Gun store owner closing shop due to mass shootings

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

I don’t like writing about mass shootings. I have to because it’s my job, but part of me feels like all the media attention on these shootings is why we get more of them. Social contagion is a thing, and I have to believe this is why we get rashes of them like we do.


But as much as I dislike writing about them because I’m concerned this may trigger more, it’s got to be worse for the gun store owner who sold the bad guy the gun.

In fact, concern over that is causing one owner to close up shop for good.

gun store owner near Atlanta said he is closing his store after his conscience was burdened by recent mass shootings that targeted young victims.

Jon Waldman, 43, opened Georgia Ballistics in Duluth in March 2021, and post-pandemic business has been steady ever since, he said.

But a pair of recent attacks, one at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, and another inside an Atlanta hospital, were the final straws for Waldman, who said that his shop is already closed and that he plans to have all weapons cleared out by June 15.

“There’s no guilt about it. I sell to law-abiding citizens,” Waldman said Thursday.

He said he reached the point of worrying that any weapon he sells, even to someone who will never commit a crime, could end up in the wrong hands.

“I’m not against the Second Amendment. But just with my conscience, I can’t sell it, because I don’t know who it’s going to affect and hurt,” he said.

“That’s what eats at me,” he said. “If it can happen, it’s only a matter of time until it does happen.”


I’m of two minds about this.

First, though, Waldman is making his own choice and isn’t pandering to anti-gun voices. He just doesn’t think he could come to terms with it if he sold a gun that was later used in a horrific mass shooting.

I get it and while I don’t think he has much to worry about in reality, it’s his choice and I respect it. I ask all of you to respect it as well.

Just so long as he doesn’t start pushing for gun control, I have no issues with the man.

But on the same token, I can’t help but wonder what role media coverage played.

You see, when you think about the size of the United States, both in terms of land mass and population, it becomes clear that the odds of being connected to any mass shooting are pretty small. Yet the media has played it up like it’s just a matter of time before you’re going to be affected.

Well, on a long enough timeline, maybe. Yet the odds of it happening while you’re still alive are still small. Sure, we’ve got two people writing at Bearing Arms who “won” that particular lottery to some degree or another–Ryan Petty and myself–it’s still not overly common.


Yet the media hypes it up like it’s just a matter of time, a sentiment Waldman echoed with his comments.

I don’t blame him for being concerned and for taking steps in accordance with his conscience. That’s his right and what we all should do.

I just think the media did a number on him, which triggered those concerns.

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