Guns in bars

There are people who wonder why anyone would want to allow someone to carry a gun in a bar.

This past Friday I went to a local club to see a band play. I don’t know of the venue policy towards concealed carry, but having been there in the past I don’t recall seeing any prohibitive signs (e.g. 30.06, 51% or other signs that prohibit legal concealed carry in Texas), nor do I recall any sort of check done at the door (e.g. wands, frisking, bag searches). So I’m pretty sure I would have been fine to carry. If I did carry, I would have chosen a more restrictive means of carry, since being in tight crowds, people are going to bump into it, you will get jostled about if you’re near the mosh pit, and things could be revealed or loosened.

Nevertheless, just because the venue was one way before doesn’t mean it’s that way this time around (I’ve been to venues with changing behaviors), so I just equip myself with alternative but acceptable mechanisms and leave the carry gun at home.

What always bothers me about it is I know what goes on at shows — especially heavy metal shows. There’s beer, there’s pot, and there’s a lot of testosterone. Mix that up with aggressive music, and it could mean trouble. Granted, most of the time it does not mean trouble. In fact, the only trouble I saw at this show was some kid and his friend getting kicked out for underage drinking. I’ve been to hundreds of shows over my life, and most of the time it is not a problem. If someone does get a little too stupid, usually it’s someone drank too much and can’t handle their alcohol so their friends or the bouncers take care of things easily. I’ve seen the pit get ugly a couple of times, but the group usually clamps down on that because there’s an unwritten code to follow and malicious violence is not tolerated.

But I guess… the day Darrell Abbott, better known as “Dimebag Darrell” legendary guitarist for Pantera and Damageplan, was brutally murdered while performing on stage…. and then some other stories not too long after that (I recall one of someone getting knifed)…. it gives you pause.

Then you have stories like these.

So why would it be bad if I carried my gun in a bar/restaurant/venue? Under the license agreement, I cannot drink. In fact, I didn’t drink at the show anyways because 1. it’s expensive, 2. I prefer having my faculties about me, not just if something went down but I can enjoy the show a lot more if I’m sober.

The reality? I’m sure there were people packing guns and other weapons at the show, likely illegally. You know… gang members don’t really care about laws. Even if the venue had signs prohibiting it, do you think they would have cared? Obviously no signs nor fences nor bouncers or lack of ticket nor much of anything deterred Nathan Gale.

Yes, statistics show that things are generally safe. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have gone in the first place. But statistics are of little comfort to Rita Haney and Vinnie Paul.

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