Yesterday, over on TTAG’s immensely popular Facebook page, I linked to an article at restaurant-hospitality.com. Editor-in-Chief Michael Sanson wondered Do guns belong in restaurants? “What you have here may well be a damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario,” Sanson advised restauranteurs. “What’s your take on this issue?” he asked his readership. “How would you handle a new law allowing customers to carry guns into your restaurant?” I asked our Facebook fans to reply to Mr. Sanson from the customer’s perspective, and copy us on their email. I’ve received some excellent essays, all of which were unflaggingly polite and rhetorically forceful. Here’s one from reader Chester B. Weber . . .
I would start off by asking two questions:
– why don’t guns belong in restaurants/bars?
– what makes you think guns aren’t already in restaurants/bars? Legally or not?
We could go further:
– can you provide a single example of where a lawful/registered/CHL/CCL/CCW having their gun in a restaurant/bar resulted in the commission of a crime?
– how does a lawful person carrying their firearm in a restaurant/bar adversely impact the business owner and/or non-gun carrying patrons?
– what would you propose would be the end result or benefit to the owner/patrons of not allowing lawful people’s guns in restaurants/bars?
I could go on, but if these questions don’t illustrate the flawed premise of your question to you…well…I’ll spell it out for you: laws only impede the lawful; criminals will still do whatever the heck they want.
So, my answer to you is: YES. Yes, guns absolutely belong in restaurants/bars. Law-abiding, typical gun owners absolutely ZERO threat or risk to non-gun owning people. You and anti-gun-owners are deliberately or ignorantly mixing the effect and the object and not addressing the cause. There is a violence problem.
Guns are sometimes used in acts of violence. So are fists. And hammers. And knives. Implying that guns are the cause of violence is at best intellectually dishonest. Guns are inanimate objects. They are capable of neither good nor evil. They merely perform as operated. There is no gun problem. There is a violence problem. There is a crime problem. There is a mental health problem. Those are the CAUSE. GUNS are NOT the CAUSE. GUNS are NOT the EFFECT. They are the OBJECT upon which the unlawful and unstable sometimes use to commit acts of violence and crime.
Does violence belong in restaurants? No.
Does crime belong in restaurants? No.
Does mental illness and instability belong in restaurants? Probably not…
But when you conflate you question to be “do guns belong…” you are mixing cause and effect with the object.
So, sir, what exactly are you trying to ask? Or what are you trying or not trying to imply with your question? Do you even understand what you are asking? Because I, and the millions of other law-abiding gun owner, not only deserve but have the natural Right, enshrined in the 2nd Amendment on our Constitution, to protect me and my family as I see fit.
I’m a father. I’m a firearms owner. I’m an avid shooter. I have guns in my house. But I don’t have a concealed carry license. Why? I guess I’ve never felt the need. I think about it occasionally now as I get older. I’m not young and spry as I used to be. And I’ve seen the young and drunk and wild 20-somethings that alarm me, and the shady, possibly ill-intended younger men, and knowing I’m not getting any younger…I think about it. My father would say: “God made all men equal. Guns ensure that.” I want the option to choose to do so if I see fit.
I’d like to ask:
– if a place would ban me from protecting myself as I see fit, what restitution will that place provide to me and/or my family if I am injured or killed on their premises?
– what protections/security will a facility provide to me if I am not allowed to defend myself? To and from their premises as well?
You may say I can choose not to go to xyz place. True. But you’re proposing/implying that I should not be able to have my choice, if I so chose, of protecting myself in ALL of these types of facilities. So I’d have no choices. So it’s an outright ban. Does that should like freedom to you? Does it sound right to you? Because that’s what you’re asking, isn’t it?
Even if I’m licensed/approved by law enforcement to carry a concealed weapon, that’s not good enough for your arbitrarily standard of “safteyness”? You know what that is? You know what “safteyness” is? It’s ridiculous. It is at best the illusion of safety. I don’t want an illusion. I want to be able to choose to actually be safe.
Yes, let law abiding gun owners carry when and where they see fit. Period. End. Of. Story.
Chester B. Weber