If you are a gun owner and are concerned about preserving your Second Amendment rights, you know that there are a lot of people who truly believe that disarming everyday citizens will reduce the crime rate and put an end to tragedies like the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre and the other terrible shooting incidents that fill the news these days. It seems like everybody from Michael Bloomburg to Sarah Brady and Gabrielle Giffords is out to take your guns away, and they are very vocal about it.

However they are not the worst threat to your (and my) right to have a firearm, no matter what the National Rifle Association tells you. Because while the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, and every other pro-gun group around is focusing on them, the worst enemy to gun owners is the guy standing next to you at the local gun show or at your favorite gun shop. We have lost more ground in this battle because of our fellow gun owners than from all of the organized anti-gun groups combined.

Here are two examples; Recently, after a bunch of yayhoos showed up at a Chipotle restaurant in Texas in an “open carry” demonstration, the restaurant banned guns on their premises. And in my old hometown in Arizona a locally owned restaurant has also banned guns after three idiots made it a point of placing their handguns on the table while eating. What purpose did that serve, except to show what jerks they were?

In the Chipotle case, here is a widely-circulated picture showing two customers with their rifles in the restaurant. In response, Chipotle issued a statement saying: “The display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” I don’t blame them, I’m a gun guy, but I’d feel pretty uncomfortable if these idiots were across the aisle from me.


I’ve said it many times before and I still believe that while every responsible law-abiding citizen in the United States should have the right to own and even carry a firearm, there are a hell of a lot of them who have absolutely no business doing so. Things like this are why more and more businesses, including Starbucks, have instituted a no guns policy.

Nobody needs to take an AR-15 or any other kind of long gun into a restaurant or other public place. Nobody needs to put a handgun on the table while dining in a restaurant. Don’t give me a bunch of bullshit rhetoric about your rights under the Second Amendment, because I’ve read it. Nowhere does it say you have the right to be a dumb ass.

These clowns think they are proving a point, and they are. But it’s not the point they think it is. They are proving to the people in the middle, not the pro or anti-gun side, that any fool without a felony record who meets the basic requirements to do so can buy a gun. And that he shouldn’t have one.

Years ago when Arizona first created a concealed carry permit, a business associate was among the first to take the course and get a CCW permit. I said then that it was only a matter of time before he got into trouble and lost it. It took less than 30 days. The first incident happened when we were having a luncheon meeting and he asked me what kind of handgun I preferred. I told him my preference was for Colt .45 semiautomatics and he immediately pulled his six inch barreled .357 magnum from his shoulder holster to show it to me. Sitting at the counter across from our booth was the Chief of Police and his lieutenant, and they immediately landed on him like white on rice. Once it was determined that he wasn’t trying to use the gun, he was given a very strong lecture by all three of us. If his wife had not been a very well known and respected business owner in our small town he would have been arrested. And he should have been.

But did the idiot learn his lesson? Hell no! Not two weeks later he was in line at the motor vehicle department and noticed a state trooper standing in line behind him. He struck up a conversation with the cop, asked him what kind of gun he carried on duty, then reached inside his jacket and did the same damn thing! This time he wasn’t so lucky. The cop immediately tackled him, secured the gun, and arrested him. He lost his gun, he lost his CCW permit, and he got a police record for brandishing a weapon in public and for carrying a weapon into a state office. All I could do was shake my head and say “I told you so.”

I have a CCW that is valid in something like 35 states. I seldom leave home unarmed. But how many of you who have had dinner with me or visited someplace knew I was carrying? That’s the way it should be. I don’t have a need to show off my weapon or to try to impress anybody with my firepower.

Somebody said that by prohibiting customers from carrying guns, restaurants make it easier for criminals to rob the businesses. Really? Since when did an armed citizen take on the job of crime fighter? Because if somebody robs the local fast food joint while I’m there, I’m minding my own business and keeping a low profile as long as he leaves quietly. I’m not a cop and I don’t feel the need to get into a gunfight in a restaurant full of people over the $70 in the till.

Yes, I know all about the Luby’s Cafeteria shooting and the one in the Colorado movie theater and others like that. In such a situation I’d do what I felt was necessary. But I don’t think I’d need my AR-15 to get the job done, so I won’t be carrying it in with me.

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32 Comments on Gun Owners’ Worst Enemy

  1. Kayjulia says:

    As usual you make a very good case and I don’t find fault with it. These gun nuts are galvanizing a large group of the populace that wants sever gun controls put into place most of which are not unreasonable. Confastigation of firearms is not one of them, yet. With these morons actually threatening and harassing organizers of the gun control groups the resolve and the opinion of the population is going to get more and more strong. I fear one of these groups of gun nuts is going to actually use one of their weapons on some innocent person or persons. That act will create a ground swell of opinion that cannot be good for gun owners everywhere. I am angry at the carelessness of some gun owners that allow their weapons to be available to children and then claim innocence when some child is killed or maimed by the child having access to a firearm left unguarded, unsecured. This all can be corrected if reasonable minds get together and stupid people don’t do even more stupid things like carrying weapons into businesses or allowing access to their weapons by unauthorized people (Children). JMHO YMMV

  2. Don says:

    Very well said. I live in rural Nevada and see folks carrying quite often. It’s just foolish. They don’t allow target practice in the grocery store so who needs a gun there. The meat is already dead. Happily I haven’t seen anyone with a rifle but it’s probably only a matter of time.

  3. Jack Hillman says:

    It’s my right to carry a freakin bazoka into a restaurant if I want to and if they have a sign saying no guns I’ll stand there and laugh while they get robbed.

  4. Paul Wilson says:

    Nick I’m a gun guy too and I agree 100% with you. I am a retired LEO and I carry every day. But unless you’re a close friend or a bad guy you will never know that. As for interrupting an armed robbery the last thing a situation like that needs is some fool trying to play hero with a gun. I was actually in a restaurant with my wife and parents when that happened years ago. Two guys walked in with guns and robbed the place and my dad (who was also a cop at the time) and I sat quietly and observed them and made mental notes of descriptions and weapons. After they left we got outside in time to get the plate number and description of their car. We were both armed but the place was crowded and the parking lot was full of people. No way were we going to engage them and get some innocent bystander shot in the process. With the information that we could give dispatch they were caught a few blocks away.

  5. JB says:

    Good for you Nick.

  6. Tom Greenwalt says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Nick. My brother has a CCW and I don’t know why since he has to pull his jacket back every 2 minutes to be sure the whole world sees he’s carrying. We are an open carry state so why have the CCW if you are not going to keep the weapon concealed?

  7. Ruth Echols says:

    We own a little mom and pop restaurant in a small town in Ohio. Husband and sons are all hunters so we are progun. But I’m to the point where I want to put a sign in the window saying no guns. There is a group of 2nd Amendment fanatics here in our county who do the same thing. Twice half a dozen of them have come in here dressed in camouflage with assault style rifles slung over their shoulders alarming our other customers. The last time I told them not to come back with their guns and two of them caused such a commotion that a customer called 911 because she was afraid they would get violent. And these are the good guys? They were going on about their rights. Well what about MY rights to run my business without people like this scaring my customers away?

  8. Allan says:

    Good post and I agree. Just because you or I are in a open carry state doesn’t mean we have to carry openly if we have a ccw we would be better off to keep it out of sight. I use common sense and have encountered no issues. I see no reason for any more gun laws and hopefully there will be no more. I’m not saying that you would but you could carry in a “no-gun” establishment or location because no one would ever know. I hope all gun owners use their head. Stupid people can cause stupid laws.

  9. Steve Rogers says:


    Two separate things are evident here.

    Lumping armed crime and criminals in with disturbed individuals with access to guns is at the heart of the issue.

    Outlawing guns will not stop armed crime. It would reduce that type of crime, however, as proven in many countries around the world.

    Removing guns from crazies will not stop mass killings, either. Those tragedies would be reduced. If they didn’t have guns, they couldn’t shoot people.

    The folks who believe President Obama wants to take away our guns are the problem in many cases. There is no evidence of that.

    I think what you are trying to do is inject some common sense into the debate. That seems to be a losing proposition.
    Openly carrying weapons in a grocery store or restaurant is just plain nuts. Second amendment or not.

    Registration and training should be required for gun purchases.

    No parent should have to bury their child because of an interpretation of a right or a wrong.

  10. Jerry Callahan says:

    Your an idiot and I dont think you’ve ever owned a gun in your life or else you wouldn’t be writing shit like this. I have a CCW but I carry open instead because I want the criminals to know that I’m not going to be a victim. I bet Chipotle would be damned glad to have those guys and their rifles there if some punk came in to rob them! As for the woman with the restaurant in Ohio please tell me where it is so I can be sure never to eat there!

  11. Jim Guld says:

    So much for intelligent discourse.
    Name calling is not nice.

  12. Paul Wilson says:

    Jerry Callahan and Jack Hillman’s responses are examples of what Nick is talking about here. All machismo and no common sense and proof to the general public that way too many people who own guns shouldn’t, just as Nick said.

    Jack, no you don’t have a right to own a bazooka, let alone carry one into somebody’s place of business if they don’t want you to. There are laws against both.
    Jerry, in my 23 years as a police officer I never carried a weapon openly when off duty. No officer I ever knew did. We dealt with the bad guys every day and probably knew a little bit more about them than you do. As for Chipotle being glad an armed customer was present if a robbery took place, probably not. They don’t need the liability. That why most businesses have a policy telling employees NOT to resist a robber. Whatever they get away with is a lot less than what it would cost if the employee resisted and somebody was injured, be that the employee, the perp, or a bystander.

  13. Kevin says:

    If you are in a restaurant where an armed robbery takes place; you are carrying and you do nothing, why carry in the first place? I understand the reasoning as to why you do not attack and agree whole heartedly, but just wonder what you are accomplishing by carrying, or what circumstance would warrant you shooting?

    I have a friend who was mugged at gunpoint. He said it was the scariest thing he has ever experienced. Looking into the barrel of a gun pointed at your face is unbelievable. He also said that it happened so fast that he could have had 10 guns in his pocket or in a holster and he would have never had time to grab any.

    Again, what is being accomplished by the CCW bearers? Are there any reported incidents where a crime has been thwarted by a citizen carrying?

    I am not anti gun at all. I like to shoot, but I do wonder about all the hoopla about being able to carry all the time. I just don’t see what good it does.

  14. Nick Russell says:

    Kevin, there are many reported insistences of armed citizens stopping crimes. But there is a time and place for action and a time and place to sit still and avoid bloodshed. That’s where common sense and tactical training comes into play. If a robber was trying to hurt myself or someone else physically I would react. But as I said above, there is no way I’d get involved and place myself or others in danger for a few dollars in a cash register.

  15. Staci Fisher says:

    I was in a convenience store one time when a guy came in and pulled a knife on the girl behind the counter. She handed over the money and as he turned to leave a young man walked in the door and saw what was happening and tackled him. They knocked over a bunch of displays and then the robber slashed the good samaraten across the arm and the face. He started to run out the door and the kid tackled him again and they went at it again. He managed to hold him down until the cops got there and arrested the robber. But in the process they trashed the inside of the store and cracked a huge front window. We all had to give our statements to the cops and in the process I heard the store manager tell them the robber had taken $32. It had to cost the store hundreds of dollars to fix the damage not to mention the medical expenses for the kid who stopped him.

  16. Mike K. says:

    Good post Nick but expect to get flamed by the lunatic fringe who think like the guy above who thinks he should carry a bazooka even if he can’t spell it.

  17. Corky Bill says:

    You are a voice of reason in the wilderness Nick. There is a realistic area between total gun confiscation and shootouts at high noon in the Wild West, but there are people on both sides that will never see it.

  18. George Stoltz says:


    Because of who you are and your experience with hand guns and having been robbed at the end of a gun, you bring a lot more weight and reason to this touchy subject. There will always be fools who want to go against the grain. Just look at the people who refuse to use seat belts in cars.

  19. Steve DelArbor says:

    It’s like new cops who have to pull their jacket back to let you know they are carrying. As an instructor at the police academy I always stressed that carrying a gun does not make you invincible and the fewer who knew you were armed the better off you would be. Good blog post Nick and I am completely in agreement.

  20. Anna D says:

    I couldn’t enjoy my food with somebody sitting there with a gun out in the open. Especially not a couple of inbred losers like the two in the photo. Don’t blame the restaurant for putting customers first.

  21. Paul J Stough says:

    As I have said before, a lot of people dont seen to understand the difference between having the right to carry, and the need to carry.

    One scenario I for see happening is that a bad guy pulls a gun on someone, and someone nearby sees this and pulls their gun, then a third armed person sees the second guy, and not the bad guy, and shoots the second guy thinking he is the bad guy.


  22. Barb Kerr says:

    Michigan has an open carry law. A friend was having an estate sale. We were outside when a car pulled up and a man and his wife got out. He had a holster on his hip. He told his wife to go on into the house and he would wait outside for her because his gun might make some uncomfortable. While she was inside we got into a discussion. He said that every teacher should have a gun in her classroom. (this was shortly after one of the school shootings) So I asked him where the teacher was going to keep this gun where a student couldn’t get a hold of it and what was the shooter going to be doing while she was unlocking whatever to get the gun. He agreed with me. But then there was the road rage thing. #1 did something to PO #2 on the road. #1 pulled off the road to allow #2 to get on down the road. #2 followed him into the parking lot. #1 pulled out hi gun to protect his wife and Mother-in-law. #2 came out of his car with his gun out. They shot and killed each other. OK corral revisited. Such stupidity just to prove your “MACHO”.

  23. Rick says:

    I don’t agree with Bad Nick all the time but this time he has hit the mark 100% if not more. And better yet, he can tell articulately, unlike me. I wish I could get Bad Nick on the news with Brian Williams.

  24. Barb says:

    Good post Nick. We are pro gun and members of that (evil NRA group).
    My husband is a member of a gun club that used to shoot in competitions in his younger years, including the Olympics. He do travel with a gun, where legal, in our RV. but feel no need to carry one inside a restaurant..What nonsense. I agree with Paul.. Leave the guns at home..
    Kind of scary that so many nuts find their way to this blog.
    Name calling is ridiculous and juvenile.

    We were very sad about some of the recent shootings, but put a lot of the blame in mental illness and the need to weed out those who are not capable of owning a gun.. The last shooter in Santa Barbara had been under the care of a DR since he was 9 years old.. How in the heck was he able to buy guns legally?


  25. Jimmy c. says:

    Yes, you might be able to carry openly in your state. Bystanders don’t know if your the good guy or the bad guy. BUT, if the bad guy is looking over the place for a robbery, guess who is the first threat to be eliminated. It would not be the clerk behind the counter, but the open carry person trying to act tough, but wounded/dead on the floor. Meanwhile the robbery goes on.

  26. Robert says:

    I don’t insist on my right to keep firearms because I’m afraid of our government, but because of right wing extremist paranoid lunatics who keep threatening to overthrow it… I once was an NRA member and a long time supporter, but with the crazies Nick’s post alludes to having taken it over these days, I’m more anticipating having to keep and bear arms to protect myself and my country FROM THEM than the other way around…
    And to your point Paul Stough, yeah, that nearly happened in the Gabby Giffords’ shooting in Tuscon. Joe Zamudio who was an armed bystander and ran to the scene right after the shooting said he first mistook the good guy who’d just subdued and disarmed Loughner for the bad guy, and said he was a hair trigger away from shooting HIM!
    Oh, and to Callahan, if some punk with a gun was really intent on robbing that Chipotle, and saw you with your pistol proudly exposed, he’d just walk up behind you and take you out first before you knew anything was happening. Then he’d have a backup…
    And to Hillman; well, nothing needs to be said, except you are one of the ones Nick’s referring to who are making it difficult for responsible gun owners to make a persuasive case, and who I also refer to above and why I dropped my membership and no longer support the NRA.
    Obtw Nick, to my knowledge Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelley aren’t out to take our guns away. They are avid shooters themselves and only want better background checks in place, ones that might have prevented her attempted assassin from acquiring a firearm, as well as many other of the shooters in these horrendous crimes recently.


  27. Doug Simpson says:

    The NRA agrees with you, Nick.


  28. Robert says:

    You’re right Doug that the NRA agrees with Nick in that these guys’ activities are a detriment to the cause of responsible gun owners maintaining their rights, but they don’t join Nick in his criticism of these yayhoos and clowns as he so aptly calls them. As a matter of fact, the NRA today retracted and apologized for calling their behavior ‘weird’. Here’s Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA doing so:

    Here’s a couple of quotes from Cox in the interview if you don’t want to watch it:
    COX: “The truth is an alert went out that referred to this type of behavior as weird or somehow not normal, and that was a mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. I’ve had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece and expressed his personal opinion. And our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners. Our job is to effectuate policy changes that expands and protects our members’ right of self-defense. So this is a distraction, certainly the media has had a field day with it.”
    COX: “The National Rifle Association unapologetically and unflinchingly supports the right of self-defense and what that means is that our members and our supporters have a right to carry a firearm in any place they have a legal right to be. If that means open carry, we support open carry. If it means concealed carry, it means concealed carry. So unequivocally we support open carry, we’ve been the leader of open carry efforts across this country, the leader in opposing efforts to curtail the ability to carry firearms, and that’s something we’re proud of and we do every day for our members.”

    Also; Glenn Beck? Really??? As is typical of right wing sites, The Blaze cherry picked only the part that fits nicely to forming their case. Note this paragraph in the original Mediaite article The Blaze referenced from, but chose not to include, conveniently leaving off the part indicating NRA support for the yahoos’ right to play with their weapons anywhere they choose, including restaurants. And the sole concern I’ve heard expressed by the NRA about any of this is the possible negative political consequences.
    ‘NRA certainly does not support bans on personalized guns or on carrying firearms in public, including in restaurants. We think people are intelligent enough to resolve these issues in a reasonable way for themselves. But when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights. Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don’t need to be victims of friendly fire.’
    Oh, and also note the commentary following it:
    ‘Yup, that’s the NRA warning gun owners against “acting without thinking” because it might lead to the “lasting consequence” of gun restrictions — not, you know, people being shot.’

    Here’s the article they worked from in its entirety:

  29. Robert says:

    Nick, I don’t know if you watched that Bill Maher clip I sent with my comment to your ‘Bible Buffet’ blog post, but I just noticed this other video clip on there that addresses your ‘Gun Owners’ Worst Enemy’ one as well. Agree with Maher or not, I think you’ll have to chuckle at some of the stuff in here:

  30. Croft says:

    If I am in a Walmart, grocery store or restaurant and someone walks by displaying their IQ and AR-15 (or anything else), I am leaving right now. They can serve my ordered food to someone else or some clerk can put my groceries back on the shelves. I am gone. I am not trained to tell the “Good Guy with A Gun” from the “Bad Guy With A Gun” and I don’t think any of us are. I am leaving and calling 911 from the parking lot.

    I agree with Paul (#21 above). If you are in a crowded, dark theater and someone starts shooting that is a terrible thing. If you pull your gun and start shooting it out with him, others will be hit by either or both of you. The other twenty people with guns now pull them out and start shooting. Who do they shoot at? And they will shoot. The intelligence of many gun owners had already been demonstrated by the “open carry” idiots in the Target Store The first guy may not be in their line of sight but you are and all they saw was you shooting so they eliminate you, the perceived shooter. Then someone shoots at them to defend you. A terrible situation is now a bloody massacre. Better to drop, crawl and find an exit. Right behind me.

  31. Mark says:

    I would just like to say to all the people who are willing to pull out a gun in a restaurant or store to take out the bad guy. You had better not miss. Because if you shoot me or my wife or my daughter….I will sue you so hard, you will be living back in the stone age, because that will be all you can afford for a weapon, a stone. I will take your car, I will take your house, I will even take your brown stained underwear right off your backside. I will take everything you have now, everything you may or ever will have if the future. I will even take everything your family owns, everything. Think about that before you whip it out.

  32. Robert says:

    Don’t know what happened to the youtube link I previously posted with the hilarious Bill Maher ammosexual thing, but for any late posters here at Nick’s blog, here’s another attempt:
    I mean, I enjoy shooting, and believe in the preservation of our second amendment rights, but if you can’t get a laugh out of this, then I’m afraid you just might be an ammosexual…

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