After a shooting early yesterday morning, April 6, outside the Lux Nightclub around closing time left five wounded, Springfield mayor Dominic Sarno held an impromptu press conference blaming the businesses that attract "gangbangers" for the violence that erupted. Entrepreneur, small business owner and proprietor of Lux Nightclub Sherwood Jarrett spoke up in an article also published yesterday, which puts forth the question, was Sarno too quick to blame the club owner?
According to published reports, Sarno has called for the Springfield License Commission to summon Jarrett for a hearing as soon as possible. Sarno wants to crack down on the "establishments that draw unruly crowds." Yet Jarrett has followed protocol, hiring two police officers to work outside Lux Nightclub, both of which were on duty the night of the shooting.
A poster on the article summarizing Sarno's press conference believed that the mayor's statements had little basis in reality. "It's easy for the mayor to blame a club. It's easy to shut the club down but that don't (sic) stop these thugs from shooting at each other. To shut down clubs makes it looks like he is doing something," wrote spdthegreat. "When the mayor blames the clubs for these problems, it shows just how far out of touch he really is. Difficult to believe that he would actually say that, no less believe it," wrote ripa01.
Meanwhile, Jarrett, who took over Lux Nightclub approximately eight months ago, defended his club and requesting that Sarno reach out to club owners rather than demonize them. According to Masslive.com, Jarrett has never met Sarno, yet Sarno has already predicted, rather sarcastically, that Jarrett will deny Lux Nightclub is responsible for violence that erupted outside its doors. Jarrett employs 15 people, and Lux Nightclub is a multipurpose entertainment venue that books hip-hop acts and holds paint-and-sip nights, where patrons try their hands at painting while enjoying a glass of wine with friends.
Commenters on this article also supported Jarrett. "If he operates a clean business with the proper security provisions and procedures, then what happens outside of his business on the streets and in the parking lots is not his responsibility, as long as he is not directly responsible for it," said Alvah Buckmore. "Is there a song titled "the blame game"? if so it should be the Massachusetts theme song. How the club owner is responsible for the actions of the patrons of the club is beyond me," wrote oat123. "It's not the clubs, it's the people. The longer politicians and other citizens keep up with their P.C. B.S., the more danger you're putting everyone in. What are the club owners going to do to stop violence? Do you want them to run out and dive in front of the bullets? This is a police matter, plain and simple. Stop trying to pass the buck Sarno!" admonished That_Guy1.