Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America jefe Shannon Watts lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Despite the fact that the Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star is Ms. Watts’ hometown paper, despite Gannett’s long-standing love of gun control, the paper’s had it up to here with the anti’s antics. A gun ban at Kroger? Let’s get real, the headline proclaims. Underneath, editorialist Tim Swaren addresses MDA’s campaign to convince the Kroger supermarket chain to ban open carry. Swaren, a journalist who desires the mythical and misguided “sensible conversation” on gun control, a writer who shows no love for the NRA, takes Shannon’s strategy to pieces . . .
Of all the issues that Moms Demand Action could target, is banning firearms in the produce section really a public safety priority? A representative of the organization wrote in an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer that “at least 16 shootings and demonstrations by gun extremists carrying firearms” occurred in or near Kroger stores in the past two years.
Note that the statistic, cited without documentation, doesn’t break out the number of actual crimes from “demonstrations by gun extremists.”
Now, I’m not a fan of the gun-rights folks who show up in public places carrying AR-15s and other heavy firepower. But however extreme they may appear, almost all of them are law-abiding citizens. Barring these people from Kroger wouldn’t make you or me any safer while buying a loaf of bread.
Would a ban have prevented any actual crimes? That’s unlikely. The demand here isn’t to ban all guns from Kroger. It’s merely to bar those handful of customers who feel the need to flaunt their Second Amendment rights by openly carrying firearms into a store.
In other words, WTF? A question that we’ve been asking since this website began. But it’s wonderful to see a pro-gun control newspaper questioning the eminently questionable “logic” underpinning the antis’ anti-gun agitprop. For those of us who saw the horrific beat-down outside Kroger and drew the reasonable conclusion – a good guy with a gun would have helped matters – it gets better:
An Indianapolis case illustrates another inherent problem with the Moms Demand campaign. Three years ago, a manager at a Northwestside Kroger pulled a handgun to stop an apparent armed robbery. The manager, who later resigned, acknowledged that he had violated a company policy that barred employees from having guns on Kroger property.
Here’s the thing: the violence occurred despite the company’s ban on guns at work. The manager, apparently aware of the policy, chose to carry a gun to work anyway.
There’s no reason to believe that the new policy would be anymore effective than the old one in preventing actual violence.
But the lack of real-world impact in this instance doesn’t really matter to the Moms Demand crowd. Their new advertising campaign is about symbolism, not practical results.
Swaren doesn’t quite get there. He sees MDA’s ruse, but he doesn’t identify what’s inside the Trojan horse: civilian disarmament. He backs off for “balance.”
And that’s a common problem, on both sides, in our never-ending debate about guns. I’ve yet to meet anyone — lifetime NRA member or gun-control hardliner — who isn’t appalled by the murder and mayhem that plagues cities across the country. But we continually get caught up in symbolic gestures and philosophical arguments that pull us apart rather than settling on practical solutions to preventing violence.
Hey Tim! The NRA has a practical solution for preventing violence: armed Americans! What’s MDA’s practical (as in effective) solution for preventing violence? They don’t have one. It really is as simple as that. [h/t AO]