Smoking Guns

Smoking Guns

To the surprise of many in the tobacco-growing state, the Virginia Legislature is on the verge of banning smoking in the Old Dominion’s restaurants and bars.  A bill passed the State Senate on Tuesday, and Governor Tim Kaine and  Republican House Speaker William Howell agreed to a compromise smoking ban proposal on Thursday. Passage of the measure seems assured.

On the other hand, the Virginia Senate passed a bill allowing permit holders to carry concealed handguns into restaurants and bars as long as they don’t drink alcohol and inform management that they are armed.

You really think some underpaid Virginia waiter is gonna tell an armed smoker to snuff out his butt?

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

About these ads

Tags: , , , ,

32 Responses to “Smoking Guns”

  1. mikeb302000 Says:

    I guess it goes to show that everybody’s against smoking these days, but gun issues continue to be controversial.

    The article you linked to said currently guns can be taken into restaurants as long as they’re not concealed. How does that work? Have you seen it personally? Do they wear holsters and act like cowboys? Or do they remove them from hidden places and hold them in their hands, perhaps placing them on the bar?

    My gun-enthusiast friends insist on saying this is normal behaviour.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    mikeb302000 says: I guess it goes to show that everybody’s against smoking these days

    Tavern owners are understandably upset that heavy smokers — people with poor impulse control — will no longer frequent their establishments and drink to excess. There go the profits.

    The article you linked to said currently guns can be taken into restaurants as long as they’re not concealed. How does that work? Have you seen it personally?

    It looks silly when it doesn’t look dangerous.

    Do they wear holsters and act like cowboys?

    Cowboys, TV detectives, cartoon soldiers of fortune. Individuals who do this tend to be of, er, less-than-prepossessing appearance.

    How does that work?

    It makes other customers and restaurant employees understandably nervous. It’s not like the gun-toters are identifiable as trained law enforcement professionals, and their exhibitionism calls their emotional stability into question.

    My gun-enthusiast friends insist on saying this is normal behaviour.

    Firearms hobbyists just don’t want to be inconvenienced; your safety and peace of mind does not concern them. Shooting sports are wholesome and worthwhile pursuits, but using bad history, Constitutional misinterpretation, and paranoid fear-mongering to elevate gun ownership into a religion is either disingenuous or delusional.

  3. Roadkill Says:

    Hobbyists? Just because someone drives a car doesn’t make them an ‘automobile hobbyist’ or because you build a bird house doesn’t make you a ‘woodworking hobbyist’. Many folks out there carry handguns not because they’re into the whole gun culture, or sport shooting, but rather because they want to be able to defend themselves. So you would disarm a mom that wants to stop and have some pizza with her kids if they serve beer? Even if she doesn’t drink it? But oh, I bet you think that any mother that carries a pistol should be jailed because of the ‘children’s safety’. I remember a woman that was ‘inconvenienced’ in Texas, and Suzanna Hupp’s mother and father were murdered in front of her because she was ‘following the law’ and left her handgun outside in her car. If we’re so paranoid why do so many fatcats in washington have armed bodyguards and why do the police carry guns everywhere? Not like this is going to make it very long. I’m to understand you hate that ‘freedom of speech’ amendment too.

  4. Mike Licht Says:

    Roadkill Says: Many folks out there carry handguns … because they want to be able to defend themselves.

    Roadkill: Read the reply to mikeb302000 – especially the “either disingenuous or delusional” part — and see your physician real soon (just in case).

    I bet you think that any mother that carries a pistol should be jailed because of the ‘children’s safety’

    Plenty of American kids get killed with mommy and daddy’s handgun “protection” every year. Stop your anecdotes and hypotheticals and count their tiny, cold bodies.

    why do the police carry guns everywhere?

    So you don’t have to. Sworn police officers are professionals, trained in the law and crisis management, and know when and how to apply measures up to and including deadly force. They are also required to constantly prove their marksmanship on the range and are more likely to hit what they aim at than most civilian handgun owners.

    If we’re so paranoid why do so many fatcats in washington have armed bodyguards

    Because fear-mongering gun salemen bribe and bully politicians into permitting paranoids to buy handguns so conveniently, a real threat to public figures. BTW, private security contractors in DC cannot carry concealed firearms, and sworn officers on security detail do not like to be called “bodyguards.”

    I’m to understand you hate that ‘freedom of speech’ amendment too

    Another misunderstanding on your part.

    To repeat:

    Shooting sports are wholesome and worthwhile pursuits, but using bad history, Constitutional misinterpretation, and paranoid fear-mongering to elevate gun ownership into a religion is either disingenuous or delusional.

  5. mikeb302000 Says:

    Thank goodness I live in Rome Italy and not Richmond VA. Those photos of armed patrons in the restaurant would make people laugh or stare in disbelief around here.

    I think there is an element of paranoia, of exaggerated victimism and grandiosity among gun owners. But, I’m happy to let them do their thing, except where it adds to the problem. My belief is that it does just that in several ways, all of which they vehemently deny, naturally.

  6. GC Says:

    [Edited for clarity and lengthy - ed.]

    In Washington [State, not DC ] we have it a bit better than folks burdened with the silly “open carry in restaurant” law found in Virginia.

    Open carry is legal here, but so is concealed carry [with permit.]. There is a notable lack of blood in the streets and wild west shoot-outs, and our per capita rate of homicide and assault (with and without firearms)[emphasis added - ed.] is substantially lower than more regulated locales. … most folks that carry choose to utilize a CPL [concealed pistol license of words to that effect - ed.]in both to minimize unpleasant interactions with “little old ladies of both genders and diverse ages” and the notion that tactically, should all go bad, that some things present better as a grand surprise.

    I utilize my CPL daily here. … as a greying middle-aged gay man with asthma and sundry health issues that … bare-handed physical confrontation … and “run away, run away” … wouldn’t work well …. I assume you’ve heard of gay-bashing, mugging, and other misadventure?

    I have a fire extinguisher in my home and car. I lawfully carry a firearm. And I carry a pocket knife. The first two, I do in order to hedge my bets against disaster … the last, because they are just too darned handy to be without.

    Not paranoid or delusional. Prudent. I hope never to need to use a fire extinguisher; I hope never to need to use a firearm for self-defense. My hopes won’t make reality go away if I am unlucky.

    GC

  7. Roberta X Says:

    How is a private citizen carrying a personal weapon any more “silly” or “threatening” than a police officer doing the same? Especially a plainclothes officer? Would you suddenly feel okay if he turned and you saw a shiny badge clipped to his belt?

    Who are you calling paranoid? I’ve been held up at gunpoint twice, both times near the apartment where I lived, and after the second time I learned to shoot, got my permit and started carrying — and I live in a state with no rules about not carrying in bars, Indiana. Interestingly, our total gun crime rate is less then two-thirds that of Illinois, right next door and with no provision whatsoever for the carrying of loaded handguns by citizens. (It is one of two states with such laws — Mikeb302000, you’ll also like Wisconsin). The fact remains, though, despite feeling safer, you are more likely to get shot in Illinois than in Indiana. (And it’s not terribly likely in either state).

    As for “count the tiny cold bodies,” you can go to CDC’s website and do just that, you know — and you will find that despite a steady increase in the number of privately-owned guns in the US, the number of accidental deaths and injuries from guns has declined, especially among children aged 15 and younger. Meanwhile, most self-defense gun use by citizens with permits (or otherwise in legal possession) do not involve firing shots: criminals are looking for easy prey and tend to depart when the encounter resistance.

    Lastly: “Constitutional misinterpretation?” Tell it to the Supreme Court, which recently held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Tell it to the Founders, who were of the same opinion. Yeah, they’re dead now, but they’re the same bunch of morons who though freedom of the press and freedom of religion was a good idea and figured you should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. Government’s been chipping away at that last one — do you feel any safer?

  8. GC Says:

    Mr. Licht.

    As a former editor and semi-professional writer I am disappointed.

    I have absolutely no issue with your bracketed editorial comments, though I tend towards the view that if you have more than one or two bracketed comments, that a separate editorial comment handles matters more gracefully.

    I readily admit that, to speak to a broader audience, I should probably have clarified “CPL=Concealed Pistol License”; that while Open Carry in Washington State does not require a permit, concealed carry does require a permit in this State.

    However, in a blog (where length is not a cost issue – 200 words cost the same as 1000) editing for length is silly as a concept. Doing so to save a paltry 26 words (after all, we’re not doing hard-copy layout here) would be questionable even if the tone and content of the original piece were not substantially damaged.

    I specifically cite the butchery of the third paragraph (original for comparison may be found at nwfreethinker.blogspot.com – leaving analysis to the reader), and can only assume that the edits were specifically intended to reduce coherency and readability.

    Tacky, at best. May I suggest you consider a more ethically consistent editorial policy?

  9. Reasoned Discourse Again | The Real Gun Guys Says:

    [...] We’ve seen this guy before: http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/smoking-guns/ [...]

  10. Mike Licht Says:

    A few thoughts, GC:

    The major difference between the two Washington’s [WA and DC] is not longitude, terrain, or cultural heritage, but population density. The denser the population, the more violence; the more firearm violence, the more fatalities.

    Those who view handguns from a public health perspective end up in a political crossfire, and collateral damage has included CDC epidemiological statistics. Why does the demographic set for childhood gun deaths cover a particular (and peculiar) narrow age band? Distortion of reality due to political pressure. Why do handgun advocates omit inclusion of handgun suicides from gunshot death totals? Why can state health departments opt out of reporting certain classes of statistical data to the CDC? Guess.

    Doctrinaire handgun foes, on the other hand, will not deal with the population density issue or similar local variables, since they want national (or nationally-uniform) handgun restrictions, something that makes no practical, legal, or historical sense.

    I doubt if your fire extinguisher can erupt into spontaneous combustion and engulf your house. Handguns are thief-magnets and can be used against you as easily as by you, and gun suicides (tragically) are largely “successful.”

    As the son of a police officer, I am unconvinced by the vigilante rhetoric. The handful of “righteous” (i.e., legally-justifiable) handgun shootings by civilians is statistically insignificant. And what apprehended violent offender doesn’t say he was only “protecting himself?”

    All this is well-known; statistical citations are on other posts on this blog; use the search function above for analyses of the raw data by medical school-based research sources. These have been ignored by tiresome single-issue handgun salesmen on previous posts; I see no reason to waste more time repeating it to no purpose.

    GC, yours is a comparatively well-articulated statement, and I thank you for it. Every time I post about handguns, thought, I receive many more tiresome, boring screeds.

    There are interesting local issues on the ground here in DC as the local government seeks to implement the deeply-flawed Heller decision. I have other subjects in the hopper but will post on the DC gun store zoning situation in the next two weeks.

    I am seriously considering disabling comments when I post about handgun issues again, though. Each time I write on handgun policy the knee-jerk torrent of dogma is just too boring, predictable, and time-consuming.

    The greatest sin is “boring.”

  11. Mike Licht Says:

    CG:

    1000 words has an exponentially greater cost than 200 words — the cost in reader attention.

    Every editor must know this, and act accordingly. Paper or pixels, the principle is the same.

    CG writes: [I] can only assume that the edits were specifically intended to reduce coherency and readability.

    I am sorry you feel that way. I eliminated a digression that did not support your main theme. Truth be told, I originally intended to cut your comment in half, but it is a better piece of writing than the many shrill, irrational screeds I get when I post on this topic.

    I have put a live link to your original comment above; here’s another.

  12. Mike Licht Says:

    Roberta X writes: How is a private citizen carrying a personal weapon any more “silly” or “threatening” than a police officer doing the same?

    Sworn police officers are professionals, trained in the law and crisis management, and know when and how to apply measures up to and including deadly force. They are also required to constantly prove their marksmanship on the range and are more likely to hit what they aim at than most civilian handgun owners.

    … I live in … Indiana. Interestingly, our total gun crime rate is less then two-thirds that of Illinois, right next door and with no provision whatsoever for the carrying of loaded handguns by citizens.

    And Chicago citizens are being killed — at an alarming rate — with Indiana handguns.

    despite a steady increase in the number of privately-owned guns in the US, the number of accidental deaths and injuries from guns has declined, especially among children aged 15 and younger.

    Why 15? Why not 18, 21, or 25, key ages in legal codes? Why do you omit kid-on-kid handgun violence (including homicides) and youth gun suicides? That pile of cold young bodies is much bigger than you pretend.

    “… most self-defense gun use by citizens with permits (or otherwise in legal possession) do not involve firing shots…”

    An assertion which can never be verified.

    criminals are looking for easy prey and tend to depart when the encounter resistance.

    Criminals are looking to steal your firearms, that’s for sure.

    “Constitutional misinterpretation?” Tell it to the Supreme Court, which recently held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

    It is ill-concevied and poorly-written; future challenges will be refine it.

    Tell it to the Founders, who were of the same opinion.

    Wrong. Read this.

    Seriously, Roberta, I urge you to seek crime victim counseling, especially if you carry a firearm.

  13. Sevesteen Says:

    This is probably not so much about having a gun in a tavern or bar as it is about not having to do silly things when eating in a nice restaurant. Ohio is one of a handful of states that don’t allow carry where alcohol is served, even if the person carrying does not drink. It means I have to leave my gun in my car when I go to my favorite restaurant. I fail to see how this makes anyone safer–Locked in my car is almost certainly the easiest place for someone to steal my gun, and locking it up in the car is certainly the most awkward place I have to handle a loaded gun.

    Do you actually think that someone with a license is a particular danger near alcohol that they aren’t allowed to consume, or are you merely in favor of as many restrictions as possible? Would you favor banning guns where cigarettes are sold?

  14. Caleb Says:

    Hey, linking to your own post to prove your own incorrect point is the definition of “weaksauce”, junior.

    That aside, from what I gather your point is that owning guns for shooting sports is okay, but not self defense? So I’m to assume that you’re fine with me owning high capacity handguns and semi-automatic rifles, because I use them for one of the most popular shooting sports in the world. In fact, USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) is so popular that it’s the American offshoot of The International Practical Shooting Confederation, and international organizational body which sanctions and organizes practical pistol and 3-gun competitions all over the world.

  15. Mike Licht Says:

    Sevesteen Says: Would you favor banning guns where cigarettes are sold?

    Sevesteen: Thanks you for smoking — I mean, mentioning smoking, chief topic of this post. Where are all the outraged smokers? I expected at least a few comments from them. Guess all the irate armed citizens scared ‘em off. Understandable.

    This is probably not so much about having a gun in a tavern or bar as it is about not having to do silly things when eating in a nice restaurant.

    You mean like wearing a gun on your hip? What could be sillier than that? Isn’t the food they serve already dead?

    It means I have to leave my gun in my car when I go to my favorite restaurant.

    It probably means you need to leave your handgun in your home gunsafe when you go to the restaurant.

    Do you actually think that someone with a license is a particular danger near alcohol that they aren’t allowed to consume ….

    I don’t care how sober you are; carrying a gun into a room full of drunks is not the safest thing in the world. Ask any patrol officer.

  16. monsieurlinoge Says:

    Read the 1004 word comment here.

  17. Mike Licht Says:

    Caleb wrote: … linking to your own post to prove your own incorrect point is the definition of “weaksauce”…

    No sir, it’s called “not chewing your cabbage twice.”

    And it’s not “my” point; it’s some guy named “George Washington.”

    … I gather your point is that owning guns for shooting sports is okay, but not self defense?

    Promoting marksmanship is in the public interest. Promoting vigilantism is not.

    ml

  18. Thirdpower Says:

    “And Chicago citizens are being killed — at an alarming rate — with Indiana handguns.’

    So that says that Chicago has some serious cultural issues in that it has some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation yet still has 5x the murder rate of the rest of the state where firearms are common. Perhaps it has something to do w/ the 50% drop out rate from Chicago Public Schools or even perhaps the reduction of several hundred police officers from the CPD?

    I’m sure you have statistics to back up all of your assertions. I certainly do.

  19. Caleb Says:

    So what’s the point of promoting marksmanship then? Since you’ve unequivocally stated that you’re okay with gun ownership for that capacity, perhaps you could elaborate on what purpose promoting marksmanship serves to the public interest?

    Now, with regards to “promoting vigilantism”, perhaps you’re not familiar with this fun little book called “a dictionary.” I know you think you’re a smart cookie and everything, but last time I checked a vigilante was roughly “someone who takes the law into his own hands”, whereas self-defense is actually a defined legal concept – generally accepted to mean defending one’s person or property from illegal violence.

    There’s a huge conceptual and legal difference between vigilantism and legal self-defense, and to deliberately conflate the two (and it must be deliberate, because only an idiot could get them confused) is both intellectually dishonest and as my friends say “lame as hell, dude.”

  20. Mike Licht Says:

    Even people in Indiana hate Indiana gun law.

  21. Thirdpower Says:

    Mike, that link in no way supports your claim.

    This” One percent of gun dealers provide 57 percent of all crime guns nationwide” in fact is an outright fabrication.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22458.pdf

  22. Mike Licht Says:

    Caleb writes: … perhaps you could elaborate on what purpose promoting marksmanship serves to the public interest?

    Military preparedness. Heard of it? I think I used to get 500 rounds a year from the Civilian Marksmanship Program when I was a tad. Hope the program is still around.

    There’s a huge conceptual and legal difference between vigilantism and legal self-defense

    Last time I looked the number of “righteous” (i.e., legally-defensible) civilian handgun shootings was stunning in its statistical insignificance. Google it.

    And leave that poor defenseless dictionary alone.

  23. Thirdpower Says:

    “Last time I looked the number of “righteous” (i.e., legally-defensible) civilian handgun shootings was stunning in its statistical insignificance.”

    No, that would be justifiable “homicides”, not shootings. Does a firearm need to be discharged to be used in self defense?

    Apparently that dictionary should be taken off the shelf.

  24. monsieurlinoge Says:

    Last time I looked the number of “righteous” (i.e., legally-defensible) civilian handgun shootings was stunning in its statistical insignificance.

    Mike, that just means the last time you looked was 10 years ago.

    http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html

  25. Mike Licht Says:

    Caleb: hesitate to send you to an advocacy site, but your fellow hobbyists are wasting my time and this site came up first.

  26. Mike Licht Says:

    monsieurlinoge:

    Don’t see any stats, just a blog full of anecdotes.

  27. Thirdpower Says:

    “Gun Guys”. Hee Hee. Bought and paid for ‘advocacy’.

    “He couldn’t buy an AK-47 in Illinois, so he had to use a fake ID in another state.”

    So instead of breaking a law in one state, he broke a law in another. Since he went to a shop, he underwent the exact same Federal NICS check he would have in Il. Seems like the Feds aren’t doing their job then.

    Of course the fact that it wasn’t an “AK-47″ and only a semi-auto clone really shows the scare mongering used by the authors.

  28. Thirdpower Says:

    “Don’t see any stats, just a blog full of anecdotes.”

    So let’s see yours.

  29. Mike Licht Says:

    Thirdpower:

    Check the FBI stats (my link went bad). Annual civilian legal gun homicides were ca. 160 out of 49,000 adult gun homicides when I last looked, though I saw a figure of 300 recently. do the math.

  30. Mike Licht Says:

    Well, Ladies and Gents, as always, I am impressed by your devotion to your hobby.

    I wish you well, and goodnight.

    Comments are now closed.

  31. Why don’t these gun nuts just quit? « Gun Nuts Media Says:

    [...] by Caleb Seems to be a recurring theme in the blogosphere – minor league blogger posts “RARARARGHGHG GUN R TEH SUXXORS“, gets pwnt all over the place by pro gun people in the comments, and then takes his ball and [...]

  32. Neanderpundit » Never let facts Says:

    [...] Never let facts interfere with your feelings. [...]

Comments are closed.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 136 other followers

%d bloggers like this: