Both opponents and proponents of hosting a summertime gun show at the Clinton Arena were once again standing before the Kirkland Town Board at their regular meeting last week.
Some 75 area residents came out to have their opinions heard or show support to others regarding the New Eastcoast Arms Collector’s Associates’ planned event.
The board took no action on either continuing as planned with the show, or cancelling it, and expected that decision to be reached by their first meeting in May.
Barbara Britt-Hysell, vice chair of the Kirkland Democratic Committee, led off the opposition to the show at the April 9 meeting. She explained it was the “racist” views of NEACA head David Petronis as revealed on his Internet blog “Dave’s World” that spurred her to question whether he and his group were welcome in town. Those views are certainly not in keeping with the views of the Democratic Committee, she said.
Clinton Central School senior Libby Militello agreed that Petronis‘ words reflect opinions that are not welcome in Kirkland. The school district and the community is dedicated to inclusion and acceptance, she told the board and audience, and the person running the gun show strongly opposes the tenets of the Kirkland community.
“It’s toxic, and we reject it,” Militello said. She volunteered to work with a community group to explore other options to having the NEACA-organized show there. She also presented the board with a petition of student signatures opposing the Clinton Arena hosting the event.
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