Lyon County Sheriff’s Office crowed about security at Yerington’s Night in the Country this week. To their credit, they had a large presence of deputies and private security as well as a sniper team. Unfortunately…
Sheriff’s deputies and private security prevented legal possession of firearms at the fairgrounds in Yerington. Unless I’m mistaken, this is a public facility and state preemption laws apply to counties and their employees, meaning that firearms cannot be prevented from being possessed at a public fairgrounds.
The sheriff’s office also held one firearm that was brought to the event and had to stop a handful of people from coming in to the festival until they found somewhere else to stow their firearms.
Of course the Clark County fairgrounds are technically private property of the non-profit fair organization, but I believe Lyon County owns its fairgrounds. There is also the question of whether or not the deputies were enforcing the policy of the venue renter to prohibit firearms for their temporary private property and if this is even legal. So who knows, but the point is that disarming ordinary folks is security theater.
The RGJ [quotes source] dug up a country fan, who happened to be one of the tens of thousands of “survivors” of Route 91.
Upon entering, they do a vehicle check where they check your glove box, your seats, your trailer, everything. They found compartments I didn’t even know I had in my truck. Because of Las Vegas, security and everything else they take more serious. It’s really sad what happened in Gilroy, but I’m really glad they were able to minimalize it.
First, disarming guests doesn’t prevent someone who expects that kind of security to avoid the checkpoints. The guy in Gilroy never went through security; he cut a fence. In Las Vegas, the shooter shot from an elevated position in the safety of his room at the Mandalay Bay.
Second, keeping people from possessing handguns might stop the odd drunken shooting, which frankly doesn’t seem to be a problem with country fans. When was the last time you heard about a predominately white country bar shot up because of drunk violence or a gang shooting? The Borderline is the only country bar shooting I’m aware of and that was a terrorist act, not of ordinary criminal violence.
Black and Hispanic clubs on the other hand seem to have innocent bystanders injured in gang shootouts regularly. Here’s an example from Little Rock. Those don’t seem to make many waves.
Now no one is suggesting that a concealed carrier with a handgun go up against a guy with a rifle. Rather, a handgun is for shooting your way to safety, should the guy with a rifle be between you and safety. It’s also there to protect yourself in the campground and to and from the venue. No one should be disarmed on a road trip or in their temporary residence (campsite) because of the fear of some loser shooting the place up. Legally armed citizens with handguns are not a problem. The government and media really needs to stop making it out that they are.
You want to keep them out of the actual concert area? You got probable cause that the guy with a tactical plate carrier, an AR, and 30 magazines with no camping gear and a “country music sucks” bumper sticker isn’t there to enjoy the music and bang some chicks? Okay, we’ll grant you that. But handguns in vehicles in the parking or camping area should be off-limits to police to touch.
Finally, if you’re going to such events you probably aren’t too concerned about your safety. Those of us who are Second Amendment absolutists generally avoid large crowds for the obvious safety concerns. The rest of us are willing to make the sacrifice for the atmosphere or the members of the opposite sex. Getting laid is totally an acceptable excuse for disarming.
Those people who go to these events and normally carry guns generally go with the understanding they will be disarmed. That’s the risk you take. At least security was heavy and credible; far more than you’ll find at the average school or public building. It’s all a gray area, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth reading about law enforcement telling people, without any apparently legal authority, they can’t have legal guns.