Frank James declares ‘I’m not going to be a part of it any more,’ even if it means losing his business.
A pawn shop owner in Seminole, Florida, Frank James has pulled all the guns out of their cabinets and off the walls of his store. According to ABC Action News, after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut James said,
I basically broke into tears and looked up on the wall, seeing the types of firearms I am selling … I’m not going to be part of it anymore.
At his shop Loan Star Pawn, the display case that once held several Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifles is conspicuously empty, as well as the glass counters that used to be filled with handguns. James said he has several of the exact rifles Adam Lanza used to kill 26 people, including 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December, 14. He said, ‘the model, the brand, everything.’
What really hit this father of four was that reality that his youngest, a six-year-old daughter, is the same age as the children who were shot and killed in Newtown, Connecticut. He said, ‘I dropped my daughter off at school this morning. That was enough for me.’ James explained that over the weekend following the massacre he thought long and hard about what could happen after he sells a weapon to someone, and came to the realization that Lanza’s mother could have been his customer. He said,
I probably would have sold a firearm to that woman thinking she’s buying it for her own defense, and then something like that happens.
The harsh reality of Mr. James choice however, may be the loss of his business. Although his store is filled with items such as vintage telephones and cash registers, guitars, fishing poles and even a few boxes of discontinued Hostess treats, none of these items can come close to generating the thousands of dollars’ worth of income the sale of his guns could. James however, stands behind his decision,
It’ll probably cause my business to go out of business … I couldn’t live with myself if one of my firearms went out, got in the wrong hands and killed an innocent person, let alone a child … Conscience wins over making money … We need more gun control.
If only more business owners were willing to risk losing their livelihood to stand up for what they believe is right, to protect our children and our communities any way they can. Thank you Mr. James, you are a good man.
Photo: C. G. P. Grey/Flickr