Applying A Gun-Control Argument To Alcohol
Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 - 12:01 AM
By John Pierce
As both a gun-rights activist and a concerned citizen, I have watched
with great interest the drama that has been created by Virginia Gov.
Tim Kaine's veto of Senate Bill 476.
This bill would have allowed concealed-carry permit holders to carry
firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol so long as they refrained
The Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, which represents
Virginia's restaurant industry, was vociferous in its opposition to
this bill. It repeatedly pointed out the dangers of alcohol and how it
feared that adding guns to the mix could exacerbate these dangers. I
am surprised, but encouraged, to see that Virginia's restaurant owners
clearly understand the threat posed by the easy availability of
alcohol in restaurants.
EVEN THOSE who are prohibited by law from purchasing alcohol (minors)
are easily able to procure it by simply having an older friend order
it for them in what I am told is called a "straw purchase."
Consumption of alcohol is a threat that costs hundreds of innocent
lives every year in Virginia, many of them children. We must stop
giving in to the alcohol lobby and enact reasonable restrictions on
the sale of alcohol for outside the home consumption! As you are no
doubt aware, Virginia does not have "bars" in the traditional sense of
the word. They have restaurants that are also licensed to serve
alcohol. Although, there are establishments which are truly "bars"
that are very thinly disguised as restaurants. This circumvention of
the law is known as the deadly "restaurant loophole."
In data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, a full 36 percent of all traffic crashes in Fairfax
County were alcohol-related. And in Richmond, this number climbs to a
whopping 55 percent. And yet, at restaurants all over the state, with
parking lots full of automatic assault weapons (also known as cars),
waiters and waitresses are allowed to serve alcohol to the operators
of these vehicles while they are in possession of "concealed car
NOW, I am not suggesting twe ban alcohol. I support the sporting use
of alcohol in the home where a person is no danger to the innocents on
our roads and highways (so long as alcohol is stored in such a way as
to be inaccessible to children). But reasonable people can agree that
to allow a person to consume alcohol, knowing that they have to drive
home, is irresponsible in the extreme.
Seeing these numbers and the very real impact their businesses have on
the lives of innocent Virginians and knowing how the owners of these
restaurants feel about their duty to our communities, I have no doubt
that they will be glad to support legislation banning alcohol sales in
restaurants. After all, this is not the Wild West. We do not need
saloons on every corner.
As a survivor of "alcohol violence," I ask this of Gov. Kaine and of
the owners of Virginia's many fine restaurants. If only one life can
be saved, then will it not be worth it? Do this for Virginia's
families! Do this for the children!
John Pierce, of Bristol Virginia, is an NRA instructor and president
of a software development firm. He may be reached at