It’s not personal. It’s just business. They’re not making a political statement. (Well, maybe they are.) They’re not trying to alienate any particular group of people. They’re a business, and like any other, they try to make as much money as they can.
Customers coming in with semi-automatic rifles on their shoulders obviously makes some other customers uncomfortable. Chipotle doesn’t want those customers leaving on account of those gun toters.
But they also don’t want to make gun owners mad and lose their business. So, they have to issue requests and be as nice as possible so that everyone’s on the same page. They don’t want to make anyone mad. They want to please everyone as best they can.
Writing for the Daily Caller, Breanna Deutsch reported:
Chipotle issued the request after members of Open Carry Texas brought their firearms into one of the chain’s Dallas locations over the weekend.
In a statement the company explained that the presence of guns made their customers uncomfortable.
“Recently, participants from an ‘open carry’ demonstration in Texas brought guns (including military-style assault rifles) into one of our restaurants, causing many of our customers anxiety and discomfort,” the statement from Chipotle reads. “Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”
Chipotle typically abides by local gun laws, but backlash amongst anti-gun activists compelled the chain to take further action.
One of the groups pressuring the chain to ban guns from the restaurant was the mother’s activist group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has also lobbied to prohibit open carry rights in Starbucks and Jack in the Box.
On Monday, the Michael Bloomberg-backed anti-gun group gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition that they circulated on the Internet, according to a press release.
Despite the company’s request for customers to dine without their firearms, Chipotle says they see both sides of the gun debate.
“We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue. We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas…” reads the statement.
It continues, “The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle.”
“Anxiety and discomfort?” Really? I mean, I don’t doubt that there were some customers who were uncomfortable at the sight of a group of people with rifles on their shoulders and handguns on their hips. But this group of open-carriers didn’t go in to the restaurant just to shock people. They had an event, after which they wanted to stop by Chipotle to get something to eat. And before they went in, they had an unarmed member of their group first go in and consult with the manager and ask if it’s OK for them to come in. If the manager didn’t want them coming in, then they would have gone elsewhere. Evidently, the manager didn’t mind.
So, it’s not like they just barged in with their guns and megaphones, shouting something about their 2nd Amendment rights.
Chipotle is doing what it feels is best for their business. If they think that it would be better for business to turn their establishments into gun-free zones (i.e. crime-spree zones), then that’s their business. For me, seeing a gun-free zone sign makes me a lot more uncomfortable than seeing a guy with a rifle on his shoulder.