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E.J. Dionne Jr. (courtesy

“Those of us who want to live, shop, go to school and worship in gun-free spaces also have rights. In what way is ‘freedom’ advanced by telling the owner of a bar or restaurant they cannot ban handguns in their own place of business, as many states now do? Today, it is the NRA that is the enemy of freedom, by seeking to impose its values on everyone else.” – E.J. Dionne Jr., How America can free itself from guns [via]


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      • Nope, when it comes down to it they tend to want to take away any right you might name. Speach, expression, property. Just give them something to be afraid of and promise that it can be controlled and they will vote for anything.

    • Actually, he’s correct here. But only the middle part; the beginning and end are rubbish.
      A property owner has the right to ban guns, just like he has the right to ban smoking, dogs, or flip flops.
      And we have the right to patronize another business. We do not have the right to use his property against his will.

  1. you go to your gun free areas…i’ll go to my gun friendly areas…i wish the best cause you will need it…

    • They want legal protection for their Gun Free Zones? How about this:

      If you prominently post your business as being 100% Gun Free it shall be a Class 1 felony for any (non-LEO) individual to enter that area with a firearm FOR ANY REASON, including to save your sorry asses in case some criminal or terrorist decides to shoot the place up in spite of your signs.

      • Take out the LEO carve-out and I’ll buy it. If they want it to be a felony for anyone to ever bring a gun onto their property; fine but that means LEOs as well. Otherwise they should just live with the status quo almost everywhere that I have heard of; signs have no force of law, but you can trespass someone at will.

  2. Dionne is furious [stamps feet] that florists and bakers may not exercise their freedom to exclude. Oh wait…

  3. Another rich white man living in a gated community sending his children to the same private Lilly white school that Obama sends his kids to with armed security.

    Since when do progressives go to church? I thought they were all godless communist. They totally worship the state.

    • I skimmed the original article and some of the comments. One of the posters uses the Jerusalem Cross as his avatar. JohnEngelman2’s comment:

      “In that case we should repeal the Second Amendment. It is a dangerous anachronism.”

      He does know what that cross represents, doesn’t he?

  4. Which states prevent restaurants from enacting POLICIES / RULES that “prohibit” concealed weapons? Private business owners can implement whichever policies they want. But, they don’t necessarily carry the weight of law. Private property owners can kick ANYONE off their property for nearly any reason.

    There are no Rights that guarantee any particular “feeling,” including “feeling safe.”

    • “Private property owners can kick ANYONE off their property for nearly any reason.”

      Unless they are gay, apparently. What happens if an open carry gay couple demands service in spite of your signs?

      • The homosexuals will use the force of the state to sue and force compliance, confiscation of the bakery and send the owners to prison.

        And no I’m not joking. Anyone can go to a different shop keeper for better service. The homosexuals will choose not to.
        The are already gun people putting together Web sites for a gun friendly business you can open carry in.

        Some people just love keeping lawyers rolling in other people’s money.

  5. You are able to ask ANYone to leave your store for any reason.

    Oh wait, no you aren’t.

    Uh… wait what exactly is he arguing again?

  6. Well I suppose freedom is advanced in the same way that telling the owner of a bar or restaurant that they cannot discriminate based on race, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, etc. advances freedom.

    Bearing arms is my creed. Choke on it Dionne.

    • With the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage, some have said that it is a direct conflict with religious freedom. That may be true. But the court has said that no person needs the permission of the government to exercise a freedom. When I heard that, I immediately thought about the freedom, actually mentioned in the Constitution, to keep and bear arms. They have taken away State’s rights to define marriage even though it is clearly the States place to do so. Therefore, it can not be disputed that the States have no rights when it comes to the 2nd Amendment which clearly bans any infringement.

  7. Perhaps there should be a list of rights organized by priority, then.

    My proposition for order of priority: Individual > Local > State > Federal

    Kind of like rock-paper-scissors. If a local ordinance infringes upon an individual right, then the State level has a duty to protect that right. Same goes with state laws being contradicted by local ordinance and federal law.

    In the specific case of the Quote of the Day, your right to be away from guns ends at your property line.

    If you can think of any rights to include in the list of individual rights, leave a comment to That Effect.

  8. Can E.J. publish the addresses of these gun free spaces he and his ilk prefer to patronize? I know some people that I’d like to refer. Better they commit armed robbery there where E.J. can politely hand over his wallet and cell phone than anywhere I may be. I see this as win win.

    • If leftist statists like the idea of government registration schemes so much, I like your idea. There needs to be a government web site that lists by county what public, religious and/or retail locations are Gun Free Zones, AND which are gun friendly.

    • Perhaps we could send all these seeking gun free zones to Chiraq where they ban guns, tasers, scary knives and mean thoughts. Maybe load them on cattle cars, they’re roomy and well ventilated right? Gets them the freedom from guns they seek and keeps them out of our hair.

  9. I have no problem with a bar owner banning weapons from their establishment. You ate correct that it is their right. I do have a problem with GOVERNMENT banning where a right can be exercised.

    • There is the freedom to do what you want and there is the freedom to refuse what others want from you. I believe strongly in the latter. That is why I oppose the ACA mandate. I oppose minimum wages and higher taxes.
      My carrying a gun does not force anyone else to do a God Damned thing!

  10. I know of no states that legally stop bar, restaurant or any other business owners from banning guns in their business. I only know of states where they must ask the gun toting patron to leave before they can get them arrested.

  11. So, it is okay for this guy to impose his values on those of us who wish to “live, shop, go to school and worship” with the assurance we have at least a chance to defend ourselves, families and others against crazies and those vowing to behead us in service to the Religion they want to impose upon us? I don’t think so. But, Mr. Dionne, please feel free to seek out your local ISIS Jihadi cell and and tell them all about your notion of your rights. I am sure they will help you resolve your concern once and for all…

  12. Are these people so foolish and sand blind? Has no one explained to them the realities of life?

    It’s as if they willingly choose to commit Seppuku or self-emolument with their insistence on embracing their unwitting self-professed level of naiveté. Gun free zones!!!; such fools.

    ‘Hey world, I want to live in a gun free zone, and I want everyone to know that that’s my choice.’

    They must actually believe the nanny state will always be there to look out for their safe well-being.

    Such blind airheads; sheeple pacifists led to the field of slaughter by their anti-gun cult leaders.

  13. haha what type of twisted logic is that? THEY trying to impose THEIR values on all of US – and that’s just fine and dandy of course — until the tables are turned… What a frigging bunch of asshat hypocrites these people are.

  14. As a commercial property owner and longtime CC license holder,
    I believe owners should have the choice to prohibit, or permit guns on their own private property,
    the same as having a “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policy.
    Of course, gun owners have every right to avoid any premises where firearms aren’t welcome.

    And now here’s today’s news from glorious (nearly) gun-free Tunisia:

    Tunisia Beach Gunfire Kills ‘At Least 27’ As Man Decapitated In French ‘Islamist’ Attack
    Separate attacks see gunman open fire on beach in Tunisian tourist resort, as man is decapitated in ‘Islamist attack’ near Grenoble

    What Are Tunisia’s Gun Laws Like?
    It Has The Lowest Gun Ownership Rate In The World

  15. Do these people really have nothing better to do than to bitch about gun owners? I mean, I enjoy the hobby and freedom so that’s why I look at them so much, but things that disgust and irritate me, I don’t bother writing columns about. I don’t bother looking at things that I DON’T like. It’s so utterly confusing to me.

  16. Yes, you idiot, you have the exact same rights as me – which means you do not have the “right” to demand that I conform to your wishes where your illusion of “safety” is concerned. I don’t demand that you own or carry a firearm, you don’t get to demand that I don’t.

    See how that works? Probably not.

  17. “Those of us who want to live, shop, go to school and worship in homosexual-free spaces also have rights. In what way is ‘freedom’ advanced by telling the owner of a bar or restaurant [or bakery or wedding venue or pizza parlor or photography studio] they cannot ban homosexuals in their own place of business?”

    Tell ya what, Hoss, you answer that question, first, then we can discuss your misapprehensions of the nature and exercise of rights.

  18. “In what way is ‘freedom’ advanced by telling the owner of a bar or restaurant they cannot ban handguns in their own place of business, as many states now do?”

    In the same way you tell a business owner that they have to make a cake or a flower arrangement against their personal believe. How you send the government in to enforce this equality though litigation. Yep, that same freedom.

  19. So, ol’ EJ’s got my back when the next Dylann Roof shows up right? Yeah, didn’t think so. Simpleton. It must be just awful living in that much fear.

  20. Another leftist who pretty much says the equivalent of “The allies claimed they were fighting for freedom, but what about Hitler’s freedom to gas the Jews as he saw fit?”

    Also love it when antis lambast others for “trying to impose their views on others.” Look in the mirror, asshat.

  21. Two places where our freedom of choice should least be infringed or regulated by the government are our own personal properties and public spaces. That pretty much covers everything, including all private and corporate businesses. For the first 150 years of our history businesses were mostly left unfettered to provide substandard work, manufacture defective products, practice policies of denying service or access to anyone for any reason, and refuse to hire those they did not like. The government did not interfere. Indeed, governments often wrongly engaged in similar practices and buttressed their actions with socially discriminatory laws. Today, denying service to minorities is illegal (even refusing to hire the Irish is no longer allowed!). While much good has come of these forced government actions, much strife has resulted as well, and continues to exist and grow. The most undesirable aspect of legislating social and business behavior is that it has allowed government bureaucrats to intrude into virtually every aspect of our lives and livelihoods. Had we simply allowed the free market to take its natural course, we would arrived in a much better place. By this I mean that as public attitudes slowly changed, business and personal practices would have changed. The companies that failed to delivery quality would have gone belly-up, rather than be subsidized by the government bailouts. Those that discriminated (pick your form of discrimination) would have been shunned by many, but not by all. There would remain niche markets and ideologies that the majority, perhaps even the vast majority, would find repulsive. But attempting to eliminate the fringes is bad politics and bad business because it really boils down to a fear that the common man is incapable of choosing between competitive ideas and products. Freedom of choice and freedom of association are cornerstones of our republic, and we have drifted too far from them. Sometimes the only way a person can gain wisdom is by making a bad choice, then learning the right lesson from it. Not everyone will succeed in this task, but that too is their choice. I find it far more preferable a course of action than leading a horse to water, and making it drink its federally mandated allotment.

    • “The government did not interfere.” Huh? Under Jim Crow it was illegal for a business to NOT discriminate.

  22. I have sent this E-mail to Mr. Dionne.

    “Like all Progressives you have gotten property rights wrong again. There is no law forcing a property owner to admit people with guns into their place of business. In some States like Virginia the posted no guns sign does not have the force of law in and of itself. This does not mean what you think it means. If the anti-gun property owner discovers a person carrying a firearm he may ask him to leave and if he does not comply then the property owner can call the police and have gun owner arrested for criminal trespass.

    I hope this helps you understand how property rights work.”

    • The prog understanding of property rights is pretty much the same as their understanding of gun rights: both equate to a desire for the government to be the sole owners.

    • would have gone further., challenging him to cite the ANY law that says what he says it says. “Don’t worry, I’ll wait. I realize that you will have to research the laws of all fifty states and the United States to come up with the answer. Which is of course what you should have done before predicating your entire argument on this assertion…Having trouble? Hmm, not surprised. Here, let me help you out a bit. THERE ARE NO SUCH LAWS. The only laws out there are ones which, if proper signage is posted, have the force of law, such as the Texas 30.06 law. With the exception of invidious discrimination, a private business can exclude anyone from any business property at any time….Oh wait, that means the NRA is NOT anti-freedom? Umm, so sorry to disappoint you.”

  23. an educated Idiot who has no concept of freedom except whet he say it is! his Idea of utopia transcends our freedom because of his superiority, LOL
    this person Is a Tory at heart, How condescending!
    Ignorance is bliss, a Moron who does not understand the difference between a God given right and a man made Privilege! may the bird of Paradise leave a big one on his head!

  24. What happens if we change just two letters? Would the author maintain his definition of freedom?

    Those of us who want to live, shop, go to school and worship in g[ay]-free spaces also have rights. In what way is ‘freedom’ advanced by telling the owner of a bar or restaurant they cannot ban g[ay]s in their own place of business, as many states now do? Today, it is the [LGBT lobby] that is the enemy of freedom, by seeking to impose its values on everyone else.” – E.J. Dionne Jr., How America can free itself from g[ay]s

    … I think not.

    • Antis are very selective about which civil rights they support and which they don’t, which of course underscores the truth that it’s all about personal agenda and not civil rights at all.

  25. Nope, this guy is full of shit. You can kick anybody out of your business for having guns, he does have the right to do this but no gun policies cannot be made into law by the government. It is my right to boycott such gun free businesses.

  26. Dear progressive, statist nutsack:

    It isn’t those of us carrying legally that you have to worry about, and it never was, and gun free zones have never in the history of everything ever made anyone safer. How does this basic understanding elude you? I’m going to assume some sort of neurological damage because otherwise it would just say too many uncomplimentary things about your own beliefs.

  27. Sigh. Another orator that doesn’t let facts get in the way of truth. Let’s review the claims:
    * Suicides & guns: the the US doesn’t even appear in the top 25 countries of per capita suicides – many on the list have very restrictive gun ownership practices.

    * Domestic violence & guns: Domestic violence isn’t consistently measured in many countries so comparisons are impossible. However, the peaceful Scandinavian countries have the highest ranking in Europe.

    * Mass shootings and guns: they garner publicity, but contribute virtually nothing to the overall homicide rate by firearms. Further restrictions wouldn’t move the needle.

    * More restrictive licensing: Oakland CA appear’s to mimic many US cities. 90% of Oakland’s homicides are from guns OPD reports. Further, “When I get a confiscated gun, I run it through the registry (of California Department of Justice registered guns),” said the department’s Kaney. “Maybe 5 (percent) or 10 percent of the guns are registered to people who are connected with the crime.”.

    This appears contrary to the Hopkins research (40% drop over 10 years). However, it’s entirely possible that Hopkins researchers failed to consider other factors. Nor does it cite any other data where comparable data is available (i.e., a metastudy). This may be a cherry-picking. Conclusion: it appears more restrictive licensing (and CA’s is among the toughest in the US) would have a negligible impact.

    The truth can be so inconvenient at times.

  28. Just don’t tell that bar or restaurant they must host a gay reception, and I’ll agree with him. I don’t think any private business should be told who it must serve, or what it must permit.

  29. How does forcing business owners to serve minority patrons further the interests of freedom? That use of force is widely seen as being necessary because discrimination was so wide spread it effectively cut off people’s basic right to engage in commerce freely. I think it’s equally valid to prevent the same from happening to gun owners, certainly since the batting of firearms is based on irrational fear. Also I see no benefit to limiting government power in this limited respect while allowing the rampant overreach everywhere else.

    Progressives see power as a right. That is why when you prevent them from forcing their values on you, they accuse you of violating their rights.

    Seriously, listen to progressives talk about power. They will discuss whether the state has the “right” to enact this or that legislation. They will talk about police having the “right” to detain people without arrest or probable cause (or not having it, sometimes).

    It’s become part of the vernacular, which is frightening.

    Few people discuss power in terms of power and authority anymore.

  30. Mr. Dionne is correct – partially. If a business is personally owned, and by that I mean it isn’t owned as or by a corporation, then surely the owner should be able to operate the business any way seen fit – as long as it’s peaceful and honest.

    Of course, those in similar situations, with their own aversions, also have the right to refuse services on their own (perhaps irrational) grounds.

    Corporations or other state-enabled entities, which are shielded from personal liability or otherwise kept alive by government regulation, should not have the same privilege, as they are not people, regardless of what the law currently says.


  31. This guy looks like the affable architect husband on this past season of the Walking Dead (Spoiler Alert!) right up until his luck ran out and Rick had to cap the ass of the guy who killed him. In other words, this guy lives in a dream world that doesn’t really exist and will die when the first ISIS f$&@k decides to attack a US Mall. Even then they will call for no more guns at all since their world is based on their egos, egos that would see us all die at the hands of armed criminals rather than admit that gun control is a deluded fantasy that does not share any reality with the real world.

  32. For the same reason the freedom is extended to people of color. If you don’t like that part of it, I can understand, but a right is a right. Businesses operate under a grant of the state. Therefore they cannot discriminate.


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