Well… I’m starting to run out of places to shop. Target Corporation (TGT) made the announcement on Wednesday that they have acquiesced to the Bloomberg fanatics who believe no-one should be armed while shopping. The company (politely) asked customers to keep their guns at home the next time they wander in for a DVD or Cuisinart.
Of course, it’s not all bad news. After all, a Target store in San Antonio recently booted anti-gun activists from its store. The Bloomberg inspired group, Moms Demand Action (moms I know carry .380 automatics), was asked to leave the premises as they petitioned shoppers to sign a ban on open carry.
So, when taken in the context of recent events, it kinda looks like the retail chain simply wants to be left out of the gun/anti-gun debate. And really, who can blame them? Picket signs, petition drives, and even AR-15s aren’t always good for business. I mean, sure, Target is creating a “solution” to an imaginary problem by banning gun-loving America… But they’re not exactly doing this in a vacuum.
Now, don’t get me wrong: Their decision is absurd. It’s pretty well documented that “gun free” zones tend to advertise a victim-rich environment to would-be criminals. Jack in the Box learned this the hard way when armed robbers took advantage of newly disarmed customers, mere days after the company declared their new anti-gun policy. And, if you really need proof of failure, just look at America’s favorite gun-free zone: Chicago.
A far more amicable solution might have been to allow local laws to preempt store-wide policies on firearms. But, Target is a business… And those who run it have every right in the world to make stupid, ill-informed, or even unfair decisions. Heck, they’re even allowed to make wrong decisions. But their decision does bring up an interesting point about the tactic of open carrying for Second Amendment rights:
In all honesty, recent high-profile open carry stunts have done little to help the proliferation of firearm rights. In fact, it has hurt the cause. And this isn’t the opinion of one “carry advocate” with a Townhall column… Even Open Carry Texas seems to understand that there are potential pitfalls to toting an AK around the grocery aisle of your local Super Target.
Smashburger, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, Applebees, Chipotle, Starbucks, and even Chili’s have asked patrons to start leaving their guns at home… And most (not all) of these decisions were made Bloomberg minions rallied in response to ill-advised open carry demonstrations. Now, I’m going out on a limb here, but I have to assume that an expanded prohibition on firearm-friendly-policies is not what open carry activists had in mind when they started their organized patronage.
But, welcome to the world in which we live. Movements, people, and even activists are generally judged by their ability to affect positive change. Prior to these most recent skirmishes, many of these locations allowed carry (provided it was in compliance with local laws) on their premises. Now things have changed… And not for the better. Now, please: don’t misunderstand me… I’m a very pro-gun guy. I have a 1911 on my hip right now because – well – because I’m awake. (And even when I’m asleep, it’s not far away.) But, if we are going to judge the activist-open-carry movement by its results, it appears to be a failure.
If the goal is to expand gun rights, let’s try not to bog ourselves down in skirmishes with national retail chains who are primarily interested in avoiding controversy. After all, discriminating against law-abiding citizens is in vogue; but discriminating against the main-stream media, Michael Bloomberg, and rabid-anti-gunners is generally viewed by CEOs and investors as corporate suicide.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that presentation goes a long way in making, or breaking, a political point. Target is absolutely (without qualification) wrong for trying to ban law-abiding armed citizens from their stores. They may, or may not, feel the pain of their decision as gun-owners begin foregoing their visits to the newly created “victim-rich” retail stores… But, Target’s main goal of avoiding prolonged exposure in the media over a controversial social issue has been achieved.
Battles are launched in an effort to win wars… So, yeah: Moms Demand Action won this battle. Target is wrong. But, it is now up to Second Amendment advocates to make sure they are taking steps that perpetuate their cause – not infringe upon the lives of sympathetic supporters.
And, just to make it clear, here’s a quick guide on how to open carry in a way that disarms the ideologically bankrupt Bloomberg groups who lobby for the dissolution of gun rights: