I’m sure you all remember Target’s controversial ruling on firearms a few months ago. National grocery chain, Kroger, has recently stepped into the mix of the media spotlight. On August 18th, the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (also known as Moms Demand Action or MDA) released an ad campaign. The Moms Demand Action gun control ad criticizes Kroger grocery stores over what they feel are lax rules on gun ownership in stores. The MDA’s mission is to put pressure on these Kroger grocery stores to ban fire arms on premises. As of this writing, Chili’s, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, and several other franchises that have locations in states which allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns changed their policies to prohibit them.
MDA’s Guess Which One Campaign
The gun control ad campaign includes digital banners, printed ads, along with several other types of promotional material. The ad is titled “Guess which One” and features people carrying semiautomatic weapons into supermarkets. In the pictures, the gun owners are surrounded by people breaking supermarket in-store policies. For instance, one image shows a kid eating ice-cream in the frozen foods aisle next to a man with a semi-automatic rifle. The caption states “Kroger doesn’t permit outside food and drink inside their stores. So why would they allow this loaded gun?” In other Moms Demand Action advertisements, we see a man without a shirt and a teen riding a skateboard compared to the gun owners.
The campaign already garnered countrywide visibility. Many media sources printed the ads. These sources include USA Today, the Houston Chronicle and several other major local news outlets. The ads also directly target Kroger through a billboard set up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger’s corporate headquarters. When MDA representatives asked Kroger to amend their policies, the chain said it trusts its customers to behave with responsibility. The campaign already forced several coffee shop, fast food restaurants, and retail businesses to change their policies. The ad includes a petition which was signed by 115,000 individuals at the time this article was written.
Several demonstrations took place at Kroger stores in open carry states such as Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky, and others. According to current legislation, the local authorities can ban the carrying of guns in specific areas. The Indianapolis Star recently lampooned the MDA campaign via an op-ed column penned by editor Tim Swarens. The editor questions the statistics cited by MDA representative Michele Mueller in an op-ed of her own published by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Who is Moms Demand Action?
Moms Demand Action is a gun control group headquartered in Indiana. Chapters exists in most U.S. states. Its most successful actions against open carry have thus far coerced stores such as Target, Chipotle, Starbucks, and Sonic Drive-In to ban firearms on their stores. Their campaign debuted in the fall of 2013, almost a year after the 2012 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook. They joined forces with Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions. The MDA personally appeals to elected officials and lobbies for stronger gun control laws before the coming 2014 midterm elections. Americans for Responsible Solutions recently ran two TV ads targeting Martha McSally, the Arizona Republican candidate who notably opposed the loopholes in the background check system ran by the federal government.
How to Boycott the MDA Boycott
A recent event that took place right outside a Kroger grocery store in Indianapolis places the MDA initiative in an interesting context. On September 8, a man carrying a fire weapon stopped an attempted robbery on a street corner. Authorities found the hero by an ATM. At the time of the officers’ arrival at the scene, the authorities discovered a white pickup truck still running by the ATM with its window shot out. Investigations are still underway in this case. According to police statements, the attempted robbery possibly began as a carjacking. If the MDA initiative turns out a success, Kroger’s customers may no longer be allowed such means of self-defense. We suggest gun owners and their supporters counter the MDA boycott (and media blitz) with an initiative of their own. Show your support of Kroger’s personal freedoms as a private business by shopping exclusively at their store. You can find the closest Krogers grocery store using the link here.
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