Country Living Series

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's a brave new world out there...

Yesterday our beloved retired pastor called and asked if we'd like to meet he and his lovely wife for church, then afterwards go to dinner (our church offers a Saturday evening service in addition to two Sunday morning services).

We had a wonderful time. They took us to a deluxe hamburger restaurant called Red Robin, and as you can imagine on a Saturday evening it was packed. We had about a 15 minute wait before they were able to seat us. The service was great, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was upbeat and family-friendly, with lots of children.

With the happy, cheerful crowds in the restaurant, an odd and disturbing thought passed through my mind as the hostess seated us: it would be a perfect place for some nut-job to conduct a mass shooting. And for once, I wasn't packing heat.

So it was very interesting to note something that happened late in the meal. Several young men (late 20s, early 30s) were walking the floor of the restaurant. They were smiling and helpful. While they didn't serve food, they gladly fetched condiments or extra napkins or anything else diners might require. One stopped at our table to see if we needed anything. And around their waists they all wore high-tech belts containing walkie-talkies and sidearms.

I mentioned this to our pastor's wife, and she said a lot of places are now doing this -- having visibly-armed security officers present, particularly during high-traffic hours.

While it's sad that so many restaurants feel the need to have these security officers present, I for one was glad to see them. There's only one way to stop an insane gunman, and that's a sane gunman.

Yep, it's a brave new world out there...

20 comments:

  1. I'd like to see that happening everywhere.... but not as a "police presence". I want to see more citizens armed, preferably openly carrying (or concealed if that is their preference). In my opinion, a visibility armed citizenry is a major deterrent to those who would be of mind to reek havoc upon the unsuspecting. So even though the openly armed were private security, I'm pleased to hear about it. Now the rest of us need to "arm up" and follow their example!

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    1. I agree 100% with Roswell. I too would prefer to see more open carry.

      The 2nd Amendment supports closed carry. But open carry supports the 2nd Amendment. That's a huge difference in my book.
      Montana Guy

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  2. A few of these security officers simply walking around colleges and other schools doing inconsequential little chores like these guys would take care of all these shootings. Thank you for your posts I look forward to them daily.

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  3. It is a little problematic. I like the right to open carry and would like to see that applied in all 50 states. I certainly have no problem with a business hiring guards armed or not. But there is a huge liability for a twenty-something to be hired as an armed guard. Hiring from an approved and bonded security company makes sense. Hiring someone with a gun does not.

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    1. Sorry, I probably didn't make that clear -- these WERE bonded security officers from a private company (they all wore T-shirts to that effect). Their shirts also listed the various businesses they've been hired to protect.

      - Patrice

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  4. Then again, there are many young people who are excellent marksmen (and women) who are mature and of sound judgement, and many 40 to 60 year olds who are not safe with a kitchen knife or a car.... As per our Constitution and the second Amendment it is a right of all......Natokadn

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    1. I agree with you Natokadn, My hubby is NRA instructor and a trainer for trainers and each of our kids learned at an early age that firearms are not toys and learned how to shoot under his watchful eyes. They all can shoot and do competitions when they have time, our daughter shoots both left and right handed with deadly accuracy yet some of my older neighbors don't know one end of a gun from the other. Our kids shake their heads in disbelief at the adults who blame guns and want the guns to be taken away from law abiding citizens. My kids ask people with this kind of mentality "what are you going to do when a criminal with an illegal gun aim it at you....wait for a cop to save you or be responsible for yourself? How sad that kids can see it but adults who should know better just don't.
      JD from NY

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  5. Well. It is a brave new world.

    I haven't seen this where I live, but I have seen two customers at my local convenience store carrying side arms. Right out in the open. No concealment. It makes me sad that it's come to this.

    But, by gosh, I'm tired of trying to be nice to the bad guys. And I'm tired of trying to fight them with strongly worded admonitions!

    Just Me

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  6. What Roswell said. I hate to see it come to this, but...

    I have a story that might illustrate it well.

    I was, not surprisingly, more than a bit of a freak, geek, and loser when I was a girl. Not in the "geek chic" sense. More in the stereotypically mildly autistic Frank Burns, Steve Urkel, Sheldon Cooper sense. I was a bully magnet.

    I lived a hard life. Until I transferred to a rural district the summer between eighth and ninth grade.

    Some of the change, I'm sure, was due to the people of those small rural West Virginia communities not being as uppity, cut-throat competitive, and generally foul as the denizens of the place I'd left behind. I've heard, many times is my adult life, that that certain small town has a nasty reputation for turning out self-righteous, self-serving, upwardly mobile but generally unpleasant bullies.

    I'm sure the basic decency of the folks in the new area made a lot of difference. I KNOW it's the reason that, four years later, I left there with friends, social skills, and a generally more healthy outlook on the world and life.

    BUT. When I got there, I'd made up my mind that friends were out of my reach, and that the one thing I wanted was to be left alone. Not to be hurt any more. I dressed like a badass. I carried myself like a badass. I talked, when I had to speak outside the classroom, like a badass. It probably didn't hurt that my uncle and cousins had a reputation for being, well, fight-picking badasses with a hair temper.

    I remember very few instances of bullying. ALL of them took place within the first quarter of my freshman year. The most notable occasion was when a young man on the school bus decided to say that he "bet you couldn't pound a stake 'up there' with a sledge hammer," but he'd like to drag me up on the hill and try. To which my response was, deadpan, "Try it, [expletive deleted], and I'll kill you."

    They tell me word got around that the skinny nerdy girl with the big boots and the pile of books probably had a sawed-off shotgun in her big backpack. I didn't, of course-- at that point in my life I'd never been allowed to handle more than a water pistol, and certainly not a real weapon. The sum total of my armament was heavy boots, a 3/4" Buck knife, and seething rage.

    But the mere SUGGESTION that I could be armed and willing to use it was enough to persuade a lot of hormonal, immature, insecure, and not all that practiced at the arts of civility and kindness people to LEAVE ME ALONE.

    The irony of the fact that I walked into the situation desperate enough to possibly become a rampage shooter and got a reputation as such being what bought me the time and space to heal and grow into a person who would shudder at the thought of such a thing is not lost on me.

    It's a sad statement for the human race, but as they say, an armed society is a polite society. A secure one, too. I guess sometimes the threat of violence is the only thing that keeps violence in check-- be that a teasing threat to rape a dorky 14-year-old girl, or the actual mass murder of innocent bystanders.

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  7. Patrice, Are you sure it wasn't tip a cop? We are having our fundraiser right now for special Olympics and Red Robin is the sponsor. http://www.redrobin.com/specialolympics ...Don

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  8. I find it interesting that there were armed security officers there when Red Robin's official corporate policy is that they prefer customers *not* bring firearms into their stores. We live in WA and I searched it as we're finding many "gun free" zones in the area where we are. We've stopped eating there for the time being - while obviously one could state that they "may" mean openly carried firearms, and that as CCWs no one would know, and of course that it's a "request", not a prohibition - we'd still prefer to eat where we are welcome to carry. I'd be interested to know if this was private security, hired by the franchise owners to make up for the corporate policy, or if it was the "tip a cop" program referenced by Don in the comment above.

    http://www.redrobin.com/gunpolicy is the direct link, but if you look at the bottom of any page of their website, it's got a link that says "Gun Policy".

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  9. For the last 9 years I have carried not quite 24 / 7 but when I am asleep The gun is on the night stand. A number of friends are liberal and I always wonder what they would say if they new I was carrying. Of course they will never know! One was a teacher that gets her news from the View if that tells you anything. She said that she did not want to have to carry, as if that would ever be true, and I said that she was one of the last people that I would want to see armed. She left the room crying.

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  10. It was tip a cop. Red Robin doesn't have private armed security. We did it here in Portland yesterday except we wore full uniforms to avoid confusion. It's kinda the same idea as Firefighters collecting money in their boots for M.D.A. Here is a couple paragraphs from their press release. Don



    GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Oct. 19, 2015 – There’s a new server in town! This October, law enforcement officers across the country will trade their ticket books for order pads and unite at Red Robin® restaurants* to serve guests for a special cause. Red Robin’s 10th annual Tip-A-Cop® events will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 24 between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 pm., at more than 350 restaurants in 36 states. Law enforcement officers will volunteer their time as servers alongside Red Robin’s wait staff to collect tips from guests to raise funds for their local Special Olympics Programs.

    “Red Robin is proud to continue the tradition of partnering with local law enforcement personnel and Coca-Cola for our Tip-A-Cop events,” said Lee Dolan, Red Robin’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Red Robin is all about supporting the communities we serve and with the help of our loyal guests, to date, officers have raised more than $2.7 million and generated tremendous public awareness for Special Olympics Programs throughout the country.”


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  11. Our church denomination hosts a large (600 people) youth convention every year. This year it was in a state fair building. In the past it has been held in a local church. This was one of the concerns the adults had and discussed as we looked around the large auditorium. We didn't see anyone open carrying and we were unaware of anyone who was acting as security. The churches we have met in previously have security around all the time. I personally didn't carry because I was a chaperone of a teen girls who I didn't know and we were all in the same motel room without a place to safely store my gun while sleeping. And I have been in this situation before where other "sweet little girls" have robbed us blind, going through our belongings while we are in the bathroom or sleeping. My son in law who was also there his youth group was very disturbed about the "corralled" aspect of all of us in this large area. He is making it his responsibility to figure out something security wise for next year. This happened on the 8th of October and in Oregon so we were very aware of how vulnerable we were. Our churches here are full of armed people but our tiny church doesn't even have a security plan. Some members of our congregation are violently opposed to guns and insist we just lay down our lives and not try to protect anyone if something like the shootings happened here. This is why it is best to have plan already in place and not let the whole world know. I realize this is a rambling post. Sorry. It is just some thoughts as I read this article. Our Red Robing is more than 2 hours away but it does not have a security force. I am going to be looking more closely when I am at restaurants now.

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  12. Still, it IS a new world out there. I find it very unsettling that anyone gives one hoot about the opinions of others regarding how you exercise your God-given right to self-defense and the protection of your loved ones.

    Folks, this is not a rhetorical question, Why do you care?

    Montana Guy

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  13. Great new book on the subject of church security and many other preparedness issues (including how to safely give charity to needy, deserving folks): Be Thou Prepared by Pastor Carl Gallups.

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  14. 2 yrs ago parents became enraged at the school and public shootings and we did something about it - NO we didn't put up GUN FREE zone signs we hired off duty sheriff officers! Full uniforms, guns on hips, out there in full view, in your face don't mess with our kids officers! Of course we are a rural school and very conservative, parents even volunteered to carry and walk the halls fully armed just to let anyone know this is our home town school and if you are planning to harm any child we will get you first. But the board said they would hire police officers / security to make sure our kids were safe. Parents are happy to see the HIGHLY visible officer(s), the kids are not traumatized by it and actually give the officers high 5's as they get on the buses and the criminals don't have an easy target - WIN-WIN the way I see it! It's not a gun problem, it's a people killing people problem.
    JD from NY

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    1. So government rejected parent volunteers in favor of hiring more government workers?

      And the lessons for students? That children's dependence on government for protection, is preferable to dependence on parents for protection. That guns only belong in the hands of those designated by Big Brother?

      Sorry but I believe the town squandered a great opportunity and valuable lesson for students.

      Montana Guy

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  15. Dear Patrice and Don,
    Always pack heat. ALWAYS! The wife and I are armed at ALL times, no matter where we go. Yes, it's sad that we must do this to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Very sad. Now, enough of that! This isn't Heaven! It's a far from perfect, safe world. There will always be those who want to harm us or rob us. It's called REALITY. Those who can see this will survive. Those who can't... won't. --Fred in AZ

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