My last diary was on the uptick in openly carried firearms at the bar/restaurant where I work. Less than a week later, things escalated. We're going to have to post a sign forbidding all weapons. Oddly, I've always figured this was such a no-brainer, it didn't even need addressed. After the last incident, I'm no longer taking anything for granted.
More below the fold.
So, on Wednesday, we had a guy come in, not quite one of our regulars, but more than an occasional guest. He had a 1911 strapped to his hip, and was informed we do not allow open carry on premises. He unloaded the weapon, locked the slide, and I checked it into our safe. I explained it was a courtesy, since he was riding a bicycle, and that, in the future, he would simply need to leave it at home. No problem. He had lunch, and a beer, and left.
He came back two hours later, and asked if I could check the gun again, because a friend was going to come pick him up, rather than having to ride the 26 miles home. Same deal, unloaded, slide locked, into the safe. Here's where things got stupid.
Apparently, when he left, he had several more drinks, and then, because he had just purchased the gun, he decided to unload and load it, repeatedly, in the doorway of the business two doors down from my place. Playing with his new toy, you see. When the ladies that own that business attempted to leave, they saw a man in their doorway, working the action on a pistol, and then coming into the bar. The women, quite naturally, locked the door and called the police. Mind you, I'm unaware of any of this. I've been in the kitchen, working. I'm a cook, not a bouncer.
So, ten minutes later, the police show up. Right as he is getting ready to leave, with the pistol IN HIS HAND. He was about to holster it. The police, again, quite naturally, do not like this, and immediately snatch it out of his hand, and take him outside. As the senior employee, I followed.
They bawl him out for his stupidity, and then ask for his ID, to make sure he has no felonies or warrants. He becomes belligerent, keeps asking, "am I free to go?" The long and short of it is, he has previous felony convictions on Washington State. They are unable to immediately discern whether he is disqualified from owning a firearm, and eventually confiscate it. (After an hour of calls back and forth to Washington, it is determined he is indeed allowed to own the weapon.) They tell him he can retrieve it, if he is entitled, at the police station. This whole incident takes nearly an hour, by the way.
When they leave, he is grumbling about fascist police states and gun grabbers. Mind you, both cops tell him they are strong conservatives, open carry advocates themselves, but hey, first, we had a school shooting in Oregon today, and second, why the fuck did you take a gun to a bar/restaurant? They tell him he's the kind of idiot that gives responsible gun owners a bad name.
This is what it has come to. In nearly twenty years of business, this sort of thing had happened only a handful of times. And in the last six months, it's skyrocketed. And the folks being asked not to carry are becoming more and more aggressive.
I don't like this trend. I don't like being the only one brave enough to tell someone to disarm before they can enter. I shouldn't have to, dammit.
Anyway, we're putting up a sign, because this has simply gotten out of hand.
Just a rambling diary, I suppose, but I felt like sharing.
11:20 PM PT: I just wanted to thank everyone for reading and reccing. I'm unaccustomed to gracing the rec list so prominently, and I guess I didn't realize how valuable folks find these firsthand accounts. In any case, I'll be sure to keep writing, if and when further incidents warrant.
Cheers, and, again, my humble thanks.