Attacks on legitimate gun owners at both the state and federal level have failed in all but a few ultra-liberal states like New York and California. As a result, gun control activists have opened a new front in their war on legitimate gun owners, attempting to blackmail private corporations into adopting anti-gun-rights policies.
Recent efforts have focused on getting businesses to discriminate against those who carry their guns in public. The attempt to coerce Starbucks into making lawful permit holders “unwelcome” in their stores is a perfect example. According to The Hill (March 15, 2014):
“[The] proponents of tougher firearm regulations are increasingly turning their focus to private sector campaigns. Gun control groups have claimed victories in recent months, successfully pushing Starbucks to declare guns unwelcome in stores and persuading Facebook to crack down on unregulated firearm solicitations.”
But pro-self-defense activists have learned to fight back by staying on top of potential threats and organizing opposition to such efforts. As a result, the Starbucks case, which gun control groups hailed as a “victory,” was actually little more than a nod by Starbucks in their direction—there is no “ban” on carrying firearms in their stores.
In fact, the attempts to get the well-known purveyor of coffee to take action only occurred as a response to “Starbucks Appreciation Day,” which was a grass-roots movement by gun owners to demonstrate their support for the fact that Starbucks did not prohibit guns on their premises.
After pressure from gun control groups, in this case “Moms Demand Action,” Starbucks did make a rather lukewarm “request” that patrons not carry firearms into their stores. To quote Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.” Hardly a ringing endorsement of gun control.
Nonetheless, a spokesman for one gun control group said that every step, even a small one, in getting companies to change their policies is crucial to the formation of “social norms” that stand as “guidelines for acceptable behavior.” In other words, they are admitting that their long term goal is to systematically stigmatize gun owners.
But they are particularly focused on turning public opinion against those who carry firearms for self-defense, until we are viewed with outright disdain. And they know how to do it. Look at what they did to smokers.
They recently demanded that Visa sever their business partnership with the NRA, saying the credit giant’s “affiliation with the powerful gun lobby is effectively funding opposition to stronger regulations.” Whether Visa will cave to the gun control activists is unclear at this time.
Gun control proponents have also set their sights on social media, the latest example being Facebook’s announcement of new policies designed to restrict “unregulated firearm transactions” over its network. Under the new policy, Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram will block minors from seeing posts about the sales of guns and other regulated items, require language reminding people of the applicable legal restrictions, and warn sellers they are bound to comply with those laws.
While not as big a deal as they try to portray it, “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” spokesman Ladd Everitt ominously warned that they are planning additional, as-yet-unspecified corporate actions for 2014. “I think you will continue to see these types of campaigns,” he said.
OK, we’ve been warned. But now what? It’s not that complicated. Get informed. Get organized. Speak out. And never quit.