Because we love to keep stoking those fires. Last week we brought you a piece of news on gun violence in a local bar that cranked up the debate on the controversial guns in bars law that has changed the face of Ohio's nightlife. To recap: A Cincinnati man was arrested after getting into a drunken altercation at the local watering hole, grabbing his gun from the car, and walking back into the saloon waving the weapon around, threatening bodily harm. A lot of you readers saw the story and commented something in the ballpark of: “See, this is why this law is stupid.” Now, in order to keep you on your intellectual toes, a news story that may support the other side of the argument.
According to News 5, this weekend a man was arrested in Painesville after squeezing off two rounds from a handgun. The incident went down in the parking lot of McTaggart's Bar and Grill in the early hours of Sunday. The shooter, 30-year-old Kristopher Williams, was “highly intoxicated” and was found to be in possession of drugs once he was arrested. He also didn't have a permit to carry a weapon.
When we read the story — about a drunk, dangerous guy in a bar who was already carrying a weapon, permit be damned — we couldn't help think back to the argument floated by supporters of the guns in bars law earlier this year. In our April story, the law's Senate sponsor Tim Schaffer couched his support in terms of a defensive move on the part of law abiding citizens. The guns are in the bars already, in the hands of unlicensed a-holes like Williams, the argument runs, so why shouldn't non-drinking, trained permit holders be allowed to carry for their own protection?
"When you go out to eat tonight, there will probably be a gun within a couple tables of you, and no one knows it except for the person who's carrying it," Schaffer says. "There are guns out there, and that scares me when you talk about the thugs and criminals that have them when the rest of us are unarmed. Why shouldn't the law-abiding families of this state have an equal chance?"
Just something to think over as you settle in for the second half of the work day.