Sane people are starting to push back:
It would be an understatement to say that the tactics of gun rights activists have been backfiring of late. The showdown has taken place foremost in Texas, where in recent months groups such as Open Carry Texas have conducted provocative demonstrations in which armed men exercise their right under state law to carry semi-automatic rilfes in public. No fewer than five national food and beverage chains have now told them to get rid of their guns or get lost, including Starbucks, Wendy’s, Applebees, Jack In The Box, and Chipotle.
And now Chili’s and Sonic have effectively joined the list: Two videos posted on YouTube on May 19 by the San Antonio chapter of Open Carry Texas—since removed from public view but obtained by Mother Jones—show its armed members being refused service at both restaurants. The two companies have not made official statements on open carry but have since indicated that they are reviewing their policies. From the nervous and angry reactions of some patrons to comments from some of the gun activists themselves, it’s not difficult to see why these spectacles haven’t been winning many people over.
When a young woman approaches the group in Chili’s and expresses her dismay, a guy with an assault rifle strapped across his back offers her a flier. “Um actually, there’s children here,” she replies, “and you’re a dumbass.” As she walks away one member of the group comments mockingly, “Yes, I’m a dumbass,” and then says of her, “must be Moms Demand Action,” referring to the national gun-reform group.
Open Carry Texas’ hostility toward Moms, which has pressured corporations over the demonstrations using social media campaigns, has been displayed in more disturbing ways. As I detailed in a recent investigation, members of Open Carry Texas have been involved in harassment, bullying and degradation of women.
In the Sonic video, as the thwarted gun group lingers in an adjacent parking lot, one member says: “I just wish I had my kids in there when that one young chick come up and started rattin’ her mouth.”