Elizabeth Harrington and Tim Saunders
2:44 PM EST, November 8, 2012
The owner of a Bedford jewelry store is explaining his decision to "mourn" the outcome of Tuesday's Presidential election.
R.T. Lyons, owner of Lyons Jewelry, closed his business Wednesday and posted signs in his windows that read: “Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us.”
"I just didn't feel like coming to work," Lyons said Thursday. "There are many days I feel like that as a small business owner."
Lyons said he was experiencing feelings of grief. He believes Barack Obama's second term will bring an end to capitalism in the United States and ultimately hurt his business.
"He has every right to get his agenda done now," Lyons said. "He's been put in by the people and that's what he should do."
Lyons said he believes the President is trying to undermine the principals of free enterprise that were established by America's founding fathers. He worries that Obama will raise taxes on the wealthy people who patronize his jewelry store.
"I'm in the luxury business," Lyons said. "I deal with more expensive items."
Although he didn't support Obama in 2008, Lyons said he was hoping the President could be successful. He was "excited" about the possibility of a Romney presidency, due to the Republican candidate's background in business.
"I'm sure people who are community organizers are excited (Obama) is in the White House," Lyons said. "I was thinking I would be excited about a businessman in the White House."
Lyons said his decison to close was not a ploy to attract attention to his business.
"I didn't want to be happy and wait on people that day," said Lyons. "I think I was in a period of mourning yesterday and it was good for me. I went through the process. I don't know how many steps there are, but I went through them yesterday."
As for the reaction his closing has generated, Lyons said he has received both positive and negative feedback.
"I did see some people taking pictures early on, but I didn't expect the reaction," said Lyons. "It's been a mixed bag, a little bit of both."
People had to see it for themselves Wednesday. Kenda Eggleston says, "I was shocked when I [saw] this."
The six signs posted on Lyons Jewelers in Bedford got everyone's attention on Wednesday.
"I have seen people come by, take pictures, post it on Facebook," says Eggleston.
They stopped in their cars, creating a traffic jam outside the store. Many people then took pictures of the signs with their cell phones, even an iPad.
"There's one saying shame on USA and Virginia. Oh my God."
The signs explained why Lyons Jewelers was not open. The largest sign told people it was closed to "mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us."
Another sign said the president seeks my demise. A friend of the owner, R.T. Lyons, tell us Lyons used his store to vent his frustration with the election results. President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday.
"He done it to show that he didn't agree and didn't like what happened."
Many people we spoke with were very upset by the signs.
"I don't think it's right," says Eggleston. "It's very childish," said Joseph Bede.
One customer posted a sign telling the owner he lost that person's business. Another customer says she won't be back either.
After 13 years as a loyal customer, Willie Thornhill says she's done.
Thornhill says, "I think this is no place to have signs in your window if you expect to do business in Bedford. I will not be a customer again with this company."
But some people agreed with the owner.
"I think it speaks the truth," Amanda Gordon proclaims.
James Higginbotham agrees with Gordon and the store owner. "He's right. The small businesses I look for them to be closing."
The owner's friend says employees were given the day off with pay.
WDBJ7 tried to contact the owner, R.T. Lyons, but he hasn't returned our calls.
According to the signs and voice mail, Lyons Jewelers will be open tomorrow but it may not be business as usual.
A jewelry store in Bedford is attracting a lot of attention Wednesday.
Lyons Jewelers closed because of Tuesday night’s presidential election results, according to several signs posted on the store’s windows.
One sign reads “Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us.”
Many people have driven by the store and stopped to read the signs and to take pictures.
Most people WDBJ7 spoke to are upset about the signs, and say they will no longer do business at Lyon’s Jewelers. One person WDBJ7 spoke to said they agreed with the store owner's right to express their opinion.
WDBJ7 has tried to contact the store owners several times, but has not heard back yet.
For more on this story, tune into WDBJ7 at 10 and 11.
Copyright © 2013, WDBJ7-TV