“This is America, they’re allowed to [open carry], but you can’t glamorize the gun,” Hoover said. “The gun will never be a glamorous thing. It’s just an object. What we need to worry about is keeping the guns out of those who shouldn’t have firearms.”
Hoover has been in law enforcement for three decades. In a shooting situation, he said, more guns on scene create more confusion for police trying to secure the shooter. “I don’t know which one is the bad guy, which one is the good guy,” Hoover said.
“I know I’m going to engage the one who’s closest to me," he said, adding, "I hope to God" that person is the bad guy.
But Boebert believes there is nothing violent about law-abiding citizens carrying a gun.
"I think it should be normal everywhere. I think it should be a common sight. I think we would have a lot less violence if it was," she said.
Even the police chief in Rifle says things are different in his town. “I understand why some people from the outside may see this as a little bit odd,” said Chief John Dyer, referring to Shooters Grill. “And the burgers are great.”
Boebert insists that her employees and her customers are safe, saying, "I'm more worried about my cooks getting burnt in the kitchen than a firearm going off in the restaurant."
And when people do call to tell her they have concerns, she said she remains polite.
“People call in all the time and tell me that this is not normal where they are, and they would never patronize a restaurant like this,” Boebert said. “I say, ‘thank you for your opinion. God bless you.’”