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Shannon Watts never has to work hard to find a sympathetic voice in the media to advance her anti-gun agenda. This time, a story at Fast Company implies that Michael Bloomberg’s astroturf group of demanding moms played a prominent role in Walmart and other chains asking customers not to open carry in their stores.

At least that’s the impression given in the headline. Reality, of course, doesn’t matter to the purveyors of fake news.

From Fast Company:

How a grassroots group of moms helped push Walmart and other chains to act on guns

Walmart announced that it was “respectfully requesting” that customers no longer openly carry guns into its stores on September 3—a month after a gunman walked in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and shot 48 people, killing 22 victims. Kroger, the country’s largest grocery store chain, made the same request of customers a day later. Walgreens, CVS, and the grocery chains Wegmans, Aldi, Meijer, Publix, Albertsons, and Lucky followed. In total, 40 brands owned by those chains changed their policies within roughly a week.

True. That doesn’t mean that a so-called “grassroots group of moms helped push” these companies to take action. A more obvious reason for dispassionate observers? The high-profile national story of the open-carry idiot in Springfield, Missouri Walmart.

There, a 20-year-old man donned a plate carrier and a braced AR pistol and strolled into a Walmart, scaring everyone five days after the El Paso, Texas Walmart killing spree. The guy who did it admitted that he “didn’t think” before acting.

That ill-considered stunt not only failed to advance gun rights, it also likely played a major role in other companies following Walmart’s example.

However, in the alternative reality of fake news, the “no open carry” announcements came about because of the efforts of those plucky Moms who Demand Action working tirelessly in the shadows.

Behind the scenes, a grassroots group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was helping push for the changes. The group was founded by a mother the day after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, when 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman.

Yes, a “mom” who, under her maiden name of Shannon Troughton, served as president and owner of VoxPop Public Relations, a boutique liberal PR firm. Before that, Shannon Troughton served as vice president of corporate communications for WellPoint.

However, the fake news media loves to portray Shannon Watts as just a simple stay-at-home mom who suddenly decided to act following Sandy Hook. It makes for a better story line, after all.

And, of course, Michael Bloomberg bought underwrote this new group and hired Watts to act as its sock puppet mouthpiece.

After lobbying for a federal bill to close a loophole for background checks that failed to pass, the group started focusing on state laws and the opportunity for businesses to act. “We pivoted and started doing this work in statehouses and boardrooms, knowing that like many social issues, that’s how you build political power and momentum,” says Shannon Watts, the group’s founder. “If you want to go to toe to toe with a special interest, you have to change this on really three levels: legislatively, electorally, and culturally.”

The Fast Company story gives credit to Watts and her group for Starbucks telling customers that guns were unwelcome in its stores, too. And the same for Chipotle in 2014.

In 2014, the group shamed Chipotle into announcing an open-carry ban in its restaurants, and then did the same for Target and other businesses. It focuses on open carry, Watts says, because the practice is legal in 45 states, and 41 have little regulation, meaning that it’s often possible to legally carry a long gun without a background check, training, or a permit. (In most states, concealed-carry laws do have more requirements.) “It’s also culturally reprehensible,” she says.

It’s “culturally reprehensible” to exercise one’s rights without a background check, training or a permit?  Wow. Does she feel the same about attending church or writing a book? Those are civil rights, too.

The one-sided story goes on to make all manner of dubious claims and half-truths, including a claim that gun sales have slumped.

If the gun control movement’s cause had any real nobility and honor behind it, why would they need to rely on half-truths and misdirection to advance their mission?

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  1. And we will make sure you get the credit for gun owners staying away from Wal mart if the unthinkable ever happens again and there is no one there to defend customers.

    • You mean when the unthinkable happened in the El Paso Walmart and nobody confronted the shooter? How many instructors, attorneys, and pundits (even those here on TTAG) advise that you get yourself and your family (if with you) to safety as the top priority? Even Joel Pershinger (of GunGuyTV) tells his viewers he will never act in a MSE, even though he’s a CCW holder in CA and always carries, because he (1) doesn’t want to be shot and (2) doesn’t want to be sued by the family of a victim, who may claim that he failed to “fully and properly” act to protect their deceased relative before he/she was killed.

      This isn’t as cut-and-dried as you may purport it to be.

      • Total true. How many commenters here proudly proclaim their gun is to protect them and their own. Don’t be so sure Joe CCW holder is going to engage a shooter. Hes going to shoot back if he’s next to be fired at

        • Agreed. I, too, am tempted to say I would engage to protect innocents, but we won’t know what the future holds until we’re in the moment. Terrain, chaos, possible responding LEOs arriving on scene that would confuse you with a threat…too many variables to cloud the situation.

      • One point about the El-Paso Walmart. This store was attached to a shopping mall, and I’d be willing to bet, that as such, concealed and/or open carry are already banned at that particular store. Most malls are “Gun Free Zones,” pretty much wherever you go. There’s not a mall in Colorado, that I’m aware of, that isn’t a Gun Free Zone. It’s why I haven’t been inside one for many, many years. So I doubt that anyone, but the gunman was armed.
        As far as Moms Demand Action being the driving force? Keep patting yourself on the back, because Walmart has been heading this way since the 90’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if they closed all of their gun counters in the next 2 – 6 years.

  2. “If the gun control movement’s cause had any real nobility and honor behind it, why would they need to rely on half-truths and misdirection to advance their mission?”

    That is the million-dollar question they can never answer. I was thinking back yesterday, of all the nonsense pushed over the decades by gun control groups. Plastic guns “invisible” to airport detectors, teflon-coated bullets being able to slip through body armor, the hysteria over Black Talons, the laughable levels of super-human firepower being attributed to the likes of the TEK-9 and the Street Sweeper shotgun. The list goes on and on, and I’m not even out of the early 1990’s yet!

    It’s never been about safety for the people behind these movements. It’s about spreading fear to gain power and status, and ultimately eviscerating the 2nd Amendment. End of list.

    • That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines here and it costs more than what you make in a month!

  3. I’d say it is a mix of things that pushed retailers to the quasi-ban on carrying guns in their stores. Some of it is the anti-gun voices. Some of it is the pro-gun antics of nincompoops thinking that just because they can, they should. In the end these restrictions are all about corporations wanting to be able to focus only on their business, not get pulled into social issues or cultural battles that do not help them sell stuff.

    • ^^This^^ seems highly likely. It was a totality of circumstances part of which was that the stores felt there would be a shitstorm coming from groups like MDA and decided to head that off at the pass.

      A side note:Mothers Demand Action should be renamed to Dime Store Harlots with Impulse Control Issues.

    • It’s mostly because amateur POTG have too many accidental discharges and negligent discharges.

      We recently had an individual accidentally shoot himself in the chest in a Kroger supermarket. Thankfully, no one else was injured from his negligent handling of his firearm put businesses can’t take the risk

    • I read the article. I’m guessing many of the revoked cards are from people who just moved. I know 7 people who moved to Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado. They’re probably on that list. No need to renew. Just like voter registrations, city stickers, emission testing and library cards.

  4. She also was the PR hack for Monsanto.

    Is Walmart going to stop selling Roundup? For the children …

    • How many children are going to die from roundup cancer compared to mass shootings? Maybe Shannon Watts is literally Hitler after her stint with Monsanto?

      • When Walmart stopped carrying Roundup earlier this year, they clearanced the 1-gal containers from $20 down to only 50 cents. Cheaper to take the loss than to pay for the HazMat disposal, I guess.

      • Yes, Monsanto is the devil. They were the manufacturer of contaminated agent orange that poisoned thousands of Vietnamese and Americans during the war.

        Their plant here in West Virginia caused terrible rise in cancer deaths.

  5. “Demanding Moms Claim Responsibility for National Chains’ ‘No Open Carry’ Policies”

    And that’s fine, let them think they got a “win”, when in fact it was a placebo, and they fell for the “effect”…

  6. A number of major stores “asked” their customers not to open carry. There is no policy actually doing anything about it. So I guess it’s right up the ally of most demanding moms in terms of effect.

  7. I’ve got a culturally reprehensible demand for some of these moms. Especially that googly-eyed Watts.

    • TTAG’s own ‘Dirk Diggler’ has first dibs on Shannon.

      He was head-over-heels in lust with her… 😉

  8. Hey, lady, the NRA is defending a Constitutionally guaranteed unalienable right. While you’re at it, examine the social cost of enforcing 4 through 8 and the criminals they can put back on the streets. And check with the people of Venezuela as to whether or not tyranny is possible in the 21st century. And tell me what you would define an attempt to disarm a law-abiding citizenry if not a form of tyranny. Oppressive action by a majority does not make it right. The ACLU will not defend all of your rights but the NRA will.

    • Well regulated militia…
      Means just that.
      Like needing a license to drive a car.
      Licence to carry , just like a driver’s licence. Renewed every 5 years.
      And have your AR, just have a license, maybe a higher class.
      I believe every American should have the right to own a gun, but I also believe it should be well regulated just like the second amendment says.

      • Regulated as in good working order, not more regulations.

        Common mistake there sir.

        The idea is in order for a militia to be in good working order the people who potentially would stock that militia should have no restrictions in bearing arms, they don’t have to be a part of said militia, but by not restricting their arms they have the potential to be in that militia.

        • Well Regulated means well regulated, Don’t make up nonsense.
          Simple fact is, IF we had common sense gun regulations, with high quality background checks for all guns, any sane person could have a gun. Be it a hand gun, hunting rifle, or sporting rifle.
          I have no problem with open carry, or concealed carry. Or sporting rifles that can’t be easily tuned into a full auto with a simple kit. or someone having a 1000 rounds of ammo. I live in CA most of the people I know have at least 1 gun in the house.

  9. Oh man I miss Dirk Diggler. Caught a glimpse of him on a Guntruth video(and Ralph😄). 22 get slaughtered in a WallyWorld parking lot and Shannon Watts takes credit. Pathetic mom’s😫

  10. It was a simple business decision based recent events. They lose a lot of money when some nervous Nellie panics and calls the cops at the sight of a gun and the cops shut down the store for four hours.

  11. I am taking my $$ back to the local mom and pop stores. Grocery stories like Food Giant (not Kroger) and Ace Hardware (not Lowes). Lowe’s and Home Depot are now using facial reconition, did you know that? Local gun shops are welcoming the decision by ChinaMart to stop selling most ammo. Stop in for ammo, and leave with a new toy. Not been in a ChinaMart in years.

  12. As I have said before on TTAG. Open carry was about educating the public. Positive or negative education. It seems very few gun owners who open carry really understood that.

    The enemy is watching you . Photographing you. Recording you.

    This was the correct way to long gun open carry.

    When I suggested that you carry an American flag, a person asked “why do I need a flag to exercise my rights?

    To ask the question tells me you are clueless about the enemy we are facing. And you don’t understand how images communicate whether you are a friendly or a threat, to the general public.

    A clueless stupid gun owner decided to open carry his long gun wearing tactical gear and photograph himself walking at a walmart. Just days after several mass murders by people using long guns. He didn’t have a flag. He didn’t have a sign stating “I’m the good guy”. “You have no reason to be afraid of me”. “I can protect you.”

    He’s just walking around as if simply carrying his guns and wearing his equipment people will automatically know he’s not there to murder them like other people were murdered just days prior.

    Some people, Libertarians Liberals the Left, atheists, anarchists, the sexually liberated, and religious people are really totally clueless to the actions that they take in public, that in turn cause great fear to others.

    When a terrorist shot up a military recruiting station in Tennessee ordinary citizens gathered at these stations across the country, to protect them by openly carrying their guns. For about 2 weeks things were calm and peaceful and there were plenty of positive stories of regular folks protecting military recruiters. Demonstrating what the Militia is and why we have it in the Bill of Rights.

    Unfortunately a single individual decided to bring his AR-15 to one of these “guard points” at the recruiting station. He negligently discharged his rifle. His violation weapon safety rules smeared everyone who was there to protect military recruiters. And a law was passed to make it illegal to be outside a military recruiter Center carrying weapons.

    A great public relations opportunity was destroyed by a careless gun owner.

    This is why we can’t have nice things. Or why we can’t do nice things.

    • What law if you don’t mind me asking? If my memory serves me correctly the DOD asked the open carriers camping outside recruitment centers to stop after the ND. This is the first I heard about legislation about it.

      • I might be wrong. I thought I heard a press report about it. It might be a directive ordering the local military staff to call the police. I’m still researching.

      • The president of the United States spoke about the dangers of the atheists in his farewell address. I have noticed the atheists never listen to the entire speech. Only one sentence do they ever care about.

        Eisenhower Farewell Address 16 minutes long.

  13. First let me say I have never seen or heard of a weapon of any kind killing ANYONE, It has always been some crazy person wanting attention or someone who wasn’t hugged enough as a kid. Second I bet the people who is against guns have a gun of their own or a family member does. Why don’t they start at their own house first before they start on everybody else about guns? The answer is they are now wanting the attention given to themselves or they are about to run for public office, or maybe they wasn’t hugged enough as a kid. They never think they are trying to take away AMERICANS RIGHTS THEY WE HAVE FOUGHT WARS TO KEEP.. people keeps giving in and letting them have their way just to shut them up.. We will be defending America over seas fighting with rocks. Then they will be blaming everybody not doing enough…

  14. Holy shit, so here I go… these cunts have nothing better to do in their worthless lives than to sit around and wait for their husbands to get home to give them the high hard one. Here is a life lesson, your kids are dumber than my dog. Spend some time with your kids and maybe they won’t be the next mass killer. You are at fault because your parents did not do anything with you and the TV was your baby sitter. So what have you done in your life? Right, you are a f’en moron and can’t think for yourself! That’s why you watch CNN. So you want your kids not to be the next school shooter, shut up, turn the TV off and read a book, spend time with your kids. It used to be we had hobbies. We made things and were proud. So shut off your stupid facebook and actually do something to improve your kids lives, you worthless POS.
    OK, it had to be said. Trouble is these losers think they are winners until it comes the time when life counts. How do I know this, because as L.E. I had to deal with these scumbags for the last 30 years. Just my opinion based on facts. But hey, it payed the bills for 30 years and was consistant.

    • Hmm, I kinda call B.S. on you being LE for three decades, which would put you at least into your early 50s now. The attitude you show above is not consistent with a seasoned career LEO who has gained wisdom, patience, and maturity through 30 years of life experiences. You write like a college brat, so if you really are a retired LEO, it’s a good thing you’re no longer on the force. Wouldn’t want the likes of you patrolling my neighborhood.

      • Kinda call B.S.? How do you kinda call B.S.? You were wrong across the board with everything you posted. How does if feel to be that much of a fool? “The attitude you show above is not consistent with a seasoned career LEO who has gained wisdom, patience, and maturity through 30 years of life experiences.” There’s your real line of B.S. and I’m not KINDA calling it. I’m not a LEO but I know several that are friends and sons of guys I work with. You couldn’t be more wrong with Hallmark card B.S.. LEO’s are people too and they get tired of this crap like anyone else. The don’t make an enema big enough or powerful enough to cleanse someone as full of shit as you are.

        • …says the guy who doesn’t know Wally1 from a hole in the wall, and chooses to answer for him regardless. So basically, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and clearly believe that Wally1 isn’t capable of defending himself in an argument.

          You KINDA just proved my point, and I’ll use whatever words I choose, thankyouverymuch.

          (opens ‘TTAG’ file, adds LLRNR to page of users to ignore)

  15. Today will be the absolute last time I will ever set foot in a Walmart. I had to go to Walmart to return an item and I did not have my receipt. So Walmart’s policy is that if you do not have a receipt you need a state issued ID card. So I presented my Idaho enhanced concealed weapons permit ID card which Is from the sheriffs department but process by the state of Idaho. Basically it looks exactly like a drivers license/identification card but with different ID number. And they will not except it as a form of ID. I was just told that they change that policy last week. It is funny that with a lot of the stores that don’t allow open carry or ask not to open carry in their stores decided not to except my CCW ID as a form of identification.

    • That doesn’t make sense at all. It’s just as valid as any government issued ID. Some people have had their driver license suspended so they have to use other IDs.

  16. Walmart ceo as did others caved in to what they thought was political correctness cause they simply have no balls. It is the curse of the earth. Instead of asking more people to come into their store Stores fully armed so that maybe just one has the balls to stop a shooter before he kills more than one or two. They would rather squat to pee. And for the guy who posted get your family to safety first I have this question do you really think you can out run a batch of bullets? Take the shooter out first then everyone is safe unless the cops get there late and decide to make a name for themselves and shoot the only guy standing with a weapon. My thought is take the bad guy down make sure there is only one then lay down on the floor with your weapon covered by your body until such a time as order is restored.

  17. Really, what’s the big deal. They don’t want you to open carry. SO WHAT?!?!? Get a concealed carry permit and tuck it under your shirt. Open carry shouts “Hey look at me I got a gun!” I never carry open and never saw the need to. Hide your piece, shop where you want and no one is the wiser. Also you have the choice of where you want to spend your money.

    • Sure. Let me just ask the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department for the application form.

      Oh, wait…

      Some of us don’t have the opportunity to get a CCW. In L.A. they’re non-existent, and any permit you get elsewhere (I can get one in NV that’s good across more than half the country) isn’t valid here. Because California.

    • Right. Hide your shame. Someone might see your disgusting scary gun and have a fit. Someone might even see that you are armed, wear no uniform and don’t kill or even threaten anyone! How can be gun grabbers expected to properly vilify and maligne gun owners, when everyday citizens carry firearms visibly while acting gentlemanly?

    • Which is fine, but the CEO went an extra step further in calling for Congress to pass gun control measures. He went from a private property issue to a political anti-2a one.

  18. “A more obvious reason for dispassionate observers? The high-profile national story of the open-carry idiot in Springfield, Missouri Walmart.”

    Blow it out your ass, Boch. YOU are trying to cause more division than the Mommies do.

  19. Store Manager to Mass Shooter: “Hey! You can’t have that gun in here!”

    Mass Shooter to Store Owner: “F**k you! [bang bang bang, etc.]

  20. If you can’t get a CCW, CWP or whatever your state issues, I can see open carry. Otherwise, why? All it does is get you harassed and targeted.

    • The main thing I like about open carry in my state is I don’t have to worry about printing or “flashing” someone. Plus, it’s available to me in case I need to carry that way momentarily.

  21. The anti-gun movement is attributed, in my opinion to a cultural shift and change in how the more urban citizens think and view the world. They’ve become so enamored with ordering online, using their phone apps, shopping at chic over priced stores and boutiques and places created by new age geeky, nerd types who like many, suck down their fancy half-cafe cinnamon mocha lattes and sugar drowned pastries and then wane on until our ears die of boredom about their vegan diets and earth friendly ventures.

    The new generation lack the heart felt patriotism and love of country that made this country what it is and the spirit of our laws and culture is being denigrated by half wit fools who parrot what others say and serve as their puppets for the desperate attention and notoriety it might bring them. The price of fame is never too great for people like this Shannon Watts who prostitute themselves for those in power or with higher status and she trumps her agenda and herself as righteous and moral without considering how it affects others. As long as she gets an invite to sit at the table with the big shots or can attain wealth and status, she’s willing, like all liberals, to sell out her fellow man and her country.

    I can understand why veterans of WW2 and Vietnam are sickened by the attitudes and misplaced loyalty of this modern society. And many of us are just trying to hold on to what we have and keep America the way it was made. Apparently freedom is just a concept to the new age liberal socialist morons and their reality is an artificial and superficial existence as self righteous crusaders who live as deluded fools and cowards.

  22. That’t the ticket Moms. Continue to terrorize your children into thinking that if they even catch a glimpse of a gun they are in mortal danger, when they are quite probably safer. Much is made by the media about shootings at schools which is a rarity, they neglect to inform the Moms that they are more likely to be killed in traffic on the way to one of your anti-gun rallies.

  23. If we call ourselves responsible gun owners we have to be sensitive to the times and refrain from open carry. You may have a constitutional right but it doesn’t help the cause to freak people out just to prove a point.

  24. The anti-Constitutional gun grabbers could shut down the NRA, confiscate all their guns and it wouldn’t do one single thing to stop the people doing these shootings. But that’s apparently above their ability to figure out.

  25. Wal-Mart execs, if you’re reading this, you should at least try to acknowledge your many customers who are gun owners by displaying sings that read, “Thank you, for responsible, legal, Concealed Carry.”

  26. Question: In my state we have constitutional carry. The entrance to a building should be labeled with a “NO GUNS or WEAPONS” sign of some sort. If the building is not marked at all does that mean you could still open carry regardless of the media statements?

  27. Go do some research on bicycle fatalities as opposed to mass shooting fatalities.
    It’ll make you wonder why bikes aren’t outlawed or even allowed on school property.
    Almost 40,000 people were killed by vehicles last year. Where’s the torches and pitchforks on that one?

    The reason that gun control is such a big issue is the fact that American freedom is connected to the right to bear arms. That’s why they’re not after your bike!

  28. So the businesses listed will not allow open carry by law abiding citizens in their stores. There’s nothing like making a store vulnerable to attack by some character who doesn’t follow the rules. However, the day may come when some citizen who is licensed to conceal carry will actually be in their store and stop a bad guy who intends to kill a lot of people. How will those business owners react to that? Why are these businesses so sensitive to fringe groups like those moms? I would think that those businesses have the resources to do a bit of fact checking on who they are dealing with.

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