The Target CEO recently made the news by "addressing" the matter of its customers carrying firearms in Target stores. The pertinent post on Target's blog is here. The text of that post is as follows:
[The post begins with an editorial introduction.] Every day at Target, in everything we do, we ask ourselves what
is right for our guests? We make all of our decisions with that question
in mind. Questions have circulated in recent weeks around Target’s
policy on the “open carry” of firearms in its stores. Today, interim
CEO, John Mulligan, shared the following note with our Target team members. We wanted you to hear this update from us, too.
[Then we have Mulligan's statement.] The leadership team has been weighing a
complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts
and ultimate decision.
As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about
whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed
to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to
follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But
starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring
firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.
We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect
the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for
help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and
inviting for our guests and team members.
This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief:
Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with
the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.
Is Mulligan addressing "open-carry" alone or do his remarks include licensed concealed carry? I am uncomfortable with open-carry practices, but I affirm the right to concealed carry. I think the pressure for open carry is coming from fringe elements in the right-to-bear-arms population, although obviously a powerful fringe-element. In my view, open carry is provocative and unnecessary.
Mulligan's statement, however, does not clearly distinguish open-carry and concealed-carry practices. Is he using the general discomfort with open-carry as a means to taint the practice of concealed-carry? I think he probably is. As you read many of the news reports on Mulligan's statement, the distinction between open-carry and concealed-carry is difficult, if not impossible, to see. I attribute that to a bad-faith attack on all carry forms.