Capitol Hill businesses dealing (just fine, thank you) with Gun Free Zone recoil

423627_461305743893003_2107409237_nIMG_9151Gun owners are welcome at Capitol Hill’s Cupcake Royale — but their guns are not.

Despite some premature celebration by critics of the new Seattle Gun Free Zones trespassing program announced this week, the local chain of cupcake stores has not dropped out of the program. Owner Jody Hall says a “glitch” knocked Cupcake Royale off the participant list but that her stores remain part of the program. The site roster has already been updated to restore CR to the list — and break the hearts of any cupcake-loving critics of the program who had been taking to social media to celebrate.

Using messages cut from similar cloth if not an organized campaign, pro-gun advocates have been active on Facebook, Twitter and in the comments sections of sites across Seattle following Monday’s launch of the new program. Attacking elements of the seeming symbolic nature of the program and threatening boycotts, the messages have certainly activated those dedicated to the cause. Capitol Hill-based The Stranger has reported on some of the activities here: Gun Nuts Threatening Gun-Free Zone Establishments.

Fortunately, it seems that many local business owners can give as well as they take. Dave Meinert, part of the ownership behind CHS advertiser Lost Lake and Big Mario’s, seems to be enjoying the opportunity to go toe to toe with the anti-gun control crowd. “I’m not worried,” Meinert tells CHS. “I really think these people are obsessed with guns to the point of a fetish. The more they talk, the more the general public will realize how borderline crazy they and the gun rights movement is.”

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Washington CeaseFire, the group organizing the Gun Free Zone program, offers up a slightly more conservative approach to dealing with the unsurprising tide of backlash.
“We are asking businesses to hang in there.. things usually calm down in a week or so,” one representative writes. “Best is to [not] engage.” The rep adds that “many of those pushing are not even customers, just active gun proponents, many don’t even live in Seattle.” The group is advising businesses can point to the Seattle Municipal Code “that allows businesses the right to create conditions of entry to their establishment” and to tell customers “that gun owners are more than welcome, just not their gun.”

CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli, part of the press conference Monday at Oddfellows announcing the new program, put it more succinctly. “Ask them to hang in there,” he said. “Those aren’t their customers complaining.”

You can sign up or view participating businesses in the program here.

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40 thoughts on “Capitol Hill businesses dealing (just fine, thank you) with Gun Free Zone recoil

  1. Love this line from the owner of Big Mario’s ““I really think these people are obsessed with guns to the point of a fetish.” So true! A sick fetish!

  2. I’m sure cupcake roayale and Lost Lake are just angst ridden over the loss of the NRA clientel. These business owners have made a value jusgement, if you supoort it, you’ll continue to do business with them. If you don’t you’ll end the association.

    What I don’t understand is why people feel the need to try and convinceothers’ to their point of view.

    • There are lots of reasons why people feel the need to convince others to thier point of view. I can only relate my personal experience. Several years ago the gun rights folks were trying to work with Senator Kline on legislation and got screwed on the Senate floor. More recently the Senator took to You Tube to proclaim his disdain for gun rights and declare he would no longer work with the gun rights folks until he got his legislation passed. Even more recent, the last Congressional session Senator Kilne introduced legislation that would permit the local Sheriff enter a gun owners home and inspect firearms. Later the claim was made this warrantless inspection was not supposed to be part of the legislation. (not the first time this happened) In the same session Representaive Pederson introduced a compromise for background checks, it was on the brink of being passed, yet when Allen Gottlieb asked for an amendment and hand gun registration to be abolished it stalled out. No more give and take compromise would be had by anyone.

      In the instances I have highlighted the rights of law abiding citizens were up for legislation while the violence or criminal element was never dealt with until this last session.

      Until people can have a civil conversation with out screamin “my dad can beat up your dad”, the real problems will never be addressed.

      Law abiding citizens that carry firearms purportedly are not the target but they are very concerned when legislators play these silly games with their rights. I was very kind with my words here with regard to Senator Kline, we had a fairly heated exchange in email, I told him he was indeed not a statesman. I acknowledge I contributed to the problem, can you understand my frustration though?

      I want to do something to protect my rights as do the folks on capitol hill. Some folks have a way of making the point while others have to convince you they are right, and YOU are wrong. In this “guns not welcome” campaign I believe both sides are right, regarding our individual rights. But I still feel like the actions of politicians are trying to strip me of my rights.

      I believe your analysis of customers supporting bussines that choose to participate is spot on. I believe your NRA comment missed the mark, yet I understand how you must feel; just read the comments on some of these blogs. Not every one who owns or carries a firearm fits the “Redneck NRA” moniker or any other derogatory twist. There are many roads to get there but poking each other in the eye and stating my dad can beat up your dad leads nowhere.

      FWIW I posted a beginning solution over here.

    • What an inane statement. I could see saying it is paranoid, or many other things. But exactly how could carrying the tool required to protect yourself be consider trappings of a ‘victim mentality’?

      • Because carrying a gun to “protect yourself” only works in the movies. In the real world of urban 21st century America, the person statistically most likely to be harmed by it is you or a family member.

  3. I’m afraid once these armed robbers find out that they can’t shop for their cupcakes on Capitol Hill anymore, because they can’t bring their guns inside Cupcake Royale, they’re just going to start shopping for cupcakes in other districts. Isn’t anyone concerned that this might potentially have a negative effect on Capitol Hill businesses?

    • If it’s sarcasm it’s cute, it really is, however just because a sign is on a door, doesn’t mean humans will heed it. I really am curious if these owners are that naive. A criminal is going to carry out their act sign or not. If they do bring a gun in the business, will the workers ask them to take it out while they are at gunpoint? I mean really how many exposed, legal carrying guns have been displayed in cupcake royale since it opened? There are more people packing heat than anyone really knows. These signs won’t change that.

      • Exactly! and sticking a sign on the door doesn’t do much more than provide notice you should not bring your gun in. If they somehow find out you have one all they can do is ask you to leave, just like if there were NO initiative to rid businesses of guns. If you stay, you’re guilty of trespass.

      • Perhaps not, but who has ever claimed otherwise?

        I’m sure Cupcake Royale and Lost Lake are aware of the limitations of this approach. But the underlying idea here is to change the prevailing culture regarding firearms by encouraging people who are uncomfortable around “legally” carried firearms to speak out and know that they are not alone, and that it’s perfectly reasonable to feel that way. It is a small measure intended to build community and lead to the kind of political empowerment needed for common-sense gun safety legislation in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful and increasingly unreasonable gun lobby that has held sway for far too long in this state (the NRA used to support most of the initiatives that gun safety activists are now advocating, but it has been taken over by overt racist-xenophobes like Ted Nugent). I never thought I would see this cultural change in my lifetime, but it turns out Newton was a real tipping point. Get used to seeing more signs like this.

  4. I’ve never owned a gun and doubt I ever will. I do not approve of the POV or influence of the NRA. BUT – you knew that was coming didn’t you? BUT I think putting a friggin’ sticker in your window and thinking that is going to stop a mentally ill person or a criminal who is illegally carrying a weapon from coming in is almost as insane as the narrow minded 2nd amendment zealots. I was born here, from here – Seattle – maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. Drinkin the wrong flavored kool-aid – must be on the old stuff before they new and improved it and changed the packaging 100 times. La te da te da – lets all hold hands now and sing a pretty little song. At least it will make us feel better until the next tragedy strikes. I sure hope Murray has more sense than McGinn cause hizzoner just lost my vote.

    • It’s not meant to be a deterrent. It’s meant as a first step toward making it socially unacceptable to carry your guns around. Like they did with smoking. When I grew up it was still cool and “adult” to smoke. Then came the ads about how bad it was, and smoking ads banned from the airwaves, and health groups doing public outreach about not smoking, etc. Over time, that led to a decrease in smoking. And eventually places began choosing to be “smoke free” before that was a law. It wasn’t about making smoking illegal; it’s still legal if you’re 18 or over. But there are fewer places you can do it. This is the same idea with guns.

      • Yeah, we all know how criminals are going to be peer pressured in to not carrying guns because some sissy yuppies don’t like it, right? Because carrying a gun to them IS a status symbol. And when one of those socially Mal-adjusted miscreants sticks a gun in your face, there will not be a concerned citizen who is there to help. They will either have left their guns at home (doubtful) or they will be at the cupcake store down the street that DOESN’T have the “Free Victim Zone” sign in the front window.

        If you are lucky, maybe one will hear the gunshots and come in time to give you first aid until the paramedics come to get you.

      • If someone stuck a gun in my face, the LAST thing I’d want is for some untrained bystander hero-wannabe to pull out a weapon of his own and cause the robber to panic and act without thinking of the consequences (he’s already jacked on adrenaline as it is). All in all, the victim in this situation has a much better chance of getting out of there alive if they just hand over whatever’s in their pocket and call the cops afterward. If that offends your Wild West ideological or moral sensibilities I’m sorry, but that’s not the world most of us live in.

  5. Let’s these whack job gun-owners boycott. There are so few of them anyway truly patronizing these businesses. I’ll go to a gun free business way more than one that isn’t.

    • “I’ll go to a gun free business may more” — well either you are really dense or you are just posting to support your progressive liberal political view.
      1) Since police have not duty to protect any individual, who exactly to you think is responsible for your protection? (hint: you) And what tools does this protector need? (hint: a gun)
      2) Criminals and insane people do not follow the rules, so they will have guns when they enter.
      3) If you wanted to kill a large number of people, would you go where the victims could shoot back or a “Gun Free Zone” where no one would resist.
      4) who’s life is more important, criminal or innocent? (you may disagree, but if there is a choice the criminal will be STOPED with deadly force if necessary if I am the innocent victim)

  6. I’m counting on some interesting new law as a result of this initiative – so long as there’s enough in the coffers to defend it once the lawsuit(s) hit.

  7. I grew up on the hill, and yes, I pack a gun. I’m a fairly normal liberal leaning guy, but lets face it, there are areas on the hill where I simply feel better with the means to protect myself. Will these signs stop me from going into any of these businesses? Probably not. My weapon is concealed, and unless there is airport security installed at the entrance nobody will know. My other options are a) leave my pistol in the car, or b) don’t go out with it. Neither I consider satisfactory with the current state of the hill.

    I find it sad people like myself, responsible, educated, stable, and honest hard working folk aren’t a part of this conversation. It’s either gun nut or left wing wacko, truth is most of those with permits and carry, at least those I know, are pretty much like me. We’re not the problem here, and reducing our right to carry does absolutely nothing to make your streets any safer.

    • The people that have CCW permits, take regular training, practice often and follow the laws, are not the problem. We are however the targets for the “pro-crime”/”anti-gun” groups like MAIG, Brady, Giffords/Kelly, ceasefire and Mommies. I had occasion to look at the Texas DPS site a while back, and stumbled on the comparison of crimes by CHL people vs. the population at large. CHL holders virtually commit no crimes. We also avoid high risk places and activities, make an attempt to avoid all confrontations and are polite to all that we come in contact with.
      Part of “avoiding high risk” places is avoiding “No Gun Zones”.

      • I haven’t had a parking ticket in the last 10 years, I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I’m safely away in my house by 10, and I avoid conflict, especially when carrying, and I’m far from the Rambo image the far left will portray. I’m a simple man, father of three, own my own business, and stay out of trouble. But I’m honestly not that polarizing, so neither side wants me in the conversation.

        I own a shotgun and 4 pistols of different sizes and calibers, 2 of which I will carry. I’m probably going to purchase an “assult rifle” in the next year, never thought I would need one, but I’d rather have me and not need it, then need one and not have it and possibly not being able to purchase one down the road will hasten my purchase.

        My weapons are unloaded and locked when I am home to keep them away from my kids, but when the time comes to train them on how to safely operate a firearm, you can bet I will be the one showing them how to do, as my uncle did for me when I was young.

      • I don’t think of Ltrain as the exception. In fact I wish I’d read his post before I made mine. He’s much more eloquent.

        Fact of the matter is that many of the gun owners out there are responsible about it and hold a mentality similar to what he wrote. They train with it, keep it unloaded and locked up when at home, and teach their kids how to be responsible around firearms.

        Based on what I’ve seen from these comments, it seems like there isn’t much of a beef with Ltrain and others like him. However, seeing as how there’s such vehemence against guns and gun owners we all feel like we need to shut up about it. As I stated in my own post on this page, I keep my carrying a secret. Sometimes it feels like a dirty secret.

        I don’t ever want to advertise that I’m carrying as that sets up a whole slew of stupid situations that I don’t need to encounter. But I’d rather not feel like I ought to be ashamed to own and carry responsibly.

    • What part of the Hill could that be? There’s no place up here I feel uncomfortable, at any time of day. Don’t be so fearful.

      • Agreed. Only the overly paranoid would think the HIll is unsafe enough to carry a firearm. Plus, statistically, having a gun just increases your chances being harmed.

        If you’re paying to attention to your surroundings and the people around you, things will be fine. There’s no shame in crossing the street to avoid shadowed sidewalks or sketchy people.

      • That crime map goes a long way towards pointing out that plenty of bad things *do* happen on the Hill. It is decidedly unsafe in certain areas at certain times.

        I wouldn’t want my children walking around at night anywhere between 23rd and Broadway. That’s the bar for me: if somebody I love shouldn’t walk around in an area by themselves then it isn’t “safe”.

        I agree there’s no shame in staying out of shadowy areas or crossing the streets to avoid sketchy people (assuming they aren’t, you know, hiding) and I do those things, but I think it’s a fallacy to claim that you can simply avoid anybody who would want to do you wrong. It’s also a fallacy to resign yourself to the fact that you live in a city and bad things are just going to happen. I guess we all have a different threshold for how much risk we’re willing to accept without preparing for it.

        But that said, I’ll bet a lot of people have fire alarms/sprinklers/extinguishers in their homes even though the risk of a fire is incredibly low.

        I would never blame the victims in muggings or violent encounters by saying “she should have crossed the street, then it would have been fine” or “he should have walked on a street with better lighting, then he wouldn’t have gotten mugged”. I count 6 violent encounters on the Hill in the month of August so far in the Cap Hill Crime Archive. None of these people deserved what happened to them and each of them didn’t notice the person who wanted to threaten them until the encounter began.

        But here’s where I think a lot of people are making assumptions about what a gun owner/carrier would do: you assume we’d draw and send a hail of bullets at our mugger but that isn’t the plan. Most of us, if caught flat footed, would just hand over our wallets, phones, whatever, and tell the mugger to leave us alone. We’d then get ahold of the police and help them zero in on the bad person (I have a GPS tracking app on my phone that I can activate to help do that). The weapon isn’t for those kinds of situations. It’s for the situation where somebody wants to hurt us or other innocent people and there’s no other way out of the situation.

        Those kinds of circumstances are more rare than muggings, yes, but they certainly happen on the hill or close to it often enough.

        What’s the threshold for it being unsafe enough to carry a firearm if we haven’t gotten to that line yet?

  8. I do live in Seattle and do carry concealed but plan to dismiss these signs. They’re of no consequence if nobody is aware of the weapon in the first place.

    I haven’t patronized many of those places before and don’t really plan on “boycotting” per se. I’m just going to go about my normal life as I always have. Nobody in those businesses will know I’m carrying a securely anchored weapon, nor do they need to know as it isn’t any of their… business.

  9. I’m grateful to the responsible gun owners that have posted on this article. It’s a false assumption that folks like this are the exception, not the rule. Some statistics say there are 300,000 legally-owned guns in the United States. The incidence of issues (including accidents) every year is vanishingly small. Much smaller than car accidents, bike accidents, smoking, drinking and other legal, everyday activities. Yet a pervasive fear of guns prompts this “Gun Free Zone” type of effort, that will in essence only affect law-abiding citizens, and doesn’t even address the perceived problem of gun violence.

    It’s a shame that anyone with a gun is labeled as a nut job, as seems to be the going rate here, but I agree that I think most people would be surprised at the level of gun ownership, even in liberal Seattle.

    I just wish those who want to decrease violence would instead look to putting their efforts into things like education, versus purely symbolic (but ultimately illustrative of the desire to take people’s rights away) gestures such as this.

    • I believe you meant 300,000,000. According to, “The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,0001 to 310,000,000.”

    • “I just wish those who want to decrease violence would instead look to putting their efforts into things like education, versus purely symbolic (but ultimately illustrative of the desire to take people’s rights away) gestures such as this.”

      What rights do those who prefer not to be near deadly weapons want to take away? That’s quite an ugly assumption, but thanks anyway, cowboy. There is a busload of nuns that needs help somewhere — you and your gun are NEEDED in this society. Plus its your RIGHT to engage in hero fantasy every day of your life. Because, ‘MURICA!

      • Again, outofmyhood, your curious characterization of gun owners seems to have more to do with what you see in movies than any reality that responsible gun owners (ie the vast majority–vast–of gun owners, the ones never in the news so you apparently don’t believe they exist) harbor hero or revenge fantasies.

        Simply being near a gun does not mean you’re being subjected to violence. No rights are infringed on if someone carries legally around you. But this stigma against gun-owners is based on fringe extremists, and it’s frustrating.

        I don’t have a concealed carry permit. I do enjoy going shooting at a range for fun. I have good friends and family who are permitted gun owners/carriers. They’re just your normal middle class neighbors, friends, service people. Maybe if more came out of the closet, we could all be friends, because the truth of my words would be borne out.

      • “Again, outofmyhood, your curious characterization of gun owners seems to have more to do with what you see in movies than any reality that responsible gun owners (ie the vast majority–vast–of gun owners, the ones never in the news so you apparently don’t believe they exist) harbor hero or revenge fantasies. ”

        I am a gun owner. I’m going shooting again very soon. Pew friggin pew. I know there are responsible owners. I really don’t watch movies because they mostly bore me to sleep. And as a responsible owner I am not taking my weapons into a cupcake shop. There is never a reason to pack heat while buying a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles in 2013 in America in Seattle on the Hill unless you are a hero or a psycho. And both types are dangerous and violent and are putting me and everyone else in danger.

        I also think we should have background checks for all gun purchases; mandatory annual training; long long waiting periods; mandatory mental health evaluations; ammo rationing & permitting; carry permitting on a per-instance basis with good-cause exceptions for sales, instruction/training, imminent harm (not buying a german choco cuppie); and severe automatic penalties for breaking those laws. I can clear all of those hurdles and I suspect most responsible owners could as well.

        Regardless of all that, no one is taking away anyone’s rights by forbidding guns at a cupcake shop, (unfortunately) no one is trying to take anyone’s weapons away, no one is trying to change the constitution, and none of those things, not even you and your responsible friends and neighbors (and certainly not the NRA), is really contributing to a national dialog or public policy that protects responsible gun owners while also protecting innocent cupcake purchasers from gettng shot because ‘murica.

        The least we can do is agree that you don’t need a Kel Tec 9 to safely secure some red velvet cream cheese minis. We should also agree that there are all kinds of gun owners – good, bad and illegal. And finally, we should conclude that there is therefore no problem with a small-scale effort to change the conversation on guns in this city, and in this state, and in this country.

      • Except its not changing the conversation. Nowhere does a symbolic gesture such as this get people talking about any of the reforms you’ve mentioned. It seems to just be a forum for folks to label and demean the responsible owners who might happen to be carrying as a matter of course when walking around the city, and then see a cupcake shop and decide on impulse that they would like a Dance Party and a latte. No one is thinking they NEED a gun to buy a cupcake. They’re thinking they want a cupcake and resent the extra judgment (in addition to whatever guilt the empty calories provide) on the side, particularly when the tenor of the conversation is “I wish all crazies like you would be unable to carry guns because I don’t like them”.

        I agree with a lot of what you say as far as mandatory education and licensing (why do I have to show minimal proficiency with a car and not a gun? They are similarly deadly), though there seems no point to rationing ammo or lengthening waiting periods. Most mass-shootings are not spur of the moment. Meanwhile I can’t get ammo right now to go train in marksmanship, which takes 2000-5000 rounds to reach a minimum proficiency, because the Government is buying it up, or causing a run on it with ideas like rationing. It’s like saying that you wish people would be less well-trained when they own a gun.

        Overall, though, the system seems to work. Some thought about the specific problems we’re trying to solve and the minimum measures that might actually effect that change would be nice, versus symbolic gestures that seem to lead to name-calling (at least at the top of this thread).

      • All I am saying is, hey, leave the fine business people and their stickers alone. They are right and good, and I like what they want to do, and I support them, and no one should have a semi-auto at Oddfellows ever. If a symbolic gesture doesn’t have an immediate impact on the conversation, that’s to be expected. If this can be a start, or at least a step in the direction of our society saying that we have gone too far with guns – and we totally have – then awesome. Maybe it’s like buying a livestrong bracelet (lol) or a pink ribbon. None of those things cured cancer or made a discernible difference from my seat in the nose-bleeds, but I see that pink ribbon and I become aware. I am reminded of the death and pain that cancer brings. Maybe when I am sufficiently aware, I do something like volunteer or contribute, or do a 3-day walk or otherwise make an effort.

        I don’t feel labeled and demeaned by any of this. There are some real scary gun-owning nut jobs, and even well intentioned gun owners cause a lot of grief in this country. So we get labels that don’t apply to everyone, but are born out of some real issues that should be fixed.

        Also, I just don’t know what matter of course would cause me to amble down the street with a bushmaster strapped to my back. And then, hey, CUPCAKES. I just can’t see it happening. And if it did, I’d get it. If I dress like a bear, I’m not going to get mad about being mistaken for a rabid, marauding grizzly even though I just want to snuggle.

        And the ammo thing, it IS hard to find ammo. I’m not responsible for ammo production capacity, demand, or anything behind either eco force (like blind panic and maybe more than a little racism). But I think that if ammo consumption was regulated and if there were far less guns in this country, we probably wouldn’t have this problem.

  10. The “rep” made reference to “the Seattle Municipal Code that allows businesses the right to create conditions of entry to their establishment…” So, why did that code not apply when taverns and bars were forced to ban smoking, against their wishes?