Georgia gun shop owner closing store after spike in violence involving children
Georgia gun shop owner, Jon Waldman, has made the difficult decision to close his business, Georgia Ballistics, citing concerns about children dying in mass shootings. Despite the pandemic’s impact on businesses, Waldman opened Georgia Ballistics in Duluth in March 2021 hoping to pursue a line of work that would weather the pandemic. However, the high demand for guns correlated with an increase in the number of children affected by mass shootings in the US, leading Waldman to reconsider his business’s moral implications.
Waldman expressed concern that the firearms he sold could be used against children, and he has personally grappled with the consequences of his actions and the industry’s impact on children. According to the Pew Research Center, gun deaths among children in the US have increased by 50% in the last two years. Schools have also experienced the most violent year in decades, with 46 shootings reported and 24 resulting in injuries or deaths, according to Education Week.
Waldman stated that, while he believes people have the right to own guns, he cannot sell them in good conscience knowing they could contribute to harm. He recently issued a refund to a client who purchased a gun and 4,000 rounds of armor-piercing 30-06 bullets, a sale that Waldman decided to back out of due to his conscience. As Waldman’s business comes to a close, he hopes to urge the community to come together to seek solutions that will prevent more children from dying in shootings.
Q: What led Jon Waldman to close Georgia Ballistics?
A: Jon Waldman decided to close his business, Georgia Ballistics, due to concerns about children dying in mass shootings. He expressed discomfort with selling firearms that could potentially be used against children, as gun deaths among children in the US have increased by 50% in the last two years.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted Waldman’s business?
A: Waldman opened Georgia Ballistics in Duluth in March 2021, hoping to find a line of work that could survive the pandemic. While his business weathered the pandemic, Waldman’s concerns about the impact of firearms and mass shootings on children led him to close his business.
Q: What is the state of mass shootings and school violence in the US?
A: According to Education Week, there have already been 24 school shootings resulting in injuries or deaths, putting the US on track to set a new record for the most mass shootings in 2023. The Washington Post also reported that 2020 marked the most violent year in schools since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
Q: Does Waldman believe people should own guns?
A: While Waldman believes people have the right to own guns, he cannot in good conscience sell them knowing they could contribute to harm.
Gun Shop Owner in Georgia Shutting Down Store due to Surge in Child-Related Violence
Amidst a surge in gun sales across the country, a Georgia gun shop owner has decided to close his business, citing concerns about children dying in mass shootings. Jon Waldman, who opened Georgia Ballistics in Duluth in March 2021, says he cannot continue to sell guns in good conscience, knowing they may be used to harm children. “I don’t want something that I’ve personally touched, that I’ve helped a client with, to be used on children,” Waldman told 11Alive. “What stops this (gun) from being used against my kid? That’s the problem I have, you never know the person getting it just because they pass a background check.”
The decision to close his business was a difficult one for Waldman, who was hoping to make a career change that could survive the pandemic. However, as gun sales increased, so did the number of children impacted by mass shootings. The Pew Research Center reports that gun deaths among children in the US have risen 50% in the last two years. Last year marked the most violent year in schools, with 46 reported shootings, the most since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
According to Education Week, 2023 is on track to set a new record for the most mass shootings, with 24 school shootings that resulted in injuries or deaths already reported. “The fact that it keeps being kids, after kids, after kids. That’s the thing for me,” Waldman said. “There’s not a way to cast a huge net. There’s not a magical solution and it’s fixed, there’s not, it’s one of those where the community has to come together on both sides.”
Waldman maintains that people should be allowed to own guns, but he can no longer be the one selling them. He recently backed out of a large sale of armor-piercing bullets and issued a refund to the client. “This is just my conscience, and it’s more important to me than anything else,” he said.