On-going opinion polls that launched yesterday at MSNBC and CNBC regarding an effort to get Kroger stores to ban firearms, and Panera Bread’s request that customers leave their guns at home appear to be blowing up in the faces of gun prohibitionists who want guns banned.
Ironically, while Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has pressed Kroger on the ban, a couple of stories in the past 48 hours have reinforced the notion that it’s safer to carry. In Indianapolis yesterday, an alleged would-be robber was fatally shot by an armed citizen outside a bank branch near a Kroger. A violent attack by a mob of youths outside a Kroger in Memphis that was caught on video is touted as more evidence that it might be better to have a gun and not need it, than the other way around.
The MSNBC poll asking whether Kroger shoppers should be allowed to carry handguns was coming in with 85 percent in favor and only 15 percent opposed. A CNBC poll on the Panera Bread decision was running at 84 percent support for gun rights and 11 percent against. An MSNBC poll on the Panera Bread request was also coming in at 75 percent in favor of armed customers, and 25 percent against guns.
Where Panera may be toast to gun owners, Kroger has so far taken the position that it supports local laws. The flap is just the latest chapter in an ongoing effort by the anti-gun Moms group to push private property gun bans, essentially turning private companies into surrogates for their gun control agenda.
However, if public opinion expressed by the unscientific polling is any indication, the Moms group has an uphill battle. Far more people responding to the various polls support the rights of people to be armed in public places.
In the midst of all of this gamesmanship, the private businesses dislike having their stores turned into political football fields. It has happened before, with Starbucks, for example. Anti-gunners may think they’re gaining ground, but that may be wishful thinking.
What does this mean? For one thing, it is important to understand that the Moms group has gotten funding from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has invested $50 million in his Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group, which encompasses the Moms and his other organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Yet with all the money being invested in the lobbying efforts to stigmatize gun owners, it doesn’t seem to be working.
How that plays out in Washington with a battle of dueling initiatives, one backed with $1 million of Bloomberg’s money and similar amounts from Seattle-area billionaires Bill Gates and Nick Hanauer just might be important. Millions of dollars can buy lots of slick advertising and seem overwhelming, but when it actually comes time to vote, things do not always go as expected.
Backlash is an interesting phenomenon. It can tilt on-line polls and in some cases it can even swing an election.