The armed robber who shot and robbed a 20-year-old man outside this Houston Jack in the Box Sunday probably didn’t know the fast-food chain had only nine days earlier banned guns at their restaurants.
Or maybe he didn’t care.
Or maybe he realized his chances of encountering meaningful resistance were slim.
The shooting came on the heels of the chain capitulating to demands by the anti-gun activist group Mothers Demand Action that law-abiding gunowners be banned from bringing their weapons into the restaurants.
“Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box,” read the corporation’s news release. “The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences. While we respect the rights of all our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.”
Unfortunately, defenseless customers create a “warm and inviting environment” for the wrong people.
That was certainly the case in Durham, N.C., Sunday evening.
Authorities say three armed suspects wearing hoodies entered The Pit, a newly opened barbecue restaurant, through the back door just before 9 p.m. The pistol-waving trio forced staff members to lie on the floor, assaulting two in the process.
Owner Greg Hatem said there were a few patrons in the dining room while the robbery was underway in the kitchen, but workers were able to evacuate them safely through the front door and none were injured.
If only the three suspects had entered through the front door they would have known they weren’t allowed to bring their weapons inside.
Hatem hasn’t just posted a generic No Guns Allowed sign. He’s made a statement.
The N.C. Gun Blog describes his custom-made message featuring three pictograms labeled “N.C. State Capitol,” N.C. Legislative Building” and “The Pit.” Above the pictograms it says, “No Weapons” and below, “No Concealed Firearms.”
“This isn’t just a simple case of some unthinking restaurateur slapping up an anti-gun sign,” writes the blogger. “This is a political statement. He’s very clearly saying ‘The Legislature bans guns in their workplace, why are they allowing them in mine?’ He’s trying to make the case for it being hypocrisy.”
Restaurateur Hatem wants the trio that robbed his restaurant, but he’s given no indication that allowing customers to be able to defend themselves would be the way to prevent another incident.
“We’re offering $2,000 for the arrest and conviction of these guys,” Hatem said. “We take this very seriously. We want to make sure our guests and our staff are taken care of.”
Perhaps a second sign by the back door would work.