Friday, June 26, 2009

Even rednecks got it...

Back when I was stationed in Virginia during my time in the Navy there was a running joke that went something like this...

How can you tell when you have walked into a redneck bar? There are three good indicators. First there is the large rebel flag hanging behind the bar. Next the bartender is wearing jeans, work boots, a flannel shirt and a hat with the name of a heavy machinery manufacturer on it. And lastly there is the sign prominently displayed reminding perspective patrons that it is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm into an establishment licensed to sell alcohol.

(For the record, I had a lot of fun in some honest to goodness redneck bars. Mostly good people there...)

The object of this post is not to post snarky jokes about drinking joints or their patrons but to point out that people, even people who generally take their right to gun ownership seriously, aren't stupid. Which is to say that I find myself in the extremely rare position of agreeing with an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times.

It would appear that the Tennessee state legislature has actually overridden the veto of their governor (a gun owning hunter) of a bill that repeales the aforementioned prohibition on carrying guns into establishments licensed to sell alcohol. Now I am a member of the National Rifle Association. I am also (in addition to being a monarchist) strongly sympathetic to libertarian politics. As such I support a reasonable right to own and yes, CARRY firearms.

That said, this law is asinine.

Any idiot with two brain cells going off at the same time knows that guns and booze don't mix. These knaves (the legislators) are trying to cover themselves by saying it's still illegal to actually drink while packing heat. That just makes me think that they are not merely morons but malicious morons.

First, places where alcohol is served are statistically far more likely to see disturbances because (what a shock) booze is not the world's greatest reinforcement of good judgment and restrained passions. The presence of a firearm in an establishment with lots of drunks is going to vastly increase the danger to everyone in there irrespective of whether the person packing is one of the drunks. That of course is accepting at face value the mendacious suggestion that all these people will want to hang out in a bar and only drink club sodas because they are armed.

This brings up the second point. WHY do you want to carry a gun into a bar anyways? Seriously. If you feel uncomfortable being unarmed in your favorite watering hole, you need to find a new place to quench your thirst. People may not have that option when it comes to where you live, which is one of the many reasons I support the second amendment. But that excuse doesn't fly with bars.

I know the hard core "I should be able to carry my piece wherever I want and whenever I want" crowd are going to throw a fit at what I am suggesting. But no right is absolute. Rights without responsibility is not libertarian, it's anrachy. This will absolutely increase the danger to the public safety and people are going to die as a result. It is akin to demanding the right to smoke in an explosives factory.

Even in the old west (Hollywood silliness notwithstanding) most saloons made you check your guns at the door. It was the law.


rightwingprof said...

None of this is relevant. Neither Indiana nor Pennsylvania has ever had such an idiot law, and there are no gunfights in bars.

David Dickens said...

I don't think that we need to wait for an incident or statistically significant risk to talk about something that's inherently unwise.

I'm sure there are many bus drivers in this country that do drugs (this is a reasonable assumption based on general population statistics) and yet we rarely hear about this affecting their performance.

However, it's unwise to get behind the wheel of a bus on drugs.

The right to bear arms whether considered for community security against tyranny or personal security against criminal threats has purpose. It's a right for a purpose. I consider myself to be zealous in my interests for gun rights, but I still see no reason to allow loaded firearms in a bar or often potentially volatile situation such as a football stadium.

Anonymous said...

Both gun ownership and abortion are said to be 'rights' by some.
It then follows that that right should be available on demand, anywhere and to anybody.
In the right light one can see they are necessary evils at best.
Wish we had neither 'right'.

Luke in TN,
by the way a neighbor state decided guns in church are NOT OK.
Thank God.

Wordsmyth said...

I wish we could still carry around swords.