On Saturday, The Hill reported that Joe Groves, the owner of the Dallas-based Ellen’s Restaurant, told BuzzFeed News that the establishment has received threatening calls over a pro-gun control message the restaurant has been printing on its receipts during the NRA convention being held locally.
“We’ve had people calling and say they’re going to shoot the place up, one that implied he would be burning us down today. Ridiculous people,” Groves said.
According to The Hill (Emphasis added):
The threats apparently came in response to the NRA telling its members to “steer clear” of the restaurant, because it had printed a message on the bottom of its receipts saying that a portion of the week’s proceeds would be donated to gun control advocacy groups.
“A portion of this week’s proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations that protect citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights and also help reduce needless gun violence. Welcome to Dallas!” the message reads.
The restaurant posted an image of the receipt on Facebook as well.
But that’s not what the message said as of 10:20 a.m. local time Friday morning:
According to The Hill, the message was picked by by the NRA, which tweeted it out to its 655,000 social media followers. And that sparked a great deal of backlash, which is understandable given that a number of companies have essentially declared war on the millions of law-abiding Americans who support the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Attn @AnnualMeetings attendees. Steer clear of Ellen’s in downtown Dallas! Why go there when there are so many other great choices. ????#sorrynotsorry #StandAndFight #DefendTheSecond pic.twitter.com/joX7pPoPm4
— NRA (@NRA) May 5, 2018
The restaurant offered what it called a “clarification” on Facebook:
Early this morning, we began posting a message on the bottom of our receipts stating that Ellen’s intends to donate a portion of our proceeds this week toward the efforts of finding common ground and compromise in the fight to eliminate needless gun violence, especially in our schools and against our dedicated police officers.
With a limited number of characters available for that message, we simplified it to say we support “reasonable and effective gun regulations” toward that end.
What was not expected was that those two words — reasonable and effective — would be misinterpreted as our support for gun control. The mistake was an honest one. The opposite is true.
We support the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, 100%. And like the NRA, we also support finding solutions to the senseless killings that happen much too frequently. We believe those two things are completely compatible.
After a very courteous and informative conversation with a customer, we realized how our message could be misconstrued and we moved quickly to clarify. By then, the situation had become viral.
“We believe our position is anything but controversial. Rather, it is the American way of dealing with problems. Historically, every time we have had a big challenge, we have come together — Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, and Liberals — and put our collective brain power and dedication to the task,” the restaurant further said.
“No one wants children to die in their classrooms. No one wants police to be killed in the line of duty. The differences we have are in our approach. But we can fix it if we breathe, calm down, and listen to one another. As Americans, that’s what we are supposed to do.”
One person responded: “Proofreading. It’s a thing. The guns ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. This kind of thinking doesn’t solve anything.”
Another person found this statement Groves made on Facebook disparaging NRA members: “I’m making a list of the vile, racist, moronic conversations overheard from NRA attendees eating at the restaurant. They don’t even speak softly.”
The post also included a picture of the message on the bottom of the receipt…
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