A coalition of gun control groups including Moms Demand Action and Brady have sent a letter to eighteen U.S. companies urging them to ban the open carrying of firearms in their establishments, claiming that doing so would somehow prevent criminals from misusing firearms on their property.
The letter, which was first reported by the left-leaning American Independent website, calls on companies like McDonalds, Family Dollar, Waffle House, and 7-11 to institute the new policy because they “believe that American customers deserve to shop free of armed intimidation.” The groups then point to incidents that would not have been prevented by any open carry ban, like the shooting of a security guard at a Family Dollar in Flint, Michigan.
In that case, security guard Calvin Munerlyn told a female customer that she needed a mask. Another woman got involved in the argument, but both eventually left the store. About twenty minutes later, two men showed up at the store to confront Munerlyn. Police say 23-year old Ramonyea Bishop pulled out a gun and shot Munerlyn in the head. Bishop’s now facing with first-degree murder, felony firearm and carrying a concealed weapon charges. The second man charged in Munerlyn’s death, 44-year old Larry Teague, Jr., also has several prior offenses involving drugs and guns on his record, and it seems highly unlikely to me that the suspects would have simply stayed away from the store if they noticed a “no open carry” sign at the front door. Heck, Bishop, who’s accused of actually pulling the trigger, has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon in the commission of a felony. It doesn’t sound like he was open carrying at all.
In another case referenced by the American Independent, a 28-year old from Aurora, Colorado stands accused of shooting a cook at a Waffle House after he was barred from entering the establishment.
According to court documents, witnesses say on the morning of May 14 Watson went into the Waffle House on East Mississippi Avenue without wearing a face mask. He was told several times to wear one due to the coronavirus pandemic, became belligerent and pulled out a gun.
According to witnesses, he told the cook, “I can blow your brains out right now.” A waitress suspected Watson was high.
The next night, he came back and was refused service. One witness says he hit the cook in the head and chased him out into the parking lot, where he allegedly shot him.
Watson’s also being investigated over another shooting that took place in Denver back in April after his car was impounded, but to date no formal charges have been filed. Based on the court documents in the Waffle House shooting, it sounds like Watson didn’t care about the mask policy for Waffle House, but gun control advocates would have us believe that he would have abided by a no-guns-allowed policy? Get real.
Of course, this isn’t really about banning open carry. It’s about banning firearms in as many spaces as possible, as gun control advocates made clear.
“The goal here is to push retailers to follow the trend we’ve been seeing of businesses recognizing that their top priority is to keep customers and employees safe, and that there’s a business cost associated with our incredibly loose gun laws,” Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America, said in an interview.
If Volsky and his anti-gun buddies really want to keep people safe, they should concentrate on advocating for laws that will get tough on those accused of violent crimes. Kelvin Watson, for instance, is already out of jail on $100,000 bond, despite facing seven charges including attempted murder. The criminal justice system needs to treat violent threats more seriously than suspects like Watson would ever treat a “gun-free zone.”