As a result of negative reactions, more and more fast food places are telling their customers not to carry their guns openly into their stores. The list now includes Starbucks, Wendy’s, Applebees, Jack In The Box, Chipotle, Chili’s and Sonic. Some gun owners feel that these places are no longer safe to eat in because they are not allowed to take their guns into them, because of course no place is more dangerous than your neighborhood Wendy’s.
Though probably few if any patrons regularly worry about their personal safety as they order Bacon Ranch Quesadillas or double cheeseburgers and shakes, gun activists in both videos comment about the apparent danger of not allowing open carrying on the premises. One says he told his daughter, “It’s not safe to be here, we gotta go,” while another comments, “This Chili’s is no longer the safest Chili’s to eat at.”
What is interesting is that this exclusionary policy has not caused an uproar in the NRA with calls for boycotts to those business that do not support the Second Amendment but instead has caused some open-carry groups to pause and consider the possibility that carrying such weapons everywhere and then posting videos boasting about doing so may not be such a good way of gaining support.
Open Carry Texas and other gun groups, whose common goal is legalizing the open carrying of handguns in their state, evidently have concluded that none of this is helping their cause. On Friday, four of the groups released a joint statement asking supporters to retreat from such tactics. “We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited,” the statement said.
For open carrying going forward, their new “unified protocol and general policy” advises supporters to avoid corporate businesses altogether, and not to post pictures if they do get permission and decide to go in. “If at all possible,” it says, “keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly.”
It remains to be seen whether the rank and file will stand down. As one Texas commentator focused on open carry noted about the move: “As expected there are those who object to this new policy because they feel it is a form of surrender.”
I shudder to think about the possibility that one day two different gun-toting groups will start shooting at each other in a crowded place because each one thinks that they are the good guys and the other are the bad guys. And then the police will arrive and starting shooting at both.