Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant in Sarasota has joined the league of unlikely public signs. On the marquee at the front of the restaurant, the newest sign reads;
CONCEALED CARRY OK
NOT A DEPLORABLE
Bill Davis, the owner, put up the sign as a response to Hillary Clinton’s comment. Clinton referred to Trump supporters as “basket of deplorables.” Davis stated, “I’m not deplorable, although I think she is, I wouldn’t express that view in public.”
He continued, “I usually sit on the fence being in the public business but I just got to a point I couldn’t do it, I had to make a statement.”
Davis admits that he was hesitant when placing the sign, even though he is a proud Trump supporter. He stated that, “It was a big gamble.”
The sign received a lot of attention, and Davis got emails from locals as well as people from all around the country, even lawmakers.
“I got a thousand emails yesterday,” he said.
He lost some longtime customers who vowed never to return. Some called, while others wrote emails. One read; “We will no longer support someone who’s so very, very far to the right and we will never be back.”
“I’m anti-gun, anti-Trump as are many in the area. Don’t want to get political but the sign must come down or we can’t go anymore,” another email read.
Gregory Pech, a frequent customer and Clinton supporter, stated, “I think it’s insulting, I think it shows the mentality that we’re dealing with here.”
Although many people are angry with Davis, he maintains that he it does not bother him.
He said, jokingly; “I’m an NRA member, I’ll protect myself.”
He stated that while some of his employees were concerned about what the sign would do to the business, it turned out that the concern was unfounded. Davis stated that in the days after he put up the sign, business increased. According to him, many new customers turned up after they heard about his sign.
“I thought let’s go to lunch tomorrow to support this guy,” Bruce Younker said.
“I’m proud of him. More people should take a stand,” stated Linda Thomas.
Davis admitted that, “People around me get offended all the time because I say what I want to say.”
However, he just wants his views to be respected.
He added; “I welcome anybody, and they don’t have to think the way I do, I respect everybody’s opinion. Everybody has an opinion and they’re welcome to it. But they should also let me voice mine.”
Davis ordered extra letters for the sign, in anticipation for when people try to remove his message.