By Tyler London
An open letter to the leaders of Target and all other companies taking anti-gun positions:
I am writing to voice my disappointment with the decision made today requesting law-abiding gun owners to leave their firearms outside of Target stores. Before I elaborate, though, I’d like to tell you a little about myself. I am a 30 year old father of three. I served as a firefighter in the Air Force from 2003-2007. I am a psychology honor student at my local college with a 3.9 GPA. with one semester left before earning my AA I shop at your store frequently; in fact my last visit was two days ago with my two daughters . . .
I am hardly the prejudicial/stereotypical, hot-tempered, itchy-trigger-finger, “Just give me an excuse” Yosemite Sam type that many anti-gun advocates try to portray gun owners as. I hope, at least for my own sake, that I never have to shoot anyone. If I have things my way I will leave people alone and in return be left alone. I am usually a very relaxed, easy-going guy. I treasure my privacy and tranquility.
Knowing that, you may be surprised to learn that for the last four years or so, I have carried at least one pistol (sometimes more) everywhere I go, nearly every day. I have never broken the law or acted recklessly with my firearms. They are there solely as a last-resort in case of dire emergencies in which all other measures have failed or are inadequate. As a father, it is important that I be able to protect my family from harm as much as reasonably possible. My carrying of a firearm is but one of many useful tools I utilize for such a purpose (along with multi-tools, jumper cables, emergency candles, etc.). As the saying goes, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
I am quite dismayed to see you have added yourselves amongst the several companies who have recently taken the position that legally carried firearms are requested to remain outside your stores. Time has proven that places with anti-gun policies tend to be magnets for the homicidally psychotic. (Luby’s, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Century Movie Theatre, Washington Navy Yard, UC Santa Barbara, just to name a few. In fact, these are just the most popularly-known shootings. I have found evidence of at least 19 military base shootings since 1994.). As such I refuse to do business with establishments where the murderous deranged know they can go to play fish in a barrel and maximize their body counts (compared to places where they know armed resistance is present). How many mass shootings have occurred at gun stores, gun shows, NRA meetings, police departments, etc?
Even if you were to place armed security in your stores, at the end of the day no one is going to defend my life and the lives of my family as quickly and with as much passion and die-hard determination as I am. Or as another saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” A publicly announced anti-gun policy is, in my estimation, a nationally-broadcast duck-call for those with malicious intent toward their fellow men.
What makes thing worse is this decision seems to be made based, at least partially, at the encouragement of an anti-freedom organization called Moms Demand Action. This organization has been spreading lies, lies by ommission, and half-truths since its beginning. It deals in lies, propaganda, fear and accusation rather than rational facts. While presenting itself as a grass-roots campaign headed by a humble house-wife, the truth is it is funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg and headed by Shannon Watts, whose LinkedIn profile boasts of a long and prestigious career in public relations (i.e. “Corporate propaganda”) for several major corporations, including Monsanto and GE.
During its brief but vociferous existence, MDA has claimed dodgeball, chocolate candies, and the story Little Red Riding Hood are banned in America (but guns aren’t). The same people subscribing to this (il)logic have now launched an internet campaign called, “Off Target” in which they post pictures of themselves shopping at Target’s competitors, in the hopes that Target will cave in to their demands of customer disarmament. Of course, the fact that many of those photographed are shopping at stores with the same lack of policy is never mentioned.
Unfortunately, MDAs plan worked anyway, and we law-abiding gun owners are left making the decision to honor the requests of a private business we can live without, or honor the freedoms earned for us by men who gave life and limb for out Bill of Rights. For me, at least, there is an easy choice third option. I will respect you private property rights, this country’s fallen patriots, and the concepts of armed liberty all at the same time by simply spending my money elsewhere. And you see, that is a major problem: you can’t give into the minority of people who advocate disarmament and still please those who value responsible freedom. I’ll remind you it is still speculated K-Mart’s 1999 decision to stop selling ammunition in order to appease anti-gun filmmaker Michael Moore led to their financial woes shortly after.
In short, I disagree with your decision on every level. What exactly is this policy supposed to accomplish? Making customers safer? There has yet to be any incident I know of involving a legal gun carrier endangering anyone inside a Target. Reducing crime? The Texas DPS website shows that CHL holders committed 0.1987% of all major crime in Texas in 2012 (and similar numbers for all other years records have been kept on the subject). Also remember that those who carry firearms illegally do not care about the law, and most surely do not care about Target policy. The recent incident in which a loaded Hi-Point handgun was found in a Target toy aisle revealed it was left there by a felon. As such he is not even allowed to possess a firearm, let alone carry one.
This policy is going to accomplish nothing for the store but boycotts by those who value freedom, safety, and the blood shed by our patriots which earned us the right to possess firearms. I know because I am one of those boycotting. And while I may be but one voice, I am certain I am speaking for many. Out of respect for freedom, safety, and our honored dead and wounded, I urge you to reconsider your decision. There is nothing wrong with making a misstep in business. Refusing to fix that mistake, however, is enough to permanently send many customers “off Target.”
Yours in Liberty,