Shouldn't newspaper stories offer some perspective? If you are a reporter writing a story on the problems that might happen with a state letting concealed handgun permit holders carry their guns into establishments that serve alcohol, don't you think that it would be useful to ask what has happened in other states? While this reporter does mention in one sentence the fact that only nine states still ban carrying a concealed handgun in restaurants that serve alcohol,
one would have thought that she would also have to note that the fears expressed in the piece haven't occurred in those states.
Bartender Randy Shields was serving British brews and Arizona ambers as usual at Shady's bar in east Phoenix when he saw a customer walk in with a hunting knife strapped to his hip.
A disturbing image flashed through his mind — "that knife sliding between my ribs."
The customer willingly turned over the knife while he was in the bar, but Shields still worries about a new Arizona law that goes into effect Wednesday that will allow guns into Arizona bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Under the law, backed by the National Rifle Association, the 138,350 people with concealed-weapons permits in Arizona will be allowed to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that haven't posted signs banning them.
Those carrying the weapons aren't allowed to drink alcohol.
The new law has Shields and other bar owners and workers wondering: What's going to happen when guns are allowed in an atmosphere filled with booze and people with impaired judgment?
"Somebody can pull the trigger, then a bullet comes out, and people get hurt and killed," said Brad Henrich, owner of Shady's, a popular neighborhood bar that sees occasional minor scuffles. "The idea of anyone coming in with guns in a place that serves alcohol just seems ludicrous."
An 8 1/2-by-11-inch sign that says "No Firearms Allowed" and shows a red slash over a gun now hangs next to Henrich's liquor license. If a bar owner does not post such a state-approved sign, people with concealed weapons are allowed in with their guns.
There is no way to track how many of Arizona's 5,800 bars and restaurants that serve alcohol have posted such signs. The Arizona Department of Liquor Licensing and Control has signs available for download on its Web site and doesn't track that figure.
The department has provided 1,300 signs to bar and restaurant owners who went to the department in person or asked to have signs mailed to them. . . .
Labels: ConcealedCarry, GunFreeZone