I’m very sorry to hear you disagree with our policy. Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth, which means, among other things, creating bakery-cafe environments where customers and associates feel comfortable. Panera Bread respects the rights of gun owners, but we do believe asking that customers not bring their firearms inside our bakery-cafes is consistent with the bakery-cafe environment we are attempting to create.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us and share your comments.
Make the jump for the reader’s letter that inspired the above . . .
I am disappointed that you have allowed yourself to be used by a fringe billionaire-funded interest group as part of a political stunt. What you need to understand is that opinions on armed self defense aren’t stratified by “right vs left” politics. Rather, the opinions are stratified by social class. The middle class on down values their right to armed self-defense because we live and work in places where it is necessary, because when bad things happen, they happen to us.
We don’t have the protection and isolation from the rest of society that the upper class has, and frankly, we’re on our own. Blue collar democrats strongly value their right to armed self-defense. Politically moderate social liberals value their right to self-defense. Most conservatives value their right to self-defense.
These political identities combined are the vast majority of America, and this is the real reason why the right to armed self-defense is upheld and expanding. It has nothing to do with interest groups, money, or marketing, it has everything to do with votes and popularity.
We are also your customer base. Why have you chosen to make a political statement against us? Unlike MDA, we are not out to take advantage of you for a political cause, so I’m not asking you to make a political statement in support of us, only that you remain respectfully agnostic and respect local laws and ordinances.”