The sign reads,
“NO CONCEALED WEAPONS ALLOWED. If you are such a loser that you feel a need to carry a gun with you when you go out, I do not want your business. Douche bag.”
So “Pete”, the owner of the Backstreets Pub and Deli in Clemson, SC may have gone about expressing his professional and personal view of gun owners in a disrespectful and ignorant manner. But the ironic twist is that as a self-described “democratic conservative” he himself is also a concealed gun owner. His insistence is that guns don’t belong in bars or college-towns…all except his own firearm.
It’s been about a week since the sign became viral on the Internet, so the details have had a little more time to develop. But the owner in question posted the signage while he waited for his state-legally approved “No Guns Allowed” signs to arrive. In interviews with local news crews he maintained that his opinion of fellow gun owners as “douche bags” stems from his personal frustration that guns are now permitted under a recent pro-gun law allowing for concealed carry in bars.
I was just frustrated, I had one more thing to worry about,” Pete said. “We have door guys and I don’t want my door guys to get shot if they’re trying to kick someone out and their buddy has a gun.
But a majority of the problem stems around the fact that the owner left his personal sign up centered in the front door’s window after he posted the recognized SC signs. Typically it’s also not a good idea as a business owner to insult your paying public even if a majority of the SC public is decidedly pro-gun.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill in February, allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to bring their guns into restaurants and bars. Restaurant owners are allowed to post signs alerting patrons if guns aren’t allowed inside. Though the language of the sign is up to the owner’s discretion. The Backstreet’s owner feels that his staff and patrons are now at continual threat from concealed carry owners, assuming that they were never at risk to any other violent attack prior to the law’s passage.
There’s no reason in a college town to bring a gun into a college bar with college kids and that’s just what I was trying to get passed, the pub owner said.
Now, by declaring his business as a Gun Free Zone (which is his legal right) he has effectively declared to the general public that no one there except the owner can defend themselves, their property, or self – making it a prime target by those that willingly exist outside of the law.
The one good thing in all this is perhaps the increased anti-gun notoriety has allowed the market to self-correct the issue. On Yelp, patrons have posted over 665 one-star reviews (omitting the other 1118 Yelp filtered) since the picture of the sign went viral, and have not held back in customer service reviews of the restaurant. Everything from poor service, unsanitary conditions, and bad food. Now Backstreet is facing a nation-wide backlash and boycott, so much it forced the owners to remove the restaurant’s Facebook page while gun owners decry the locale on social media as everything from anti-American, anti-gun, and anti-freedom. As one reviewer put it,
Not allowing law-abiding permit holding background checked conceal carry permit holders into your establishment is begging for criminals to come in and make an easy target out of you.
The owner has since back pedaled, insisting he has no regrets despite the negative impact to business and he only wishes he had chosen different language. While it’s unlikely most of the reviews were written by residents of Clemson (the city only has a population of roughly 14k residents with 17k more from the university), their reviews have become a new form of protesting establishments. And clearly SC pro-gun community has spoken.
Look, the whole “no one else can have a gun but me” mantra is a common flag for Progressives. Good ol “Pete” here is just like Bloomberg, Feinstein, or any politician in D.C. who decry guns as evil – yet hide themselves behind a wall of heavily armed men with automatic rifles. The owners of Backstreet are well within their right to post such a sign. But what they are guilty of is the same nonsensical thinking that by somehow making it gun-free in their area, that it will deter or reduce the threat of crime. Hopefully someone will educate “Pete” that concealed carry owners aren’t a threat, are safer, and that most are typically law-abiding, because right now he’s just a sheep using progressive thinking as his point of focus that no guns means he and his staff are going to be safe.
Watts, Erika. Carry a Gun? If So, a Bar Owner in SC Thinks You’re a ‘Douchebag’. 19 March 2014. 20 March 2014 <http://www.webpronews.com/carry-a-gun-if-so-a-bar-owner-in-sc-thinks-youre-a-douchebag-2014-03>.