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Your Views: Gun shops near school raise concern

POSTED: October 26, 2013 12:18 a.m.

I am concerned about the opening of a new gun dealership very near Gainesville High School. From the door of the store to the GHS gymnasium measures about 900 feet. This new gun store is not the only gun store near GHS. If you go just a bit further down John Morrow Parkway, you will find another gun dealership.

Typically, stores of the same kind are built when there is a high demand for a product. While this is usually a good thing for the area’s economy, one might ask themselves: Is a high demand for guns and other weapons in a school area not alarming? Should we not be concerned that rising numbers of gun dealerships will ultimately mean that more guns and weapons are either on or near the campuses of Gainesville High School and Centennial Arts Academy?

With the recent horrifying event of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Gainesville City Schools have been implementing and reinforcing policies to keep students safe from harm. But the school can only provide so much protection.

If we are willing to allow multiple weapon stores around a school zone then can we really be surprised when one of the weapons is brought onto campus?

When humans are in tough situations or are suffering through something it’s easy to make decisions in the heat of the moment. By having gun stores this close to Gainesville High School, we are allowing someone to leave the parking lot of the store and be in the parking lot of the school within two minutes (Google Maps). This isn’t exactly ideal for the safety of students at Gainesville High.

Not to mention that by the OCGA 16-11-101.1 you can purchase a gun when you are age 18. This means that much of the senior class could purchase a gun nearby.

As a ninth-grade student at Gainesville High, I ask you to think for yourselves. Can we really claim that by allowing a gun dealership within 900 feet of a school we are maintaining a safe and secure environment for minors?

And more importantly, would you be comfortable attending a school where almost a fourth of the population could legally acquire a weapon and bring it to campus within two minutes?

I think we should re-evaluate the idea that our policies are keeping minors safe if we continue allowing the expansion of the same source of violence from which we are trying to protect them.

Sophia Casey
Gainesville


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