Of Liberty and Shopping Carts


Vote November 2020
However, there is an institutional problem in that too many policy-makers believe that nearly all people are those who will abandon a shopping cart within ten feet of the shopper’s car. iStock

Monatana, USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- I read an article recently making the argument that shopping cart returns are a proxy for good citizenship. Great concept.

There is no reward for delivering a shopping cart to the nearest collection point in a store parking lot. It’s just good behavior and is its own reward. Conversely, there is no penalty to pay for abandoning a shopping cart next to the shopper’s car.

Notwithstanding this absence of reward or penalty, the vast majority of shoppers do the right thing by returning their carts to a collection location.

The point is, by far the majority of people are good and decent people and will do the right thing if simply left to their own devices and trusted to behave well.

However, there is an institutional problem in that too many policy-makers believe that nearly all people are those who will abandon a shopping cart within ten feet of the shopper’s car.

These policy-makers, mayors, governors, members of city councils and of legislatures, feel compelled to make up complex and sometimes nonsensical rules to compel everyone’s conduct. They don’t trust anyone to do the right thing in the absence of thorough rules to govern all.

If they think of it, these distrustful policy-makers would require a license to use a shopping cart (you must be trained to use it correctly[and pass a background check and get a special tax stamp for quite carts without squeaky wheels]), would require a contract and deposit to use a cart, and would authorize fines and jail time for anyone noncompliant with cart return rules, enforced by government agents… with guns.

Those candidates for public office who speak of freedom and individual liberty probably think most people are trustworthy and ought to be left alone to do the right things voluntarily. If you consider yourself trustworthy, you should vote for them.

If, however, you are the type of person who might run amok if not controlled by a complex system of rules and government agents… with guns, then you should vote for the candidates who are reluctant to embrace individual liberty and who favor the multitude of rules needed to control you and people like you.

To make it simple, if you return shopping carts to the collection point, you are probably a good fit with candidates for public office who embrace individual liberty and who trust the vast majority of people to behave well without coercion.

If you usually dump your shopping cart near your car, it’s better if you support candidates who don’t approve of individual liberty because they think everyone is a scofflaw like you. You need policy-makers like that to protect you from yourself and from others like you.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Montana Shooting Sports Association
About the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Montana Shooting Sports Association is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit: www.mtssa.org

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I don’t mind cares being left outisde the corrals.. the employees who come round to collect them still round up and herd home the strays with little more trouble than the properly behaving ones in the corrals. two things I D O NOT appreciate.. on lots which are on a hill, come vermints just unload their carts into their own cars, then give the cart a shove away from their own…. and don’t even bother to observe that this cart goes scampering off down the hill and butts into the side of someone else’s late model car, the type with… Read more »


At the rate this country is going, ethically, we are headed toward all supermarkets charging a returnable deposit, at site, like Aldi’s, to use shopping carts. Bye bye, those minimum wage jobs corralling the carts.


– Isn’t the deposit something like $0.25? Sounds like an income opportunity for the homeless, like collecting aluminum cans used to be.


I want one of those “quite” carts.


I’ll settle for one which rides equally on all four wheels, and the wheels all rotate appropriately.

While occasionally carts are left on the median rather than carried around to corral on the other side – generally where I shop all (or nearly all) carts have been left where they belong. More evidence that Texans really are good people.

God I don’t miss California.


well, due to their unexpected populatiry, they are not quite available just now……. patience my man.


I’m sitting at a park bench in a city park in Alpine Texas trying to do some paperwork while reading this article and I’m about ready to vomit in front of everybody in disbelief that an article about the analogy between Liberty and shopping carts is on ammoland instead of something more substantial and pertinent to our fight to maintain the Second Amendment rights for the Next Generation provided we are.focused enough and.successful in maintaining it for our own.


It is pretty clear to me that the people around where I live in VA are not returning their carts. This is evidenced by more than 50-60% of folks not wearing masks in social situations or maintaining recommended social distancing. Now I recognize that is preferable to return shopping carts voluntarily. But if folks are leaving their carts all over the place, and don’t have the good common sense to return them so they don’t interfere with other folks expectations of a peaceful and safe parking lot then they might need a push to do the right thing. A person’s… Read more »


You will take notice that the majority of those leaving their shopping carts wherever it is “convenient” are also the ones not being inconvenienced by wearing a mask in public situations. MOST are under 30 y/o. I’ll return my cart and limp back to my car on 70 plus y/o bad knees without complaint.