I'm a long time reader here. Offered a couple of posts several years ago but decided there were too many of you who had more to say and said it better. So...I'm a reader.
But today, I want to report an incident my wife and I were involved in. This incident woke me up and made me realize it wasn't enough to just be a reader.
So, I would like to report on this incident and ask for your help...
De Ann and I have been on the road for the last 10+ days visiting our son and his new fiance' in PA and De Ann's folks in the great Hannibal-Quincy area. We left PA this past Mon AM headed back to NE MO for a final hello/goodbye and then home.
Well...the drive Mon across the great American Heartland was tiring and after 10 hrs and maneuvering through Indianapolis during rush hour and a severe thunderstorm...we said enough and took an exit about 15 miles outside Indy into what appeared a typical Hoosier town, Brownsburg. It might be typical Hoosier, but it turned out very untypical for our tastes.
We checked into one of those nice hotel/motel chains and were surprised to find a Steak 'n Shake right next door. By God, hadn't been in a S 'n S in a long time and we were in the mood for some good junk food! I had visions of a triple damned burger and chocolate shake - heavy on the chocolate please. So...settle in to the room and walk across to the Steak 'n Shake we did go.
Big crowd, understaffed, wait to be seated...but who cares? Let's get to a table and get started on those shakes! It didn't take long...we were seated, gave the waitress our order and the shakes appeared with the burgers to follow shortly. Then, our bucolic evening changed. I looked up to see a young man - 20's - walk in the joint and head back through the tables towards the restroom. He was all in white - white shorts, white T, white flat-billed hat (which I must admit to loathing). But what I loathed much more was the black holster that contained a black 9mm that was strapped firmly around his waist. My mind didn't grasp the scene for a brief moment...cop? security guard? what the hell? And then it hit me right between the eyes. This punk was exercising his 2nd Amendment rights in an open-carry state.
As he strolled...and he really did have a little spring in his step...past the tables, several people noticed and there were concerned looks on their faces. De Ann's back was to him and I told her, "this kid is carrying a gun." As he walked past the table...I told De Ann we needed to find out what the hell was going on. I walked around to the counter and asked a young waiter if they allowed open-carry firearms in their establishment. He replied with a question..."Does someone have gun?" I said yes, he said he would get the manager.
By the time the young, female manager arrived...the tough-guy who was "packing" had finished in the restroom and had sat down at the counter right next to where I was standing. The manager looked at me and said, "Sir, as long as a person has an open-carry permit, we do allow him in here. He has the right to protect himself." I don't think my head actually exploded, but it felt like it. I simply replied to her, "You've got to be kidding me!" I certainly didn't want to admit to her that it was good to know that you need protection in Steak 'n Shake...
She turned to the kid and queried, "You do have a permit?" This is exactly what the kid wanted. "You bet" says he and pulls out his wallet and hands it to the manager. She takes it and, says "OK" and then, wait for it, said: "I'm sorry about this." My head did explode. There was gray matter flying everywhere. I had left this dimension. I'm sorry about this! Are you kidding me? What was she sorry about? Sorry that Wyatt Earp hadn't had a chance to squeeze off a few rounds yet? I'm sorry about this! She didn't really say that did she?
So, with a smug look on his face, he wheeled around on his stool and offered me his permit for my inspection. I demurred, explaining to him that I didn't care about the license, I simply wanted to know if he really thought it necessary to have a gun strapped to his waist in a public place full of children and old people? He looked straight ahead, slight smile on his face and answered, "Yeah." I asked again pointing at his gun, "Is this really necessary?" Again, "Yeah." I stood there by him for a couple of seconds, shaking my head, and just said, "Really...Really." He was so happy and pleased with himself - on the other hand, it made me want to puke all over his angelic white garments - especially that damned flat-billed piece of crap hat!
I turned around and walked back to the table where De Ann was now standing and said let's get the hell out of here. Our waitress was standing there and we apologized to her and told her to cancel our order, we didn't eat in restaurants that allowed people to carry guns - and we walked out.
And by the way...the little manager who was so sorry to hassle Doc Holliday...never, not once, not even using ESP, apologized to us for being uncomfortable in her little pathetic version of Dodge City. To hell with her and to hell with Steak n' Shake.
You know friends...while this little punk was exercising his 2nd Amendment rights...De Ann asked a pretty good question. What about our rights? Does the 2nd Amendment trump our rights to not be terrorized by some gun worshipping fanatic?
I've had it. I've gotten fat and lazy living in a civilized area of the country where most people share the same views as I. I've turned into a cocktail party liberal...which is another word for a major league pussy. That's over. I'm going after Steak 'n Shake and every other establishment that allows open-carry...and I'm asking for your help. I called their corporate office this AM and related this story to the head of customer relations. I asked him if he cared and he basically said, "you're damned right we care if enough unhappy people let us know."
So, I'm asking for you help. I'm pleading for your help. Don't be a cocktail party liberal...and for my conservative friends who do not approve of open-carry, I appeal to you as well. Please email S'nS at:
And do some research...find out who allows open-carry and get in touch with them...I signed a petition directed at Target and I will not set foot in their store as long as they allow this madness.
And do something else...please. Pass this message to all of your friends and ask them to demand an end to this. Ask them to boycott.
There are more of us than them...we forget that too often. There are more of us - they have just been louder. Well damn it! Get loud! Please!