Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What did you really mean?

One of the problems I see in the gun control debate is defining expectations and limiting the scope of restrictions. Ohio has strict rules totally prohibiting carry in a class D liquor license where drinks are dispensed. Unfortunately, this includes most non-fast-food restaurants.

Drunks shouldn't carry guns. I have little capacity for alcohol, so I shouldn't drink at all when I'm going to carry. I should NOT have to put my gun away because people around me are drinking, or because those other people have impaired judgment. I'm only slightly irritated that I can't carry in a bar, I'm significantly irritated that I can't carry in a nice restaurant. I am extremely irritated that apparently I need to telephone a restaurant to find out if they have a liquor license before I set foot on the property.

I don't want criminals and gang-bangers to carry around schools. Honest people shouldn't be restricted. My understanding of federal law is that I'm OK near a school in Ohio, but if I go to a reciprocal state, I cannot be with a loaded firearm within 1000 feet of a school even if I am otherwise legal, and even if I don't know that a school exists there. This law is not enforced unless there is another crime, but it exists and can be selectively enforced. I doubt there are many gang bangers with concealed handgun licenses.

There should be no unintentional felonies. By this I mean that someone who knows the law and is trying to comply should not be able to accidentally commit a felony. Not knowing where a school in Kentucky is located could wind up being a felony. With Ohio's stupid car carry laws, having my shirt get bunched up around my gun could be a felony.

I'm rarely all that bothered by being without a gun in the particular banned place--I'm more concerned with where I've had to leave my gun, or with having to leave my gun behind on the trip TO the banned place. A recent example--I was in Cincinnati, and wanted to eat at a LaRosa's that serves alcohol. I was willing to go there unarmed. If my gun had been locked up, I'd have been willing to leave it locked. I was NOT willing to let people see me put a gun away, then leave the car unattended. One of the problems with current law is that I cannot touch my gun while driving. I believe that the intent here is to prevent brandishing--I shouldn't be able to display my gun no matter how much of an idiot the person that just cut me off is, but I should be able to put the gun away at a stoplight before I get to a destination.