Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sprouts Town Hall Meeting

Sprouts Markets is a chain of natural-foods grocery stores. They have about 170 stores in nine states. All of those states have laws that allow people to carry concealed handguns in public places, within limits. Recently Sprouts, like a number of other companies, decided to declare that their stores would be gun-free zones. In Texas, that means posting state-mandated signage meeting extremely specific criteria for language, size, and placement, which they have done.

Yesterday the Facebook group Texas Concealed Carry posted a letter sent to a member of the group in response to his/her complaint about this policy. Numerous comments to this post have appeared, ranging in tone from "Get the torches!" to "Get the torches AND the pitchforks!" With few exceptions, commenters were critical of Sprouts' decision, vowing actions ranging from boycotts to open defiance of the stores' legal prohibition of concealed handguns.

Use the (deadly) force.

Welcoming the opportunity to further explain its decision and to address the concerns of Texas Concealed Carry, Sprouts media representative Moonglow Arugula has provided responses to a number of these Facebook comments* and has asked Always Drunk to provide a forum to publish those responses.**

Like, hi.

* Probably not true
** Almost certainly not true, but protected by applicable fair use/satire laws. 'Murica.


Moonglow Arugula:  On behalf of Sprouts, I'd like to thank everyone who has voiced an opinion on our recent policy to restrict concealed hanguns from our stores. It was really groovy of you to weigh in. I've made myself some GMO-free chai tea, and I'm just going to settle in and see what you beautiful people have to say on the issue. Let's rap.


Mary H: I don't thin tou [sic] care about anyone's 2nd Amendment Rights at all!

MA: Negative vibes, wow. Private property is a really cool American thing. If you don't want bulk quinoa in your home, you don't have to have it, you know? Also, like, what if your best friend asked you not to bring a gun into her house? Would you also launch a badly-spelled rant at her? 


Suzie I: Personally , I think what you are doing is wrong ! You are doing what anti gunners want and that is a victory for them ! You displaying that your establisent [sic] does not allow handguns is an invitation for criminals !

MA: Your non-standard puncutation and spelling are groovy. Thanks for being you.


Joshua H: It's laughable when they claim to do this I'm am [sic] effort for greater safety. As if the thugs are going to abide by the rules they break at every other opportunity.

MA: Like, you're right on about the thugs. We didn't ban guns to keep them out - criminals totally don't obey laws. We banned guns to keep would-be vigilantes and heroes out, the ones who practice shooting until they can draw a bead on a paper target and think that makes them qualified to hit a moving bad guy in a store full of people and obstacles. Those cats give me the willies.


Timothy P: I will still go. I respect their rights to choose who comes into their stores with what.

MA: Well, thank you, Timothy. Also, thank you for not making me type "[sic]" again.


Mike G: You could go in there and act like your [sic] browsing and then casually drop that Hitler was also a vegetarian....

MA: Ooh, I think one of us is high. And it's not...wait...nope, it's only 4:15, it's not me. Peace.


Kelli G: I will also take my business elsewhere.

Jonathan G: Just lost one of my favorite stores.

Sarah W: This comes as a huge disappointment to me as I love Sprouts but this statement just made them lose a customer.

Bradley D: A second rate store anyhow. Only pretentious arrogant ass holes shop there.

MA: Kelli, Jonathan, and Sarah, have you met Bradley? He seems like a cool guy, and he's on your side.


Robert W: You just lost a customer. I don't patronize anyone who doesn't honor my rights.

MA: So, like, you don't go to bars or sporting events or your kids' school programs, and you don't ever vote or serve jury duty? Robert, dude, I respect your opinion, but for real? You're a pretty sad guy if you don't go anywhere that you can't bring a gun to. Live life, man. Live life.


Steve S: not one near me so not gonna effect [sic] me much.

Hero H: I've never shopped there, nor will i [sic] ever.

Kelin J: There are no Sprouts stores around here, and I won't frequent one if I find one.

Joe B: Puh-lease...if business drops they will, all of a sudden, decide that CCH is not such a bad idea after all. It's all about money.

MA: No, man, it's all about the beautiful organic veggies. But OK, yeah, it's a little bit about the money. Let me drop an example. Our Sprouts store in Carrollton, Texas serves an area with about 54,000 adult folks living in it. About 3% of those folks have a concealed carry license. That's actually a higher percentage than the state of Texas as a whole. Based on the responses here, I'd guess that at least half of the concealed-carry brigade already don't shop at Sprouts and just, like, enjoy yelling or something. So we're looking at losing, you know, significantly less than 2% of our customers by saying don't bring your shooty-guns into our crib. I'd also guess we're going to pick up some groovy people who will start shopping at Sprouts because they like the idea that the dude looking at the melons in the next aisle isn't going to go all Wyatt Earp on their ass. So overall, maybe we're throwing away some scratch, for sure. But it's, like, chump change. And in exchange we get to stick to our principles, which I gather is important to a lot of you, so long as they're your principles being stuck to. Anyway, yeah, in that way it's about the money.


Craig C: This coming from people living in glass castles. That is why criminals are moving into these neighborhoods and burglarizing them WITH EASE.

MA: Wow, really? Neighborhoods full of glass castles are being burglarized because people can't carry guns into grocery stores? That's like a Jimi Hendrix song or something. That's poetry. Thanks for contributing!


Wayne L: The key word is "concealed" no one, but no one should know that you're carrying.

MA: If you're carrying a gun and no one knows you're carrying a gun, then are you really carrying a gun? Whoa. Also, if you don't put a period between your sentences, do you ever actually stop talking? *mind blown*


Gary W: Exactly how do you protect your staff and customers when you leave them in protected [sic] and vulnerable to criminal attack? Fortunately you will never know if I have a weapon in your store. I don't care about your policy any more than you care about my safety. I am not violating any laws by bringing my concealed weapon only your policy. Stick your policy in your anti American libtard loving ass!

MA: Whoa, now. People. That is totally unfair, bringing in a smooth-talking professional gun lobbyist like that.


Plourde T: I can't see how they can stop you [from carrying a gun], they are not a school or state or federal building.

MA: It, like, warms my heart to know that Texas requires concealed handgun carrying dudes and dudettes to understand state gun laws. I actually had to Google this, but dig, if we put up what's called a 30.06 sign saying that you can't bring a gun into one of our emporia, then you're, like, breaking the law if you do. I guess you all knew that already. Me, I love to learn.


Becky P: Guess we know where the bad guys will be shopping.

MA: You think the dudes who want to knock over a grocery store that keeps almost no cash on hand are going to shop at the same place they rob? That would be sweet. Not only would we totally be able to ID them, but Sprouts would get tons of cool publicity from being featured in a "dumb criminal" story. Good karma right there.


And that's all we have time for now!  Thanks, everyone, for a groovy discussion. What makes this country great is that we all enjoy the same rights and freedoms, whether or not we can write a coherent sentence. Namaste, y'all!

If you want to check the facts:

If you want to verify the comments (creative grammar and all):
Texas Concealed Carry


  1. While my contempt for gun nuts is immeasurable, I respect the right of Americans to shoot the hell out of their own schools and malls instead of bombing those in other countries. I'm, like, all cool with that, yo.

    My question is, what the hell is chai tea, again? Chai means tea. So chai tea = tea tea. A little bit of redundancy there, I'm thinking.

  2. I'm surprised no one offered the "Sometimes I forget I'm carrying a gun" argument, which, in my home state, is frequently offered up by legislators as a reason why people with concealed carry permits should be allowed to carry their guns everywhere. Because, you know, these laws only target responsible gun owners, and nothing says "responsible" like forgetting you're carrying a gun.

    I'm sure this argument would have completely flummoxed Ms. Arugula.

  3. I would like to see a Venn diagram showing the realistic overlap of Sprouts shoppers and Diehard gun lovers. Because I'm betting that center wedge isn't that big. Not saying that gun nuts don't eat quinoa, but... do they?


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.