Posted by: hagengreen | October 3, 2010

Guns in Bars and Restaurants – seriously?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04guns.html

The story starts out…

NASHVILLE — Happy-hour beers were going for $5 at Past Perfect, a cavernous bar just off this city’s strip of honky-tonks and tourist shops when Adam Ringenberg walked in with a loaded 9-millimeter pistol in the front pocket of his gray slacks.

Little do you know Adam is not breaking the law; he’s simply exercising his new found right in four states (Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia) to carry a loaded firearm into a bar or restaurant.

Taking the topic even further, Governor Rick Perry of Texas has requested that guns be made legal on campus – assuming that armed bystanders could have stopped a recent gunman.

Guns have no place in our modern society. Guns, simply put, ratchet up tension in all situations. Are you comfortable knowing the guy next to you on the bus or sipping a beer on the barstool next to you has a loaded weapon that can kill a person in single moment? I sure don’t. Simply put, guns make public or common gathering locations much more dangerous destinations for the average American. I can see the next entrepreneur opportunity now: fashionable bulletproof clothing.

How about guns in the classroom? That’s taking it to a very dangerous next level. If you tell students they can have guns, then I’m sure all faculty and staff will arm-up as well. What’s next? High schools? Can you imagine your 18 year-old son buying a gun as just another thing to be prepared for college? That’s absurd and ridiculous.

Take a moment to step back and look at the world. We emerged from the second World War with a stockpile of nuclear weapons. What happened after that? The Cold War and further build up of our nuclear inventory. What did other countries do after we dropped an Atomic Bomb and then built up with more? They all scrambled to build their own. Recent examples are Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Thanks to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, nearly all countries in the world are taking a conservative and peaceful approach to using nuclear technology as weaponry. While the “disarmament” pillar as a part of the treaty isn’t quite seeing practice amongst its participants, the fundamental lessons being non-proliferation and disarmament are clear: we ought to reduce the use of nuclear weapons and not spread them to others. Bombs are never the way to solve a conflict. Talking and negotiation solve problems. Isn’t that how business works?

Bombs are to countries and guns are to people. The same rules apply. Usually talking can solve the problem. But when emotions run high and there’s a weapon in one’s pocket, it’s too easy to pull it out to give oneself more power than others. Stakes are raised even higher if someone else has a gun, too. Catastrophe is nearly eminent.

I say we go back to the old days. Fight with words and hope that someone takes the cooler path. If things break down, then let the brutes use their fists against each other. I’d rather get beat up any day than have bullets flying my way.

(I did not ask the NRA to approve this post, but I’m sure they wouldn’t approve.)

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