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Archive for April 28th, 2011

Sandwiched Between Two Special Interests

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Earlier this week I commented on the NRA holding its national convention in my neck of the woods. There’s actually a pseudo-story that deals with one of our local restaurants and some DRAMUH~!

Primanti Bros. will stuff a lot into sandwiches, but not politics.

Officials at the Pittsburgh institution were “completely caught by surprise” Tuesday by claims from gun supporters that the sandwich shop is anti-firearms and should be boycotted during this weekend’s giant National Rifle Association convention Downtown. The claims were based upon photos a gun-control group posted of a visit to their Strip District location in February, in which they mugged for the camera with restaurant employees.

“We’re sandwich makers,” said Primanti’s operations director Marc Teklinski. “People always come down to our Strip District location and engage our staff. It’s not uncommon to take photos with the staff. It’s innocent.”

He noted their locations also have staff photos with conservatives John McCain and Glenn Beck — Mr. Beck wheeled out 400 of their sandwiches in a nationally broadcast speech from the Benedum Center in December — as well as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Primanti Bros., famous for sandwiches with fries and cole slaw piled on the meat, has been in Pittsburgh for 78 years. With an estimated 1 million NRA members in the vicinity of the city, and many more gun owners and hunters who do not belong to the group in their customer base, it probably would have been known long ago if the famous franchise was anti-gun. The current charge comes just days before the convention draws about 65,000 people into the city with their estimated $23.7 million in spending.

Pittsburgh was also a stop in February by Fix Gun Checks, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that is on a nationwide tour to promote stronger background checks for gun purchases. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is a supporter.

During its stop in the city, officials stopped by Primanti Bros. and parked a truck saying “34 Americans Are Murdered With Guns Every Day” by the parking lot. It then posted several pictures with restaurant employees (some of them donning red Fix Gun Checks T-shirts), and others with Gun Check advocates working behind the counter.

The pro-firearms blog Snowflakes In Hell posted the pictures Monday under the title “Avoiding Anti-Gun Food in Pittsburgh.” It warned NRA members against going to the restaurant, saying, “Know that if you spend your money at Primanti Bros., you’re supporting a company that supports Bloomberg’s work to restrict our rights.”

With so many gun owners around Pittsburgh, many readers on the site were familiar with Primanti Bros. and upset by the charges. “I love their sandwiches but they won’t be getting any of my money any more,” one poster wrote. “I will truly miss the once obligatory tradition of dining at Primanti Bros. in my Pittsburgh visits,” wrote another. Another suggested leafleting the restaurants to warn NRA members against patronizing them.

The charge was picked up by other pro-gun blogs, such as the Pittsburgh-based “Lost and Found,” which had placed Primanti Bros. on top of its list of places to eat during the convention. There are two locations Downtown.

“Due to their active support of Bloomberg’s anti-gun club, I can’t recommend Primanti Bros. Their food is very good but it is definitely not the only place in town,” the site said Tuesday.

The whole thing is dumb, but whatever. Actually, if anyone was planning on robbing a place of business this weekend, Primanti’s might be the place if this “boycott” actually takes place.

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Written by kkktookmybabyaway

April 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Posted in News