A group of local citizens protested the Winston-Salem Gun & Knife Show today as thousands of people entered the show at the Winston-Salem Entertainment Sports Complex Education Building off University Parkway.
Officials with C&E Gun Shows Inc., which operates the gun and knife show, estimated 2,500 people had been to the event by 11 a.m.
“I’ve run shows for 27 years, and I’ve never seen it like this,” Steven Elliott, the president of C&E Gun Shows, said of the rush of people that showed up for the show this morning.
Elliott said he is happy with the business he is getting but not happy with the “political spin” off the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., meaning the call by some people for more gun control.
The protest was held from 10 a.m. to noon just outside the arch near the entrance to the education building. The numbers fluctuated, but on average 25 to 30 people were on hand at different times, holding protest signs.
“I believe that children don’t need to be killed with guns,” said Gail McNeill, the spokesman for the protestors.
McNeill said that some people attending the gun and knife show hollered at the protestors, saying, “The criminals will get guns.”
“My answer to that is why should we make it so easy for the criminals to get guns?” McNeill said.
Elliott said that the protestors have a right to protest.
“They are entitled to their opinions,” he said. “They have a right to be there just like I have a right to be here.”