After some further investigation, conversations with the gentleman in the t-shirt, as well as the staff and owners of the restaurant, it now appears that the person who made the request was not associated with the restaurant at all and may have merely been an arrogant and presumptuous customer with a burr under his saddle about guns. The restaurant caught in the middle of this “gun battle” is the Garden Family Restaurant – Decatur, Illinois. It is owned and run by a family of Armenian immigrants who fled Communist oppression for freedom in America. As immigrants with first hand knowledge of the atrocities of Communism, they are very appreciative of the rights and freedoms that America affords its citizens. More so than many natural born Americans who tend to take their freedoms for granted. The day before this incident took place, the owner had made a large donation to a veterans charity drive. He employs veterans as well. According to his daughter, they do not even have a “No Guns” sign on their establishment and remember this is in Illinois. From the owner, his daughter and even one of the servers that I spoke with, the very thought of asking someone to turn their shirt inside out because of a picture of a gun was ludicrous. The owner even went so far as to say that if a customer had complained to him about such a thing, he would have asked the complaining customer to leave.
From the beginning, when he thought it was an employee making the request, this gentleman said that the opinion of one or two people should not reflect on the entire establishment. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here along those lines. We have become so polarized in this “us against them” battle to protect our rights and freedoms that we are quick to chastise and paint with a broad brush when instances such as this arise. In this case it seems that a single pretentious ass was able to turn a significant portion of pro-gun, pro-American patriots against a pro-gun, Pro-American family business simply because we advocates did not do our homework. That is a recipe for self-destruction if you ask me. So, what do we do now?