Hypocrisy? NYT Runs Puff Piece on Maine Restaurants Banning Patrons Who Support Gun Rights

Hypocrisy was on full display in Tuesday’s New York Times as the top story for the national portion of the A section proudly touted a Maine restaurant owner who announced after the Islamic terror attack in Orlando that she would not only refuse service to anyone carrying an AR-15 but anyone who endorses the ownership of the firearm. 

The piece boasted of owner Anne Verrill’s decision and highlighted some criticisms, but was nowhere near the loathing that would have been leveled in her direction if Verrill was a conservative Christian owner of a bakery or photography business because, in the words of Verrill, “[g]un owners are not a protected class.”

Reporter Katharine Q. Seeyle explained that Verrill went through “her typical response to the nation’s litany of gun massacres” before realizing that she “wanted to do something that she thought might make a difference and set an example for her children” even if it “could hurt her business in a pro-gun, largely rural state.”

When it came to the parameters of the individuals she decided would no longer be welcome in her two restaurants, Seelye revealed that Verrill made the declarations in a Facebook post (that she’s since deleted because it “had become a platform for haters”): 

She wrote that anyone who owned a high-powered semiautomatic rifle similar to the one used in Orlando was not welcome in either of her two restaurants. That was not all: She would not welcome anyone who merely supported the idea of owning such a weapon.

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She wrote on Facebook in mid-June, “If you own this gun, or you condone the ownership of this gun for private use, you may no longer enter either of my restaurants, because the only thing I want to teach my children is love.” She included a picture of an AR-15, similar to the gun used in Orlando.

“I cannot, in good conscience, accept anyone inside of my restaurants who believes that this is OK,” she wrote.

Despite deleting the post in question, Seelye added how Verrill not only doesn’t regret the pronouncement but rejects comparisons to Christians who have been berated by liberals for refusing service to gay people: 

Looking back now, Ms. Verrill said in an interview, she wishes she had worded her original post differently because it gave critics an opening to question how exactly she would bar people for their beliefs — a distraction from her main point about the horror of gun violence. Many said she was behaving no differently from a baker who would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding, but she rejected that analogy.

“Gun owners are not a protected class,” she said. “Owning a gun is a choice. It bears literally no resemblance to the biological nature of the color of your skin or your sexual orientation.”

Seelye went onto name a slew of families affected by mass shootings who have flocked to the restaurants to express their support before mentioning one having admitted that they were “not comfortable with business owners deciding who to serve based on their beliefs.”

Perusing the vast archives of NewsBusters, The New York Tmes and their fellow liberal media outlets on-screen, online, and in print were anything but hospitable toward Indiana when the state passed a religious freedom measure in the spring of 2015 with the symbol of such Christian business the law meant to protect in a small pizza shop called Memories.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center