Good news for people who feel that they need to protect themselves with guns in bars; bad news for those of us who just want to get our drink on without the threat of impending bloodshed or ricochet action totally blowing our buzz. Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia will now let you bring your loaded gun to the bar, though Tennessee, at least, doesn’t want you to drink booze if you do it (and that’s enforcible!).
Eighteen other states actually let you have weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol. In the four states explicitly allowing guns, establishments have a right to post a sign outside prohibiting firearms there, but not many, apparently, do, for fear of either losing clients or pissing off people with guns.
Meawhile, in Boston, you can’t even drink out of glass in some establishments because it’s a safety issue.
Aside from guns in bars being just a patently, patently bad idea, we’re bewildered by the number of people who seem to believe firmly that toting around a gun equals self-protection. If we all have guns, aren’t we just back to status quo, albeit an easier-to-die status quo?
Still, in the wise words of gun-lovers, who are nothing if not firmly entrenched in today’s current social mores:
“If someone’s sticking a gun in my face, I’m not relying on their charity to keep me alive,” said Mr. Ringenberg, 30, who said he carries the gun for personal protection when he is not at work.
According to Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd, “Folks were being robbed, assaulted — it was becoming an issue of personal safety. The police aren’t going to be able to protect you. They’re going to be checking out the crime scene after you and your family’s been shot or injured or assaulted or raped.”
Meanwhile, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, has called for guns to be made legal on campuses after last week’s shooting at the University of Texas, Austin. Because “armed bystanders might have stopped the gunman.”
Or have been more likely to get shot themselves, or shoot some innocent, non-gun-wielding or slower-to-the-draw bystander. (Keep in mind, the Texas gunman ended the incident by shooting himself…and no one else was harmed.)
Then there’s the slippery argument that those with permitted guns (in bars) are actually the rule-abiders, and that the bad folks are going to come in with their unlicensed off-the-back-of-the-truck guns and shoot everybody up willy-nilly, but that’s a little too Clint Eastwood for our taste. Plus, who’s to say the rule-abiding gun owner is even a good shot? Especially after a round of tequila shots…
Currently, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are among 20 states that don’t explicitly deal with the issue and, in fact, appear “by default” to allow licensed guns in bars. Meanwhile, in Virginia, a guy drinking a beer recently shot himself in the leg with his own gun.
We’re thinking a lot more in-home consumption may be in order. At least there the only danger is falling off the couch, and we can actually focus on the business at hand which is, of course, drinking.
Johnny Cash probably had it right in the first place.
[via New York Times]