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Demanding moms' war on kroger: will the grocery giant succumb to the astroturf campaign?

(PHOENIX, AZ, September 19) The PR company, Moms Demand Action, a subsidiary of Mike Bloomberg's gun control. conglomerate, Everytown, is waging a media campaign against one of the nation's largest grocery and consumer goods companies. The Kroger Company owns and operates nearly 2,500 grocery and department stores around the country including Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Scott's, and other brands.

They employ over 340,000 people, and provide services for tens of' millions of customers every year. Kroger's stores arid subsidiaries make a conscious and active effort to be involved in the communities where they do business, and to operate in a "socially conscious" manner. They also maintain a policy of following local laws regarding the possession and carry of firearms.

It's that last bit that has the Demanding Moms targeting Kroger with petitions, email drives, and ridiculous advertising campaigns in newspapers. on billboards, and around the web demanding that Kroger institute a public policy forbidding firearms in their stores. They say that seeing guns on people who aren't also wearing uniforms and badges, makes them uncomfortable and feel less safe.

The Demanding Moms have made this type of attack their standard modus operandi with campaigns against several other national chains in the past. In almost all of those cases the companies relented to the PR pressure and issued statements asking gun owners not to openly carry in their establishments. Most made it clear that they were not banning guns or even banning open carry, but just "respectfully requesting" that people not open carry in their stores.

Companies that capitulated figured that the Demanding Moms would keep demanding as long as Bloomberg's money holds out, and that gun owners, being reasonable. respectful people would tend to be forgiving of companies they see being unfairly pressed into a corner by well-funded, irrational hoplophobes.

The Demanding Moms' campaigns have focused on the open carry of long guns--particularly military-looking rifles--but their objectives go far beyond that tiny demographic. They point at pictures of open carry protesters in and around stores, then call for stores to ban all guns. They ask the question; "What does anyone need with an "assault rifle" shopping for groceries?"

A recent video of rampaging teens attacking shoppers and viciously beating a Kroger employee at the front door of one of their stores in Mem-Phis. Tenn., seems to provide a reasonable answer to that question.

I also have a personal story that is instructive. Back in the early '80s, 1 had to buy an airline ticket, and the nearest ticket counter was inside a Smith's Food and Drug (which is now part of Kroger) in North Phoenix, almost two hours away from my home in Prescott, Ariz. As I was entering the store. I noticed a sign by the front door saying guns were prohibited.

I was openly carrying a Colt Commander, but chose to ignore the sign, reasoning that my business would probably be concluded before anyone might raise the issue. As I was leaving though, I walked past the store's snack bar. It was 1:00 and sitting down for a burger was tempting, but, due to the store's "No Guns" policy. I decided against it and headed home.

When I got back to Prescott, 1 heard a news report that a man had walked into a North Phoenix Smith's with .a shotgun just after 1:00 and murdered his pregnant wife and another woman who both worked in the store's snack bar.

All their sign had accomplished was to ensure that there was no good guy with a gun present when the had guy with a gun showed up. Fm glad Smith's, under Kroger, has changed that policy.

There is no question that the attacks in Memphis and Phoenix are aberrations--shootings and mob attacks are not common occurrences. But they do happen. So do muggings. rapes. and other violent crimes. If we knew when and where these crimes were going to happen, we wouldn't go there, but we can't know, so instead, some of us choose to be prepared wherever we go.

And that's one of the less obvious problems with localized gun bans; if I am banned from carrying in particular locations, I must either avoid those places, leave my gun unattended in my vehicle (if I have a vehicle to leave it in), or abandon my family's security completely so that someone else can feel safer.

Safety is not a feeling. Please call Kroger at (800) 576-4377. Thank them for sticking by state gun laws. and let them know that capitulating to the noisy minority of Demanding Moms will result in less real security, and changes in your shopping habits.

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Title Annotation:From The Firearms Coalition
Author:Knox, Jeff
Publication:Shotgun News
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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