On further review, Target’s decision is a victory for gun lovers

07/03/2014 10:54 AM

07/03/2014 12:02 PM

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America this week celebrated what it said was Target’s decision to “no longer allow firearms inside stores.”

But Target actually just said it will “respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target.”

As gun lovers were quick to point out, that’s not a ban or prohibition. So they can still come into Target with their weapons.

That’s why I don’t think that the Moms Demand Action group and others who want more sensible gun laws in this country should be promoting a big “victory” over the gun lovers who think it’s their God-given right to openly tote their weapons anywhere they want.

Look very carefully at what Target actually said in a statement through interim CEO, John Mulligan:

“This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

And the punchline: “But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law.”

While that is certainly better than, say, openly inviting people to carry weapons into Target, it’s not what is really needed: a ban on bringing firearms into the store.

Guess who noticed that? Open Carry Texas, the gun lovers who stoked a lot of the national attention about the Target issue.

On its Facebook page today, in fact, Open Carry Texas, isn’t down in the dumps about the decision. While not declaring its own victory, one statement on a link makes this very cogent point.

“Target Clarifies Gun Statement is Not a Ban or Prohibition on Gun Carry in Stores”

And it’s true.

Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, noted the retailer will not post signs at its stores asking people not to bring guns inside.

“It is not a ban,” she said. “There is no prohibition.”

And an Open Carry Texas Facebook posting says “Nailed it” about another link that makes this point:

“Target hasn’t banned weapons from their stores. Contrary to what Huffington Post is at least implying, the store simply didn’t ban guns. What they did do was respectfully ask people to ‘choose’ not to bring weapons into their stores.”

Again, that means there’s no compelling reason to celebrate what the company did on Wednesday.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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