It starts with someone like Walmart, but it rarely stays there. Ideas spread, for good or ill. They spread far and wide, and when a giant like Walmart makes a move, you can guarantee that someone will follow.
Along the way, here at Bearing Arms, I’ve noted the others joining with Walmart in asking people to no longer carry firearms openly in their store.
Well, there are a couple more.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc WBA.N, CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets Inc said on Thursday they would start asking customers to not openly carry firearms in their stores, joining Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Kroger Co (KR.N), in a change of gun policy following several deadly mass shootings in the United States.
The retailers are among a growing number of U.S. companies, such as Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N), that are responding to calls for action to help curtail the rash of gun violence that has plagued the nation, risking backlash from powerful gun owners’ groups as politicians consider options.
“There’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees,” Wegmans said in a tweet on Thursday, adding that it “prefers” that customers not openly carry firearms into its stores. (bit.ly/2lyaafV)
CVS Health echoed the sentiment saying, “We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
Now, CVS is making a broader stance. Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, and even Wegmans are asking people not to openly carry firearms in their store. They’re fine with concealed carry, but open carry is something they’d prefer not to see. In fairness, open carry can freak people out. While I think those people need to learn to get over it, I can at least see where the stores are coming from.
CVS, though, is saying they don’t want us to bring firearms into their stores at all. That suggests they don’t want you to carry at all. I reached out to CVS earlier this morning for clarification but hadn’t heard back by the time of publication for this story. I’ll update it if and when I do. (In their defense, it was stupid early when I emailed, so it’s unsurprising they haven’t responded yet.)
It seems that more and more stores are making moves like this.
I’ve beaten the drums as to why I think some of this is happening, and part of it is because of the actions of a few stupid people, but that’s not all of it. It can’t be.
A lot of it is also the stigmatization of guns, in general, has continued without any real counter in the media. While the gun media can push back as much as we’re able, let’s be realistic. Anti-gun and gun-neutral folks aren’t coming to Bearing Arms or any other outwardly pro-gun source for their news. They’re getting it from CNN, NBC, ABC, or CBS. Some are getting it from Fox News or MSNBC, but there are few pro-gun voices on even Fox News.
So these companies are feeling pushed and they just don’t have the real facts in front of them. They don’t get criminals aren’t openly carrying their firearms. They don’t understand how citizen carry actually stops crime. They don’t get that because they’re never presented that in the media.
Because of that, expect to see more of this kind of thing.