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First Starbucks, now Staples office supply store

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense sent this photo from the Facebook page of a man who carried a rifle into a Staples store to the Staples CEO, Ronald Sargent
Facebook photo sent to Staples

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense issued a press release stating, “We are grateful to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for stating unequivocally, ‘Everyone is welcome in our stores, but weapons are not.’” Emboldened by its victory at Starbucks, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense is turning its sights on the office supply store, Staples. The group is asking Staples to adopt a “no guns” rule in its 1,500 stores. This is part of a continuing quest by the 110,000 member group to pressure corporations into adopting no guns policies in an effort to make it difficult for members of society to carry firearms for self defense.

I find the success by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense discouraging. As the owner of a law firm who spends hundreds of dollars a year at Staples, all while carrying a holstered pistol openly, it would be dismaying for Staples to change its current open and inviting policy. I am staring at $55 in Staples rewards on my desk as I write this column.

Still, there is encouraging news. Staples is unlikely to be such an easy target for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense as Starbucks. Earlier this year, when Staples drew criticism from civil rights advocates for refusing to include a Fremont, Nebraska gun store in a small business contest, Staples quickly issued an apology and promised to change its policy to include gun store businesses in the future. Staples posted a statement on its Facebook page promising to “revise our rules to make sure future contests are more inclusive and reflect our commitment to helping all small businesses.”

For those who are looking for ways to influence Staples, lessons can be drawn from the Starbucks fiasco. No corporation is seeking to have its retail premises used for demonstrations on one side of the debate or another. At Starbucks, persons who never carry a rifle openly would show up at stores displaying rifles and shotguns during misguided “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” which backfired and resulted in the current non-welcoming policy.

Already, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense sent a photograph of a man in a Staples store with an AK47 pattern rifle slung over his shoulder. As the identity of this man is currently unknown, it is also unknown whether he carries this way habitually, everywhere he goes, whether to work or the store or to visit friends, or whether this was another misguided stunt by a moron who cannot string together the cause and effect relationship between his own actions and their foreseeable consequences.

A better way to approach this issue is to let Staples know what you spend there. Staples Rewards members, especially, can show the corporation proof of what they spend, and let them know that you would appreciate Staples continuing its current policy of respecting fundamental civil rights. At the end of the day, money is why a corporation exists, and Staples will do what is best for the bottom line. Showing Staples how you, a person who carries a firearm as a matter of habit, contribute to the bottom line will be successful. Publicity stunts with morons parading around with rifles, on the other hand, are certain to backfire, just as they have in the past.

In closing, why is it that a group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense are seeking an absolute ban? Is the implication that “sense” defined as rationality or intelligence, is a categorical prohibition on possessing any weapon for self defense? In other words, anything other than an absolute ban is lacking rationality or intelligence? Or is the title meant to mislead Americans into believing the group is moderate, seeking not absolute bans but a common “sense,” middle of the road position?

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