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Moms Demand Action Hammers Grocery Chain For Allowing Guns To Be Openly Carried In Stores




Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a national gun control group that was formed in the wake of the Newtown mass shooting tragedy, is targeting national grocery chain Kroger with an ad campaign highlighting the company’s lax attitudes towards guns in their stores. This ad campaign comes on the heels of open carry enthusiasts using stores across the nation to hold demonstrations where they walk through the aisles carrying assault rifles while they ‘shop.’ The print ads will run in USA Today, as well as large local newspapers like the Cincinnati Enquirer and Houston Chronicle.

When Moms Demand Action first announced they would be targeting Kroger with a concentrated ad campaign last month, the group highlighted that more than a dozen shootings have taken place on Kroger property in the past two years. The organization’s spokeswoman, Erika Soto Lamb, made the following statement when discussing the dangers customers and employees face in Kroger stores.

“Kroger employees shouldn’t have to determine whether the person holding a gun in the frozen aisle is someone dangerous or someone making a political statement.”

This is an extremely valid point and one that cannot be stressed enough. How is an employee, or store security, supposed to react when they see a person, or group of people, walking down the aisles toting a military-style assault rifle? Are they to just assume that if someone is openly carrying a gun in their store that the person poses no threat and is only exercising his or her rights? Furthermore, there is a completely racial element at play here. The feeling is that as long as the person walking around with a large gun is white, maybe wearing a hipster hat or decked out in NRA regalia, then the assumption is that the person is a ‘good guy with a gun.’ However, if it is a black person doing the same thing, then that person is obviously a dangerous criminal. (Heck, a black man could be carrying a toy gun in a store and get shot dead.)

Moms Demand Action’s ad campaign features three separate ads highlighting the store’s policies on who is allowed to enter the store and who isn’t. One ad shows a child with an ice cream cone. Another one shows a man with no short. The third one features a guy with a skateboard. All three ads show one of these people next to another person holding an assault rifle with the caption, “One of them isn’t welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.” the ads are meant to show the disparity between rules at the store affecting people that pose no real danger compared to their policy of allowing people to walk around with guns while shopping.

The group pointed this out explicitly when they released the ads.

Skateboarding isn’t welcome in Kroger stores. Neither is shopping while not wearing a shirt. And you’re not welcome to carry in outside food or drink. But you are perfectly welcome to shop in a Kroger-owned store carrying a loaded semi-automatic rifle.

A petition is also being circulated by Moms Demand Action calling on Kroger to prohibit the carrying of guns in their stores. As of Thursday, over 115,000 signatures have been collected.



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