When I started TTAG back in February, I was behind the firearms news curve. After eight months cruising the net for gun-related news, I’m beginning to get Fingerspitzengefühl. That’s the German military term for a general feeling for the way things are going based on specific, seemingly unrelated information. Like the English expression “a finger on the pulse” only better. In the case of open carry, it’s clear to me that the movement is gathering steam. If nothing else, Internet chatter is increasing. There’s the defeat of anti-open carry legislation in California, the recent arrest of the Wisconsin [Open] Carry Five, a case in Canada and now this from wabf.com: Man demands right to carry licensed gun into Denny’s. The really interesting bit: he wasn’t arrested . . .
“I walked in and she saw the weapon on my side. I was fine, I was seated to my table,” said Ashraf Abdallah.
Twenty-two-year-old Ashraf Abdallah has been a regular at the Denny’s Restaurant in Richmond Hill for years . . .
His visit on Wednesday afternoon may have been his last after what he calls rude treatment by a new manager.
“She walked up to me and said, ‘hey, is that a weapon on your side?'” Abdallah explained. “I said, ‘yes ma’am’ She asked if I was law enforcement. I said, ‘No ma’am.’ ‘You can’t have that in here,’ she told me. I said, ‘ma’am I have a carrier’s permit and Georgia law allows me to carry it in a restaurant.’ As along as I have been coming in here, my father comes in here, my friends carry it. she said, ‘I’ll have to check on that’ in front of all the customers.”
A few minutes later, Abdallah claims the manager returned with the Denny’s manual and policy.
“She opened up the book in front of me right on the table like I was a child,” Abdallah said. “She put me on a level I had never been to before.”
“I said, ‘ma’am I have been coming here for 12 years, cops see me, sheriffs see me with my weapon, nobody has ever say anything,'” Abdallah added. “Put a sign up saying, ‘hey no weapons.’ Why not have a sign? She said, ‘it’s in our hand book.’ How am I supposed to know what is in your handbook?”
Good question! But as I mentioned, the story ends with Mr. Abdullah simply walking out, drawing his . . . pen and writing a letter of complaint. To which a Denny’s District Manager replied (without consulting a spell checker or the company PR department):
Please understand, as a business proprieter we have an obligation to protect all of our guests, including you. Please understand if you were dining at Denny’s with your wife and family were sitting next to somneone with a conspicuous weapon, how safe would you feel? I certainly do not feel as though the manager was discriminating, although she may have been reacting emotionally and it may have felt like she was singling you out.
Sensitivity training much? Maybe a bit too much. But one thing’s for sure, unless there’s some sort of Arab-American subtext that I missed (until now), this non-story is a story because open carry rights are gaining respectability in the media.
Well, maybe not respectability as such. More like newsfuel. Never mind. These kind of items help accomplish Open Carry’s psychological goal: normalization. Leading to more deeply entrenched gun rights. Win/win. At least until someone does something stupid. And then watch the Open Carry story REALLY take off.