Monday, May 25, 2015

Little Shop Of Horrors


I don't know where to start. Should I write about the freaking flying ant invasion, the ginormous bee invasion, the mind numbing work of painting a trellis or the gun shop?

All horrifying but none as bad as the news that the space next to the flower shop has been leased to a gun shop.

The contractor told us. And then he told us again. I worried, talked to co workers, talked to tenants of other shops. We are located in small non picturesque strip mall with a frame store, a nail salon, a hair salon, a yoga studio and two restaurants. 

The next day I started writing emails, anonymously of course, even though my email address of flwjane led everybody right to the flower shop.

I was happy to be in the fight but trying to keep the shop owners out of it.

Suddenly a rep from Arlington County was in, out local news blog, arlnow.com reporter was in so many times he became a customer,
and as the word got out customers streamed in the door.

Many to say goodbye, they would not frequent a block that housed a gun shop.

As much as I couldn't blame them I saw my income leaving too.

Then the neighborhood list serves got into it and finally we had  a petition.

When I signed it there were 110 names, within 48 hours there were 1400 and it continues to grow.

The Washington Post has reported on this, the local TV news has reported, the landlord says he's cutting the lease but the new tenant has issued a statement saying he doesn't care what the community has to say, he's moving in this summer.

I don't know what I'll return to tomorrow. Hoping it's peace not war.

Guns and Roses will not be our next Valentine's special.

A move might be in our future.

The amazing thing to come out of this has been the community reaction and action.

Soccer and baby showers took a back seat to the future of our city, our street, our school children.

And for that I am grateful.



Peace be with you.



32 comments:

  1. I'm sad to hear this. Some people will dig their heels in when confronted by animosity. The future tenant sounds like one of them. Hoping for the best for you and the neighboring businesses.

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  2. It's so great that the community gathered together that way. Fingers crossed! Marvelous picture, and I'm sorry about the invasions and annoyances on the home front. xo

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    1. Ducking my head to get away from the flying ants. WTF?

      This is one community I wish would disperse.

      Delete
  3. You have my complete sympathy. We were very glad to see the back of a gun shop in our vicinity. It was an incongruous business in a small neighbourhood, especially in the UK.
    Would a move be a good thing?

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    1. It would be the same in our area.

      The one owner thinks so, if necessary. Her husband not so much.
      Flowers orders can be phoned in and emailed....but we also sell a lot of rwetail goods.

      Or we did.

      Delete
  4. Can't imagine how awful that will be - hope the shop moves, but to some place convenient for you.

    "Peoples is funny," my grandmother used to say. The son of one of my cousins owns "the largest gun store in California" according to said cousin. And, he couldn't be more proud. I totally do not get it. Good luck. xoxo

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    1. I don't get it either. The contractor, he with the big mouth thank god, said we'll be "safer".

      What?

      Delete
  5. Oh boy. That's a tough one. I am a dedicated proponent of gun control, so, I wholly understand your community's reaction.

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    1. Me too. I'm so proud of everyone.

      Delete
  6. The gun shop itself seems to be less of an issue than the impression its potential location made on your customers. Is there known to be problems with gun shops up your way? Down here, it's not an issue ... though I can't think of one that's in a strip center like yours. It's more like tactical shops in an office park, or a gun department at the big box sports stores.

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    1. Exactly. We are surrounded my schools, parks, a 7-11 where kids go for their slurpees.

      It's not a good fit. They claim to be the largest online weapons distributor,

      So stay on line. No idea why they need a brick and mortar presence in a neighborhood.

      Delete
  7. Wow. What a mess, but excellent to know safety and peace is the outcome so many in the hood are seeking. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Denise. I am thrilled by the community response.

      Unfortunately gun laws are state laws, not counties.

      And Virginia is a bring it on state.

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  8. I've signed the petition.

    Jx

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  9. whoa that would really scare me too jane. i wish you luck and will send prayers for a peaceful solution to this. meanwhile....that wallpaper. x

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    1. Thanks Janet, need all the prayers we can get.

      that wallpaper, right?

      Delete
  10. Flying ants? I thought those were in South America.
    Opening a gun shop in a strip mall with yoga and flowers is absurd. Does this guy need a special license? I know nothing about gun shops but I'm interested in how this turns out. Any lawyers out there looking to work pro bono?

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    1. State law allows gun shops anywhere.

      Their other shop in Mclean is open by appointment only....they're not so trusting either.

      But I hear they're putting bullet proof windows in.

      Might want to get some for the neighbors too.

      I will report back.

      South America is in the house.

      Delete
  11. This is a topic I dread. I am anti-gun...anywhere, anyway. To me, there is absolutely no good reason for a gun shop to be anywhere near your neighborhood. (or in business at all). Georgia is also a bring it on state with open carry laws. Imagine my surprise (and horror) when I got down here and saw plenty of people with guns hanging from their belts. Why on earth would anyone need a gun in the grocery store?! And why would the gun shop owner feel that location would be the best for his clientele? I do hope your petition works. I really really do.

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    1. Me too Sarah. You voiced my sentiments exactly.

      I think the owner of the strip mall is lying when he says he's going to cut the lease...there were fresh plaster footprints outside the door today.

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  12. I am writing from England I have read your blog for ages.I have been really admiring of your humour and can do attitude in the face of many trials and tribulations.You really don't need this latest problem with the gun store! I wish I could come over and join your fight!

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    1. You are a sweetheart, thank you. I wish you could too!

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  13. What they said and in full agreement with all.
    Hope the City /County of Arlington will come through! It's a thorny, complex, nasty issue which is getting meaner and meaner all the time. Good luck and Peace be with You,
    dear Jane.
    Diane in bright green Denver

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  14. I cannot believe a gun shop would think it is a good idea to establish itself in your little mall...

    For a non American like me, gun shops are just something that does not exist anyway. Aren't there laws against them being at least far from schools??! It is crazy!

    I hope the landlord comes to his sense soon!

    Love,
    Elle

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    Replies
    1. I'm moving. Just tell me what city to buy a ticket for!

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  15. God, I hope you and the rest of the community somehow succeed in keeping them away. Does the Landlord realize that he may lose present tennants by taking this one, nobody wants to be next to a gun shop. Rooting for you big time!

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    1. I think he thinks it will all all blow over....he is very wrong.

      I hear the yoga studio is having a small group in to meet with the gun shop owner.

      The mall owner refused the invitation.

      He is such a coward.

      Delete
  16. Gun shops are the creepiest things. I am so surprised, and happy, to learn that a VA community is standing together to oppose it.

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    1. That they are. I can't imagine working next door to one. This is the blue end of Virginia, thank God.

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