Pennsylvania Town May Adopt "Gun Store-Free Zones"

Commissioners in Manheim Township, Pennsylvania are considering a proposal to ban gun stores and even advertisements of firearms within 1,000 feet of any school in the community, and the public had a chance to sound off on the plan at a Monday night meeting.

“Having advertisements and imagery of guns near our school makes it hard for students to feel safe in their learning environment,” said Zoe, a junior at Lancaster Country Day.

“Shootings have become a scary reality, students should not have to fear going to school, risking the idea of a violent intruder,” said Matt, a Lancaster Country Day senior.

“What I have heard is a lot about feelings,” said Howard Horn, a township resident who disagrees with the proposal. “If I was a vegan and got a petition because my feelings were hurt when Burger King put images of hamburgers in their window, would you entertain that petition?”

“If the aim of educational institutions is turning out purposefully-traumatized social justice warriors so our civil rights can be curtailed, their very existence needs to be examined,” said another opponent of the proposal, Rick Burke.

If I spent more than $20k a year to send my kid to Lancaster Country Day School, only to hear them complain that seeing gun ads makes them feel unsafe, I’d demand a refund. Is critical thinking not a part of the curriculum there?

Sadly, the proposal, or at least part of it, may pass. The planning commission in Manheim Township has recommended that the commissioners adopt the “gun shop-free” zoning changes, but aren’t backing the proposed ban on advertising within 1,000 feet of schools. Despite that, administrators at the private school are still pushing to block gun ads on city streets.

School leaders said they expected such resistance from those who see the proposal as a potential violation of free speech and a restriction on the Second Amendment, but say their only goal is advocating for safer and more worry-free environments in which students can learn.

“We live in a time when our students have intruder drills in their schools at least as often if not more often than fire drills,” said Josh Cohen, a solicitor for the school. “Children cannot learn well if they do not feel safe.”

How does banning nearby gun stores and ads for firearms make a school safer? It’s nonsense. In fact, while students and staff at the private school in Manheim Township tremble at the sight of a gun ad, other students in the Lancaster area can actually participate in their school’s rifle team. Maybe that’s what the kids at Lancaster Country Day School really need; some honest-to-goodness education on responsible firearms handling, safety, and competition.

Instead, they have plenty of adults enabling and encouraging their fear, all in the name of “safety”. They’re willing to void the 1st Amendment in order to help kids feel safer, when they could be arming their students with the facts instead. School violence is actually declining, not increasing, but I’ll bet the student body at Lancaster Country Day School have no idea that’s the case. Instead of empowering students with knowledge, the school seems intent on enfeebling them with fear instead.