Don’t Blame Whataburger for American’s Irrational Fear of Firearms
Just weeks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed open carry legislation into law, one of the most prestigious burger chains in the Lone Star State, publicly announced they will continue their ban on the open carry of firearms in their restaurants.
Whataburger President and CEO Preston Atkinson released a statement on the companies website that outlines the reason for continuing the ban:
“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.”
As a member of the open carry movement in Texas, I understand why my fellow activists would chastise businesses who ban open carry, a style of self defense and a human right. Since C.J. Grisham was arrested in 2013, thousands of Texas gun rights activist took to the streets and to the state capitol in an effort to pressure the political class into reversing the ban on the open carry of modern pistols. The amount of time, effort, and passion that went into pushing for more gun rights in Texas was monumental. As it turns out, the effort was not lost, the politicians felt enough heat that they passed an open carry bill for concealed handgun licencees only, a step in the right direction to the ultimate goal of constitutional carry. So, it’s understandable that someone who has invested their time and passion into a cause would denounce a business for banning a product of their labor.
However, it is simply unfair to blame a profit driven business for banning open carry when the real problem lies between the ears of the average citizen. We live in a society where the average citizen is completely helpless, and the thought of using force for self preservation is so foreign that they are compelled to call men with guns anytime they see a gun. For this reason, Whataburger will continue to allow patrons to conceal carry in their restaurant, as long as the guns stay out of sight.
Whataburger, among others, simply don’t want to give these mind-numbed, over-fluoridated, 911 calling sheep an opportunity to see a gun in their establishment in fear that they will see something and then say something. If police are called to the restaurant because someone sees a gun, it would cause a disturbance. Disturbances are bad for business. Bad business, means no business.
If open carry were completely accepted as a societal norm and the populous understood the benefits of carrying a sidearm, you would see restaurants handing out discount coupons to open carriers rather than trespass warnings.
I often underestimate the amount of anti-gun conditioning and propaganda that Americans are subjected to through movies, pop culture, celebrity drivel, news and “higher education.” Even when talking with some individuals who I consider to be well rounded and logical, i’ll get the occasional, “well, only the military should carry AR15s.” In their mind, the only use for an AR15 is to shoot up children in a classroom, or take out a an enemy combatant.
So before you blame businesses who are making a profit driven decisions based on a consumer base of mindless sheep, ask yourself what you would do if your customer’s first instinct is to call the police at the sight of a gun. I would probably make the same decision. It’s not about gun rights, it’s about profit, and I can’t blame them. Carry on.