YOUR SAY: Gel Blasters store closure sparks heated debate
READERS had a lot to say after news broke yesterday that CQ Blasters, a hobby gun store, had its lease terminated immediately in Allenstown Square.
Management from the Rockhampton shopping centre cited community concern as the reason for immediate termination of the lease, but many readers disagreed on Facebook.
"I can't believe they gave them 90 minutes to vacate. Management should have thought about this prior to approving the lease. Terminating after three days trading is just wrong. How many actual complaints were there?" Brittany Crothers said.
"They just opened. What happened? I thought everyone was happy about it. What were the complaints?"Anna Thinee asked.
Megan Cosgrove said her son had bought a gel blaster but conceded that the guns could be intimidating.
"The guns come in boxes with all the extra gadgetry so there's no reason for people to have them out and be carrying them around the shopping centre. Leave them in the box till you get home," she said.
"My son has one - he's 17. Even he said there's no way he would pull it out in a public place as it looks real to the untrained eye and would scare people and would probably end in a visit from the police."
Some readers took aim at the centre questioning how it handled the situation.
"It's rubbish I think. The centre knew what they were selling and agreed to rent to them. Not to mention how expensive the rent is," Kerry-anne Quantock said.
"From my understanding it was a casual agreement and not a lease as such, so the Landlord does have the right to terminate," Lynda Lou said.
"That sucks, he was doing nothing wrong. I'd like to see the numbers on how much positive feed back he got," Allan Matheson said.
Among The Morning Bulletin's online subscribers, The story ignited a a robust debate surrounding gun regulation, more topical than ever in the wake of the recent Darwin massacre shooting.
The debate was sparked when subscriber WHISTLEBLOWER007 passed the comment "Precious snowflake anti-gun crusaders, mate. They even want to ban toy guns for the kids" to which other subscribers took opposition too.
Subscriber FEARLESSFRED argues the point "Toy guns for the kids' - isn't that where all the massacres begin?"
JAMES2450 remembered toy guns being a standard part of Australian childhoods.
"I felt blessed having a cap gun as a kid playing cops and robbers with my friends," the subscriber said.
BEHINDENEMYLINES took the same tack as FEARLESSFRED, expressing a worry that Australia may develop an American-esque gun culture.
"If 'their' will is to stop Australia becoming like the USA I'd call them sensible rather than 'snowflake'," they argued.
"It's almost daily that there's a mass shooting in the USA and if denying increasing the likelihood of some nut job with a gun mowing down innocents here is 'snowflake' I guess I'll wear that with pride."
"Those who need guns can have them already, so can sporting shooters."
"There is a difference you know. There are illegal weapons and legal ones," BRENTONS retorted.
T&NT was under the impression that the management of the shopping complex acted on the minority of negative customer feedback.
"The number of positive comments about the shop should outweigh any negative comments from people wanting the shop closed," T&NT argued.
"Why should the complaints of 10 people outweigh the support of 500 who may have supported the store.
"Centre management should have simply told the complainers that there are more against them than with them and the product they are selling is completely legal."
"Cigarettes have killed a lot more people than gel blasters. Would centre management tell Woolies to stop selling cigarettes if 25 of my friends and I got together to complain? Definitely not."
However GREGORY01 was in the camp who believed the guns would be susceptible to misuse and believed the 'toys' sent a bad message.
"Do all of the people supporting the shop's removal from the shopping centre not realise those things look real enough and could be used by some idiot to hold up a store or threaten an individual?," the GREGORY01 asked.
"Why on earth allow children to play with a toy gun when the real ones are so dangerous and have been removed from Australian Society to prevent mass murder?"