Gun Range Not Necessary for Niles


By Sarah Govis

I was raised in a very liberal home, and as I’ve gotten older, I have only gotten more liberal. My stance on guns has always been very consistent with the far left.

After the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook shooting, I became much more educated on guns. I looked at gun laws in other countries, and saw how stricter laws on guns had a strong correlation to fewer murders.

Soon, a gun range is going up less than a mile away from my high school, on 6143 Howard St. After this school year, our buses will be housed on the same land as the range.

Now, I know there’s the whole, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!” thing. My issue with that is that guns make it that much easier to kill people. Yes, I know there are other ways of killing people, but guns are an easy way to go about it.

I know that it’s our second amendment right to have guns. That’s all fine and well — if you feel the need to protect yourself, I can understand and respect that.

But I don’t understand our need for a gun range. I can’t see how that would affect our society in a positive way. It won’t make our economy stronger, and it won’t help people protect themselves. We live in a very low-crime neighborhood. Isn’t that why people move to the suburbs in the first place? We aren’t fighting to stay alive. Crimes here are few and far between, and when there is a crime, it typically isn’t high profile.

I can’t understand why people need to use the gun range. There aren’t people invading your home at night trying to kill you; this isn’t The Purge. If you lock your doors (and windows too), you shouldn’t be that scared.

If you want to keep a gun in your house, it doesn’t affect me too much one way or the other. But it does affect me when the people in both my and surrounding neighborhoods are practicing shooting guns. For the time being, I don’t have much say in where I live — and I’d prefer to live in a safe neighborhood. My parents moved out of a somewhat dangerous neighborhood before having children for the sole purpose of keeping our family safe. And now that doesn’t seem to matter.

Some people have tried to convince me that it’ll be used for police officers to practice. With the constant stories of police brutality, I have a very deep-seeded distrust of police officers. I personally believe that the police should be demilitarized, but I know that probably won’t happen. Police — especially those in Skokie, Morton Grove, and Niles — should definitely not be practicing their aim. If anything, they should practice being compassionate or at least decent human beings.

I don’t have much trust for police officers in general, and I especially don’t trust police officers with guns. In positions of unchecked authority, that authority will always be abused, as it was displayed several years ago in the Stanford Prison Experiment. The experiment has been copied over and over with slightly different variables, and the results always turn up the same. Thus, I have no reason to trust police officers who have been practicing their aim.

As stated before, Skokie and its surrounding neighborhoods will not benefit from the range in any way, shape, or form. No one in this area of Illinois needs to practice their aim, and people from high-crime neighborhoods in Chicago don’t need it either. The gun range won’t help our economy either — if anything, we should focus on the failing small businesses in downtown Skokie. We won’t see a drop in crime, and we won’t see less police brutality. If anything, these statistics will only go up.

I would encourage everyone reading this to study police brutality and gun law statistics. I’m sick of seeing people dying because of police. I’m sick of seeing people become hashtags on Twitter. I’m sick of people supporting the police no questions asked.

I think the people in favor of the gun range should really sit down and think and hard about what, if anything, will be improved with its use.