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An ad announces that anyone over the age of 13 can go to a shooting range for practice - no license required. The glass fortress of the Bronx County Hall of Justice looms in the background where many of our youth end up in a never ending cycle.

As I headed home walking along 161st street I noticed the most disturbing ad plastered on the side of defunct payphone. “SHOOTING RANGE 13 YEARS AND UP: NO LICENSE REQUIRED” it blared.

As if our youth needs any more  seduction into the world of guns and the violence that they lead to in our neighborhoods. Bronxites are no strangers to gun violence. We know the statistics very well and although in the recent decades we’ve seen an exponential decrease in gun deaths, we can still do alot more to continue its decline.

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Look, I’m not against limiting our constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, but I am all for keeping our streets clean of illegal firearms. Advertisements such as this one in a community that still has the some of the highest rates of gun violence is an insult to every resident of our borough and even more so to the memory of the victims of gun violence and their families.

What do you think about such ads in our communities?

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