Thursday, February 11, 2016

Should Panera Bread change policy on guns?

The deaths of two deputy sheriffs in Maryland focuses the nation's attention once again on guns, gun violence and crimes against police.

Panera Bread is a self-declared GFZ (Gun-Free Zone). Their restaurants may not be marked with official State-approved signs, but the policy announced by the Panera Bread president a while back is that he doesn't want guns in his company's restaurants.

When Illinois was considering the concealed-carry law, I attended an Illinois Senate sub-committee hearing in the Loop. I sat near two women; one was an ER nurse and the other was a teacher. When I mentioned I was pro-concealed-carry, the nurse asked what I was so afraid of that I felt I had to carry a gun.

I explained that I wasn't "afraid", but she really wasn't looking for an answer to her question. She had her mind made up, as did most of the legislators. It wasn't until a Court ordered Illinois to pass a concealed-carry law "or else" that the House and Senate cobbled together a "bad" version, and then the NRA lobbyist and the Illinois State Rifle Association rolled over and it passed.

Panera Bread isn't a true GFZ, because its restaurants, unless something has changed recently, are not posted against concealed carry. But the concealed-carry crowd knows they aren't wanted, and many avoid Panera Bread and similar businesses that are considered anti-gun.

But what if there had been 2-3 armed citizens in the Abingdon, Md. Panera Bread yesterday morning? They would not have been able to prevent the death of the sheriff's deputy in the restaurant, but they might have nailed the shooter before he could ever get out of the restaurant. And the second deputy would be alive.

An armed citizen will not shoot recklessly, even to defend himself or another person. At the first shot, he would very likely draw his firearm and be ready. If he saw a guy shoot a cop or a civilian, I think he'd probably shoot the guy, if he could do so without hitting an innocent person. The mindset has to be there; those who carry often think through various scenarios. There won't be much time to "think about it" when the action starts, so they have to know what they are going to do - and what they are not going to do.

So, frankly, I don't care about the preferences of the president of Panera Bread. If there is no State-approved prohibition sign on the door, I'll patronize Panera Bread while I'm armed. If the business posts against concealed-carry, I'll go elsewhere.

1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

Yes, Panera should allow guns. But polivemen should not sit down with suspects either.