Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I like the Second Amendment and all

But this seems a bit, well...bizarre. The Arizona legislature is/has been considering a bill to allow firearms inside bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

The state House gave tacit approval Thursday to allowing firearms in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, less than a month after a deadly shooting in the parking lot of a Scottsdale nightclub that claimed the life of former Arizona State University football player Brandon Falkner.

That shooting, which has landed ASU running back Loren Wade behind bars on charges of first-degree murder, heavily colored the debate over Senate Bill 1363. Final approval is likely, although it still faces final House and Senate votes before it can move to the governor's desk. Lawmakers and bar owners opposed to the bill say the shooting underscores their primary concern: Guns and alcohol don't mix.

At the risk of sounding like a liberal ninny, I don't think this ranks as one of the greatest ideas in legislative history. I understand the arguments about the built-in safeguards (firearms are allowed but holders can not drink; bar owners can opt out by posting signs outside declaring that no firearms are allowed inside) but the common-sense alarm is going off in my head. Local bar-owner Daryl Chester describes the nightmare-scenario:

"I've seen bar fights escalate with people jumping in because it didn't seem like a fair fight, grabbing pool cues, and the next thing you know you've got 30 or 40 people involved in a brawl," said Daryl Chester of Scottsdale, who manages the Six Shooters sports bar chain around the Valley. "And it all started because a guy looked at somebody's girlfriend the wrong way. I'm a firm believer in the right to keep and bear arms, I just don't think firearms and alcohol mix."

On principle, like I said above, I support the Second Amendment right to bear arms but this seems like needless foolishness. Principled foolishness maybe, but foolishness none-the-less. A bad idea...

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