It looks like the gun control debate has made its way into the watering holes of the Lower East Side, as an as-yet-unidentified bar seeks, via Craigslist, a security guard in possession of a firearm carry permit.
The ad promises that the venue is “a chill, fun, popular New Orleans Themed tavern,” with “no trouble really.” The armed security guard is expected to deal “directly with the public” and maintain “a pleasant, even jovial, demeanor & attitude” while simultaneously wielding the power of a loaded gun. Experience in mixed martial arts is considered a plus, and the pay? Negotiable. (Recruiters, no calls!)
Here’s the ad in full:
“Bar owner seeks mature security person. Military, police, federal agents, gun carry permit, MMA background a plus (doorman, ID checker experience a must) for bar/business security; a chill, fun, popular New Orleans Themed tavern, no trouble really. And as you will be dealing directly with the public, the perfect person will have a pleasant, even jovial, demeanor & attitude, physically touching anyone only as a last resort, always. Guaranteed 4 nights a week, Sun, Mon, Fri & Sat. Please include a picture with your resume and a hourly or nightly pay expectation.”
We did a quick scan of New Orleans-themed restaurants in the LES and turned up with two: The Box and 169 Bar. Neither returned our request for comment. We also replied to the post via Craigslist, and the establishment has yet to respond to email inquiries on the nature of the qualifications it seeks.
Thing is, crime between R Bar and the FDR is on the rise. Robbery has increased 12.4 percent; burglary, 7.2 percent; grand larceny, 8.7 percent; and rape, 28.6 percent since 2011, according to NYPD statistics for the 7th Precinct. Petit larceny, having increased by 21.9 percent, is the leading crime in the area. The good news is that 2012 was a year free of murders on the Lower East Side, down from 2011, when five murders were reported.
Still, this ad leaves us a little uneasy. If we had the choice between going to a bar with an armed guard or without one, we’d choose the latter. The Craigslist ad goes so far as to say “physically touching anyone only as a last resort, always,” but if pulling a gun requires no physical contact, do we call that the “second-to-last resort”?