Anne Verrill, owner of Grace restaurant in Maine, is refusing service to anyone who owns an AR-15 or even supports the idea of owning one.
According to The New York Times (NYT), Verrill used a Facebook post to alert customers and would-be customers that “anyone who owned a high-powered semiautomatic rifle similar to the one used in Orlando was not welcome in either of her two restaurants. That was not all: She would not welcome anyone who merely supported the idea of owning such a weapon.”
The backlash against her restaurant, and subsequent calls for boycotts, were instantaneous, and she pulled the post. But the NYT captured a screenshot of a portion of it prior to its deletion. In it, Verrill said, “Let me be clear, this is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue. If you own this gun, or if you condone the ownership of this gun for private use, you may no longer enter.”
Verrill explained that she did not delete the post because her views had changed. Quite the contrary, she said her position remains the same, but she took the post down because she felt it gave ammunition to those planning to boycott or malign her business.
The Daily Mail reports that Verrill posted a followup in which she explained that she had no control of people full of “evil and hate” who want to boycott her restaurant for banning AR-15 owners:
I don’t want to take away guns of responsible gun owners. I don’t care if you have 12 hunting rifles if you are a responsible hunter. I want people to not have the power to own weapons of war. I want our government to be able to deny someone they can put on the “no fly” lists to not buy a semi-automatic weapon. If you do not understand why I do not want a weapon designed to kill at that kind of rate of speed in my restaurants then there is nothing I can do about that. But I am not going to hide behind not politicizing myself for fear of my economic security. If evil and hate want to boycott my restaurants then so be it because I believe good will be on my side on this. As long as my doors are open I will believe that love is love. And when my children ask me where I was on this, I will say I was right there, fighting for a better world for us and for all those people who lost their lives.
The Orlando terror attack was the big motivator for Verrill. But she did not focus on “terror” or “Islam.” Rather, she focused on the gun. Recently, an Islamist in Nice, France, killed nearly twice as many people as were slain in Orlando, using only a truck on a crowded street.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.