I could have sworn armed robbers obey such signs. Isn't it in their code of honor, or their labor union contract?
A Durham, North Carolina restaurant with a sign on its front door reading, "No Weapons, No Concealed Firearms," was robbed at gunpoint on May 19.Gunsnfreedom.com published a photograph of the sign on May 21, making "The Pit" restaurant a self-declared gun free zone--the same kind of zone Michael Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America pressure other restaurants into becoming.
According to Durham's ABC 11, around 9 PM "three men wearing hoodies entered the restaurant through the back doors with pistols, and forced several staff members to lie on the floor." The armed men "also assaulted two employees during the crime."
The open carry stunts like the one that caused Chipotle's to request people not carry guns into their restaurants are really, really stupid. To be blunt, if someone carried an AR-15 into a restaurant with the muzzle down, my first question would be, "Is this a lunatic about to go on a rampage? Or is it a stupid open carry stunt?" If the former, having to sit and evaluate the circumstances and behavior is likely to lead to some sort of tragic consequences.
I don't think open carry is a spectacularly wise strategy, at least in urban settings, but I spoke at a meeting of IdahoCarry.org this evening, and there was not a long gun apparent. A number of people had handguns openly carried in holsters, and my guess is that most of the other patrons of the Fuddrucker's either did not notice, or perhaps assumed that these were off-duty police. There was no panic -- or even apparent notice. But then again, Americans are used to seeing people (usually police) carrying handguns. Rifles in urban settings, no, and AR-15s? Oh boy.
I understand the reasoning behind the open carry strategy: desensitize people to the presence of guns so that they do not automatically associate guns with crime. But desensitization involves slow, subtle steps. As an example, introduce one gay character into a television series. A couple of years later, another one, and then another. That's part of how the under 35 generation bought into the whole "gay is just fine" thing. (Of course, none of the characters are like those in the movie Cruising. The BBC series Downton Abbey must have scored a first by having an evil gay character.)
Of course, it did not help that much of the under 35 generation grew up in homes where Jesus Christ and the sanctity of marriage was preached, until the day that Mom or Dad filed divorce papers. Showing up in a restaurant with an AR-15 effectively in a patrol position is rather like the anal sex on top of floats in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in the 1980s and 1990s. You wonder what might have happened to the gay rights movement if most of America had seen video of what was happening. I dare say that it would not have "desensitized" most Americans.