A reader seemed a bit dubious about the lead story last week (6 July 2014, Issue 1047). So let’s start with the story, and then the comment by John in the U.K.:
Give It a Shot
A Colorado restaurant has a little something extra on the menu. The restaurant is called “Shooters” not because it serves shots of alcohol, which it doesn’t, but because it encourages everyone — from the waitresses to the customers — to carry guns when they come in. The waitresses’ pistols are “real and they’re loaded, and we know what we’re doing,” says owner Lauren Boebert. The restaurant hosts gun safety classes necessary for customers to get concealed carry permits; dinner is included in the $75 class price. Police Chief John Dyer says he has “no problem with it. And besides, they make a really good burger.” The local sheriff supports it too: “I encourage people to get a concealed handgun permit,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario. “I think there’s this misunderstanding that we can always be there. But I’ve got about one deputy per 1,000 people. People have the absolute constitutional right to protect themselves.” The restaurant is located in the western town of Rifle. (RC/Summit Daily News) …The waitresses say they have the politest customers on the Western Slope.
About the last sentence in the story (“The restaurant is located in the western town of Rifle.”), John in the U.K. commented, “That location sounds too good to be true ;-)”
I’m not sure if that’s a serious challenge to the story’s veracity, but Kit and I spent most of last week at a medical conference in the mountains. I told her on the way back I wanted to stop at the closest Costco warehouse, which is a three-hour drive from home (but we were going right by it), and then Shooters for dinner. She agreed to both.
After stocking up on goodies at Costco, we got to Shooters in time for an early dinner. Both of us ordered the Police Chief-recommended burgers. Both waitresses were indeed packing. I couldn’t quite tell what our waitress was carrying, but the other gal’s looked like a Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm, carried nicely in a retention holster (latches the gun in so it can’t fall out, or easily be grabbed out by someone else). That’s a serious piece of hardware: M&P stands for Military & Police, since it was designed for that market (but also available to civilians), and costs around $500 — serious cash for a waitress.
In other words, this isn’t a gimmick where someone straps a World War II surplus piece of junk on their hip to satisfy a “theme restaurant” gig. These gals clearly shoot, and have had training, or they’re “real and they’re loaded, and we know what we’re doing,” as the owner said in the story.
Not for Everyone
It’s a place that makes a statement. I certainly know not everyone wants to hear such a statement, and that’s OK, but I’ll say while we were eating there was a steady stream of customers. Sure, it’s a gimmick, but I was not uncomfortable at all. When civilians use guns to protect themselves, they hit innocent bystanders much less often than police do (as I recall, the stats are 2 percent vs 11 percent). I wouldn’t be afraid of a cop eating dinner there with a sidearm, and a trained civilian with a sidearm is that much safer. Fine.
I chose not to ask if I could take a photo inside: the gals looked pretty tired, and I could relate. But I took one of the front, which shows the location (on the window, and on the sign — click to see larger): Rifle, CO — it’s indeed a real restaurant in a real 9,200-population town, right along the well-traveled Interstate 70. I declined Kit’s offer to take a photo of me standing out front, since it was a long week and I was road weary, but there you go, John!
Oh, and the burgers? A bit greasy, but tasty. I had the “G9” — topped with guacamole, bacon, and habanero-jack cheese. Nice combo!
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