Gun Range: Our Right To Bear Arms

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By George Panoutsos

Recently, there has been feud over the proposal of the gun range being built in the city of Niles. A gun range is a safe environment for law-abiding citizens to responsibly shoot firearms. A gun range is a place for citizens to exercise their second amendment and lawfully fire weapons.

The benefit of having a gun range closer to residents is that locals can now go to a convenient range and test their firearms. If people go to the gun range more often, and have the maintenance needed on the gun, a misfire or calibration error is much more unlikely. Many people in the area have weapons for home defense, and a reliable weapon is a necessity.

People claim that guns should be abolished, and they make unsafe conditions, but recently Illinois legislature passed “Carry And Conceal Laws.” Under this law, with a permit, citizens can walk around with a concealed hand gun. This has proved to be effective as murder rates have decreased in the city of Chicago since the law has been passed.

If a gun range is built in the city of Niles, to be called the Sportsman’s Club and Firearms Training Academy at 6143 Howard Street, the citizens will benefit from the proximity. The nearest gun range in relation to the Skokie area is 25 minutes away. If a gun range is moved closer, people will shoot more often and citizens with firearms will be more skilled with their weapon. It is essential to have gun owners know how to shoot their firearm.

There are groups in Skokie speaking out against the building of this gun range being so close to the school. They claim this is dangerous being so close to Niles West. However, people that use the gun range are law abiding, and have had background checks. Having skilled marksmen near me at school would give me a sense of security.

The anti-gun range group, People for a Safer Society, believes the guns so close to Niles West would lead to students being exposed to weapons. A gun range is a secluded area that would not give students any easier accessibility to firearms.  Our second amendment protects the right for citizens to own firearms, with proper screenings. High school students will not be allowed near a weapon at the range with out a Firearm Owners Identification Card.

People with left leaning views believe in gun restrictions, almost to the point where the citizens have no right to bear arms. This country was built on a militia, and gun rights are sacred to many Americans. I am in no way advocating for easier gun accessibility, because easier access to weapons is correlated with higher murder rights. I believe it should be harder to obtain a weapon. I do not feel that it is acceptable to purchase weapons at a gun show without showing your FOID card.  Laws should be in place that give more extensive background checks, including a mental health screening before given access to a firearm.  A gun range would not make weapons easier to get to, but simply provide a safe environment to practice firing a weapon.

This gun range being built will benefit the people in the area by educating citizens on weaponry.