MSNBC Shows Even Their Readers Don’t Agree With Panera’s New Gun Policy

September 8 2014
by GSL Staff
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It looks like even CNBC’s and MSNBC’s readers (which aren’t exactly known for being pro-gun) think that Panera’s new anti-gun policy is the wrong move.

You can see a screenshot of the results of a poll taken at CNBC above, as of earlier today. As of publication time over 10,000 people had voted and 74% of respondents said it changed their opinion of Panera Bread for the worse. Only 20% said it changed it for the better.

A poll on MSNBC shows similar results. In that poll 67% of respondents answered the question “Does Panera’s unprecedented decision change your view of the company?” with, “Yes, the new rules infringe on my right to bear arms.”

The company released the following statement earlier today.

“Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth,” the company said in a statement released Monday. “This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”

The CEO expanded on the statement during a phone interview with MSNBC,

“The request is simply we recognize everyone’s rights,” said Panera CEO Ron Shaich during a phone interview Monday. “But we also recognize that we are building communities in our cafes and are where people come to catch a breath.”

Panera joins Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Target and several other corporate chains which have asked legal gun owners to leave their legally carried weapons at home.

While the chain is requesting no guns, they say that they will continue to follow state/local laws, will not post signs banning guns and will not ask people carrying guns to leave their stores.

“We’re certainly not going to put our associates in the position of confronting someone carrying a gun,” [Shaich] said. “We won’t put our café management in the position of being law enforcement.”

This “soft shoe” approach has been popular with companies. It seems to placate the anti-gun lobby while not actually changing anything in practice.

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