With the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum in Dallas last week, local brunch spot Ellen’s Restaurant chose to donate a portion of its profits to gun-control groups. The Hill reports the restaurant printed a message at the bottom of receipts letting customers know this; now, Ellen’s says it’s received threats of gun violence and arson.
The NRA tweeted a photo of a receipt and told its members to “steer clear” of the restaurant, which printed the following message on receipts: “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 receipt also states that it’s “Brunch O’Clock Somewhere” and “Grits Rule,” which both sides of the gun debate can agree are factually correct statements.
The story of the NRA—a tax-exempt organization with more than $430 million in revenue in 2016—taking on a small brunch restaurant made headlines over the weekend as far up the media food chain as The New York Times. Following the death threats and national media attention, Ellen’s Restaurant sought to clarify its position on Facebook, posting a lengthy message that reads in part: “With a limited number of characters available for [our] 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.”
But the NRA isn’t buying the clarification. The organization tweeted what appears to be screenshots of the personal Facebook page of the owner of Ellen’s Restaurant in which he asks whether he should take money from the NRA attendees or tell them “to fuck off.” So, to recap: The NRA is still feuding with a brunch restaurant and calling the media biased in the process; a brunch restaurant seems to do an about-face in reaction to violent threats against its business; and I just had to spend my Monday morning scrolling through the NRA’s Twitter feed. No one is winning here. Can we go back to agreeing about grits, maybe?