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Panera has become the latest corporation to "respectfully" ask its customers not to bring guns into their stores after the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America persuaded them toward the direction of sanity. The new Panera policy became effective last Monday at all 1,818 Panera locations.
Panera CEO Ron Shaich released this statement:
"We recognize everyone's rights, but we also recognize that we are building communities in our cafes and are where people come to catch a breath."
Catch a breath; not a bullet.
Moms Demand Action celebrated Panera's decision on their Facebook page by asking people to "Tweet @PaneraBread today say thank you for having #gunsense".
"We applaud Panera for working with us to proactively develop its new policy, and for standing up for the safety of its customers and employees." said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. "Until our leaders finally require background checks on every gun sale in this country, we demand that businesses act to protect their customers when lawmakers do not.”
Still, Panera has indicated it would continue to follow local gun carry laws, but is asking its customers to voluntarily leave their guns outside the restaurant while dining in or getting take-out.
Panera is the latest addition to a list of successes for the Moms Demand Action campaign; Chipotle, Target, Chili's, Jack In The Box and Sonic Drive-In have all asked their customers to come unarmed.
When did we become that country? Look, I am not a gun person, but I understand the right to bear arms, though the right to bear assault weapons I don’t understand at all. But that’s not the purpose of this argument.
When did we become the country that says it’s okay to carry a loaded weapon into a restaurant just because you can? I still believe that, if I’m in Panera, or Chipotle, or wherever, and I see a person carrying a gun into the building, that there will be some sort of robbery or attack, or violence.
You don’t need a gun to buy a sandwich.
Why are we that country? Own a gun, go ahead; shoot a gun at a practice range; feel that you’re protecting what’s yours. But when you go out into the public, why not leave the weapon at home? Why do you need a gun when you're having a sandwich? Why carry an assault weapon while looking for towels at Targe?
Why let us become that country, the one that puts guns everywhere? The country that has to ask folks not to come out shopping with their guns?