Archive - Jul 3, 2014

Target-Poor Environment

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Memo to pistol-packin' purchasers: YOU'RE JUST SHOPPING.

Yesterday, Target announced that it would be "asking" its customers not to bring guns into its stores, ending a month or two of waffling prompted by the open carry nutjob incidents in Chipotle and Chilis. Like most businesses, all they can do is ask nicely, because, well, these fuckers have guns. But still, I appreciate the gesture, because it's Target, and you don't need a gun in Target.

Now, gun-rights advocates will tell you that I can not know that. That if the shit goes down in a Target, you'll be happy to be packing heat. But I've lived in Minneapolis for two decades. As a result, I've probably spent three full months of my life in one of over a dozen different Targets. I literally have two Targets each about five minutes away from me, one east and one west.

So I'm pretty fucking comfortable in my opinion that the shit never goes down in a Target. Well, there was that one time, but unless you're going to shoot the point of sale machine that's stealing your credit card info, your surrogate deathcock will not be helping you.

Which brings me to my main point about open carry. Open carry people fantasize about being the good guy with the gun who stops the bad guy with the gun. And it's true, in the presence of a bad guy with a gun in a Target, a good guy with a gun in a Target becomes the second most dangerous person in Target.

But the rest of the time, which, by my reckoning, is somewhere between 99.99 and 100 percent of the time, there's no bad guy with a gun in Target. And that makes all the good guys with guns in Target in a however-many-there-are tie for most dangerous person in that Target. And you know what I don't like when I'm getting chips, contact lens solution, and plastic wrestlers? I'll give you a hint. Anthony Weiner used it as a pseuodnym.

This concept was illustrated brilliantly in Georgia, on the very first day their new... I hesitate to call it a gun law. I mean, it is a law about guns, but it's a law that basically says anyone can take a gun anywhere anytime and nobody can do shit about it, so it's more like a proclamation of gun anarchy with the governor's autograph on it than a law.

Anyway, Ronald Williams was shopping in a convenience store, his trusty pistol holstered at his hip. Minding his business. Then another guy walked in, HIS trusty pistol holstered at HIS hip. Georgia's new Hollowpoint Utopia in action! Anyway, Williams went up to the other guy and demanded to know if he was allowed to have a gun. To punctuate his sentence, Williams took his gun out of his holster, because an armed society is a polite society, after all.

The other guy responded that he didn't have to prove anything to anyone about his gun, which, in fact, is true under Georgia's new gun law. Then he bought his stuff, left the store, and called the cops on Williams, who was arrested for taking his gun out, because I guess Georgia's new gun law didn't quite go far enough to ensure Ronald Williams' freedom.

Gun nuts will point to the fact that no shots were fired as evidence that the system is working as intended. But the gun nuts weren't any of the employees or other customers in that store, wondering if shit was about to go down. You know what nobody felt in that situation? Safer. You know what only one person felt in that situation? Freer.

So maybe, when states consider their gun policies and companies consider theirs, they should prioritize the comfort, safety, and well-being of their sane customers over their crazy ones. It only took Target like six weeks to figure that out. Which is faster than they figured out they should tell us about their data breach, so yay for improvement!