Firing back at what he called “a very small, vocal group” of critics, a San Diego NRA leader announced a letter-writing campaign Monday to preserve the Crossroads of the West gun show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Michael Schwartz, the local National Rifle Association activist, told about 220 members of the San Diego County Republican Party that the board with power to extend the gun show contract “seemed resistant” to opponents.
“But we want to make sure that they [the 22nd District Agricultural Association board] know how many people in San Diego support the gun show,” Schwartz told the gathering at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.
But rather than circulating a form letter signed by many, Schwartz said county GOP Chairman Tony Kravric suggested “old-fashioned” handwritten notes.
So with clipboard in hand, Schwartz and his wife and others went about handing out lined paper at the party meeting.
He made some suggestions.
“Please stay away from words like Draconian,” Schwartz said from the lectern in the Bernardo Ballroom. “Avoid labels and that sort of thing. Just tell them how much you like the gun show.”
He urged letter-writers to note the show’s tradition and its reputation as a “family event.”
“They have a 30-plus-year history of safety and professionalism,” he noted.
“We’re the reasonable side. They are the fringe lunatics—unless we choose to sound and act otherwise.”
He reported that the Del Mar City Council was considering a resolution saying “they aren’t fond of the gun show.” [In fact, the council voted 5-0 to back a petition calling for no extension of the gun show contract.]
“Fortunately, it’s the other board that makes the decision,” Schwartz said.
“I’m going to deliver the handwritten letters … to the [fair] board … the Del Mar City Council, and I’m also going to send it to the Union-Tribune,” he said. “They’re going to get a flood of letters.”
By the end of the meeting, he said he had 150 letters in hand—including 100 penned Monday night.