When it comes to places of business and guns, most of what we hear today are companies that declare themselves to be gun free zones. Target, Panera and Chipotle are among the gun free stores. It was no coincidence that several armed robberies took place in Target stores within the first few weeks of their gun free declaration.
Kroger stores have been taking heat from gun haters like Michael Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action. These groups claim that customers are safer shopping in a gun free environment but I fail to comprehend their logic. If stores and establishments that welcome guns are more dangerous, then why are the vast majority of armed attacks and gun violence take place in gun free zones?
A restaurant in Louisiana is taking a different approach in that they are welcoming hungry customers who are carrying a gun. Welcome to Bergeron’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge where the motto is God, Guns and Gumbo. Before you walk in the door you’re greeted by a sign that says ‘Thank you for carrying your gun today.’
To show their appreciation to their gun toting patrons, the restaurant offers a 10% discount just for showing your gun. If you listen to the anti-gun rhetoric of Moms Demand Action and Michael Bloomberg, you would expect Bergeron’s Restaurant to be one of the most dangerous places to eat in all of America and that people would be afraid to go there to enjoy a meal. But the opposite is true. Since offering the gun carrying discount, their business has increased by 25% and he’s hired four additional employees.
Why did Kevin Cox, owner of the restaurant, go against the liberal norm to cater to gun owners? According to the restaurant’s website:
“Welcome to Bergeron’s Restaurant. Welcome home. When you walk in Bergeron’s, it just feels right. You smell that Cajun cooking, you are greeted with a warm, friendly smile, and you see our sign.”
“You know the sign: ‘Thank you for carrying your gun today.’”
“It makes you smile. I just feels right. It feels like America at her best. You have heard The Buzz – What is the real story behind the 10% Armed Citizen Discount. You may be a regular here at Bergeron’s, or you may be hundreds or thousands of miles away, wondering why news outlets everywhere are focusing their attention on one little Cajun restaurant on the Mississippi River, way down in South Louisiana. We are pretty amazed, too. What you have to understand is that South Louisiana is a Sportsman’s Paradise, and that goes from cradle to grave. Folks around here are comfortable with hunting and fishing and firearms.”
“At Bergeron’s, we just don’t think that law abiding citizens should have to give up their constitutional rights just to have a bowl of Gumbo or a rack of ribs. At Bergeron’s you get to keep all of your civil rights throughout the entire meal, even while you visit the gift shop.”
“At Bergeron’s its totally natural to have 3 or 4 hard-working men and women – welders, pipe fitters, carpenters, hunters, police officers – sit down at our tables, say grace, and enjoy our Cajun cooking. Police officers and other armed patrons may feel like they are off duty, but they sure do make us feel a lot safer.”
“10% off is just our way of saying ‘Thanks.’”
Cox also told the media:
“Show it to me out of your purse, out of your back pocket, show it to me. Show that you have one so if something goes wrong here today I know you’re here to protect me.”
“You make a gun-free zone, that’s where bad people with guns are going to go — dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. So I’m trying to prove that this is the right route to go. Somebody gets robbed every day, not me.”
How do some of their customers feel about the gun friendly restaurant? One patron is 55 year old Randy Hughes who carries a Smith and Wesson .22 Magnum handgun for protection, told the media:
“It’s not about the money. It’s about the freedom of being able to go have some really good food with some really good people and be able to carry your firearm with you.”
“You feel calm, like your cameraman came up behind me a while ago saying, ‘I want to take a picture of you from behind, I don’t wanna scare you.’ I said ‘You don’t scare me, I’m the one that’s got the gun.'”
“It may scare some soccer mom that gets off the interstate and comes in here to get a hamburger and she’s from California, but, as a rule, most people here are very, very cool with it.”
Hughes and other patrons, some who travel 20 miles out of their way just to eat there, often turn down the 10% discount or tell Cox to give the money to charity. They’re not there because of the discount, but because of what Cox and the restaurant stands for, the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
After Panera announced they were going gun free, I recall hearing several reports of some of their locations being robbed at gun point. Somehow I don’t see that happening at Bergeron’s Restaurant. If you had the choice of which place to eat, which would you choose? Where would you feel the safest?