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Thread: VCDL Action Item: Belk Considering Gun Ban, Please Contact!

  1. #1
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    VCDL Action Item: Belk Considering Gun Ban, Please Contact!

    From the VCDL VA-Alert 8/12/2014:

    I have information from an inside source that Belk is considering changing their policy on guns in their stores.

    Let’s contact Belk and let them know that we do not patronize stores that have gun bans. Most stores do not ban the lawful carry of firearms into their stores and Belk should not have such a ban either. The best policy is to leave state and local law determine if a person can legally carry into a Belk store.

    To contact Belk, you can send an email to:

    belk_customer_care@belk.com

    Or you can call them at: 1-866-235-5443

    Other contacts:

    Facebook: facebook.com/Belk

    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/belk
    Last edited by jmelvin; 08-12-2014 at 06:25 PM. Reason: To add info about VA-Alert as the source.

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    My example letter.

    Here was what I wrote to Belk's customer care e-mail address. Feel free to use as much of this as you like, but please write or call.



    Good afternoon folks of Belk!

    I was recently told that Belk management was considering implementing a policy to ban customers from lawfully carrying sidearms for their personal protection. To me this is an absolutely disgusting thought that a retailer would care only about extracting a potential customer’s money, while asking them to forgo their tools to defend themselves from the miscreants who occasionally wreck the lives of decent folks who just want to go about their business. I can only hope that this information is untrue, but if my source is correct let me ask you to abandon these plans and simply allow local and state laws to govern how your customers may care for themselves.

    My wife and I both have found Belk stores to be a good resource for finding lines of clothing in styles that we like and in the sizes we both need. When I’m in need of clothes the one place I start (and usually end) my shopping is Belk, because I’ve come to find that the Izod and Chaps brand styles you carry suit my tastes well, and the Saddlebred jeans and pullover shirts are one of the few brands that both fit me well and wear well.

    I also know that Belk, up to now, doesn’t pretend that “No Guns” signs or policies will keep anyone safe. These policies are feel-good thoughts, like unicorns and rainbows; but unlike unicorns and rainbows that everyone loves, “No Guns” policies result in customers being hurt when criminals ignore signs, laws, and even the threat of punishment in prison or on death row. We can all wish we won’t be exposed to crime, but we know that wishes and signs don’t stop criminals. If these worked, then Belk could put up “No Stealing” signs on their doors and get rid of the locks on their doors, the diligent loss-prevention staff, and any other theft deterrents kept on merchandise. However, you know like I do that this doesn’t work, so I hope you won’t pretend it works any better at protecting innocent lives that are far more precious than a pair of nice jeans or a pretty new purse.

    Please let me know that Belk management has abandoned consideration of any “No Guns” policy and my family and I will gladly continue to do business with a store we’ve come to rely on. If I can answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Your customer,

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    One should just note to them that you think that such a change makes their store unsafe and you will not shop in a store that you do not feel safe in.

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Supportive email sent. Thanks to you and to Phil and VCDL for the heads up.

  5. #5
    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    email sent

    jmelvin - good letter.
    Here is what I sent. A couple of different points but things others may want to include in their emails.......you are all sending an email right?! It's not like you are being asked to take a day off and travel to Richmond or something so take 5 minutes and send an email

    Dear Belks,
    It has been brought to my attention that management is contemplating restrictions on the constitutional rights of it's customers, namely those contained in the second amendment. I hope you do not as I will no longer be able to shop at your stores. You see, I have come to understand that I am responsible for my safety and the safety of those I hold dear. Store security personnel are not armed. Most of the mall security folks are not armed. Police arrive after the incident has occurred and while they may ultimately catch the perpetrator from striking again, that is little consolation to those who suffered the first attack.

    I have never had to make use of a personal defense weapon and pray to God everyday that I do not have to, but I may be called upon to use whatever means at hand to defend innocent life from evil people. I carry a firearm openly and I believe that my presence and the visible display of a means (and implied willingness) to actively resist those with ill intent is a deterrent to problems even starting. My firearm is not the problem, it is those in the hands of those with criminal intent, who by their very nature are not going to respect your request/sign prohibiting firearms.

    Mass shootings are a relatively recent development and in almost every case have occurred in "Gun Free Safety Zones". Episodes that have occurred outside of GFSZ have been terminated more often by a law abiding citizen intervening than law enforcement intervention, and often long before the large numbers of innocent victims we often observe in today's mass shootings. My wife also carries for her protection because, like the police I am not always near enough when she may need me. She tends to conceal carry in her purse because that is what is convenient and works for her.

    Bottom line is we don't shop where we don't feel safe and have the means to defend ourselves. Criminals are bad people but they are not stupid and tend to favor places where they can get in, get out, and not be anywhere near when the police arrive. Terrorists look for large concentrations of people and are looking to score as many casualties as possible. A shopping mall or large department store where decent law abiding folks are told to leave their weapons at home perfectly fit the bill for a terrorist target. Putting a no firearms sign on your door is the same as putting a Target sign on your door.

    Many malls already ban weapons in the common areas and we don't shop there. We do continue to shop at anchor stores which have direct access to their stores like Belks, Sears, Dicks Sporting Goods, Barnes and Nobles, etc.

    Belks is in the business of selling merchandise and that merchandise is sold to customers. We want to stay Belks' customers as do many others who have carried in your stores for YEARS without incident and often without your knowledge. These law abiding folks tend to obey the rules and if you say they can not come in your stores they will stay out.

    Belks doesn't involve itself in party politics, religious restrictions and should not involve itself on what adult American Citizens are LEGALLY allowed to do with respect to their own self defense - that is a legal issue and there are a ton of laws and regulations and requirements already in place to control what is and isn't allowable. Please continue to model your store policies after what is legally allowed in that city/state. Also as you contemplate changing your policy, consider the liability risk you would take on if, God forbid, some maniac chose one of your stores as their target and folks who normally would have been capable of defending themselves are instead injured or killed BECAUSE of a no firearms policy. If you take away a citizen's right to self defense do you incur the responsibility for that defense and can be held liable in the event of injury or death? I believe it is only a matter of time before we see a corporation named as a defendant in a wrongful death suit. I hope it is not Belks.

  6. #6
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Nobody around here heard of the somewhat new acronym: TLDR?

    Fairly important here... suggest you look it up.

    Eloquent is not the same as effective.

    TFred

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    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Excuse me. Is that short enough?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrearick View Post
    Excuse me. Is that short enough?
    Don't take it personally. I can assure you that nobody at Belk will read beyond the first 2 sentences of such a long letter.

    Do you want to be effective, or do you want to feel good about the letter you wrote?

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Don't take it personally. I can assure you that nobody at Belk will read beyond the first 2 sentences of such a long letter.

    Do you want to be effective, or do you want to feel good about the letter you wrote?

    TFred
    Instead of criticizing what others wrote... maybe you can post your letter as the example?
    Last edited by Blk97F150; 08-14-2014 at 06:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Don't take it personally. I can assure you that nobody at Belk will read beyond the first 2 sentences of such a long letter.

    Do you want to be effective, or do you want to feel good about the letter you wrote?

    TFred
    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Instead of criticizing what others wrote... maybe you can post your letter as the example?
    I think his intent was to critique rather than criticize.

    Sometimes less is more.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I think his intent was to critique rather than criticize.

    Sometimes less is more.
    Perhaps. But it sure didn't come across that way. Especially with the flippant post regarding 'TLDR' ('Too Long - Didn't Read').

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I think his intent was to critique rather than criticize.

    Sometimes less is more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Perhaps. But it sure didn't come across that way. Especially with the flippant post regarding 'TLDR' ('Too Long - Didn't Read').
    Think that was intended to illustrate the reaction from Belk.

    We say much the same thing in suggesting how one write their legislators, otherwise they will not read beyond the title line. They just tose it in the hopefully, appropriate pile.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Think that was intended to illustrate the reaction from Belk.

    We say much the same thing in suggesting how one write their legislators, otherwise they will not read beyond the title line. They just tose it in the hopefully, appropriate pile.
    Maybe... but I think the manner in which this 'critique' was approached, does nothing but discourage others from posting their letters, and their replies.

    Also, if it was meant to be a suggestion... why not provide an example?


    Not a big deal really. As the ape used to say.... 'moving on'....

  14. #14
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    TFred's right. Make it too long and it will find its way into "file 13". Just like long resumes. Keep it short, simple, and to the point and you have a much better chance of getting your letter read.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 08-14-2014 at 10:28 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Agree with Fred. Short and simple else it gets tossed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    TFred's right. Make it too long and it will find its way into "file 3". Just like long resumes. Keep it short, simple, and to the point and you have a much better chance of getting your letter read.
    Consider just this first sentence, "I was recently told that Belk management was considering implementing a policy to ban customers from lawfully carrying sidearms for their personal protection."

    Belks is not banning merely customers' personal protection sidearms.

    We see here the effect of writing classes that demand work by word count. Think of writing for a curmudgeonly editor like J. J. Kilpatrick that will quibble over every damn word, so pare the sentence down to the essentials.

    I have been told that Belks is banning lawful sidearms.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  17. #17
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I agree with TFred also not to make light of BLK's comments. Both are one of us and neither intends anything but constructive help.

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    Since no example has been provided, I'll give one even if I like my first one just as well:

    Dear Belk Customer Service,

    I have heard that Belk management is considering a gun ban for customers. As one of your customers I ask that you abandon these plans and stick with allowing customers to defend themselves from criminals in the ways state and local laws allow. If signs and policies worked to stop other crimes you'd slap "No Stealing" signs on your doors and never bother to lock them again or worry with loss-prevention staff. Please don't think doing the same will stop predators who hurt the good people who are your customers.

    Let me know if I can be of service. Thanks,

    XXX
    Last edited by jmelvin; 08-14-2014 at 09:19 AM.

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    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Don't take it personally. I can assure you that nobody at Belk will read beyond the first 2 sentences of such a long letter.

    Do you want to be effective, or do you want to feel good about the letter you wrote?

    TFred
    You are probably right. here is the pertinent snipet of the response I recieved....

    "Thank you for reaching out. On this topic, there has been no talk of any change in the Belk approach to follow state laws and the policies of our landlords."

    take care
    Last edited by wrearick; 08-18-2014 at 03:58 PM.

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    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Consider just this first sentence, "I was recently told that Belk management was considering implementing a policy to ban customers from lawfully carrying sidearms for their personal protection."

    Belks is not banning merely customers' personal protection sidearms.

    We see here the effect of writing classes that demand work by word count. Think of writing for a curmudgeonly editor like J. J. Kilpatrick that will quibble over every damn word, so pare the sentence down to the essentials.

    I have been told that Belks is banning lawful sidearms.
    lol, I barely passed the single writing class I took in college (over 30 years ago) and that was with the help of a tutor. Guess I have been writing too many white papers and briefs for the government (who does parse and try and insert meanings between every word). Good advice on keeping it short and taken aboard in the spirit it has been stated it was given.
    Last edited by wrearick; 08-18-2014 at 03:57 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    What a good discussion my rude response has generated! See how much more effective short and to the point can be?

    For the record, I didn't invent the acronym "TLDR", but it is a very real thing, and I have seen it many times. One of my best friends suffers from this affliction, when he writes people on important matters, he is determined to cover every detailed aspect of the issue. And his effectiveness hovers near zero, but he feels really good about his efforts.

    We have to keep our focus on the end goal here.

    V/R to all,

    TFred

    ETA:

    I first heard this quote dozens of years ago, and it sticks with me... very appropriate to this discussion:

    Easy reading is damn hard writing. --Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Last edited by TFred; 08-14-2014 at 10:29 AM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    The trick, guys, is to go ahead and write that long, venting, comprehensive letter. But don't send it.

    Instead, sum it up in three sentences and send that. It is important to vent and to sort out your feelings and ideas. Just save 'em in the 'draft' folder.

    Good discussion.

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Dear Belks,
    My wallet does not travel without being lawfully accompanied by my handgun. If you like my wallet visiting your store, do not ban my legally carried handgun. Thank you.
    Appleseed, Virginia State Coordinator
    Are you a Rifleman yet?
    http://appleseedinfo.org

  24. #24
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wolfhound View Post
    Dear Belks,
    My wallet does not travel without being lawfully accompanied by my handgun. If you like my wallet visiting your store, do not ban my legally carried handgun. Thank you.
    I do like that - consider it stolen borrowed.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    My email to them got a reply:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for contacting Customer Service at Belk.com.
    "Thank you for reaching out. On this topic, there has been no talk of any change in the Belk approach to follow state laws and the policies of our landlords."
    If you have any more questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-866-235-5443 and thank you shopping with Belk!

    Sincerely,
    Diana S.

    Belk Customer Service Team
    Sounds good to me. Not sure what is meant by 'landlord', but this, if accurate, is as good as it gets, ISTM.

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