… Guns and alcohol simply will not mix.
But moving on to more serious matters, it would appear as though the usual, useful idiots are trotting out the usual, useless arguments about ZOMG guns in bars. Color me surprised. However, just like here in Tennessee all those years ago, most of the arguments against allowing law-abiding, trained, and permitted individuals to carry firearms into establishments that serve alcohol are based on misdirection (the bill does not exclusively cover "bars", but also restaurants), hysteria, and misinformation, but all those similarities bring up an interesting question: what has happened here in the Patron State of Shooting Stuff ever since it became legal to lawfully carry a firearm into restaurants over two years ago*?
Well, in stark contrast with the doom-and-gloom prognostications of hoplophobic liars, the answer has pretty much been "nothing":
In 2010, the year after the law first passed, the state’s tourism numbers were up 6.3 percent, according to state officials. Every county saw a boost in tourism, according to a report by the Department of Tourism Development and the U.S. Travel Association.
“It doesn’t surprise me that tourism didn’t drop,” said Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville. “There wasn’t one documented case still to this day of someone going into a bar, a gun permit holder, and using their firearm. There’s still not.”
In fact, abiding by the law appears to be just what the vast majority of Tennessee’s licensed gun-carriers are doing when they’re packing heat in establishments that serve alcohol. According to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, not one person with a handgun permit has been convicted of brandishing their weapon while drinking in a bar.
“We have not been notified by any courts across the state for any violations of that law,” said department spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals. “To our knowledge, there have been no convictions of that law.”
Huh. Would you look at that. In a year when the economy is tanking, people are being laid off, homes are being foreclosed, and the
depression recession we find ourselves in was getting into full swing, the tourism in Tennessee (one of our state’s prime sources of income, given our no-income-tax-but-state-wide-sales-tax arrangement) increased over 6%, despite allowing law-abiding citizens to peaceably carry firearms into establishments that serve alcohol. Why, it is almost like people do not mind the notion of respecting and preserving everyone’s individual rights! What a thought…
On the other hand, given the complete and utter lack of criminal convictions, fatalities, or even incidents from handgun carry permit holders bringing their sidearms along into restaurants, would you care to take a guess as to how many alcohol-related fatalities there were on the roads here in Tennessee in 2010? Unfortunately, the numbers have not been updated for that year quite yet, but if past history is any indication of future performance, we are looking at well over 300 deaths, and that does not include the thousands of people who failed breathalyzer tests. So rather than turn their attention to an activity that has a proven record of resulting in convictions and deaths, the "gun control" extremists single-mindedly focus on arbitrarily abridging people’s rights for no good reason whatsoever. How is that "common sense" again?
Once again, anti-rights cultists do not really care about the blood (or lack thereof) they are dancing in, they do not care about public safety, and they sure as hell do not care about the American people; they only care about control and how to increase it. Thankfully, Ohio is following the trend sweeping the nation of expanding and preserving freedoms and rights despite the fearmongering of hoplophobes, and if Tennessee is any indication, I think they will do just fine.
* – At least the first time. The bill had to be passed again with modified language later.