Corporations know how dangerous guns are. Why else do they ban guns in their boardrooms and corporate headquarters?
Yet the same corporations that know guns are dangerous and protect their officers are okay with their customers and employees exposed to gun risks. They don’t even put up signs warning customers they are entering a gun zone.
As the “carrier” movement has taken hold, many businesses simply cave to the belligerent gun lobby, afraid of its well-demonstrated wrath. After concealed carry became legal in Illinois earlier this year, NGVAC asked top businesses on Chicago’s Michigan avenue if they would now allow guns and most said they would follow “local laws,” implying that they would not block guns under the new law. The answer was disingenuous since property owners and businesses can always pre-empt local laws.
The truth is businesses want to stay on the sidelines and not get involved. But to not get “involved” in the NRA’s guns-everywhere-all-the-time agenda is to support it. It is appeasement. It is like the joke about how to escape an alligator that is chasing you and your friend–you don’t have to run faster than the alligator, just your friend.
If an Illinois business does not put up a gun ban sign, chances are “carriers” are lurking among moms and children doing their Christmas shopping. Nice. These are the same businesses that ban cigarettes.
Being able to walk around with their guns is creepily important to gun lovers who are either scared to go where normal people go unarmed, devoid of an identity unless they can play a tough guy sheriff wannabe or both. “They’re not getting my money if they violate my rights” write gun lovers on NGVAC’s Facebook as if the public doesn’t have the “right” to be safe from lethal force when shopping or in a restaurant. And as if the Second Amendment protects “carrying” which it does not.
Yet when it comes to economic threats, gun advocates are all hat and no horse. In 2005, the NRA declared a boycott of ConocoPhillips because it dared to challenge the Oklahoma law preventing companies from banning loaded guns in employee cars.
“ConocoPhillips went to federal court to attack your freedom,” thundered Wayne LaPierre. “We’re going to make ConocoPhillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights. If you are a corporation that’s anti-gun, anti-gun owner, or anti-Second Amendment, we will spare no effort or expense to work against you, to protect the rights of your law-abiding employees.”
The NRA did make ConocoPhillips an example of what happens when a business stands up to the gun lobby: Nothing. Sales did not fall and there was no contrite ConocoPhillips statement–not even a mention on the web site. The consumer power of gun extremists was a joke. Three years earlier, a gun lover boycott of H&R Block was similarly underwhelming.
Gun extremists bellow loudly but they don’t have the money or the numbers to sway corporate America. That is why in the last few months Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target disinvited guns, joining other businesses like Peet’s, California Pizza Kitchen and Ikea.
There will be more as companies realize risking customer safety for the alleged “rights” of gun carriers doesn’t make much business sense.
Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.