retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Various press reports say that a Kroger store in Charlottesville, Virginia, had a situation to deal with on Sunday - a man who walked into the store carrying a semi-automatic rifle.

Police were called, and they drew their guns on the man - only to find out that he owned the gun legally, was not a felon, had a permit, and, in fact, wanted to carry the gun into the store as a way of demonstrating his Second Amendment rights.

There are no restrictions on carrying unconcealed firearms in the state of Virginia; permits are required to carry a concealed weapon.

Kroger has banned the man from its store, the stories say. Kroger Mid-Atlantic released the following statement:

"Our policy in regards to guns in our stores is to comply with the state and local laws. The safety of our customers and our associates is always first and foremost as we run our business.

"We treat each situation individually, based on the circumstance. In this case it was alarming and frightening to our customers and associates due to recent events.

"Several of our customers dialed 9-1-1 and our store team's reaction was reasonable and understood."
KC's View:
Even local National Rifle Association (NRA) folks seem to think that this guy was misguided in his efforts to demonstrate the importance of the Second Amendment ... especially because he had a note in his pocket that explained his rationale, which suggests that he expected to be shot by police.

I'm not sure what he was demonstrating for - Virginia has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country.

I've said it before, and I firmly believe that in view of recent events that there ought to be room for reasonable discussion about gun laws in America while still respecting the spirit of the Second Amendment. But I read stories like and I cannot help but think that this is completely nuts - that innocent people are going to continue to be hurt or killed. I also think that retailers ought to be concerned about this issue - because while so many incidents of mass violence have taken place in schools, it seems entirely possible to me that supermarkets and mass merchandisers are ripe to be victimized. Then what will they think?

Of course, someone will probably suggest that the best approach is to arm the checkout personnel.