as reported on Fox News
In many states across the United States, it’s getting easier to carry a gun — and many say it’s the result of a campaign by the National Rifle Association.
A nationwide review by The Associated Press found that over the last two years, 24 states, mostly in the South and West, have passed 47 new laws loosening gun restrictions.
Among other things, legislatures have allowed firearms to be carried in cars, made it illegal to ask job candidates whether they own a gun, and expanded agreements that make permits to carry handguns in one state valid in another.
The trend is attributed in large part to a push by the NRA. The NRA, the leading gun-owners lobby in the U.S. which for years has blocked attempts in Washington to tighten firearms laws, has ramped up its efforts at the state level to chip away at gun restrictions.
“This is all a coordinated approach to respect that human, God-given right of self defense by law-abiding Americans,” says Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist. “We’ll rest when all 50 states allow and respect the right of law-abiding people to defend themselves from criminal attack.”
While most gun owners, myself included, expected 2009 to be a bad year for gun rights, the exact opposite happened. Many states eased gun laws especially for people licensed to carry a concealed weapon. The NRA is to be credited with some of the triumphs but a lot of the thanks needs to go to everyday Joe’s who have made it clear that they want their Second Amendment rights restored, not degraded further.
One part of the restriction ease has taken part in places like Tennessee where licensed gun owners were, at least until a liberal judge got the case, allowed to patron establishments that serve alcohol. Many state have a restriction on carrying a firearm in a place that serves booze, thankfully PA isn’t one of them.
The anti-gun crowd has been trying to convince the country that allowing gun owners to carry their guns in bars would just lead to more violence. Funny thing considering we’ve been doing it all along here in PA and I can only recall one instance locally where a licensed gun owner drew his weapon in a bar and that was in defense of himself after a non-licensed (ie illegally carried) firearm owner drew a gun. We don’t have shoot-outs at Tailgaters and the Corner Stable, imagine that.
While I fully support our right to visit establishments that serve alcohol, we gun owners must be responsible in our actions while doing so. Yep, the law in PA says you can visit the bar with you six-shooter on your hip but that doesn’t mean that you should get totally shit-faced while you are there.
While I’m against most gun regulation, I personally wouldn’t have any problem with people loosing their License to Carry if found legally intoxicated while carrying. Sorry, but if you want to get drunk, leave your gun at home, or better yet, stay home and drink all you want. I don’t care how well you think you can handle your alcohol, at some point, your perception will be altered as will your common sense.
I’m sure there are those out there that will disagree with me on the idea of license revocation. Unfortunately, the actions of a few degrade the rights of many.
I hang out with guys that can put away a lot of booze and still be safe with their firearms, but none of us go out bar hopping while carrying a concealed (or otherwise) firearm. Does that mean I don’t enjoy a beer while carrying? Nope. I’ll have a beer (read that as a single beer) if out having dinner in a restaurant that serve. But as soon as that first drink is gone, I drink water or coffee.
My reasoning is this. If I leave the restaurant and have to use my weapon during a violent encounter, I don’t want to be even remotely under the influence when it happens. Not only because of the effect it could have on my actions and reactions, but, I’m guaranteed that if I shoot someone, no matter how justified I may be, their family is going to sue me. And if I just so happen to have had a drink before the event, that information is going to come out in court and the family’s lawyer is going to make me out to be a gun-toting, shoot first drunk.
Above all else, gun owners should strive to not make themselves an example for the anti-gun movement. People who have a LTCF should hold themselves to a higher standard because of the additional responsibility that we carry. Just my two cents.