While us namby-pamby tree-hugging Reston metrosexuals are breathlessly anticipating the opening of a yarn shoppe at Lake Anne, our more rough-and-tumble neighbors to the west are celebrating their own newest retail establishment: a gun store.
When NOVA Armament, LLC, held its grand opening on Jan. 30, it drew a crowd that surpassed even its owners' expectations. Several dozen people, including Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis and Town Councilman Dave Kirby, jammed into the small storefront at 795 Center St., formerly a vacant space below Tina's Hair Salon.Lest you worry that Herndon's developing a machismo gap over our fair community, never fear: They've got massive weaponry for the ladies. And jewelry too!
"I thought the snow would keep people away, but they really turned out," said Judy Rudek, a well-armed store employee who wears a Smith & Wesson Ladysmith .357 revolver in a leather hip holster while at the office.
"People came in and bought everything," she said. "We sold several guns and lots of ammo."
Rudek says one of NOVA Armament's more unique aspects is its "Fairer Sex Section," in which several handgun carrying options -- both open and concealed -- are available for women. "The one question I get asked the most by customers is, 'How can my wife carry a concealed weapon?'" she said.Awesome! Of course, some namby-pamby types are concerned about Herndon's image, which as we know, is already that of a progressive, welcoming community.
The store offers women several "on-body" and "off-body" options, from waist and shoulder holsters to purses with easy-access gun compartments. Earrings and other jewelry carved from empty shell casings are also on display.
"We plan on offering women more options than just pink guns and pink purses," Rudek said.
But some Herndon residents are less enthused about a gun store opening downtown.If conceal-carry enthusiasts can enjoy a meal at Champps without anyone complaining, they ought to be able to go to the library to pick up the latest Glenn Beck oeuvre. Right?
Du said that on the store's opening day, he received an e-mail from a Herndon man who said he hoped the store's sales would be "disastrous" because the town did not need such a business.
Others, such as Carol Bruce, a former mayor, question the particular location of the store and the image it portrays to those visiting downtown.
"I respect the constitutional right of all law-abiding citizens to bear arms," she said. "However, I question the appropriateness of the location, which is across from the library and in an area frequented by children. I also have serious reservations about the image that a gun store projects for our town."