retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Dallas Morning News reports that a new law in Texas allowing "citizens with a permit to carry handguns openly in a holster" is creating headaches for some retailers.

The new law, according to the story, "has put retailers in a quandary, forcing them to take sides in one of the nation’s most fraught debates. Gun- rights activists are boycotting stores that forbid firearms, saying people shouldn’t be punished for exercising their rights. Gun-control advocates, meanwhile, are shunning stores that allow customers to bear arms, saying no one should have to shop where they feel unsafe.

"Stuck in the middle are retailers loath to risk losing business from either side. Dozens of stores and restaurants across Texas, including San Antonio-based HEB Grocery Co., one of the state’s largest food retailers, have banned openly carried guns. That’s incurred the ire of activists who have vowed to shop elsewhere. Others, such as Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., have chosen not to ban firearms carried legally, inviting the scorn of gun-control advocates promising a boycott of their own."

The Morning News writes that "managers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Texas have a new task to add to their list of duties: asking customers if they have a permit to carry a handgun ... to comply with state liquor rules, the world’s biggest retailer sent a written notice last month to stores that sell alcohol, telling managers to ensure that customers who openly carry firearms under a new law have licenses. Cashiers or door greeters who see someone with a gun are to alert the highest- ranking employee, who is to approach the customer and ask to see the paperwork."
KC's View:
I can't really comment on this story with any degree of objectivity or even understanding. I wasn't raised in a gun culture, and my comprehension of the Second Amendment is entirely academic, not emotional. When I think about the issue, I think about a school not to far away from where I live in Connecticut, where 20 kids and six staffers were killed by a guy with guns. But I also recognize that this is a complicated and emotional issue for a lot of people, and that my experience - or lack of it - should not be the determining factor in creating a national gun policy.

That said, I feel really bad for those Walmart greeters who are going to be asking to see gun permits. Again, this may be my lack of experience speaking, but it just seems like a situation ripe for disaster.

Maybe I'm wrong. And maybe I'll learn something from how this all plays out.