On Guns and Alcohol

State Sen. Ken Cheuvront countered that the new Arizona law has more potential for danger because the state’s permit system is among the more lenient nationally.
“All I know is that guns and liquor do not mix,” said Cheuvront, a Democrat and the owner of a wine bar in central Phoenix. “They’re putting other patrons and my staff at risk by having a gun in my establishment.”

– Arizona Republic article.
Fantastic! He just demonstrated a total lack of knowledge about the law, as one of the key components of the law is that those who carry firearms into establishments that serve alcohol are forbidden from drinking. Not a drop. Even the journalists, who tend to not know much about firearms-related law, seem to get it. Why doesn’t he?
There’s another option: Senator Cheuvront is merely being disingenuous and a liar, but I suppose that goes with being a politician.

Woot.

SB1113, the restaurant carry bill, was signed into law by the governor on Monday.
After several years of attempts and being vetoed by former-governor Napolitano, it’s finally been enacted. Just goes to show what an active grassroots movement can do.

Liquor Licenses

For all the progessive gun laws that Arizona has (( Most notably the fact that open carry is legal in most places without any permit being necessary. )), it has a major flaw: at present, it is prohibited for a person to carry a firearm (even if they have a permit to carry concealed) into any establishment that is licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption, even if the person does not drink and even if the sale of alcoholic beverages is temporarily suspended.
While I enjoy a good drink and finely-crafted guns, I strongly believe that drinking and the carriage of firearms should not be done at the same time. Much like drinking and driving, doing so is irresponsible.
That said, I see no reason why I (or any other law-abiding person) should have to disarm simply becuase I wish to enter an establishment that serves alcohol. As the law stands now, I’m prohibited from carrying when I go to Chili’s, even if I’m just there for a burger and soda with friends. If I’m walking around armed, as is my custom, I am forbidden from entering establishments like Chipotle for a burrito simply because they offer bottled beer.
This issue was a concern for the Phoenix Convention Center, as the center has a liquor license. Fortunately, they were able to successfully petition the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for a temporary suspension of the liquor license in most areas of the event, thus allowing private citizens to legally carry guns around the event.
Certain functions at the event, such as the member banquet, served alcohol. In these places, the NRA maintained a gun-check station and allowed people to securely stow their arms prior to entering the restricted area. However, members who wished to eat at several of the nearby restaraunts were unable to do so, as many of them served alcohol. This was an issue for myself and a few other gunbloggers when we went out for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
I’ve written to my state officials to encourage them to change the law so that people can legally carry in restaraunts so long as they don’t drink. I urge you to do the same.

Impossible?

The Arizona Wildcat, the university’s newspaper, ran an AP story yesterday about a measure in Texas that would legalize concealed carry on college campuses by permit holders.
Evidently due to space limitiations, the Wildcat cut off the article after the 8th paragraph, which ended in “Texas campuses are gun-free zones.” Of course, the part of the article that was snipped had nearly all the quotes and text explaining why one would want to carry on campus, or that people with permits can carry just about everywhere else and that the campus border is just an imaginary line. (( Bias? What bias? ))
One quote from Woods, a student whose girlfriend was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting, stood out to me:

“Then I learned pretty fast that wouldn’t solve anything,” said Woods, who is now a graduate student at UT. “The idea that somebody could stop a school shooting with a gun is impossible. It’s reactive, not preventative.”

Impossible? Impossible? To quote Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” Last time I checked, cops carry guns, and they’re able to put an end to murderous violence pretty effectively with those guns. There’s a lot of private citizens who carry guns, and numerous stories about how those people use their guns to stop violent crime.
One might not be able to prevent a school shooting, but one certainly would have the potential to stop it.
I know that if a person bent on murder came barging into my classroom, I’d prefer a means of resisting them that’s more effective than a thrown textbook.

Conflicted

I recently received an update from the AzCDL about a proposed piece of legislation. Here’s a quick summary, as quoted from the email notice:

HB 2439 provides for an alternative 4 hour CCW course, dealing only in legal issues, mental conditioning, and judgmental shooting decisions, for qualified individuals who can show proof of prior firearms training, such as:

  • Completion of an NRA pistol course.
  • Completion of pistol related courses at the college level, or at places like Front Sight, Gunsite, etc.
  • Completion of certain law enforcement training.
  • Current military service or an honorable discharge.
  • A competitive rating or ranking in an organized shooting competition.
  • A CCW permit from another jurisdiction that required training or testing to obtain.

I’m a bit conflicted about such a measure. While I’m a huge advocate of CCW and advocate for Vermont/Alaska-style carry (where no permit or state approval is necessary, so long as one is a law-abiding person), measures like this trouble me by setting different standards for people.
I’m a firm believer in training, and encourage everyone who owns a gun to seek training in the safe handling and use of their arms. That said, I believe that such training should be encouraged, but not mandatory. I think that most reasonable people will agree that the use of force, including lethal force, in self-defense is justified if and only if a bad guy poses a clear and present danger of serious bodily injury or death.
However, if the state wishes to require reasonable training prior to issuing CCW permits, so be it. However, such training must meet a clearly-articulated standard. NRA pistol courses are great, but they don’t cover “legal issues, mental conditioning, and judgmental shooting decisions” specific to armed self-defense. Neither does having served in the military — I’ve served in the military as a tank crewman and was routinely armed with a pistol. The pistol training offered by the army was basic at best, mostly covering the mechanical aspects of the gun and how to shoot a basic course of fire. No shoot/no-shoot training, and certainly no other training that would be relevant to a civilian self-defense scenario. Honestly, I was surprised at how little weapons training the army did.
Being a competitive shooter also doesn’t meet those standards. While some aspects of competitive shooting may exceed the state training requirements, competitions rarely cover the legal aspects that the state presently requires. Sure, action shooting can prove useful, but it’s not a self-defense training course.
Again, I’d prefer if training were optional (but strongly encouraged), but so long as the state requires training I think such training should be as uniform as possible. Making exceptions for specific groups of people who, while perhaps trained and skilled in firearm use, haven’t had the same training as other CCW permit holders seems like a bad idea. The only exceptions for the training requirement that I could see would be (a) those with permits from states with substantially similar training requirements and (b) those facing a dire, immediate danger where the time needed to complete a training course would put them in mortal peril. In the latter case, the person should complete the necessary training as soon as practical.
My conflict is between my desire for permitless, Vermont-style carry and the desire that if training is required (as it currently is in Arizona, at least for concealed carry — open carry has no training requirements), that such training be uniform across the entire population of those with permits to carry.

CCW for couples?

Any recommendations for a CCW class/instructor, either in Tucson or within a reasonable distance (say 30 minute drive) of Chandler, AZ?
Sarah and I are looking to take a CCW class, preferably one that’s good with women and, this particular case, couples. We’re looking for someone who’s knowledgeable, yet not overbearing. I’ve done the whole army thing and been yelled at by men in big hats — I don’t feel the need to do that again.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Concealment Holsters

As spring is rapidly approaching here in Tucson (it’s alternating between rainy and sunny and getting into the low 70s), I’ve been looking at options for concealed carry in the warmer (read: freakishly hot) seasons. My main concern is not immediate access (e.g. on my person), but rather total concealment (e.g. no chance of “flashing”, dropping the gun, etc.).
Since I’m often found with a backpack (how else can one carry stuff whilst on a two-wheeled vehicle without saddlebags), and mine is getting a bit long in the tooth (it’s my old army “assault pack” backpack, which has all sorts of straps and buckles), I’ve been looking at getting a new backpack or messenger bag with a concealment compartment — one of my friends has a purse from Galco with a concealment compartment, and she’s been extremely satisfied, so I figured a backpack would work well for me.
Ideally, the bag would also have a padded spot for a laptop (mine has a 15.4″ screen).
Galco seems to have women’s handbags, but nothing that I can find seems appropriate for a mid-20s male student-type.
Any ideas?