The issue of guns in America has been a hot button issue for the past several years. People on both sides of the argument, both those in favor of and those opposed to the sale and ownership of guns, have strong opinions. Because it is such a controversial issue, many are hesitant to discuss it openly. However, in recent times, some business establishments are voicing their opinions and taking a stand.
Chipotle recently announced that it was “respectfully asking” its customers to refrain from bringing their firearms into the restaurant. The Mexican restaurant announced its new policy after members of gun rights group Open Carry Texas brought their weapons into a Dallas Chipotle, leading to a petition from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group said in a statement, “Moms want to know that when we take our families out to eat burritos, we won’t be confronted with bullets. We support the Second Amendment but we also need to feel safe and secure in the places we take our children.”
Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham released his own statement saying, “We always let the manager know we’re coming. We try very hard to make people feel comfortable. We’re peaceful, we’re looking for a place to eat, but we have guns. If we’re not welcome, we’re not going to spend money there.”
What people do not understand is that Chipotle’s decision is not the chain’s way of weighing on the controversial issue or taking a side, but they are looking at the big picture, which is how their customers feel when they go to the restaurant. This is one of the instances in which the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Many customers are uncomfortable dining in a restaurant where patrons are free to carry weapons of any kind, especially as the world is exposed to more and more gun violence on a daily basis.
Earlier this year, a 71-year-old former police officer shot dead a man inside a Florida movie theater. Although there is no definitive solution to the problem of gun violence, everyone must do what they can to lessen the frequency of occurrence, and it can begin with the decision of business establishments to declare that weapons are not welcome in their places of business.
As a business and service provider, it is Chipotle’s primary responsibility to ensure that its customers have an enjoyable dining experience, which can be hard to do if customers fear for their safety. Last year, Starbucks took a similar stance and told customers that guns were no longer welcome inside its establishments.
Those who carry their firearms on their person are not being told that they are no longer allowed to possess their weapons, but they are simply being asked to leave their weapons in the car while they eat at the restaurant. It is not an unreasonable request.