23 Aug 2007

No Sporting Goods Stores in Roseville Back Yards

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The Sydney Morning Herald has a story demonstrating just how far contemporary urban bourgeois phobia toward firearms can proceed.

In Roseville, doubtless a fashionable neighborhood of Sydney, residents are in a panic over the prospective opening of a sporting goods store.

Up in arms would accurately describe the incensed reaction of Roseville residents to news that a gunshop is to open in their midst.

Last night hundreds were expected to pack a community hall to protest against the approval granted by Ku-ring-gai Council, apparently without notification to those who may have an opinion about such an enterprise.

Andrew Peter, a gun enthusiast and coffee shop owner from Bondi Junction, made an application last month to turn an old printing shop into a sporting goods and firearms store. One of the main reasons for his decision was the estimated 1300 firearm owners who live in the area.

The shop is opposite a community hall that runs a preschool centre. It is also near a bus interchange used by schoolchildren, and some neighbouring businesses say the approval, although legal, is inappropriate.

Lisa Warrand is one of dozens of parents who fear the worst: the potential for an armed hold-up and shootout, or merely having to explain to children who walk past every day why a shop sells guns.

“Roseville has five churches and no pubs. People buy in this area because they want a more family-focused area,” she said yesterday. “We teach children about how bad guns are and yet we are being put into a position where we have to explain why there is a man in the car park carrying a gun bought across the road.”

Sally Cochrane runs the Zest hairdressing salon a few doors away. She concedes that the chances of a hold-up are slim but says it is a risk that should rule out the shop from the neighbourhood. “Children and guns don’t mix. It’s as simple as that, and if there is a robbery then it could be disastrous. I accept that this man has a right to open his shop and to sell guns, but not here.”

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