Kroger jumped on the gun control bandwagon on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, when it decided to ban open carry on its store premises in states with legal open carry.
The only individuals not covered by this open carry ban are law enforcement.
Corporate America’s foray into gun control virtue signaling has been a massive trend since the Parkland shooting of 2018.
Walmart got the ball rolling earlier this week, with Kroger quickly following suit.
Both of these corporate giants want the government to double down and bolster the background check system in place.
Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs explained Kroger’s anti-gun decision in an email, “Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”
Adelman added, “We are also joining those encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence.”
“A year ago, Kroger made the conscious decision to completely exit the firearm and ammunition business when we stopped selling them in our Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest,” Adelman continued. “Kroger has demonstrated with our actions that we recognize the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common sense gun reforms.”
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Kroger announced that its Fred Meyer stores would discontinue the sales of firearms to individuals under the age of 21.
Although these are actions by a private actor, there is a much larger cultural play behind them. Big corporations are in effect kowtowing to leftist pressure and exerting soft power against right-wingers by implementing these anti-gun policies. This is one unconventional front in the ever-changing political environment America finds itself in the Trump era.
Past strategies will have to be updated, and right-wing activists will have to recognize that many of the corporate actors they have defended in the past are no longer their friends.