Previous Post
Next Post

most interesting man in the world

By Michael in GA

As I sit here, pistol on my hip, home carrying, thinking random thoughts related to guns, trying to draw inspiration to pen an article for my faceless friends, readers of TTAG, wearing out my comma key, taking Dan’s advice by pouring two fingers of Walking Stick (Peligroso Añejo in my case and I don’t smoke…often), the obvious topic came to mind – alcohol and guns don’t mix! It’s not my belief. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe anyone should get so soused as to not be able to handle themselves. But there is a consensus among people of the gun that says, when the cap comes off the bottle, the gun should be out of reach . . .

This is not a new subject. Neither are caliber wars, but that doesn’t stop another author or YouTube expert from contributing their personal opinion on the matter.  The topic of alcohol and guns is, however, acrimonious. An article dedicated to the best man-stopper chambering for a hand gun will no doubt inspire several dozen expressed opinions.

But witness the rare 200+ comments following articles such as this fine piece by Michael Holderer. Most seem to be measured responses, whereas this counterpoint article on another gun site brought out the righteous indignation of their following.

I observed an officer walk in and start to enjoy some social time with friends and family. I noticed he was open carrying, which is perfectly legal for an officer in the state of Florida. As a few minutes go by, and I see the officer (whom, as of right now, is unidentified) enjoying an adult beverage. Again, not illegal, but NOT what I would expect from a police officer, or ANYONE for that matter. Especially while openly carrying AND representing their department.

That could have been fueled by cop hate, but I took it as freedom hate, or more accurately, freedom fear.

Allow myself to introduce…myself. I am a drinker. I am a gun owner, but more importantly, I am a gun toter. If I am on my feet wearing pants and on the free side of a metal detector, I am strapped. That’s never going to change, by choice. If I followed the advice of the pearl-clutching wing of the internet gun community, I would have to give up alcohol altogether. I don’t see that happening any time soon. They keep making more.

When I say I am a drinker, it means I drink at least one beer every day. Most days, I have at least one drink with every meal. On the weekends even breakfast isn’t devoid of a complimentary rum and OJ or bourbon and coffee. I usually have a drink after work.

Honestly, given the choice, I would drink all day. What I do not do is binge drink. I can’t remember the last time I was drunk. Have I been over the legal limit (0.08 BAC)? I wouldn’t doubt it. But when I start approaching inebriation, I really lose interest in drinking and just want to take a nap. Or go streaking through the quad to burn off a couple points. And in that case, no pants.  See above.

For me, responsible drinking means pace. I am very active and besides sitting for a meal and drinking, I am usually working in the yard, swimming and diving in the pool, playing lawn games or cooking out while drinking. I find that I burn alcohol almost as fast as I consume it.

This means that at the end of a 12 hour day, I can have gone through most of a twelve pack of Sweetwater IPA, had a shot of Woodford Reserve in my morning Joe, complemented beef tenderloin with a glass of Barefoot Pinot Noir and still be under 0.05 BAC. These numbers have not been substantiated, however, going by the rule of thumb that one drink per hour raises BAC 0.02 points for an average size person and being 6’2″ 209 lbs, coupled with about the same degree of burn-off, I think I am in the ballpark.

In the above not-so-extreme example of my Saturday, what would you have me do with my pistol? What’s the point of locking it up? If I’m untrustworthy with it on my hip, what’s to keep me from being irresponsible and going to get the gun anyway?

What if after the wine and filet, I take the wifey out to the movies? I’ll be damned if I ever set foot in a kill zone without packing heat for any reason. Drinking being one reason that I won’t even contemplate as an excuse to go disarmed. Gun-free zone signs don’t concern me either. The only thing that would, and has kept me out of an establishment while carrying is a search of my person, i.e. metal detectors.

So, do alcohol and firearms mix? Only if you can handle either one independently. What I mean by that is, if you are irresponsible with a gun (see examples of that from sober individuals on this site all the time) then alcohol is merely fuel on the fire. Or, if you can’t control your pace of intake vs. metabolism to the point where you most likely wind up bowing at the alter of the porcelain God, you might need to avoid potentially destructive devices.

My view on that is you need to get help with your drinking problem regardless of gun possession. The point is, as Harry Callahan would say “Man’s got to know his limitations.”  So I submit this random act of discourse as one man’s opinion that responsibility is as responsibility does. And of course, YMMV.

This is a summer content contest entry. Click here for rule and email your entry before midnight July 31.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Yup, those same folks that stand agahast at a person wearing a handgun and imbibing are most likely the kind of people that would think nothing of having a couple glasses of white or red with dinner and then getting behind the wheel of a four thousand pound SUV/mankiller. “It’s just wine, I wasn’t actually drinking!” they will shriek, as the police draw the chalk lines….. Cheers!

    • You draw an interesting parallel between driving and carrying. And yes, I would be the sort to be severely uncomfortable with someone drinking and packing heat. But I feel the same about drinking and driving, so there you go.

      On the downside, it means I don’t get to drink much, but it’s the price I pay for logical consistency.

      • I have mixed emotions about it. I view everything through the lens of justifying any use of deadly force before a jury of my peers.

        Had Zimmerman drank a glass or two of wine/beer before he shot a young black man, where do you think he’d be now?

        This is the same reason I would never carry with “zombie” ammunition or any eccentric firearm. I pray I’ll never be in a situation where deadly force is used, but if I am, explaining any mind-altering medication or intoxicant simply adds layers of bullshit and questionability to what might otherwise be a straight-forward case of self defense.

        This is my .02 on the matter.

        • “Had Zimmerman drank a glass or two of wine/beer before he shot a young black man, where do you think he’d be now?”
          The same place he is only it would have been a Drunken White Hispanic, who killed a misunderstood youth.(Burglar) I bet the white guilt libs and black community would want a ban for being drunk and in possession of a firearm, which is already a criminal offense. It was the Colt 45 not a Colt .45acp

          “This is the same reason I would never carry with “zombie” ammunition or any eccentric firearm”

          For fear of the state taking your freedom. So you don’t carry hollow points for the same reason, correct? Your statement gives credit to Orwell’s premise that OUR freedom lies in the Proles, because Fiat laws are meant to neuter comfortable subjects, and comfort is maintained and enforced by OUR greed and fear.

          I heard a lady say that holding a gun made her break into tears and I said I break into tears out of fear after seeing a person have one drink and then get behind the wheel. Both are Irrational fears, which she did not catch my sarcasm.

        • “…explaining any mind-altering medication or intoxicant simply adds layers of bullshit and questionability to what might otherwise be a straight-forward case of self defense.”

          So then what are people who take such medications supposed to do? Recreational imbibing is a matter of choice. Meds are a matter of necessity. The fact that someone needs a medication that may affect the sensorium does not necessarily render them senseless or dangerous. That’s the likely new paradigm for the gun banners, i.e. to ban anyone who uses antidepressants, etc. from ownership on mental health grounds when they are also used to treat chronic pain.

    • This is the biggest one for me, I can take my wife out for a nice meal at an upscale steak house where I damn sure am going to have a drink (just completes a good meal for me personally) and it’s no issue at all to then get in my 3+ ton v10 SUV and drive home. But carrying a concealed handgun oh NOO!!!!! Stupid. And walking a couple blocks downtown in a small city I’m probably 10X more likely to need said handgun than any normal day where we stay out on our acreage… I maybe wouldn’t be opposed to penalties for carrying a handgun while publicly intoxicated, but a drink or two with supper or watching the game at a sports bar, I see no issues with carrying a handgun.

  2. I’d ‘just say no’ to drinking in uniform. If you’re off duty, put your own clothes on before you imbibe in public. If you’re on duty, zero alcohol, just like a pilot.

    If you’re at home, I don’t care if you open a bottle or light a doobie (yes, I’ve witnessed the latter) before you undress from work, but in public, it reflects poorly upon your department.

    • Couldn’t agree more. The uniform is not just clothing. As a citizen, when I see a police officer in uniform drinking alcohol, I don’t know if that officer is on duty or not. Change out of your uniform and then open carry and drink as much as you want (responsibly of course).

    • +1 I feel the same when I see folks in scrubs drinking or otherwise not representing professional behavior.

      • My wife is a dental hygienist. She wears scrubs. There is no company logo on her uniform. She can’t have a Margarita at Frontera after work? (while packing) What a bunch of anti freedom commenters we have on TTAG.

        • Know yourself. If you get into a lot of bar fights, don’t carry. Okay, maybe you have more to worry about than that… Stop going to bars or learn to control yourself. It’s almost impossible to piss me off without physically aggressing against me. I go to bars. I drink at home. I carry everywhere. Gun stays in the holster. I’ve had some drunk guys try to start shit. I try to calm them down, if that doesn’t work, I leave. Get a grip, know your limits and make this decision for yourself. Bar parking lots are not known for safety. I’ll be damned if I allow anyone to hurt myself or my loved ones just because I had some drinks. Don’t go stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things. If you find yourself in that position unintentionally, leave. I’ll be carrying when I leave.

        • No logo, no badge? I don’t drink, but I’m not going to have the same concerns. As a volunteer FF, we can’t walk down the liquor aisle of the grocery store per policy. It presents a message to the community that impairment on the job may be acceptable.

          That impairment is also why I don’t approve of drinking and shooting or driving. Ingesting food, beverage, or medicine that may result in impairment to cognition is an unacceptable risk when you have others lives on the line. And if you aren’t capable of using, why bother carrying?

      • My scrubs aren’t any different than the khakis and polo I used to wear except carrying is a major pain. Unless I’m wearing scrubs with my employers name I don’t see why what I’m wearing makes me any different than a lawyer drinking in his suit.

  3. I happen to agree with the author. My thought is: your training, if ingrained, should be the same, whether mildly intoxicated, drunk or not. Same goes for temperament. If you go nuts when you drink, probably shouldn’t have firearms in the first place.

    • Yep basic safety rules are basic and should be so ingrained that a buzz shouldn’t be an excuse for improper handling of a firearm. I clean and maintain my firearms with a few beers or a jack and sarsaparilla. The basic thing is don’t put rounds in the gun and pull the giggle switch. Pretty basic stuff.

      It might make people cringe but I build AKs for personal use while enjoying some recreational beverages too. Once again it’s all basic stuff and I’ve built complete suspension systems more impaired.

      • If there is no vodka around while you are building an AK, then you are doing it completely wrong.

    • Alcohol is truth serum. If you are stupid prone sober, it’s on like Donkey Kong after a few shots of Fireball. Of all the ND’s reported on this site, I don’t recall any of them involving alcohol.

      • From what I remember, some of the worst ones, the ones that got people maimed, killed, etc., involved alcohol or some other intoxicant.

    • I was “trained” to drive an automobile and have spent many, many, MANY hours safely operating one over the last several decades — that in no way makes it any safer for me to drive buzzed or drunk.

  4. In my personal experience, as alcohol consumption goes up, good judgement (mine) goes down. After many years of trial and error of trying unsuccessfully to (always) handle alcohol responsibly, I decided I could not guarantee myself that would be the case.

    For me the choice was—-no more alcohol. Just makes my life easier.

    If your experience is that you can handle it all day and all night long, have at it Brother.

    • Newwave,

      Exactly my situation. I liked it too much. If I had one, I would have 10. If I had zero, I stayed at zero.

      I’m better off as a man, husband, gun owner/CCW, and father of three without drinking.

      Took half my life to figure it out, but the past 5 dry years have been my best.

    • Right there with you. I have no problem with people enjoying an adult beverage. I do have a problem with people unable to control themselves, drinking or otherwise. And much like the irresponsible gun owner of the day, if you make a dumb move YOU need to pay for it, once again, drinking or otherwise. I choose not to drink for many reasons, first is that the bible tells me that being drunk is sinful, so I don’t go there. The second is I don’t want my daughters to see dad drinking and think it’s no big deal, it’s a big responsibility and many a young woman have done things they wouldn’t have normally done if they hadn’t been drinking. Come to think of it, lots of men and women of all ages have done things that they wouldn’t have normally done if they hadn’t been drinking, and I’d rather do things I’m proud of, not things I’ll regret.

  5. If I’m drinking anywhere but my own place, I’ll take the gun off my hip when the alcohol comes out. It goes back on when I leave. I do have a friend that insists I NOT remove it from myself, he’d rather I have it and be able to use it immediately than have to go retrieve it.

    • You friend loves you, and himself. Heed his suggestion. If you are going to do something stupid with the gun because you are drunk, you could just go get it. But if you need the gun in an emergency, wouldn’t it be best if yo carried it the way you always do?

      I know my drinking is above the norm. But I am totally honest. I used my example as an extreme and I believe I should still carry for the unknown time when I may need it. There are many POTG that shun carrying at all when just having one drink. I wanted to show an example of a heavy drinker that can handle his shit to take the heat off the casual drinkers. I applaud the guys that go dry but still carry. I don’t recommend not carrying just to drink.

      • “I wanted to show an example of a heavy drinker that can handle his shit to take the heat off the casual drinkers.”

        Translation : I’m an alcoholic who drinks all day and carries a firearm, so it’s okay for you “lesser drinkers” to have a couple and carry a firearm.

        Whenever I hear someone say they can “handle” their drinking, it invariable means that person is an alcoholic.

        Contest Entry? Is TTAG that desperate that it puts up posts like this?

      • “I know my drinking is above the norm.” I agree and I advise you to quit, whether you want to carry or not.

        • Your logic fail is assuming that “norm” is a good thing. The norm in the last presidential election was to stay home or vote for Obama. Abortion is the norm among certain demographics. Fewer people carry a firearm than go unarmed therefore the norm is to not carry. I’m not normal and I am fvcking glad about that!

  6. It’s funny, in VA you can open carry and drink alcohol, but if you carry concealed…NO DRINK FOR YOU!

    I think with either carry method, well…just be responsible. 🙂

    For me, if I decide I’m going to get drunk I’m going to remove my firearm from the equation beforehand. If I’m going to have one or two beers/equivalent, then I’m ok to keep it on me.

    • VA doesn’t even have a law saying you can’t open carry a gun while intoxicated, as far as I know. Being intoxicated in public is already illegal, but not any more so because you have a gun.

      I personally wouldn’t hold any grudge against an establishment or bartender for refusing to serve alcohol to somebody that was OC’ing, as long as they don’t prohibit guns in general. There might be potential liabilities for them, I suppose, if something bad happened later.

  7. Drinking and ammosexuals. What could go wrong?

    Drinking and cops in uniform, presumably still on duty in one capacity or another. I wouldn’t classify a cop as a typical mindless and lowly ammosexual such as the types that hang out on gun blogs, but I’d say that an officer in uniform that’s drinking is not very professional.

    • Well, hopefully you don’t ever drink, what with your almighty powers always at the ready and all…

    • Since there are plenty of states that allow drinking while armed, along with plenty that don’t, the question is not, “what could go wrong?” The question is, do things go wrong when it’s legal?

      You’ve got access to all the statistics, oh omnipotent one. You tell us.

    • Boy you really are obsessed with that term ammosexual. I feel really sorry for you if you can have a sexual relationship with a bit of metal, and that your penis must be small enough to fit in the primer hole.

    • Could it be that those with a God complex would suffer from hoplophobia due to the reality guns bring to the mortality table? Are those inflicted with a god complex unreasonably terrified of guns because it gives those the “God” seeks to control the power to destroy such God? Ancient Alien theorist say, Yes. Besides, we all know the “gods” came for other star systems.

      • I love TTAG for not only bringing us the Truth About Guns, but also bringing out the eccentric characters. Never a dull moment!

  8. For people who can drink responsibly, I don’t think that there’s a problem with drinking and carrying. The gun stays safely tucked away in its holster, so it’s no big deal. However, a problem could arise if and when the carrier might deploy the gun.

    Let’s face it, a claim of self defense may carry less weight if the defender is impaired. “I feared for my life,” often a meaningful narrative, may have far less impact when the defender is intoxicated.

    So, know your limits. To avoid carrying under circumstances where you wouldn’t drive would be the prudent thing to do.

    • In my state the legal limit for carrying is the same as for driving and it does make it simple. However, I would feel much more comfortable sitting in the company of a person who had consumed X drinks and was carrying than I would being a passenger in his car had he consumed half as much.

  9. Spoken like only a wet brain could have spoken it. You have a drinking problem, and, like nearly all drunks you brag about it while using BS to justify how you have it under control. Are you one of those “I don’t get drunk from beer” guys? Maybe you’re one of those “I know how to handle my alcohol” twits.

    I am so glad TTAG printed this shark jumping exercise. You are either one master level 11/10 troll or you were drunk when you conceived how great of an idea your submission was.

    Better yet, your daily dozen IPAs means you’re drinking 2400 calories a day. Couple that with eating and you’re running nearly 4000 calories day at minimum. I’d venture to bet your ass gets a major workout from sitting on it all day. I wonder what your insides are saying about all those empty calories, alcohol, and red meat. I’m sure you arteries are thick and your liver is screaming. I’ve always wondered how those people in the obituaries died of natural causes at 51 years old.

    I love to know how much you smoke too.

    • The Dude is right. Your caloric intake is frighteningly high. Throw a little starch into the equation around lunch time and you probably are drowsy drunk punch around 2pm. Definitely not safe around firearms. Throw kids/grandkids into the mix and you’re a diabetic time bomb. Bless your heart.

    • The Dude! Your my favorite vodka! It is lemon flavored made by Three Olives. No, I’m not the type of guy that says “I can’t get drunk on beer, because I don’t drink Bud Light. I drink 7.3% alcohol Terrapin Hopsecutioner. Dude! I get high on life! I don’t need to get drunk to escape reality. Drinking is part of my reality. I enjoy it.
      As far as caloric intake goes, you are 100% correct. After I turned 35, my metabolism changed. I went from 170 lbs to over 200 for the first time in my life. I had to make a choice. Soft drinks or beer? I haven’t had a sweetened soft drink in over 15 years. I drink water, wine, beer, or the occasional cocktail (usually a home made Mojito using fresh mint from my garden).
      I had an ultrasound of my heart a couple years ago due to arrhythmia (probably from caffeine) and there was no heart problems. My blood pressure is 110/60. My cholesterol is awesome and I do love my red meat. Ate a 24 oz. rib eye last night and a 9.2 oz. burger just now. If you want to see what shape I am in, you can see me in my videos on my YouTube channel and I will share a pic here.
      That look like I sit on my fat ass? Look, I didn’t say alcohol was for everybody. There are a couple guys above that said they had to give it up because it was ruining their lives. Alcohol addiction is real. I respect those guys that decided to go dry. My only point to writing this article was to say you can’t have a blanket policy that says “if you drink you need to be unarmed”. My gripe is with the people that call me irresponsible because I drink and carry at the same time. What would you have me do when I leave a bar and get mugged in the parking lot? Tell you what I am going to do. I am going to defend myself and if that means drawing my gun, I am going to have that option and to hell with your opinion on that.

      • You’re not getting high on life, you’re chasing happiness at the bottom of a bottle. In fact, your behavior shows your disdain for life as you seem to be doing everything you can to make it shorter for yourself. Like I said about the 51 year old in the obituaries. That will be you.

        Yes, you’re the freak of nature who is the exception to every single study ever and some how alcohol give you better judgement and in no way impairs you.

        You’ve just a drunk in denial. Sooner or later, and probably soon, reality lightning is going to strike you.

        • Are you this cranky because somebody stole your Creedence tapes? Or was it the rug? It really tied the room together, did it not? Tell you what: pour yourself a White Russian dude and take it easy. I don’t mind if you do-a-j either.

        • “…Honestly, given the choice, I would drink all day…”

          “…had a shot of Woodford Reserve in my morning Joe …”

          The above two lines were all it took to me to realize Michael in GA has a serious drinking problem. Hopefully the comments here on TTAG allow him to take a step back and analyse his dependency on alcohol and make the necessary changes in his life before it’s too late. And this has nothing to due with carrying. Based on the above, daily alcohol intake, this advise is for anyone that thinks nothing of drinking a twelve pack after a 12 hour day and needs a shot of Bourbon in his coffee.

          God Bless

          • Reading comprehension is not your strong point is it?
            I didn’t say I drink a 12 pack after a 12 hour day. I said “better part of a 12 pack” which could be 7. And I said this was “during” the day.
            I don’t mind fielding criticism but let’s at least get on the same point.

        • “…I can have gone through most of a twelve pack of Sweetwater IPA …”

          I apologize for my rounding error based on the word “most”.

          How was my comprehension on the ” Honestly, given the choice, I would drink all day” or the “had a shot of Woodford Reserve in my morning Joe” thing?

    • The only way to make your post more asinine would be to throw in how ‘great’ paleo or kale diets are. Really could go either way and still be a stuck up jerk. Somewhere, a Baptist church and/or a Gold’s Gym is missing it’s asshole.

      • No, I’ll avoid those fads. Can you give us a good reference to why 4000+ calories a day is good? How about one that says 2400 calories of beer a day is good? Better yet, how about one that says drinking that much is good for the liver?

        I’ll check back with you in a bit as you either think of something stupid to say or find a story from The Onion that you mistake for being legit.

        • Some people have much higher metabolisms. We all have that friend that can eat whatever they want in any quantity and not gain an ounce of fat. Calling any calorie count as “normal” is ignorant at best. Some of us gain weight if we have more than 1000 calories a day, some can’t gain anything after inhaling 5000.

          • When I was in college, I played D1 football. I had trouble putting on weight even though I was eating 5,000 calories and supplementing with 5,000 calories in shakes. I did get to 184 lbs with 5% body fat. After my school days, I dropped back down to 165. I couldn’t keep the weight on. The only thing that changed when I ate more is that I was taking a crap 5 or more times a day.
            I have found the secret to weight gain is, get old. I have been in the low 200s for 15 years and I am going on 50 years old. I cut back on sugar to maintain my health.

    • I’m so glad we have sanctimonious pedants on TTAG such as “The Dude” to lecture everyone, because I really miss the nuns at Catholic school.

  10. In Minnesota it is illegal to carry with a BAC over .04 . I tend to try to keep to that. I know I probably exceed the .04 limit while carrying every once and awhile, but not by much. I don’t drink mixed drinks or liqour, the beer I drink is usually middle-range for ABV, and I rarely have more than 4 beers in an evening. If I intend on really drinking a lot (maybe once every 3 months) for a special occasion, I leave the gun at home.

  11. The question on drinking and carrying should be the same as the question on drinking and driving. If I can safely drive home after a couple beers with dinner, then I can safely carry at the same time. If I’m not fit to drive, I probably shouldn’t have a gun, either.

    • And no one has ever said, “I’m fine to drive” before clipping a guard rail or mailbox. Never happened before. You know, if I’m going to be a fight for my life, I’m thinking to myself: Self, you should have two or three beer to increase visual acuity, decrease reaction time, make better judgement, decrease fine motor skills, and increase tunnel vision.

      I bet you’re fine to drive, you’re just buzzed.

  12. A little alcohol affects reasoning, judgement, anger management and reflexes…a lot affects a lot. Booze and driving is not a good mix, nor is booze and bullets – just cannot be argued otherwise. If author drinks as much as he says he does, I can guarantee his BAC is higher than he believes it to be. His boozing is his own business….so long as he does not hurt somebody as a result. Have fun drinking -I’ve got more rewarding things to do.

      • Were your hands shaking too much for you to shoot accurately before those two beers?
        I’m sorry, but I agree with the Dude and others here; you sure sound to me like an alcoholic in denial. I’ve been in a relationship for the past 15 years with an alcoholic, who’s been sober for the past six. She displayed a lot of similar behaviors and rationalizations – never binge drank, just a steady stream of microbrews and decent quality wine all day long. She told herself she controlled the drinking, not the other way around, that she just liked beer and good wine. She was rarely visibly intoxicated. By the end, she was drinking rum from the bottle and cheap wine out of little boxes, and it was messing up her life in a major way. She figured it out and turned it around, and I hope you will too someday before too long.

        • Nope. Never had the shakes. Just so happened that I was two beers in when my neighbor left. Out of courtesy, I don’t shoot when she is home.
          Keep the conversation going though. It’s too funny.

  13. Sometime drink your normal max, have a friend video you for 20 minutes doing fairly simple tasks as you talk.
    You may be surprised.
    The guy with the mortar fireworks in Maine now knows alcohol and fireworks don’t mix . . . . . .wherever he is now.

  14. Drinking combined with driving/firearms/fire/sharp pointy things can end badly. I rarely drink for health reasons (even though I love good beer, cider and wine). If I did drink, and I was carrying, I would lock the gun in the car. Legal liability is a good reason, the second is that alcohol is a mild neurotoxin that as other people have stated affects, temper, judgement and perception.

    If I ran a bar in a CHL/open carry state, I’d think about some form of individual gun safes so that anyone who comes in with a gun can lock it up until their BAC is back down to near zero.

  15. Since I’m LE I will tread carefully on this one. Yes I carry off duty just about all the time and yes I do have a beer off duty, or wine with dinner with my wife, friends, etc. that said, I am in violation of policy. Now I will be damned if I’m caught unarmed with my family in jeopardy because of a policy written to cover an organizations arse. Fire me, suspend me at least I’m alive. That said, if I’m out with several friends with intent to getting sloshed, gun stays home. Just good cricket.

    • GA law says it is against the law to discharge a firearm within three hours of drinking. I could never train if I adhered to that policy. GA law also says that if you use your gun for self defense then your BAC is not held against you. That means, carry all the time because you never know.

          • Can’t, implies a physical inability to stop yourself. Won’t, implies some sort of perceived will to do it…. they are both different ways to describe the same problem.

        • If you WON’T go three hours without a drink, that’s also a problem.

          Here’s a little test : go two weeks without a single drink. Frankly, I don’t think you CAN do that.

  16. I only drink at home. Not a judgement on other’s choices, I just get uncomfortable with the idea of impairing myself in public, even slightly. At home, I can sip a bourbon in the evening or have a beer or three while shooting pool with the partners in crime on boy’s night. I still carry at home, as I don’t allow myself to get drunk, and inside my home, I do as I will but know what I do.

  17. I don’t drink,smoke,party or get high. Or screw around on my wife-but I used to do all of that(different wife). And drinking made me very mean. Sorry but posting about drinking and guns is a dumb idea-as I’m sure plenty of anti-scum monitor this site.

  18. How could there be any question? Definition of irresponsible is to consume alcohol and have a firearm out at the same time, no exceptions. If this has to be explained you should not have a firearm until you have the wisdom to figure it out.

    • How could there be any question? Definition of irresponsible is to consume alcohol and have a firearm out at the same time, no exceptions.

      It is the no exceptions part, and the presumption that the matter isn’t even up for discussion, with which the author takes issue – as do I.

      I make choices for my own life, with the knowledge of my own limitations and abilities. I expect that others do the same for themselves. The cost of living in a free society is allowing that some people will make bad decisions with that freedom. That cost, however, is immeasurably better than the alternative, which is a one-size-fits-all, government-imposed ruleset that inhibits the freedom of all, because of the very few who are unable to take responsibility for their own freedoms.

      If you are not a responsible person, then you incur great risk when doing things that impair your already limited capacity to act responsibly. On the other hand, if you’re a responsible person, then you incur much less risk when doing such things – not the least reason of which is that you are more likely to remain within your own limitations.

      For example, as a rule, even though I know that my tolerance is sufficient, I choose not to test the limits of my capacity to drive when drinking any amount of alcohol. On rare occasions, I will have a glass of wine with a dinner out – but generally only if I’ve allowed an hour or two before needing to drive. Does that one glass even register in my BAC? I don’t know and I don’t care; I simply choose not to take that risk.

      And as with the author, if I’m dressed, I’m carrying. That doesn’t change in the rare situation above. If I’m at home, and grilling, I may drink a cider. Same thing.

      You know, I just had this thought: if someone engages in a defensive gun use, then they are probably more impaired (physically, mentally, etc.), due to the adrenaline rush and other psychological effects of a life-threatening situation, than is the person at a range, plinking/target shooting while sipping on an adult beverage.

  19. Have nothing against drinking in moderation (and occasionally beyond), but I have a very strict rule about not mixing guns and alcohol in any amount.

    I used to tend bar and, with all due respect, you sound like those patrons who used to tell me they could do everything at least as well, if not better, after they had a few. When you spend hours stone cold sober watching people drink night after night, it really opens your eyes as to how much alcohol impairs people even well below the legal limit.

    If drinking and carrying are incompatible (as I strongly believe they are), then make a choice – don’t try to have it both ways and claim that somehow you’re different from the thousands of people I served drinks to.

  20. You sound like a functioning alcoholic. I guess that’s you’re business until you have too much rum for breakfast and kill a kid on your drive to the post office. Try getting help. Seriously.

    • The thing for me was his statement about having a drink with breakfast. Breakfast. Everybody I know that has a drink at breakfast is an alcoholic. We can argue degrees, but it’s an addiction to be drinking alcohol at breakfast.

          • Hello. My name is Michael and I’m an alcoholic.
            “Hello Michael”
            I just wanted to say that…even alcoholics have the God given right to self defense.

        • JWM, if I’m not mistaken, alcoholism is defined by the consequences of drinking, not by the amount. Some people can’t handle two beers, some are fine after a lot more than that. Besides, one beer a day doesn’t sound like much. But drinks with breakfast? Umm… I’d say that’s no bueno. Not that I’m passing judgment, but if it was anybody in my family, I’d be worried.

      • Winston Churchill drank with breakfast. Our founding fathers lived in an era where beer with breakfast was perfectly normal. Aren’t mimosas a thing, or is that just at morning wedding receptions?

        (I’m getting a better idea regarding how prohibition actually managed to get passed as a constitutional amendment.)

        • Our founding fathers lived in an era when the water could be lethal. Most towns and cities had real health issues with polluted water. Beer was safe(er) because of the alcohol and process of producing it.

          And the founding fathers didn’t operate automobiles after imbibing. Not every law that society passes is an assualt on liberty.

          Prohibition was a step too far and that mistake got corrected.

          • I see teetotaling Christians using the same sort of rationalization regarding biblical references to alcohol. The point remains the same: there’s nothing inherently wrong with alcohol, regardless of the time of day it is consumed.

            The Founding Fathers may not have gotten up from breakfast to drive a car, but they certainly may have ridden a horse, driven a wagon, or even gasp gone hunting. With a gun.

            The entire matter is one of individual liberty, and individual responsibility with that liberty.

        • “(I’m getting a better idea regarding how prohibition actually managed to get passed as a constitutional amendment.)”

          Exactly! That was my point that seems to be beyond most people commenting here. It’s not “hey look at me out-drinking you and playing with a gun!” It is to illustrate the utter disdain for other’s ability to be free to take responsibility for themselves.

        • Prohibition came about because of the same type of whinging, moralizing, busybody women and appeasing men as we now see in MDA got their moral dander up about drinking 100+ years ago.

          I get to run into these types of people all the time in Wyoming. Their preening, moral and unctuous twaddle is insufferable. The last one who accosted me on the subject finally popped my fuse, and I had to take her down a peg:

          “OK, I get it. Your grandaddy was a drunkard. That was your grandmother’s problem, not mine. And maybe, to look at you, it was because your grandmother was the problem your grandfather sought to escape by drinking…”

          We see the same sort of nonsense in the War on Some Drugs, too. The same moral preening from clowns like Wm. Bennett.

          In general, I think the world is now divided into two population cohorts: Those who wish to meddle in other people’s lives, and those who don’t. The latter group is a much smaller cohort, and much more pleasant to live among.

        • In France it is perfectly acceptable to have a beer with breakfast, shame they don’t know what pints are though.

  21. Minnesota has no prohibition. But the BAL while carrying is .04 (CDL limit). In 11 years, no problem has arisen. None.
    Practically, there is no BAL for off duty police officers. Minneapolis off duty officers have shot up bars at Mall of America at least twice but weren’t charged. No civilians though.

  22. This discussion is only partly about limits or what you can handle or “know when to say when.”

    We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, fair or unfair, part of the equation in the criminal or civil aftermath of a deadly force encounter is whether or not you had a drink. I know in the Seattle area a prosecutor would practically wet himself in excitement knowing he had the chance to crucify a CPL holder who was in an otherwise justified use of force because they had half a Chardonnay with their sushi roll.

      • I think you’re being overly optimistic about how prosecutors in your area would react. If you ended up shooting someone after drinking a 12 pack of beer, then you’re going to be a ripe target anywhere in the country. Because you’re not going to come off as a stand up citizen protecting himself and his family, you’re going to be perceived as an out of control, trigger happy drunk.

        • Nice strawman. I never said anything about not defending yourself. I just said you’re being naive if you think the fact that you’ve been drinking all day long couldn’t hurt you after a shooting. You can do whatever you want, and the justice system will do what it wants.

          If one of Obama’s sons decides to vigorously unite your head with the pavement, you shoot him in self defense, and #BlackLivesAreMattering in Georgia, the fact that you’ve been drinking from the break of day is not going to do you a lot of favors, regardless of what the law says. Because they were such sticklers for the law in the Zimmerman case. A lot of political hay would be made about the drunk that killed the “innocent child” in “cold blood”. Maybe your local prosecutor wouldn’t do anything, but the politically motivated special prosecutor would certainly be interested.

          Now, the law ultimately is on your side, but the narrative definitely isn’t. You may or may not beat the rap. I think a record of day in, day out, non-stop drinking, even if you stay legal throughout, wouldn’t play well with juries, and that reduces your chances quite a bit. Even if you do beat it, it would be after the hell of the investigation, the media circus, and the trial, and everyone would know you at that psycho alcoholic who gunned down the kid.

  23. “This is not a new subject. Neither are caliber wars, but that doesn’t stop another author or YouTube expert from contributing their personal opinion on the matter.”

    Yawn. Well…….then we don’t need another tired rehashing of a stale topic from yet another personal opinion provider (and perhaps functioning alcoholic) disrespecting other personal opinion providers while bloviating about his own. Contest entry fail.

  24. That is an impressive amount of daily booze! No judgment, I jus couldn’t hang.

    I smoke a responsible amount of dope and am amply armed.

  25. I was almost with the author up to the point that I realized “drinking responsibly” was actually his way of describing his drinking problem. Anyone who claims not to be a binge drinker and follows that statement up with saying they have 14 drinks on a Saturday is skirting by on technicalities at best.

    I honestly wouldn’t think poorly of a person for drinking a single beer with a meal and deciding that they would rather stay armed. Personally, I just don’t drink and carry (which means I don’t really drink). I also don’t drink and drive, even if I know that I shouldn’t be over the legal limit. Just because it’s not against the law doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In the end you’ll be responsible for wherever your bullets (or vehicle) ends up, and it’s your decision whether or not to drink. Maybe we can convince someone to run a shooting course sober and at 0.05 (with extra safety precautions taken, of course). I’d be curious to see if the results mimicked those of similar driving studies.

    • 10, 11, 12 drinks when you start at 9 am on a Saturday morning and end around 10 at night is not “binge drinking”. In my college days, I had 14 beers in 30 minutes during a game of “Quarters”. That’s binge. I wasn’t driving nor carrying and when the two girls tried to take me to their apartment for a three way, I wasn’t capable of that either. Broke their hearts when I had them drop me off at my dorm.
      Note to women: Just because a guy gets you drunk to take advantage of you, that doesn’t mean that it works the other way. Just try asking the guy. I think that is your best play and he will be able to get it up.

      • I’m still amazed that TTAG, which otherwise seems to be a responsible website, allowed this to be posted. Aside from the fact that anti-RKBA folks would have a field day reposting comments about people carrying while drinking and smoking pot, the whole notion of “well, even drunk I still have my rights” is fundamentally flawed. Your rights don’t go away when you drink, but your ability to responsibly exercise them can, and THAT is the issue.

        To your comment elsewhere about wanting to keep thugs from raping / killing your wife — if you love her that much (and I belive you do), why not stay sober long enough to protect her? In the end, she’s much more likely to lose you to alcohol than for you to lose her to a criminal.

  26. I have a self imposed one drink limit when carrying. Anything more and I don’t feel comfortable and won’t carry. That may be a terrible idea legally but it is what it is.

  27. Nope. I don’t drink and drive and I don’t drink and carry.

    Should it be legal, sure, nothing should be illegal, including putting down any drunk you see with a gun or behind the wheel.

  28. Simple don’t drink and carry. It’s not about ones ability, it’s about clearing a holster, lawfully self protect and be clean. You will be judged, any trace of alcohol, you just handed doubt to the prosecution and jury.

  29. I’m a pro drink and carry guy, but not a pro carry and get drunk guy, and I feel there is a big difference, if I can drive I can carry, if I can’t I will never carry. Pretty simple rule and it’s worked for me perfectly. Always concealed however!

  30. Everything in moderation.

    Also, apparently there’s a lot of teetotalers on TTAG who have no idea how alcohol is metabolized in the body and assume everyone gets ripped after one ounce of beer.

    • Yeah that’s why I put the link in there from an actual cop explaining DUI. The only thing wrong with my “program” is the calories. I have been able to maintain my weight after giving up Coca-Cola. Cokes or beer had to go. Beer is more healthy.

  31. I can’t believe you are continuing commenting /defending what you wrote. HERE’S my entry Michael-I did a lot of stupid stuff drunk or high years ago-but carrying a gun wasn’t one of them…

      • Ah NO I didn’t-you drunk NOW Michael? I said carrying a gun while drunk is stupid. And it is…

        • “I did a lot of stupid stuff drunk or high years ago-but carrying a gun wasn’t one of them…”

          Your words, not mine. Even drunk I can comprehend English. What you write and what you think are not always the same thing. I can only go by what you write.

        • Yes and I think you are an alcoholic…and why do you have your kid in your avatar? Stupid stuff is carrying a gun while drunk or high…Oh yeah never brag about your health-you probably are getting fatty tumors in your liver. Goodnite…

          • Yes and I think you are an alcoholic…and Stupid stuff is carrying a gun while drunk or high…Oh yeah never brag about your health-you probably are getting fatty tumors in your liver. Goodnite…

            Good day sir. Sorry about your troubled past. Glad to hear you straightened your life out. Just one thing. Lose the sanctimonious attitude towards other people that aren’t hurting you in any way. I don’t see where a grown man that enjoys craft beer and fine spirits and never gets staggering drunk is an alcoholic based on the hands on the clock. You sound like the teetotalers that outlawed Sunday sales.

            To answer your question: “why do you have your kid in your avatar?” because he was a cute four year old boy dual wielding 1911s. I kind of thought it was funny. Sorry you people don’t have a sense of humor.

  32. I don’t have a personal problem with people drinking (responsibly) and carrying. However, I never do it, because if I do have a use of force incident, I’m sure part of the process will be to take a drug test, as well as a Breathalyzer. It sure seems like it would be easy for a Prosecutor to convince a jury that my judgment was impaired if I had been drinking. And I never gamble that I won’t have a situation where I might need to use a gun (why would I be carrying if that were the case?). Besides, in my state, if I am carrying, the legal limit is .02. So basically one beer could potentially put me over the limit.

  33. In WA, we aren’t permitted to carry in bars, so when CCing, and then usually driving, I’ll just stay in the non-bar area and keep my drinking WELL under the limit. If a bar is the destination, I’ll lock it up, with rare exception. Carrying for me is a responsibility to also be clear-headed enough to use if needed.

  34. Personally, I don’t mix alcohol and firearms. Yet, I don’t want the government making that decision for people.

  35. Just got back from Italy. Laughing at our Amerikan safety Nazi culture. Maybe it’s our bad food, or something in the water, but I never understood this fear of drinking and carrying. I know lots of people that do both just fine.

  36. This piece reads like a textbook example of rationalization and denial. Lots of people with drinking problems never get drunk in their own minds. Maybe the author is the special exception who drinks all day every weekend and every weeknight never gets impaired. I think the odds favor the author’s opinion of his impairment level being the product of rationalization and denial instead of some combination of exceptional self-control and exceptional metabolism.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that in a previous TTAG piece, the author argued that it was OK for him to leave a loaded gun out in plain view in his bedroom while his brother’s child was visiting because if the child hurt himself or someone else with the gun, the onus would be on his brother’s poor parenting instead of the author’s gun storage practices.

    The author also said this in response to a comment: “GA law says it is against the law to discharge a firearm within three hours of drinking. I could never train if I adhered to that policy. GA law also says that if you use your gun for self defense then your BAC is not held against you.” In reality, Georgia law says it is a misdemeanor to discharge a firearm when impaired by alcohol or drugs to “the to the extent that it is unsafe for the person to discharge such firearm.” Self-defense or defense of another is a complete defense to the misdemeanor offense of discharging a firearm while impaired. There is nothing in Georgia law to bar the state from using blood-alcohol level (or drinking all day) as evidence to disprove a claim of self-defense or defense of another.

  37. Loving the debate.

    I tend to not drink and carry, although a single beer with dinner is acceptable to me if somebody wants to go that route.

    There are some guys, who, I suspect, have sufficient muscle memory when moderately intoxicated to outperform 90% of CCW holders. Fine. I don’t particularly care, although if there’s any shadow of a doubt about the justification of a shooting, any intoxicant in their system will not help their case. All it really takes is one overzealous DA to wreck your life. Be smart.

  38. Pleasant surprise reading an un-PC post on this site. No “trigger warnings” or disclaimers. Pretty cool treating us like adults.

    • This is no more a “PC” issue than drunk driving, swimming during thunderstorms, etc. are “PC” issues. This is a “smart” vs. “stupid” issue on multiple levels: (1) stupid because you might hurt yourself [which I’m okay with], (2) stupid because you might hurt others [which I’m not okay with], and (3) stupid because you give responsible gun owners and carriers a bad name and endanger everyone’s RKBA rights.

      By analogy, the issue with drunk driving isn’t so much that you might drive off a road and kill yourself, but that you might kill other people and/or lead to consequences for society as a whole (like Prohibition, or when they raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 because too many young people were drinking and driving).

  39. If I am going to have a drink outside of the house I lock up the guns.

    In CA it is written on your permit NO Alcohol, you are not even supposed to go into a Bar while packing. I look at it as part of the deal I made to be ‘allowed’ to carry, that’s just the way it is here and now.

    In CA you also must make the officer aware that you are carrying, the last thing I want is to get pulled over after having one beer (driving or not) and have to tell the cop I have gun on me.

    I like having a drink every now and again, and again, and possibly again, but I don’t need to especially if I have a gun on me.

    • one more reason why california sucks donkey balls. “please, mr sheriff, may i have my constitutional rights?”

  40. I like to drink and I think OP has good taste in terms of beer and bourbon. However, I think that the amount of alcohol that OP drinks is excessive and indicative of an alcohol problem. Anyone who drinks alcohol on a regular basis has to be very careful of developing a dependency because of the simple fact that we develop a tolerance for alcohol so as time goes on we need more and more alcohol to get that pleasant buzz. A 12 pack of beer per day and bourbon in your morning coffee is a huge red flag. If this is a regular, no big deal kind of daily routine then I really think that OP should worry more about liver disease than bad guys as the greatest threat to his personal safety. I personally have cut back how much I drink because I have seen first hand the self destruction of others due to alcohol abuse. I hope you do the same.

    • Don’t worry. I am limited by my income as to how much I can drink regardless of tolerance level. Most weekdays, as I pointed out, I have only one drink. The extreme example was on any given Saturday but that doesn’t mean it is like that every weekend. In no way was it my intent to glorify alcoholism. Just relaying the facts. Thanks for contributing. Hope you found humor in the piece.

      • Unless you only eat one meal a day, your statement in the comment above, that most weekdays you only have one drink is inconsistent with this part of the article:

        When I say I am a drinker, it means I drink at least one beer every day. Most days, I have at least one drink with every meal. On the weekends even breakfast isn’t devoid of a complimentary rum and OJ or bourbon and coffee. I usually have a drink after work.

        Active alcoholics often can’t keep their facts straight, no matter what tolerance level they have built up. Being functional and a drunk are not mutually exclusive.

        I hope you get some help before something bad happens to you or others.

      • “I am limited by my income as to how much I can drink regardless of tolerance level.”

        So you would drink EVEN MORE if you had the money to? Amazing ….