Sebastian thinks the boycott is premature. I say it’s long overdue.
Grass Roots North Carolina notes that the Charlotte Marriott made instant criminals of countless guests by putting up no guns” signs while the event was underway – and long after GRNC had selected the venue in reliance on it being gun-friendly (at least in the Starbucksian sense of the phrase, i.e., not openly hostile to gun owners). Many have complained, and the good news is that Marriott has apologized. The bad is that rather than apologizing for putting those signs up and exposing their guests to criminal prosecution, their apology was for not having the signs up all along:
Dear Valued Guest,
Correction: the remainder of this email will make it clear that from their perspective I am not valued, nor am I a guest.
Thank you for contacting Marriott. We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with information.
Neat, but I didn’t ask them for information. I contacted them to provide them with information.
We would like to thank Grass Roots North Carolina/Forum for Firearms Education for its business at the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel.
In other words: we like money. Fair enough, but….
During the group’s stay, there was some confusion regarding the hotel’s position on the carrying of firearms by the public. It has been the hotel’s long-standing policy to not allow firearms by the public on the premises.
In other words, they are an explicitly anti-gun organization, which has thus far managed to stay off the NRA blacklist despite being far worse than most of the companies on it. This, in turn, allowed them to exploit that very confusion not just during GRNC’s stay, but for months before that; else GRNC members (and Lord knows how many NRA members) take their business elsewhere.
In accordance with applicable law, this policy is posted in several locations around the hotel. Marriott’s policy is to comply with all applicable laws and ordinances.
From these weasel words you’d almost thing there were some law or ordinance requiring Marriott to post no guns signs around the hotel. Of course no law does; what the applicable law (North Carolina General Statute 14-415.11(c) – there are no applicable ordinances due to preemption) does do is convert what would otherwise be a mere civil trespass into a crime that can get our Valued GuestsTM fined, imprisoned and deprived of their right to carry anywhere in the state or even purchase firearms without their sheriffs’ permission. If this is what they do to their Valued GuestsTM, I shudder to think what they’d do to the guests they don’t value.
We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and space for events and functions. We do this without regard to the lawful purpose or views of any specific group or organization.
Yeah, it’s might hospitable of you to not be quite as hostile to the First Amendment as to the Second, but a company serious about hospitality wouldn’t have such a ridiculous policy in teh first place. There’s certainly nothing hospitable about tricking thousands of law-abiding gun owners into patronizing your joint, only to turn around and expose them to criminal liability for taking you up on your offer of faux hospitality.
As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is a top priority.
So high that you adopt a lame-brained policy that has no potential of making any of your guests or associates safe, and ample potential to endanger them.
Marriott Customer Care
Translated: disregards, some lying crapweasel who won’t even stand up and put his/her/its name behind his/her/its words. Let’s call him/her/it … oh, I dunno …. Kathleen Matthews? Or maybe here assistant, Marilyn Cole? I doubt it was Jim Diehl, the brainiac who started this mess.
Note that despite having non-signed the email, he/she/it isn’t quite done yet. While Marriott loves to “comply with all applicable laws and ordinances” that enable it to expose others to criminal liability for exercising their legal and constitutional rights wherever they can, that doesn’t mean they’re above quoting scary, legal-sounding gibberish where no such law applies:
This communication contains information from Marriott International, Inc. that may be confidential. Except for personal use by the intended recipient, or as expressly authorized by the sender, any person who receives this information is prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, and/or using it. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately delete it and all copies, and promptly notify the sender. Nothing in this communication is intended to operate as an electronic signature under applicable law.
So to the extent that receiving mail from someone is the equivalent of being on their property, Marriott takes it upon themselves to say, in essence, “by reading my smarmy email you agree not to fisk it in a public forum.” Sorry, Marriott, no dice. Gun owners made the mistake of paying Marriott a fortune last week in Charlotte. We won’t be making that mistake again.
UPDATE: The original version of this post omitted Diehl’s name and address, on the theory that he was just taking orders from on high. After re-reading the message I’m not so sure; they never actually said it was the entire chain’s policy to require its Valued GuestsTM to be sitting ducks; only that it was the longstanding policy of “the hotel.” I’ve sent them a follow-up email asking for clarification on that point, but meanwhile, I’m leaving Diehl’s name and email address up there now, because at a minimum he is the one responsible for negotiating this deal with a gun rights outfit he knew, or should have known, would expect to be allowed to carry there.