", as its products are "built to be tough as the job", "made to run, not collect dust in the gun safe", and "giv[ing] you the confidence and firepower to get the job done". Oh, and let's not forget that these are the same military grade assault weapons that have been used by the likes of Adam Lanza (Newtown), James Holmes (Aurora), Christopher Dorner (Orange County/Los Angeles), and other perpetrators of mass shootings to "get the job done".

In recent years, we've witnessed massive bloodshed as the result of epic gun violence. That's why ProgressNow Nevada could not remain silent on the eve of this year's SHOT Show.

Cars are tightly regulated. So are toys. So are kitchen appliances. So are many other everyday items consumers use. So why can't we do the same with items that are specifically designed to kill?

Think about it. Gun manufacturers spend millions on eye-popping ads like what we discussed above. They also give millions to the NRA to fight even the most modest gun safety reform efforts. How on earth does this qualify as "responsible behavior"? And should we be more concerned about what's happening at Sands Expo this week?

This is happening just a few steps away from The Strip, where Kenneth Brown and Michael Boldon lost their lives to gun violence. And this is where gun manufacturers are selling the same weapons and ammo used to kill Trayvon Martin, Janay Mcfarlane, Michael Landsberry, and many others. Why are these gun manufacturers pumping so much money into the NRA in order to fight efforts to prevent their products from taking away so many innocent lives?

Like other major conventions, the SHOT Show is taking advantage of the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip to highlight its products. Yet unlike most other major conventions, the products being highlighted this week are built to kill. And unlike most other major conventions, the organizers have pumped millions of dollars into vitriolic campaigns to kill legislation meant to foster safer communities in Nevada and throughout the nation.

What happens here in Las Vegas typically doesn't stay here. One can hope what happens here this week will lead to some sober reflection on what's happening at Sands Expo... And in our communities.

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