Miami Will Host a Huge Gun Convention Tomorrow, Three Days After the Parkland Shooting
Courtesy of Christina Bohnstengel

Miami Will Host a Huge Gun Convention Tomorrow, Three Days After the Parkland Shooting

Looking for a way to mourn the senseless deaths of 17 students and teachers who were killed by a deranged gunman and possible white-supremacist militia member? If you're devoid of human empathy, you could drive to the Fair Expo Center tomorrow or Sunday — exactly 46.9 miles from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and shop for assault rifles.

Florida Gun Shows, one of the state's largest gun-expo organizers, has had a 600-booth gun convention planned for months. It just so happens that the show comes as all of South Florida is grieving over one of the worst school shootings in American history. The organizers confirmed to New Times yesterday that the convention will go on as planned.

"Yes, the show is still scheduled for this weekend," organizers messaged yesterday.

Despite the fact that confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz had an alleged history of domestic violence, had posted repeatedly online about shooting up the high school, and had been banned from carrying a backpack to school because administrators worried for other students' safety, Cruz was able to legally purchase an AR-15 assault-style rifle and then murder his former classmates with it. Under Florida law, you must be 21 years old to buy a handgun, because a weapon that small can technically be concealed, and a concealed-weapons permit can be issued to people only aged 21 and older. But because a military-grade assault rifle is technically too large to conceal, you actually have to be only 18 to buy one! There's brilliant Florida logic. (Apparently, Cruz also passed a state background check before buying his gun.)

If you'd like to blow off some steam after watching the parents of dead, bullet-riddled children weep on national television all week, perhaps try buying some guns! Look at how many dang weapons you can peruse this weekend in an area that's barely an hour's drive from the site of a massacre:

"Enjoy an enormous array of firearms, ammunition, shooting supplies, knives, and so much more!" the show organizers beckon in a promotional video posted on their Facebook page. The group will host a show this weekend in Fort Walton Beach too.

The organizers last held a gun show in Broward County (in Fort Lauderdale) exactly one month before the February 14 shooting. On January 14, the organizers broadcasted a "Sunday GUNDAY!" Facebook Live stream that showed vendors selling bolt-action hunting rifles, handguns, and a whole array of semiautomatic rifles in custom colors! One of the vendors in the clip below even uses its homepage to advertise "custom AR-15 accessories," custom, easily-assembling AR-15s that "fit in a pistol case," and "long-range tactical AR-15 carbines" with scopes attached! They even sell an assault-style rifle customized with skeleton graphics and the words "zombie hunter" engraved on a metal plate!

Plus, the gun shows offer concealed-weapons-training permit courses on the spot! You can learn right alongside someone who might commit the next Florida school massacre. Whhat's more exciting than that?

We'd complain that holding a gun show in South Florida three days after a bunch of children were shot to death is vile and an affront to the families of the 17 victims, but why even bother? The gun show organizers didn't return two calls seeking comment. And politicians don't give a shit. Sen. Marco Rubio has been paid gobs of cash by the National Rifle Association, gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is running away from people who ask him about gun control, and fellow GOP gubernatorial hopeful Adam Putnam just shamefully tried to sneak a measure into law that would have weakened the state background-check system.

Who even cares anymore? Let's just let civilians run over one another with decommissioned Sherman tanks while we're at it. Or maybe, as the brilliant Robert Verbruggen wrote yesterday in the National Review, we should "pay... teachers a little extra to become trained as armed security guards and carry guns while on the job." Doors to the show open an 9 a.m. tomorrow; adult admission costs $13, but kids under 12 get in free. Really. But be warned: The show does not allow concealed weapons inside the building.

"All guns must be unloaded and secured with a plastic tie at our security desk," the show's online rules state. "Safety is our number one priority and can only be maintained if there are NO loaded guns in the show."

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