Is It Really Cool To Take Your Rifle Into A Bar/Store/Restaurant?
By RU Twisted
You know what subject instigates more debate quicker than gun control? I don’t, so let me know if you think of one.
The recent news about the group “Moms Demand Action” insisting that private restaurants and bars ban the carry of firearms on their premises—and how chains like Starbucks, Chilis, and Sonic have given in to the pressure—offers an interesting aspect of the debate on gun control. The efforts of groups such as MDM and other Bloomberg-funded entities are becoming more organized and this seems to be one of the areas on which they have chosen to focus.
While most discourse on the topic of firearms legislation amounts to “RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE BLLLLERRRRRRRRRGGHGH!!!” I think we can provide some pointed insights into this subject, as it offers a chance to discuss something of great importance.
The interest group mentioned above, whose full name is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, has claimed victory in placing a great deal of pressure on restaurant chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, and a few others. These establishments have in turn told customers that they are not welcome to carry firearms on their property.
Unfortunately, the knee-jerk reaction by many gun rights advocates has been to do super smart things like showing up at these restaurants with AK47s or fly off at the mouth with incendiary rhetoric about “dey took R guns!” This is about as useful to society as Gwenyth Paltrow’s career and is not helping anyone.
Here’s the deal: I am for personal freedom. Point of fact, in regards to this particular subject, I believe there should be zero laws regarding firearms. I can argue that logically and the evidences back up that very ideology. But that is in some ways a distraction from the real issue here.
What is ultimately of importance here is the freedom of private businesses to enact rules of their choosing and the ability of people to vote in a way of far greater effect than choosing a political candidate—with the power of money. This topic is a perfect example of how things should work and, unfortunately, where things go sideways in our current political climate.
Consider this scenario: a large group of people get together and say that they don’t want Joe’s Burger House to allow people without shoes into the restaurant, as it spoils their dining experience through smelly feet and sights of gangrenous toenails. The group gets quite large and, after much protest, convinces Joe that he would lose a lot of business if he didn’t make a rule about shoes in his eatery. So Joe makes it a policy that, in order to eat his tasty burgers, one must have shoes on. The large group is now happy, continues to dine at Joe’s Burger House, and the only people who are upset are those who probably don’t go in restaurants all that often anyway.
In a word—perfect. That’s how it’s supposed to work. I may agree that lack of shoes are not a threat to a decent dining experience, but I also have a great deal of respect for the private business owner to cater to his customers. If there should happen to be a large number of shoeless burger eaters in need of a place to eat, no doubt there will be a burger joint that will open nearby and fill that need.
But let’s say that this group, emboldened by their success with Joe’s Burger House, decides that it’s really not cool for anyone, anywhere, at any time to eat in a public restaurant without shoes. They know they don’t have the numbers to influence every restaurant with their dollars because there aren’t enough of them to do that.
What they do have enough numbers for is influencing a politician—maybe even one with a lot of clout or money (aren’t they the same thing in politics these days?) who can influence others who hold similar ideologies. The group who advocates for “Common Sense Shoe Reform” in restaurants doesn’t have enough money to affect the entire restaurant economy, but they have enough resources to change one, which means they have enough to help one politician from getting elected (or preventing one from doing the same).
From this flows an array of dizzying statistics and numbers about shoeless health hazards that, even with cursory examination, prove to be absolutely ludicrous but amazingly successful in convincing others of supporting legislation and/or legislators who champion the idea of eliminating shoelessness in restaurants “for the safety of the children.” As a result, a law (or most likely a multitude of laws) are passed that ensure you and your family never have to witness another horrifyingly unshoed foot whilst you slobber down your burger ever again.
The problem here, of course, is twofold: one, that the government was involved when it didn’t need to be, and two, that the choice is now removed from the private business. They now no longer have the ability to cater to the shoeless burger-eater demographic even if they wish to do so.
Regardless of how silly you may think the analogy is, this is exactly where the debate on firearms in food service establishments is going. The group Apoplectic Overreacting Moms Moms Demand Action and their benefactor will not stop at simply applying consumer-based pressure on businesses like Chipotle and Starbucks—especially when McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have both publically stated “no thanks” in response to MDM and their requests. Clearly these rogue billionaires who obviously want mass murder in their stores need to be controlled by our noble betters in the legislature. Or…something.
The takeaway here is that groups aiming for change like this will continue to push for laws that, in the end, will only succeed in further restrictions on businesses and how they operate, thus inhibiting their ability to adjust properly for market needs, wants, and desires. Just as importantly, they will ultimately fail at the original intent—keeping patrons of these businesses “safe” from the bogeyman.
What is not an effective response to groups such as these, however, is strapping a battle rifle on to go get yourself a burrito and a vanilla latte. Understand the realities of “freedom” in the sense that it absolutely applies to privately owned businesses and property, and you’re not helping anything by sporting your black rifle while stuffing your face with the latest offering from the franchise chain in your neighborhood.
So be smart and approach this topic with intelligence, logic, and always, always think of the children.*
*My understanding is that any speech, article, or even quote about guns/gun control will be taken 1,047 times** more seriously if it includes something about thinking of the children.
**I came up with this number via an algorithm using George Dickel rye whiskey, a Commodore 64, and the plot outline from Sharknado, so I feel it’s pretty accurate.