Let's hope this is a sign of things to come, along with the other reporting we've read where businesses are finally getting fed up with these idiots who think brandishing a weapon in a retail store is a good idea and are pushing back against this dangerous nonsense.
Two Richmond, Va. open carry advocates organized a demonstration in the city's Carytown neighborhood on July 4, but they were the only two people to attend.
They invited more than 300 people on Facebook to walk down one of the city's main streets openly carrying handguns, rifles and long guns, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Organizer Jason Spitzer, a Chesterfield County steel mill worker, was unable to explain the low turnout.
"I don’t know why," he told the Times-Dispatch.
Spitzer said he thought Independence Day was the perfect day to "spread Constitutional awareness" and promote Second Amendment rights.
"But even if nobody came I’d still walk," he said. "It’s the Fourth of July and I love my country."
As the article linked by TPM noted, even the NRA realizes this might not be such a good idea, even if they qualified their initial objections with weasel words later:
While concealed handguns require a permit issued by the state, Virginia law allows the open carrying of firearms in most public places by individuals legally eligible to possess firearms. Private businesses and property owners, however, may prohibit weapons on their premises.
In recent months, a Texas state law banning the open carry of handguns has stirred national debate, with the group “Open Carry Texas” demonstrating its objection by sending members into restaurant chains and stores such as Target with long guns slung over their shoulders.
The gun-control group “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” has sponsored petition drives to have the businesses take a stand against the practice. A number of stores have responded by discouraging open-carry displays, but stopped short of issuing outright bans on the practice.
Even the National Rifle Association, which supports the legal open and concealed carrying of firearms, initially questioned the wisdom of the Texas tactics in a posting on its website.
“Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself,” the article said.
“To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”
The NRA later backed away from the statement, saying it was a “mistake” that should not have happened.
In Carytown on Friday, most of the people interviewed said they had no problem with Spitzer and his cohort, Scott Royle, 26, also of Chesterfield, exercising their rights.
But most questioned the motivation — and the time and place of the demonstration.
“People need to be aware that they can carry a weapon, but at the same time you’ve got to be mindful of your environment and who else you are affecting,” said Carytown merchant Christopher Turner, 29. “It’s not just about you.”
“It’s a little weird in Carytown on the Fourth of July,” said Bryan Walthall, 30. “I think they are a couple of dudes looking for attention.”