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Being Part of a Laughing Stock is Not Funny

It took Walmart to set the pace for the great gun cover-up

Bob Rogers

Throw open any barn door and the horses will all get out. That old adage appears to be the sudden mantra of America’s retailers who, following Walmart’s lead, have politely asked gun owners to conceal their guns rather than to show them off to anyone in aisle 13.

In 1993, the formerly red bastion city of Newport Beach, California-based Chipotle Mexican grill restaurant chain posted a sign in their front door telling gun owners they could no longer be served there if they were openly carrying their guns. At the time, open carry wasn’t a particularly significant issue anywhere else but in Texas. But despite early rebuffs from C.J. Grissom, founder in 2013 of Open Carry Texas, Chipotle’s chargé d’affaires insisted that customers packing long guns particularly would scare the chain’s customers, thus, OCT was not welcome in their taco joints. Can’t hardly blame a proprietor for choosing between its carry or no-carry customers; remember “no shirts, no shoes, no service?”

Grissom’s group launched the program which now boasts some 38,000 “members.” Others followed suit, including restaurants and grocery stores. Not all that big a deal.  But when Walmart just days ago responded to the mass shootings of its customers in El Paso, that changed everything.

We have no argument with the giant (normally pro-gun, i.e., from Arkansas) retailer of everything including guns deciding that they would no longer sell so-called Modern Sporting Rifles (nee ARs) or even the ammunition that fuels them – Hey, that’s their choice to make; it’s a free country, remember – but what’s so funny is that the balance, it seems, of the retailer battalions are jumping on the Walmart bandwagon by asking gun owners to not carry openly while shopping their establishments.

We all know that our guns can make non-gun owners a bit skitchie. We worked hard to get to the concealed carry stage. We left which is best up to the individual gun owner and, sure ‘nough, enough individuals arched their backs, sniffed the air above their beards and wrapped an AR sling over their shoulders while ordering take-out as a sign of defiance. Good on them. Just not for me…something about being the first target.

What tickles our tender, however, is the heretofore lack of leadership seemingly until Walmart stepped up to the plate. Now, all the afterglow merchants are falling all over themselves to join the “don’t let our customers see your guns” department.  At least they aren’t sounding like my former military drill instructor and issuing orders.  Instead they’re making nice.

We are left to wonder, however, if the big push by congressional Democrats to force-feed their gun control agendas on everyone else will be successful. Depends. They’ve scuffed up enough dirt and eye-sand to make even a 97-pound weakling mad…but resolute. It appears the Dems will get something…a bone, maybe…or a cookie treat when President Trump announces the “very strong, very great, the greatest ever gun control band-aid ever forced on the Republican Senate, so anxious are the Dems for anything sweet to take to their minions as proof of their “strong determination:” and insistence that America wants more of this and some more of that when it comes to gun control.

Were we to treat beer cans and plastic opioid bottles like they want us to treat guns, we’d clean up America in an hour or two. But, not. If they’d clean up some of their own messes as an example of neighborly pride and life improvement, they might have a convincing argument. But, until they do, we’d bet that the majority of open carry gun owners will comply in polite kind to the merchants’ requests to keep their guns under cover.

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