Today, I was saddened to read that Target corporate has banned firearms in their stores.
First and foremost, I recognize the property rights of Target. While their words do not carry the weight of law in the jurisdiction where I live, I will respect their position and immediately cease visiting their stores.
Still, I feel the need to voice my opinion on the matter - not least because their words seem obviously contradictory. CEO John Mulligan said:
We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.
This is at best dishonest. With this decision, Target has told me that I am no longer invited to shop in their stores unless I fundamentally change who I am and act in a way they prefer. I am not willing to do this.
Further, doing so would undermine the safety of myself, my family, and those around me. I carry my pistol in a holster designed with safety in mind. Manipulating a firearm carries with it inherent risks - risks that Target asks that I take in my vehicle before entering their store in order to comply with their wishes. Assuming I do that, there is now an unattended firearm in my vehicle while I'm away, subject to theft and subsequent criminal use where before it was safely holstered on the hip of a responsible person.
So, yes, I'm disappointed with this decision - because as a result of it I will no longer shop at Target, because it exposes the community at large to unnecessary risk, and because these issues have been minimized or downright ignored by Target.