A restaurant in Dallas, Texas is taking an unusual approach to opening a discussion on gun control. Ellen's Restaurant is using their customer's receipts to print messages supporting gun control measures during the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum going on this week. Since spreading the messages, the restaurant has received several ominous calls threatening violence.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Ellen's Restaurant</span>
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The owner of Ellen's Restaurant is Joe Groves, and he says the since the restaurant began printing the messages they have received calls threatening to "shoot the place up" and another call threatening to burn down the restaurant. "We’ve had people calling and say they’re going to shoot the place up, one that implied he would be burning us down today. Ridiculous people," Groves told BuzzFeed News. The threats began pouring in after the NRA told its members to "steer clear" of the restaurant because portions of its proceeds would be donated to groups advocating for stricter gun control measures.
The message reads, "A portion of this week’s proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations that protect citizens' 2nd Amendment rights and also help reduce needless gun violence. Welcome to Dallas!" Groves explained in an interview that he wanted to spur a debate about how to reduce gun violence. " 'Reasonable and effective,' in my naive world, is a fairly benign and centrist view," he said.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Attn <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnualMeetings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AnnualMeetings</a> attendees. Steer clear of Ellen’s in downtown Dallas! Why go there when there are so many other great choices. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sorrynotsorry?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sorrynotsorry</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandAndFight?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StandAndFight</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DefendTheSecond?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DefendTheSecond</a> <a href="https://t.co/joX7pPoPm4">pic.twitter.com/joX7pPoPm4</a></p>— NRA (@NRA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/992564679510773761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 5, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The controversy really took off when the NRA retweeted the message to its 665,000 followers. Since the backlash began, Ellen's Restaurant responded on Facebook saying it wanted to find "common ground and compromise to eliminate needless gun violence, especially in our schools and against our dedicated police officers." The backlash hasn't stopped despite the restaurant's attempt at making peace on Facebook. Some people have even taken to Yelp to downvote the restaurant's ratings. So far no actual violence has been perpetrated against Ellen's Restaurant.
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