Gun control groups are taking a victory lap after Kroger joined Walmart in announcing it will ask customers not to openly carry firearms in their stores. In fact, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence goes so far as to claim that the recent moves are evidence of a cultural shift towards gun control.
. @WalmartInc announces it will stop selling high capacity ammo, end open carry in stores@kroger announces it will end open carry in its stores@NASCAR rejects advertising for semi automatic assault weapons on cars
Do you feel that? The cultural ground is shifting beneath us.
— Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (@CSGV) September 4, 2019
As much as CSGV and gun control groups really want to de-normalize gun ownership, what they’re noticing is a corporate shift, not a cultural one. As it turns out, Americans are still very interested in exercising their 2A rights, as this Montana story notes.
In the last decade, concealed handgun permits have increased in the United States by an estimated 273 percent.
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office says there’s currently 3,809 active concealed carry permit holders in the county, and that number is growing.
“This year, to give you an idea, we’re projected to have over 1,000 men put in for a concealed weapons permits, compared to the 300 that are women,” said Sheriff Brian Gootkin.
In 2015, Gallatin County, Montana saw 67 women apply for their concealed carry license. In 2018, that number had jumped to 285. And this isn’t just happening in rural Montana. Concealed carry classes are packed in El Paso, Texas these days, according to Michael McIntyre of the El Paso gun store Gun Central.
“I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre told Reuters.
In addition to an increase in a desire for training, McIntyre said his handgun sales doubled following the attack.
“We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said. “This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”
Gun prohibitionists may be cheered by the recent moves from large corporations like Walmart and Kroger, but getting skittish companies to ban open carry (while leaving their policies towards concealed carry untouched) is more a sign of a changing corporate landscape than any indication of a change amongst the American people. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t see similar moves by other companies (the New York Times, for instance, says Walmart’s decision to stop carrying handgun and some rifle ammunition is a guide for other retailers to follow), but as the Left loves to remind us, corporations aren’t people.
There are an estimated 100,000,000 gun-owning Americans in this country. As of 2018, there were more than 17,000,000 concealed carry licensees, and that number has undoubtably increased over the last year. That figure also doesn’t take into account the millions of Americans who now live in states where no license is needed for legal gun owners to carry a firearm. Americans who own guns cut across every demographic boundary you can dream up, from age, race, gender, religion, political affiliation, to geographic location. Gun owners are white collar, blue collar, and no collar. They’re driving Teslas and pickup trucks, eating ribeye steaks and tofu burgers, and listening to Taylor Swift and Tool. There is no such thing as a stereotypical gun owner in this country any more than there’s a stereotypical American, but there are lots of “normal” gun owners.
Corporate wokeness will only get the gun prohibitionists so far. 20 years ago, the NYTimes declared that Walmart’s standards for selling CD’s were “changing pop music”. The retailer refused to carry CD’s with explicit material or parental advisory stickers, and supposedly that was going to lead to a new, more sanitized pop music scene. Fast forward to 2019 and the current Billboard Hot 100 has songs with the following lyrics in the Top 10.
“I’ma hit you back in a minute
I don’t play tag, bitch, I been it
We don’t f*** with lies, we don’t do goodbyes
We just keep it pushing like aye yi yi”
– Lizzo, “Truth”
“They see me blowing up, now they say they want some
I got two twin Glocks, turn you to a dancer
I see two twin opps, leave ’em on the banner
And I got two thick thots, wanna lick the gang, yeah”
– Lil Tecca, “Ran$om”
“Before I die I’m tryna f*** you, baby
Hopefully we don’t have no babies
I don’t even wanna go back home
Hopefully, I don’t leave you on your own”
– Chris Brown featuring Drake, “No Guidance”
Golly gee whillikers, I sure am glad Walmart was around to clean up pop music 20 years ago. Who knows what would be popular if the retailer hadn’t cracked down on explicit lyrics?
A corporate-driven crackdown on the 2nd Amendment isn’t the same as a cultural crackdown. While Walmart’s decision to remove handgun ammunition will undoubtably have some impact, particularly for rural Americans, it doesn’t translate to a cultural embrace of gun prohibition policies, any more than the company’s decision to not carry explicit music meant that Americans wanted their pop music to sound like Air Supply. In fact, given the innate rebellious nature of Americans (as evidenced by everything from Prohibition to the civil rights movement to the Tea Party to today’s #Resist), it’s likely that the more corporate America tries to stigmatize legal gun ownership, more Americans will be prompted to explore and exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.