MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
You may have read that due to pressure from gun control groups, some national chains such as Starbucks, Target and Chipotle now discourage gun zealots from openly carrying firearms into their facilities.
According to an April 3 Christian Science Monitor article, however, "Smaller Restaurants Welcome Gun Owners: While Some Large Chains Discourage Guns, More Independent Restaurateurs Are Giving the Green Light." Not only are guns welcome at these diners, but you can even get a discount for carrying a gun at some, the Monitor reports:
"Most that come in are responsible and have their guns holstered," said Jay Laze, owner of All Around Pizza and Deli. Last year, Mr. Laze began giving 15% discounts to diners who either were carrying openly or had concealed-carry permits. "It was good for business, and I've hopefully educated some folks on the Second Amendment and the right to carry."
Bryan Crosswhite, owner of The Cajun Experience, which gives 10% discounts on Wednesdays to those with guns, said he, too, had experienced no serious problems with his program, adding that he won't serve alcohol to patrons openly carrying.
Give Bryan Crosswhite some credit. At least he doesn't give a 20 percent discount if you drink and carry a firearm into his eating establishment. (Although some states, it should be noted, allow for carrying guns into bars and restaurants that serve liquor.)
The Monitor article features a photo of "Jessie Spaulding, a gun-toting waitress at the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., where weapons are welcome." However, it is not just restaurants in towns named after guns (Rifle, Colorado) that are hospitable to firearms. Consider the owner of an eatery in Maryville, Tennessee, who told the Monitor:
"I believe in the right to bear arms, and as a small business owner, who am I to take it away?" said Sharma Floyd, the owner of Shiloh Brew & Chew. In May, she posted a small, paper sign in the window of her restaurant noting that "guns are welcome on premises," above a picture of a handgun. After a local television station ran a story on Ms. Floyd's move in July, business spiked, she said, largely due to an influx of diners carrying concealed weapons.
A local NBC affiliate website quotes the supportive response of one customer who dines at Shiloh Brew & Chew:
"Everyone needs to take a stand for what they believe Is right.," said Ralph Tucker. "Somebody saying guns are welcome instead of somebody crying about how many people are killed with guns. And it's not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people."
Of course, given that perennial gun advocate's argument, you could contend that we do not need nuclear disarmament because nuclear bombs do not kill people, people kill people.
Some restaurants, as readers probably have noted, discourage guns by putting up a sign on the front door, featuring an image of a handgun with a slash across it. However, if a person is carrying a concealed gun, such a warning is unenforceable. In any case, in many states - such as Texas - it is literally illegal for a restaurant or retail store to prohibit the carrying of guns.
Given that your local eatery may now be welcoming patrons with guns and offering them discounts, how can you distinguish the "bad guys" from the "good guys"?
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