The national debate about firearms continues to spiral. Now a restaurant has stirred the proverbial pot with a Facebook post that declared their position on guns. “Guns are welcome on our premises,” they wrote. The move was welcomed by supporters of the Second Amendment, but it hasn’t made everyone happy.
“The post, which sparked dozens of comments from customers on both sides of the gun debate, had people all weekend vowing to either increase their visits to Riverside Cafe — or to never set foot in the restaurant again,” The Wichita Eagle writes.
The “Guns are welcome on our premises,” message was followed by the caption: “We fully support the Second Amendment.”
They have hung up a physical sign, too, in the window of the cafe.
Kansas has moved to loosen restrictions on concealed carry. Those over 21 who can legally own guns can carry concealed without a permit.
Oddly, the post wasn’t made by the cafe’s owner. “Owner Paul Cohlmia said that he has someone new managing his social media and was unaware of the post until people alerted him to it on Saturday,” the Eagle reports. Yet he supports the move.
Cohlmia later posted that the restaurant has been the target of robberies. “Have been broken in to 16 times, and robbed 3 time with a knife to my face.”
“He said that in most of the robberies, he’s had things like televisions stolen. But when he was threatened face-to-face, it changed his perspective. Last year’s shooting of Ruben Acosta, owner of Ruben’s Mexican Grill, by an armed robber really alarmed him.”
“I just don’t want to be a number,” Cohlmia told reporters. “I don’t want to be in that situation ever again. It is scary, and everybody wants to give their two cents, but when it comes down to being robbed, it’s a whole different story.”
The Facebook post is getting him a lot of attention, even though the policy has been in place for years. He’s surprised by how negative some of the comments have been.
“But some of it is just flat out telling me I’m a bigot, and they don’t know me,” he said. “I have all kinds of friends of all kinds of religions. I’m not going to prove that to anybody, but the proof is in the pudding. I can deal with a lot of stuff, and you can’t fight everybody.”