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gun-free-zone

It’s for your own safety

These days I hear a lot of arguments made that many anti-gunners simply suffer from innocent ignorance, and that their deplorable ranting and raving can be eliminated with a little education and a helping hand. There are many of you who, like me, used to try this approach and quickly realized, it’s a complete load of garbage. This is the age of information, folks, and in the age of information, “ignorance” is a choice, and once it becomes a choice, it’s no longer ignorance, it’s stupidity.

In the polarizing world of the “Gun Control” debate, there is no greater example of pure, abject stupidity, than business owners choosing to hang up those ridiculous ‘no legal guns allowed’ signs. It goes without saying, to you, at least, that all of the evidence in the world proves that allowing concealed carry in your establishment does not put lives in danger. In fact, as logic would dictate, a ‘no legal guns allowed’ sign actually puts a big fat bulls-eye on your front window letting everyone who passes by know “Nobody in here can save themselves!”. Now, I could go into GREAT depth using indisputable sources with solid info and statistics to prove my point that concealed carry permit holders are just simply more trustworthy, but I just simply don’t want to take the time to spell it all out for any non-believers. If you think I’m wrong – prove it.

But, this article is about those business owners who choose to say “No” to good, hard working people, for no other reason than they’ve proven themselves competent and capable of carrying a firearm among the general population…and the reasons some of these businesses give for their decisions are laughable – at best. I have turned in many of our business cards (find a link in the menu above – print them off for free and hand them out yourself) to many businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area. Many of which I have posted about, and some of which have actually removed their signs…whether due to pressure from any of us, who knows? (Ford City & Black Dog Smoke & Ale are two that I’m aware of have removed their signs since being addressed)

Then you get businesses, like “Champaign Surplus” who come straight out and simply say “We’re doing it because we don’t like guns”. To them, I say, hey, at least you’re honest. I’ll never – ever – again spend another red penny in your business, and I’ll take as many people as I can with me, but you have a right to do what you did, I believe you should have that right, and good luck to you.

And finally, you get the businesses who piss in your face, only to suggest that it’s merely raining. One of these businesses and I departed ways this past weekend and, after some digging, I was able to get some more information – an e-mail from the Chairman & CEO of BankChampaign L. Dean Clausen.

So, lets get to the reason you’re all here: His email. I’ll jot it all down first, then I’ll give my opinion on the many different parts.

From: Dean Clausen (clausen@bankchampaign.com)

Good morning and thank you for your recent comments and concern regard the Bank’s decision to ban firearms inside the facility. It is always good to receive feedback from our customers. I have chosen to respond via e-mail to expedite the discussion, but would certainly welcome further face- to- face dialogue if you choose.

As a gun owner, hunter, and NRA supporter, I feel I understand the issues surrounding gun ownership and the right to carry a concealed weapon. As the Chief Executive Officer of this Bank, however, I have the concerns and rights of others to consider, specifically, the safety of my staff and all of our customers. The carrying of a weapon by me or anyone in the Bank would not protect the accounts, loans, and assets of our customers. Further, a weapon carried by, and potentially discharged, by anyone in the Bank could and probably would put lives at risk. I cannot, nor will I, risk harm to anyone just to save cash on hand. All customer cash accounts are covered by FDIC insurance and other assets of yours or other customers cannot be harmed by anyone entering the bank with a gun.

The unlikely event of an attack on people within the Bank by someone carrying a weapon with harmful intent is the only possible reason to allow weapons in the Bank. We have elected to protect ourselves and customers by utilizing state of the art camera and alarm technology. To my knowledge, this is the same position every other financial institution in town has taken with regard to weapons.
There will be no firearms carried or kept in BankChampaign. Thank you for choosing BankChampaign as your local Bank. We appreciate and value your business.

I’m sure that we both will have a lot of the same things to say about this e-mail, but if I miss anything, feel free to point it out on our Facebook post for this article.

As a gun owner, hunter, and NRA supporter, I feel I understand the issues surrounding gun ownership and the right to carry a concealed weapon.

Oh! Well, now I can’t possibly argue with you, can I? Those are the only credentials one needs in order to tell law abiding gun owners that they’re too dangerous to be trusted in his bank. Personally, I question his claims, but even if they were true, it holds no meaning. But, on a personal note to you, directly, Mr. Clausen, after reading your e-mail, you clearly do not understand the issues surrounding gun ownership or the right to carry a concealed weapon. But on this point, I digress. Moving forward!

As the Chief Executive Officer of this Bank, however, I have the concerns and rights of others to consider, specifically, the safety of my staff and all of our customers.

The ever notorious “But!” clause… used every single time you talk to one of these people. It will always come immediately after they tell you “I’m a gun owner, a hunter, and a supporter of the NRA”. So predictable. But lets assess this: Yes, I do agree, the safety of your staff & customers is top priority. So, how does banning firearms make people safer? You didn’t have one of these “No guns allowed” signs in your window prior to the passing of the Concealed Carry law. You only choose to put one up afterwards. Only when someone like myself who has:

  • Passed well over 3 dozen Federal NICS Background Checks
  • Proven competency with my weapon and knowledge of the law.
  • Have zero history of mental illness.
  • Zero History of domestic abuse
  • And can pass the same marksmanship requirements as set forth in the State of Illinois Mandatory Annual Active Duty & Retired Police Officer Handgun qualification course of fire (wow…that needs to be shortened…from here forth I’ll simply call it IMARH)

Those signs do nothing to physically restrain a would-be bank robber from entering your establishment with a gun. THey only deter people who have a respect for the rule of law…and someone who has that respect is the last person who is ever going to rob a bank. Your argument is very feeble, right from the get-go, BankChampaign.

The carrying of a weapon by me or anyone in the Bank would not protect the accounts, loans, and assets of our customers.

I’m not even remotely interested in protecting your accounts, loans, or assets. I’m interested in not walking into a heavily advertised bulls eye zone without the means to protect my life from some criminal scum bag who chooses to ignore your sign and walk on in anyway.

Further, a weapon carried by, and potentially discharged, by anyone in the Bank could and probably would put lives at risk. I cannot, nor will I, risk harm to anyone just to save cash on hand.

My God, this man simply doesn’t get it – despite the fact that he claims to in his opening paragraph. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SAVING YOUR FEDERALLY INSURED PRECIOUS DOLLAR. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS NOT BEING DENIED THE MEANS TO PROTECT THEIR OWN LIVES IN THE EVENT THAT AN ARMED MANIAC ENTERS YOUR ESTABLISHMENT AND BEGINS SHOOTING

All customer cash accounts are covered by FDIC insurance and other assets of yours or other customers cannot be harmed by anyone entering the bank with a gun.

Here we go with the Cash again. But, yes, he’s correct, your assets can’t be harmed, only stolen…but your life on the other hand, it’s… apparently… worth nothing?

The unlikely event of an attack on people within the Bank by someone carrying a weapon with harmful intent is the only possible reason to allow weapons in the Bank.

Oh, here we go, finally addressing the issue. Hmm. Unlikely, huh? Well, let’s just ignore national headlines for a moment, and look more locally:

On second thought, it’d be easier to just link to some search results and you can see for yourself. One bank in particular located in Urbana has been robbed multiple times (something like 5 times) in a few short years. I’d say it’s happened too many times in recent times and that it’d be disingenuous at best to say that a bank robbery is unlikely. And, I don’t know about you, but if someone walks into my local bank, while I’m standing in line, and shoves a gun in my face, the last thing I’m worried about is the cash in the vault.

We have elected to protect ourselves and customers by utilizing state of the art camera and alarm technology.

gun-free-zone

Well, I’ll be. I was unaware that cameras could protect me from an armed intruder. I guess I purchased the wrong system – I should get with my CCTV company and ask for the bullet-shield model. Actually, on a serious note here, people of BankChampaign, you’re not protecting anyone. Not in any way, shape or form. You’re merely providing police a means of catching the would-be killer / robber after the crime has been committed.

But, if the crime has been committed…you didn’t protect me, or the lady next to me in line, as you have promised was your top priority. Thanks to the internet, this ‘saying’ gets used a lot and, to some, loses meaning, but it still rings true: Police can only respond once a crime has been committed.. Saying you’re protecting yourself with a camera and an alarm by its self is like throwing away the fire extinguisher because you have an axe in the garage. It just doesn’t make sense.

To my knowledge, this is the same position every other financial institution in town has taken with regard to weapons. There will be no firearms carried or kept in BankChampaign.

Well, that is your right. And it is a right I believe you should have. However, you are very wrong when saying “this is the same position as every other financial institution in town”. Your bank resides in the minority of banks I have seen, in Champaign, with “No Legal Guns Allowed” signs, Mr. Clausen. The Bank I chose to take my 2 checking accounts and 1 savings account to does not have one of those signs. And, Hell, they’re a national bank whose local branch has actually been robbed in Champaign back before Concealed Carry was legal for law abiding citizens.

We appreciate and value your business.

My life on the other hand, is up to me. I get it, and I do agree. I don’t want you to be responsible for my life. That’s my job. But your sign puts me between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I want to support local businesses and, as far as banks go, BankChampaign is pretty local! On the other hand, I don’t feel like marching into an establishment that makes me feel vulnerable and that feels as though I’m some sort of criminal who can’t be trusted. Your sign only deters the people who present zero threat. It actually attracts those who would seek you, and me, harm. And that’s why, as long as that bulls eye remains, I will not be back.

Your case does not hold water, Mr. Clausen, but you do have this right. But I, as a former Valued customer, simply ask that you be honest about it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

And now, in closing, and returning to my opening accusation of Abject Stupidity: It simply escapes me how any store owner of any kind (Bank, Restaurant, etc) could turn away so much business from people who are literally proven to be more trustworthy and, lets face it, loyal. The facts are all there, and all of the facts point at the same conclusion: Where there are higher levels of legal gun ownership, there is simply less crime. From the FBI to the CDC, there is simply too much official information out there for this decision to be made out of true, honest, ignorance. Why make a choice to needlessly infuriate a segment of your customer base? Seems to me the only conclusion is stupidity. Abject stupidity. But hey, it’s your business to run as you see fit.

Update: June 16, 2015 Dean has responded to my e-mail requests for further comment. You can read his latest response below
Thank you for your message this morning.
My position with regard to allowing guns into our Bank has not changed. Guns were never allowed in the Bank. Only after the passage of concealed carry, were the decals posted. This is not a gun rights issue. The decal merely clarifies our position on the issue of concealed carry in the Bank.
You are certainly welcome to disagree with the positon we have taken. My position will not change.
Dean Clausen – Bank Champaign

Well, there ya have it. Guns were “never allowed in the bank” – but the signs only went up after law abiding citizens were given back their rights. But, as he points out again, this isn’t a gun rights issue. Well, I, and millions of others in this great Country would disagree, Bank Champaign. Good day to you.

About Brandon P

I believe you can learn all you'd ever need to know about a person by listening to how they describe an individuals freedom to protect themselves. I'm politically incorrect (and proud of it) and when it comes to gun rights for law abiding citizens, I am NEVER neutral!

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