UPDATE: February 14, 2012 12:01 PM
I received a phone call from Peddlers Mall regional manager Monica Winters clarifying their position on the no guns signs that were posted in the Campbellsville, KY mall. It turns out that the cashier who told me that the mall had made a corporate decision to put the no guns sign up was false information. The cashier who told me this also shared other incorrect information with me. Here's the apparent truth about what happened according to Monica Winters.
1. The decision to put the signs up was made by someone locally, based on advice they received from some currently unknown local "authorities". Nobody at the corporate level made a decision to do this, and there aren't any no guns signs at any other Peddlers Mall locations.
2. They have had a serious ongoing problem with a couple that has come into the Campbellsville location making threats. So far, the local police have done little to help them deal with the situation. They recently learned that the man may have active warrants for his arrest already so this should give the police something more solid to work with if he comes back in again.
3. The signs have been removed from the Campbellsville location.
4. Monica Winters is not the owner of the Peddlers Malls. She is a regional manager, and she did not authorize the placement of the signs. In fact she didn't know about them until I left her a voice mail a couple days ago. The cashier I talked to incorrectly told me that Monica had authorized them for all Peddlers Mall's locations.
5. The woman who gave me all this bad information is being reprimanded for misleading me like this.
Because the situation is now rectified, I have modified my original posting below to be a general statement about any business that posts no guns signs. It is no longer referring specifically to the Peddlers Malls. I am also grateful to Monica Winters for calling me, for clarifying the situation, and for taking action to remove the signs and to reprimand the cashier who misled me with lots of wrong information. My family and I will now start shopping at Peddlers Malls again.
Here is a rewrite of the original posting:
I've had concealed carry permits and been a strong supporter of second amendment rights in the three states I've lived in, so when I see a no guns sign posted at any business, I'll inquire as to why they're posted. Then I immediately go to work to try to get a boycott organized against the business until the signs are removed. If the signs had any real deterrent affect that would be one thing. But they have never proven to be a deterrent against crime. In fact, just the opposite is true. According to research done by John Lott, gun free zones are magnets for violent criminals.
There are no gun-free, safe zones
Gun-Free Zones Are Not Safe – stories include mass shootings at gun-free malls
Media Coverage of Mall Shooting Fails to Reveal Mall's Gun-Free-Zone Status
The reason is because criminals ignore the signs. They carry concealed in gun free zones anyway, and they commit violent crimes in them. The only thing a gun free zone has ever done is to disarm the law abiding citizens, and give all the tactical advantages to the criminals. Almost all slaughters of groups of innocent people occurred in gun free zones because gun free zones create safe-havens for armed criminals.
The most common excuse these liberal minded business owners use to justify this stomping on our second amendment rights are that the police can handle problems that arise. As a former police officer myself, I can personally attest to the foolishness of that belief. In about 98% of the incidents I either observed or personally responded to, the victims had already been violently attacked before we could get there. There is a great deal of truth to the saying that "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away".
These well meaning but misguided business owners have the legal right to trample on their customer's second amendment rights by posting these offensive signs. They have the right to engage in customer abuse and force their customers to be defenseless in their businesses and parking lots. As their paying customers, we also have the right to vote with our feet and take our business elsewhere. But before doing so, if you're as upset with these ambushes against our second amendment rights as I am, when you see one of these signs, go out of your way to tell them why you will stop patronizing their business. Make it clear that you will avoid doing so until the signs are permanently removed. If you don't stand up for your rights, who will?
Here's what can happen when law abiding concealed carry permit holders aren't hampered by suppressive laws or uninformed business owners: