Keep store open

To the editor:

I would like to comment on the July 15 article about Richard Osburn and his store on Massachusetts Street, Naughty But Nice. I find the premise under which he is being forced to close his shop distressing. The rule that adult businesses must be on a highway is a ploy to shield the fact that such businesses are attacked by conservative activists with the intent to eliminate viewpoints that disagree with theirs.

In the article, Commissioner Rundle said, “If it is valid to not let young people shop there, then our laws should be valid requiring them to be located in a place where they are more likely to be accessed only by adults.” This rationale is ridiculous. Priscilla’s, an adult business on 23rd Street (a highway), is near several shops and a grocery store, all of which are patronized by children. The identification of a street as a “highway” has no impact on the presence of children.

So then, what grounds could there be for forcing this local business owner who contributes to the Lawrence economy to close? According to this same July 15 article, he is not disliked by the store’s neighbors, accommodates the community by tinting windows and using unobtrusive signage, and does not admit anyone under 18.

Let Mr. Osburn keep his business. Whether you like what he sells is irrelevant; this is America. He should get to make his living in whatever way he sees fit so long as he doesn’t harm anyone. And he hasn’t.

Stephanie Kirmer,