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Toby Keith restaurant hypocrisy leaves bad taste in gun owners’ mouths

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Toby Keith’s restaurant in Woodbridge, Virginia, bans lawfully-permitted customers from being armed on premises, relying on a provision in state law that allows such establishments to prohibit guns, Fox 5 reported Thursday.

“Toby Keith is not only a hugely successful country star (and actor), he also has personally opened a couple of restaurants, and through other companies, has now expanded those establishments into about a dozen cities,” the report advises.

While his personal stake in the business, shares owned, and royalty deals, is unclear, simply allowing his name to be associated with such a franchise enterprise where anti-gun policies are enacted reeks of hypocrisy, especially based on his past profitable associations with gun owners under a Second Amendment banner that now appears to have been all for show.

“Record number NRA members, country superstar Toby Keith and other celebrities to pay tribute to legendary actor and activist Charlton Heston,” the National Rifle Association announced last February about their 2003 annual meeting in Orlando. “On Friday, April 25th, a special tribute to Charlton Heston will be held honoring the leadership and dedication of NRA`s outgoing president, with a special concert by country music superstar Toby Keith.”

“I’m all about good people, licensed and trained, carrying a concealed weapon,” Keith said in an interview. “The bad guys are always gonna be carrying guns. There are so many guns in the US and so many bad people that do harm with ‘em. If just one percent of the non-felons would go get their concealed weapons license and carry a gun where they can, one percent puts you in a pretty good position of being somebody that could save a bunch of people’s lives.”

That means if someone who is not deterred by “No Guns” signs decides the I Love This Bar & Grill in Woodbridge represents a soft target where evil is guaranteed success, Keith will have a tough time explaining to survivors why he thought rendering their loved ones defenseless was a good and moral business decision to make. And while reactions on the restaurant’s Facebook page are mixed, the sentiments of activist gun owners indicate it’s not just the guy’s restaurants that will be shunned from now on, but his music as well. Not to mention his pricey booze.

Because based on results, it’s not that the guy is especially anti-gun: It’s just that when it comes to his investments, he’s evidently not all that keen on you having them.

It's instructive that five years after Keith wowed NRA members, he declared himself a supporter of “the most anti-gun president ever to occupy the Oval Office” in 2008 when he praised Barack Obama, calling him “the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton,” and then honored Obama by performing at his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.

NOTE: This article was rewritten in parts immediately after publishing to correct the date of Keith's NRA meeting performance.


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When it comes to gun laws, the antis love them so much they’d like to make a patchwork quilt out of them. The latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "Preemptive Strike.”



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