Remember how a couple of weeks ago, before the government shutdown filled the news, gun nuts got upset over Starbucks asking them to no longer use their stores for political rallies? Well, here in Louisiana, state Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) decided he wasn’t about to let the issue go. He has decided to hold “Guns and Coffee” events throughout the state, in addition to his “Defend Louisiana” campaign.
From the Baton Rouge Advocate:
Thompson has called for a boycott of Starbucks and is organizing armed klatches at competing establishments.
Sadly, he did not find a warm welcome at the first one. After Thompson put in a brief appearance at its Bossier City restaurant, Chick Fil A issued a statement dissociating itself from his cause.
The only events scheduled that day were senior bingo and a child’s birthday party, so maybe a bunch of guys toting semi-automatic weapons would not have been a good fit at that.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Chick-fil-A, which had their own controversial spot in the media limelight last year over the owner’s anti-gay beliefs, didn’t want to be sucked into the gun debate — despite their very conservative culture.
According to NOLA.com, Chick-fil-A asked Rep. Thompson to take it elsewhere.
Chick-fil-A welcomes gun owners at its restaurants, but as a matter of policy was not the host of a “Guns and Coffee” meet-up sponsored by a state lawmaker, the company’s spokesman said Tuesday (Sept. 24).
“Chick-fil-A is not sponsoring an event associated with this cause,” said Communications Vice President Carrie Kurlander, referring to the Tuesday morning event announced this week by state Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City.
Guns are not in any danger here in Louisiana, especially in rural areas. They’re about as common in homes (including my own) as TV sets or refrigerators. Owning 5 or 10 is considered perfectly normal, and you might even be considered a little odd if you don’t own a deer rifle or a shotgun for ducks and squirrels. The Brady Campaign ranked Louisiana next to last on gun control laws, meaning we have the second most lenient legislation in the US when it comes to guns.
So why is Rep. Thompson pushing this campaign celebrating gun ownership in a state awash in guns? Perhaps it’s to distract folks from the fact that Louisiana is ranked #1 in the country for homicides involving firearms. It could also be that we have one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation, 2nd highest level of poverty (19.2%), and quite possibly the absolute worst roads in the country.
Let’s be honest here — stunts like the ones Rep. Thompson and others have pulled are not about protecting the rights of responsible gun owners. They are attempts to do a number of things. First, it is (as I said before) a distraction from the real issues facing their constituents. Second, it is an effort on behalf of the gun lobby to keep selling fear, which equals more gun and ammo sales. And finally, it is about the delusion of unlimited rights for white, heterosexual conservatives that happen to supersede the rights of everyone else. Coming from someone who killed an anti-bullying bill, it’s no surprise what Rep. Thompson’s real agenda is.
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