Community responds to gun violence: Armory, anti-gun violence coalition look at solutions

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With what seems to be unrelenting gun violence, many Americans are taking measures to protect themselves. David Becker, owner of the Miami Armory in Dayton, said consumers in the Miami Valley are no different.

“Largely, you’re going to see us follow the national trend,” he said. “Classes have, since COVID struck … the class sizes are full. The class offerings are more frequent than we usually do. So, yes we’ve definitely [seen] an increase in the standard CCW, as well as advanced classes.”

In Clark County, where six people were shot at a celebration of life Wednesday morning, the sheriff’s office told 2 NEWS nearly 230 more CCW applications were requested in 2020 than in 2019, and more than 350 have been requested this year. But the sheriff’s office and Becker said that is not necessarily an indicator of increasing or decreasing violence. 

“A concealed carry permit or a CHL (concealed handgun license), it is a state issued card that says you’ve gone through appropriate eight hour training and mandatory range time to make sure you’re proficient at the skills of handling and concealing and carrying a handgun,” said Becker.

He said those who take the time to go through the training typically do so responsibly, in hopes of protecting themselves and their families. He said concealed carry laws are also thought to be beneficial, as they prevent perpetrators of violent crimes from knowing whether a person is armed.

However, Toby Hoover, founder of The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said she knows the consequences of irresponsible gun use. As the survivor of gun violence, she doesn’t support the use of firearms. But in a world where it seems they are here to stay, she hopes some legislative interventions could help promote safety.

“People want to know that there’s been at least some kind of check to make sure that someone is not legally prohibited from having one before they can purchase the gun,” she said. And then you can buy one just about anywhere right now, and it’s not illegal, so that would be a first good step.”

But even with firearm training available, she hopes to see long-term solutions that will focus on educating young people on healthy problem-solving skills that will reduce or eliminate gun violence in the future.

“We have an obligation, I think, to let our young people know as they’re growing up, that we aren’t all going to use a gun to solve any disputes,” she said. “Each individual has to decide that this isn’t the answer.”

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