Mother Jones reports that Sonic and Chili’s outlets in Texas refused to knuckle under to intimidation tactics of open carry gun advocates. Growing backlash appears to have backed the gun toters down.
No fewer than five national food and beverage chains have now told them to get rid of their guns or get lost, including Starbucks, Wendy’s, Applebees, Jack in the Box, and Chipotle.
And now Chili’s and Sonic have effectively joined the list: Two videos posted on YouTube on May 19 by the San Antonio chapter of Open Carry Texas—since removed from public view but obtained by Mother Jones—show its armed members being refused service at both restaurants. The two companies have not made official statements on open carry but have since indicated that they are reviewing their policies. From the nervous and angry reactions of some patrons to comments from some of the gun activists themselves, it’s not difficult to see why these spectacles haven’t been winning many people over.
High-handed tactics didn’t help the gunners’ cause.
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.
The gun zealots in Arkansas so far have limited their open carry demonstrations to announced marches as debate continues about what exactly Arkansas law allows as far as open carry is concerned.
Some people really do seem to be afraid to go out in public without a gun. Most people, happily for public safety, are not.