Tonight at the Bar: Shooter Special!

In a masterpiece of reporting-by-understatement (by a journalist who, unfortunately, is credited only as “loa”), the Flemish paper Het Nieuwsblad reported yesterday on that new law in Arizona, USA that you might have heard about that allows citizens to take their loaded firearms into café’s and restaurants where alcohol is served.

Bear in mind, though: The armed can come into those places, but they aren’t allowed to drink any alcohol themselves. And they can’t come in at all if the owner happens to think it might not be such a good idea and posts a “No Firearms” sign at the door: around 1,300 of the roughly 6,000 establishments eligible to welcome a bit of packed heat have thought the better of it and “requested such a sign,” although they also are allowed just to print one out for themselves.

(For example, bar owner Brad Henrich unwittingly helps us learn an interesting Flemish expression when in the article he characterizes the very idea of mixing weapons with alcohol as welhaast bezopen: roughly “just about plastered/smashed,” i.e. crazy with drink.)

Naturally, the National Rifle Association needs to be consulted here for its view of the issue, and spokesman J.P. Nelson helpfully points out that this is nothing new, that similar laws are in effect in 40 other states. He then adds:

Funny things happen in cafés. People want to have a weapon on them, and if the café-owner has no problem with that, then there should be no problem. If someone drinks and gets in a shootout and kills someone, then he naturally must be prosecuted by the law.

Indeed, some other establishment-owners positively welcome the new law as enabling a “deterrent” (afschrikmiddel). It’s precisely those places posting “No Firearms” that criminals will go after, claims restaurant-owner Marc Peagler: “[They] know that no one is there who can stop them.”

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