GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 4, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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as we see it… September 4–10, 2014 9 pride by Sun file The recent accidental killing of a shooting instructor in arizona by a young girl has raised questions about how old children should be before they're allowed to fire automatic weapons. according to several experts in Las Vegas, however, the issue is not the 9-year-old girl holding an uzi, it's the environment she's shooting in. ¶ gwen eaton, a certified instructor at the gun store who's seen the video from the Bullets and Burgers tragedy, says the instructor was "absolutely" at fault in the accident. "you never stand on the left side of them if they are right-handed. you need to be in control of that gun at all times, so you need to be on the right-hand side of that child. and he should have had his hand on that trigger guard so that the only thing the child had to do was pull the trigger." ¶ Rick cross, owner and operator of Be safe Firearms Instruction, agrees. While he doesn't condone training anyone under 16 in the use of automatic weapons, he says children around the age of 10 and up should be allowed to fire them in an environment where an adult is in complete control of the weapon—and provided they pass a mental and maturity screening. even then, he stresses caution. "my 10-year-old granddaughter is an accomplished shooter, and the only thing she uses is a .22-caliber. Would I allow her to handle an automatic weapon? No," cross says. ¶ emily miller, marketing manager for the gun store, says the youngest person she's ever seen fire an automatic weapon at their facility was 9, "and we literally hold onto the gun. all the child will do is reach through and pull the trigger. We're not going to give a child a fully automatic weapon, because that's irresponsible on our part." –Ken Miller Small handS, big gun Local firearms instructors say a child should never be in control of an automatic weapon Why iS Pride imPortant today? Over the last few years, the country has seen substantial progress for the LGBT community, but a long journey still lies ahead. With that in mind, we asked local LGBT notables: Why does Pride matter today? "We still need to remind people that we're there and that we are a group of people that contribute to society in fabulous ways, and that we're taking a moment out of time to recognize that, just as we would for anybody. We need to celebrate life. ... It's nice to see a festival like Pride [so people can] realize that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there just like them." –Lisa Pittman, DJ/founder and curator of Shedonism. "It's so important to get the ste- reotype away from being so negative … and to make it mainstream. Vegas turned to a really great idea of chang- ing the lights at the famous [Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas] sign. That's a step forward." –Larry "Hot Choco- late" Edwards, Divas Las Vegas cast member and mood director at Piranha Nightclub. "Pride is more important today, not so much for seeking out legal equality … but it's still very, very important for any minority community. They need to maintain a group of people, a place to go where you know the people there, you share a common experience, a common background, perhaps a common point of view. It's just a measure of support and solidar- ity." –Dennis McBride, local historian and director of Nevada State Museum –Mark Adams I don't attend Las Vegas Pride every year to watch a parade. I've seen enough as a local, and they mostly com- prise a bunch of casinos, banks and nightclubs showing off loosely decorated flatbed trucks populated by boys only in their underwear dancing to wretched diva pop. Much like the Dykes on Bikes—my favorite part!—at the very front of our queer community cavalcade, I make an early appearance and a relatively early exit, if only to get to Snick's and have a Stella in hand before the post- parade rush. But seriously, Las Vegas Pride—I'm referring spe- cifically to the parade, just one of several events during the weeklong celebration—is nonetheless a worthwhile activity for a few reasons: It's one of the only nighttime LGBT Pride parades in the country. It's great to see the conservative tourists at the Fremont Street Experience awash in a sea of gayness. And most importantly, it's one of the few times all the letters of the LGBT community come together and make themselves completely visible to Las Vegas—and to each other. The gay community is remarkably integrated into the greater Valley. We don't have a so-called gayborhood; we're hanging out in Downtown or at Town Square, hiding out in Summerlin or the southeast. We're all over the place and rarely in one place—except during Pride. That's where we all, ahem, come out. And it's endearing to see gay Las Vegas gathered together. The elderly members who lived to see such an open celebration of queerness. That one dude you always spot on Grindr but have never seen in real life. Lesbians in every direction, so many that you wonder if they were bused in from Portland by the Pride committee. And high schoolers braving their first Pride, only looking up from their phones when the next float passes by. After the parade, we'll all fill Downtown, turning First Friday into a glorious human mess. And the next day, we'll fill the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater for the festival—not because we want to see more people impersonating Britney Spears, but because we want to see us. Coming out Why Las Vegas Pride matters for a largely disunified LgBT community by mike prevat t > soMEtHing to BE ProuD of This year's Pride parade runs down Fourth street from charleston to ogden on september 5, beginning at 8 p.m.

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