They say drinking and driving don’t mix. And they’re right. They also say guns and alcohol don’t mix. Right again, as far as drinking and carrying. But there’s been a decided swing towards common sense, as states update their laws to allow those that don’t drink to carry in bars. Such became the case Thursday in Ohio, when newly-elected governor John Kasich (formerly with Fox News) signed a bill allowing concealed weapons into bars and restaurants. Think that sounds insane? But wait, there’s a method to the (perceived) madness.
I’m a professional musician. (I’m actually a lot of things. A musician is one of them.) From time to time I play in bars. That usually means a couple of things: I’m working until the wee hours of the morning, and I’m gonna have to load out in places that go to 11 on the creep-O-meter. Dark alleys. Places with lots of concealment for potential bad guys to hide. Moving a lot of really expensive gear that can be easily pawned – gear that would screw me up big time, were it stolen. But in Texas, you can’t carry a gun into any place that earns more than 49% of it’s income from alcohol sales. Bummer. But in Ohio, as of Thursday, that’s no longer the case.
I don’t know of a state who’s laws allow you to carry a gun and consume alcohol. And that’s as it should be. Carrying a gun is an awesome responsibility, and if you carry, you’d be a complete idiot to drink. Forget losing your license to carry, what if you did have to use it? I guarantee, nobody’s going to be painting you as a hero or victim. You’ll be forever known as the drunk who killed a guy. Well, that, and likely Prisoner # something-or-other.
So why change the law to allow non-drinkers to carry? For me, that’s easy. Bad guys don’t obey the law. That’s what makes them bad guys. Do you seriously think that someone who has evil on the brain is gonna let a little thing like a prohibition against carrying in a bar to stop him from carrying in a bar? Get real. But the good guys? That’s another story entirely. Law-abiding citizens feel duty-bound to obey whatever laws apply, even though they may put them at risk.
I don’t drink very often (my daughter jokes that I’ll have one beer or one glass of wine every now and then, just so I can say I’m not a non-drinker). But I’m perfectly willing to abstain any time I carry a gun. It’s the common-sense thing to do. And the idea of being able to carry a gun in a place where I’m statistically far more likely to need it really appeals to me.
John Kasich is one of the new crop of Republican Governors who were swept into office by voters looking for REAL change, as is lower taxes, reduced spending, and significant reforms. This bill is but one example that these new governors are holding themselves to their campaign promises and affecting real change – not this “more spending, more entitlements, more of the same” nonsense that we hear from Washington right now.
Texas. Are you listening? Time to follow the lead of Ohio, and make some common-sense changes to our gun laws. Because while guns and alcohol don’t mix, bars and a need for self-defense (if you’re stone-cold sober) certainly do.