Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Updated: Guns in bars? Good idea?

crossposted at Media Matters Gun Facts

I wrote this post a few days ago and got a lot of input from the gun rights activists who have chosen to respond. And since I wrote this one, there has been one incident in Ohio involving a permit holder and drinking in a bar. So I have expanded this post to include more information.

Some people actually believe that it is a good idea for gun permit holders to carry loaded guns in bars. You may recall that in my last post, I linked to a video of The Rachel Maddow Show. Maddow made such a great point about the new Ohio law allowing guns in bars. You can have a gun in a bar in Ohio but you can't drink. Right. Who's to stop someone with a gun from having a few beers? Who will know if the person being served is carrying a gun? And why go to a bar with a gun if you know that you can't have a drink once you get inside? Isn't the idea of going to a bar to have a few drinks with friends? What is this really all about anyway? Let's check it out.

The good folks at the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence have it right. They are calling attention to the folly of the gun lobby's efforts to ensure that we are all safer in public places. If anyone thinks that guns and alcohol together are a good mix, they need to get some new facts and ideas. I write often about shootings involving people who have had too much to drink. Drugs and alcohol, as we all know, alter the ability to think and act clearly. People who drink too much alcohol do not make good decisions. So to entrust someone who has had a few drinks in a bar with a loaded gun is ludicrous. But never mind common sense.

We've actually been getting along just fine without loaded guns in bars for many years. But the gun lobby has decided that it is a must to carry a gun around in a bar. Gradually the laws have been passed in many states allowing guns in bars, including my own state of Minnesota. In Ohio, you can't actually drink in a bar and also carry a gun whereas in Minnesota you can drink up to the legal limit. Check out this new website about guns in bars in Ohio. From the site: 
Another major problem with the law is that there is no way for your staff to know whether they are serving drinks to a person carrying a gun. The hidden nature of the weapon takes the power from your staff and management and gives it to the gun holder.
What a no-brainer. But not to the gun lobby, of course. They don't think the same way most of us think. So to them, guns in bars are not a problem. There won't be any accidental discharges. No one will get into an argument and shoot someone after having a few beers. They are all law abiding folks. Guns and alcohol together seem like a good mix to them. But from the site again:
Guns and alcohol are a dangerous mix in any situation. Having customers introduce guns into your place means routine misunderstandings can quickly escalate into deadly situations. If your policies enabled a customer to fire or brandish a gun, your business could be followed by negative media attention and potential liability issues for years to come.
What this is really all about, to answer my own question, is to normalize the carrying of guns in all public places so people will just accept it. Remember now that conceal/carry permit holders are the minority of us- about 2%. Most people simply don't find the need to carry a gun around with them everywhere they go. It hasn't proved to be safer for sure. And the interest in guns is just not there. They are inconvenient to carry. They are too cold or too hot. They can fall out of holsters and pants legs as I have written about before. Children can find them in purses or backpacks as I have written about before. If you can't carry into a building, you have to leave it in your car where it could get stolen. It's really not the idea of a fun time to most people. The U.S. population is about ( little less than) 312 million. Gun owners are about 80 million. Permit holders are about 6 million. About 25% of Americans are gun owners. And, of these, about 7.5% are permit holders. A new study from the Violence Policy Center puts these numbers even lower so that in 2010 personal gun ownership stood at 20.8%, shrinking from 26.2% in 8 years since 2002. Fewer households than ever reported even owning guns at 32.3% in 2010 shrinking from 49.1% in 1973. So about 2% of the population is pushing something that could make the other 98% less safe. This shrinking percentage of Americans has an ever increasing influence on public policy in the U.S. Go figure. Listen up American politicians. You are voting for laws that don't represent the vast majority of Americans. Why? Because you are afraid of the out sized influence of the NRA. Money and power buy votes. That math doesn't make sense but there is an increasingly cynical and dangerous American democratic system at work in our country and there is a huge disconnect between public policy and reality.

None of this matters for people like Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends who think guns and drinking is a great idea. Because of a study released showing that gun crime in bars decreased last year, Kilmeade makes the leap of logic that people are perfectly safe now in bars frequented by people with loaded guns. In fact, he's encouraging people to""Grab Your Gun And Get A Drink And Go Drink In Virginia"". And then he walks off the set saying he is going to do just that. Check it out. (And while you're at it, check out the other inappropriate and irresponsible statements made by Kilmeade in the provided link.) So just because in one year's time after the law was passed, there have not been increased shootings in bars, the illogical conclusion is that there won't be over time. Here is just one of many examples of alcohol and guns as lethal cocktails. How many more will we need before we realize that the laws passed to explicitly allow guns and alcohol to mix were wrongly decided? If even one shooting death by a permit holder in a bar occurs, it is one death too many. This article about guns in Arizona bars summarizes the opposing views well. " "It's a lousy law. It just shows how powerful the NRA is," said the owner of Axis/Radius, Suede and Myst, among other Valley hotspots." From the article:
Randy Nation is an Arizona liquor industry consultant who was a police officer for 21 years, including time as a liquor enforcement officer. He said guns and liquor don't mix.
"I know this sounds funny, but I am an NRA card-holder. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I just don't think they belong in bars," he said. "And there's no way to regulate it, because bar owners won't know who's got a gun in their place—it's a concealed weapon."

What Kilmeade and others who believe they need guns everywhere don't talk about is the still high number of overall gun deaths in America. This is the gulf between the gun rights and gun control advocates. One is about perceived need for safety which can only come from carrying guns. One is about prevention of senseless deaths and injuries. More guns have not made us safer. It is a known fact that gun deaths in America are much higher than other industrialized countries, much to the puzzlement of citizens of said countries. From this article:
Why does it accept an annual murder rate by guns that is 13 times that of Germany and 44 times that of England and Wales? People tend to remember the low points, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968. But do they know that since those two men hit the floor, more than a million people have been killed in the US from the barrel of a gun?
Below is the video of Kilmeade's remarks about guns and drinks:

Since I wrote the original post, there has already been an incident in an Ohio bar that foreshadows what is yet to come. Remember now, under the new Ohio law, gun permit holders are not allowed to drink while carrying in bars. But nonetheless, this Ohio man had to go and ruin the arguments by the gun rights activists about guns in bars.
Police said O’Reilly is a concealed carry permit holder. A new Ohio law that went into effect Sept. 30 gives CCW permit holders the right to carry firearms inside as bars and restaurants, but they are not allowed to consume alcohol while doing so. O’Reilly had been drinking, police said.
Now according to the folks who post comments on my blog, this is just not going to happen. But happen it did. This is not the first time I have posted about incidents with guns in bars and/or incidents of guns and alcohol involving gun permit holders. Some of the comments made to my original post:
The issue is not what the ambiance of the location is, but whether the potential availability of alcohol is a clearly defined risk for an increase in the permitee's propensity for committing criminally violent acts. Decades of experience has shown there is no link. 
Your commentary seems to invoke a prescient knowledge of when crime will occur on the victims behalf. Which would then blame the victim for not being prepared when the appointed time for the criminal act arrives. Is this really your intent? 
Trying to cloak the discussion behind terms like Bars or "save the day" is a false flag effort. Its readily transparent to most observers who do understand that your fear tactics have lost a major battle for factual highground, and have been shown to based on very suspect foundations.
This person also gave me examples of when permit holders have used guns in self defense in bars or to shoot someone who was threatening someone else with a gun. I have never said that those incidents didn't happen. What I have said and continue to say is that there is no reason for the 2-3% of folks who want to carry their loaded guns wherever they go to impose their will on the rest of us who don't want guns in bars. I have shown polling data before that indicate that the majority do not think it's a good idea for people to carry their guns in every public place they so desire. If you look at this video made for an Ohio PBS station, you will see the arguments for and against allowing guns in bars in Ohio. It's pretty hard for those in favor of the bill to defend the bill if more incidents like the one I linked to above happen again, as they likely will.

Another commenter on my blog chose to defend guns in bars this way:
The question is whether people who are carrying as a matter of course should be forbidden to enter bars. It's not, after all, common for a person to leave the house, go to a bar, and then go back home. The decision to carry or to not carry generally covers the whole day, and every location where a person might visit for that day - work, shopping, restaurants, and yes, bars.
So the thesis in the comment is that when you carry that gun around with you all day, you should be able to continue to carry it even into bars, restaurants, shopping, etc. It's the convenience factor. It would be a shame to inconvenience that 2-3% who have chosen to carry loaded guns around with them. Convenience, principal, self defense, factual high ground, personal safety, fear, paranoia- these are the the spoken or underlying reasons why these folks must have their guns at all times. This will not be the last time I post about this issue since the gun lobby continues to push for guns in bars in all states. It may happen very soon if H.R. 822 passes in Congress to require reciprocity of gun permits between states.

Where is common sense?

(This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters' mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program. The fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.)


  1. " And why go to a bar with a gun if you know that you can't have a drink once you get inside? Isn't the idea of going to a bar to have a few drinks with friends?"

    Designated driver? Sometimes I go to a bar to watch a game on the TV since I don't have cable. There are plenty of reasons to go to a bar and not drink.

  2. And do you need your gun with you when you go to just watch a game on TV? What do you think is going to happen to you in that local bar where you are gathered to watch a game together with others? I was, in fact, at a pub last night and a lot of people were there to watch a number of games on different TVs. Most people were having a beer or a drink and a good time. I didn't feel threatened by any of them. People were there to have a good time. If I had noticed someone with a gun, however, I think the atmosphere would have been entirely different.

  3. I don't think anything is going to happen at that particular moment. However, since criminals are not magically repulsed by bars (in fact, one might argue that my chances of being assaulted are higher in the bar district), there's always a chance of something happening.

  4. To use a theme that some would use, "there's no trouble in a bar until there is". It is ironic that you highlight all these problems with guns but fail to see the criminals who shoot places up.

    I get that you think guns are a dangerous thing and that gunnies having them makes you feel as that increases the problem. That's fine.

    You are entitled to your opinion. But to act like there is any place on earth that you are perfectly safe, until you aren't, is wrong.

  5. It is legal to carry a firearm under a permit to carry into a bar or restaurant that services alcohol in Minnesota as long as your BAC remains under 0.04 -- please show us the aggregate crime data that indicates that this has been an issue?

    The fact is - it hasn't been an issue. Nor has it been an issue in other states.


  6. You missed a couple of points there, Bryan.

  7. "And why go to a bar with a gun if you know that you can't have a drink once you get inside? Isn't the idea of going to a bar to have a few drinks with friends?"

    It's not just the stereotypical bar we're talking about. Some states make no distinction between a bar and a restaurant that happens to also serve alcohol, like Applebees for example.

  8. Yes, how true. I have written about guns in restaurants as well but didn't get into that in this blog. It's such a threat to go eat at Applebees. I think we'd all be so much safer if people with loaded guns are around where families are eating. You must be on the alert the whole time you are eating out. I wonder if you remember the one about the man who put his sport coat on the floor at a Texas restaurant forgetting that he had his loaded gun in the pocket. The gun discharged and a bullet hit a woman eating at the restaurant. She now has life long medical problems due to the damage to her intestines. I have written about quite a few incidents of accidental discharges in bars and restaurants. There have been occasional shootings also by "law abiding" gun owners at bars and restaurants. Of course, there have been shootings by criminals or people who shouldn't have guns at bars and restaurants where either there were no CCW permit holders at the restaurant or that person was unable or unwilling to shoot the attacker. I haven't heard about a CCW permit holder using a gun to "save the day" or shoot an attacker or prevent the shooting in the first place.

  9. your argument is flawed in so many ways at to make answering quite frustrating.

    First of all, the question was asked by Brian, please show where the allowance of permitted guns in establishments which serve has created a statistical problem.

    Second, the allusion to wearing a seatbelt because something might happen, vs will happen, is very apt.

    Third, Declaring that it makes no sense is fallacious. It has no bearing on the issue. It may not seem reasonable in your mind, but in the mind of most people, its a very sensible act to be able to protect your family and self from violent acts.

    For many who carry under a permit, the weapon is carried all the time. The permitee might be heading out to an establishment, directly from home, but just as often, perhaps more so, that destination is just one part of their activities for the day.

    The issue is that many places which are frequented by permittees might serve drinks, but are very often also places anyone might go as a part of daily life. For many people, having dinner at night would put them in a place which might serve. From my own experience, those places are often on the way home, or after other events or activities have taken place.

    Labeling it a bar is a misnomer. It might be, but it might be Charlie Trotter's resturant, it might be the Cosmo in the 601, or Outback steakhouse. All are places that serve adult beverages. There is no place where the risk of violence is absent.

    The issue is not what the ambiance of the location is, but whether the potential availability of alcohol is a clearly defined risk for an increase in the permitee's propensity for committing criminally violent acts. Decades of experience has shown there is no link.

    As to events where a permitee's actions have been shown to have prevented violence, the list is long, current, and established. The actions of a permit holder at Grumps in MPLS stopped a knife wielding individual who viciously attacked the permitee and attempted to kill the individual with the permit. In that case, the criminal went home to get a weapon and returned to attempt to murder the permit holder.

    At Legends Grill on Hennepin, a patron legally carrying a concealed handgun shot and wounded another person who was attempting to rob the establishment at gun point.

    Several years ago at the old Hoops bar by the Target Center, a Patron legally carrying a handgun stopped an armed robbery of store employees closing the restaurant. The Patron shot and wounded the robber who was shown later to have robbed and harmed several other people.

    Just because you do not remember those events does not mean they did not happen, or that they were well reported in the Media.

    Here is a link to self defense shooting by a store clerk in the Star Tribune....http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/40347432.html

    Another self defense shooting reported in the Star Tribune....http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/122227464.html

    and another....http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2011/08/james_suttles_killed_justin_jackson_self_defense.php

    It does happen, and as you will be forced to admit, the events happened in the everyday process of living life. Criminals do not send a post card or a text saying, "I will rob you, Rape you, or beat you with deadly intend, Next Weds, Oct 12, at between 7 and 9 PM." They attack as predators do, by sensing a chance to get something with minimal risk them selves.

    Your commentary seems to invoke a prescient knowledge of when crime will occur on the victims behalf. Which would then blame the victim for not being prepared when the appointed time for the criminal act arrives. Is this really your intent?

    Trying to cloak the discussion behind terms like Bars or "save the day" is a false flag effort. Its readily transparent to most observers who do understand that your fear tactics have lost a major battle for factual highground, and have been shown to based on very suspect foundations.

  10. "It's such a threat to go eat at Applebees. I think we'd all be so much safer if people with loaded guns are around where families are eating. You must be on the alert the whole time you are eating out. I wonder if you remember the one about the man who put his sport coat on the floor at a Texas restaurant forgetting that he had his loaded gun in the pocket. "

    I wonder if you remember Susanna Gratia Hupp didn't have a gun at Lubys in Texas? No more threat at Lubys than at Applebees.

  11. Nope- I remembered. Surely and most certainly, Hupp would have shot the shooter. That's what you all assume.

  12. Thanks for the sermon, "Pastor Bob". Now I won't need to go to my own church.

  13. Since I don't expect that some of my readers will agree with me, I wonder if people are willing to say that they think having guns in places where people consume alcohol is a good idea? And if so, why? Is it a good idea to allow for the potential of someone with a gun having too much to drink which is my point? I think, by the answers here and the defensiveness, the answer must be yes.

  14. First of all, the question isn't one of deciding you need to carry when you go to the bar. If there's a bar where you would feel uncomfortable unless you were carrying, you shouldn't go there at all.

    The question is whether people who are carrying as a matter of course should be forbidden to enter bars. It's not, after all, common for a person to leave the house, go to a bar, and then go back home. The decision to carry or to not carry generally covers the whole day, and every location where a person might visit for that day - work, shopping, restaurants, and yes, bars.

    So, if you forbid carry in bars, what you do is to force people to leave their guns in their cars. And truthfully, they are safer in their holsters.

    The second question is just what is a bar, anyway? Are we talking about seedy dives, full of angry drunks? The definition varies from state to state, but in states that have these limits, they always are written far more broadly than your discussion would suggest.

    In most states, the ban applies to any establishment that has a license to sell liquor for on-premises consumption. So it's not just bars, it's any restaurant that serves beer or wine.

    And here's the thing - the law doesn't turn on your knowing that the restaurant serves alcohol, it's a crime regardless. Does your local pizza place serve wine? Many do. Many don't. And there's not a big sign on the door.

    Of course, state laws vary. In Texas, the prohibition doesn't apply to restaurants that serve wine, only to businesses that earn >51% of their revenue from sales of alcohol. And just how are you supposed to know whether a business earns 48% or 52% of its revenues from alcohol sales? Do you need to do an audit?

    And in Virgina, the law applies to any building in which there is a facility that has a liquor license. So, when you stop by the mall, is there a Ruby Tuesdays on the far side that serves wine? Then your banned from carrying concealed in the entire mall. (Of course, in Virginia these bans apply only to concealed carry, open carry in bars and restaurants is legal.)

  15. Given that information jdege, isn't it just better and safer not to carry your gun into an establishment that serves alcohol? The inconvenience for you 2%ers should not be the deciding factor for the 98% of folks who don't carry guns around in public places. Most of the shootings that occur in and around "sleazy" bars take place outside in the parking lots or on the streets nearby after a couple of drunk folks get into fights. Occasionally there is a shooting in a bar or a restaurant- a nicer place, where families go. But there are just not that many shootings in bars and restaurants. Most of the shootings occur in people's homes. There just is not a need for your guns in bars and restaurants. And introducing them just makes it that much more possible for shootings to happen. That's my point.

  16. "isn't it just better and safer not to carry your gun into an establishment that serves alcohol?"

    1. How do I know that an establishment serves alcohol? It's not always easy to tell.

    2. Your discussion of drunks shooting each other in the parking lots of "sleezy" bars has little relevance to the discussion, as those involved almost never have carry permits.

    3. Even if it did have relevance, how would making people store their guns in their cars before going into the bar to drink reduce the frequency with which people shot each other in the parking lot?

    4. Regarding "There just is not a need for your guns in bars and restaurants" - the idea that we should need to prove a need to engage in a behavior should be abhorrent to all right-thinking people. In a free society, individuals should be able to do as they choose, and the government should be allowed to impose restrictions on that freedom only where there is clear evidence that a public good is served. In this case, there is not. After all, as you say, "there are just not that many shootings in bars and restaurants". And particularly, there aren't many shootings in bars and restaurants in the states where carry in bars is legal.

  17. Joan, the shootings that occur around "sleazy" places were happening long before the law went into effect. When people ask me "do you think it's a good idea to allow people to carry guns in bars?" I ask "Are you so out of touch that you think they aren't now? Have you been reading the newspapers?" I think I've mentioned that my wife is an ER doc. I know how many shootings and stabbings she has seen come from bars over the last few years.

    What you object to is LAW ABIDING people from carrying in bars. The bad people have been for decades and will continue to.

    I have no reason to think the number will go up just because the law has changed. I predict it will go the same was as all of other VPC predictions. "Conceled Carry" = Blood in the streets and shootouts all the time.. "Castle Doctrine" = "Shoot first" and more people shot.

    Statistically, NONE of that has made a measurable difference in the number of gun deaths. It will be the same for the new law. VPC or you will decry why it's a bad idea, but it will be forgotten about in a year when none of those bad things happen at a rate any different than before the law took effect.

    Why are those shrill predictions always so wrong? Because law abiding people don't run amok in measurable numbers when the law changes, and the law breakers didn't care to start with.

    I have to agree with jedge here. I don't go to bars where I think I'm going to need a gun. I do, however, eat at Red Lobster, Applebees, Chilies, Outback, Ruby Tuesdays and countless other places that sell food AND have a license to sell alcohol. I usually have ice tea with my meals. All the Ohio law changed for me Iit is in effect now) is that I don't have to put the gun in the lock box before I leave my car. Nothing else changes. It just means I handle the firearm less. I'm no more a threat at Red Lobster than I am at Kroger, Walmart or Target or all the other places I go in my normal day to day life.

    None of the people I've ever encountered at any of those places knew I was armed. It will be that way at Red Lobster too. The whole point of concealed is that it remains concealed.

  18. "Hupp would have shot the shooter. That's what you all assume. "

    Maybe. Mostly what I was commenting on is that it isn't dangerous until it is. You seem to think that because you did something once and nothing bad happened that nothing bad will ever happen if you keep doing it. You tell us this over and over and over. You've been to a bar and no one got shot so no one will ever get shot in a bar. You've been to a restaurant and no one got shot so no one ever will. You worked in a school and no one got shot so no one ever will. People who think it might happen are just plain paranoid. And if they ever do get shot, it had to be because too many honest people have guns outside their home because criminals never carried guns before the states went nuts and allowed concealed carry.

  19. I am not sure why you continue to send comments once it has been established that our positions are completly opposite, jdege. If you don't know if a place serves alcohol, you are either making up excuses or being disengenous. Will that be your excuse when you are arrested for carrying a gun into a place that serves alcohol and doesn't allow guns? Officer, I didn't know that alcohol was served here." Right.

    As to your last point, it is pure and simply nonsensical to think that the government should not be able to make restrictions for the sake of public health and safety. Please don't bother to send another comment about it since it will get us no where. We are on philosophical and political opposite sides. I know that you are sure you are right but this is an opinion, not a fact, on your part.To believe that people can do pretty much what they please wherever they go in this country is a crazy idea. That is not the kind of country I want to live in. That is your excuse for having your guns. If government gets out of the way, then you will claim that you guys with the guns get to make the rules and decide who and when to shoot. You must want a lawless society where the rule of law is non existant and where some utopian world where everyone will just do the right thing. Illogic reigns in your world.

  20. And you've been to a bar and no one got shot so you don't need your gun. Is that your logic? I need my gun for those imagined instances in which someone may come in to shoot up the place. Just because they have done it in a few places means they will do it again in a place where I will be. And surely I will be able to stop the shooter because in one or two cases, people who owned guns but couldn't carry inside of the bar or restaurant believed that if they had their guns they would have been able to save their relatives or stop the shooter. So therefore, I will be able to do that with my gun. If one person believed they could have saved the day, then that must mean that any one who has a gun on their person if and when a shooting occurs, will be able to do it too. How is your logic any more valid than mine? How is your paranoia any more valid than mine?

  21. You missed my point 18 Echo. I believe I said if one person is shot accidentally or on purpose in a bar or other place where alcohol is served, then it is one too many. I am all about prevention. I have provided you with many instances of people with gun permits accidentally firing a gun or the gun "accidentally discharging" in public places. In addition, permit holders have shot and killled many people since the laws have been passed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The statistics are not on your side.

  22. "Who's to stop someone with a gun from having a few beers? Who will know if the person being served is carrying a gun?"

    It would seem that the implication of your original question is that there is no way to know if someone ordering a drink is legal because they *might* have a concealed sidearm. It's a fair question. But if we re-arrange the sentence structure a bit we get another fair question, quite similar, but with different implications:

    "Who's to stop someone having a few beers (from doing so) with a gun? Who will know if the person being served is carrying a gun?"

    The difference in the two situations is that in one the violation is drinking while armed, and in the other the violation is the mere presence of a sidearm in a building, whether the carrier consumes any alcohol or not. In the case of a concealed sidearm, there really is no difference in *detectability* of either violation. If the sidearm stays concealed, no one will even know of any violation in either case.

    The real difference in the two situations presents itself when the worst possible situation occurs; When a violent situation *actually* happens. If you had your way, everyone there would be defenseless. As it stands, legal carriers no longer have to be relegated to choosing between a limited number of (dry) restaurants, or being 'disarmed victims' at the establishment of their choice because it just happens to have a license to serve alcohol.

    When presented in this light it really does seem to present the picture that it isn't so much a 'safety' issue for you , as it is one of making legal carry as difficult as possible so as to have a 'chilling effect' on the practice.

    Now to the point where I (sort of) agree with you. I don't really think it's a *good* idea to be carrying in a 'BAR', and certainly not if you intend to do any serious drinking, but I don't necessarily think it's a *bad* idea either. Like the wearing of motorcycle helmets and car seat belts, I think you're stupid to not wear them, and just as stupid to carry into either a restaurant or a bar if you plan to get even the slightest bit tipsy.

    I do not, however, agree with a blanket ban on the lawful carry of sidearms in *all* establishments that serve alcohol, nor do I think that a blanket ban on *any* amount of consumption is in keeping with the ideals of American freedom and responsibility.

    I think Washington state has just about the best compromise of all the states I've studied. In WA, the prohibition on carry is listed in RCW 9.41.300(d)as "That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age". This means that in a business such as an Applebee's, I would be perfectly legal to carry my sidearm in the upper restaurant 'ring' surrounding the lower bar-area 'pit' which is restricted by the WSLCC to those over 21. Consumption is not regulated regardless, and although the news is hardly rife with stories of drunken shootings in or around alcohol serving establishments (either restaurant or bar), a *REASONABLE* BAC limit while carrying is one of the few regulations on carry that I could probably be convinced to support. The key word there being *reasonable*.

  23. You have read this wrong if you believe I have an ulterior motive. My motive is safety pure and simply. I don't agree that someone lawfully carrying a gun anywhere would lead to a better outcome in the case of a shooting. Give me an example where it has. There are few, if any. There are only people who think they would have been able to change the outcome, not those who actually have. And because you now will be able to carry wherever you are, does not mean that there will be an increase in people defending themselves or others with their firearms in public places. My point is that the opposite has and does happen. Thanks for your comments which are reasonable and easy to understand. You and I may actually agree on a few points but probably not on the larger issue.

  24. It seems people are missing a major point people with permits that carry in these places under the law are not allowed to drink.
    And i know people that go though getting the permit don't want to lose it by doing something as stupid as having a drink why carrying their firearm

  25. Yes RTC, that is very true. I would hope that the good folks in Ohio who have their permits won't drink in bars or restaurants. Can we guarantee that? The answer is no, of course. That is my point of not wanting guns in bars in the first place. There is no need. No one has demonstrated a pressing need for guns in places where alcohol is served. If someone comes up with something, I hope they will let me know.

  26. I'd like to propose that an exhaustive effort be made by this blog's editor and the good folks who frequent it to dig deeply into the existing stats on the effect of concealed carry regarding crime. Presently your just going about in gyrations and I know you can do better if you work as a team.

    Obviously there are differing opinions on concealed carry and it's value, or lack of same. But the only way to come to some understanding of this somewhat complex issue is to roll up your sleeves and attack it scientifically. I'm sure that the data is our there.

    I personally have no strong feelings about concealed carry, one way or the other. And I'd bet that such a complete and detailed study would show that concealed carry is neither much of a statistical benefit or detriment.

    I'd like to get involved in a serious examination of concealed carry stats.


  27. If you can find the stats, I would welcome the "discussion".

  28. "The statistics are not on your side."

    Texas. 2009 .1541% of gun crimes were permit holders. That is about as close to nothing as you will ever see in any group of people.

    If you keep it to just murders by permit holds in 1999 it's easier. For texas the answer is ZERO. so 0%

    Just because you can find 101 cases in texas where permit holders have done something bad does not mean that the statistics are on your side when you also realize that 65,561 non permit holders did the same thing,

    give me 65,000 people at random and I can find 100 of them doing pretty much anything illegal you can name. Not just gun crimes.

    Not a lot. Not a majority, just a few. I don't think that you would describe 100 out of 65,000 as "many" and they make the news precisely because it's so rare compared to the number of "normal" gun crimes that happen everyday.

    Imagine if you "had" to post every gun crime that happens next month and got to highlight the one's involving permit holders across the entire nation.

    You know how many people get shot per day in this country. IF the Texas number is anywhere near valid for the other states (I don't know either way) you would get to highlight one shooting every 600 posts. Perhaps less.

    That would be boring, but a far more "fair and balanced" look at permit holders and the problems they create compared to the general population.

    I agree that even one innocent gun death is too many, but I don't agree that the entire population needs to be protected from .015% of permit holders by disarming or otherwise restricting the actions of the other 99.985% that will never cause a problem.

    That just don't make sense to me.

  29. "I'd like to get involved in a serious examination of concealed carry stats."

    Where I get my Teas Stats about permit holders and crime.


    and 2009..


    Texas is easier because they keep such detailed records.

    You can decide if the 24,782,302 people of texas (2009) are a good enough sample and could be used to represent the other states.

    Bottom line 24 million people. 65,000 gun crimes 101 of them permit holders.

  30. Japete,

    If you're willing to host an in-depth examination of concealed carry stats it would be very enlightening to everyone.


  31. I thought that Jared Loughner was treated as if he had a CCW for death reporting by CCW holder by the VPC. If that is the case shouldn't all gun owners in Arizona be counted as having a CCW?

  32. Possibly. What do you think, Anthony?

  33. I would say that you would need to pick one way or the other. You should not take the low number when it fits and then use them to bolster your claims when deaths by ccw.

    Here is the VPC statement
    "Above is the current tally from May 2007 to the present of killings involving persons with concealed carry permits or who committed a killing in public with a legal handgun in a state that allows concealed carry without a permit (Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont allow the carrying of concealed handguns without a permit)"

    Also I wonder how accurate the 2% is when according to the VPC in 3 states you do not need a permit at all.

  34. Yes Anthony. I was just wondering what you thought. I go with the numbers from the VPC since those folks are carrying- whether permitted or not. And as to the last question, it might rise to maybe 4% if you take all those folks into account but not much more than that. It is still a sliver of the population who feel like you do.

  35. Wait I thought both numbers are from the VPC it seems like they are playing both sides depending on what statistics suit them at the moment.

  36. I don't think so, Anthony. I think we are talking about total permit holders. They make it clear on their cover page about permit holders killing people that they include those gun carriers in the states that don't require permits. What's the difference? If someone with a right to carry a gun around in public kills someone he/she falls into the category of a "legal" gun carrier. If you want to exclude them just because that might take out some of the killers, that would be illogical and not telling the truth of the matter. The fact is that the VPC is collecting data about people who have been allowed to legally carry their guns kill other people. They are not making anything up or changing anything. I know you all would love it if none of you had to have a permit. That way, no one could keep track of you and you could do whatever you want. But that is not the way things are going right now. With rights come responsibilities and accountability.

  37. Way to put words in my mouth :-/ As I have said many times before I think that the states should have the right set these limits. I am even against the HR833. I also do not mind permits as long as they are not too costly or time intensive (I think MN has a pretty good program)

    I would actually like to see states keep better track of crimes committed by permit holders. I think it would show that the permit holders commit far less crimes than the average citizen but then again I might be proved wrong. I would however happily support a law to track this in MN. Maybe we found a law we could both support.

  38. FLorida has fairly complete stats available online.

    They have issued 2,076,308 permits in 24 years, of which, 843,643 are still active. Of those 843,643, 729 were suspended or revoked in 2010. Remember, that suspension or revocation can happen for a very large number of reasons, including, moving out of state as a large number of seniors do when they move back home to be closer to "the kids". If someone fails to notify the state of that change of address, it is suspended until they either post the correct forms or the permit expires.

    Of that number, only 159 were for an alcohol related offense, (remember, any DUI with a permit is a suspension in Florida, even if you don't have the weapon with you)

    If you divide that 159 by 843,643, you get 0.0001884683450227 or, a fair bit under .02 percent. not 2 percent, but 2/100ths of a percent. or roughly 1 per every 5500 people, get an arrest for an alcohol violation while in the possession of a gun permit.

    The most telling number, however, is that in 24 years of so of issuing over two million permits, Florida has only had 168 people with gun permits, commit a crime with a firearm.

    The Twin Cities has about 2 million people in the greater metro area. That averages out to no more than 7 gun crimes in a population the size of the entire metro area, per year which are attributable to people with permits.

    Now, considering that the 4th Precinct of the City of Mpls averages more than that each and every night, from its entire population, the clearest picture you can find is that permit holders are among the safest, most law abiding segment of the population that you can find.

    Here is a link to the source for all of the numbers above....http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/weapons/index.html

    So when shown black and white statistics, one can see that trying to tie permit holders to criminal or negligent behavior is statistically wrong.

  39. Common sense is using all available tools to attempt to predict results based on passed experience.

    If that is in fact your goal, then looking at factual data which shows that permit holders with guns are not the source of criminal activity.

    The Data, be it from Minnesota, Florida, Texas or any one of a number of States which show that allowing a permit holder to enter a "wet" business or house, does not show any risk to endanger the public good. Common Sense says that its not a big deal and wasting your energy arguing against it is pointless.

  40. That would be quite amazing Anthony. It's actually HR 822 but it's not a big deal. More on this should be discussed.

  41. Thanks for the stats, "Pastor". I am all about prevention. So even if permit holders are not committing crimes in bars so far or shooting others, what we are doing here is expanding the laws in more and more states so that more and more people will be carrying in bars. One would think that stastically that would lead to the possibility of more accidental or purposeful shootings of people while drinking and carrying. I know that you guys think of yourselves and the people you know as very safe with your guns. But as I know from personal experience, sometimes people you least expect shoot someone you love. It happens often enough that I want to keep it from happening at all. It's what people do with their guns sometimes that is the main problem.

  42. "I would however happily support a law to track this in MN."

    We have a law to track this in Minnesota.


    Minn. Stat. 624.714, Subd. 20. Monitoring.

    (a) By March 1, 2004, and each year thereafter, the commissioner must report to the legislature on:

    (1) the number of permits applied for, issued, suspended, revoked, and denied, further categorized by the age, sex, and zip code of the applicant or permit holder, since the previous submission, and in total;

    (2) the number of permits currently valid;

    (3) the specific reasons for each suspension, revocation, and denial and the number of reversed, canceled, or corrected actions;

    (4) without expressly identifying an applicant, the number of denials or revocations based on the grounds under subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clause (3), the factual basis for each denial or revocation, and the result of an appeal, if any, including the court's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order;

    (5) the number of convictions and types of crimes committed since the previous submission, and in total, by individuals with permits including data as to whether a firearm lawfully carried solely by virtue of a permit was actually used in furtherance of the crime;

    (6) to the extent known or determinable, data on the lawful and justifiable use of firearms by permit holders; and

    (7) the status of the segregated funds reported to the commissioner under subdivision 21.

    (b) Sheriffs and police chiefs must supply the Department of Public Safety with the basic data the department requires to complete the report under paragraph (a). Sheriffs and police chiefs may submit data classified as private to the Department of Public Safety under this paragraph.

    (c) Copies of the report under paragraph (a) must be made available to the public at the actual cost of duplication.

    (d) Nothing contained in any provision of this section or any other law requires or authorizes the registration, documentation, collection, or providing of serial numbers or other data on firearms or on firearms' owners.

  43. I see a firearm first as a tool of self defense. As such, it's like a seat belt--only useful if I have it on. With that in mind, I carry a handgun wherever it's not specifically forbidden by law.

    In your opinion, what is the purpose of a firearm? (You've said killing, but I'm giving you the chance to be less indiscriminate.) Is that purpose legal? If yes, under what circumstances may I have the tool to accomplish that purpose in my possession?

    My point here is that if you insist that firearms be locked up at home, they become expensive art objects only--in other words, a de facto ban on using them.

  44. Thanks jdege.

    It is odd that on a few they seem to go off arrests and when appealed they note that the cases were reduced to lesser charges. Almost 1 in 4 denials are reversed. It looks like they need better people screening denials.

  45. So then, Gregory, you see no need for guns for hunting and sport? What are you getting at about legal? It's legal to own guns and use them for hunting ,sport, and self defense if you so choose.

  46. "Almost 1 in 4 denials are reversed. It looks like they need better people screening denials."

    A disproportionate number of denials - and of appeals of denials are from Ramsey County. The sheriff there has made it department policy to deny on any pretext.

    Hennepin had 2655 applications, and 98 denials. Ramsey had 1160 applications, and 97 denials.

  47. "It's legal to own guns and use them for hunting ,sport, and self defense if you so choose."

    Hunting and sport are fine, but hunting and sport always happen "over there," i.e. away from people. Since we're talking about carrying in "bars" and restaurants, we're talking about being around people, so "hunting" and "sport" don't apply.

    I think what Gregory was getting at is this: If I can't carry into a "bar" or restaurant that serves alcohol, or onto school grounds, or into the post office, or in state/national parks, etc. -- places that I'm legally allowed to be and visit during my normal daily routine -- how is that not a de facto ban on the carry of defensive firearms? In other words, if I'm allowed to carry everywhere except where I'm going, what use is that?

    For the record, I'm 100% with you in wanting to reduce or eliminate violent crime. I simply note the substantial difference between "gun death" and "murder," which has absolutely nothing to do with the location.

    May Peace favor you.

  48. You asked a while ago for a reasonable discussion. You wondered if this was an exercise in futility. Yes, I support hunting and sporting use of firearms. But those are secondary uses to me.

    I'm trying to learn what laws you want. What are your proposals? I want to be legally allowed to carry my handgun anywhere I go. Will you support that? I want to be legally allowed to own what the Brady Campagin calls an assault weapon. Will you support me?

    What I'm getting at, with regard to "legal," is that at the moment, I'm not allowed to carry in a church, a post office, or, more importantly to me, in a college building. That means that my handgun is useless to me when I'm in those places. Effectively, I am being denied my right to self defense there. What's your position on this?

  49. "I believe I said if one person is shot accidentally or on purpose in a bar or other place where alcohol is served, then it is one too many."

    And if one person dies because you've denied them the right to self-defense, I think that's one person too many.

    This is the heart of the disagreement here. You think it's more moral to allow law-abiding citizens to be murdered by criminals than to risk a statistically rare accident from said law -abiding citizens. We think the opposite.

  50. gregory- either you or somebody else asked me that and I answered it. I'm not going to repeat it. You can find my positions all over my blog posts.

  51. Oh no Heather, you have that all wrong. To intimate that I think it's more moral for a law abiding citizen to be murdered is absolutely misstating anything I have ever said on this blog. I think you know that.

  52. "Nope- I remembered. Surely and most certainly, Hupp would have shot the shooter. That's what you all assume."

    When the bad guy was twelve feet away, Hupp testified that she thought, "I got this guy" but of course her gun was in her car. 12 feet is not very far away. In fact, most people who practice pistol marksmanship will set targets at 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards away, and practice being accurate at those distances.

    'Oh, but police only hit their target 20% of the time.' Yeah, and the police usually only have to meet a basic qualification once a year, and most police are not reimbursed for ammo and the time spent on practice outside of what it takes to meet that yearly qualification.

    My point is that the average citizen can easily spend more time shooting their weapon accurately than a police officer. (And of course, I'm not disparaging all officers, but this situation is common enough that the miss rate for police is about 80%)

    So if someone shoots as little as 100 rounds per month, they are at least as capable, probably more so than the average police officer that only practices enough to meet a basic proficiency test once a year.

    But I'm sure you will continue to cast doubt on the abilities of normal people to defend themselves.

  53. What's the miss rate for permit holders when they are involved in a self defense situation? We don't hear about too many of those cases but if you have that, please share it. Your assumption that virtually all permit holders go to the range to practice their skills so they will be accurate is false. Can you prove that? I don't believe that to be true but perhaps you have some actual information showing that all permit holders would be more accurate than police who, by the way, have training more than once a year according to the information I have from local law enforcement.

  54. "What's the miss rate for permit holders when they are involved in a self defense situation?"

    Don't know. I do know their rate of accidentally shooting the wrong person is less than half of that of the cops. Which isn't really the cops fault - they generally arrive on a scene well after the incident has begun, without the context that a civilian would have.

  55. Hmmm- jdege- are you sure about that? How many times do I post about accidental shootings? Do you have figures that show that one?

  56. http://rkba.org/research/cramer/shall-issue.html#c34

    "Another study examined newspaper reports of gun incidents in Missouri, involving police or civilians. In this study, civilians were successful in wounding, driving off, capturing criminals 83% of the time, compared with a 68% success rate for the police. Civilians intervening in crime were slightly less likely to be wounded than were police. Only 2% of shootings by civilians, but 11% of shootings by police, involved an innocent person mistakenly thought to be a criminal. [145]"

    The footnote refers to:

    Carol Ruth Silver and Don B. Kates, "Self-Defense, Handgun Ownership, and the Independence of Women in a Violent, Sexist Society," in Restricting Handguns, p. 153.

  57. Nice try jdege-find me a neutral source. I don't believe this one.

  58. "We have a law to track this in Minnesota."

    Not only that, but the BCA publishes reports annually, and has for nearly a decade.

    What it shows:
    * Permit holders commit crime at a rate far below that of all other citizens.
    * Rarely are permits revokved
    * Rarely do permit holders commit crime

    There is no data in MN showing that the permit law has led to the sort of carnage that often is pointed out in such arguments.


  59. Bryan- you keep using the word carnage. I am not using that word so don't say I am. But if you want to call the Tucson shooting carnage, then O.K. If you want to call the shooting of 3 police officers in Pittsburgh carnage, then O.K. 'But stop saying that I am using the word carnage. If permit holders who murder people are contributing to gun deaths and injuries, we have a problem. And they are. I am saying, as I always say, more guns do not equal fewer shootings or less crime. The numbers don't add up. Crime rates are down in some parts of our country but that has little or nothing to do with you guys carrying your guns around in public places.

  60. ODD here it is in the first paragraph

    second this time


    second again


    First again would you like more?


  61. Anthony- what the heck are you talking about here or trying to prove? I must have missed something.

  62. "Anthony- what the heck are you talking about here or trying to prove? I must have missed something."

    He's talking about the word "carnage" -- you use it frequently on your blog in association with the word "firearm" and "permit".

    I believe you're trying for some type of subconscious word association, but I'm probably wrong.

  63. Did you just admit that you could be wrong? Carnage is sometimes used by me but not in the way claimed by Bryan. Do you guys have anything better to do than check my blog for every single word I ever wrote. Do something else for a while,