Earlier this spring, Target found itself with a PR problem as serious as last winter’s massive data breach–the discovery that several members of Open Carry Texas had been seen trooping through Target stores in the Lone Star State with semi-automatic rifles in late 2013 and early 2014. Well, on Saturday several Open Carry Texas supporters decided to put in an appearance near a Target in Irving, the Dallas suburb best known as the former home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The activists set up shop in the parking lot of a shopping center in north Irving that includes a Kroger and Office Depot in addition to Target. The sight of several armed men so close to a shopping center didn’t sit too with Moms Demand Action, which fired off a number of tweets criticizing the rally. Founder Shannon Watts was particularly upset that one of the Open Carry Texas backers was seen toting a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag so soon after Jerad and Amanda Miller draped it over two cops they gunned down during their rampage in Las Vegas.
Later, Moms Demand Action program director Jennifer Hoppe told Mother Jones that Target management was well aware that the open-carry activists were coming. Hoppe spoke with a Target manager that the activists didn’t actually enter the store. Target has no corporate policy on open carry, but has been under considerable pressure to adopt one. The pressure has been especially strong since a loaded pistol was found in the toy aisle of a Target in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina–an event that Open Carry Texas founder and president CJ Grisham claims was actually a false flag engineered by a gun-control supporter. The manager told Hoppe that the activists didn’t actually enter the store. This is most likely because Texas law doesn’t allow firearms in places that sell alcohol. It says a lot about the nature of Open Carry Texas that the group is actually trying to get this law repealed.
The most laughable part of this? According to KDAF-TV in Dallas, Open Carry Texas was actually offering gun safety instruction. It’s hard to see how there could be anything safe about the sight of a crowd of men with semi-automatic rifles in a shopping center parking lot on a Saturday.
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Edited by JA
Darrell Lucus is a radical-lefty Jesus-lover who has been blogging for change for a decade. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook.