In truth, many of us have shopped in Kroger for years, casually passing by others who might or might not be carrying a concealed handgun. All parties have acted as responsible adults, and the visit to the grocery store has been uneventful. This will always be true until someone with a warped mind decides to use a gun or some other weapon to wreak violence upon fellow shoppers. On that day, however, if someone is present with a concealed handgun, the course of bloody events can be greatly altered or even averted completely.
It should be pointed out that Kroger’s decision regarding handguns does not represent a “pro” or “con” position with respect to the 2nd Amendment. Rather, it indicates that Kroger realizes that the bulk of its customers appreciate the fact that their rights will not be infringed upon as Kroeger conducts its business. As a business that wishes to gain and keep its customer base, Kroger certainly must provide a pleasurable, convenient, and reasonably safe shopping experience. That is a given for any business. At the same time, it is ludicrous to believe that a business such as Kroger can shield its customers from potentially experiencing a violent act simply by making some rules to appease a small number of people. Kroger seems to grasp that concept and elects to focus on the business at hand—groceries!
Special interest groups have found that publicly calling out businesses on issues is an effective way to further their agenda. In many cases, the businesses implementing or considering the correlating changes would never have done so without outside pressure. Many of them jump to bad conclusions by assuming that the intentions of the special interest groups represent those of their customers, which is not often the case. In other cases, the ownership or management is sympathetic to the special interest group’s cause and more than willing to get on board. Certainly these businesses have every right to do so, but they also must deal with the consequences. For example, I no longer eat at Subway as a result of the political decisions they have made in their business operation. When a business caves too much to outside pressures and begins to lose its customer base, it certainly could be related to the choices they have made outside the realm of business operations. Kroger appears to “get it” in that regard.
Let us look at it a different way. We certainly see a lot of death on American highways each year—avoidable death in many cases. Now, along comes some special interest group who sees the automobile as a “symbol” of that death and they launch a campaign to ban autos. Well, you have to admit that doing away with cars would certainly lower the death rate caused by auto accidents. At the same time, doing so would force people to seek alternative means of travel, which will most likely produce its own set of consequences. The point here is that the “automobile” is not the culprit. Very often, the culprit is the person operating the automobile in a reckless or unsafe fashion. So, common sense tells us that if we really want to solve the problem, we need to focus our effort on those who do not respect the rules of the road or the laws enforcing them. We do not deprive the entire nation of transportation to simply get some bad drivers off the highways.
We might also pause and consider that when violence does involve guns, the perpetrators are not described as having “licensed handgun permits.” No, that is not the case. Rather they are more likely described as someone who suffers from depression or some other mental health issue who cannot control his emotions. The gun—an inanimate object that is not inherently evil— simply becomes the means of expressing those emotions. Seeking a solution, far too many focus on the gun more than on the person who fired it. That seems to be the modus operandi for those who are so desirous of gun control. In reality, banning guns will never change the mindset of the mentally ill nor will it eliminate their ability to carry out violence. It will simply alter their methodology. And if we are going to apply that same faulty logic, we might as well ban hammers, chainsaws, hatchets, knives, ice picks, forks(the list goes on and on) right now. Common sense tells us that this is not an effective answer.
Now we are on a slippery slope. For those of us old enough to have been around during the Vietnam War, we might remember the various groups that formed across the country that rejected that war and anything having to do with it. In most cases, I am sure that the objections those individuals held were real and true to them and was a primary motivator to seek out others with similar beliefs. That is a behavior most of us can embrace on any given subject. But, there is an additional factor to consider, and that is manipulation by those who are agitating for change on a grander scale. For example, a group of students start out objecting to a war. That singularly focus is soon co-opted by the agitators and turns into demonstrations, and soon those demonstrations begin to take on broader perspectives such as opposition to the military, then the laws, then the government. With time, they are “opposed to America.” Their individual dissatisfaction with one situation has now turned into full-blown disgust and distrust of the nation in which they live. If you really think that the folks agitating for gun control now will be satisfied with abolishing conceal and carry, you might want to think again.
Kroger deserves praise for making right decision, a decision made all the more difficult by another special interest group advocating for an open carry policy. Proponents of the open carry policy showed up at Kroger’s carrying rifles which, though not illegal in many states, still spooks a lot of people. In fact, I truly believe that most licensed conceal and carry individuals are not particularly fond of open carry and do not support it.
Today in America, we are free to choose which side of the issue we stand on regarding guns and the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Hopefully that will always be the case for the citizens of this nation. And hopefully the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution will always stand in recognition of the fact that America is made of up people who are honest, forthright, and responsible. This is particularly true of the citizens who are licensed for conceal weapon-carry, and I believe Kroger recognizes that. As tough as the decision may have been, Kroger got this one right.
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