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Ovation: Mounting Pressure On Kroger To Keep Guns Away From Groceries.
I buy the majority of the groceries for our household. I don’t, however, “shop” for groceries. I go to the supermarket, find what I need, put it in my buggy, pay for it and get the heck out. I don’t like it there. It’s crowded. People are rude. There are superfluous display bins in the way. The wheels on the shopping carts are out of alignment. Folks don’t seem to know what they want to buy … it’s as if they’re “just looking”. Argh.
Sometimes I think to myself there’s probably a woman in the crowd carrying a gun in her purse or that guy wearing a jacket on a hot summer day might be wearing a holster underneath. I can pretend that guns aren’t there.
But not in Kroger stores where customers are notoriously allowed to openly carry firearms.
This week a gun control group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America began an ad campaign meant to pressure the grocery chain to put an end to the practice. The ads contrast images of shoppers doing things that are currently prohibited in Kroger stores (like eating ice cream or shopping while shirtless) with carrying a rifle. The images’ tag line … “Guess which one” isn’t allowed at Kroger.
Similar campaigns by Moms Demand Action have been successful in convincing companies like Chipotle, Sonic, Target and Starbucks to change their policies about guns. While falling short of outright bans that business owners say would be impossible to enforce, these companies request that their customers simply not bring weapons inside their stores or restaurants.
“These images bring into stark contrast Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, food and a lack of appropriate attire in stores, but allow the open carry of loaded guns. Businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons.” – Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action
The fact that companies are beginning to take gun control issues into their own hands, rather than rely on Congress where the National Rifle Association and its lobbyists are so powerfully influential, might suggest that corporate America fears the economic backlash of gun control activists more than that of those of favor permissive open carry laws.
Kroger doesn’t seem to want to take a stand.
“We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores,” – Keith Daily, Kroger spokesman
As for me, I already avoid Kroger. Buying groceries already works my last nerve. I don’t want to do it with folks who think they need to be armed to shop for food.
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