So you're sitting at a bar in Scottsdale when two testosterone-driven, Jagermeister-and-vodka filled 20-somethings start arguing over a girl, or bump into each other (the odds are good in a crowded bar) and you think, "What's missing?" The answer, if you ask Governor Jan Brewer, is handguns.
On Monday, the governor signed legislation that allows people with concealed-weapons permits to have their Glocks in tote when they go to bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
The law does include language that would make it illegal for people carrying guns to drink alcohol while in the bar or restaurant, as already is the case in existing gun laws.
While the mainstream media may try and sensationalize the story, Representative Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale) says the measure is more in the interest of protecting the gun owner from unfair prosecution than late-night barroom confrontations.
"If I go into a Denny's that serves wine and I'm carrying my weapon and someone sees it, under the old bill, I'd be breaking the law," says Weiers, who helped push the bill through the Legislature. "At the same time, I'm carrying that weapon to protect myself, which I have the right to do; what sense does it make for me to have to leave it in the car when I could be accosted in the parking lot?"
Weiers says the new law keeps being reverted back to "guns in bars," which creates the misconception that any kook with a Kalashnikov can get hammered and start shooting up a any pub they want.
"The problem, as it always is with guns, is the bad guy carrying the gun, not the guy who took the legal steps necessary to get a permit," he says. "Bad guys are gonna bring their gun whether it's legal or not...This law protects the legal responsible gun owner."
Let's hope Arizona gun owners are more responsible than former New York Giants wide receiever Plaxico Burress, who managed to shoot himself in the leg with a holstered handgun at a New York nightclub late last year.
Either way, it's almost happy hour so grab your Beretta and head to the bar; Weiers is buyin'!
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.