Letter: Pet Castle owner speaks out on gun issue
In regards to the recent handgun raffle at The Pet Castle and my opinion on gun rights:
First, the decision to raffle off a handgun was purely based on numbers. I wanted to help, in a big way, a local animal rescue. In the past I had raffled off a $2,000 aquarium setup and after a month’s time, was only able to raise about $200. Luckily, the aquarium was donated; if not, the raffle would have been a complete failure. In just a day and a half raffling off a handgun, I was able to raise $1,000, coincidentally, for the same rescue. Because of the success of this raffle, I plan to do it again in the future, with the hopes of raising even more.
When I looked for an animal rescue to donate this gift to, two others rejected me before Precious Purrs and Paws welcomed the gift. One refused due to the fear of negative publicity, and the other due to a deeply held anti-gun belief of only one person in the organization. I can certainly understand the fear of negative publicity, because I have received a small amount of it, though not nearly as much as was first feared. In fact, I have received much, much more support. It troubles me, though, that some would put their political beliefs in front of the animal welfare that they are so passionate about.
Never in the past have I used my business to further any political or personal belief of mine. I have pondered long and hard about offering a discount to Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders since first getting mine a year ago. As you can see, I finally decided to do it, and it certainly got some attention. Much more than even I thought it would.
I have carried my firearm openly for well over a year, even before I received my CHP. And not only did I carry in my store, I carried everywhere I went, openly. I have yet to be asked to leave a business because of it. I applaud all those businesses for allowing their customers to carry open. But, there are many more who carry concealed on a daily basis. By offering this discount, I have not invited more people to carry, openly or concealed, into my store, simply because many already did. I am only saying "thank you" to those who choose to exercise their Second Amendment right.
But it has been a difficult time lately, and not without some negativity. Two instances stand out: one, the woman who called me at the store and thanked me for carrying open, because "everyone needs to be able to kill dogs." And finished by hoping "I take out some canines," a truly sickening call. The other is a woman who actually threatened to call Child Protective Services because I believe in raising my daughter knowing gun safety and proficiency.
Despite these few instances of negativity, I will not change my stance on gun rights. I firmly believe in the Second Amendment and not only support it, but exercise it as well. I encourage other businesses and citizens to do the same. The time has come that gun owners must make more noise than the very vocal, and very small, minority of citizens who believe that gun control laws actually work.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, and everyone has the right to have their opinion respected. I hope that this community can discuss this, and other issues, without the mean-spirited and personal attacks I have been subjected to recently.
Owner, The Pet Castle