April 5, 2012 in politics
Part 3 in the ongoing saga with BI-LO and their Anti-Gun Owner firearms policy. After a trip grocery shopping left me with a bad taste in my mouth and an unoloaded and disassembled pistol in my car becuase BI-LO decision to disarm law abiding and property rights respecting people while hiding that fact in tiny letters I Wrote Them A Letter (pt.1), and Received A Response (Pt. 2.)
As their response was full of bad logic and bad information about the firearms policies of other retail chains I decided to write them back. Here is copy of the message I sent today to Mr. Dwane Bryant, the Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for BI-LO Inc. I will keep every updated as the story develops. Here is a copy of the letter I sent:
Dear Mr. Bryant,
I appreciate your prompt response and your plans to look into BI-LO’s anti-firearm signage. I am confident that your conscientious efforts in this matter will lead to your company adding more visible signs, thus reducing confusion, decreasing the chance of an avoidable tragedy, as well as ensuring that the signs are legally enforceable. I thank you for that.
I am writing to you again in regards to your statements explaining why BI-LO created, and stands by, its customer disarmament policy. Specifically, I wanted to address the claims that it is a sound business decision, that it honors safety, and that the policy is shared by all other major retail chains. I hope that by providing counter examples, including facts and figures, I can illustrate that the policy is based on incomplete, incorrect, and flawed data and may be costing the company money.
“…based on sound business judgment.” In North and South Carolina alone there are over 348,000 current, valid Concealed Carry permit holders and applications are at an all-time high (http://www.ncdoj.gov/CHPStats.aspx, http://www.sled.sc.gov/documents/CWP/SCCWPCalendarYear2010.pdf). In North Carolina, there are countless other citizens that legally Open Carry, which requires no permit. In effect, you are telling hundreds of thousands of potential customers to surrender their ability to defend themselves or take their money elsewhere. The occasional complaint by a small minority of anti-gun advocates should not outweigh the much larger community of gun owners and those who are not opposed to the carrying of firearms. In many cases, such as the Starbucks Boycott in February of this year, taking a pro-gun owner stance proved to be an asset, not a liability (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/starbucks-guns-boycott.html).
“…seeks to honor the security and safety of employees and customers.” Anti-Firearms policies are only respected by law-abiding firearms owners. As incidents like the shooting sprees at Ft. Hood, Virginia Tech, Westwood Mall, and multiple others have shown people who wish harm on others are not deterred by Gun-Free policies. Instead of disarming criminals, these signs simply inform criminals that they are going to be rewarded with a building full of victims. Additionally, according to the most the most recent data I could find for North Carolina, Concealed Carry permit holders are five times less likely to kill someone than the general public (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/12/foghorn/ny-times-uses-deceptive-statistics-to-promote-anti-gun-agenda-again/).
“This is the same policy adopted by all other major retail chains of which we are aware.” Many chains have policies that allow for different kinds of firearms carry within their stores. A few chains defer to state, local, and federal law (i.e. if Open Carry is legal then it is allowed). These major retail chains include: Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, Barnes & Noble, Toys-R-Us, Sears/K-Mart. Restaurants that maintain a similar policy are: Starbucks, Bob Edwards, and White Castle. (http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?71026-Corporate-Policies, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/starbucks-guns-boycott.html). This is just a partial list and contains only major chains with published letters from their corporate offices or reported in mainstream news. Anecdotal evidence, such as a lack of signs forbidding guns or reports from Concealed Carry activists, is also available at your request. As shown, if BI-LO were to adopt a policy respecting gun owners it would not be an anomaly; instead, the company would become part of a growing corporate community.
Mr. Xaq Fixx
UPDATE: David Codrea of the Gun Rights Examiner has a post covering my experience with Bi-Lo titled “This is how they show respect” over on his blog The War on Guns..