Not less than eight hours ago I was fielding compliments from the moms on the playground about my new super cool Target summer sandals. Right now, I am sitting at my keyboard in a pair of Target brand pajama pants. Before I go to bed, I will wash my face and brush my teeth with products purchased from Target. When I wake up, I will serve my baby oatmeal cereal purchased from the Target baby aisle, put a fresh Target purchased diaper on his little bum, and dress my five year old in Target brand clothing before he goes to school.
Five years ago this summer, the day we brought my daughter home from the ER under hospice care, she defied all odds and came out of what the doctors thought would be her last hours. Her request that evening? "Can we go to the Target with the escalator, Mommy?" Well, you know just where we went that evening and you know we spent some dollars on her.
Folks who know me, folks who read my blog, know how I feel about Target. It is my mother's lifeline. I rely on it for clothing, toiletries, home accessories, beauty products, all things baby and kid related, shoes, kitchenware, holiday items, office and organizational items, the occasional prescription, groceries, electronics, and on and on and on. A few weeks ago, after a long and hard run with the kiddos, I needed to step out to catch my breath. Where did I go to spend an hour alone? My happy place, of course -- Target.
I am the best damn brand ambassador Target could ever hope for.
Tonight I learned that the Target Corporation has been dragging its feet in responding to the "open carry" activists that have used Target stores as part of their public arena in their sickeningly brutish displays of slinging long arm weaponry openly as a means of asserting their Second Amendment rights. The Open Carry Texas group, itself, refers to Target Corporation as "very 2A friendly," suggesting the stores are welcoming of their antics.
For those of you who don't know what the open carry movement is, well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is:
And per their website, the goals of the Open Carry Texas movement ("OCT" -- and never have I been so sad to be a Libra before) read a little something like this:
Our purpose is to 1) educate all Texans about their right to openly carry rifles and shotguns in a safe manner; 2) to condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry them; 3) encourage our elected officials to pass less restrictive open carry legislation for all firearms, especially pistols; and (4) foster a cooperative relationship with local law enforcement in the furtherance of these goals with an eye towards preventing negative encounters.
I don't know about you, but I think all of us need to be concerned when we start hearing that gun slinging activists want to start talking about "conditioning" people to feel safe around open firearms. And from where I stand, the best way to "prevent negative encounters" with the people you are trying to "condition" is to put your damn guns away. Part of being a responsible gun owner is knowing how to use firearms properly and showing respect for them. The open carry movement is the antithesis of responsible gun usage.
Now the last time I wrote about guns, I was accused of being a "hysterical mom" with a "fourth rate mind" who needed to "stick to baking cookies," but Imma try really hard to apply common sense here and be very clear and explicit in my language so the Target Corporation knows just where I stand.
I do not want to shop for diapers and pajama pants and toilet paper and school supplies and lip gloss and Legos surrounded by men strapped with long arm rifles, assault weapons, and semi-automatic guns.
Is that clear, Target Corporation? It seems obvious to me that very few mothers in America would want to shop under those conditions, but you don't seem to be taking that into consideration.
Now I know that I live in Illinois, which does not have any open carry legislation on the books, and many folks think these kinds of open carry intimidation antics -- and they are absolutely meant to be intimidating -- are restricted to Texas, but open carry rallies at Target stores have also been held in Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, and Virginia.
That's a whole lot of mothers on the line, Target. Are you sure you want to remain silent on this issue? Your own website touts the statistic that 80%-90% of your customers are women. Do you know where my husband shops? NOWHERE. He doesn't shop. He leaves that to me. Do you know where I will now be shopping? You can bet your sweet bullseye it is no longer at Target.
Target Corporation needs to make an explicit statement that carrying firearms in its stores nationwide is not allowed. They need to do as Chilli's and Starbucks and Chipotle and Sonic Drive-Ins have done, which is demonstrate common gun sense. As a corporation, they would be infringing on no American's Second Amendment rights by doing so, but they would be providing reassurance to millions of moms around this country.
Two other things I purchase at Target? Bread and butter. I sure as hell hope Target knows where their bread is buttered. Until they figure it out, I will be making all my purchases elsewhere. Will I miss my happy place? Yes. Emphatically. But I refuse to spend a single dime of my family's money at a store that remains welcoming towards these senseless, bullying, ridiculous, and grossly unsafe practices of the open carry movement.
If you agree with me, please exercise your voice and sign this online petition, letting Target know that you, too, believe the corporation needs to change their in-store firearm policies.
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