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Wisconsin gun club wants to have gun show at elementary school

Is it too soon to have a gun show at an elementary school? The Spooner school board can't seem to decide.
Is it too soon to have a gun show at an elementary school? The Spooner school board can't seem to decide.

Last night, the school board in Spooner, Wisconsin, postponed a scheduled vote on whether to allow the Indianhead Rifle and Pistol Club to hold its annual April gun show at Spooner Elementary School.

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Tim Brabec, organizer of Indianhead's annual show, says his club's desire to use the elementary school for its show is simply a matter of convenience, but as this Facebook thread reveals, the thought of a gun show being held in an elementary school so soon after the Newtown massacre isn't sitting well with some.

From ThinkProgress:

Spooner Elementary School has hosted the show without much objection for the last two decades. But less than a month after the mass shooting at Newtown elementary school that claimed the lives of 20 first graders and 7 others, some community members are raising objections to the idea of welcoming hundreds of guns and gun owners into a public elementary school...

"Who doesn't have sympathy with the families in [Connecticut]?" said Brabec when asked about whether the visual of a gun show at an elementary school was appropriate so soon after the deadly shooting in Newtown. "But we don't associate one with the other. We don't go there for the shock value."...

State law forbids people from bringing guns within 1000 feet of public schools, but it does make exceptions for guns shows by licensed gun manufacturers and dealers.

KARE details last night's inconclusive school board discussion:

Defenders say the show has never caused a problem. It even generates about $1,000 for the district and raised enough money last year to outfit the soccer club. Detractors say it's not the gun show they have an issue with, it's the location...

The board had questions though. Is everyone licensed? Can it move to the High School? Or off school grounds altogether? That meant the decision was delayed.

"Sadly disappointed, when you're elected stand up and make a decision one way or the other, right or wrong, let the chips fall where they may," [Brabec said].

He says they will now work on plan 'B'. The school board's next meeting is Feb. 11. They say they hope to have a decision by then.


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