Saturday, January 19, 2013

No place for children - Intl. Sportsmans Expo

It's really a shame. The International Sportsmans Expo really has a lot going for it. It's obviously successful based on the crowds it attracts. It has programs that are important for kids like the Free Stone Aquatics' fish tank aquarium of big native trout, the casting contests, and the raptor display by the CO Division of Wildlife. But then it gets dicey for the young kids with the racks of animal skins, the endless displays of African safari promoters with full size photos of great white hunters posing with their big dead elephants and lions (show special $8,400 female lion), and endless loop high definition video displays of coyote, antelope, elk kills from the view point of the scope with crosshairs. 

But the most insulting, insensitive, and in-your-face public displays were three booths displaying AR-15s, the weapon used recently for mass killings in Aurora, Newtown, and Portland. 
One in particular, staffed by a chip-on-his-shoulder tough guy with a Russian accent, was selling (?) these semi-automatic rifles with night vision scopes.  
  I asked him, "What can you hunt with that?"
"Vild piks," he sneared. "It comes vit night wizzon scope."
"I guess pigs give off a lot of heat," I said trying to be friendly.
"Da," he said. "Every body gifs off 'eat," as he used his hands to trace the outline of his own body. His meaning was shudderingly clear to me.
  Only these three dealers chose to put this particular gun in our face and I'm sure that every one of the Denver citizens that saw it thought first of the Aurora tragedy, and second of how out of place they looked at a "sportsmans" show. 
   I was going to give one of my free tickets to my neighbor to bring his 3 year old for the youth displays, dog training, and fly casting. I'm glad I didn't.