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The Petition Heard Around the County

Andrea Henriquez, Sentry Staff Reporter

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With all the chaos and fear around the world, it is important for one to feel safe in their home. The news plays all day about local shootings, arrests, break-ins, and other crimes, and it appears to be everywhere but in Arlington. Residents of the county are lucky with being able to walk with their friends at the break of dawn. It is an incredible feeling to find security and trust within the streets we all walk on. Furthermore, this sense of safety that many have does not come from being oblivious or naive, but rather from the friendly environment Arlington creates. By being the smallest county by area in Virginia at around 26 square miles, most individuals are familiar with all their neighbors as well as the men and women running local shops. In March, NOVA Armory was opened in Lyon Park. It is located on 2300 N. Pershing Drive, next door to a daycare/ after-care school. The store has led to much controversy among our small county, some arguing against a gun store in such a residential area while others fight for its convenience and for the sake of small business.

With the public date of opening on March 26th, many Arlingtonians came together to show their disapproval through a launched petition. This was not the first petition launched against a gun store. Last year, an appeal was made against an armory store opening in Cherrydale and even hindered the business moving in. The petition against NOVA Armory picked up more than a thousand supporters from people all around the area. With all the political spotlight due to the upcoming elections, many have turned their attentions to current issues such as gun control. According to the New York Times, there has been a significant increase in mass shootings in the 21st century. It is an epidemic in our country that leaves so many parents, as well as children, scared for their lives to go to school. The worst part is that the majority of the time the shooter was easily able to possess the gun and then had the power to pull the trigger at too many innocent lives. Cities and towns such as Philadelphia, Santee, Blacksburg, Newtown, and Marysville have been affected with such tragedy at the hands of one ill person.

I do not think guns are always a bad thing. They are special weapons for the military overseas as well as for our police officers at home. Additionally, America was founded by the second amendment that promised “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The reason many Americans are concerned has to do with the lack of responsibility concerning who can own a gun. If Congress could pass laws that required much more background checks and regulations, it could be very possible that the Unites States would see less crime rates. For example, it would be very effective to increase the waiting period to own a gun so that the background checks could be more thorough. Additionally, individuals should not be able to use loopholes such as buying firearms online as well as the opportunity to buy weapons at gun shows. If important rules were put in place today, in a few decades we could be taken back to a time of peace without the issues of guns in the back of our minds.

Many people try to argue that the gun isn’t the problem—that the person is. That is somewhat true considering the fact that if you leave a gun on the table, nothing will happen and no one will get hurt. The issue is the person running to grab it if they aren’t mentally stable and using it for cruelty. Yet the gun lying on the table still has the power to do much harm and is still an object of fear in the United States. It is no longer an object of protection or hunting, or the sound to the start of the race, but it is now associated with the bang of death. It drives fear into our blood and makes our heart pump as if it is facing us when it is on television screens.

The opening of the Lyon Park Gun Store is not what a country so close to the nation’s capital needs. This area needs to remain a safe haven for many anxious citizens of this broken country. Our county should not be tarnished with the opening of a store that could lead to a gun getting in the wrong hands, especially when there are toddlers next door who have not been exposed to any corruption. We must come together to preserve innocence and stop the hatred that has stained the streets.

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The student news site of Yorktown High School
The Petition Heard Around the County