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Is the United States Obsessed with Guns?

Is the United States Obsessed with Guns?

One of first things that you are taught when you go to a gun safety class is that you should absolutely never mix alcohol and firearms. It’s the underlying principle that  has many restaurants that serve liquor publicly displaying signs forbidding customers to enter with their own guns, even if they have permits to carry a weapon, in an effort to put a safeguard on potential dangers as well as calm the fears of their own guests.

That’s also one of the reasons that many are uncomfortable with a new push to allow gun ranges to be able to serve alcohol. Guns and liquor that close just feel like a bad mix, but apparently not to everyone. In Omaha, Nebraska, the city has allowed a skeet and trap shooting range to get a liquor license, as long as the patrons only drink before…not after…they finish their rounds on the range.

Proponents of the plan say that a bar at the range is no different than a club house at a golf course. You do your sport, you head in for a beer, you go home. “It’s great. Usually, we have to go somewhere else to get a beer after we are done here, so we might as well give them some more money to keep the place looking good,” trap shooter Mike Tucker told KETV News.

The shooting range has made a number of promises to ensure safety, such as logging who is drinking and forbidding them to return to the range for 24 hours after they purchase a beer, no beer before 3 p.m., no beer at youth shooting events, and a no exceptions, no second chances policy for anyone who tries to break the rules.

“This isn’t like a golf course. These are guns that can kill people, even if it’s an accident,” Bob Batt, chairman of the State Liquor Control Commission said during the hearing. “There has to be zero tolerance.”

It’s not like a golf course at all, where the worst thing that could happen if a person drinks and uses their equipment is someone could end up with a concussion or broken jaw. These are deadly weapons and with rapid action to be able to injure or kill a number of people in a very short period of time. Yet instead of creating more safeguards for everyone’s protection, we are literally removing even the last small semblances of reasonable safety.

Yes, even when it comes to giving automatic weapons to elementary school kids.

The United States has now become so lax about its own gun regulations that it is serving as a literal hotspot of “gun tourism” for those in other countries with more reasonable gun laws. “With gun laws keeping high-powered weapons out of reach for most people — especially those outside the U.S. — indoor shooting ranges with high-powered weapons have become a popular attraction,” reports the Washington Post. “Tourists from Japan flock to ranges in Waikiki, Hawaii, and the dozen or so that have cropped up in Las Vegas offer bullet-riddled bachelor parties and literal shotgun weddings, where newly married couples can fire submachine gun rounds and pose with Uzis and ammo belts.”

The willingness to bend over backwards to any pressure from the National Rifle Association has created a country with an international tourist industry that brings people from countries where there is nearly no gun death, so they can drop in and experience “danger” in a highly controlled situation. They then get to return to their safe, gun free countries, while the laws that allowed them to come participate in our gun culture stand unabated, and result in nearly 300 gun-related injuries and almost 90 gun-related deaths per day.

Our unwillingness to put even the smallest reasonable restrictions into place results in second and third grade children firing machine guns, in one case a nine-year-old shooting the instructor and in another an eight-year-old shooting and killing himself.

In the case of the nine-year-old at the gun range, the owners said reasonable safety precautions were in place, and that most ranges have rules on age limits on handling weapons alone. The range owner called allowing “children 8 and older to fire guns under adult supervision and the watchful eye of an instructor is standard practice in the industry,” according to Fox News.

Reasonable safety restrictions are in the eye of the beholder, it seems. No doubt drinking at a gun range seems reasonable as well, until someone gets hurt or ends up dead.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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6:42AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Dale, most of state media anti-gun sites ridicule the guns in a bar as insane, they all forget to mention a little part of the law that prohibits drinking while carrying.

Such as the SC law: (drinking while carrying) can have their permit revoked for a period of five years, as well as a $2,000 fine and up to two years in prison.

6:18AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Dale, glad you researched and read some of the if, ands, and buts, on carrying concealed handguns, lots of misinformation on Care2.
My normal carry firearm is very small, not much heavier than my key ring. It's strictly a defensive gun due to its size and accuracy, would never get it into a gunfight.

I don't feel threatened enough to carry one of my larger guns, it's part of my daily dress and forgotten about all day, It's just part of me, no reason to take it off.
My Houston church is fairly large, there is at least one open carry officer there at all times. Unfortunately that is the time we live in now, crazies are all over.
A large percentage of Houston citizens carry, I don't know of a single other carrying into church, I shouldn't. I would bet anything there are hundreds, Good for them.

I live in the country now with a daily commute dodging deer. I've used it twice to dispatch badly injured deer on the side of the road. Choice is calling the game warden to do the same, that would have the deer suffering for hours more.

6:11PM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

David F stated: "For the last 14 years, I go to the airport regularly, always carry my gun, unless entering the sterile area, that then would be a crime and I would lose my concealed carry permit. Along with many others, I carry it to church, never go to a bar, but that would also be a crime without specific authorization from the owner."

Why would you carry a gun in an airport, (to non-restricted areas?), do you feel unsafe in airports? Church, now that is a truly fascinating place to carry a gun, do you feel unsafe in church? I can see one carrying a candle, a donation, a hymnal and many other items of a religious nature, but a gun? In a church? Fascinating indeed. Okay, I checked out some Texas gun laws.

"Texas gun laws are already pretty unrestrictive. Here is a rundown: Owning a gun: You don't need a state permit to purchase a gun. You don't have to register a firearm. Assault rifles are legal Concealed carry rules: Texans can get a concealed handgun permit, which allows them to carry most places.

6:10PM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

"Open carry rules: You can openly carry rifles and shotguns in most places. One big exception to open carry is any establishment with a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission permit."

The short version is, if you have a TABC permit, you can't allow people to bring their firearms on to the premises," TABC's Carolyn Beck says. The longer answer includes several exemptions, like allowing police officers and Concealed Handgun License holders to have their firearms in grocery stores or restaurants that serve alcohol. Where you can't carry: For bars or a businesses that make 51 percent of their money from the sale of alcohol, all guns are banned – even if you have a concealed handgun license.

Establishments with a valid "30.06" sign can also bar guns. Courthouses, federal buildings and school buildings and facilities also ban guns."

6:10PM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

David F said: "...never go to a bar, but that would also be a crime without specific authorization from the owner."

David F, are you saying that in certain cases, one could be allowed to bring a gun into a bar in Texas if one has the permission of the owner under certain circumstances? Some places obviously allow guns in bars, although things may have changed a bit, as this is from 2010.

"Businesses posting a compliant "51% sign" - It is a felony to carry a firearm while on the premises of a business that makes more than 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption (colloquially "bars", "nightclubs", "taverns", "saloons", etc.). A person with a CHL that is in violation has a defense that the establishment did not post the proper signage, as required by the Government Code section 411.204. The proper signage contains similar language as is required of all liquor license holders, but with the addition of a couple of words to prohibit licensed as well as unlicensed carry, and a background containing a red "51%" to make it obvious at a glance that the sign applies to CHL holders."

6:10PM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

"NASHVILLE ---...Mr. Ringenberg, a technology consultant, is one of the state’s nearly 300,000 handgun permit holders who have recently seen their rights greatly expanded by a new law — one of the nation’s first — that allows them to carry loaded firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Mr. Ringenberg, a technology consultant, is one of the state’s nearly 300,000 handgun permit holders who have recently seen their rights greatly expanded by a new law — one of the nation’s first — that allows them to carry loaded firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

...Tennessee is one of four states, along with Arizona, Georgia and Virginia, that recently enacted laws explicitly allowing loaded guns in bars. (Eighteen other states allow weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol.)...The law allows restaurant and bar owners to prohibit people from carrying weapons inside their establishments by posting signs out front. But many restaurateurs are reluctant to discourage the patronage of gun owners, often saying privately that they do not allow guns but holding off on posting a sign."

Holding off posting a sign...interesting.

3:38PM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

Dale, Brian continuously bloviates, even when shown he is lying, he keeps repeating. The states of Texas, Georgia, Florida he mentioned insane because of open carry, do not allow open carry, except for those licensed just for that, law enforcement, fire marshal etc.
For the last 14 years, I go to the airport regularly, always carry my gun, unless entering the sterile area, that then would be a crime and I would lose my concealed carry permit. Along with many others, I carry it to church, never go to a bar, but that would also be a crime without specific authorization from the owner.

5:54PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

What are we so afraid of that we feel the need to be armed to the teeth when going out to get coffee? Do we live in such a hostile environment that we must always be prepared to defend ourselves from the boogie man. And these people need to think for a moment. It's one thing to kill a deer, quite another to take a human life. That is something that is hard to get over, even trained police officer will tell you, it stays with you. If you are the kind of person that can easily take a life, you are the last person who needs to carry a gun.

5:08PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Brian d had said in part: "The Open Carry and Stand Your Ground laws in states like Texas, Florida and Georgia are insane. Allowing guns in bars, airports and stores is ridiculous. This isn't the Old West."

Yes, that most certainly sounds insane...especially in bars, but even in unsecured areas in airports (!) are civilians allowed to carry guns? Not a good idea.

Brian d had also stated: "The NRA doesn't speak for America. Our forefathers were intelligent but they didn't have the foresight to see today's problem with guns.
The 2nd Amendment is as outdated as slavery and not letting women vote.
It's time to move forward, not backward, when it comes to guns."

5:07PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Very true, Brian d, it is very unlikely that your forefathers would have ever envisioned that civilians would be allowed to purchase the type of firearms sold at gun shows and private gun sales that are sold to them today. What would they have thought at their time in history of civilians being able to purchase such weapons in the future? Some of these guns are featured in the photos in the link below. I doubt if they would have been impressed. Note the t-shirt for the so-called 'gunshine state'.

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