A gun owner in Atlanta has announced that he will close his business after a recent mass shooting targeted young victims.
Jon Waldman, 43 years old, opened Georgia Ballistics, in Duluth, in March 2021. Since then, the business has been stable, he says.
Waldman’s shop has already been closed, and he intends to clear out all weapons by June 15, after two recent attacks. One occurred at a Nashville Christian School and the other in an Atlanta Hospital.
Waldman, who spoke Thursday, said: “There is no guilt in it. I only sell to law abiding citizens.”
He said that he was worried about the possibility of any weapon sold to someone who would never commit a criminal act ending up in the wrong hand.
“I am not against the Second Amendment. “I’m not against the Second Amendment. But I cannot sell it with my conscience because I do not know who will be affected and hurt by it,” he said.
That’s what makes me angry. It’s only a question of time before it happens.
Waldman said that two recent shootings influenced his decision.
On March 27, an ex-student of The Covenant School, Nashville murdered three children and three adult on the campus. Police fatally shot the shooter.
Waldman said, “That really affected my life.” This has to stop. The dude murdered a woman who worked at the CDC and only wanted to help other people. “I just can’t. That was the last straw.”
Police said that on May 3, a man aged 24 opened fire in an Atlanta hospital. He killed a woman, and wounded four others, before being caught.
Waldman said that if he hadn’t decided to close the shop already, another reason presented itself to him six weeks ago. A customer wanted to buy 4,000 rounds.
Waldman says that even 1,000 dollars would have been reasonable. But four times as much, he said, caused him to question his career.
If you ordered 200-1,000 rounds, that is fine. “Anyone who shoots regularly will go through 1,000 rounds in a single month,” said he.
“But when you buy 4,000 rounds of the type that can penetrate engine blocks, fridges, and vests worn by police officers, I simply cannot sell that.”
Waldman said he is not advocating greater restrictions on gun ownership, but only more gun safety.
He said, “I’m more of a proponent for training and learning.” “I’m more concerned about safety and training than I am with ‘everyone should have one’. You should be able safely to have one.”
He said that too many gun owners do not pay as much attention to their firearms and their phones.
Waldman stated, “You see the same kids getting shot over and over.” “I’m tired of seeing kids getting shot randomly. My girlfriend and I both have children. I’m married. I support people being armed, but they also leave their belongings in their car. They don’t think their guns are as important as their phone.”
Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action gun violence prevention group praised Waldman’s linking of firearms with threats against children.
Watts, a right-wing Republican legislator in America, said that “this moral character displayed by one Georgian — prioritizing the lives of children over gun-related profit — is desperately needed among right-wing Republican politicians in America.”
Kris Brown, the president of Brady: United Against Gun Violence said that too many children in America are injured by firearms each day.
Brown told NBC News that “we hear about children as young as three or four years old who accidentally shoot a family member or themselves when they get their hands on the gun of their parents.”
Gun owners are not required by law to store their guns safely. These ‘family fires’ cause the unintentional death or injury of eight children every day.