It’s all the rage, all of a sudden, for national restaurant chains to start posting little, powerless stickers on their doors in the attempt to tell law-abiding, legal gun owners that their business is not welcome there.No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service? That's a powerful sticker, wielding the mailed, if invisible fist of the Market to quash any and all pathetic efforts by you, the lowly consumer, to eat your Loaded Potato Skins and Bottomless Tostada Chips™ in flip flops and a belly shirt. But similarly stern adhesives are impotent -- no matter how firm their phrasing -- when faced with men who, though often impotent themselves, are equally firm in asserting their Second Amendment right to accessorize their Gadsen Flag tanktop and tactical cargo shorts with an HK416.
But it is also a new rage for criminals to repeatedly rob those same stores because they now know that no one inside will be armed. Imagine that.No, seriously...imagine that...because it doesn't actually seem to be happening, so Warner would appreciate it if you'd close your eyes real tight and picture a horde of wilding strawmen. Have you got it? Can you see it in your mind? Great! Now just insert that imaginary scenario into all the spots in Warner's column where an actual journalist (you'll have to imagine one of those too) would supply examples and citations. This is a refinement of Jonah Goldberg's technique of asking his potential audience to look up facts that he'll later turn into misinformation to support his pre-conceived bullshit conclusions. But instead, Warner asks us (well, me -- I don't mean to imply that you'd ever lower yourself to become one of his readers) to hallucinate our own fake facts and sprinkle them throughout his column in a sort of Brown Acid edition of Mad-Libs.
Lately several restaurants have made news by claiming to have banned guns inside their stories. Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Sonic, Chilli’s and Starbucks are all claiming they have banned legal gun owners form doing business with them.But are they claiming to have banned guns?? I can't accept any assertion as fact until it's been repeated at least three times in a single paragraph, and even then I often wait to see if it successfully summons Candyman. But since we're on the subject, Warner, I haven't heard of the enumerated businesses "claiming to have banned guns." Rather, they just seemed to have asked certain arms-bearing assholes to stop parading around the salad bar with an AR-15 -- something the NRA has also asked them to stop doing.
Take the Sonic fast food chain, for instance. This month the Sonic corporate heads got their tiny little minds together and announced that all Sonic customers will henceforth be unarmed. Consequently, the very day the company made this grand announcement, one of its locations was robbed.
The attack happened in Topeka, Kansas, only a few hours after Sonic made its cute little announcement that firearms were banned within and around their restaurants.I had no idea your average street punk was such an avid consumer of corporate press releases. But you can see why they were so excited, knowing they'd be the only ones in the place with a weapon; in fact, if you click through to Warren's linked story, you'll find that "No weapons were displayed during a robbery of a carhop at a central Topeka Sonic drive-in reported Friday afternoon, a police official said" -- that's how confident those stickers made them! So...without the threat of a gun-toting citizenry, even armed robbers don't feel the need to carry weapons, proving that the best way to stop a bad guy without a gun is a good guy with a SuperSONIC® Bacon Double Cheeseburger who also left his gun at home.
This isn’t the only story. The Jack In The Box restaurant chain also announced a gun ban in its stores. As a result, three separate Jack outlets, one in Tennessee and two different locations in Houston, Texas, were robbed as soon as the company banned guns.Correlation isn't causation, especially when you haven't even proved correlation. Google "Jack in the box robbery" and quite a few Pre-Powerless Sticker stories pop up. From December 28, 2009: "Bakersfield police said a white man with a facial tattoo [ahhhh, Bakersfield. Never change] robbed the Jack-In-The-Box on the corner of Stockdale Highway and California Avenue around 8:30 a.m. Monday. Police said he pulled a gun and demanded cash."
Even more recently, on March 20 (still before the ban), SFGateBlog reported, "Man wearing trash bag as a disguise aggressively robs Salinas Jack-in-the-Box at gunpoint," (if given my choice, I'd prefer to be passively robbed -- you know, the way the credit card companies do -- but would probably find it more irritating to be passively-aggressively robbed). Meanwhile, Sonics were getting robbed in the halcyon, ante-anti-firearms days of 2012 ("East Pearland Sonic reportedly robbed, two teenage suspects caught after high-speed chase") -- even in Texas. Because they're fast food joints, which have always been tempting targets for stick-up men, because they handle a lot of cash, and unlike banks, gas stations, and liquor stores, they can't put the counter help behind bulletproof glass. Warner's claim that criminals only tumbled to this notion after various businesses asked their stupider, more belligerent customers to stop toting semi-automatic rifles on the premises seems -- and really, it pains me to say this to an author with such distinguished lip bristles -- almost intellectually dishonest.
I noted a week ago that holders of concealed carry licenses should simply ignore these little anti-gun signs. They have no force of law and if your gun is concealed there is no reason to go around telling restaurant managers you’re armed. That is, after all, why we call it a concealed carry permit!That would be a great, if obnoxious, point, Warner, except it's totally beside the point. Customers -- at least the ones who are at peace with their penis length -- are complaining about the yahoos swaggering around the Roy Rogers Fixin's Bar strapped with boomsticks. If someone has a concealed weapon, nobody knows, nobody cares, nobody complains. However, the whole point of the longarm display by Open Carry Texas was a Pavlovian exercise to "To condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry [firearms]," and thereby grease the way for the open carry of handguns. People licensed to carry concealed weapons aren't really a part of that debate (and if I know anything about human nature, they probably don't support open carry, because it diminishes the value of their special status).
Of course, one should follow whatever state laws are extant. If the state law prohibits carrying a firearm at a school or courthouse or what have you, then follow the law. But these restaurants have no right to tell you not to carry in their shops.Yeah! Schools and courthouses might employ armed guards who aren't impressed by your banana clip, but you're perfectly within your rights to intimidate the assistant night shift manager at Friendly's.
If the Constitution prevents stores from saying they won’t serve a gay person, then there is no reason they should be allowed to refuse a legal gun owner, either.And as soon as Open Carry Texas starts urging its members to give gay men piggyback rides around Buffalo Wild Wings, I'll...well, I still won't concede the validity of Warner's argument, but it would totally make my day.
After all, if I am in a store that is getting robbed and the store insisted that customers go unarmed, can’t I sue the store for putting me in danger? And can a mere store summarily remove my Constitutional, Second Amendment rights because they are operated by liberal weenies? And… well, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, here, aren’t there?Nope. Not even in a late night dorm room bull session with free beer refills and a Bottomless Bong. Even a fan of question-begging would first have to prove that customers in a gun-free establishment were less safe than they'd be if Warner Todd Huston were free to panic because he thought he saw a black person, fumble a 9 mil from his fannypack, and start blazing away in the general direction of the cash register.
Certainly gun owners can simply refuse to give their money to companies like Chipotle.Well no, not since you guys proved that it was immoral, illegal, (but not fattening) for gay people and their allies to boycott Chik-Fil-A.
But, why should they? Why should they self-segregate and allow liberals to tell them where they are “allowed” to eat lunch and where they aren’t?Job creators should be free to run their businesses however they choose, except where it interferes with Warner's right to practice his steely, Chuck Norris stare while refilling his cup at the soda dispenser.
Don’t the same liberals say that Christian bakeries should be forced to bake cakes for gay weddings because gays should be allowed to shop anywhere they want without discrimination? Why should gun owners be different?Well if you love your gun so much, why don't you marry it? I'll go halfsies on the cake.
On an ending note, I was on Granite Grok radio this weekend talking about this very issue and one of the hosts said something that I thought hilarious.
He said that gun owners should call up one of these restaurants and order a big order of food for pickup. Then, upon getting to the restaurant, stop outside the door, call for the manager and say something such as, “Gee I didn’t know this was an anti-gun establishment. I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel my order as I can’t come inside to pick it up. Bye now.”The Second Amendment is the cornerstone of liberty (once you take out the Militia Clause and join the Amendment already in progress), and in its defense, we can pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor, or we can just pull some pranks. Oh sure, it's hard to refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants when you've got the giggles, but it's worth it just to see the look on the faces of those Sandy Hook parents after you send them a dozen pizzas.
Of course I am not advocating that gun owners do this (wink, wink), but I wonder how much thrown away food they’ll put up with before they change their policy!Hey, I think Warner Todd Huston just winked at me! But instead of sending little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living room, all that's flying around at the moment is this projectile vomit. Kind of a ripoff.