Michael Schaus

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:

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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