Following the lead of several restaurant chains that have made similar pronouncements in recent months, retail giant Target recently informed shoppers that they are encouraged not to bring firearms into any of its nationwide locations anymore.
In a blog post Wednesday, acting CEO John Mulligan said his decision on the “complex issue” of gun rights was made after careful consideration.
“As you’ve likely seen in the media,” he wrote, “there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit ‘open carry’ should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores.”
While he contends the chain will continue to “follow local laws,” he seems to offer a contradictory statement in the following sentence.
“But starting today,” he wrote, “we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”
— JOHN (@Soldierjohn) July 2, 2014
Since they asked politely, I will no longer bring guns to Target. Sadly, my firearm is in the same pants as my wallet.http://t.co/ZGW0Hy8GKM
— Tamara K. (@TamSlick) July 2, 2014
Such language is similar to that used by companies like Sonic Drive-In, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, and other restaurants that have recently informed customers that legally owned guns are not welcome.
Of course, as certain chains and locally owned eateries have discovered, these policies do nothing to prevent armed criminals from bringing weapons inside. Second Amendment advocates have long contended that gun-free zones only succeed in convincing potentially violent criminals that they are unlikely to meet any resistance among law-abiding patrons.
Mulligan, however, suggested the policy was put into effect to protect “the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”
Anti-gun groups have been working diligently to prompt private companies to back their initiatives in recent months, especially as efforts to enforce stricter gun control laws have been roundly defeated across much of the country.
One such organization took credit for its role in Target’s decision.
— Everytown (@Everytown) July 2, 2014
Unfortunately for millions of gun owners, more and more companies are taking the bait laid out by groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Despite a name and logo that might suggest otherwise, Target is just the latest to prove it is no champion of the Second Amendment.
— Mr T 2 (@GovtsTheProblem) July 2, 2014
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.