The fallout of jackassery

I love Whataburger.  When it comes to getting fast-food hamburgers, they just cannot be beat. Period.

Recently some stuff regarding open carry and Whataburger resurfaced. Whataburger just responded (again) to the matter:

There’s been a lot of talk the past couple weeks about Whataburger’s open carry policy, and I wanted to reach out to personally explain our position.

Whataburger supports customers’ Second Amendment rights and we respect your group’s position, but we haven’t allowed the open carry of firearms in our restaurants for a long time (although we have not prohibited licensed conceal carry). It’s a business decision we made a long time ago and have stood by, and I think it’s important you know why.

But first, as a representative of Whataburger, I want you to know we proudly serve the gun rights community. I personally enjoy hunting and also have my concealed carry license, as do others at Whataburger.

From a business standpoint, though, we have to think about how open carry impacts our 34,000+ employees and millions of customers. We serve customers from all walks of life at more than 780 locations, 24 hours a day, in 10 states and we’re known for a family friendly atmosphere that customers have come to expect from us. We’re the gathering spot for Little League teams, church groups and high school kids after football games.

We’ve had many customers and employees tell us they’re uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours. We have a responsibility to make sure everyone who walks into our restaurants feels comfortable. For that reason, we don’t restrict licensed concealed carry but do ask customers not to open carry in our restaurants.

As a company serving customers with many different viewpoints, we’re sometimes caught in the middle on controversial issues like this one. We hope you and your members, along with our other friends in the gun rights community, understand our position and will continue to visit us. We appreciate your business. Thank you.

Preston Atkinson
Whataburger President and CEO

This was posted yesterday (July 2, 2015) to their company website.

Frankly I have to wonder.

Is this a response to open carry? Or a response to the shit-tacular tactics of some open carry groups in the past year or so, trying to “lobby” for “gun rights”?

That is, is Whataburger against open carry? Or are they against dumbassery? Personally, I think the latter (based upon my reading of Mr Atkinson’s remarks).

There’s much over Whataburger’s history that has demonstrated they are very much a “‘murica” type of place. But on the same token, they have a business to run, shareholders to answer to, and the families and well-being of 34,000+ employees — to lose business (and revenue) does not serve their bottom-line nor the people who rely upon Whataburger to feed their families. I do NOT blame Mr. Atkinson one bit for taking this approach.

I don’t have a problem with open carry, but I do have a problem with dumbasses. And especially dumbasses whose actions backfire and wind up causing more harm than good — which is precisely what the actions of so many “open carriers” have done in the past few years.

Gee thanx but no thanx. You’re not helping. Sit down and shut up.

I will still give my business to Whataburger. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the position held here. Come on… you believe in property rights and the right to conduct yourself as you see fit.

But that said, I do wonder… when the new laws in Texas take effect, what will Whataburger do? Will the new 30.07 signs be posted?

And I’ve also wondered, will we see more signage (the 30.07 and then as long as they’re at it, the 30.06 as well) posted now? If so, we have only the open-carry-jackasses to thank for setting us (and themselves) back.

8 thoughts on “The fallout of jackassery

  1. Regardless of how WB came to their decision, I choose to not do business with businesses that do not honor our legal right to carry. Concealed or otherwise.

    Just like WB and other businesses have the right to place restrictions on their properties I too have the right to vote with my money.

    • Certainly that’s fair. I’ve done the same.

      What about Time-Warner Cable? They post 30.06 signs at their locations — certainly far more “foul” in terms of prohibition than Whataburger. But yet, here we are with their Internet service.

      Not too many years ago our society wasn’t this way. People could hold different opinions and beliefs, yet we would still associate, still give business to, etc.. What’s changed?

      • Unfortunately where I live T-W is the only real choice I have for reasonable Intartubes.

        ATT is just plain crap and FiOS is not available in Dallas County. So I am stuck with Slime Warmer.

        I think there is a general coarsening of our society overall. I know that for me personally I’m tired of being portrayed as a villain and derided with all sorts of foul name calling just for the simple act of wanting to exercise my God given right to defend myself and my country.

        As such I choose to not do business (and I’ll add “where possible”) with entities that choose to suppress my rights.

        I’ve tried my best to be respectful of everyone. It’s just getting harder to maintain that ‘smile’ when a segment wants to see me as a subject ass opposed to citizen.

        If my position makes me some sort of jerk in the eyes of others, well, as I said in another thread, I’ve been called worse.

        • If I may engage on the point then… at what point are you willing to compromise your values? Granted it may be easier to get McDonalds or Burger King or a host of other food choices, and not so much easier to get cable/Internet service. But somehow you find WB worth boycotting and TWC not. Why? Does this mean you’re willing to compromise your values for internet connectivity, but not for something more vital as food?

          No personal offense meant in this — and I’m not actually expecting or wanting true responses (my questions are rhetorical) — it’s a matter of engaging discussion, or at least reflective thought, because it’s something I deal with myself. What is the line? Where? Why? What am I willing to compromise, and for what reasons?

          Recently tho (like in the past some months), I’ve started to lighten up on all of this. Main reason is that I feel doing such a thing becomes divisive and isn’t going to help us “reach across the aisle” (as the old saying went) and learn to live together in any sort of peace and harmony. To me, it’s just furthering the problems I see in the world today. Yes, I too am tired of being portrayed as a villain and somehow a bad and evil person for my choices — especially in light of the rampant hypocrisy of my accusers. But to me, well… I guess I’d rather try to be better and above it all. Instead of being the asshole they label me as, be the good person they think they are (if you will).

          Granted, some places make that difficult. I would still love to shop at Sprouts, but their posting of 30.06 signs prevents me from entering their establishment. I would love to engage them in honest discussion (not preaching nor browbeating), but they seem to want to just plug their ears. So I go elsewhere. But I’ve found that if I start to shut myself off from anyone that disagrees with me or I disagree with, I would wind up rather isolated and unhappy; and I can’t do much to make the world better if I do such a thing.

          It is hard to maintain the smile — no question. But when the shit gets tough, that’s when you have to cowboy up.

          FWIW, I don’t think you’re a jerk; I totally understand why you feel like you do. If anything, I guess I’m hoping to maybe soften and open your heart just a bit. 🙂 Most of the world is filled with good people struggling to get through, just like you and me. The outlining assholes? We may never reach and they may always hate and persecute us. But most of the world isn’t those types, and it’s those people we can reach through our words and our actions. It’s those people our words and actions will affect; I want them to see us for the good.

  2. i’m not sure how much of this is the fallout due to Open carry and how much is the fallout due to keyboard commandos.

    I’ve followed some of this on FB and it really seems to be there are two camps involved; the people who want OC and the people who want to be outraged over anything.
    It really seems to be mostly the latter who drove this, the people who just wouldn’t leave it alone.

    Bob S.

  3. Something I have not considered as I am not a participant is the influence of Social Media.

    I was talking to a good friend this morning on this subject. He suggested sites like Facebook seem to really fan the flames. (His words not mine)

    I can see that. Me personally, other than being on Linkedin and following a couple of blogs, I really do not participate in Social Media. I consider myself to partake in ‘Anti-Social Media’. 😉

    As to your question of where I might draw the line regarding who I choose to boycott.

    Unfortunately life is a never ending series of compromise. The more choices offered the easier it is to stand on a position or principal. In the case of T-W my ire for them was earned long before I became a gun owner and long before I decided to boycott businesses for their stance on issues that matter to me. Unfortunately I have to compromise some and buy my Internet from them (I do not get TV services). If there were other choices that gave me the performance I require for work I’d be looking at those. I work from home for a very large IT company as a sysadmin/network monitoring operator. So connectivity is a very important thing to me.

    For now my world is packed with just getting by. I do not have the cycles to care about fighting the fight or attempting to educate those who also seem to be intractable in their opinions on the subject of guns and my rights.

    FWIW I’ve done the letter writing and have actually tried to talk directly with store managers only to be basically blown off each and every time.

    • I would say “online” behavior… Keyboard Warrior behavior… social media or otherwise… yeah, I think that stokes something because for whatever reason many people behave differently behind the keyboard than they would face-to-face. Maybe they’re letting their true selves out and f2f they’re putting up a facade, or who knows what. But I do think we’re in an interesting time, anthropologically speaking, as an “always connected” world brings many new and different social behaviors that we’re still learning and exploring.

      And I think another consequence of our time, for whatever reason, is manifest in your last statement — that you get blown off. The way a lot of business is structured now, the managers and such have no power — they just do what they’re told and don’t want to rock the boat and lose their jobs. So many companies do not empower their employees, or even if they do, many times decisions and behaviors that don’t “align with corporate policy” just get you fired. I find if the business is small, mom-and-pop, and you can actually talk with the people in charge, you can actually get somewhere. But when you’re just talking to the guy that is the night shift manager for some franchise… well, he’s going to blow you off because it’s just a headache he can’t do anything about.

      Same with things like “zero tolerance” policies that schools hide behind, because it’s easier to just hide behind a policy than to think and perhaps have the guts to try to instutite change if it really means something.

      So… I think in part we’re just living in interesting — and perhaps depressing — times.

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