by: Lucas Augustine
On April 20 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into their high school in Columbine, Colorado and shot twelve students and one teacher. Since then, school shootings have become a great concern for many Americans.
In the village of Bluffton, Ohio many of the university students are unaware that there is a gun store not too far from campus. Riley Creek Mercantile is a store that is one mile from the university’s campus, half a mile from the Bluffton high school and on the same street as the Bluffton elementary school.
Mercantile’s inventory has an assortment of firearms, from pistols to rifles and shotguns. The highest caliber ammo that is sold there is a “thirty ot six”. The “thirty ot six,” which is designed for rifles, hits targets up to one thousand yards away.
The price range of the firearms at The Riley Creek Mercantile ranges from $150 to $2000. In order to purchase a shotgun the customer needs to be at least eighteen years of age. While the age requirement to buy a pistol is twenty-two, as long as the person is able to pass a background check, eighteen is an acceptable age.
According to the sales associate at the store, a background check only takes about five minutes to complete. After the background check is complete and the customer is deemed “clean,” the customer is able to buy whatever gun they desire and in this case, walk outside and be standing on the same road as an elementary school, half a mile from a high school and only a mile from a college campus.
Owning a firearm is a right granted to us by the constitution, but should a store be able to sell firearms so close to schools? What about our “Mennonite” school and the Mennonite beliefs of nonviolence? These questions are for you to think about.