The Knox Update
From the Firearms Coalition
The “No Guns” Insult
By Jeff Knox
(Manassas, VA, October 29, 2009) How does it make you feel when you start to walk into a business and see a “No Guns” sign prominently posted? Are you angry? Offended? Indifferent? How do you react? Do you just turn around and take your business elsewhere? Complain to the management? Just ignore it and go on with your business? The members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League take “No Guns” signs as personally offensive and they let their offense be known – to the business, to fellow VCDL members, and anyone else who’ll listen – or read a web page. VCDL maintains a list of anti-rights Virginia businesses on their web site, www.VCDL.org, and encourages gun owners and rights supporters to avoid these businesses except to let them know that their policy is offensive. VCDL has actively pursued this position for several years while they have simultaneously grown to become the most politically active and effective rights organization in the state.
So when the 7th District Republican Committee decided to hold a major fundraising rally in a location which is prominently posted “No Guns,” VCDL let the Republicans know they weren’t happy. When the Republicans held the annual event in the same anti-rights location every year for the next several years, disregarding VCDL’s repeated objections, many at VCDL began taking the Republicans’ choice as an insult. When the Republicans refused to change venues – even though VCDL offered to help sponsor the event at a different location – VCDL got mad.
On October 17th about 250 VCDL protesters gathered in a shopping mall near the Innsbrook Pavilion, the private, anti-rights event center where the annual Republican Roundup was being staged. The well organized protest included a moon-bounce and other distractions set up for the kids, an airplane towing a “Guns Save Lives” banner, and even a hot air balloon proclaiming the same message. Local shops, restaurants, and hotels welcomed the protesters – who were mostly openly carrying sidearms – and even offered special discounts. A good and safe time was had by all.
The Chairman of the 7th District Republican Committee has previously told people who complained to him about his choice to use the anti-rights facilities that while he and the Republican Party strongly support the Second Amendment, price and convenience trumps principles. And he’s sticking to his No Guns. Even as there were almost as many people outside protesting as there were inside rallying, the chairman announced that the event would again be held in the same location next year. The level of base callousness and simple stupidity is just staggering.
This up-scuttle echoes a larger issue of misunderstanding between the activist, rights community and the general public – sadly often including many gun owners. When a business posts a “No Guns” policy they are making a political statement whether that is their intent or not. They are also denigrating and insulting lawful gun owners – particularly those who choose to carry. A “No Guns” sign serves no useful purpose beyond these insults and political posturing because the only people to whom such signs apply are the most conscientious and responsible gun owners. Criminals and the irresponsible simply ignore the signs and do exactly what they would have done without the signs, except with perhaps a greater sense of security knowing that conscientious, law-abiding gun owners have disarmed or gone somewhere else.
Gun owners and rights supporters who are not angered and offended by these “We Don’t Want Your Kind” signs posted on businesses they frequent are being as thoughtless and insensitive as the businesses themselves. These “No Guns” signs should elicit the same reaction from gun owners and our friends that “Whites Only” signs did among blacks and civil rights supporters in the 1960’s. They are a personal insult and an assault on our liberty and anyone who can’t see that is simply choosing not to. That appears to be the case with the leadership of Virginia’s 7th District Republicans. One must wonder whether they would continue using the same facilities if the sign on the door read “No Jews” rather than “No Guns.”
Posting a “No Guns” sign is not a business decision about patron safety nor is disarming just a minor inconvenience. Such signs are a political statement and an insult and they should never go unanswered. The Firearms Coalition offers Merchant Education Cards which make it easy to let businesses know why they’re losing our business. They are available at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit is included. Text is available at www.FirearmsCoalition.org. To receive The Firearms Coalition’s bi-monthly newsletter, The Knox Hard Corps Report, write to PO Box 3313, Manassas, VA 20108.
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