Why Dallas Diner's Backtrack Holds No Water For Many

The NRA launched its own boycott at its annual convention this year. Primarily, it was aimed at a diner called Ellen’s. It seems the diner’s owner took the opportunity of the NRA Annual Meetings to add a little something to the bottom of the receipt.


The NRA was less than pleased.

Unsurprisingly, the anti-gun media think the NRA is out of line for calling out the restaurant. After the backlash, the restaurant tried to backtrack, and the media have completely bought into it.

With about 80,000 people converging in Dallas for the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, one local restaurant decided to send a message to the flood of visitors.

“Thanks for visiting Ellen’s!” the downtown restaurant printed on the bottom of its receipts Friday morning. “A portion of this week’s proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations. Welcome to Dallas!”

Joe Groves, the owner of Ellen’s, which serves Southern comfort food and all-day brunch, posted a photo of the receipt on Facebook on Friday, the Dallas Observer reported. He told the Dallas Morning News and Eater that he decided to add the message after convention attendees had insulted some of his employees with racially charged comments, which Groves called “demoralizing.”

“I’m making a list of the vile, racist, moronic conversations overheard from NRA attendees eating at the restaurant,” he reportedly wrote on Facebook. “They don’t even speak softly.” Customers allegedly asked Hispanic servers, “Do you keep your illegals in the back?” Groves told the Dallas Morning News, and said to black employees, “You don’t sound black. Where are you from, India?”


I’ll take “Stuff that never happened” for $100, Alex.

Funny how this plays right into the stereotype anti-gunners have about the NRA? While there are always exceptions, not a single NRA member I know has ever uttered a damn thing like this, but the media will gulp it down with gusto because it feeds the narrative. Groves is telling them what they want to hear.

But then Ellen’s had to backtrack.

Only about an hour after the NRA posted its tweet, Ellen’s appeared to change its message.

“What a day this has been!” Ellen’s posted on Facebook. “We want to give some clarification to an issue that has caused quite a bit of confusion and anxiety.”

The restaurant wrote that it had not expected the two words “reasonable and effective” to be interpreted as support for gun control measures.

“The mistake was an honest one. The opposite is true. We support the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, 100%. And like the NRA, we also support finding solutions to the senseless killings that happen much too frequently. We believe those two things are completely compatible.”

No, you don’t.

You see, while Ellen’s may have changed its little tidbit at the bottom of its receipts, the truth is that any call for “reasonable and effective gun regulations” is a call for gun control. I mean, how else can one interpret that?


The Washington Post gobbled it up. Groves was giving them exactly what they wanted, a reason to portray gun people as unhinged.

However, just a little critical thinking would have shown just how much Groves is lying. His receipt explicitly uses the phrase “gun regulation.” There’s nothing about that which isn’t likely to rile up your average NRA Annual Meeting attendee. Anyone who has been following the news at all should know that.

Because of that alone, The Post should have been more skeptical about Groves and his claims of racism on the part of NRA members.

However, there appears to be a bit of a disconnect. You see, the Facebook page for Lone Star Gun Rights has an interesting set of screenshots.

Of course, it’s difficult to tell who is what. That particular Joe Groves account is pretty well locked down at the moment. However, that same account does show someone following rabidly anti-gun Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and MSNBC news, so it fits.

In other words, it’s difficult to believe that Groves and his restaurant said anything other than what they wanted to say. What they weren’t prepared for was the backlash that slammed into the establishment. Apparently, they expected gun rights activists to be too stupid to read the bottom of the receipt.


I have little doubt that Groves will deny anything that paints him in a negative light, including any anti-gun biases he might possess. However, his excuses and claims hold little water for most of us.

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