Refusing Gun Owners Service Is Discrimination
From Niagra Gazette — You’ve heard enough about the first debate. Hillary won it, Donald lost it. How many times did he frantically ask somebody — anybody! — to call Sean Hannity?
So let’s talk about inequality instead, but not the version we constantly hear about during the campaign, about how I should resent anybody who has more money than I do. I’m more interested in the inequality of public — and official — support for “civil rights.”
This has recently been on display in Maine, where Anne Verrill, owner of a couple of restaurants in Portland and Falmouth, declared on Facebook a couple of months ago, after the June 12 mass-shooting at an Orlando nightclub, that anybody who owns an assault rifle, or even supports the right to own one, is no longer welcome in her establishments.
She wrote in her post, which included a picture of an assault rifle: “If you own this gun, or you condone the ownership of this gun for private use, you may no longer enter either of my restaurants, because the only thing I want to teach my children is love.”
Most of the coverage of her stance since then has been about how vicious the reaction was from gun-rights advocates – so hostile and threatening that she took down the post.
The response was so hostile and threatening that while she said she and her staff were not “fearful,” they were “constantly more aware of (their) surroundings.”
The obvious implication was that those who opposed her decision fell into the category that the elites love to call “gun nuts” and that Hillary Clinton likes to call “deplorables” – “irredeemable” deplorables.
Predictably, Verrill got no hostility from the political, corporate or judicial world. No loud condemnations of her action from politicians. No threats from big corporations to stop doing business in Maine unless she reversed her decision. No threat from the state attorney general to sue her for discrimination or violation of civil rights.
Which is as it should be. If she doesn’t want to serve some potential customers because of their stance on what she considers a crucial issue — and is willing to forego the income — that ought to be her right. It is not as though there are no other places to eat in Portland or Falmouth.
In her case, things are playing out as they ought to. She is being criticized by those who don’t like what she did and lauded by those who support her as courageous for standing up to the knuckle-draggers.
But, of course, things would be drastically different – unequal, actually – in our modern, allegedly progressive world if she had been talking about those who are gay or transgender instead of assault-rifle owners.
If she had declared that such people, or their supporters, were no longer welcome in her restaurant, she would probably be out of business by now, thanks to political, corporate and judicial muscle.
There would be marches and vigils, relentlessly mocking and threatening her, with supportive coverage from the national media.
Politicians from Maine and beyond would be in full grandstanding mode, condemning her bigotry. The attorney general would probably be taking her to court, where she would be facing crushing fines or worse for allegedly violating the civil rights of others.
Verrill has addressed that inequality – adequately, in her view – declaring that what she is doing is not comparable to discrimination based on race, gender or sexual preference since those are biological in nature, while the decision to own, or support ownership, of an assault rifle, is a choice.
Perhaps that’s mostly true – although there are numerous documented cases of people “deciding” that they are gay and then later deciding they are not.
But, even if she is correct about the technicalities, that does not make what she is doing any less discriminatory.
People who own those weapons have a right – a civil right – to do so. They are law-abiding. They qualify – Clinton’s view notwithstanding – for “who we are as Americans.”
Verrill’s problem with them is that she doesn’t approve of one of the civil rights they choose to exercise. And in the case of those who simply support that right, her only problem with them is that she disagrees.
Would she endorse a refusal to do business with anybody who plans to vote for Clinton? That’s just a choice, too – one that many people feel passionately about.
It is laudable, at some level, for her to say the “only thing” she wants to teach her children is love, although she might also want to consider teaching them qualities like honesty, consistency, diligence, tolerance, optimism – even discrimination, as in discerning right from wrong.
She might also want to consider how love is expressed in different circumstances. If somebody was about to kill one of her children, wouldn’t it be loving to commit a violent act to stop the would-be murderer?
All that said, while I disagree with her choice, I support her right to make it. What I find abominable is the gross inequality in the way our legal and political authorities treat such cases.
If an alleged victim falls into a politically correct class, then the full weight of the law is used to crush the perpetrators, including destroying their businesses.
If the alleged victim is a member of a politically incorrect group that has been openly disparaged by the president and the woman who seeks to succeed him, then the law takes no notice.
So when you hear Hillary Clinton say she wants to eliminate inequality, remember that only means she wants government to take more money from rich people.
Equality under the law? Not so much.