Store owners primarily interested in commerce, not advocating the Second Amendment or other political issues
December 5, 2013
AOL Huffpo is once again trying to make an argument against the Second Amendment by dramatizing the stupidity of firearms owners who have neglected the safe handling of guns. According to Ben Hallman, the next front in the war over the cornerstone of the Constitution will be at the local mall.
Gun control fight has come to your local shopping mall, much to the dismay of business owners.http://t.co/H6ZzWYhDBo
— Ben Hallman (@ben_hallman) December 5, 2013
According to Hallman, “gun-control advocates and pro-gun forces have squared off in an increasingly heated contest over the right to carry firearms into stores and restaurants, drawing businesses into a conflict that they have diligently tried to avoid.”
Hallman insists “pro-gun forces” have the upper-hand. “For years, they’ve lobbied efforts to roll back local and state gun restrictions. Thanks to their efforts, it’s now easier than ever before to legally carry a firearm, both openly and concealed, in many public places.”
Malls, bars, and restaurants, however, are not strictly public places. The Staples office supply store cited in Hallman’s article is private property. If the owner does not want firearms permitted on his property, that remains his or her prerogative. Conversely, if the owner permits consumers to carry firearms the state and individuals opposed to the Second Amendment have no say in the matter.
Increasingly, in regard to firearms and property rights, the state is the final arbiter. Millions of Americans, including writers at AOL Huffpo, accept this without question and are oblivious to the question of property rights.
Mr. Hallman makes a big deal out of the fact store owners have backed down on gun rights when faced with pressure from the likes of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a firearms control organization modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving formed after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This is entirely natural. Store owners are primarily interested in commerce, not advocating the Second Amendment or other political issues not directly associated to doing business.
“In the market society, the proprietors of capital and land can enjoy their property only by employing it for the satisfaction of other people’s wants,” writes Ludwig von Mises. “They must serve the consumers in order to have any advantage from what is their own. The very fact that they own means of production forces them to submit to the wishes of the public.”
“Ownership is an asset only for those who know how to employ it in the best possible way for the benefit of the consumers.”
Liberals are wont to make a big deal out of any restriction imposed on the exercise of the Second Amendment, even if the argument, like Hallman’s, is irrelevant.
Moms Demand Action is free to petition and pressure Staples or any other business and even threaten a boycott. Likewise, even if it does not make business sense in the current political environment, a store owner has the right to allow consumers and others to carry firearms.