CBS isn't known to be a network friendly to gun rights. So, it was shocking to see a positive, pro-Second Amendment-rights story on Tuesday. This Morning reporter Barry Petersen profiled a Colorado restaurant that encourages open-carry of weapons. Co-host Gayle King enthused, "Plus, gun-toting waitresses. Inside the restaurant with an appetite for firearms." [MP3 audio here.]
Petersen explained that the armed waitresses of Shooters started as an idea when "owner Lauren Boebert [began] carrying a gun." He added, "Boebert insist that the women be properly trained to use the guns." A local patron explained, "But the local people, plus the people in Western Colorado, are not going to be worried by someone with a handgun." Petersen did offer this alarmist question to the owner: "You really don't want anybody shooting your customers either. Right?" But the segment featured no voices from gun control groups or any alarm at all over the concept of open carry.
Co-host Norah O'Donnell dryly suggested, "There are not many fights, I think, that break out there."
Boebert offered a more explicit defense of her business on the July 3 edition of FNC's Real Story:
LAUREN BOEBERT: We’ve actually met a lot of people from all over country that want to patronize this restaurant because of what we stand for. We stand for our Second Amendment rights. We stand in faith of our Lord Jesus. And it’s just amazing to people that have come in. And you know that’s what we’re here for. We’re not here to worship guns, we worship Jesus.
Such an opinion appearing on Fox may not be shocking, but it's surprising for CBS to showcase a pro-gun perspective. Last September, This Morning's King wondered if the gun industry is putting profits before "human lives."
A transcript of the July 8 CBS This Morning segment is below:
GAYLE KING: Plus, gun-toting waitresses. Inside the restaurant with an appetite for firearms.
KING: Plus, the Colorado restaurant that's a throwback to the old west. They offer burgers with a side of guns. Huh? Why waitresses and customers are encouraged to holster up. That's ahead.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Open carry firearm laws are being debated across the country this morning. And while most state allow owners to care handguns in public, there's push back from some businesses. Last week, Target joined a growing list of companies asking customers not to bring firearm into their stores. But Barry Petersen shows us a Colorado establishment taking the opposite approach.
BARRY PETERSEN: The town is called Rifle. The grill is called Shooters. So no surprise the waitresses have an unusual dress code. What are you carrying today?
ASHLEE SAENZ: I'm carrying a Ruger .357 Blackhawk.
PETERSEN: Why that one?
SAENZ: I like the old style revolvers. I just like big guns.
PETERSEN: It started with owner Lauren Boebert carrying a gun openly, which is legal in most parts of Colorado. So, the waitresses accessorized as well. Dusty Sheets carries a Smith and Wesson nine millimeter. Jessie Spaulding favors a Glock 9. Boebert insist that the women be properly trained to use the guns.
LAUREN BOEBERT: There's room for errors in a lot of ways. So the best training is the best way to prevent a lot of those.
PETERSEN: You really don't want anybody shooting your customers either. Right?
BOEBERT: No, sir. Not at all. We would go through extreme circumstances before that was our final option.
PETERSEN: The Lacy family was split on the pistol-packing ladies. Jill was nervous. Did it scare you?
JILL: It's a little intimidating, yes.
PETERSEN: Nine-year-old Axel thought it was sort of cool. So, do you feel safer because they have guns?
AXEL; Um, yeah. I do.
AXEL: Um, so they can just defend themselves and the store.
PETERSEN: In Colorado, open carry requires no permit, a concealed weapon does. If you want to take it to the next level, around here they have what you might call the side arm sandwich special. For $75, you get a class on getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon. And along with that comes a free burger. As they say round here, take your best shot at it. Maybe it's time to remember this is Colorado, the old west. Doug Yako (PH) is a local doctor.
DOUG YAKO (PH): Maybe if someone wandered in from New York City or Washington, D.C., they might be a little worried. But the local people, plus the people in Western Colorado, are not going to be worried by someone with a handgun.
PETERSEN: And one more thing. When you see the shooters at shooters, our advice is leave a really good tip. For CBS This Morning, Barry Petersen, Rifle, Colorado.
O'DONNELL: Yeah. There are not many fights, I think, that break out there. There's law abiding citizens at Shooters grill.