Envy and jealousy: life in the Classic City

This story has absolutely nothing to do with college football, other than that it took place in Athens this past week, but there’s such a great line in the comment thread that I can’t help but share.

Basically, it’s the kind of stuff we’re going to see more and more in Georgia as a result of the state legislature allowing people to carry guns into bars or to premises where liquor is served… I mean, what could go wrong, right?

A Jefferson woman shot at a man who she said made vulgar comments to her Wednesday as they dined separately at a Westside restaurant, Athens-Clarke police said…

The woman threatened to shoot him with a gun that was in her car, according to police. As she went to her car, the 62-year-old customer got in his car and drove away, but the woman fired a .38-caliber revolver, striking his car twice, police said.

From the comments, it sounds like alcohol was involved, which isn’t exactly a surprise.

Anyway, this captures my whole thought on the matter beautifully:

She had a license to carry, but not the permit to think.

48 Comments

Filed under Envy and Jealousy, General Idiocy

48 responses to “Envy and jealousy: life in the Classic City

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    OK. You say you’re a liberterian. Where do you stand on the validity of the law allowing people to carry guns into places that serve liquor.

    I’m not trying to start an argument. I think a state or local government has the power to pass laws allowing or forbidding this behavior.
    Even with the second amendment, they should be able to prohibit guns in bars through liquor regulations.

    Sounds like a Western movie.

    P.S. when I take my vacation in Georgia later this month, neither I nor my teenagers are staying out past 11 pm.

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    • I thought you could tell from reading the post that I think allowing armed citizens into a bar isn’t the brightest idea that’s emerged from the state legislature. Libertarianism isn’t the same thing as anarchy.

      Something about this reminds of a line from Paul Newman’s last great movie, Nobody’s Fool, uttered by the judge who’s lecturing the police chief for letting a patrolman who lacks common sense carry a weapon:

      Ollie, you know my feelings about arming morons: you arm one, you’ve got to arm them all, otherwise it wouldn’t be good sport.

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    • tesslibrarian

      This happened at 3:30pm right next to the suburban shopping strip with Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Chuck E Cheese, and Publix.

      Maybe you’d be safer sticking to downtown during evening hours.

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  2. Section Z alum

    i think it’s great to know that in this economy, with the current state budget disaster, that them thar politicians have the guts to make sure you can take your guns to the bar on saturday, church on sunday, and work on monday.

    guns can cure cancer!

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    • Ray

      Yeah, I can see how carrying a gun to the bar and to a church is the same. You have to look out for those kraaazy Christians now don’t you. I guess someone who is drunk and someone who is praying are both equally threatening to you and just as dangerous with a gun in their possession.

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  3. Jace Walden

    The legislature should stay out of the business of dictating what behavior private property owners want or don’t want to allow on their premises. If you own a bar, it should be up to you to decide whether or not to allow guns. “My house, my rules.”. And if you don’t like the rules, go to a different bar.

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  4. Jace Walden

    “How ’bout drugs or prostitution?”

    Well, my first inclination is to say, “why not?”. But whether I agree with it or not, drugs and prostitution are illegal. Owning and carrying a gun is not. Since owning/carrying a gun is not illegal, let the property owner decide if he wants it at his place of business.

    Now, if you want to legalize weed and hookers…I’m with you.

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    • The reason carrying a gun into a bar is legal is because the legislature just made it so.

      If your point is that the legislature should stay out of property owners’ business, shouldn’t you be advocating that drugs and hookers be treated the same way by it as guns?

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      • Sparrow

        I see what you did there… The point that Jace is making (forgive me, if I’m off on this JW) is that, as permitted acts, gun ownership legal (some would say entrenched in the Constitution) whereas the act of prostitution or selling/using drugs is not. When you say “[t]he reason carrying a gun into a bar is legal is because the legislature made it so,” doesn’t speak to the generally authorized act. Once the government condones owning a gun, where the owners do it is up to local citizenry and small business owners. The government has not condoned prostitution or drugs, so the local bar owner has no say in the matter (from the libertarian point of view).

        Personally, I think the right to own and carry should be heavily regulated (and regulated everywhere, not just in bars), so I may be off on my interpretation of JW’s argument.

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        • “The government” – state, local or federal?

          Prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada. There’s plenty of drug use that’s authorized by prescription. The government picks and chooses what we can and can’t take, so you can’t say drug use is not condoned. The state of Georgia sponsors a lottery, but just try to operate a poker game out of a bar and see how far that takes you.

          My point here is that people who generally get up on their soap box about respecting property owners’ rights don’t really mean it. At least not in the fullest sense.

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          • Jace Walden

            Senator,

            I would wholeheartedly welcome the legalization of prostitution and drugs. It’s honestly not that important to me though. And even if those two things are legalized, a private property owner should have the dominion to prohibit them from taking place on his property. I am a believer in individual rights, and I think that the post important individual right is the right of dominion over oneself and one’s property. That’s why I don’t agree with drug laws and prostitution. Even though I don’t agree with doing drugs or soliciting prostitutes, it doesn’t hurt me in any way if someone else wants to do that. A person should have dominion over him/herself to make those decisions.

            But, there’s an old saying: Your right to swing your fist ends at my face. Since you step onto my property at my discretion, I decide the rules.

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            • Jace Walden

              And this is why the state should stay out of the matter:

              If the state “legalizes” guns at bars and someone gets shot…the state, in essence, has condoned that shooting, and the bar owner is free from any type of action against him.

              If the state stays out of the matter and simply defaults to a free-market stance and the same thing takes place, the bar owner is subject to people taking their business to elsewhere (where folks aren’t allowed to carry guns).

              But if everyone MUST allow guns because of the law…there’s nowhere else to go.

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            • But, thereโ€™s an old saying: Your right to swing your fist ends at my face. Since you step onto my property at my discretion, I decide the rules.

              I agree with you on that, actually. But there’s a difference in my mind between you inviting me onto property of yours that you maintain on a purely private basis and property of yours that you operate as a public accommodation. Like it or not, the state has certain interests, such as maintaining public order, that trump a property owner’s in that setting.

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              • Jace Walden

                And I agree with your statement that the state does have the interest of protecting public order.

                Let me ask you this though: Is making guns “illegal” in bars really going to deter a man bent on shooting someone from bringing his gun in?

                Probably not. But the argument typically is, “We’re not worried about one man determined to murder, we’re worried about a drunk guy who normally wouldn’t shoot someone getting drunk and whipping out his gun.” Granted…but if that is the case, which is it that we’re trying to outlaw? The gun? Or the alcohol?

                The “prohibition” argument, if taken to fruition, can be used to deprive law abiding citizens of any number of harmless things.

                If “public order” is indeed the endstate, then I still think (in this case at least) that it’s better established by empowering private citizens to have dominion over their own lives and property.

                BTW, I have been reading your site for over a year now. Even when I was in Afghanistan, it was a daily read. Please keep up the good work.

                Go Dawgs!

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                • Hogbody Spradlin

                  Jace if you’re saying a state that allows guns in bars is preferable, beause it empowers citizens, than one that prohibits guns in bars, then I gotta differ. Guns and booze have always been a lethal combination.

                  All public safety laws are limits on freedom. But if a state, through its elected legislators, exercises its police power this way, I’m okay with it.

                  There are always slippery slope arguments, but we elect those fools for deliberative judgments, not wooden consistency. Through the horrific looking legislative process, sometimes we get it.

                  Sounds like you’re military, experienced with guns, etc. Maybe your thought is about the presumption of freedom, not necessarily the good or bad in this case.

                  I remember a lot of quotes. The one appropriate here is attributed to Bismarck: Those who are fond of laws and sausages should not look too closely how either is made.

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                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  What you guys are all ignoring is the fact that the victim didn’t have a gun. That is what emboldened the female perp to do what she did. “Mutually assured destruction” is a deterrent that worked for over 40 years between the US and the USSR. It also worked in the old west. The guy should have been armed himself. It’s the American way.

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  5. mykiesee

    No one has mentioned the fact that even though the wonderful lady was carrying legal, she broke the law.
    Most people who legally carry do so responsibly. This is just like the media would do – take one isolated incident and make it into an epidemic. I’m betting after her little incident at the bar, the little lady no longer has a carry license and has been charges with unlawful use at the least.

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  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    We all have our hot buttons about freedom. For some, it’s the right to carry a gun wherever. For some, the paradigm is being able to smoke a joint in your house undisturbed.

    We don’t have a national government of general police jurisdiction. It’d be nice to have an honest debate on that subject, but that’s not today’s subject. So, the issue is in the state legislature, where it should be.

    I’m surprised, and wonder why, the state legislature had to take affirmative action to make this idea the law. Either they were being showy, or the behavior was formerly illegal because of alcohol regulation.

    The law of the land, which I think is correct, is that the second amendment is not offended by alcohol regulation which makes a booze license contingent on prohibiting guns on the premises.

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  7. 69Dawg

    Unless I’m missing something the lady’s gun was in her car not on her person. You do not have to have a permit to keep a gun in your car. You made it sound like she drew down on him inside the bar. The fact that she had a carry permit has nothing to do with this story except that it serves to make legal gun owners look bad and that’s the party line. Heck he’s luck she didn’t have a gun rack and a 12 gauge.

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      I think this debate is over guns ‘on the premises’ where they serve alcohol, which covers this lady pulling it from her car.

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  8. JC in Powder Springs

    All I can say is that I’ve seen a lot of unintended tragedies resulting from guns. From what I’ve witnessed over my lifespan, most gun owners aren’t very responsible. I’ve had a childhood buddy get his shoulder shot off when his bro was cleaning a rifle, a very good teen friend killed himself when his girl moved out-of-state, and another friend got a load of buckshot when his buddy was shooting at a rat. Other than these incidents with hunting rifles, I’d say all these people were/are very responsible citizens with above average intelligence. Hand guns in public is an open invitation for many tragedies. The legislators who approved this stupid idea are puppets of gun manufacturers, nothing more. That’s all I have to say about that.

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    • Reptillicide

      “most gun owners aren’t very responsible” is a ridiculous generalization which isn’t true at all. Rather I think the probability is that most of your friends aren’t very responsible.

      That said, I’m against firearms in bars for the simple reason that people go into bars to lose their inhibition and judgment.

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    • Ray

      I would say that most gun owners I know are responsible, but then again it’s all in who you know and associate with. I would also counter that I know many more people who detered beatings (or worse), muggings and home invasions because they were lawfully carrying guns. Just because someone supports a view that you don’t they are a puppet of blah, blah, blah? If they agree with one of your view points does that mean their intentions are just? How far do you carry that rational in your life?

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      • DawgPhan

        Exactly how many people do you personally know that have deterred a beating, mugging, or home invasion with a gun.

        I know of 1 person. And anyone carrying a gun into a bar isnt being responsible. You can’t drink, carry, and be responsible at the same time.

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  9. Never a doubt

    I’m gun owner, and I do not like laws that restrict a person’s ability to carry firearms to protect themselves. But I can live with a little paternalism, and good grief people, you don’t want people taking firearms into bars. That falls in the category of “anyone who’d be willing to let that happen is so stupid that they need protection from the State.” So while I generally favor private property rights and am generally in the private property camp, I consider this a rare exception. And believe me, this idiotic law will be repealed in a year or two after a few people get killed. Pure lunacy.

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  10. mykiesee

    Just for the record, it is illegal to carry while intoxicated. And I believe the law allowed people to carry in restaurants that also had a bar. Not so sure about the stand alone bars.

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  11. RhymerDawg

    In relation to guns, drugs, or prostitution the argument should not be does the government allow them. The argument must be is gun control, drugs, or prostitution able to be legalized. In other words does legalization mean that the government is able to make legal what is inherently illegal? No, governments can only legalize what is already legal. Just because someone wants prostitution to be legal does not mean that a government can make it so. Same with drugs.

    Drugs and prostitution are illegal not because of a legislative act but because of the fact that they are ethically wrong/morally wrong. The government cannot legislate ethics or morality. It is therefore only the ability of the government, in the case of this discussion, to legislate guns because guns and their control is not an ethical or moral issue.

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    • NCT

      I don’t quite follow. Nothing is “inherently illegal”. By definition, only an act of a legislative body can make something illegal. In this country, we can use the Constitution as a starting point, which calls for certain acts by legislatures to be illegal (such as passing laws establishing religion). But drugs, prostitution, gambling, kinky sex, etc. They’re not “inherently” illegal. They’re illegal (if they are) because some legislature or council said so. Even murder and theft aren’t “inherently illegal”, even though there is a strong consensus that they’re both immoral and should be criminal.

      My brother pointed out to me once a fundamental difference between those of us in the U.S. and those from most other countries in the developed world. By and large, in other countries, people think in terms of “will or should the government let me do that?” We here in the U.S. (thank God) generally think more in terms of “why should the government keep me from doing that?”

      The fundamental difference in mindset is whether the government’s power comes from the people or whether the people’s power come from the government.

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      • 81Dog

        Nothing is inherently illegal? How about murder, rape, robbery, to name a few?

        Some things are “malum in se,” meaning they are by their very nature illegal. The above referenced acts would all fall in that category in any society that considers itself even mildly civilized.

        Other things are “malum prohibitum,” meaning they’re illegal because the legislature says so, rather than because they are inherently wrong. Smoking pot, driving 71 on the expressway, etc. etc.

        Some things are just wrong, moral relativism notwithstanding. Government, at least our government, gets its power from the consent of the governed, but that doesnt mean everyone can just do whatever they please.

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          It’s that old “malem in se” versus “malem prohibitum” business they teach in law school. If it isn’t malem in se (something inherently wrong by the very nature of the act itself) it shouldn’t be illegal. Malem prohibitum means that the government has outlawed conduct that is not inherently wrong as a means of contrlling behavior of the population. Personally, I think that when government starts outlawing normal human behavior just because it wants to tell others how to live, that is when the government gets itself into trouble. We have a lot of that going on these days at the state and local level, but particularly at the federal level.

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  12. shane#1

    Since my misspent youth I have made it a practice to stay out of bars where I thought a handgun might be necessary. In some of the old East Albany [Ga] bars toting a pistol not only should have been legal, it should have been required! I remember one night drinking in a bar full of Marines when the Ga. Outlaws motorcycle gang showed up. A dash for the door got me out of there just as the furniture started breaking.

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  13. shane#1

    BTW, my forty time would have been no threat to Cuff, but I would have out run him those twenty feet to the door!

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  14. AthensHomerDawg

    Guns and alcohol
    automobiles and alcohol
    college coeds at frat parties and alcohol
    heavy machinery and alcohol
    drugs and alcohol
    I see a pattern here.

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  15. Cojones

    I think I’ll have a drink of fermented agave juice.

    First, I think that most gun owners are trained from childhood in gun safety because guns have been used responsibly in hunting families for generations (we don’t want Junior to blow Granpa’s head off and the family and Junior live with it the rest of everyone’s lives).

    Second, I think handguns should be regulated heavily , that licenses to carry should be the exception instead of the rule and doled out grudgingly and anyone buying one for self-protection be certified as free from mental illness. Paranoia has killed more than booze which accentuates it.

    If it’s going to be a free-for-all with guns in Georgia then you better check out the person next to you at the next home game.

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    • mykiesee

      One has to go through a background check to get a carry permit. The mental illness thing would come up. For the life of me, I can’t understand how some people can’t understand that the criminals are going to get their guns no matter what the law is or isn’t. Gun control doesn’t affect criminals!!!

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      • DawgPhan

        Was this particular person a criminal? well prior to this event…what good is a background check for checking if someone is going to get drunk and shoot someone…

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      • AthensHomerDawg

        And that’s a fact, Jack!

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    • DawgPhan

      Thinking that all gun owners are trained and responsible is simple minded. They aren’t. This person clearly wasn’t.

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  16. west coast native

    Years ago, I quit carrying a weapon with me when
    I was driving. For protection as I worked in some of the “better areas” of the SF Bay area.
    Reason:Road Rage. Imagine spending 6 hours per day on the highways in the SF Bay Area.
    I can not imagine carrying a weapon into a bar-alcohol and weapons not a good combination. Then coming out and driving home with a .15 level.

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