Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Staples surrenders to the gun lobby and a Nebraska governor candidate shrewdly exploits the controversy

NE GOP candidate for governor, Charlie Janssen, is CEO of RTG Medical,
a staffing agency which supplies temporary nurses, just in case your hospital
is suddenly overwhelmed. Click on photo to enlarge.
    Staples Inc., the office-supply giant based in Framingham, Massa­chusetts, has been promoting a (now closed) "Push It Forward" contest in which it has promised to award a $50,000 prize to a small business submitting the winning 75-word answer to the question, “What would a $50,000 digital marketing push from Staples mean for your small business?”
     Staples' rules clearly stated that the following organizations were excluded:
not-for-profit; religious/faith-based; adult entertainment; gambling; liquor sales; firearms/weapons sales; businesses competing with Staples (including but not limited to technology services, copy and print services, office supplies businesses, facilities supplies and services, office furniture, shipping services, mobile phone sales, any other business that Sponsor deems competitive); any illegal business; or national brands
 Facebook page message left by gunshop owners Travis Vonseggern and
Bill Jackson, who have started a boycott of Staples because it would not
make an exception to its stated contest rules for their business. Since
Vonseggern and Jackson are receiving a huge amount of free publicity
from right-wing media outlets, AKSARBENT will not publish the name
of their business, easily discovered with Bing or Google.
     Travis Vonseggern and Bill Jackson, who own a gun shop in Fremont, Neb., evidently aren't real gung ho about fine print or else they didn't think the rules should apply to their business (they're tea partiers who fly the Don't-Tread-On-Me flag!), so they raised a big stink when Staples predictably rejected their contest entry, and they encouraged visitors to their shop's Facebook page to boycott Staples.
     Their fit evidently had the intended effect —  right-wing flame thrower Todd Starnes, of Fox News Radio, trumpeted the unconscionable injustice of Vonseggern and Jackson being held to the same rules as other contestants, and now they have became the darlings of every other Freeper, Tea Partier and weekend shooting-range gunslinger in cyberspace, with more publicity than they ever could have gained even if they had won Staple's contest.
     On his website, Starnes laid on the victimhood with a trowel:
     “Everything in our store is patriotic,” Vonseggern said. “For us to be classified as a drug dealer or obscene and offensive is hurtful to our feelings.”
     So the store owners decided to post the email they received on Facebook “to let our customers know where (Staples) stands.”
     “The company policy clearly states they are not all the way pro-gun,” Vonseggern said. “They’ve got a little lefty in them.”
     And the next time they need paper products, the men said they will be shopping at a locally owned store.
     Naturally the gun marketers and their enablers have piled on.
     Fans of Taurus now have a web forum thread entitled "Staples is anti-gun."  Taurus, of course, made the .38 that Elliott Morales was packing a few weeks ago when he taunted Mark Carson with antigay slurs in Greenwich village, asked him if he wanted to "die today," and then allegedly shot him point blank and fatally in the head, 
     GlockTalk ("the leading firearms forum") is already crowing: "Guess Staples had enough bad publicity."
     That, because Staples appears to have quickly waved the white flag, although they may as well have not bothered since few on the various gun nut forums seem to be appeased.
     This is now on Staple's Facebook page:

     We at AKSARBENT dearly wish the only irony in this ginned-up imbroglio that could make us sneer is the hypocrisy of two small business owners whose response to being shut down from skirting the rules in order to try to score a $50,000 subsidy from a large corporation was to shift their shopping loyalty to a locally-owned small business, which is what they should have done in the first place were they not grade A hypocrites.
     Alas, we can't stop snickering, much as we would like to, because this stuff sooner rather than later becomes irresistible bait for GOP politicians-on-the-make.
State Senator and tool of billionaire Koch Bros., Charlie Janssen
     Enter, on cue, freshly-minted GOP governor candidate, Charlie Janssen — state senator, NRA stooge, demagogic defender of Fremont, Nebraska from undocumented south-of-the-border immigration, sponsor of Glenn Beck tinfoil hat legislation and pointman for legislation to solve the virtually nonexistent problem of fraudulent voter registration in Nebraska even if it causes the real problem of disenfranchising poorer voters who tend to vote for Democrats.
     Janssen has also shown himself to be an unusually shifty Koch Brothers ALEC operative in Nebraska's Unicameral.
     Janssen has tweeted that his new favorite Fremont gun shop was "targeted" by the office supply giant and has sent Staples an indignant letter.
     Janssen, in announcing his campaign for governor, revealed his disgust at icky oil pollution in Kuwait, but displayed no concern whatsoever about the future ruination of the Ogallala Aquifer and the threats to Nebraska family farms and ranches posed by the Keystone XL pipeline. (According to Public Citizen, the existing leg of Keystone has spilled more in its first year than any other first-year pipeline in U.S. history, springing leaks 12 times., a fact which must have escaped Janssen's attention.)
      In January, Janssen introduced LB451, retroactive to Jan. 1, to make any federal law passed after Jan. 1 which places new restrictions on firearm or magazine ownership, or which places new registration requirements on firearm ownership, unenforceable in Nebraska.

No comments:

Post a Comment