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THAT SURE WORKED: Chipotle says “no mas” to guns, thanks to open carry ‘activists’

May 20, 2014

How did this seem like a good idea to anyone?

Two gentlemen decided to take their long guns into a Chipotle in Texas.

You know, just because you *can* do something doesn’t mean that doing it is the best course of action.  Carrying your (apparently loaded) long gun into a restaurant and posing for pictures isn’t one of those things that passes the reasonable person common sense test.

As a concealed carry licensee myself, I carry everyday.  If I were with my wife at a restaurant and these two jackwagons were inside with their rifles clowning (and the guy on the right is more than clowning…  he’s not far from mounting that rifle on his shoulder), I’d be getting out pretty darn quick, even if I thought they weren’t up to any good.

A consequence of their immature, poorly thought out “advocacy” is that Chipotle has now put out the word that guns aren’t welcome in their stores.  Granted, that’s far from a prohibition, but it is completely unnecessary and came about solely because of these two idiots.

NEW YORK (AP) — The fast food chain Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores after it says gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.

The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.

But in a statement Monday, the company said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”

 

I’ll attach an earlier piece I wrote on open carry back in September 2013.

 

OPEN CARRY: When it’s too much of a good thing…

by John Boch

Open carry, or carrying an exposed handgun in a lawful manner, has its fans and its detractors.

It’s kind of like Ford vs. Chevy.  Or FN 5.7 vs. everyone else.

I’ve practiced open carry plenty of times, everywhere from downtown Indianapolis to Tennessee to Kentucky.

I appreciate states that allow open carry, especially those like Kentucky that allow it without a permit.  Why?  Because if I inadvertently “print” (show the outline of my gun through my shirt), I can’t be arrested.  Also, if I’m putting my gun on at a rest area or filling station, I don’t have to worry about retreating to a restroom to gun-up.

I *was* a big advocate for open carry until I had a profound “come to Jesus” moment at the NRA convention in Louisville a few years ago.

At that event, I was open carrying, as much as for public awareness as anything else.  I had a few kind people ask me about carrying and I shared with them it was legal in Kentucky and nothing to be alarmed about.

On Saturday evening that weekend, they were having a street party in downtown Louisville and I open carried to that with some friends.

Big mistake.

Establishments were serving alcohol and people were drinking and watching some fairly notable performers on stage while in varying degrees of intoxication.  It was butt-to-gut and I was carrying my Beretta 92 in an inside the waistband holster.

It was not an enjoyable time for me as there were a lot of intoxicated people.  I was very “concerned” that some drunk was going to have a “Hey Billy, hold my beer and watch this!” moment and try to snatch my pistola from its holster to show off to his buddies.

While this never happened, I still chose to walk a few blocks back to the car and put a cover garment on.  Discretion being the better part of valor, of course.

Open carry has its place, I suppose.  It requires an elevated awareness of your surroundings, especially if you’re not wearing a retention rig which will resist snatching grabs at your sidearm.

Since that time, I’ve generally decided that concealed is the way to go.  The peace of mind knowing that others don’t know I’m armed leaves me able to let my guard down half a notch.

Which brings me to the hard-core open-carry guys – “hard-core” as in carrying rifles around in public.

To places like, say, Starbucks.

Confusing Starbucks’ corporate policy of going with whatever local laws allow in their respective store locations with a genuine pro-gun corporate attitude, open carry advocates began having “Customer Appreciation Days”.  They strapped on not only their sidearms, but their long guns as well, and went to their local Starbucks and ordered a coffee or whatever it is they serve there.

Starbucks corporate people weren’t happy being put in the middle of the battle between pro-civil rights folks and those who would make gun owners and carriers second-class citizens.

So, last month, Starbucks made official their new policy:  Everyone is welcome.  Guns are not.

It’s an effort to please everyone.

Sure, it’s not really like they are posting a sign at the front door proclaiming “no guns”.  It is, for many gun owners and activists like me, a clear message:  If my gun isn’t welcome, then neither am I.

Bringing rifles to Starbucks for a cappuccino doesn’t really seem reasonable or prudent, now does it?

Nearby Indiana is an open carry with a permit state.  I’ve been to at least a couple of classes sponsored by Sheriff Ken Campbell of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

I can’t say enough nice things about Sheriff Ken.  You won’t find a nicer, more down to earth guy.  He’s truly the salt of the earth and every bit as pro-gun as yours truly.

But at the first class, he cautioned us against wearing our “cool guy gear” out in public.  “Sure it’s legal,” he said.  “But you’re going to cause my guys to respond when someone calls about a guy wearing ‘scary stuff’ where the sheeple are unaccustomed to seeing it.  So do me a favor and leave your cool guy stuff in your car, okay?”

Initially, I was kind of perturbed.  I was still in the “open carry whenever I can” mode of thinking and who was this supposedly pro-gun sheriff to tell me I shouldn’t?

While in that multi-day training, I was staying at the Drury Inn in northwest Indy.  One day, after training, I was tired.  I stepped out of the car at the hotel, sans my rifle, but wearing the rest of my gear including my sidearm as I was absolutely cold, wet and filthy from training in the rain and mud.

An employee was outside smoking a cigarette nearby.  He just about gave birth to a modest sized cow when he saw me.  He was literally shaking as he held his coffin nail and his eyes were big as saucers.

I gave him a warm and friendly “Hi there.  How are you?” as I collected a few things, including my uncased, mud-caked rifle from the car before going inside.

He didn’t say anything and didn’t move, but he watched me very closely and was clearly ready to call the police if I had so much as sneezed.  It was then that I recognized exactly what the sheriff was talking about.

Today, I see it as reasonable and prudent not to wear my AR in public unless I’ve got a darn good reason.   The same goes for a chest rig, and all of the cool guy stuff Sheriff Ken warned me about.

Pro-gun activism isn’t one of those “darn good reasons” to carry your rifle in public.

It just scares the sheeple.  It makes some of them piddle themselves, in fact.

More importantly, it drives them away from our cause.

Make no mistake, while I’m not opposed to making anti-gun pols piddle themselves, soccer moms and dads are another story.

Why alienate people who have a neutral opinion on guns?  It doesn’t make sense.

It’s not just Starbucks, either.

Remember how libraries are a prohibited location in Illinois under the new carry law?

Want to know why that is?

Because Speaker Madigan has some friends who are big in the library association and here in IL, they were piddling themselves early this spring thinking that open carry activists would stage “Library Appreciation Days” and open carry their rifles into local public libraries as hard-core open carry activists had done in Michigan.

That’s right.

Guys in Michigan cost us carry in libraries and they didn’t even realize it at the time.

So, while I’ll not patronize Starbucks, I sort of understand where they are coming from.

In recent days, a man showed up at the New Mexico capitol building open carrying his AR rifle – legally.

Predictably, security became concerned and now even the generally pro-gun politicians from both parties are talking about making the state capitol building gun-free.

Thanks, pal.  With friends like you, who needs George Soros and the Brady Campaign?

If you are a hard-core open-carry activist, I say “stop!” and think about what you are doing.

If you think, even for a moment, that you will alarm more people than you’re going to educate in a positive manner, then you should leave your AR-15 in your trunk and concentrate on being the ideal gentleman and win friends, not scare folks into becoming enemies.

Ditto for thigh rigs or open carrying in places where it’s neither reasonable to most people, nor prudent.  Remember, just because you *can* do something doesn’t mean you *should*.

Just something to think about.

Stay safe and be careful – and be thoughtful to others.  Doing so will pay benefits for years to come.

Thoughtlessness may bite you for years to come as well, in ways you never considered at the time.

 

10 Responses to THAT SURE WORKED: Chipotle says “no mas” to guns, thanks to open carry ‘activists’

  1. KK on May 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    There are places where you can be arrested just for “printing?” Can you elaborate as to where these are?

    • J.C. on May 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-515768.html

      http://www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/CHL/faqs/index.htm (see item 33)

      Sounds like some of this is urban legend and that *unintentional* printing is okay, whereas intentional printing would be an offense. The second link from TxDPS says, “The handgun cannot be visible or discernible through ordinary observation” Leaves room for interpretation – a simple bump isn’t necessarily a handgun, but if you’re wearing it under tight spandex so folks can clearly see it’s outline, I think that would pass the test of unlawful printing.

      Not saying that there aren’t other places more strict about it, but Texas is the place I usually hear about being real strict on “printing”.

  2. Kurt Bihler on May 21, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I prefer open carry to concealed where legal but I limit myself to a holstered handgun. I have never had any reaction whatsoever. I’m not trying to incite people. I’m trying to carry and be comfortable at the same time. There’s a difference.

  3. Oh I think it worked... on May 21, 2014 at 7:55 am

    It’s doing a great job demonstrating who is steadfast in their support for the Second Amendment and who isn’t.

  4. jboch on May 21, 2014 at 9:09 am

    With good common sense and situational awareness, I agree, nothing wrong with a OC handgun most of the time.

    A rifle on the other hand… Just for the shock value… That’s just above and beyond the call of brains.

    John

  5. al on May 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Nice write up! I was on the fence about the Chipotle fiasco but I cringed when I saw that first picture. Your well reasoned article helped sway me to your point of view.
    I would perhaps be in favor of a law that said that long guns, if carried in public, should be carried “hands off” and slung only.
    After all, a side arm in a holster is not usually perceived as a threat because the hands are off of it. But the mere sight of people carrying rifles hands ON makes even pro-gunners go into a hyper friend-or-foe mode.
    I bet if stores posted that policy it would discourage these posturing dweebs from even wanting to do such a thing.
    Also, and this is bordering on conspiracy theories, I wonder if anti-gun people may do stunts like this to shut down reasonable 2A rights. The 2 yahoos in the first picture don’t look typical to me. I would be the first to question their 2A voting record.

  6. DM on May 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Do we know that these dweebs aren’t anti-gun activists trying to stir things up?

    • al on May 22, 2014 at 6:12 am

      I believe I just said that DM

  7. Sam Whittemore on May 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    It takes a special kind of person to attack fellow pro-gunners for failing to embrace self-destructive idiocy of in-your-face open carry of rifles in public places for no reason at all, aside from rattling people.

    Reading Mr. B’s piece again, I think he’s describing his maturation in how he goes about advocacy, not getting jelly-spined on Seond Amendment rights.

    Sam

  8. Kenny Hansen on May 28, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I am a gun owner and stand behind the 2nd amendment, but these people in the pictures make gun owners look like nut jobs… The first picture shows the guy on the right with his finger on the trigger. Wrong answer. The last picture shows the rifle with the muzzle on the ground. Again, wrong answer. Being in the military, we are taught how to handle weapons. I am sure there are many gun owners outside of the military that feel the way I do. In seeing these people act the way they do, I sometimes wonder if they are from the gun control side trying to make gun owners look bad. Just a thought…