Once again, the "open carry" movement has shot itself in the foot.
|no more of this....|
Open carry activists, in their fevered minds, decided that going into Target stores, heavily armed, would be a great PR move for them. Through June, in Texas and then throughout the country, they invaded Target stores and made a show of themselves.
By openly carrying assault rifles and handguns into otherwise family-friendly Target stores, these gun extremists have sent shoppers fleeing the store. Instead of "normalizing" guns in our society or "educating" the public about guns, they've managed only to rile up normal, everyday people. Led by Moms Demand Action, a movement began to stop shopping at Target stores until Target bans guns in their stores.
And for a couple weeks, it was looking like Target wouldn't see common sense. They even turned away protesting moms with their strollers, despite having accepted gun-toters with open arms. But the numbers of unhappy customers kept growing.
Faced with increasing numbers of sensible people boycotting their stores, Target has now announced that guns are no longer welcomed there. From their announcement....
[S]tarting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law. ....
[W]e are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.
This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.Did you catch that? They said "not bring firearms to Target," not just openly, but in any manner, to
"create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting" (because they recognize that openly-carried guns are inherently not safe nor inviting!) and "at odds with the family-family shopping and work experience."
Perhaps it had something to do with how a loaded gun was left by a felon in the toy isle of a Target store (which, of course, the gun guys thought was a "false flag" conspiracy by Moms Demand Action). Perhaps it had a LOT to do with thousands of safety-conscious people signing petitions for Target to ban guns in their stores.
Nearly 400,000 people signed the Moms petition!
So, once again, the "open carry" movement has backfired. Just as it has backfired with other businesses (as I blogged on recently). The list just keeps on growing: Target, Texas Roadhouse, Sonic, Chili's, Chipotle's, Jack in the Box, Starbucks, Whataburger, and others. Wherever they demonstrate with their guns, they are eventually banned.
But the "open carry" crowd didn't learn their lesson from previous demonstrations. I'm sure they'll keep popping up. The leader of Open Carry Texas, for instance, has already said in his Twitter posts that he'll keep going back to Target with his weapons, no matter what Target has said. Whatever. Keep trying, Kory. We'll be watching.
Wherever the open carry extremists decide to make their next target for demonstrations, I and other gun violence-conscious people will be sure to fight back, with our voices and pens as our weapons, and we will continue to win, until, at last, America makes a national policy against this unsafe and extremist behavior.
UPDATE (7/3/14): The Target spokeswoman confirmed in an article that their request not to have guns in their stores includes concealed guns as well as openly-carried guns.
The Wire reached out to Target to explain the details of this statement, and Target's stance on Concealed Carry. "This isn't a policy change, this is a position," said Molly Snyder, a member of Target's public relations team, in a phone interview. "We are requesting that people do not carry any firearms in our stores, including concealed carry. We will continue to follow local laws, however, concealed weapons are included in our position." Target also confirmed that they have not sold any guns or gun paraphernalia in their stores since the early 1980s, and have not sold realistic toy guns since the 1990s.However, the spokesman has also said that their employees will not attempt to remove anyone who does bring in a gun, nor will they post "no guns" signs at the entrances. More from the previous article:
While Target is "respectfully requesting" customers not bring weapons of any kind into their stores, they won't actually force customers to leave if they do so. When asked if Target will ask a gun toting customer to leave, Snyder told The Wire, "Because this is a request and not a prohibition, we do not plan to communicate with our customers at this time."These statements, combined with the wording of the Target statement as a "request" has led to some in the open carry movement to conclude that Target is not serious about not wanting guns and plan to take their guns in anyways.