On July 2, Corporate executives of the Target retail chain put out a statement requesting that customers do not bring their conceal carry firearms to their stores. They unofficially became gun free zones.
When that happened, I posted a comment on my Facebook page saying:
“My days of shopping at Target and Burger King are over. Targets wants to be a gun-free zone and Burger King is proud to promote homosexuality.”
No one responded to my comment about Burger King, but a very dear and close friend questioned my statement about Target. She wrote:
“Good for Target! Why do you need to carry a gun in a shop?”
That started a conversation between us and several others. In one of my responses I pointed out a previous article I had written about an incident at Smith’s store in Salt Lake City, Utah. A man bought a knife at the store and then started stabbing customers just outside the store. A man with a conceal carry weapon was able to use his gun to subdue the knife wielding man. Having a gun at the scene saved countless others from being stabbed.
I used this argument to say that stores would be safer if more customers had conceal carry weapons and that by Target banning them that they were opening themselves up to armed robbers and attackers.
As I predicted, there has already been two reports of armed robbers hitting Target stores, both in Georgia.
On July 2, the same day as Target issued their statement, an armed man robbed a Target customer in the parking lot of a store in Gainesville, Georgia. Police in Gainesville eventually arrested three men for the armed robbery.
On July 5, only 3 days later, another Target customer was the victim of an armed robber as she parked her car in a Target parking garage in the Edgewood area of Atlanta. As the woman exited her car, she was attacked by a black man who hit her and threatened to kill her. He then got in her car and almost ran over the woman who managed to roll out of the way just in time.
It’s very possible that both of these incidents could have been stopped had there been someone nearby with a conceal carry weapon, just like at the Smith’s store. Criminals will target gun free zones because they know there is little chance of anyone stopping or shooting them.
One of the safest places to live in America is Kennesaw, Georgia where it is mandatory to own a gun if you live there. With everyone having a gun, Kennesaw has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.
Jerry Henry, Executive Director of GeorgiaCarry.org, a non-profit that was key in getting Georgia’s new Open Carry passed law, commented about the Target robberies, saying:
“That’s what happens in gun-free zones. They actually should be called victim-enrichment zones because that’s what they are. If anyone wants to commit a crime with impunity, take your gun where there are no guns. You can do what you want, get in and get out and there’s nobody to stop you.”
“If you notice where most of the so-called mass shootings are happening, they’re in gun-free zones. You don’t see them at gun shows or at gun stores. You don’t see people walk in there and start shooting. They’re not going to do it because they know everybody in there is armed.”
Target’s request to be a voluntary gun free zone only made shopping there more dangerous in two ways. One way is that no one will be packing a gun to help protect and stop robberies or attacks from taking place which means that Target is endangering the lives and wellbeing of their customers. Secondly, more criminals are going to target Target stores and their customers. Both are good reasons to avoid shopping at Target stores. I know that we have enough other stores to choose from in our area, so I have no reason to shop at Target ever again. I plan to write Target to tell them they’ve lost my business and I urge you to do the same.