Demonizing objects, not behavior: The Demon Rum edition

We had family guests over for dinner Sunday night, and the conversation turned to gun rights (it wasn’t my fault, I swear). One of the topics that came up was “guns in bars”, as a relative had heard of what was likely the recent changes in the law in Tennessee, though Virginia’s silliness in regards to carry in a licensed establishment came up as well. Long and short of it, he came down on the side of banning carry in bars due to “drunks and yahoos” (paraphrased). When pressed to define what a “bar” was, he said “any licensed establishment”. When I queried about carrying in the dining room of, say, TGIFriday’s, he would have that forbidden as well.

Forbidding carriage of firearms in licensed establishments sounds superficially reasonable. After all, we’ve seen “that guy” who gets belligerent and rowdy after a few. But not everyone is “that guy”. Heck, most people in the dining room aren’t drinking at all; and not everyone in the bar itself are drinking to impairment. Banning legal carriage of firearms in a licensed establishment, or even an out-and-out bar, makes about as much sense as banning the carriage of keys into the same establishment in the name of preventing drunken driving. Drunks kill far more people with cars than they do with guns, but we recognize (mostly) that it is the act of drinking and driving that should be punished, not the car or the booze.

The most that a ban on guns in bars can do is make “that guy” go out to his car, for the gun in his glove compartment, or the tire iron, etc. Worst-case scenario is something similar to the Luby’s massacre, where “one more ban” failed to stop a killer, but disarmed someone who could have stopped him.

I have little issue with a properly owner posting their property as off-limits to firearms being carried by a person, it’s their property; as long as they’re willing to take the responsibility of defending my person while I cannot. I wonder how many would, though, considering the signs above every coat rack, and around most parking lots, I see that say “management is not responsible for lost or stolen items” . I choose not to leave my coats on racks I cannot see, and I don’t leave anything valuable in my car when parked.

I understand that the fight against allowing carry in bars in Tenessee is being led, in large part, by a bar owner who wants to make sure his competitors are forced to ban the carriage of firearms into their own establishments, so his prejudices don’t cost him business. Which is too bad – if he wants to limit his clientele, he can do so. Chik-Fil-A famously closes on Sundays, but the last I checked they don’t lobby for a nationwide Blue Law. The big national chain restaurants have differing policies on acceptance of firearms in restaurants, but they mostly appear to follow Starbuck’s lead on pushing for policies (IE, they don’t at all).

8 thoughts on “Demonizing objects, not behavior: The Demon Rum edition”

  1. In Florida, although you cannot carry in bars, you are allowed to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol (as long as you don’t sit in the bar area of the restaurant) and you are not forbidden to have a nip while eating. This has been the law since the passage of our CCW law and there has been no mass murders or rivers of blood flowing through the kitchen. This whole BS in TN is just idiotic.

  2. KY has some similar quirks. I was reading up on them yesterday before going to a private event at a local restaurant.

    I’ll cite the exact wording later, but there are two applicable laws one says no carry if the establishment earns more than half its income from serving food (so a pure bar would not meet this measure) the other says no carry if its a mixed establishment *in the portion dedicated to serving alcohol*. So I can carry at TGI Fridays but not in the bar area.

  3. I’m being pedantic here, but the relative in question (namely any relative on my side of the family but my sister and ’bout 1/4 of yours) think guns in general should be banned, so I’m not sure what was surprising about the conversation. :) I’m really, really sorry I got them all started (I was bitching about my mother’s “lock down training” at school and complaining that teachers are never allowed to carry).

  4. i used to work in a bar in Alabama. When you entered they ask you if you were carrying a gun. If you said no, they would show you a slection and ask you to pick one out to be returned at the end of the festivaties.

  5. Here in Indiana, it’s legal to carry into a bar and drink, as long as you have a carry permit, and it always has been.

  6. If you could use magic (and magic would be required) to make either guns or alcohol disappear, it would do more good for public safety to make alcohol disappear.

    Let me know when you find the magical spell that eliminates either one.

  7. Magic was tried on alcohol in the first part of the century, and it didn’t help. The same magic, in a lesser form (legislative instead of constitutional action) is being tried today. The result is the same – resources wasted and lives ruined (and ended) so that the pious can say “we tried”.

    For at least 76 years the same forces have been trying to work that magic on firearms, with notably less success. It’s heartening, in a way, that an altered state of mind is considered less of a necessity than is the ultimate equalizer.

  8. In GA the law recently changed to allow guns in bars with the permission of the owners (SB308).

    Carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol has been legal for just over two years (HB89).

    Cars kill more people than guns… the fact that car accidents happen have numbed the population to think little of a car accident.

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