• No Open Carry Here

    Texas, as we all expected when Abbott took the throne, now has open carry of firearms (as of January 1st, 2016 for legal license holders[1]). This, of course, was a cornerstone of Abbott’s campaign. In fact, it’s number two on that list, right after ending Obamacare… which tells you what kind of legal and government expert he is (i.e. none… how this guy was our attorney general still boggles the mind). Never mind our crumbling education system or infrastructure, we gotta make sure Bubba Jake can carry a loaded assault rifle with 90 rounds to pick up a burger.

    Anyway, we have this great new law and businesses are starting to react. The most recent is a serious setback for the pro-gun lobby. This isn’t some uppity-elitist place like Target… it’s freaking Whataburger. For you non-Texans, Whataburger is a serious Texas institution. It’s such a famous and well-loved place, you can buy their special ketchup and pancake mix.

    Anyway, the business (family owned and operated) has stated that they will not allow the open carry of firearms in their restaurants.

    We’ve had many customers and employees tell us they’re uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours. We have a responsibility to make sure everyone who walks into our restaurants feels comfortable. For that reason, we don’t restrict licensed concealed carry but do ask customers not to open carry in our restaurants.

    Now for the $50,000 question. Why isn’t this discrimination? Why can a business ban openly carried firearms (which are legal), but must serve homosexuals even if it’s against the business owner’s religion?

    The simple reason is that of humanity. People don’t have a choice in who they love or what they look like. People do have a choice about bringing a loaded firearm into a business.

    Whataburger isn’t choosing to interfere or harm people themselves. They are protecting their own interests as a business.

    In fact, I will be very surprised if many more businesses don’t follow suit. Just the potential liability issues are staggering. I can see the plaintiff’s attorney saying “If you could save a life by putting up a sign, why wouldn’t you?” Yes, it’s an emotional argument, but those work in courts, especially civil cases.

    By the time January 1 rolls around, I expect there to be a large number of businesses and workplaces that have quietly put up their signs that say openly carried firearms are not allowed. But if you’re not a cop and really feel the need to carry a concealed firearm at work, then I would encourage you to seriously think about your job and how to get out of it.

    I’m proud of Whataburger for making this statement and doing so publicly and then taking some time to explain why. Because, it scares the crap out of people. I have to ask, what’s more important, one’s right to carry a gun, or another’s right to not have the crap scared out of them?

    I’d like to take one last second to reply to a comment at one of the local papers.

    What we ought to fear are government imposed infringements on our freedoms because there is no alternative or competition to the laws of the federal government.

    Sir or madam, Your pitiful collection of firearms will not stop the US government if they decide to stomp you flat. You will not be shooting hellfire missiles out of the air like clay pigeons. You will not single handedly take out a M1 Tank with your 30.06. If the government ever decides to become a totalitarian nightmare and the military goes along with it, then you and me and everyone else are well and truly screwed.

    And, I’ll give you one of last piece of advice. It is significantly more likely that such a government threat will come from people like Abbott and Paxton and Romney and whoever in the clown car gets the GOP nomination for president than from Obama, Sanders, Clinton, or Wendy Davis. If there is one group that is cramming their rules down people’s throats in spite of majority disagreement, it’s the Republicans.

    Just because you agree with them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t totalitarian.

    _____________________________

    [1] Which is kind of silly, when you think about it. Are you going to go up to a guy opening displaying a legally loaded firearm and ask to see his license?

    Category: BusinessGovernment

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    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat

    • Jon Ireland

      “I’m proud of Whataburger for making this statement and doing so publicly and then taking some time to explain why. Because, it scares the crap out of people. I have to ask, what’s more important, one’s right to carry a gun, or another’s right to not have the crap scared out of them?”

      Well, you have the right to carry a gun and Whataburger has the right to determine they don’t want firearms on private property. There’s no conflict here, no matter how much anti-gun advocates may desperately attempt to pretend there is. It’s wonderful that Whataburger made a choice that they feel is in the best interests of their business (as is their right in a free country) and it’s equally wonderful that a business that feels differently can allow open carry within their establishment. That’s what diversity and pluralism is, though liberals no longer seem to care about actual diversity and pluralism so much as they prefer a world where people of all colors and creeds mindlessly agree with whatever the left is currently arguing in favor of.

      “Sir or madam, Your pitiful collection of firearms will not stop the US government if they decide to stomp you flat. You will not be shooting hellfire missiles out of the air like clay pigeons. You will not single handedly take out a M1 Tank with your 30.06. If the government ever decides to become a totalitarian nightmare and the military goes along with it, then you and me and everyone else are well and truly screwed.”

      By this logic, neither the Vietnamese, nor the Iraqis ought to have been able to inflict the damage on the US military that they did. History is full of supposedly indomitable superpowers being defeated through guerrilla warfare, and I personally think it would be rather difficult for the federal government to deal with the 100 million American gun owners. They are in every state in staggering numbers, and if you know anything about the history of guerrilla warfare, the way you win is to avoid engaging an M1 tank in open combat by purposefully evading your opponents strengths and striking when possible at places he has left undefended.

      So your argument is based on your own lack of knowledge about the subject, but you make up for it by cultivating a smug disdain for people who think differently than you do, so at least you’ve got that going for you.

      “It is significantly more likely that such a government threat will come from people like Abbott and Paxton and Romney and whoever in the clown car gets the GOP nomination for president than from Obama, Sanders, Clinton, or Wendy Davis. If there is one group that is cramming their rules down people’s throats in spite of majority disagreement, it’s the Republicans.”

      Yeah, when I think of immensely dangerous politicians I think of milquetoast moderates like Mitt Romney. It also strikes me as somewhat unlikely that if Abbott were intending to attack the public he would first allow them expanded gun rights. There has never been an authoritarian regime that decided to allow expansive gun rights for the public because that could endanger the regime. The very subject of this article (the fact that they’re allowing expanded gun rights) disproves your totally irrational and biased theory that Abbott is a serious threat to enforce some sort of theocratic martial law.

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        I find these responses quite humorous, so let’s examine them in detail.

        1) I don’t care what liberals believe. I care about the safety of people. There is no evidence that firearms carried openly or concealed by any citizen is effective in the prevention of any crime.

        Though, I am glad that you agree that there is no conflict. I am curious if you will support this same claim against the pro-gun people who demand the right to carry AK-47s to get their fries.

        2) This is interesting, since I wrote my final history paper on the Vietnam conflict. You totally fail to mention the political and policy requirements that the military had to deal with in that war. When an LT in charge of a 21 man platoon had to wait on orders from Washington to engage the enemy… it kind of constrains the effectiveness of the military.

        Further, I am well aware of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, even Musashi and the history and effective use of asymmetric warfare. However, you completely miss the point. This is not Vietnam or the American Revolution or even the Little Big Horn. This is America, were the government knows more about you than you can image. The majority of large and even medium and small groups that are likely to ferment such a revolution are tracked and likely have FBI agents already inside.

        Also, this goes back to political will. Are the leaders of the country willing to make the sacrifice of political capital and other freedoms that it would take to launch a drone strike or whatever. Personally, I doubt it, which means that most of the arguments you are making are actually making against yourself.

        I say that because it is the pro-gun people, who insist on carrying guns everywhere that are using their power (political and cultural) to control everyone else. The vast majority of people in the US support stricter background checks. The NRA does not and therefore, the politicians that they support do not as well. This is all well documented. In other words ,the will of the majority is being supplanted by a fanatical few who demand things that there is no reason or need for… does that sound like any other groups to you? (Hint, not “liberal” groups).

        Which nicely segues to point 3. Romney and the rest of the GOP clown car are not dangerous because they are great orators who can inspire millions, but because they are exactly as you describe. Milquetoast, with no unique ideas or policy decisions on their own. They do what they are told by their corporate and lobbiest campaign contributors (which are not the likes of you and I… even multimillionaires are finding it hard to get time with politicians now (as I’ve written about before).

        Abbott’s, as I mentioned in the OP, first two campaign goals were the removal of Obamacare (which he has zero authority to do) and gun rights. He, like Romney and other GOP candidates and leaders, play up the fear and loathing to gain votes, then act against the very people who support them (remove healthcare, reduce social security, increase working hours, reduce worker rights, etc). It’s truly staggering that people actively vote and campaign against their own best interests.

        That’s the real fear. People like president Obama (who is barely what I would call liberal) want everyone to have the same rights and not be sick. While the GOP wants to remove the protections so that some people are better/have more rights than other people… again… does that sound familiar at all?

        As far as your last comment, there’s no way that Abbott is going to try some kind of theocratic martial law. He’s too chicken and weak for that. He will continue to erode the freedoms of certain groups and do stupid things to increase the fear (like the whole military exercise thing) in order to keep people like you voting for people like him so they can live cushy lives without having to work, all the while taking away your ability to complain about it.

        As far as the guns comment. I reiterate, if you think that your guns are going to prevent a government takeover, if that government has the political will, then you are delusional. But it won’t be like that and we both know it. The parallels in history are common and obvious. It would serve you well to study them.

      • Jeff Pinner

        Mr. Ireland,

        I would tend to agree with your final point except for a small number of counter indicators; i.e.: “enhanced interrogation”, secret offshore prisons, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, “watch” lists, no-fly lists, and NSA monitoring of US resident’s communications. All courtesy of your gun rights advocates.

    • Otto Greif
      • SmilodonsRetreat

        Texas has had open carry forever… of long guns. But not of pistols.

        It’s funny, even so, I’ve never seen anyone carrying a long gun around… yet the demand must be super high to carry pistols openly…

        So, what’s the point? As far as I can see, there is no point. Just trying to appease a small fraction of the base and the lobby groups.

        • Otto Greif

          The point is it’s nothing to get worked up over.

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            That’s exactly right… so why is the pro-gun lobby so having fits to make sure that they have the right to scare the crap out of everyone else?

            That’s an excellent question.

            BTW: In the interest of full disclosure, I have 8 firearms, including an AR with a 90-round drum and my dad has his FFL.

            • Otto Greif

              Most people don’t even notice. You should be happy Texas has progressed on open carry to where liberal states have been for a long time.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              You’re right, most people don’t notice. I’ve lived here for over 40 years and never seen a single person (except on the capital steps) openly carrying a firearm…

              So why do we need it?

              I would encourage you to use labels more effectively. California, Illinois, and New York are pretty liberal states and they don’t allow it.

              For example, while Oregon (very “liberal”) has some pretty open gun laws (which are in their constitution and I can’t find a date of entry), they also have one of the strictest background checks in the country. Even private sellers must do a background check before selling a firearm.

              I am curious. Do you think I’m “liberal”?

            • Otto Greif

              It’s not a problem in liberal states like Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Hawaii. It’s plain you are on the left, I don’t know why you ask that.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              On this one issue or in general.

              No, I just find it curious when people make assumptions. Especially people who have not read anything else I’ve written.

              As far as guns. Is it not a problem? Then why did Oregon just pass increased background checks intended to save lives and reduce gun deaths?

              Again, why is this such an issue? It’s not a problem. And apparently, there’s no great need for it, since a minuscule number of people have every taken advantage of this ability to openly carry long guns (again, except in protest).

              So, why was this #2 on Abbott’s list of things to accomplish as governor? He hasn’t done anything for the budget, education, jobs, but at least he’s allowed people to openly carry handguns.

            • Otto Greif

              I find it curious that someone who advocates liberal policies and frames debates in liberal terms is concerned about being perceived liberal.

              Liberals assume Oregon passed increased background checks to “save lives and reduce gun deaths”.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I’m quoting the governor there.

              Well, I guess this conversation is about over. You can’t answer the must fundamental question for open carry. Why do we need it?

              As far as labels, I would encourage you read some of my other writing to learn what I think about labels. Especially massively general labels like “liberal” that means so many different things to so many different people.

              Let me explain my position here. I have not seen any evidence (and believe me, I’ve looked) that supports the claim that personal ownership and carry of firearms reduces crime or saves lives in any way. The original Texas concealed carry law was passed almost purely in response to the Luby’s mass shooting. Yet, since then there has not been a single incident where a person with a concealed carry license stopped a mass-shooting or other public crime.

              That’s not an opinion. That’s based on evidence. If you know of an incident where a person with a concealed carry license (or even in an open carry state) stopped a mass-shooting, then feel free to share it.

              Every member of my family has had concealed carry licenses since day 1 they were allowed. Not a single member of my family has ever needed to even reach for a firearm. I know dozens of people with similar stories.

              This is 2015, not 1815. There’s not going to be any shootouts in the town stables or the main road outside the saloon. So, why do we need the law to be able to carry guns openly?

              Don’t say rights. It’s not about rights. The GOP leaders of our state are trying to deny rights to hundreds of thousands of homsexual people… do agree with them or not? The State leaders are trying to deny the right of healthcare of millions of other people… do you agree with them or not?

              It’s not about rights… so what is it about?

            • Otto Greif

              No one in my family has ever had their house burn down, I guess fire insurance is a waste of money.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              So carrying a firearm OPENLY is the same as having insurance?

              Then why isn’t it MANDATED?

            • Otto Greif

              Where is fire insurance mandated?

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I guess you’ve never owned a home or a car then.

            • Otto Greif

              Where is fire insurance mandated?

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              By the companies that give you a mortgage. Supported by state law which provides it if you can’t get it.

            • Otto Greif

              You haven’t answered the question.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              OK, let me try again, since you seem to have some kind of reading trouble.

              If you own a car in the state of Texas, auto insurance… or proof of the ability to pay any and all damages is mandated by law.

              If you own a home, the mortgage company mandates that you must have homeowners insurance that includes fire insurance. Flood insurance is often the only thing that is optional. Windstorm is not, and the state often has to provide that for people in hurricane or tornado prone areas.

              Clear enough?

              But that gets away from the point. You said that carrying a gun is the same as insurance, yes? You agree with that statement? So, the state has legal authority to mandate forms of insurance, yes? You agree with that statement?

              So, if carrying a gun is so helpful, why is it not mandated by the state? Oh yeah, cause it’s not helpful.

            • Otto Greif

              If you have a mortgage you don’t own the home.

              If fire insurance is “helpful”, why is not mandated by the state? Maybe because lots of things that are “helpful” aren’t mandated.

            • Otto Greif

              There isn’t a right to health care or sodomy.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I was going to ask how you feel about those things.

              I guess we know then.

              Since you think that people don’t deserve to be healthy or that people who love each other should be allowed to… then, as far as I’m concerned, you opinion on things means exactly dick.

              Oh, BTW: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

              I guess you only care about stuff that’s important to you and fuck everyone else… right?

              Good bye.

            • Otto Greif

              Those things aren’t rights. Observing the fact there is no right to healthcare doesn’t mean I want people to be unhealthy.

              The man who wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator..” etc. also wrote this:

              “Whosoever shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro’ the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least.”

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              citation needed.

            • Otto Greif
            • SmilodonsRetreat

              So something that didn’t become law and was actually rejected by Jefferson after he wrote it saying that it was open to abuse.

              Fascinating. So, ignore something that you don’t like and support with something that you do like because the same person said it. Forgetting that one was voted on and accepted by the newly forming country and the other was rejected by a single state (because it would have only applied to Virginia). OK, whatever, man.

            • Otto Greif

              It didn’t become law because they decided to stick with capital punishment for sodomy.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Did you know, that in Texas, originally anything other than the missionary position is sodomy? Of course, all the state and federal laws have been struck down.

              What’s more important? Federal law or your opinion?

            • Otto Greif

              Why were you quoting the Declaration if you don’t think Thomas Jefferson’s views matter?

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Wow… so my explanation didn’t matter to you at all. Are you aware that Jefferson was trying to liberalize the laws… make them less strict than they were?

              Again, it’s 2015. Not 1815. You want to live in the past, fine.

              You have yet to explain why we so desperately need open carry. So desperately, that Abbott has pushed off education reform, infrastructure and all that stuff.

            • Otto Greif

              Yes, the moderate view was that homosexuals should be castrated. I actually share the moderate view on this subject.

              ” it’s 2015. Not 1815″

              It’s hilarious what passes for an argument among liberals.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              If you think that’s my argument, then you are too dumb to deal with any further.

              Good bye.

            • Otto Greif
            • SmilodonsRetreat

              So one story in which, the CCL basically pulled his gun and did nothing. The Sherriff doesn’t think that the shooters actions were in any way influenced by the CCL.

              And another link that doesn’t say anything at all.

              OK, then, I guess I’m totally wrong.

              Just out of curiosity… Why haven’t you answer my questions.

            • Otto Greif

              Can you read? I guy tried to shoot up a bar, another guy pulled his gun and shot him four times. In the other incident, just because shots were not fired doesn’t change the fact the shooting was deterred.

              You are totally wrong, you said “there has not been a single incident where a person with a concealed carry license stopped a mass-shooting or other public crime”, and I found two with 10 seconds of searching.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Actually , I can’t read it. There’s nothing on that page. Apparently “Citizen’s Voice” is a subscribe only and I’m not going to. And it’s not legal to carry even a concealed gun in Texas into a bar.

              So, kind of meaningless comparison there. Tell me, should we force all businesses everywhere and churches, hospitals, preschools, etc to allow guns?

            • Otto Greif

              I can read it just fine. It’s not a “meaningless comparison”, stop moving the goalposts.