Sometimes unfortunate events spark good ideas. Ask restaurateur Art Bouvier. After his Cajun eatery, Papa Roux, fell victim to an allegedly armed robber, he decided to offer a 25% discount to customers who show their concealed carry permits.
“I don’t see that it makes anything worse by letting those people think twice about coming in here and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, there might be people in here that do have weapons,'” Bouvier told Indinapolis’s Channel 8 News.
Smart guy. Many restaurants and other “open to the public” establishments have taken, in recent years, to asking or even demanding that their customers go unarmed and defenseless. While it’s a property owner’s right to decide the rules for his property, business owners who truly care about their customers’ safety shouldn’t announce policies that amount, in effect, to “come on, hoodlums, do as you like — no one to stop you here.”
21st century America has become far too reliant on government personnel for security, and far too afraid of non-government personnel with guns. Our history tells us that those are both moves in the wrong direction.
In the late 19th century, the per capita homicide rate in Dodge City, gunfight capital of the “wild west,” was lower than that of Boston, where early victim disarmament — “gun control” — laws were already in effect. What was true then remains true today. The homicide capitals of the nation are the cities with the strictest “gun control” schemes. Conversely, violent crime rates are lowest where the right to keep and bear arms is most respected as a matter of law.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Papa Roux is a popular eating spot with law enforcement personnel, whose presence might deter armed criminals. But police aren’t always there. And when they don’t happen to be dropping by for lunch, as the old saying goes, “when seconds count, police are always minutes away.”
As my old friend and ideological mentor L. Neil Smith writes, “crime of any kind, whether it kills six people or six thousand, represents a diffuse threat, and can only be countered with a diffuse defense.” An armed populace makes violent behavior more risky and therefore less likely, While increasing our chances of effectively countering it when it does appear.
Crowdsourcing works for security as it does for everything else. And next time I’m in Indianapolis, I know where I’ll be dining out.
Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.