Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Fixing open carry for your family

Leave without paying.  Jameson Parker of Addicting Info, crediting Wonkette.

If you’re enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant with your family and you see a man carrying an assault rifle walk in, it could be one of two things: either he’s a crazy person intent on killing someone, or he’s a crazy person intent on showing his gun off in public and daring someone to ask him to leave it at home. While the NRA would say just give him the benefit of the doubt, the possibility that you could be the victim of a shooting might make you lose your appetite.

You would think that businesses wouldn’t want that kind of scenario being played out in their establishments -- people afraid of dying don’t usually stay for dessert-- but instead they are more concerned with upsetting the guys with guns. And for good reason. The NRA* and other pro-gun groups have demonstrated again and again they are willing to bring down a world of pain on any business that they perceive as going soft on supporting people’s God-given right to carry machine guns wherever they go.

*The NRA initially criticized open-carry advocates for bringing guns into restaurants, saying they were being “weird.” However, I decided to include the organization because they later caved to pressure and retracted that condemnation.

This still does not solve my dilemma of being forced to pick another local grocery store, but it certainly resolves my quandary about restaurants and other establishments who are catering to the 3% and not the 97%, and the best way to send a message that capitalists can hear is an economic boycott.

On the website Philosophy Questions Every Day, University of North Dakota professor Jack Russell Weinstein tackles the question of “how people should respond to open-carry gun-rights activists?”
Again, complaints haven’t worked. Gun nuts insist they are the “good guys” and liberals are just being weak-kneed. Businesses are afraid to get too much attention from gun groups. It seems like an intractable problem. Here’s how Weinstein says we should respond.

My proposal is as follows: we should all leave. Immediately. Leave the food on the table in the restaurant. Leave the groceries in the cart, in the aisle. Stop talking or engaging in the exchange. Just leave, unceremoniously, and fast.
But here is the key part: don’t pay. Stopping to pay in the presence of a person with a gun means risking your and your loved ones’ lives; money shouldn’t trump this. It doesn’t matter if you ate the meal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just received food from the deli counter that can’t be resold. It doesn’t matter if you just got a haircut. Leave. If the business loses money, so be it. They can make the activists pay.

Before you start to go soft for the poor small business owners, keep in mind that this is an active decision on their part now to allow or not.

It may seem rude or embarrassing to simply walk out, but is the alternative any better? In a very real sense, lives could be on the line and putting yourself at risk in order to not offend is not a smart move. It also hurts businesses where it matters most: their profits. If you leave without paying, you just cost the business a sale. If they want you to pay, they should do a better job of making you feel positive that you aren’t about to get shot. If businesses don’t like that then they have to go through the awkward motions of explaining why they are more concerned about a (tab) then they are about their customers’ safety.

This is precisely what I will do going forward.
Weinstein concludes:
The gun-rights activists think that their intent is obvious and that everyone knows what they hope to do. They believe their minds are transparent. But this is because they are all extreme narcissists. It baffles them that we don’t all know exactly what they are thinking. It shocks them that we don’t know that Jim is a good guy, and that Sally would never murder anyone. But they are wrong. We don’t know them and we don’t know how they think. The only thing that makes us notice them at all is that they have guns and truthfully, that’s why they carry them in the first place. They want to be celebrities, heroes, and the centers of attention.

So give them what they want, Weinstein argues. Let them eat in the restaurant alone while the owners struggle to justify protecting them. It’s not up to the rest of us to play by their rules.

Weinstein elaborates in this YouTube:



If you want to leave a card explaining your actions, or return and pay later, that's your business. But Weinstein's rationale is to make the business pay for the assault on civil sensibility.

Recently I was in Kroger, in line for the service desk, when a person wearing a rifle across his back broke the line and went to the front, bypassing those of us waiting.  Who's going to confront that guy unless you've got your hand on your own pistol?  And do you want to be caught in the crossfire when that escalates beyond harsh language?

One legal type likened it to leaving if the establishment suddenly caught fire, as happened recently here locally.  If you believe your in danger, you have a right to escape with stopping to pay your tab.

The abundance of guns and anger, particularly in Texas, is dangerous and unhealthy.  I'm taking precautions that do not include arming myself, and that push back against a sick gun culture that needs healing.

5 comments:

Gadfly said...

Agreed. Locally, neither Wally nor Brookshire Bros. has said boo on open carry, either. But, if I'm shopping out of town, instead of going to Kroger in Nac, I can go further to HEB in Lufkin. Or shop Brookshires (not Bros) in Shreveport.

Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

Thank you for posting this and thank you for continuing to write in this medium.

This gun hysteria is as bad as the McCarthy Era. Oddly it has the same feel. If I don't carry a gun am I an outsider? Won't be the first time.

Gadfly said...

If these numbnuts are going to do it, we need it to happen twice to the same restaurant or grocery chain, and then somebody to whip out the big old lawsuit. Given that said restaurant, or Kroger, will have been asked innumerable times on social media to ban open carry, you get willful negligence possibly coming into play, I would hope.

Robert Bynum said...

Perry quick question what happened when guy broke the line? Did he get service or get sent to back of the line? Carry a weapon in a threatening manner is an offense. As you point out if you had your own weapon he might not have made such a move.

PDiddie said...

Robert:

I left the store. I didn't wait around to see if there was a confrontation. I called and left a message for the tore manager that I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

There won't be any hypothetical circumstances involved when I see someone open carrying in my vicinity.