Monday, September 8, 2014

Why You Might Need a Gun at Kroger (and Some Thoughts on Open-Carry In General)

Lately, the anti-gun advocacy group Moms Demand Action has been putting pressure on the Kroger supermarket chain to ban private citizens from carrying guns (or at least carrying them openly) in their stores. As a private business, Kroger has the right to determine what happens on its property and Moms Demand Action, however annoying they are, has the right to advocate for the policies they think best.

However, some recent news articles have come to my attention indicating that being armed at Kroger can be a very good idea...

Brutal Kroger parking lot attack caught on camera

And here's another one, involving a defensive shooting at an ATM outside a Kroger.

Man shoots, kills suspect after attempted robbery

Note that the police were nearby but failed to intervene until the private citizen shot and killed the perpetrator. I've seen gun-control advocates claim that people shouldn't carry guns and should instead rely on the police, but the police can't always respond in time, especially in more rural areas or areas where there are lots of demands on them. And under U.S. law, the police have no obligation to protect any individual citizen. This is not to cast aspersions on the police's good intentions, but on their capability.

Fortunately, Kroger has not yet bowed to the pressure from these people. Hopefully they won't, even if the individuals in the following link who are either brave enough or stupid enough to post under their own names start deliberately spoiling food or even making armed-robbery calls against open-carriers, both of which are crimes and the latter of which could lead to someone getting killed. Here's a National Review article on just how many anti-open-carry people are advocating "Swatting."

That said, the open-carry movement comes off as rather trollish. They may have the legal right in states to open carry, but are they openly carrying for any purpose other than to thumb their noses at people they don't agree with? The NRA itself said that this wasn't "neighborly" before the open-carry people pitched a fit and forced the organization to back down.

To paraphrase Scripture, everything may be permissible, but not everything may be beneficial. I'm a supporter of gun rights, I don't have a high opinion of the gun control movement, and I think the "don't sink to their level" argument often serves to put good people at a disadvantage compared to the wicked (think honorable Ned Stark getting screwed by the treacherous Cersei and Littlefinger), but I fail to see any advantage to be gained from this open-carry business. It risks alienating moderate people and gives the gun-rights movement in general a bad name. Furthermore, were I a criminal, I might shy away from a bunch of open-carriers but if I wanted to commit a crime and saw there was only one or so present, I'd shoot them first. It might not even be that effective against crime.

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