Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MRA vs. NRA?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Today is the first day you can legally pack your legal pistol(s) into a restaurant that serves alcohol in Tennessee. The Memphis Restaurant Association is offering pre-printed "No Guns" signs to association members who want them. I'm very curious to see which option my regular joints choose. I'm also wondering how long before we'll have to add a "Guns Allowed" or "No Guns" icon to our restaurant listings.

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This is no small thing. I mean, well, it is actually small, but a publication's restaurant listings are gold. The public relies on them, in print and increasingly online, to be accurate and up to date. Memphis magazine staffers spend many hours making calls to keep the listings fresh. (The Flyer uses the same listings on its website.) The mag's listings are without question the most complete and accurate in town. People will want to know if a restaurant allows guns, just as they want to know if a restaurant serves wine or is handicap accessible. There's a little symbol box in the magazine that accompanies the listings. "B" means breakfast; FB means full bar; MRA means the restaurant is a member, etc. So will we add a "GA" icon or a "NG" icon?

We'll probably decide based on which one will mean less work for the staff. If most restaurants allow guns, then it would be easier to go the "NG" route, since there would fewer changes to make. Decisions, decisions. Damn you, Tennessee legislature.

You know what I'd really, really, really like to see? All Tennessee Applebee's with an "NG". Heh. Probably won't happen, though. Damn you, Applebee's.

I'm also really curious to see how a particular restaurant's stand on guns might impact large dinner groups, where some in the group might be boycotting certain restaurants for their stand — either way — on guns. The mind boggles at the possibilities when, say, a large civic group has to pick a restaurant for its annual dinner.

Fun times. I'm going out after work for a shot and a beer at Celtic. Maybe.

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