The gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has a new target: Retail food chain Kroger is in their sights for its decision to allow customers to openly carry weapons while shopping for groceries. The advocacy group, self-defined as working to “establish common-sense gun reform,” and backed by the deep pockets of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is set to release a handful of ads in newspapers and billboards that speak out against Kroger’s pro-gun decision.
The Huffington Post, which is carrying examples of the soon-to-be released ads, says the gun group “will blanket half a dozen newspapers with ads meant to pressure the grocery giant to stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms in its stores. The ads will be displayed on the newspapers' websites as well as on a billboard in Cincinnati, where Kroger's corporate headquarters is based, according to the group.”
Each ad pictures two individuals inside of a grocery store, one of which is armed and the other is doing something that would prevent them from entering a Kroger store. For example, a little girl eating ice cream is paired with a man carrying an assault rifle; an armed woman stands next to a chubby and very hairy produce shopper; another armed gentleman stands next to a teen on a skateboard.
One of them isn’t welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.
According to HuffPost, the Moms Demand Action advocacy group, formed in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, carries quite the clout when it comes to pressuring retailers:
Other companies previously targeted by Moms Demand Action initially made similar statements, before reversing course and requesting that gun owners not bring weapons inside their stores or restaurants. Chipotle, Sonic, Target and Starbucks have all changed their policies in response to the group's demands.
“These images bring into stark contrast Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, food and a lack of appropriate attire in stores, but allow the open carry of loaded guns,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. “Businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons.”
The print and digital “homepage takeover” ads – costing Moms Demand Action a six-figured sum – are set to appear in the USA Today, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Houston Chronicle and the Tennessean
A Kroger spokesperson, when contacted by the Washington Post, took middle ground on the issue, stating that the company’s policy to abide by state open-carry laws is “in practice identical” to many other retailers. “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores,” Keith Dailey, Kroger’s director of media relations said.
What are your thoughts on these new ads? Sound off below.
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