Archive for Bluffton

Guns near Bluffton Schools

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.

New Bike Path Connects Main Street To Fast Food Restaurants off I-75

President Jim Harder looks on at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy of BlufftonIcon.com

President Jim Harder looks on at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy of BlufftonIcon.com

After five years of planning, a new bike path was officially opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 21, 2014. The 2009 Comprehensive Bluffton Bike and Pedestrain Master Plan needed upwards of $123,000 to commence. 36 area individuals and businesses are responsible for raising the required funds.

The path was initiated by the Bluffton Lions Club and Bluffton Lions Foundation, thus earning it the name “Lions Way.” The goal of the path is to improve public safety on a heavily-traveled route, where sidewalks are scarce.Spanning seven-tenths of a mile, the new path will allow bikers and pedestrians to safely travel from Main Street to the businesses off of I-75, among other places.

Bike paths have always been a big part of Bluffton’s past. Ropp and Mary Em Triplett launched the idea of several other bike and pedestrian pathways in the late 1970’s, which were implemented in the ’80s. For more on the history of bike paths in Bluffton, click here.

This whole initiative has been a part of the Bluffton community’s effort to connect the people to various destinations, and promote the health and well-being of area community members. The addition of the bike shop downtown last year, CG Pro Bikes, also furthered this mentality. Bluffton students with bikes on campus can utilize both this resource, and the new path.

Lions Way is not entirely completed yet. About 200 feet along Commerce Lane to Route 103 are scheduled for completion soon.