Once the Republicans took control of the state, the craziness came out.
The Ohio House of Representatives approved two bills on Wednesday that would give Ohioans more rights to carry concealed weapons, including one that allows people to carry a gun into a bar.
The latter bill allows Ohioans who have a concealed-carry permit to carry a gun into a bar, restaurant or “open air arena” such as a sports stadium that serves alcohol. The bill prohibits the person carrying the gun from drinking alcohol at the same time.
Republican Representative Danny Bubp, a sponsor of the legislation, said the bill is necessary to make sure law abiding citizens have equal footing with criminals.
The bill is seeing strong opposition by bar and restaurant owners, as well as cities in Ohio. Even members of the NRA are opposed to such bills, and rightfully so. This type of legislation can lead to more gun violence, which in turn can lead to a public outcry for greater gun control.
But some of the reasons for this measure are what really gets me:
State Sen. Jimmy Stewart, R-Athens, voted in favor of the bill in the Senate, where it was approved in May.
“It boils down to concealed carry permit holders are, by definition, law abiding citizens, or they wouldn’t be issued the permit in the first place,” he said. “I see nothing to suggest a law abiding citizen suddenly is going to become a non-law abiding citizen just because they enter an establishment that serves alcohol.”
How many “law abiding citizens” walk into a bar and then get busted for drinking and driving afterwards? Sure they go in there drinking without expecting to get to the point their judgment is impaired and subsequently getting pulled over once they leave, but it happens. Alcohol impairs judgment and that hits at the very heart of this issue.
I spent many years in the bar business and I dealt with many fights. I never saw a fight to a point that a gun was needed, but I saw many that could have easily turned into a gun fight if the individuals had a firearm. Sure they may have been “law abiding”, but they are drinking and that impairs judgment.
Another thing that really gets me on the bill is this exemption:
The bill includes a provision that allows business owners to put up a sign saying patrons are not allowed to carry a weapon into that bar or restaurant.
Again, we are talking about concealed weapons, so short of frisking every patron or installing metal detectors, there is no way to enforce this.
This is one bill that was rushed through and not thought about. If people are out drinking, they tend to due stupid things. How long before a family is sitting at an Applebee’s or Buffalo Wild Wings and someone gets a little to drunk, gets into a fight, pulls their gun and kills a child? There’s a reason we don’t have the ways of the Old West anymore – it didn’t work! Lawmakers today are too ignorant of history to learn from its lessons though, so we are bound to repeat those mistakes.