Within the gun community, there’s been an ongoing debate regarding open carry versus concealed carry. Many have their preferences and it can lead to some rather lively debate among gun folks. In the end, I think most folks can agree that it matters more that you have a gun on your person than whether you hide it or not.
This is especially true in some states where open carry is permissible without a permit, but concealed carry isn’t. Open carry allows those waiting on a permit to carry a firearm for self-defense in the meantime, for example.
So Walmart asking customers to stop open carrying in their stores on Tuesday comes as a significant blow to those in that situation.
Well, it looks like Walmart isn’t alone.
Kroger on Tuesday requested customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in its stores — hours after Walmart asked the same of its shoppers amid recent mass shootings across the U.S. and some public pressure from mostly left-leaning groups to restrict gun sales.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement.
Adelman added the Ohio-based supermarket chain is also joining Walmart in “encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence.”
Earlier Tuesday, Walmart asked that customers no longer openly carry firearms into its stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” was permitted unless law enforcement authorized it. However, CEO Doug McMillon noted that the store wouldn’t change its policy and approach regarding concealed-carry permits.
It seems that Kroger is following Walmart’s lead by focusing on open carry rather than citizen carry in general. The lone exception, as it is with Walmart, are law enforcement officers.
The question is, why this and why now?
When discussing Walmart’s decision, I couldn’t help but chalk it up to the dipstick who decided to “test” his Second Amendment rights by wearing body armor and carrying an AR-15 into a Walmart just days after El Paso. Now, no one did anything similar to a Kroger, so far as I can recall. So why would Kroger make this kind of statement?
My guess is antics like the dipstick I mentioned above.
You see, you have two kinds of open carry people. You’ve got the people who carry a firearm on their hip in plain view of God and everyone but don’t try to make a spectacle of themselves about it and you’ve got those who chose the opposite path. These are the people who routinely prance around with their AKs, ARs, or SKS rifles slung to their backs while walking in somewhere to order a cup of coffee. They’re making a statement and you are damn well going to know it.
The thing is, while the firearm on the hip can be missed by some and is less likely to cause concern among most folks. The rifle, though? Oh, that you can’t miss. Further, it’s going to draw what I feel is the wrong kind of attention. It’s going to scare people.
My guess is that Kroger wants to avoid that kind of thing. Or, quite possibly, they’re deluded enough to think that asking people not to open carry in their stores will be sufficient to prevent a mass shooting in one of their stores. If so, they’re wrong, but it’s possible they think otherwise. While they had a shooting in one of their stores last year, it had nothing to do with open carry.
In fact, that shooting was the result of a gun control failure.
Regardless of why, we’re being asked not to open carry in their stores. They have the right to do so on their property.
We just have the right to tell them they’re wrong in any lawful way we so desire.