Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peaceful Protest #2

From time to time a business will do something stupid, offensive, stupid AND offensive or just plain wrong - leaving us with CHOICES!

We can just ignore it, blowing the situation off. We can call/write/fax/e-mail and express our dismay, either individually or as a group. Or we can take more direct actions, often with significant economic impact, to show our displeasure.

The thirty some businesses that have publicly declared their intent to discriminate against and harass gun owners lawfully going about their business, in my opinion, merit the application of whatever lawful responses as might discomfit or economically impact them. Bigotry is evil.

The Bigoted Thirty(ish) are mostly on Capitol Hill in Seattle, several are bars where carry is unlawful per se, and while there are certainly gun owners on Capitol Hill - it's not really a bastion of organized and enthused gun owners. Regrettably, both stupidity and bigotry are contagious and need to be deterred whenever possible.

The Well-Executed Sit-in. 

 The usual kiddy sit-in you hear about is a sort of amateur hour affair. It is vulnerable to being trespassed out of the joint any time you get a frisky premises owner and a police department willing to back them up. Since Seattle is a liberal city with cops under the orders of a bigoted Mayor, that last half is likely fairly even to find.

Don't telegraph your punches.

The Sit-in For Grown-ups is a bit more subtle. Go to a restaurant (or having disarmed, a bar) just before their busiest time of the week with as many of your friends as you can gather. Do not wear a single thing that would identify you as pro-gun or a gun-owner. If you can, fill every seat in the house - but don't let small numbers stop you.

Sit down and place an order for the cheapest non-nauseating beverage on the menu and a glass of water. Take out a book and read until they ask you to leave. Pay only in cash and leave politely. Leave a printed (not hand-written) note behind expressing your regret that their bigotry is causing business losses. The note should appear on each table you and your friends occupy.

Why is this grown-up version?

1) You don't get a trespassing citation or arrest.
2) They don't know what's happening until its over.
3) It is *much more* difficult to identify you and yours when you pay in cash. This means that to combat this the owner will need to be rude and hurl forth other innocent customers who will then be offended with them, further impacting the business.
4) Direct economic impact - by nuking their busiest time of the week, you can take a profitable week directly into the hole AND damage relationships with their other customers - by the businesses own hand. Remember, the business must still pay all their expenses for those 3-4 hours you sit there gabbing with your friends over coffee while you aren't ready to order yet (and won't be so long as the business engages in bigotry).

Not surprisingly, the same group shouldn't hit the same business terribly often...but if you go in on your own later and the business owner hurls forth everyone that hasn't ordered profitably enough for his or her satisfaction - that just ensures the business has alienated their customer base that much further for an absolute minimum of effort on your part.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Excellent plan. I would add that you should tip your server well. The policy of the establishment is generally not up to the staff. Those servers live on tips, and you are cutting into their bottom line as well if you don't take care of them. It's not always easy to just work somewhere else even if you don't agree with the policies of the ownership.