How often have you been watching the news or just out in the world and said to yourself, “well, now I’ve seen the most stupid thing possible. It is not possible for anything more stupid than that to occur.”? I’ve said it to myself many times, but I know it isn’t true. The human capacity for being stupid appears to be infinite. The well of stupidity is apparently bottomless. This was made abundantly clear by a recent event here in Tennessee. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Last Friday evening (February 2), Andrew Ward, a Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officer, met his wife at the Outback Steakhouse in Cleveland, Tennessee, for his dinner break. They were seated and were enjoying a pleasant evening. A short time later, the manager of the restaurant approached Ward and asked him to return his weapon to his vehicle. He replied he could not do that, since he was in uniform and required to carry his service weapon. The manager walked away and made a phone call, before returning to the Ward’s table to let him know Outback was a gun-free establishment and they would have to leave, which they did. The cause of all this was another patron, sitting at another table with her husband, who claimed she feared she would be shot. She went so far as to demand the manager escort her to her car so she wasn’t shot in the parking lot.
Let’s look at this more closely; peel back the layers of stupidity, if you will. First of all, let’s examine the management of this particular establishment. When confronted with an obviously baseless complaint, the manager wasn’t smart enough to solve this issue. He/she chose to harass a uniformed officer rather than offer to seat the complainer elsewhere or apologize, explain Outback’s actual policy, hand her a gift card, and ask her to leave. No, this manager decided the uniformed officer was breaking the restaurant’s gun-free policy (we’ll leave this particular layer of stupid alone for now). Then, our misguided manager had to call someone else, presumably his/her superior, who was apparently as stupid as their underling, since the result was the officer being asked to leave. Two good, thick, layers of stupid, right there.
Now we come to the core of the stupidity in this story, the patron who felt the presence of an armed, uniformed, officer virtually guaranteed she would be shot. Really? Did she really think a sworn officer, in uniform having dinner with his wife, was going to shoot her? Maybe she thought the gun was going to hop out of its holster, drag itself over to her table, and open fire. According to the MSM, it might be possible! If we assume she actually was that frightened, why didn’t she leave immediately? Also, she apparently thought the manager was willing to take a bullet for her, since she asked him/her to escort her back to her car. Her husband must be a real winner.
Being the cynical sort, I think her whole story is a load of crap. I think this woman is some sort of anti-gun or anti-police activist trying to make a point. She was probably elated when Ward walked in the door because it presented her with the opportunity to make a point. I’d love to know this woman’s identity. I’d bet a paycheck her social media feed is full of nonsense from Mom’s Demand Action and MSNBC. She probably has a photo of Shannon Watts on her wall. No reasonable person would believe she was as scared as she claimed, especially of a uniformed officer. No, this was an opportunity to make a scene and try to make a point. It’s just sad she chose a place to do it managed by someone just as stupid as she, creating a perfect storm of stupidity.
I feel bad for Officer Ward and his wife. They were just trying to enjoy an evening meal together. He did absolutely nothing to deserve this. Thankfully, someone at Outback figured out how badly they had screwed up and issued an apology and a gift card. He has been gracious about the entire episode and hasn’t pursued it any further. In fact, his original post about the incident has been removed. As for the patron, she just has to live with herself since there will be no recourse against her. She’d never step foot in my restaurant again, but that’s just me. I’m sure she feels really good about herself, but she can’t be a happy person. Not really. And I can only imagine the hell her husband must endure. People like her should remind us the well is truly bottomless.