NO WEAPONS – NO CONCEALED FIREARMS. So reads the sign at The Pit Authentic Barbecue, a restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, which proudly displays signs on its doors prohibiting guns in the restaurant. Those signs went unheeded when they were robbed at gunpoint last Sunday evening about nine o’clock. Three men wearing hoodies entered the restaurant through the back door, brandished pistols, ordered employees to the floor, then assaulted two of them. One employee was later taken to the hospital and released. I doubt any of them will soon forget the trauma they experienced that night, though. Nor will they likely forget how lucky they are to be alive.
The owner of the restaurant, Greg Hatem, later offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailants, saying, “We take this very seriously – very seriously because we want to make sure our guests and our staff are well taken care of. We want to protect everyone.”
Now, I may be completely thick-headed, but I fail to understand his reasoning. How on earth is having an invitation to criminals posted on your door protecting your staff and customers? Because that’s what that sign is – an open invitation to criminals, and a public announcement that no one, at least no law abiding citizen, will be carrying a weapon. That kind of thinking is not only wrong, but it’s based on no reason I can see. Perhaps Greg Hatem has an innate mistrust of firearms. Perhaps he has an innate mistrust of people. If so, he mistrusts the wrong people, because at least this time his beliefs jumped up and bit him in the backside.
Wait just a minute, though. Hatem may be thinking these three men with guns validate his reasons for posting that sign. It’s simple – forbid guns in the restaurant and everyone will be far safer. Skewed thinking, I would say, because as he saw Sunday, it doesn’t work that way. These men paid no more attention to that sign than an abusive ex-husband pays to a court issued restraining order. In fact, what his restaurant policy does is place the lives of his staff and customers in jeopardy, because we all know criminals don’t care about policies or the laws. Here’s a fact for Mr. Hatem: the restaurant had money on the premises and the criminals wanted it. Why should they care about a sign? They’re already breaking the law anyway. Armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and possibly more charges – anyway, you can see these men aren’t exactly worried about a little sign in a window, except for what it tells them about their chances of success in getting what they want by force. In this case, it told them everything they wanted to hear: come in and have your way with us because no one will lift a finger to stop you – in fact no one can because you have the guns; we don’t.
The liberal arguments and reasons don’t impress me; they’re based on idealism, and furthermore they’re naive. All of which makes me question the intelligence of anyone who holds to those beliefs.
If Mr. Hatem wanted to protect his staff and customers, he would take that sign down. If he really wanted to protect them, he would put up a sign that stated that gun owners and concealed weapons were welcome in his restaurant. Anyone who carries a gun openly isn’t a threat to the public; they’re only looking out for themselves and their family or friends. Anyone who carries a concealed gun with a valid permit to do so isn’t a threat either. They have taken training on the range to demonstrate their proficiency, and spent hours in the classroom to learn the law, how it applies to them, and when it’s legal to use that weapon and when it’s not. And of course, they learn about the grey areas and using their best judgment. One thing Mr. Hatem would soon learn is that those who have taken the trouble to legally buy and learn to use a gun aren’t to be feared, but welcomed. They won’t start trouble, and will be damned careful about when and how they use their gun… but one of them may someday save him and others from tragedy. As I’ve said before and will say again, legal gun carriers don’t want trouble and aren’t looking for it. They will let many things like insults and rude gestures slide and do nothing, because they know they have an increased responsibility when they carry a gun. But when trouble comes, they will do what they need to do. And what’s really sad is that liberals don’t understand that, and don’t want to.
But then, will they ever?