Advocacy, Right and Wrong
4/16/15

 

 

 

So many groups advocating for peace go about it the wrong way.

 

They often make one of two, if not both, mistakes frequently.  The first is that they tend to demand government do something.  That makes them anything but peaceful as their demands are going to be fulfilled with the underlying use of unwarranted violence against people.  But take a minute and view their video for yourself before continuing to read.

Now that could be said to be true of private property rights and the nonaggression principle (NAP) but there is a fundamental difference.  Private property rights do not require the enforcement of laws onto others beyond their own borders.  And governments claim borders with and without the consent of others inside the jurisdictions they claim.  Private property is decided by means of voluntary associations that uphold and respect the idea of consent and property ownership through a consensus of voluntary associations founded on peace and respect for compliance, not pointing a gun and demanding compliance.

 

Stated differently, private property rights only allow the jurisdiction of their owner’s rules on their property, no one else’s property.  If you don’t like the rules you can leave.  Government rules are enforced on everyone regardless of where you are beneath the jurisdiction of that government without your consent in the matter.

 

The second mistake advocacy groups tend to make is the call for action to hurt someone in some way to get them to change.  This is a problem on so many levels because it is about coercion, not peaceful reasoning.  The underlying tone here is this:  If you fail to do ‘X’ we will do ‘Y.’  ‘Y’ being designed to inflict some kind of negative result on the target in response to noncompliance.

 

That is not self defense.  If that were self defense then the underlying tone would be this: If you do ‘X’ to me without my consent then I will do ‘Y.’  ‘Y’ being designed to inflict some kind of negative result in response to the initiation of a specific kind of action by the target.

 

However, the situation calls for this underlying tone: Your policy dictates ‘C’ through ‘Y’ is not okay, but makes exceptions for ‘F’, ‘Q’, and ‘X’.  Since I don’t agree with those but they are not being forced upon me I will not frequent your establishment until they change.

 

The failure of both mistakes is rooted in the desire to coerce change and not teach it.  Instead of talking with the owners of the Kroger Company, groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are being a bunch of bullies, cowards, and NAZI like zealots.  That is precisely what they are!

 

Even if they have spoken to the owners of the Kroger Company, their actions by way of the production and sharing of this video are dishonest at most, short sighted at least.  They are trying to convince people to not shop at Kroger because they don’t like a policy of Kroger’s.  They are using tactics to gain the compliance of a private property owner so they can dictate policy of someone else’s property.  It is akin to a group advocating to sit at a lunch counter and force the restaurant owner to serve them.

 

If they don’t like Kroger’s policies then they don’t have to shop there; but it is obvious that they want to shop there or they wouldn’t be making videos and postings about hurting the Kroger Company’s bottom line by boycotting it.  I have arrived at that conclusion based on this train of thought: Why change an entity that you don’t have to frequent unless you want to frequent it for something obtainable exclusively there that is not readily available elsewhere?

 

Obviously Kroger must have something these individuals want.  If not then they are being complete and total barnacle heads by trying to disarm people.  And disarming people by utilizing coercive tactics is wrong when those people did nothing to you to warrant your assault on their characters because a few other individual did something to hurt you.  Take responsibility for your fears and emotions by understanding them and offering education instead of peddling coercive and unwarranted acts of aggression to make others comply to quell your fears.

 

The failure of such advocacy groups to take the time to look into their own work shows another flaw.  The skateboarder was utilizing something that can be controlled.  He controlled it after being asked to not use it.  That was the only instance in the all of the spot lighted scenarios that is even close to the open carry.  The teenager was capable of being reasoned with.

 

The child with the water gun cannot be reasoned with as well and therefore typically poses a significantly higher risk to safety with water on the floor that the parent is not guaranteed to see and or clean up; thus risk to other patrons of the store whose fickle mindsets might subject the grocer to litigation.  Not only does that pose a risk to the safety of other patrons but risks litigation that WILL affect the bottom line of the company and might increase the prices of the goods and services the company offers.

 

The woman with the non-service animal also poses a risk because the animal is not guaranteed to be trained properly.  The animal cannot be reasoned with and what happens if the animal decides to do ‘X’, ‘Y’, or ‘Z’ in the store that is destructive?!  Again, that becomes a safety hazard to the other patrons of the store.

 

Also I recognize that the armed open carry individual may not be trained property too!  Unfortunately, an argument about training of an individual capable of reasoning falls flat.  It falls flat on the grounds that the individual is still capable of reasoning and can be asked to leave.  The dog cannot be asked to leave and therefore must be removed with some amount of force from the store if the dog’s owner does not comply and see reasoning.  That is of course in addition to the fact that the company can set whatever rules it wants based on whatever criteria it wants pending what kind of interactions is desires with its patrons.

 

However, the last shot with the fellow carrying a rifle on his back, responsibly handled, poses no danger to others.  If the kid wasn’t riding his skateboard in the store then the store personnel wouldn’t have stopped to speak with him.  Also, it might be different if the fellow with the gun was waving it around or mock shooting people in the store with it.  He wasn’t. 

 

The most dishonest thing done in this video was the first shot of the man open carrying his rifle while a store clerk was speaking to the teenager telling him, “Um, you can be in here with that.  Someone could get hurt.”  That was dishonest of the video makers, editors, whatever they are called.  That’s wrong on the part of the creators to do that.  It sends the message that guns are dangerous without putting into context the idea that they are tools just like the skateboard the teenager was using.

 

Yes, guns are designed to inflict damage to kill and or main, not skateboards.  But just like guns, skateboards need to be taught to be used.  Training for both teaches how to use them which minimizes the potential for accidents.  If Kroger wants to ban open carry on its property, then that’s fine.  But to demand actions against them because you feel unsafe with the freedoms others have and are capable of utilizing to do intentionally bad things or make innocent mistakes with, perhaps you should just stay home and never interact with people until you draw your last breath.

 

If you don’t like something, feel uncomfortable with something, or disagree with something the best course of action is not to try and hurt others, rail against them, or coerce them to change.  The most peaceful course of action is to simply say your peace, try to reason with others, and move along.  Do these things in peaceful and none threatening ways.  And until the Kroger Company begins to force you to shop at their establishments, you as the individual do not have any intellectual or even moral high ground to stand on concerning their policies on their own properties apart from choosing not to spend your money in their establishments.

 

Sure, you can call for boycotts; but if you’re not careful in your information bad maneuvers on your part can blow up in your face and cause the entity you are  trying to change by hurting its bottom line to target you.  They could just as easily put up a policy with known members of group ‘X’ to be forbidden on their properties.  And those properties are often far more numerous than you might imagine.  The Kroger Company is part of a huge family of stores ranging from JayCee stores, to Albertsons, Kroger’s, and more!  They are pretty much coast to coast and by holding the view of justifying trying to hurt their bottom line by controlling policies of theirs through the deceptive idea that they are being irresponsible is borderline slander.

 

Did you catch that?  By making sleight of hand statements against their policies as irresponsible is border line slander.

 

Kroger could retaliate and make sure such groups cannot get jobs if one day they were to become the main employer in your area of the country.  That’s why it’s important to respect the property rights of others; for your own sake.  If you don’t like the television show, then change the channel.  If you don’t like Kroger’s policies, then shop somewhere else.  But boycott and vocalize your opposition to their peaceful and just rights to set their own rules on their properties at your own risk.

 

If you want to challenge Kroger on an issue, challenge them on that issue for your store in your neighborhood.  Stay the hell out of the Kroger store in my neighborhood.  I don’t want to be disarmed in Indiana because you are insecure in California or where ever you might be.

 

-JLD

 

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