Seattle businesses face backlash on gun free zones

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 9:31 PM

Area businesses are getting backlash of threats and intimidation for going gun free this week.

Nearly 50 businesses have signed up to become “Gun Free Zones,” a program announced by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to stop gun violence. To show that, many have decals displayed on front windows.

Gun owners are firing back, showing protest with their pocketbooks.

“I was insulted. It’s basically telling me that the business or corporation doesn’t want my business,” said Betsy Stubbs, who’s a licensed and trained concealed weapon carrier.

Stubbs, 65, carries a 9 mm Glock for protection.

“There are times when I’m out by myself that I chose to have that right,” she said.

She calls the new voluntary anti-gun campaign discrimination.

“When you see no shoes, no shirt, no service, it’s like ok that’s one thing but when you have earned a legal right,” said Stubbs.

According to Stubbs, the campaign unfairly targets responsible and intelligent people that are allowed to carry a gun legally by associating them with criminals.

“Don’t fool yourself by thinking a sticker in any way will protect you. The sticker will do nothing but annoy people that are law abiding,” said Stubbs.

She and other gun owners plan to avoid businesses that support the ban.

“You’re told no you’re not wanted then I don’t want to go spend my money there whether its merchandise, drinks or taking a ride on a Ferris wheel,” said Stubbs.

Seattle’s “Bus Stop Espresso” proudly displays a “Gun-Free Zones” sticker. In just a few days, the shop has received hateful threats and criticism for it.

One read: “Do you really have a logical brain cell in your head?”

“I was surprised,” said owner Laura Vo.

The business is near Café Racer where an armed man killed employees and customers last year. For Vo, the sticker isn’t political, it’s personal.

“People that are criticizing our policy should know that this horrible event occurred,” said Vo.
Still, she isn’t changing her stance.

“I’d rather lose a couple of coffees than lose my solidarity with the community, than lose my own self respect for letting a couple of people coward me,” said Vo.

Betsy won’t budge either.

“That’s how we do it in grandma’s house,” said Stubbs.

Multiple businesses, including Bus Stop Espresso, experienced an angry call from a man in Florida. Each threat is now being reported to Seattle Police.

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