Seven days after a man opened fire in a supermarket car park, 8,000 people gathered on the other side of the city to worship weapons like the one that left six local people dead and 13 wounded.
Their church was a hangar on the edge of the Arizona desert, backed by the Rincon mountains. Undeterred by the week’s horrors, they meandered through aisles packed with lethal equipment.
Bob Templeton, the president of the Crossroads of the West gun show, which rolls into Tucson five times a year, estimated that visitor numbers were up 50 per cent because of the Safeway killings.
“Any time gun owners feel their rights to use firearms lawfully may be challenged, they turn out in numbers,” said the plump, mild-mannered 72-year-old, whose shows cater to 600,000 people a year.
With a tan, sports jacket and neatly parted white hair suggesting a familiarity with second-rate country clubs, he said high-profile massacres tend to “energise folks who are Second Amendment advocates”.
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Mainstream Media