Texas mothers target guns; gun supporters come out in droves at year's first gun show

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 26, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 10:04 AM

AUSTIN -- A gun-control demonstration at the Capitol Saturday came on the same day as Austin hosted its first gun show of the year at the Travis County Expo Center.

The line of cars and trucks stretched as far as the eye could see Saturday morning, as gun enthusiasts patiently waited to get to the Travis County Expo Center for the Saxet Gun Show.

The show has been a big topic of discussion for the City of Austin and Travis County. 

After the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December, local commissioners and city officials considered banning gun shows on public property. Folks at the show did not agree with the proposal.

"The county would have lost, what almost 100-thousand dollars in tax revenue just because something happened all the way across the country? The sun rises the next day," said Chris Bethea.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott quickly shut down the idea, threatening legal action against the city and county via twitter. 

"There was a lot of people scared, but Greg Abbott's got our back," said Bethea.

Across town, dozens of people called on their legislators to have their backs, and create stricter gun laws. 

"In dozens of other cities around the country, thousands more are gathering right now just as we are," said Hilary Rand.  

Rand, a mother of two, lives in Austin but is from Connecticut. She has friends in Newton. 

"The horror is unbelievable and that can never happen again. And there just one of like dozens and dozens of mass murders across this country. And it's enough."

Also in the crowd Saturday was John Woods. He survived the mass shooting at Virginia tech in 2007.

"I lost a number of close friends, including my girlfriend. And I've been pushing ever since then for universal background checks," said Woods. 

The group One Million Moms for Gun Control say this debate is not about taking away the right to bear arms, but instead to support sensible gun control. Something most of the gun advocates, even some of the ones at today's gun show agreed with.

"If you have a concealed handgun license, obviously you're able to buy a gun. It should be that way. If you ain't got one, you can't buy a gun. If they did it that way they'd be able to monitor who all buys guns, who all's got a gun," said Bethea.

"We're not trying to take away guns. I support the second amendment, I have a concealed handgun license. But, you know, I do think we should be keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists who just intend to do harm," said Woods.

 "Civilians don't need to have military style weapons. They just don't. And, and it's time that we said so," said Rand.

But not everyone thinks major gun control reforms are sensible. 

"I think it's a waste of time, because if someone's concerned about a clip of ten or more or seven or more, it's a numerical thing. There's always two sides of every issue."

Especially in this debate, which is far from over.

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