Target Store Targets Your Guns
Russ Chastain 07.09.14
Not too long ago, Chipotle “Mexican Grill” asked customers not to bring their guns inside. Ironically, this gun ban was spurred by “open-carry activists” who thought they were doing a good thing for gun rights by carrying rifles and shotguns into the restaurant while other folks were trying to enjoy a casual meal.
When I wrote about the Chipotle ban in May, 2014, I shrugged it off. After all, I’m going to carry a concealed handgun whenever and wherever the law allows. If I must take my chances of being asked to leave an establishment instead of being unprotected, I’ll do so.
Folks like myself tried to spread some common sense after the Chipotle thing, asking people to stop getting “in your face” with their long guns. And as far as I can tell, fewer people have been doing so. But once the antis are on a roll, the warm and fuzzy feeling they get from depriving others of liberty urges them onward. So they push for other businesses to follow the recent example of Chipotle, Starbucks, and others.
The latest word from the retail store chain Target shows that such pressure can yield results, especially in a nation run so often by lawyers and fear-mongering. It also shows misguided thinking, as evidenced by this portion of Target’s July 2, 2014 official statement:
“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.”
Now, I am a lifelong gun owner. By that, I mean that I was handling and shooting guns with Dad from a very early age, and they have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I strongly defend my right to defend my life and property with firearms, but as I observed in May, I can certainly understand why businesses would be against open carry of long guns. It can easily be perceived as confrontational and does little or nothing to make anyone in the store safer in my opinion.
However, these businesses are really missing the boat by not specifying between concealed carry and open carry. A concealed firearm does nothing to affect the “shopping experience [they] strive to create,” but it can do everything to save someone whose life is threatened by an armed criminal. And to me, that type of security should be embraced by any business that cares about its patrons.
Stepping back and looking at this again from a legal standpoint, it seems likely that someone who becomes injured (or the family of someone killed) in a business that bans guns–all guns–could find a clever lawyer willing to sue that business for depriving its customers of the basic right to defend their lives. And if not, why not? I dislike the litigiousness of our society, but we really ought to defend our rights with every legal means.
For me, the Target gun ban doesn’t matter too much; it merely makes me dislike Target more than I already did. Target has nothing I want and very little for those of us who love the outdoors. But if this trend continues–and I’m sure the loudmouths who oppose our freedom aren’t done pressuring businesses to kowtow to their whims–it could easily lead to a very bad thing: a plethora of “criminal safe zones” which others refer to as “gun-free zones,” where no one is safe except those who break the rules.