Yes, and no.
There is nothing wrong with drinking while armed. However, occasionally someone will drink while armed and get belligerent. But a gun is just a tool. Like any tool, a nail gun, a fire extinguisher, a hammer, it can be dangerous in the hands of someone who is intoxicated. Is that a reason to panic? Nope. Not in the slightest. Aside from the truth that most people in our society are civilized enough to not drink while armed, there are always going to be people who get drunk while armed and do something stupid. This is called, “A Crime.” Not drinking, that’s legal. Not carrying a weapon, that’s also legal. It’s what you DO with the weapon that will get you arrested or killed. But until you do something with that weapon, there’s a couple of Constitutional laws that protect you.
One is that you cannot be punished for a law you have not violated unless it is clear you are about to violate that law. Examples: Can you be arrested for walking to your friends house to talk to him, while armed? Nope, that’s not a crime. But, can you be arrested while storming to your friends house with murder in your eyes? Yes, because that’s a crime called Terroristic Threatening, or Hostile Intent, or a number of laws in each of our states with various names.
The second is called, “Prior Restraint.” This is where a politician who should not be in office says, “Men drink in bars, then shoot the place up. Therefore we should never allow people who have guns to enter a bar.” It’s using a fallacy, illogical but emotional argument, to make a case that could otherwise be rejected out of hand. Why? Because of the people in bars, most are there to enjoy the night, not to get so drunk they lose common sense, and the few there because they want to drown their sorrows will do what they will with no law stopping them. Laws do not stop crime. Laws punish those who commit crimes, so when we have a law designed to stop a crime, the people who passed it have designated themselves as your protector, illegally, and unconstitutionally. The US Supreme Court has said that Prior Restraint is a form of censorship. Politicians decided that a blanket segment of our society is simply too dangerous to be allowed the complete freedom of movement, expression, or rights. Politicians have done this in the past, multiple times. They did it with black people and the Jim Crow laws. They did it with people who were not “handsome,” with the Ugly Laws. They did it to oppress anyone not going to church on Sunday with the Blue Laws. They did it to Gays with the various laws banning marriage or expression. It seems that there are always some group that needs to be oppressed to the safety of all.
The insult is clear. It’s a way of saying, “Those that own guns are not wise enough, civilized enough, safe enough to be allowed to walk into a bar, order a beer, and sit with family and eat dinner while armed.”
In my case, two days ago, I want to a new restaurant in town that’d only been open a week or so. I went at 3pm, hoping to beat the crowds. They had no seating in the main part of the restaurant, but had two open tables in the bar area. 244.125 Prohibition against possession of loaded firearm in room where alcoholic beverages are being sold by the drink. – This section shall not apply to a bona fide restaurant open to the general public having dining facilities for not less than fifty (50) persons and which receives less than fifty percent (50%) of its annual food and beverage receipts from the dining facilities by the sale of alcohol. So as a patron of a restaurant, I am FORCED to say, “I am an undesirable and untrustworthy person in the state of Kentucky, unfit to dine in your restaurant except under certain circumstances. So, tell me please, Do you make more than 50% of your sales from alcohol? If it’s close, can I see your books to determine for myself if I am allowed to dine here? Oh, and while you’re at it, do you seat more than 50 people? Because if it’s 49 people I can’t eat here.”
Florida was worse. If I went to a restaurant named for a bird of a certain scarlet-like color, and they attempted to seat me in the bar area, which was about 1/3 of the total dining area in the restaurant, I could be arrested as soon as I crossed the invisible line between the bar area and the normal people who are desirable dining area. Yep, “A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to… openly carry a concealed weapon or firearm into: Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;” So, to make it simple… I want into the Robin place, the waitress says, “I have a hi-top in the bar area for your party.” I sit down with my family and a police officer notices that I am armed, be it seeing the shape of the gun or having a suspicion that I’m armed by my walk, or the way I sit or the lump under my clothing. He approaches, “Do you have your concealed carry permit with you?” If I say I don’t answer questions, I can be arrested. If I admit to it, he may take it from me, and arrest me. All for taking the available table. What other segment of our society would tolerate such an insult or obvious oppression?
But it gets even more strange. We have 50 states, 3006 counties, and 19,495 cities in our nation. Each has it’s own set of laws, regulations and restrictions. The estimates vary between 300,000 laws to 300 laws. I cannot verify one way or the other, because every day a new law appears and a law is repealed. California alone has over a hundred on the books, and that’s just the state. Each city and county has it’s own laws. And that, dear reader, is the problem. We have no idea how many, how to find, where to look. Do you write each city and county you’re driving through to get their laws? Do you read up on the way to the restaurant to see what laws are now valid and which ones aren’t anymore? Be careful, because if you make one single mistake, just the tiniest one, you may find yourself with a loaded weapon pointed at your head, and the next twenty years of your life occupied with dodging other convicts and trying to stay alive in a state prison.
WHY DO WE TOLERATE THIS?
I have no idea.