To be honest, I originally entitled this post “Gun Control Masturbation,” but I didn’t want to deal with the search engine consequences of such a title.
Having said that, here is what I mean:
Recently, the anti-gun group Moms Demand Attention has made it its purpose in life to pressure retail companies that allow lawful carried weapons into their establishments. Some have inclined to acquiesce to their request, most notably Starbucks, Target, and most recently Panera.
In just about every instance, the companies involved have asked patrons not to bring guns into their stores. And Moms Demand Attention have raved and congratulated themselves on another victory against evil guns and their evil owners.
Note, though, that these companies have stopped at that action. None of them have gone so far as to post “No Guns” signs in their stores, or eject patrons who bring guns.
The reaction of some on the pro-gun side has been predictable, running from expressing their displeasure to vowing never to do business with them again.
I, on the other hand, see the truth: asking me not to bring my gun in to a store is the same as asking a robber not to rob you. It has zero legal force, and it does nothing to provide actual disincentive to me.
In fact, about all it does it placate the anti-gun factions, and infuriate some of the more extreme pro-gun factions, much to the delight of the same anti-gunners. Nothing they do has the force of law, or even of company policy, because they all express how the last thing they want is to make their employees have to confront armed customers and kick them out.
So, what we end up with is nothing, except for emotions. Nothing changes.
Are these places any safer or less safe? There is no way to know. I know the a lot of the foam at the mouth open carry gang vow never to return, which is probably not a bad thing even for the pro-gun cause.
The truth is that all this is, is smoke and mirrors. Marketing. Fluff.
It doesn’t change how I act. I still carry a gun concealed everywhere I can, even if it is posted not to allow guns.* I don’t boycott anyone, unless their policies affect their customer service, because that is why I shop somewhere. I don’t shoot at Target or Taco Mac, so I don’t care what they think of my guns.
I let the Moms have their hoopla, because in the end it affects nothing. No one is going to change concealed carry laws based on whether Kroger allows me to carry a gun, and that is what I go by, not a corporate policy or a sign on the door.
In the end, it has the same effect as masturbation: someone is satisfied, for a while, but nothing real happens.
* DISCLAIMER – I live in the state of Georgia, and I am following Georgia law. You must follow the laws of the jurisdiction where you live. In Georgia, violating a carry prohibition on private property is not a crime, it is merely a violation of property rights, meaning the owner may ask you to leave, and if you refuse, charge you with trespassing. The only places where carry is prohibited are places like schools (and that is debatable), courthouses, post offices. BE SURE YOU KNOW THE LAWS OF THE JURISDICTION WHERE YOU LIVE.