Some think timing of gun show insensitive

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- As Tucson prepares to remember the January 8 shooting, a gun show is also getting ready to kick things off at the Pima County Fair Grounds this weekend.

They stand tall above the city, neon billboards advertising a gun show coming to town.

"First of all my question would be why do they have to pick that day?  They could have chosen another day" said Tucson resident Denise Higgins.

Officials with the Crossroads of the West Gun Show say there is no reason to change the date of the show.

"We didn't feel the need to change it, I'm not even sure we could have changed it," said Bob Templeton with the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.

This Sunday, while Tucson stops to remember the shooting and its aftermath, guns of every type will be on sale at the Pima County Fair Grounds.

"I think its ignorant and insensitive," said Tucson resident Amanda Palko.

Tucsonans reacted when they caught sight of the billboards and television ads.

"It does disturb me that I'm looking at this lime green billboard that says Crossroads of the West Gun Show, January 7th & 8th," Higgins said.

"In light of what happened last year, that they should have a little more respect and class and move it," said Palko.

But the show is still on.

Gun show reps say they too are saddened by the loss on that day one year ago, but they say a gun show has nothing to do with what happened outside that Safeway.

"It's not that we're insensitive to the concerns of the folks in the community, it's just that there's no real correlation between the random acts of a madman and thousands of Arizonans exercising their 2nd Amendment right to attend a gun show," said Templeton.

Thousands turned out for the gun show one week after the shooting last year.

The bright billboards are expected to again draw in several thousand people to the gun show on the same afternoon many in Tucson gather to pay tribute to victims.