America became a little less free after Chili's and Sonic recently decided that it's not a man's God-given right to order an applewood bacon-topped burger with a semi-automatic rifle strapped to his back. The two restaurants joined Chipotle and several others in banning guns after videos surfaced of activists trying to promote the Second Amendment by brining the guns to dinner. The plan kind of backfired.
As seen in two May 19 videos obtained by Mother Jones, the San Antonio chapter of Open Carry Texas was refused service at a local Sonic and Chili's. The gun rights activists complain about the people they've made uncomfortable (one woman says they're "dumb asses"), interact with at least one kid who thinks they're cool, and describe what it feels like to be excluded for trying to exercise their constitutional rights. "Dang, that's the second time in a row," one frustrated would-be diner says after being kicked out of Sonic. "I feel like I'm a kid again. My mom won't let me do nothing."
Open Carry Texas and other gun rights groups also acknowledged that the strategy wasn't exactly PR friendly, and encouraged activists to stop bringing long guns into chain restaurants in a joint statement. "We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited."
Members of Open Carry Texas will likely be more than happy to take their business elsewhere. At several points throughout both videos the men joke that the restaurants aren't safe for them, but also argue that they're protecting their kids. As usual, they argue the key to stopping gun violence is more guns — that's why right-leaning activists have latched on to reports of anti-gun restaurants being robbed by armed robbers.
TownHall and other conservative sites picked up a report from Click2Houston that a Jack in the Box was robbed three times after enacting a no-guns policy. "What will it take for the CEO of Jack in the Box and other companies to realize that gun-free zones can actually do more harm than good to their businesses, employees, and customers?" TownHall wondered. It might help if guns would stop accidentally going off and killing people.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.