Firearm Fans Troll Women Against Gun Violence
It's free, as long as you RSVP. The problem is, organizers say, folks with names like Hugh Jass, Mike Hunt, and Ben Dover have been making seat reservations. They fear they'll be left with empty seats.
They tracked down the RSVP's to an online forum, Calguns.net, where users have been sharing suggested RSVP names while lambasting the screening's organizers as "leftist progturd hypocrites."
Women Against Gun Violence has battled back: It will require IDs at the door. They'll be matched up to reservations.
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"I think some were interested in leaving us with an empty seater," said Margot Bennett, exectutive director of the group. "Others were talking about coming and protesting or asking questions of the panel. We don't mind an open dialogue."
In fact, if there are seats left after IDs are checked, unidentified patrons will be allowed to fill them, she said.
The documentary, directed by Robert Greenwald, "exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit — and thereby putting people in danger," according to its distributor, Brave New Films.
The 7:30 p.m. screening and discussion takes place at Laemmle's Music Hall 3.
Women Against Gun Violence will be promoting a new campaign, "We Have the Balls to Stand Up to the NRA. Do You?" during the screening. Viewers will be invited to pose with two beach balls for social media postings, Bennett said.
A panel discussion will include victims of gun violence and their loved ones, like Donna Finkelstein, whose daughter survived the 1999 North Valley Jewish Community Center mass shooting. The event is also being hosted by the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.
Bennett said she doesn't expect trouble. Police have been notified of the event, and it will feature security guards. Yes, she said, they're unarmed. "We want our guests to feel secure and comfortable," she said.
The nonprofit Calguns Foundation says it's not connected to the site Calguns.net.
Gun Owners of California spokesman Sam Paredes said his group had nothing to do with the trolling. But he offered up a critique of the film.
"They're only airing one side of the story, and it's grossly warped," he said.
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