Bringing Guns to Dinner



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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103 Responses

  1. Avatar aaron david says:

    You say you are 99% sure, and that it was just sticking in his jeans. I am unclear if you actually saw the gun, or the outline under a shirt. That said, there is what are called “inside the waistband” holsters, where just the grip will be sticking out. These and other types of holsters are used to present the least amount of encumbrance while still getting the firearm easily and securely.
    I would say you did the right thing, if for no other reason than you were uncomfortable. The general rule of thumb for everyone that I know who carries (I don’t) is to never let it show. Then again, every cop I have ever met could care less if someone saw his gun.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I saw what I’m 99% certain was the handle of the gun sticking out of his waistband, above his shirt; I saw black metal, not an outline. He had a jacket one when he came in, obscuring it. He removed the jacket in the restaurant. I did not know about the holster you describe.

      At one point I even said to Zazzy, “I would have been more comfortable if he had it in a shoulder holster on full display. This guy looked like he thought he was John McClain.” But I am admittedly ignorant on gun protocol so I don’t know if I was overreacting.


    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Would you have been uncomfortable? Or does this strike you as relatively normal?Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        I don’t know if I would have been uncomfortable or not. I grew up around guns, but that was in the era before CCW was common. I don’t think seeing the gun is normal, as it really is verboten amoung the CCW crowd. There is a group who practice what is called open carry, where legal, which is just as it sounds. Carrying a firearm openly. But if I remember you live in NY state, and it has never been cool there. That is why I kinda think it was a cop.
        So, no, not normal.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Thanks, Aaron. He had some very superficial markings of a cop (e.g., short hair, in shape, tough-ish demeanor). It’s possible his shirt slipped out from over the gun, especially while goofing around with the little boy. I was otherwise unaware of his presence until I saw the gun, so it’s not like the entirety of his demeanor suggested that he should be feared.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Open carry is all about showing off your guns and showing everybody that you can carry. It doesn’t make much sense if you are afraid of some gun wielding maniac coming staring to shoot up the place. If the gun wielding maniac knows you are carrying he, or she, will just shoot you first. You can get a concealed weapon out plenty fast so it doesn’t really offer an advantage.

        A cop i knew told me he would never carry openly, only CCW. Why? Well he had been taught about another cop, off duty, who walked into a quik e mart where the staff knew he was a cop. The place was being robbed but the robbers were out of sight. One of the staff people saw the off duty cop, yelled that the place was being robbed and before the off duty cop could do anything the robbers shot him dead. The lesson was carry concealed because it offers a major advantage. Open carry if for guys, or women, to show how tough they are.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        if someone is out to ambush you, you’re probably already dead, concealed or otherwise.
        If not, it’s to your advantage to look like you’re not worth the trouble to mess with.
        (Since most people CCW, it’s easy enough to do without actually carrying a gun).

        Guns are a dumb weapon to use for defense. They’re strongly tilted towards “good for offense”Report

  2. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Kazzy, I think your reaction was overblown. For all we know, the guy was packing so he could protect you and everyone else from some crazy spree shooting lunatic conceal carrier who snapped because a baby was crying too much.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I’m not sure if the throwing-babys-as-defense method would be more or less effective than normal in that scenario. It could scare off the shooter… or could just enrage him further.Report

    • Avatar Sagar says:

      How do you know if he wasn’t in fact the crazy guy who might start shooting because a baby was crying?
      Everybody is a good guy with a gun till they decide to use it.Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    As far as I’m concerned, there are just two ways you should legally be allowed to carry concealed: The armpit holster, and the spring loaded thing that makes the little pistol shoot out into your palm like James West had in The Wild Wild West.

    I would also be willing to to consider a bazooka strapped to the back that had a tarp draped over it.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I say we just ban the damn things in public restaurants and require ownership to provide security. We could then let the market determine exactly how much on-site fire power ownership needs to display to convince de-armed CCers that they’re safe in our establishment. I wouldn’t think the ratio would be much more than one fully armed “enforcer” per 3-4 tables or so.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I dunno, I’ve never actual felt threatened in a restaurant. Ever. Even one empty of guns.

        Sometimes I felt the food might be a danger.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        never been in a bar fight?Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Not in TGIF Fridays.

        Heck, not even in scuzzy bars. I’ve seen one, once, but in general they seem to be (1) not really that common and (2) less and less common.

        I can’t imagine a gun leading to better outcomes the one time I saw a bar fight.

        Certainly nowhere there were kids. The one I saw was, in fact, between two guys that were friends.

        Apparently booze makes you more prone to impulsive acts, so I’m pretty sure I’d like to keep “booze” and “guns” separated by the wall of “common freaking sense”.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        In an earlier incarnation of my career, I defended cases for an insurance company that wrote a lot of liability policies for seedy bars. Which got sued by the losers of bar fights for not providing enough security or for inadequate security that failed to break the fights up when they happened. The work was… not so glamorous as I’m making it sound.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I want a post, regardless. Who usually wins? What do these cases hinge on?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        The common denominator of “who wins” seems to have been…

        Oh, all right. I’ll write a post this weekend about what I learned as the Bar Fight Lawyer.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        require ownership to provide security. We could then let the market determine exactly how much on-site fire power ownership needs to display

        Make a law that distorts the market, then call the outcome market-based? God I love liberals! 😉Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I knew someone was gonna take the bait!Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        In my defense, it was you, and there’s this thing called Poe’s law.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I thought it was so obviously ridiculous as a policy proposal that no one would take it seriously. But, sure, Poe and all.

        I did think, tho – or maybe hoped – that someone would criticize the suggestion that there is a state of affairs in which my hypothetical CCer would feel safe being disarmed.

        Which would have made the point I was getting at.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        “Well, we got your classy policy, your dive policy, and your seedy policy. I’m thinking what you need is seedy with our special frequent aggravated mayhem rider.”Report

    • Avatar trizzlor says:

      I usually drag mine around behind me in a giant casket.Report

  4. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:



    NY, surprisingly, leaves it up to the local law as to whether or not you can carry & drink or carry into a place that serves alcohol. So it is possible he was not breaking the law by drinking or carrying. If the restaurant is posted, the management can ask him to leave or at least lock his gun in his vehicle, and if he refuses, they can summon the police & charge him with trespassing (unless he is an off duty cop, then he can carry anywhere by federal law).

    As a gun owner, & someone who carries, I can not say you were wrong to alert management, and the manager should know what the local laws are & what to do about it.

    Also, you are correct that drinking & carrying is a bad combo & should be avoided even more religiously than even drinking & driving.

    I see @aaron-david covered IWB holsters, although it is still very sloppy carry to let your gun be clearly seen, so Aaron is probably correct that it was an off duty cop (because they generally don’t give a flying fish, since they have a get out of trouble free badge). Cops… some of them are exceptionally careful with their firearms, but too many are complete cock-ups who have no business carrying a gun or a badge.

    When I do carry (no spring loaded sleeve holster, although I have used a shoulder rig in the past) usually it’s an IWB holster with some kind of retention device (strap or clip). IMHO, if you don’t have it in a holster, you are a fishing idiot and an embarrassing or tragic news blurb waiting to happen.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Thanks, @mad-rocket-scientist . This combined with what @aaron-david said is really helpful in contextualizing the event. I probably wrongly assumed that no cop would be such a dunce with his gun and even adhering to this with allowance for the occasional idiot is probably too charitable. Fortunately, we were basically at the end of our meal so a quick and quiet exist wasn’t really an inconvenience. Had we just sat down or been mid-meal, I probably would have had to try to pull the waiter aside and get moved to another section and try to put it out of mind.

      I realize I may be coming across as a gun prude and maybe I am. Generally speaking, I’m in favor of gun rights. But I’ve had limited contact with guns and all of that was with hunting weapons. I think I’ve been in the presence of a handgun that wasn’t on the hip of a cop once and it was briefly while visiting a friend who had just acquired it. So, the idea of looking to the table next to me and, oh, there’s a gun just isn’t familiar to me and generated all sorts of unfamiliar feelings.

      Hopefully he and (more importantly) the kids in his party got home safe and sound and the guy is safer going forward.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        It’s also possible I got a manager and not the manager. Though, if that were the case, she should have immediately called in her superior upon realizing she was in over her head.

        I’m curious… is there a subtle way among gun carriers to let them know they are acting in err? Sort of analogous to XYZ when someone’s got their fly down?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        …so a quick and quiet exist wasn’t really an inconvenience.

        Especially compared to the alternative.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        There is no subtle, secret hand sign or anything. I would just politely introduce myself & tell the gentleman his gun is showing.

        If he is like most CCW folks, he’ll be embarrassed and correct it.

        If he is a dick, he’ll either blow you off or find an even more impressive way to demonstrate his dickitude.

        The CCW folks I know are exceptionally careful of how they carry and develop habits to prevent being seen or printed (Like, if I carried with an IWB, I would hang my coat over my chair to obscure the view & make sure my shirt covered my belt so the most anyone might see is an outline, which these days could be a gun, or a cell phone in a belt holster). They are also genuinely embarrassed when spotted, akin to being caught with their fly down, & this is WA state, where most of the state could care less (Seattle & Olympia excepted). The reason for this is, aside from the obvious failure of concealment, is that being spotted with a gun often results in a 911 call of “Person with a gun”, and it is very much a crapshoot whether or not the responding officer will be calm & rational, or the kind of ass who walks in screaming while drawing down on you.


        As I stated before, police, current & retired, are permitted to carry anywhere as per federal law, even if the place is posted “No Guns”. There is no law that requires a cop to carry off duty, although many departments have a policy that requires badged members carry off-duty. There is a near universal prohibition against being drunk & armed (typically following the DUI standard, although police, as usual, don’t suffer near the consequences of violating this that you or I would). The rules against drinking & carrying are much more patchwork & IMHO if you are going to carry, you should not drink alcohol.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        “If he is a dick, he’ll either blow you off…”

        This is exactly what Zazzy was afraid of!

        The situation actually creates a bit of a catch-22. If the guy was simply loud or obnoxious, I probably would have just ignored him. Part of life is dealing with loud and obnoxious people. The reason I was motivated to act was the safety issue. But the safety issue itself felt like a deterrent in approaching him directly, something I might do if someone gets exceedingly loud and obnoxious. While the odds of him drawing and firing are exceedingly low, they do remain non-zero. Which is unfamiliar territory.

        You are right that the odds are in favor of this guy not necessarily being a jackass and that a polite and subtle reminder might have been received well, if not appreciated. It’s just that the “worst case scenario” if he were a total jackass is worse than if he were an unarmed jackass. Which is why, ultimately, I would prefer to not have guns in restaurants. At least restaurants with children and alcohol.

        Again, thanks for your perspective. You are the sort of person I was hoping would weigh in on this.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        If he is a dick, he’ll either blow you off

        Or, if the gun slips the wrong way, something else with almost the same words.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Honestly, I think you did the best thing for you (finish up, alert management, leave).

        Me? I’m a big guy, and quite comfortable around firearms, so I would have quietly pointed out the faux-pas. The likelihood of a polite reminder turning into a shouting match or a shooting incident, while non-zero, is small enough that I would be fine with it.

        Of course, I bear a striking resemblance to this guy, so I generally get a measure of deference from people.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Or, if the gun slips the wrong way, something else with almost the same words.

        Which might happen, depending on how big an ass he is has.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Excellent point about drinking and guns, and I do have to say that I am very surprised that NY’s laws are that …unspecific… in that regard.Report

  5. Avatar Morat20 says:

    Laying aside the possibility he’s an off-duty cop (who are required to carry at all times, at least every one I’ve known) — I have to ask myself “Self, what sort of person feels the need to carry a firearm into such a restaurant?”

    And since I know several such people, one of whom has complained bitterly about restaurants violating his rights by not letting him carry inside, I know at least ONE sort of person who does that.

    So to answer your question: I don’t go to restaurants with any of those people anymore. Their reasons for carrying are not reassuring — quite the opposite. I’m sure they don’t represent everyone, and anecdotes aren’t data, but I can’t help but think — cops aside — these folks represent more concealed carry owners than I’m truly comfortable with.

    White, suburban, living safe lives in safe towns and never having been victim of a violent crime, and who are practically chomping at the bit to get to use their shiny gun in ‘self defense’.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Or shoot someone for texting during a movie!Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Wait… off-duty cops are REQUIRED to carry? Egads. I know I’ve read stories about off-duty cops getting drunk and then trying to perform official police business with everything going to shit (even, once, I believe by killing another cop), but I didn’t know they might have been required to carry.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I’ve not heard “required to carry a gun at all times.”

        “Really enjoys carrying a gun, and can,” that seems more like it.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        *shrug*. That’s what I was told by a cop (not an on-duty one — we knew each other socially and it came up). I thought it was universal, but never really asked.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        At least here in Louisville, yes, cops are required to carry. The caveat though is that many of them don’t. I have two friends that are cops (husband and wife) and the guy rarely carries off-duty. His wife is a little more by-the-book and usually does though she will tell you having a purse makes this much easier for her.Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        As a general rule cops aren’t really ever off duty. They retain their legal authority even if not on duty and should still have a badge. Not to mention that an officer can be subject to punishment if they don’t respond to a crime while off duty.Many PDs require their officers to carry off duty but each PD has its on rules.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        how does that square with them providing offduty help to private establishments?Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        It’s like members of the active duty military. During duty hours, you are in uniform & doing your military job. Off duty hours, you are still very much in the military, still very much under the UCMJ, but as long as you aren’t in conflict with the UCMJ or local law, your time is yours, subject to sudden recall.

        When I was in the Navy, I held a number of part & full time evening jobs in order to quickly build up a savings. All perfectly normal.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        That’s quite interesting. In Canada, police officers’ guns go in a gun locker at the station. Carrying a concealed pistol off duty would most likely be a firing offence (as well as a criminal one).Report

  6. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    The major problem was that you didn’t have your own gun with you to protect your family in case the other guy or his toddler got out of hand. Then you could have finished your dinner in peace.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      The real question is whether this was a Stand Your Ground state or not.

      If it was…well, the guy made Kazzy worried for his safety, didn’t he? Kazzy could have just shot him, and finished his meal in peace.Report

  7. Like Aaron, I grew up around guns. So seeing someone carry, even in a restaurant, does not, by itself, make me nervous. My brother is (or was, he retired a few months ago) a sheriff’s deputy, and he carried a gun in his wasteband quit a lot. It is, however, possible that it was one of the sub-wasteband holsters someone mentioned above….I really don’t know. At any rate, whenever I saw him do it, it seemed strange to me because, hey, no holster.

    Perhaps the situation you describe might make me nervous….with the kid horsing around on the guy’s lap. I don’t know. I also might feel much more nervous if I had a child of my own to protect.

    I think if you were uncomfortable, leaving and paying the bill is the right thing to do. I’m much less certain that complaining to the manager is. As you point out in a comment above, you may have gotten a manager and not the manager and in that case that manager perhaps ought to have gotten the GM. But in my (admittedly limited) experience working in restaurants (mostly fast food, not sit downs like Friday’s), it’s not unheard of for the shift manager to be left in charge after the GM leaves.

    Yes, the manager (GM or “merely” shift) has to do his or her job, and if the restaurant has a “please do not bring guns” sign, then that job probably entails confronting customers. But in practice, it’s a hard thing to do, even assuming everything is on the up and up and the guy isn’t a lunatic waiting to go blitzo. I’m not saying the manager in this case should be excused for not confronting the guy. I’m just saying, I’m not too inclined to judge her if she didn’t. But then, I’m not one to go to the manager regardless of the situation. I’m not saying I’d never do it, but I don’t think I’ve ever have, and I’m not sure under what circumstances I would.Report

    • Also about the drinking, which I missed when I first read the OP:

      That might be cause for concern, but to me it would still depend. If he was just having one or drinks, but seemed like he would otherwise observe good limits, I don’t, in the abstract, think I would be bothered. But again, I wasn’t there, and sometimes you have to trust your gut.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        From what I saw (and I wasn’t paying strict attention because before I noticed the gun, the party was otherwise nondescript), the multi-generational party of 7 to 8 came over from the bar, where I assumed they were waiting for a larger table to open up. At least one person had a drink already in hand. I saw the man in question with a beer in front of him which looked about 2/3 filled. It was one of those super tall thin glasses that those chain establishments like to offer, so it might have been a 22/24/28 ounce glass. The group had ordered appetizers and, as mentioned, there were 2 kids, 3 people in their 20s/30s, and an older couple, one of whom was referred to as “uncle”. So, it seemed like a family meal and not one that seemed destined for drunken debauchery. (Ha! That’s all without paying strict attention. I’d be a good PI.)

        The manager’s response was frustrating not necessarily because she did not act (I don’t know what I really expected on that front) but because she seemed confounded to even be presented with a scenario. The extent of my work in food service was delivering pizzas and working on campus dining/catering, but I would venture to guess that even basic management training would include something about how to handle “out of control” guests. And while this man was not out of control, I would think similar thinking would apply: assess the situation, have a protocol for removing guests that pose a threat, notify appropriate emergency personnel, etc. Her response of, “Well, I can’t really call him out,” led me to think she A) had no plan and B) was largely looking to avoid the situation rather, well, manage it.

        It may have been wholly appropriate for her to not engage the man until such time that something more than a single uncomfortable diner spoke up, but she didn’t seem to be operating under such an understanding. As I said, she seemed to be saying, “I wish you were upset about something I could solve with a comped meal.”

        As I look back on it, I think the presence of the alcohol and the children were the most unnerving parts. I think if I had seen a group of 7 otherwise well-behaved young men eating dinner, one of whom had a gun in his waist, I’d think, “Thats weird… not ideal… but doesn’t seem alarming.” The child — who was able-bodied enough to grab the gun (though probably too weak to lift it and/or pull the trigger, but I cant’ say for sure) — really worried me and the drink was the cherry on top. Not just because of the practical ways they compounded the situation, but because they signaled, “This guy may not be the most responsible.” In the moment, I was unaware that the gun could be holstered and assumed we had a Plaxico Burress on our hands, further signaling irresponsibility. As I said to Zazzy, I might have been more okay seeing it displayed but properly shoulder-holstered because I would have at least thought, “Well, at least he seems to know what he’s doing.” So, it wasn’t just the gun… it was in large part the gun… but the other factors are probably what tipped it from out-of-the-ordinary to uncomfortable.Report

      • @kazzy

        Well, you certainly have some good points. And what you describe about how the manager ought to have approached your concerns is probably correct. She probably shouldn’t have been as dismissive and/or put upon and/or confounded that she would be asked to address the situation. And I would admit that a good manager would at least have issued a first order response that was different.

        I suppose all this means that’s why she’s not necessarily a good manager (especially if she’s a GM). I’d be a poor manager, because I just would not like to address those types of situations. I suspect, however, that managers aren’t necessarily giving a lot of “training” in dealing with the types of situations that come up. They might get “training” to deal with robberies or disaster scenarios, but I doubt much time is spent with approaching a customer whose behavior concerns another customer but who isn’t doing anything obviously wrong, but kind of wrong anyway (i.e., he violated the restaurant’s no-guns policy, which I assume is a policy that functions more as a “see, we have a policy” and as a hedge against lawsuits than as a something the company actually worries a lot about).

        I put “training” in scare quotes because in my experience what often passes for “training” is not usually enough to address the issues that come up. And people seem to resort to saying so-and-so should be “trained” in something as a way mainly to say they’re not doing a good job. And the people who say this tend to be those not in a lesser paid customer service job talking about how those in those jobs ought to behave.*

        I realize I’m straying pretty far afield here from what your comment is addressing. But something about the approach you’ve adopted makes me a little uncomfortable, and I’m trying to suss out why. I say this because when I read your comments and your OP, I feel I can see your point and see that it is reasonable and yet I have a “yeah but” attitude toward it that for some reason I’m not willing to let go of. You wouldn’t be too far off to suggest that any hangups and chips on shoulder I have have more to do with my own issues and less with the rightness of your decisions in this case.

        Again, what you say is eminently reasonable.

        **Kind of like the way people sometimes say so-and-so needs to be “educated” about an issue when that so-and-so says something insensitive or bigoted, where “educated” seems to mean a more privileged person talking at the so-and-so instead of with the so-and-soReport

      • And I would admit that a good manager would at least have issued a first order response that was different.

        Score one for vague, difficult to understand prose. I should have written: “And I would admit that a good manager would have acted differently.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        I think your feedback is fair. I — generally speaking — have very high standards. For everyone. About everything. If you aren’t great than you are inadequate. A great manager would have both the training and the natural wherewithal to have responded better to the situation — even if the best response was to ultimately let it be. As much as that manager needed to address the potential for danger, she also needed to address an uncomfortable customer. She may have appropriate addressed the potential danger, but I did not feel appropriately addressed.

        The reality is not everyone is going to be great at their job and I would be well served to better accept this. I generally do, insofar as the most I will do is grumble behind the scenes. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve “gone off” on someone for subpar service and this usually amounted to slightly raising my voice and taking a very assertive position. So, while my standards are very high, I don’t think the ultimate demands I make of people are outsized. I just often wish things went better but accept that the world is full of people far suckier than I and I smugly move on.Report

      • Fair enough, Kazzy. I tend to have a lot of weird psychological complexes about customer service work, perhaps because I used to work in it and was/am really disturbed at the way I was sometimes treated. That said, I haven’t worked in such jobs or in as many of them as most people, and not very recently, and I am now much better off (and even then, I wasn’t badly off). Also, I wasn’t treated particularly horribly at any of those jobs. My coworkers, managers, and most customers were generally nice people. But I just have these memories and my later constructions on some of the things I experienced.

        This all translates into a certain cloying, attitude toward customer service workers in the attitude that they can do (almost) no wrong. I’m not saying this makes me a good person. In fact, it bespeaks a certain lack of assertiveness on my part, which is not always a good thing. I can understand how it can be condescending.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Well, I did once pen a piece here about 3 phenomenal customer service experiences, so I am aware of and appreciative of such work the vast majority of the time. When I find myself heading down the road of a negative experience, I try to ask myself, “Is this person positioned to address my needs?” The answer is that they rarely are. If I am able to recognize this, I try to be understanding of their situation and seek someone who can address my needs. “I understand your hands are tied. Can I speak with someone who has the authority to possibly change the situation?”

        As a general rule, if the person is kind and decent, even not being able to do what I need is of no chagrin. During a recent train trip, I purchased the lowest price fare, not realizing this meant no changes to the itinerary. When I arrived at the station early, I went to make a switch. I was initially informed that the switch wouldn’t be a problem as the earlier train had plenty of room. But when she scanned my ticket, she very kindly informed me of the fare rules and apologized for not being able to help me without charging me an exorbitant fee. This was not a rule she had made and she could not have made the switch without following it, due to everything needing to be run by the computer. And while I was frustrated by the matter, the woman was so kind throughout AND the issue was not her own that I couldn’t help but thank her and move on.

        Generally speaking, my frustration with customer service people is limited to those who are ill-suited to be customer service people. If you don’t like dealing with people, you shouldn’t work in CS. If you don’t like hearing people complain, you shouldn’t work in CS. If you can’t confront difficult situations, you shouldn’t work in CS. None of these attributes make you a bad person; they just make you ill-suited to the work. Which is fine. There are plenty of jobs I am ill-suited for (chief among them, managing people a la the Friday’s lady).Report

      • @kazzy

        I think this item here is where you and I perhaps see things differently, and it’s a question more of emphasis than of disagreement:

        If you don’t like dealing with people, you shouldn’t work in CS. If you don’t like hearing people complain, you shouldn’t work in CS. If you can’t confront difficult situations, you shouldn’t work in CS. None of these attributes make you a bad person; they just make you ill-suited to the work. Which is fine.

        Many of the CS jobs are ones where it’s hard for the CS person to do anything else. I say hard and not impossible. And of course, we live in a free society where people have the right to quit and pursue other goals or jobs.

        But I imagine it’s generally the case that someone doing a CS job has fewer options of alternative employment than, say, you or I, with the training we have in our respective professions and with other advantages we have. As with my distinction between “hard” and “impossible,” I’ll also have to distinguish between “generally” and “always.”

        None of which is to say you’re necessarily wrong. If someone is ill-suited to a CS job and is better suited to another job, then they might be better off aiming for the other job. I just don’t think it’s always that easy, and the “not always so easy” part of it ought to enter into the calculation when it comes to being critical of the CS person.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        That is a fair caveat. I tend to be a pretty understanding guy. If I think someone is putting forth a good effort — even if they are inept — I’ll extend the benefit of the doubt, at most grumbling behind the scenes. Where I get frustrated is when the bartender sighs and rolls their eyes because I had the nerve to say, “Excuse me, I’d like a drink,” while they are in the middle of a conversation with the bar back. If the basic functions of your job force you to cop an attitude, I get frustrated. I’m not going to be rude or obnoxious, because that isn’t good for anyone. But I’m not going to extend much forgiveness that person’s way.

        But bartenders typically aren’t low folks on the totem pole. It sounds more like you are talking about people in real shit positions. I’ve done some pretty real shit work (e.g., food delivery, line server, garbage pickup). I get how frustrating that work is and that those people generally shouldn’t be expected to be on the front lines with customers even if they end up being so (e.g., the shelf stocker is probably going to be bugged by a lot of customers asking where things are, even though that probably isn’t formally his role; this is where I look at management saying they need to do a better job of insulating that guy from a bad situation by making sure they have plenty of other staff on the floor who are equipped for such questions; it won’t prevent it entirely, but it helps), so I cut them a lot of slack.

        And I will say that my rule about having the skills to do your job is one I apply to people up and down the ladder. I am currently working on a situation at work where a newly appointed leader is open about getting very drained interacting with adults from extended periods, yet made a strong push out of the classroom and into a leadership role that meant less time with children and more time with adults. When she starts to complain about how exhausted she is from all the meetings she’s had or things fall off her plate because of that exhaustion, I have very little sympathy. Working with adults is a necessary function of middle-management in schools. I don’t like it either, which is why I’ve never pursued such a role. She actively pursued such a role in spite of the fact that it was a poor fit for her; and she had every reason to know this (she has long talked about her exhaustion issue and everyone in schools knows what that job entails). In terms of grief, she is going to get far more than the shitty Friday’s manager. At least from me.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    A weapon stuffed between a dude’s belt loop and his ass crack does not suggest words like “safety” and “responsibility.” Seems to me that guns not in holsters slip a lot more easily than guns in holsters. A gun there looks a little bit like he’s either spoiling for a fight or getting ready to hold the place up.

    Cop in uniform? I’m cool with the gun. Out at the range? Way cool with the gun. At the bar, knocking back a Jack and Coke? Not so much.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Are you calling Plaxico Burress irresponsible?Report

    • Even when my brother wore a gun in his waistband, I felt uneasy because, well, what if it went off accidentally? Not that anyone wants to get shot on any part of his body, but there least of all.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        I’m rewatching my way through Leverage right now, and in the first season there’s a funny scene where a guy tries to intimidate Eliot by flashing a gun in his front waistband…and Eliot reaches out and grabs the gun handle, holding the gun in place. The guy get somewhat nervous with this development.

        And there’s actually a really good reason to not want to get shot there, besides the obvious. In a normal hip holster, if you don’t hit the ground, you’ll shoot your foot, or your thigh at an angle. Worse chase scenario, you shoot off your kneecap, but that’s unlikely. All those you can easily live through.

        With a gun in the waistband, accidental shots tend to happen when it’s jostled. Which means, yes, it might be pointed straight down at your junk, but it *also* might be pointed at your abdomen, especially if it goes off while being pulled out. Getting shot in the gut is *extremely* dangerous. Obviously a chest shot is more dangerous, but your chest at least has ribs to slow down and deflect bullets.

        The problem with a front waistband gun isn’t the tiny chance it will go off and render them unable to have kids…it’s the much more likely chance it will go off and strew their intestines across the inside of their abdomen and they die of septic shock.

        (And, of course, that’s on top of the fact you can *still* shoot yourself in the foot or leg with it.)Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        Of course, all that applies to *unholstered* guns in the waistband. Holstered guns, I assume, aren’t going to go off accidentally, unless you’re an idiot when you pull them out.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      It really depends on if he had an IWB holster or not. A good IWB holster is very low profile, is not readily visible, but does keep the gun in one place & completely covers the trigger to prevent a negligent discharge (no such thing as an accidental discharge*, either you are being careful, or negligent). The best way to tell whether or not a gun is in a good holster is whether or not the person keeps fidgeting with it. If it is just riding free in the waistband, everytime the person shifts, so will the gun & he’ll have to put it back in the right spot.

      *any un-modified gun in good working order from the last 100 years or so WILL NOT just go off without someone pulling the trigger, and if your gun has been modified, or is not in good working order, then the owner is being negligent – see how it gets all wrapped up nicely!Report

      • MRS,

        I’m sure you’re right. But growing up around guns, the idea I was raised with was that it’s always better to treat every gun as if it were a loaded gun and to believe that it might just go off whether you want it to or not.

        How that translates into how or why my brother sometimes wore his gun in his waistband, I’m not so sure (and perhaps he had one of those inconspicuous holsters and I just didn’t know it).Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        He probably had an IWB holster. Some of them are little more than a band of shaped leather to safely cover the trigger, and a clip to secure it to a belt.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Actually, with a gun in the front of the waistband, the concern is less of a gut shot or more accidentally shooting yourself in the femoral arteryReport

  9. Avatar Pyre says:

    Regardless of anything else, as David Ryan pointed out, sometimes you have to listen to instinct. Your instinct told you that it was a bad situation so leaving was the correct action. Given that the manager said that there was a no guns policy, notifying the manager was also the correct action.

    “Should this man have been denied service until such time that he returned gun-free?”

    Yes. There is a sign on the door that stated “no guns” so, with appropriate backup, the manager should have let the man know that the restaurant does not allow guns inside.Report

    • @pyre

      Per my above comments, I’m conflicted about the notifying the manager and what the manager should be expected to do about it aspects of your own comment. However, that perhaps has more to do with me than with the correct approach to the situation.

      But yes, I agree completely with your first two sentences. If Kazzy felt uncomfortable, the right thing to do was to leave and good on him for honoring his instincts.Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their perspectives. This is admittedly an area in which I am not familiar and I’ve learned a good amount from what I’ve read here. I take some solace that it seems my actions weren’t wholly inappropriate and fall within a fairly typical range. Ultimately, as I believe @aaron-david said above, you gotta trust your gut. If you don’t feel safe somewhere, remove yourself from the situation. That’s what we did. And I’m glad we did.Report

  11. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    I’m a decadent coastal liberal, but I’ll go out on a limb and call this guy a jackass. You have no way of knowing if this guy is going to be the next spree killer/George Zimmerman/whatever, so AT BEST this guy is enhancing his own sense of safety at the expense of everyone around him. And that doesn’t even get into the possibility of a Plaxico-type situation harming this guy, or god forbid his kids. In general, guns shouldn’t be carried in public (and once we get to a safe enough place, we should move towards a less-armed police force as well).Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      “I’m a decadent coastal liberal, butso I’ll go out on a limb and call this guy a jackass.”

      FIFY. I, too, am a decadent coastal liberal, which is probably why your and my gut responses are similar.Report

  12. Avatar Jim Heffman says:

    I’d be exactly as likely to complain about a patron carrying a gun as I would be about two men kissing.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Kazzy, Aaron and MRS covered just about every point I could make. One thing I may have missed was where the gun was on his person. Was it on his hip or above his crotch? The former signals a holster carry, the latter signals a dumbass.

    I don’t think it was wrong to express your concerns or leave but it sounds like it was probably just a sloppy carry. I don’t like the rule that shop owners can prohibit guns on the premises because I think CCW should be (mostly) universal where it is legal.Report

    • Avatar Shazbot3 says:

      Yeah. I totally have the right to carry a weapon on to your property, regardless of what you say.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        If your property is a public accommodation…

        IMHO, this falls under the same logic as a business not being able to deny service to a customer because they are gay, or jewish, or muslim, or black, or etc.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        but you can be kicked out for any reason other than being black, jewish, or carrying a gun.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I’d argue assistance animals to be a better comparison. Except that the more direct comparison might be to non-service animals, which we wouldn’t ever require.

        I tend towards disagreement with Mike and MRS here. While I think it might be permissible to have such a requirement (in that I don’t think it’s an infringement on civil rights), I think it’s still too much an infringement on establishment owners.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        I’m actually fine with a business being allowed to say “No Guns”, as long as it is clearly posted. But as I’ve said before, I’m also fine with a store being allowed to discriminate in whatever way it wants, as long as they wear their bigotry on their sleeve.

        However, if we are going to hold that public accommodation means that anyone who is not breaking the law or disturbing the operation of a business is allowed access & should be provided all reasonable service, the as far as I am concerned, guns fall under that, as the right to own & bear them is a protected right (whether you agree with the Supreme Court &/or your state laws or not).

        If you don’t want people owning & carrying firearms, please feel free to agitate for the repeal or alteration of the second amendment.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        IMHO, this falls under the same logic as a business not being able to deny service to a customer because they are gay, or jewish, or muslim, or black, or etc.

        This is interesting. Are you saying that carrying a gun is an intrinsic property, and because of that discriminating against people for carrying guns is just the same as discriminating against people because of their skin color or ethnic/religious heritage?

        On the face of it, that strikes me as trying to prove too much, since it seems obvious that a person’s intrinsic properties aren’t changed when they take of their gun. I mean, sure, there’s a different psychological content that arises (fear, maybe, I dunno really)…Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        It isn’t about intrinsic traits, it is about people being allowed to exercise their rights freely in spaces that are considered public for all other general purposes (not sure if that is the legal term of art I’m looking for).

        Or should a store be able to kick you out because you walk in wearing an Obama pin? That is your free speech right, correct?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        MRS, I understand that part. It seems to me to break down when we consider the rights in question. For one person, it’s the right to be served while being a black man; for another, it’s the right to be served while carrying a gun. A black person can’t put away their skin color the way a person can put away their gun.

        We’ve gone over some of this stuff before and it’s not really worth going over again. But it seems to me that as a matter of law folks have no basic right to carry, even if with a permit. If that were the case, then the only relevant laws would be prohibitive and exclusionary rather than what we currently have, which is laws granting a license to carry if certain conditions are met. How the second amendment justifies conceal carry is a bit beyond me (and not merely because I’m not a lawyer).

        Consider the ruling in Heller: the scope of that case was to answer whether folks who aren’t part of a state militia have the right to the private possession of arms for the purposes of self-defense in their homes. It also (I think) mentioned “common use” as a justification for possessing certain types of weapons, but as I recall that has little to nothing to do with the second amendment.

        Now, I know we disagree about all this stuff, and it’s not like I’m agitating for repeal of the second amendment. My argument, such as it is, is that the second amendment doesn’t do what gun rights people think it does. (After looking a bit more at Wiki, it appears that Heller is the first time the court has even hinted that the second amendment covers personal self-defense.)Report

      • @mad-rocket-scientist Actually, a business absolutely could prohibit you from entering their premises because they didn’t like you wearing an Obama sticker. Stillwater’s analysis about intrinsic characteristics is essentially correct as a means of describing why anti-discrimination laws prohibit certain types of discrimination but not others.

        As applied to the private sector, anti-discrimination laws are also almost entirely a function of statutory law rather than federal Constitutional rights. In other words, absent statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics (defined in those statutes), no case of which I’m aware has ever held that the Constitution restricts private businesses’ rights to discriminate.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        Woah! Wait! Really? Wow, learn something new everyday.

        Well, then businesses are free to ban or not as they see fit (although I still hold that they should be very clear about it).

        @stillwater Since when it comes to handguns, my only real concern is the ability to defend oneself, being able to carry one is key to being able to use one for self defense.

        Give me a hand held (preferably concealable) one of these (seen at 2:15 mark), & I will be OK will my rifles & shotguns.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I thought this was all obvious. Before the CRA, it was perfectly legal to bar all members of a racial groups from your business. The CRA created the notion of protected classes who couldn’t be discriminated against in that way, but these groups have to be defined by statute or court decision. “People openly carrying firearms” isn’t one of them. not is “people wearing Obama buttons” or, for that matter, “men with ponytails.”Report

      • @mad-rocket-scientist Yup. Compare the famous “Fuck the Draft” case (which, IMHO, should have been a lot more than a 5-4 opinion) with this case:

        American Airlines had every right to kick the woman off the plane regardless of the “Fuck the Draft” case, and thus faced no repercussions beyond some pretty mild PR backlash.Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:


        IANAL, and I come at this from the perspective of thinking broad private ownership of guns is probably a substantial net societal negative, but I recognize that a majority of my fellow citizens disagree. So be it.

        In a very abstract way, I sort of agree with you that the 2nd Amendment could stand some improvement in its language, regarding by whom the right to keep and bear must not be infringed (note of course that the 2nd does not include the “Congress shall make no law …”). However, we have some pretty clear interpretations that the limitation applies to the Feds and via incorporation the states, not to private actors.

        However, discrimination in public accommodation (specifically your objection to businesses being able to discriminate, not against weapon-carriers as people, but against the action of said weapon carriers carrying weapons onto the premises or into the locus of public accommodation), is a different beast.

        By way of vague analogy, businesses which are public accommodations are perfectly free to perform warrantless searches which would be prohibited to a state actor (though I suppose if said searches were facially discriminatory on the basis of a suspect class, there might be an actionable civil rights infringement). Do you deny the business’ right to those searches too (until the libertopia arrives in which the business is free to discriminate on any basis whatsoever as long as suitable notice is given in advance)?

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        @mark-thompson @scott-the-mediocre @mike-schilling

        My understanding was wrong, I thought the bar to banning a customer was much higher & covered more than just groups in the CRA.

        As I said, I retract my position, if a business wants to say “No Guns”, so be it. An obvious sign out front would be helpful though.Report

      • @mad-rocket-scientist Sorry – I wasn’t trying to pile on; I just wanted to show you an example of what I was referring to.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Yeah, I didn’t mean to pile on either. That was directed more at Mark to tell me if I understood it correctly.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:


        I am totally against non-service animals carrying guns in public, but I can see the argument that a blind person needs an armed guide dog.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Support the right to arm bear dogs.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        No worries 🙂Report

  14. Avatar Kim says:

    Has Jake been talking to folks over at the CDC? Hope Rose watches her step down at DisneyWorld… that’s not the only thing to watch out for there.Report

  15. Avatar Kazzy says:


    “However, if we are going to hold that public accommodation means that anyone who is not breaking the law or disturbing the operation of a business is allowed access & should be provided all reasonable service…”

    I think the bolded part is really important. TGIFridays could argue that this man was disturbing the operation of a business because he drove away customers. But suppose customer were driven away by the presences of blacks or Jews? I doubt many of us would accept barring Blacks or Jews. But suppose customers were driven away by revealing clothing? Well, they could enforce a dress code. Ultimately, it comes down to protected classes. Which sometime seems really reasonable and sometimes seems really arbitrary. And I still wait for the day when someone says their religion demands short skirts or blue hair or tattoos or Neo-Nazi paraphernalia… what then? I don’t know what the answer is. We probably all agree that there exists a line between what it is okay to discriminate against and what it is not okay to discriminate against. But we probably all disagree on precisely where that line should fall. Which maybe means there shouldn’t be a line at all. Either discrimination in all forms is acceptable or not. But, oy, neither of those extremes is particularly appealing!Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Assuming he wasn’t a cop…

      This is totally gonna go down a rabbit hole, but…

      I’m seeing stuff like this already, both here & abroad. Just recently I read about a Muslim student who objected to being forced to interact face to face with women for a class he was taking (it was resolved with Skype, although the last I heard the administration was still make an issue of it), and I hear of Muslim store employees objecting to being forced to handle alcohol sales, and Muslim cab drivers refusing to carry drunk passengers, etc.

      I’ve seen people argue for Muslims to be able to refuse dealing with alcohol or women one moment, then argue against Hobby Lobby and the birth control coverage the next, without seeing how these topics are related (trying to enforce religious values via a secular business transaction).Report