If it wasn’t enough to worry about politicians trying to grab our guns, law-abiding gun owners are being run through the wringer as more businesses show their anti-gun colors. While we’ve seen such things before, now companies are redoubling their efforts, as evidenced by a slew of retailers and grocery chains that recently said they’re not going to permit open carry in their establishments—thumbing their noses at state law and the U.S. Constitution.
Walmart is leading this latest charge of further infringing on our Second Amendment rights. The liberal-leaning chain recently stated that it would stop selling some ammunition and would put the kibosh on open carry of firearms in its stores.
Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill implemented such policies a few years ago, but when the biggest kid in class says you can’t do something, others fall in line. And so it is that when the nation’s largest retailer publicized its move, it was mere hours before Kroger, CVS, Albertsons, Walgreens, ALDI, Meijer and Schnucks—to name a few—fell in line.
We know what their objective is: they are appealing to the segment of their customer base that shakes in their boots when they even read about guns, much less when they see one or hear the word. What nobody seems to admit, though, is that by ceding to the nanny-state approach, businesses are actually making the whiners more vulnerable to the whims of the violent.
The trend carries heavy implications. On the practical side, the companies are making it known that there is a lower likelihood of anyone putting up resistance when someone will evil intentions gets the notion of going on a shooting spree. That’s because law-abiding gun owners, by definition, follow the law. If a place of business says no open carry is allowed, they’ll leave their firearm behind.
More troubling, however, is that as more retail outlets are letting politics influence business policy, law-abiding gun owners are being left with fewer opportunities to express their outrage. The simple response used to be that anti-gun businesses could be boycotted, and gun supporters have made public calls on social media for just that in the wake of Walmart’s latest policy decisions.
But in today’s world—with less competition in the marketplace and more businesses climbing aboard the gun-control train—those who believe in the founding principles of this country need to find other ways to stop the trampling of our Constitutional rights.
Why is it so imperative that gun owners not give up? Because when it comes to gun control there is no such thing as compromise; instead, it’s more a matter of the other side saying “give us this now and we’ll come back for more later”—and they’ve never made a secret of that. As early as 1976, Pete Shields, chairman of the seedling that would morph into the Brady Campaign, told The New Yorker: “We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily—given the political realities—going to be very modest. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal—total control of handguns in the United States—is going to take time.”
There is no easy answer of how to move beyond the prospect of boycotting anti-gun businesses, but an obvious response starts with electing politicians—at all levels—who respect individual freedom. The people we put in office need to have the backbone to stand up to such bullying and let businesses know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land in America and that document expressly supports the right for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
It’s time, too, to get those who shrug off such policy changes as “nothing more than a business decision” to realize that this is not only an infringement of the Second Amendment, but it is also discrimination. While they might not be directly affected by this issue, they really have to ask, if businesses are OK with discriminating against gun owners, who will be next?