On Establishments That Post

Kevin got a reply back from the establishment that prohibited carry in Arizona, which basically revealed the proprietor isn’t the biggest fan of ordinary citizens carrying guns around. That’s making me wonder if there might be a technique that would be more effective for gun owners to try. I live six miles outside of a major city who’s culture and population are not too friendly to the idea either, but I’ve only ever into one place that’s got a sign. I think the reason establishments aren’t quick to post signs is twofold, one is that most of the guns walking around this area are out of sight, meaning businesses and proprietors aren’t really all that aware people are walking around with guns. Two is that they don’t want to risk the signal that their establishment is that kind of place. It’s to the latter that this idea is geared. Let me give you a hypothetical conversation or e-mail:

You: I notice the no guns sign outside. What kind of place is this? Do I have to be worried this is the kind of establishment people want to bring guns to?

Them: Oh no, it’s perfectly fine. There was a chance in state law, and we have to put that there to keep people with guns out.

You: It makes me uncomfortable that you think you have to put a sign up like that. What does it say about the kind of place? They don’t have a sign up at <pick your own competitor here>, maybe that’s a safer place.

Now they will likely try to explain it away, but they will wonder how many customers think the same thing and don’t say anything. Maybe I’m totally nuts here, but I’m suggesting that based on the fact that someone putting up a sign likely isn’t really likely to budge on the issue in terms of philosophy, unless a lot of gun owners complain. Probably not enough will to make a difference.

But if you can make the manager fear that the no guns sign is making customers wonder if their business is kind of a rough place, or that the sign is reflecting poorly on their business, they might rethink it. Obviously that’s not a prescription for every circumstance, but I have to wonder if that could work on some proprietors who aren’t going to be persuaded by pro-gun arguments.

28 thoughts on “On Establishments That Post”

  1. That hypothetical seems pretty hypothetical. Occam’s razor would suggest that they really just don’t want customer’s carrying guns.

  2. Sebastian,

    And would we worry about the backlash when people realized that we didn’t believe that angle but was only using it to manipulate them into doing what we want?

    Would you feel comfortable taking that type of approach instead of something that more accurately reflects what you values are?

    I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable with that level of manipulation. I think it would resemble too much the tactics of those opposing our rights.

  3. Can’t speak about other’s signs. At the nearest Taco Mac,the sign is small (6×9, it appears, which isn’t that big for the location behind the hostess stand) and pretty much unnoticed due to the crowd. Criminals don’t tend to hold up bars or restaurants in regular operating hours anyway, usually just after close where staff and patron presence is minimal. I can’t even recall a ‘prime time’ hold up like that here on the ATL.

    Christo’s, however, has a Georgia Carry.org sticker on their front door. It, too, is plenty busy.

  4. Bob S. – who gives a damn what our tactics are as long as 1) we win, and we 2) don’t sacrifice our personal integrity in so doing?

  5. I think Bob’s complaint was along the lines that it falls under your number two category. My retort would be that Caleb’s number one trumps number two. The point is to get the sign down. If I had to manipulate someone into looking at it another way, that they might not have thought of, I’m fine with that. I have no qualms about adoption the tactics of my enemy that work.

  6. Considering what’s at stake, yes winning trumps integrity. Politics and social change are not a process of integrity. Do you think the progressives won by patting themselves on the head for their integrity?

  7. I mean, there’s no integrity in war, yet most people believe this country and its principles are worth risking death, and murdering other human beings for.

  8. And Sebastian,

    I don’t think it’s necessary to ‘manipulate’ someone into thinking about their stand another way, just ask them honestly, ‘Have you thought about how other customers might look at your business, because for my part, I’m not going to spend any money anywhere that denies me the courtesy of respecting my state-sanctioned right to carry a firearm.’

    Because if someone is manipulated, and they find out
    they’ve been manipulated, they tend not to like it very much, and they probably won’t think too highly of you or the cause you represent.

  9. “I think the reason establishments aren’t quick to post signs is twofold,…”

    I think it differs by state. In PA, signs don’t mean a damn thing. We are not breaking a law by ignoring a “no guns sign”. Some states… not so much.

    I like the “No guns, No $$” approach. As a matter of fact, I intentionally frequent businesses that appreciate people keeping and bearing arms. The owner of the local pizza joint by me bought me dinner one night when he noticed my holster peaking out. And he’s straight off the boat from Italy. As I ate my Spaghetti of the Sea, he explained the gun laws in Italy to me and then asked me to take him shooting. I send everyone I know to that place now.

  10. i think that i will adopt this approach. i mean, assuming i ever see such a sign. Typically when i go out to eat i conceal, since i am with my wife, who is still not to sure about guns. if that approach fails, i always have a couple of no guns-no money cards to hand out.

  11. What would you do if the owner told you that he and his staff were heavily armed and if any “shooting situation” were to arise, he would not want customers to get involved, hence the “No Firearms” sign?

  12. @windex1

    I would say “That seems to imply that you are taking legal responsibility for the safety of your customers in the event of an altercation. Is this your intent?”

  13. Robert,

    Considering that the law looks at “premises liability,” I and every other business should be taking responsibility.

    Walmart lost a $4.2 million dollar case in a shooting. How many of those do you think they can lose before Walmart closes their doors and says “We don’t want to be in your community.”

    I don’t live in any of these states that allow CCW all over but I can tell you this: As a business owner, I’m going to protect myself. If the state says CCW permit people need to carry “so many millions of dollars in liability insurance if you want to CCW” then I might consider letting CCW people in the building. Otherwise, if you want to eat in your car or at home, I don’t really care. Your rights are not my problem. My rights trump yours in my place of business!

  14. Just remember all the restaurant signs that say: No shoes, no shirt, no service.

    I suppose you can add guns to that.

    If restaurants aren’t going to serve you without shoes or a shirt, don’t worry your pretty little head that they are somehow going to be bothered by the fact you can’t carry your gun inside.

  15. Your point about “No Weapons Allowed” being an indicator that there may be an issue with patrons getting liquored up an shootin’ things is a good one.

    After all, the only places where I see “Do Not Cross When Flooded” signs around here are in washes that get a heck of a lot of water when there’s a flood, and you don’t see a heck of a lot of “Watch for Falling Rock” signs in the middle of the Nebraska prairies.

    If there’s a danger out there, someone will probably put up a sign warning us of it. And if a given bar owner thinks his patrons are incapable (for whatever reason) of safely carrying a concealed weapon, there’s a good chance his fears are justified, and therefore, that’s a place that I don’t want to frequent no matter what the circumstances.

  16. windex1:

    “Considering that the law looks at “premises liability,” I and every other business should be taking responsibility. ”

    So either way you’re dammed. Especially if you said that you and your employee’s are heavily armed and then it turns out that’s not the case. It’s like those fake security cameras that don’t actually record anything. They can get you in a lot of trouble if something happens.

    “My rights trump yours in my place of business!”

    I’ll agree with that up to a point. Try posting a “no blacks allowed” sign in your business window and see how long your rights trump.

  17. @windex1

    I like that. If I ever open a restaurant, I may have to post a “No Guns, No Service” sign. :-D

  18. Oh, and that 4.2 mill Wal-Mart shooting? If you had 36 cases of car theft and aggravated assault in your place of business in 2 years, I’d expect that you’d have problems with lawsuits as well, especially if you still didn’t have security by that time.

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  20. Sebastian,

    How do you square this approach with your thoughts on Open Carry?

    It seems if we should take a balanced approach and not do anything that might produce a backlash regarding Open Carry isn’t a little ironic that you are propose doing something could cast doubts on the integrity and honesty of 2nd amendment advocates?

  21. How is it going to cause a backlash? Unless you say “I’m a pro gun guy, and I am clearly just trying to make you think about this issue in a different way.” he’s going to have no idea.

  22. It’s called honor and no, winning a minor political political battle like getting a sign taken down at a restaurant doesn’t justify compromising it.

    How will they find out? Well, I’m pretty certain that anti-gunners frequent gun blogs just like we frequent theirs…you just told them.

    Even if no one ever does it, you can bet we’ll be accused of it. And every time we point out their use of subterfuge, they’ll be able to point to this and say “see, your side does it too”.

    Thanks. That aught to make convincing the fence sitters easier. “We’re all a bunch of liars with no integrity, but you shouldn’t have a problem with us carrying guns around all day.”

    Yup…that’ll work great.

    Of course, if we ARE a bunch of liars with no integrity, I’m not so sure we SHOULD be carrying guns around all day.

  23. Guys, the only way to win a debate is to put your ideas in terms the other guy understands and excepts. Bible thumpers get nowhere because they base their ideas on the Bible as authority. News Flash! If the other people respected the Bible as a source of authority, you WOULDN’T NEED TO tell them to follow the Bible, they would already be doing it.

    Rephasing the debate an THEIR terms is not manipulation.

    Every time I use the “I’m not going to spend any money anywhere that denies me the courtesy of respecting my state-sanctioned right to carry a firearm.” The reply is a usually rude take on “Good, we don’t want your business!”

    BTW, is is a God-given right.

  24. In Ohio, and most other states, business owners cannot be held liable for misconduct on behalf of a CCW holder.


    windex1 Said,
    “What would you do if the owner told you that he and his staff were heavily armed ”

    Are you? Because you were real quick to have gun-owners carry insurance and have us, basically, be law experts (carry the responsibility) when you have very little research on the topic at hand.

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