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Va. Senate votes to allow guns in restaurants

Anne Bartlett

The Democratically-controlled Virginia Senate has voted to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as the person carrying the weapon does not drink. The gun bill passed on a 22 to 18 vote, after senators had a vigorous debate about whether or not people might have a reasonable reason to carry guns in restaurants.

The House has passed a similar bill; Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has expressed support for the measure, and is expected to sign it into law. Both chambers also passed it last year, but Gov. Tim Kaine (D) vetoed it.

Sen. Emmett Hanger (R), who sponsored the measure, said he was doing so on behalf of those who now violate the law that prohibits guns in such establishments rather than leave their weapons in their cars when they go out to eat. He said this was a particular issue for women who carry guns in their purses to defend themselves when they go to, say, Red Lobster. (That was Hanger's example.)

Others argued guns have no place in eating establishments where alcohol is being served. Though the bill would prohibit a weapons carrier from drinking, the opponents said it would be impossible to tell if the law was being violated if the gun was concealed.

The debate was concluded by Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D). "As a final comment, let me just say this. I've really never been afraid for my life at the Red Lobster," she said.

By By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  February 16, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  !General Assembly , 2010 legislative session , General Assembly 2010 , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Comments

This is just what we need in Virginia. This law will insure that the waiters and the cooks get the orders right.

Posted by: esch | February 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The world has gone mad. You need a gun to protect yourself at Red Lobster - find another, safer restaurant. Who is going to be sure that people with concealed weapons aren't drinking? I guess I'll have to find restaurants in DC and MD to have dinner.

Posted by: kinsman_bob | February 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how long it will be before a "legally strapped" drunkard gets in a bar fight and pulls a gun and or kills someone?

Better yet, I wonder what the NRA's excuse will be. You know they are already brainstorming some template responses to things like that.

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse


Time to stop going to restaurants!! SO not worth dying to get a bad burger.

Posted by: sacomment | February 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, lobsters have 2nd amendment rights too. WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM!!!! SARAH IN 2012!!!!!! OSAMABAMA'S NOT AMERICAN!!!!!!

Posted by: Section406 | February 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

you're an idiot nash1, the gun is no longer "legally strapped" as soon as its owner starts drinking. if someone is willing to break the law against consuming alcohol while concealed carrying, they are more than likely willing to break the law against concealed carrying without a permit.

Posted by: sprite977 | February 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Wine and beer is served at Chuck E. Cheese.

Do you want metal with that order?

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | February 16, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that this is law. Set the clock to when something bad happens at a restaurant in VA. When some poor kid gets shot by an accidentally discharged weapon at Red Lobster, then what?

Posted by: law3 | February 16, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Designated shooter law. I'm sure the carrier would never imbibe. Great combination: alcohol and guns. Let's get a little more redneck and 18th century. Guns don't kill people, alcohol does. Welcome to McDonnell's world.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 16, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I love all the negative rhetoric from all these "so-called" open minded people. You never know when trouble happens: be it Red Lobster, McDonalds or walking home from a date. Who's to say a ccw gun holder won't eat and drink at home and still commit a silly crime. I have a CCW license and I am very responsible, I cannot speak for the residents of VA who think it so outrageous that a person may have to defend themselves from harm at a restaurant. When trouble comes you never know when or where it will happen, why not let individuals who have been given the right to "bear arms" the right to carry them. I do not see this as a problem; but of course I can see the naysayers concentrating on all the bad things that could happen while glossing over any good that may occur.

Posted by: kirk2trek | February 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Sooooo, move to DC or to Md. There honest people can't carry in restaurants.

Of course, the criminals can, but what sort of a threat are they?

Everyone knows that the only threat to public safety comes from people who have been vetted by law enforcement.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | February 16, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This will not bode well for those families with children. They'll just stay away, order in or fix meals at home. It's not worth the risk that some gun-toter with a concealed weapon won't get ticked off if somebody accidentally bumps into him or his beer. If he's there, he's there to drink and no law will deter him from "his appointed rounds" or "shots" if he goes berserk.

Posted by: poescrow | February 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

kirk2trek: This isn't about the 2nd admendment. It's about a lethal combination. There's a reason there are laws against drinking and driving. Sure, this law says if carrying, you can't drink. First, who is going to stop them? The way to that is to have a way of knowing (metal detectors?) who is carrying so they won't be servered booze. So save the self-rightous Constitutional arguement.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

It's not that it is necessary to carry your gun into a restaurant; it's just better than the alternative - leaving it in your (or the driver's) car. (I am assuming that this applies only to those who have a concealed carry permit.)

The question should have been posed as:

Should a person who has a CCP be required to leave his/her weapon in the auto (considering that they might also be in someone else's auto) when they go into a restaurant?

Posted by: gofigure | February 16, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget. Virginia is the same state that allows its residents
to buy one gun PER MONTH.

Posted by: Larkinvos | February 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Considering that at Virginia's gun shows any gang-banger can walk right in and purchase an arsenal, what's the big deal? Besides, people foolish enough to walk around exhibiting their guns are eventually going to get conked on the head and have those guns stolen. Probably by gang-bangers.

Posted by: curtb | February 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's just remember Sen. Hanger's name when some drunk yahoo wounds or kills someone in a restaurant.

Posted by: campas011 | February 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow. So as long as a person doesn't drink they can be strapped like Rambo and head to their favorite eatery packing heat.

Who's going to monitor the gun toting person who makes a decision to drink? If they refuse to obey the "honor system" rule, who's gonna have the cajones to tell them their wrong... and risk being shot to death because someone wants a beer with thair Glock??

I can't wait until someone kills or severely maims someone unintentionally. I'm all for concealed weapons permits, but really?

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense | February 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you good citizens of Virginia don't realize it legal for ANYONE to carry a Handgun in a restaurant or just about anywhere else as long as its NOT concealed??? Would you rather we take it off and place it in our car for the hour we are in eating? I mean that way the thugs can just go gun shopping outside any Red Lobster.

Posted by: 2ndAmendment | February 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Insanity! Virginia had become a progressive state there for awhile, but now we are back to the good ole boy way of doing business "all the good that may occur"(from this law) Please...it's embarassing.

Posted by: harrija1 | February 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

This is so stupic- if it is a concealed weapon how can you tell who is drinking and carrying a weapon- We do live in a weird world- wasn't it in VA that someone killed college students in the past few years? We need less not more guns and this is just another reason people shouldn't eat or drink no less live in VA.

Posted by: peterdc | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Like I need another reason not to eat at Red Lobster.

Posted by: LastCommaFirst | February 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Like Sen. Whipple, I too have never been afraid for my life in a Red Lobster (nor after digesting the food there either).

But I do know that the laws that pertain to guns are so insane that anything they say will simplify them is okay with me.

I also know there are people in Texas who won't sit in a Luby's without a gun. A gunman killed 21 people at a Luby's one day in the 80s. Of course, Virginia has no cafeterias called Luby's here.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why this was voted in when 75% or more of the people in the commonwealth do not agree with it. Why don't legislators listen to the people they represent? What are they thinking?

Posted by: judycoyle | February 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

There is part of me that respects the right to legally carry concealed weapons, especially for women who may be confronted by hostile drunk men at Red Lobster restaurants in the Old Dominion (I had no idea that RL was such a rough-and-tumble establishment). As a Maryland resident (and Viet Nam era veteran), perhaps my opinion doesn't rank very high in this debate, but I can certainly cast my vote economically by never bringing my family and friends to dine in Virginia restaurants again any time soon. I just can't get past the illogic of creating a law where it’s okay to carry a concealed weapon in a bar as long as that person doesn't consume alcohol. How do you enforce this law? Will VA restaurateurs check for guns and gun permits of patrons and affix a special mark on their trigger fingers that the bartender can see? Or does there need to be a shooting before the lameness of this law comes to light for all to bear? No government should pass laws that cannot effectively be enforced for the common good. I’m sure some who read my comments will say ‘stay in Maryland and blah-blah-blah’ but let’s get real here. Find a way to make it work before passing the law.

Posted by: RLJComm | February 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Does the law require the restaurants have to add a "are you carrying a gun check" to the "are you over 21 let's see your ID check?

Anybody else find the jokes revolving around "gee, this'll make the wait staff more responsive" are beneath contempt?

Anybody lost a gunfight to a lobster lately?

How many Virginians will needlessly die in defense of the right to armed digestion?

Posted by: carljr | February 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

...oh yeah, if asking someone in a bar if they have a gun is viewed as an invasion of privacy, when do you think the VA Assembly will have second thoughts?

Before or after the gun goes off?

Posted by: carljr | February 16, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Fun to watch you liberals squirm. If guns cause crime than gun shows must be killing fields.

Right now someone can walk into a bar with a gun, get looped and start shooting. The only difference now is that people can shoot back.

The liberals hate this because they want citizens dependent on government for everything from health care to personal protection.

And remember, gun control isn't about guns...it's about control.

Posted by: BobbyRomano | February 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is just reckless.

Count me in as one Marylander who will now refrain from eating in restaurants in Virginia. I guess that means I will have to rethink my Virginia vacation plans, as well.

Posted by: elscott | February 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Move to DC or Maryland if you don't like it -it is a common sense bill -if you don't want to drink a coke and drink pepsi instead -go ahead - if you don't want to carry a gun don't -but shut up about my right to carry one - liberal losers -get mugged in DC -where only criminals carry -

Posted by: judgebert | February 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

When this law becomes effective, neither myself nor any member of my family will dine at _any_ restaurant in the Commonwealth of Virginia!

They have _enormous_ restaurant taxes in this state anyway -- and NO one in the state's Republican party is suggesting those go away -- so on top of that to now have it made more convenient for some gun-crazy inbred cracker mountain man Baptist from Virginia Beach to actually _SHOOT_ us?

To hell with it. Let the GOP eat out in Deadwood. As for _my_ family? We're done!

Posted by: monklewis | February 16, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Virginian. I don't own a gun, I don't care for guns, and I disagree with the assertion that we'd be better off if more people carried guns to protect us from the bad guys.

That said, I don't go about my business afraid that the citizens around me might be armed, and whenever I've gone into a restaurant, I've never even considered that I was "safe from gun owners" since they couldn't conceal carry into the restaurant. Never entered my mind.

A jerk who will wave a gun around or worse, use it in anger, will carry one on him law or no law. I'm not worried about the people who've taken the steps to comply with the law who carry a firearm.

Posted by: hitpoints | February 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

This change makes more sense than the current law. Right now you cannot conceal carry into a restaurant but it is legal to open carry in a restaurant. So if you have a concealed carry permit you could just tuck your shirt in so your handgun is exposed.

Posted by: buffysummers | February 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay we have designated drivers, now we need designated packers. Virginian NRA-fearing politicians fiddle while the State's finances, roads, schools and social services sink deeper into the crapper. Washington and Jefferson are rolling in their graves!

Posted by: Rlapinsky | February 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

BobbyRomano, THANK YOU. Finally some common sense displayed on a Wapo blog.

It’s funny, I bet 75% of the people commenting on here live in either DC or MD.

IN DC one cannot carry a gun into a restaurant, let alone own one. DC has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation, so I should be a lot safer at a restaurant in DC, right? Hmmmmm.

MD has some very strict gun laws also. Now why don’t some of you folks research gun crime per capita in MD vs VA, let me know what you come with.

I have an idea, every time there is an arson, why don’t we come with stricter regulation on matches?? I bet many of you commenting also blame McDonalds for making you fat.

Posted by: cj658 | February 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why this was voted in when 75% or more of the people in the commonwealth do not agree with it. Why don't legislators listen to the people they represent? What are they thinking?

Posted by: judycoyle | February 16, 2010 4:15 PM

*******************************************

Care to point us to the polling data that supports your absurd assertion or did you just make up this statistic after talking to three or four of your friends?

Posted by: hisroc | February 16, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal and I have no problem with this law. If somebody has complied with the law and has a concealed carry permit, I'm not really worried about them. It's the ones who get the guns illegally that you should really worry about.

Posted by: r_antonieta | February 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I am not going to patronize VA restaurants from now on.

Posted by: HollyG1 | February 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If I am in a restaurant and identify a fellow patron carrying a gun, I am going to leave immediately. I will not be concerned about the food or the bill. I see no reason to share my dinning experience with a fear that the gun carrier is not stable.

Posted by: edwardatvienna | February 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

How can it be? 80% of the voters who responded to the poll in this article said NO to this unbelievable law. These legislators certainly are not representing their constituents.

Posted by: warrenfire | February 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This is sad.

Posted by: K2007 | February 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Should cut down on drunken fist fights.

Posted by: cscherf | February 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea. Pass this bill, but close the gun show loophole on background checks. Make sure only good guys have guns and it won't matter where they're carried.

Posted by: Corn_Laden | February 16, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Only in Virginia would a person think to kill a lobster with a gun.

Posted by: therev1 | February 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Regardless, individual business owners continue to have the right to prohibit anyone from bringing a firearm into their establishment - concealed or not - and this includes restaurants. With a little bit of organization, people who don't want to dine around gang bangers or overserved cowboys can ask the restaurant to establish a no-weapons policy and post it on the front window similar to those restaurants who voluntarily took up the smoking ban. It certainly won't stop those gun onwers who simply refuse to follow instructions, but at least it will give the owner a leg to stand on when they call the cops and have the gun toter removed.

Posted by: SWB2 | February 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Why are gun nuts so paranoid that they can't even go out to eat without being armed?

You all really need therapy.

Posted by: solsticebelle | February 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"How can it be? 80% of the voters who responded to the poll in this article said NO to this unbelievable law. These legislators certainly are not representing their constituents."

Wow, that's a leap of logic. Post readers are, by and large, a liberal group. They're hardly representative of the whole of Virginia voters.

Posted by: dbrenn1 | February 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is for morons.

Posted by: dmcgoldrick | February 16, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

That cooks it. I'll never eat at a Virginia restaurant again. There are enough great ones in DC and Maryland to suffice. Really too bad for Alexandria. What idiots!

Posted by: commonsense101 | February 16, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Statistics show concealed carry permit holders are some of the safest most law abidding citizens in this country. If your afraid of those carrying in restaurants, good luck driving on the road with those who leave the restaurant drunk. Your chances of getting hurt are much higher out on the road.

Posted by: CrashAnDye | February 16, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Like many of the Post and this author's articles, it is either the
product of very poor research of the optic or bias. I'll allow the
author to comment on which one.

In VA, it is currently legal to openly carry a loaded firearm into a
restaurant or bar. In addition, while doing so, you MAY consume
alcohol, provided you do not become intoxicated (same rules as
driving). A call to the VA State police will confirm this.

The current bill is a partial correction of the current situation
whereby open carry is ok and not concealed. However, it is odd that
this bill makes consuming alcohol illegal for concealed carry but not
open.

Moreover, given that Virginians have been able to open carry for
years, and there haven't been any bloodbaths or gun fights, it's a
surprise this is getting much attention at all.

Posted by: chirol | February 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how long it will be before a "legally strapped" drunkard gets in a bar fight and pulls a gun and or kills someone"

Hey moron, perhaps you missed the part about it being illegal to drink if you are carrying. Amazing how idiots are still trying to use the same old "wild west" analogies that have been so spectacularly false over the years. The notion that law abiding citizens just pull out a gun at any little provocation is complete garbage. For those asking gun owners what they are afraid of, I ask the anti-gun crybabies the same thing. What are you afraid of.

Posted by: Bob65 | February 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

So how is a bartender or server going to know if a patron is carrying a gun or not if he/she orders alcohol? Self-policing/disclosure? I'm sorry, but that is not going to work. It will take a tragedy to happen to find out that a certain patron who orders alcohol actually had a gun and caused harm to others. Then, what will the reaction be? Virginia is my home state, although I have since moved, and it pains me to see the direction it is taking.

Posted by: kschlem1 | February 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, now if someone confronts you aggressively at the Chuckee Cheese, you'd better shoot him first -- 'cause he might be carrying and thinkin' to shoot _you_!

:/

Posted by: monklewis | February 16, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@RLJComm and all the other hysterical posters:

Hey, you know Maryland has allowed its concealed handgun permit holders to take their firearms into MD restaurants and *bars* for the past *40 years*. Doesn't that mess up your superiority complex? LOL

Posted by: k_romulus | February 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

And Gilbert Arenas can't have a gun at Verizon Center?

Posted by: MikeMIke3 | February 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, I would like to see a companion piece of legislation: allowing concealed weapons in the State House, the governor's office, and state courthouses. If I have to live with the possibility of someone wandering around with a concealed weapon, and who may decide to take it out because they're irritated with the service or the misbehaving children in the next booth, those who make the laws should do the same.

And if you you want to carry a weapon, I'd like to see people adhere to the other half (and oft-neglected) piece of the Second Amendment, and join the militia.

Please, to the conservative posters, try to come up with an argument that does not throwing out invective at those with whom you disagree.

Posted by: Bob97 | February 16, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Just curious, what is the penalty if found in a bar with a concealed weapon while drinking? If its not strong enough to deter individuals from drinking, I might say as a gun owner in Virginia that I might be a little concerned. I go to bars a lot and I've seen enough smart individuals make bad decisions while drinking but that's fine and I'm glad they don't have a gun on them. Its hard enough to wrestle car keys away from some people at times. Now, some concealed weapons owners may not drink but I personally know a few who may think they can have a couple and be ok and won't be deterred if the penalty is a fine or something. These are the same friends (concealed weapons owners) who then get in fights with complete strangers over the "dumbest of things." I'm just trying to realistically play out how this law may work out in a weekend in Blacksburg or Arlington or Richmond. I'm not worried about Red Lobster, I'm worried about 1 in the morning at TOTS and somebody's ex-girlfriend shows up with another guy. One small irresponsible decision (drinking with a concealed weapons permit) could lead to a big irresponsible decision.

Posted by: cthokievex | February 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Since the inception of concealed carry in Texas, licensees have been able to carry in any restaurant or bar that did not obtain 51% or more of its revenue from alcohol sales (as identified by signage). It has never been a problem here.

Posted by: docwatson55 | February 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

If someone has a gun, are they more likely to use it with or without the factor of alcohol? I think, probably, yes. Is the remote possibility of a situation arising when any of us needs a gun for protection worth the risk of gun violence? I think not. Whether or not one agrees with the recent US Supreme Court decision that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms, you would still think that our legislators would curtail that right in the interest of public safety. Sadly, there will be a tragedy that will cause a rethinking of this ill-advised law.

Posted by: lorraine4 | February 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Only in Virginia would a person think to kill a lobster with a gun.
_________________________________
Therev1: Like your sense of humor.
I'd also watch out for those kids at Chuck-e-Cheese. And to the Chefs in any restaurant: I'd be careful at disgrunted diners.
____________________________

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | February 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

No more "stiffing" the waiters & waitresses....they should be "packing" also !

Posted by: jbcowan | February 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse


Well, that settles it. No more trips to L'Auberge Chez Francois!!

Posted by: potomacfever00 | February 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Man, it's fun to watch you libs scream. All the boo-hooing in the world won't change the fact that this will soon be law. How ya like them apples?

Posted by: Magnum45 | February 16, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

If NRA gun nuts can carry guns in restaurants why can't Gilbert Arenas carry a gun in a locker room?


Posted by: montana123 | February 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is for morons.

Posted by: dmcgoldrick | February 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, good ol' Virginny. Heart of the South and home of the Confederacy, the death penalty, tobacco, and guns. In Virginny: right to own guns>right to life.

So glad I live up North in oft-derided "communist/socialist" Maryland with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and next door is DC which has THE toughest gun laws in the nation. The rednecks/neocons in Richmond sure have their priorities straight.


SE DC, West Baltimore, and parts of PGC would be like Baghdad if we had laws like VA lol

Posted by: TheMarylander | February 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I suppose now we'll all need to carry concealed weapons when we eat at McDonald's too. Just in case the 6-year-old next to you happens to be a deranged psychotic and you need to defend yourself.

Just when I think there is hope for common sense in Virginia, a bunch of idiots in Richmond come up with another dumb idea.

Posted by: dguyton | February 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Happiness is a warm gun
Bang Bang Shoot Shoot....

The Beatles

I think College faculty should be armed in lectures too, and why not arm students... You never know when you might just snap and need to shoot someone.

Posted by: waxtraxs | February 16, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Think of it this way, imagine having to leave your cellphone in your car as cellphones are banned from any place with a liquor license under state law. That includes most restraunts, bowling alleys, hockeyrinks, and your local VFW/Elks/Moose Lodge. Even if it is locked its still possible for somebody to break in and steal it. Your stolen phone has now put people at risk because of all of the personal information in the phone. Worse yet the thief may use it while driving and cause an accident. There are numerous, well document cases of accidents attributed to distracted drivers on mobile phones.

One final though - if you are in a situation where your or a family member's life were at risk, which would you want handy? A cell phone to call cops (that would respond in 10-30 minutes) or a firearm you've trained with in your hand within 2-3 seconds?

Posted by: meadmkr | February 16, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"opponents said it would be impossible to tell if the law was being violated if the gun was concealed."

Bah! They wouldn't even know if someone was carrying in the first place.

As long as the gun owner has the CCW permit he or she should have the weapon with them at all times. Its also less likely to get stolen by someone if its attended. And you have far more to fear from a junkie looking for a fix with stolen gun than from a CCW permit holder eating dinner.

Posted by: LRamsey1 | February 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Please, to the conservative posters, try to come up with an argument that does not throwing out invective at those with whom you disagree.

Posted by: Bob97 | February 16, 2010 5:21 PM

******************************************

Bob,

I could not agree more. Please re-direct your comment to:

dguyton
The Marylander
dmcgoldrick
montana123
commonsense101
solsticebelle

et al

Posted by: hisroc | February 16, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

As a paranoid freak that's afraid of my own shadow, I salute the VA Senate's decision.

Posted by: cubicledwellingcomputermonkey | February 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Our Constitution regards the Right to Keep AND Bear Arms as a private Right. One that "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED". That for those folks in the U.S. means you don't mess with it! There is no distinction with when your rights begin or end with regard to while in the United States. The Constitution IS the United States. The Law of the Land. Red Lobster or Hardy's or Jumpin Hopscotch if its in the boundary of the U.S. is not to be a lesser or greater place. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means just what it says...

Posted by: MedMad | February 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Most of you people are so clueless that it boggles the mind... It is currently legal in VA to carry a firearm openly (not concealed) in an establishment that serves alcohol, and has been for years. This new law actually makes it more "socially acceptable" for concealed carry permit holders to carry concealed in restaurants, so you anti-2A milquetoasts aren't frightened by their legally-owned firearms. It's MUCH safer to carry your firearm with you than to leave it unattended in your car in some dark parking lot. It's not the law-abiding, permit-holding gun owners you need to worry about--it's the thugs and criminals who are carrying concealed without permits (which is ILLEGAL in VA) that you should be worried about. Self-defense is a HUMAN RIGHT. To deny individuals the RIGHT to defend themselves is a crime against humanity. Hurray for this bill, and HURRAY for the VA Senate and House for passing it!

Posted by: OpenCarry | February 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Two things:

This poll isn't accurate, even the post admits it in the fine print below the graph. So for all of you whining about your elected officials doing the will of the people, quit crying. They are doing what the majority wants.

For those of you that live in MD or DC, man. You folks seem to have much higher mortality rates than VA...from illegal and legal weapons. What's up with that? Why are you so angry at the freedom in VA? Not going to dine here? We don't need you, lol. You know at some point you'll have to stop at a McYD's anyway....where you'll most likely run into me. With my gun. And I promise because I'm a law abiding citizen, you won't get shot. Even if I don't conceal it. Unless of course you exhibit behaviours that indicate you want to do grave bodily harm to myself or others and put me in fear for my life. Then it's a different story.

So the simple moral is, don't act like a thug, a playa, a banga, a home boy, throw signs, represent with symbols, and act like you want to put a cap in my @ss while you are all up in my face while I am getting a big mac. And I won't shoot you. I promise.

Posted by: Dirty_Ferrel | February 16, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse


Well, that's the last meal I'll eat at a Virginia restaurant. Too bad, too -- there are some good ones there that I've enjoyed going to in the past. I'll be writing to those restaurants to let them know.

Posted by: zed1 | February 16, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

a few quick points:
1 - Concealed carry laws have swept the nation since 1987. Always to cries of "There will be blood in the streets" - There has actually been less blood as crime has gone down in the states that have enacted these laws. The main event that drove states to consider concealed carry was the incident at Luby's diner in Texas that was mentioned above where a lady was forced by law to leave her handgun in her car. She had to watch her parents shot and bleed to death. Surprisingly the criminal ignored the law.
2 - Most of the comments here seem to assume that the same person who would follow the law and leave their gun in the car would break the law and drink if they carried in the restaurant. I don't see the logic there.
3 - The vast majority of concealed carry permit holders are very law abiding. Evidence of this can be seen in the states that have these laws and the very low incidence of problems.

Interesting that some of the posts talk about bringing their business to Maryland or DC because of their stringent guns laws. They're also among the most violent jurisdictions in the country.

If you don't think guns are a deterrent to crime, ask a couple felons why they don't break into people's houses at night when they're home.

Posted by: JonL1 | February 16, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey people, thought for the day. Let's forget getting accidentally shot or killed. Move on to financial liability.

You load up the kids and momma packs her heat in her handbag off to dinner at the Red Lobster. While feeding the children at the table, Momma's firearm falls out of the purse ,accidentally discharges and kills the 4 year old little girl at the next table. Forget the criminal charges.
Do you have any insurance-NO.

So that Red Lobster 25% off meal coupon will do nothing to offset the $5 million judgmentfor accidental death.

Don't laugh it happen's every day. Goodbye futire. We haven't even got into the criminal penalty.

The more firearms in society the more accidents. Your call.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 16, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Finally should get good service now.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 16, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

To JonL1 -- According to wikipedia, concealed carry laws have resulted in increases in assaults, not deterrence. On what statistics are you basing your claims?

Posted by: zed1 | February 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

So if you dont like the service you get to shoot the waiter. Va. is going backwards in time. You all voted for a Pat Robertson grad. guess this is what you can expect now in the once great State of Virginia. Used to be for lovers but now it is for those who think it necessary to have a gun in a public place such as a restaurant. God help us all. I'll remember to make sure I eat out in Maryland.

Posted by: patisok | February 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"According to wikipedia" - hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah..... just fell out of my chair!

Posted by: cheekymonkey | February 16, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The VA Senate has lost its collective mind. So many gun lovers are arrogant. From these postings, most seem to think that they will magically be the hero as they defend themselves from ever-present threats on their lives. If it ever happened, and it won't, you'd be firing wildly and likely kill an innocent bystander. Stay away from me, please.

Posted by: grandfam | February 16, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

First, it is completely legal to openly carry a loaded firearm in an establishment that sells alcohol in Virginia. Many people do.

Second, Virginia is peculiar in that Virginia has no "bars" -- it has restaurants that sell alcohol. If a grocery store, or a movie theatre, or a carnival has a permit to sell alcohol for on-site consumption, a law-abiding, peaceful member of society with a concealed carry permit is suddenly transmogrified into a criminal, without even knowing it. It's ridiculous.

Third, "no concealed carry in restaurants" is very recent. It was a solution to a problem which did not and still does not exist.

Finally, as for not being afraid in a Red Lobster, the problem is not the risk of being mugged during dinner. The real issue is walking through a dark parking lot, or even several dark blocks between one's car and the restaurant.

It's time to get rid of this absurd law, and let the citizens of Virginia go to dinner with their families without having to untuck their shirts or put their loved ones at risk.

Posted by: bblackmoor | February 16, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now. Some moron does something stupid at a restaurant and a dozen of our well-intentioned armed citizens stand and draw to defend the public's safety. And half of them end up shot by each other. Brilliant law.

Posted by: zzzhound | February 16, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"So glad I live up North in oft-derided "communist/socialist" Maryland with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and next door is DC which has THE toughest gun laws in the nation."

You also have the MUCH higher rates of violent crime and murder that go along with those laws.

Posted by: bblackmoor | February 16, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The man standing behind you in the checkout line at WalMart could be legally carrying a gun. The lady in the park with her two children could legally be carrying a gun. They don't hurt or threaten anyone. Why can't they have that same gun in a restaurant? On the other hand, the prohibition on guns in restaurants has absolutely no effect on criminals (who, by definition, don't obey laws) who want to rob or shoot everyone in the place (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby's_massacre).

Posted by: blainenay | February 16, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

OH foolish people. Guns are already allowed in restaurants. It's called open carry which is very legal in Virginia. The liberals are spreading their usual scare tactics which have never materialized. In fact crime goes down in every state that passes concealed carry laws.

Posted by: darylvb | February 16, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Think of it this way, imagine having to leave your cellphone in your car as cellphones are banned from any place with a liquor license under state law. That includes most restraunts, bowling alleys, hockeyrinks, and your local VFW/Elks/Moose Lodge. Even if it is locked its still possible for somebody to break in and steal it. Your stolen phone has now put people at risk because of all of the personal information in the phone. Worse yet the thief may use it while driving and cause an accident. There are numerous, well document cases of accidents attributed to distracted drivers on mobile phones.

One final though - if you are in a situation where your or a family member's life were at risk, which would you want handy? A cell phone to call cops (that would respond in 10-30 minutes) or a firearm you've trained with in your hand within 2-3 seconds
----------------------------------------------


Seems to me it is a matter of personal ethics. Also if a real bad guy who has had much experience with a gun came into a restaurant meaning to harm people. He would have shot you in the time it took you to get your gun from your waste band or purse. He would also if he saw a gun coming from your person probably shoot you and your family first. The damage to others from your gun has to be a consideration too. Unless you are a crack shot. You may kill granny in the seat opposite or that cute little 6 year old blonde boy who just a few minutes earlier waved at you. Guns kill. This is not the wild west. Even there most towns required you to hang up your weapons til you left the premises. They learned early on that alcohol and guns dont mix. Does the waiter have to make sure you dont have a gun before he serves you. I would if I were him, just for my own protection.

Posted by: patisok | February 16, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight.

They're going to allow any fool who takes the time to get a concealed carry permit to take a loaded gun into any restaurant that serves alcohol in a state where it's perfectly legal to carry an open container of alcohol in a moving car "as long as he doesn't drink in the restaurant".

Yeah, right.

And people talk about Prince George's County??!!

May the first person shot be some clown who likes to recite NRA slogans.

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 16, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

If concerns regarding this alteration in legislation are justified, then opponents of repeal of this restriction should be able to cite evidence that states where no such restriction is currently present have suffered as a result of a lack of such restriction. I am curious, therefore, as to why opponents of such repeals have not referenced any such data; as several states currently do not restrict the carrying of concealed deadly weapons in restaurants where alcohol is served for consumption upon the premises, then such data must exist if the concerns expressed by opponents of the repeal of the relevant Virginia restriction are rational.

Why have no opponents of the repeal of the current restriction referenced actual fact when attempting to justify their opposition?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Good move! A) Lawful gun owners could already carry in restarants that serve alcohol in VA, provided they carried openly. B) Why do you care whether people carry concealed or openly, so long as they do so without bad intent C) To those of you that question why you need to be armed at Red Lobster: on October 16, 1991, Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. She had left her gun in her car to comply with Texas state law (law at the time). Then George Hennard drove his truck into the cafeteria and opened fire on the patrons, Hupp instinctively reached into her purse for her weapon, but it was in her vehicle. Hupp's mother and father were killed along with twenty-one other persons. D) When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. E)Persons intent on shooting someone in a restaurant will do so whether you make it illegal to carry there or not. F) Gun free zones ensure unarmed victims. G) The only thing that stops mass shootings is the arrival of armed person(s).

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of lame brained comments from the anti gunners. First off it is totally legal to carry a firearm openly by current law in VA. Now they are approving carrying concealed, which is a minor change. The rhetoric used by the lame-o's sounds like ghetto talk, are you racists or bigots? You folks should grow up and try to use a better vocabulary.

Posted by: WriteGuy | February 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

O.K. How did the Senators think this was even a good idea after just down the street from them a man stock piled weapons and bombs then turned and killed his family and VA Tech killings. Can't they keep the guns in the car? Why are we carrying weapons in a place where we eat?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011904322.html

There is something seriously wrong with the Virginia Senate. They could wait a few months until the dust settled.

They answered this shooting with now let him take it to McDonalds with him?

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Those who disagree with the vote in support of freedom are encouraged to move to Maryland or DC.

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

The people against this are repeating what they said when the concealed carry law passed, the streets will run red with blood, every traffic accident will end in a shootout in our streets.

160,000 permit holders later you are surrounded by permit holders every day in all of your activities, Safeway, Giant, bookstores, CVS store, gas stations, hardware stores... It is just no big deal.

Keep in mind the bad people don't care about the laws so they carry anyway. Neither you nor I can predict when you may need to protect your family, even in church. It is all about protection and if we knew when we would need a gun we would not go there at all, but there are no magic balls to see in the future.

Posted by: firepower | February 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

This will only add confusion for the servers working at my local Hooters. I, too, long for simpler times.

Posted by: kabej | February 16, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"There is something seriously wrong with the Virginia Senate. They could wait a few months until the dust settled."

I do not understand how the incidents that you have referenced constitute a valid argument against the repeal of the relevant Virginia state statute.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Time to stop going to restaurants!! SO not worth dying to get a bad burger."

You really should do some research on the death rate from heart disease vs. the death rate from firearm related accidents.

Posted by: bblackmoor | February 16, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Please everyone - educate yourself on the fact before expressing your unfounded opinions. Check out other states who have similiar laws - Have there been issues? Do you know it would be against the law to be drunk and carry the weapon? Is it any different then driving a vehicle drunk?

Come on people - just because you think the worst doesn't mean it will happen.

Why not let legal, law abiding citizens the ability to protect you and your family? Or themselves? Oh wait, you just want the cirminals to come in an shoot people like they did the police officers in a restaurant.

THINK!

Posted by: Airwolf70 | February 16, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Are you allowed to take your First Amendment rights into a restaurant? Then, why shouldn't you be allowed to take your Second Amendment rights with you? It's called The Constitution of the United States of America, anti-gunners.

Posted by: jnsbear | February 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty funny that liberals are outraged, when the VA Senate is controlled by Democrats.

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The truth is criminals don't care what the law is. The type of people who would get drunk and get into a bar fight are not the type of people who typically get concealed carry permits. They also don't care if there is a law against having a concealed handgun in a bar (in other words, they are already carrying in the bar now).

The vast majority of states that offer concealed carry permits do not prohibit carrying in restaurants that sell alcohol on premises and do NOT have problems with permit holders getting intoxicated and shooting up the bar. That stereotype is Hollywood hyperbole and does not happen to any appreciable degree here in the real world.

Posted by: 2ASisVA | February 16, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

For the anti gun Nazis out there....one bit of helpful information, since you refused to do any homework on Virginia's gun laws as they currently exist...we can ALREADY carry a gun into a restaurant that serves alcohol. I've done it NUMEROUS times. The only thing this bill does is allow you to do so with your shirt covering it. Right now you must do so with the gun in plain view.

Where's the blood in the streets? The bar fights? The wild west shootings? They aren't happening are they?

No they aren't. :) :) :)

Posted by: richarcm13 | February 16, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

If people carry concealed into a restaurant, nobody will know/notice. Just like now when people carry into other retailers and you do not know (bookstores, banks, gas stations, sporting goods, food stores, etc).

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"This will only add confusion for the servers working at my local Hooters. I, too, long for simpler times."

I have open carried at Hooter's, more than once. I have never had a problem. Why would there suddenly be a problem if the servers don't see my pistol?

These "arguments" against concealed carry simply don't make sense.

Posted by: bblackmoor | February 16, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

To richarcm13:
Anti-gun zealots never let facts get in their way. But you probably already know that. Sic semper tyrannis!

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Instead of welcome centers on the interstates Virginia should put up huge billboards with warnings like:

Caution: Enter at your own risk

Wanted: Targets

Warning: Humans are an endangered species

Danger: Conservatives without adult supervision

Posted by: BigTrees | February 16, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

If you anti-gun zealots don't like it, you are free to move to another state. However, most other states allow concealed carry with CCW into places that serve alcohol.

Posted by: gatorz | February 16, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I am curious, BigTrees: have you any actual rational argument to offer in support of your position?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Bob97 wrote: "And if you you want to carry a weapon, I'd like to see people adhere to the other half (and oft-neglected) piece of the Second Amendment, and join the militia."

Hey Bob... unless you are woman or are under 18 years of age, YOU are part of the militia. And it's "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" not, as people like you seem to insist, the "right of the militia to..." The militia is a collective organization and does not have rights, only the individuals which comprise it have rights...

Posted by: wildfyre99 | February 16, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, hyperbole much?

1) As others have said, people can already open carry in restaurants in Virginia. This law doesn't allow anyone to bring firearms to places that were previously off limits; it just lets them use their pockets in addition to their belts as storage.

2) The best I can tell, the root issue for many of you isn't that VA now allows concealed carry in restaurants; it's that VA allows concealed carry in general. If we can all agree that concealed weapons are O.K., then it's nonsensical to arbitrarily ban them from restaurants. It's safer for them to be under the control of law-abiding citizens than in unwatched cars where they have a higher chance of being stolen by criminals.

If we can all agree that concealed weapons are not O.K., then whether they should not be allowed in restaurants is a moot point.

3) I don't think many on the gun control side really understand the various reasons some of us may choose to carry. True, there are probably some people that honestly believe they're risking their lives by going out unarmed. Others just do it out of preference, convenience, or simply because they want to (just as some choose to wear a functionless hat indoors because they want to). I remember one time I carried in a grocery store because I was coming back from the range and didn't want to leave my handgun in my motorcycle, for example. We aren't all crazy nutjobs prepared for a Western-esque shootout at any moment.

The point is that if you don't understand someone's reasons for wanting to carry, then you can't possibly hope to convince them that your point of view has any merit beyond that of a baseless opinion.

4) Those who can legally carry concealed weapons are responsible, law-abiding citizens. The rate of reckless or accidental shootings among that group is very low. CCW permit holders aren't the group you should be worried about. You should be worried about criminals and irresponsible citizens who choose to carry even though they are incompetent with a firearm and can't pass a background check.

5) It's not necessary to actively enforce the prohibition of alcohol for people carrying concealed. For one thing, by itself it's a victimless crime. There are already laws against using the weapon in public if your life isn't at risk, so we can always enforce those laws instead. The alcohol prohibition can be a modifier which increases the punishment for breaking those laws if you're under the influence.

6) Virginia isn't going to collapse into a state of anarchy. Most people don't carry guns anyway, and those that do tend to take safety and civic responsibility very seriously. CCW permit holders simply aren't the root cause of gun violence and accidental shootings, so allowing them to carry in restaurants won't change the stats much.

If you're worried about gun violence, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 16, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Many of the posters have very uninformed and reactive opinions on this issue. The law ALREADY allows guns in restaurants (and has for a long time, if not always). However, currently they must be carried openly - meaning visible such as in a hip holster. This change in the law would simply allow those carrying concealed not to have to display the firearms they are carrying when they enter a restaurant.

So your pick, do you want to sit next to me at a restaurant with my firearm displayed (where you will accuse me of intimidation) or concealed under my shirt where you will be none the wiser?

Further, the issue is not simply a threat inside a "red lobster" but for those (often women) with protective orders against ex-husbands or stalkers to not have protection in a dark parking lot when exiting a restaurant. Also, many permit holders are currently forced to store firearms in a car where they are more likely to be stolen and used by criminals.

I realize many people don't understand or are not comfortable with firearms, but I urge you to consider other facets of this issue and inform yourself. So many on this site claim to be so learned and intellectual yet exhibit ignorant and uninformed commentary.

Posted by: fighterDC | February 16, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

My fellow readers,

Please help me to understand and believe that the guns were pulled out of the "saloons and bars" mainly because alcohol, bad tempers and guns didn't mix.

I may not know history like someone who's a history major, but I've seen enough movies of Wyatt Erp and all the rest, Tombstone included. Even visited Bigsby, AZ and saw the little towns formed from strip mining.

So, I'm just curious....why?

Just my 3 pennies.

Posted by: TheLJ12 | February 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

More guns with law-abiding citizens means less crime. Big time thanks to the Virginia Senate. If this drives the prejudiced and narrow-minded libtards out of Virginia and into DC and/or Maryland, all the better. Go on and move like the locusts you are and suck those two bastions of idiocy dry a la California & New Jersey. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted by: Cville | February 16, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Why don't those of you who are caterwauling about all of the "wild west" shootings that will result from this change in the law take a look at the record of all of the other states that DON'T have restaurant bans? If what you say is true, you should be able to easily come up with DATA to prove it.

Or do you even care about the truth? Naw, you'd rather stick to emotional wailing.

Posted by: EnjoyEverySandwich | February 16, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"I may not know history like someone who's a history major, but I've seen enough movies of Wyatt Erp and all the rest, Tombstone included. Even visited Bigsby, AZ and saw the little towns formed from strip mining."

Information presented within fictional stories are not a valid source of data for analyses of events within reality.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Now Virginia has passed the law banning smoking in restaurants, we can use the separated areas for gun carriers and non gun carriers?

Posted by: allojohn | February 16, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Why would someone who has already committed to following the law go mad, drink, and start a shootout in a restaurant just because they are allowed to carry concealed?
They wouldn't... Only those who'd break the law would do so. The unfounded, irrational argument that some of these people are using has NEVER occurred in any right-to-carry state. However, let's look at our neighbor to the north where almost nobody is allowed to protect themselves...
http://www.mcsm.org/dirlik2.html
Maryland is in deep trouble...
Oh, BTW - I am a former general manager for a $3MM restaurant in Richmond, VA.

Posted by: RichNearRichmond | February 16, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

WHY? Carry a gun into a place where we eat. The food was already hunted and killed.

Are people afraid to eat now?

After the man down the street from them killed 8 family members they turn and say to him now take it to where you eat.

Why?

And who is going to police whether they are drinking and carry a concealed weapon?

What the heck is this about?

Can someone explain to me what the oral argument is for taking a gun into a place where my family is eating?

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

A few points:
* It's *been* legal to carry a firearm in Virgina in establishments that serve alcohol for consumpton on the premises. The 'restaurant ban' required that firearms not be concealed and, in fact, required that firearms be openly carried. This change in law will allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry a firearm concealed rather than openly. However, anyone legally allowed to carry a firearm can still carry one openly in an establishment that serves alcohol for on-premesis consumption.
* Legally carried concealed handguns have been around diners in Virginia restaurants, such as McDonald's, for years because they don't serve alcohol.
* Private property rights still exist in Virginia. Businesses--restaurants that serve alcohol included--are free to disallow firearms on their property.
* If you feel unsafe in Virginia, by all means dine in the District or Maryland.

Posted by: member8 | February 16, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"Man, it's fun to watch you libs scream. All the boo-hooing in the world won't change the fact that this will soon be law. How ya like them apples?"

What better proof of the fact that these goons like to pass laws just so they can turn around and say, "Ha! Told you so, suckers!"

It's such a frat-boy stunt: "Dude, I bet you can't punch yourself in the face until you pass out."

"Oh, yeah? Watch this, d-bag!"

Ten hours later he regains consciousnes with a black eye, a broken nose, and two cracked teeth, but man, he sure showed them who kicks a**!

I feel safer, don't you?

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? I'm sure this guy was a law abiding citizen first before he went mad..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011904322.html

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"After the man down the street from them killed 8 family members they turn and say to him now take it to where you eat."

Who, specifically, issued such a statement? Please cite a specific reference.


"Can someone explain to me what the oral argument is for taking a gun into a place where my family is eating?"

You are irrationally shifting the burden of proof. The burden falls to those advocating a restriction upon liberty to justify such restriction. If an extant restriction cannot be justified, then it should be repealed.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Bob97: "Well, I would like to see a companion piece of legislation: allowing concealed weapons in the State House, the governor's office, and state courthouses. If I have to live with the possibility of someone wandering around with a concealed weapon, and who may decide to take it out because they're irritated with the service or the misbehaving children in the next booth, those who make the laws should do the same."

The principle is that every person has a right to self defense, so those that infringe on that right are morally obligated to defend the unarmed. Guns are banned in courthouses, but in return cops are provided to immediately deal with any threats, so it's a reasonable trade-off. If you propose a gun ban in restaurants, then you must similarly propose that cops should be deployed in each restaurant to defend the unarmed patrons--otherwise your analogy and implicit point fails.

"Please, to the conservative posters, try to come up with an argument that does not throwing out invective at those with whom you disagree."

Lots of us have. People on each side of any given issue engage in ad hom. attacks on those that hold opposing views. Conservatives and gun advocates don't own the monopoly of this tactic. In fact, in this very thread gun-opposing liberals are guilty of doing the same thing you criticize us for. Mud-slinging isn't conducive to intelligent discourse no matter which side instigates it.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

To zed1 - I was originally referencing John Lott's study. "More guns less crime". I think you're referring to a comment that points to the Donohue and Ayres study that refutes Lott's claims and state that they saw an increase in the "cost of crime" in 23 of 24 jurisdictions they studied. However, in the paragraph above you'll see that another article by Moody and Marvel criticized Donahue and Ayres for using too narrow of a dataset. Their broader study showed an "apparent reduction in the cost of crime".

So there are some debating studies, why do I believe the ones I do. I read the transcript of a debate on "more guns less crime" between John Lott, Gary Kleck, and an NRA guy I don't remember versus The head of the Brady center, and two other leaders in the national anti-gun camp. The team on the side of gun controls biggest and best arguments of all the studies they could point to were that the numbers were inconclusive, or admitting that crime went down when gun control was relaxed but said it was really caused by other factors. At one point they kinda joked that there was one jurisdiction that crime increased, but then admitted that it wasn't statistically significant. Gary Kleck was familiar with the town, and knew that after passing a mandatory gun law the crime category that went up was commercial burglaries.

So, some studies show crime goes down. The other side claims that it doesn't, but not that crime or accidents go up.

I'm not a paranoid person, I have a fire extinguisher and burglar alarm in my home but I'm not paralyzed by fear of fire and burglars. But I'd also never hang a sign on my house that said "Gun free zone". And I'd rather not frequent public places that advertise that either.

Read down further on the wiki page and you'll see the extremely low numbers of permit holders that commit crimes. Is it zero? Of course not, there are 300 million people in this country. But we should legislate behavior - when a drunk kills a vanload of kids on the highway: People call him names(rightly so) and talk about the dangers of drinking and driving. No one calls for bringing back prohibition.

Sorry for the long winded response.

Posted by: JonL1 | February 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

GAPRDDESC, please explain the relevance news event that you have referenced within multiple postings to the current discussion.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The same mewling and hysterical gasping (by the same sort of people) went on in 96 when shall issue became the law. Remember the breathless and dire predictions of "THE WILD WEST!" and "BLOOD IN THE STREETS!"

We have had 14 years of data and record keeping. Which is what honest policy makers consider. Not the drooling, spittle flecked hysteria of the left.

Thank you HOD. We will be safer for it.

For those of you who insist on living in your vile, disingenuousm, hate filled fantasies, there are always the restaurants in DC and Md where honest people are banned from protecting anyone.

You know best what your lives are worth. Act accordingly.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | February 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Edited version:

So how is a bartender or server going to know if a patron is carrying [a gun] CAR KEYS or not if he/she orders alcohol? Self-policing/disclosure? I'm sorry, but that is not going to work. It will take a tragedy to happen to find out that a certain patron who orders alcohol actually had a [gun] CAR and caused harm to others. Then, what will the reaction be? Virginia is my home state, although I have since moved, and it pains me to see the direction it is taking.

Posted by: kschlem1 | February 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

There we go. Now perhaps you can see how ridiculous this whole argument is.

Also, the headline is totally wrong. The Virginia Senate did NOT vote to allow guns in restaurants.

Guns are already allowed in restaurants.

Anyone, with a permit or without a permit, may legally walk into a restaurant in Virginia with a gun openly strapped to their waist.

Hey Washington Post, here's what REALLY happened: the Virginia Senate voted to allow people who have already been background-checked by the Virginia Police Department, who have taken a gun safety course, and who have applied to the Courts and been approved to carry a concealed weapon -- it allowed THOSE people to keep their concealed weapon WITH THEM when then walk into a restaurant, rather than leave it in the glove compartment for any idiot or criminal to steal.

This is a safety measure that works in favor of every Virginian. Thank you to the Virginia Senate for approving this important safety measure. I look forward to it being a law very soon.

Posted by: wpuser2 | February 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

So...let me see... If Joe Blow decides to snap like the Professor while eating...it is o.k she discharges her concealed weapon?

Now...I guess I need to protect myself from these people who snap and go crazy and malign everyone who don't think like them.

What was wrong with carrying the gun in open so everyone can see? Why are they concealing the weapon now and carrying it into the place where I eat?

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"What better proof of the fact that these goons like to pass laws just so they can turn around and say, "Ha! Told you so, suckers!""

I believe that you have confused a coincidental benefit with primary intent. The two concepts are not equivalent. That some individuals derive enjoyment at observing the entirely irrational and baseless objections of those who oppose repeal of an unnecessary restriction upon liberty does not constitute a demonstration that the repeal of the unnecessary restriction occurred solely as a means to derive such enjoyment.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"So...let me see... If Joe Blow decides to snap like the Professor while eating...it is o.k she discharges her concealed weapon?"

No. Your analysis is entirely incorrect. There exists neither factual nor rational basis for your inquiry.


"What was wrong with carrying the gun in open so everyone can see? Why are they concealing the weapon now and carrying it into the place where I eat?"

For what reason should individuals not be permitted to conceal weapons that they carry?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, GAPRDDESC, I guess that one criminal means those of us who are not should be helpless? Too bad someone didn't have a firearm to protect themselves.
Under your argument, I guess all Catholic churches should be closed because of the actions of a few disturbed priests...

Posted by: RichNearRichmond | February 16, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Bob97

You clearly misunderstand the militia wording on the second amendment. Let me try to educate you in this short comment. The preamble to the 2nd amendment is just that, a preamble. They were used often in the 18th century to explain the enacting clause (in this case, "The right of the people..."). They were in no way meant to limit the enacting clause. Consider this: The first Congress which approved the 2nd Amendment also wrote this in the North-west Ordinance, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." Many people (liberals) would disagree that religion is needed for good Government, so can we get rid of the schools in the old Northwest territory?

Even then, the "militia" in the second amendment meant ALL able bodied men. There was no army then so all those responsibilities fell to the people. "Well regulated" in those times meant "well functioning" (Oxford English Dictionary).

You have suffered from being force fed the liberal version of history.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What is the obsession the Virginia Senate has with concealed guns while eating out with the family?

The hunter already killed the food and they are just cooking it.

There is no background check to decide the reason you stocked piled weapons was because you were leaning on the looney side...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011904322.html

This was in the backyard and this is how they answer this incident.

I just hope these eating out concealed weapon people do not turn on the people who are law enforcement protecting us from looney tunes...

Strange. I see nothing wrong with the carry the gun in the open. That way if you have shaved all your hair, carrying a confederate flag or nazi sign I will get the H@!! out of there.. Now I have to leave just when I see you coming...

What the heck was wrong with carrying the gun in the open.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

As long as the governor signs this new law into effect it will fix a law that has been out of whack for years. Why should pople in Va have to take their coats off to expose their guns while eating if the restaurant sells booze? Great decision in my opinion.

Posted by: junglejamm | February 16, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Ill never understand this fear of people who are trying to fallow the law. The irrational comments about cowboys and shootouts I see here are from people who have not bothered to educate themselves with facts such as, those of us with concealed carry permits have better track records of gun related crime than law enforcement themselves.

Posted by: sgarv321 | February 16, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

To all the Marylanders (I was born and raised there) who are afraid of lawful VA citizens and won't eat in VA again: Be careful where you eat in MD because you are much more likely to be a victim in your state where only the bad guys have the guns.
Best part is, the bad guys know it and feel pretty comfortable concealed carrying in your restaurants...
Study the data and reduce your irrational fear.

Posted by: RichNearRichmond | February 16, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"What the heck was wrong with carrying the gun in the open."

Repetition of an invalid inquiry will not alter its invalidity. The fact remains that, within a free society, the burden always falls upon an attempt to justify a restriction of liberty; if a restriction cannot be rationally justified, then it should not exist.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The issue (presently) is that those persons that cannot carry concealed ARE allowed to carry openly-- yes even in a bar. The sight of a gun can provoke fear in the innocent or incite violence from those out for no good.

It is much better to allow those that can carry almost everywhere else concealed to continue to do so in the restaurants as long as they are going to maintain the moral high grown by not allowing themselves to become intoxicated.

I can assure you that no person that has a concealed carry permit lawfully will do anything to try to end up in a potentially life-threatening situation. Most of those with these permits are people like you and me that feel that having a gun for the protection of self and others is a risk they are willing to live with.

Just because others prefer to make a different choice is no reason to limit the rights (in this case the 2nd amendment bill of rights) of others that chose to live life differently.

Perhaps one of those persons might save your life some day.

Posted by: rdatman | February 16, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's be reasonable here, if a concealed carry permit holder decides to drink while carrying and break the law, he/she probably would not care about the law enough to leave the firearm behind anyway, as the law currently requires.

Posted by: Chuckled | February 16, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

If a club or restaurant can't keep older friends from passing booze to their under-aged buddies, then who can actually promise me they can keep gun-slingers from imbibing, too?

I think we should let Plexiglass *hiccup* Burress weigh in on this issue.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Unlike some states, Utah not only has no law against responsible adults carrying guns in restaurants, they are also allowed to carry gun in schools. When was the last time the news carried a story about a Utah school or restaurant getting shot up? The problem is not guns! It's criminals!

Posted by: blainenay | February 16, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Q: Does the current law prevent violent felons from illegally carrying guns into restaurants that serve alcohol?

A: Of course not.

---------------

Q: Will the new law allow me to lawfully carry my firearm into a restaurant and protect my family?

A: Yes.

---------------

Q: What are we doing to prevent drunk drivers from leaving these same restaurants and killing your family?

A: Focus on those citizens that are not concealed carry permit (CCP) holders. We CCP holders are the most law abiding demographic. More lawful when compared to the average citizen, more lawful when compared to the average police officer.

We attend state approved training, undergo extensive federal and state background checks, and are prepared to prevent a violent criminal from having their way with unprotected citizens.

Posted by: Chet_Szymecki | February 16, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I guess your right. The argument could go the other way. If your not insane...you could protect the people in the resturant if a looney tune walks in. Hmmm...this one is very very interesting.

Who is classified as a looney tune and has the potential to kill and when and what sets them off? People losing their jobs have lost it alot recently....A guy brought one into my job in 1990s and everyone loved him...except me and I'm lucky to be alive. I suppose if I had one I could have stopped him from doing the damage he did.

People putting hitler mustaches on our President and carrying signs maligning this President..yelling no busing...no diversity....literacy test......sorry...

Hmmm let me think about this one.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm astonished at the lack of knowledge and common sense from many of those posting here. 1) Sociologically, Psychologically and statistically, those who legally carry concealed firearms are far safer to be with than with the population at large; 2) In the USA, 2.5 million crimes are foiled annually by those carrying firearms (yes, you read that correctly - two and one-half million crimes are foiled annually in the USA by citizens carring firearms). Read "More Guns, Less Crime" by John R. Lott, Jr.; "Death by Gun Control" by Zelman & Stevens; "From my Cold, Dead Fingers" by Sheriff Richard I. Mack. All of these are readily available, along with MANY others, through libraries as well as amazon.com. Learn first, and then offer your critique!!

Posted by: is4817 | February 16, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Another Washington Post "Lie by Ommission".

1. It is ALREADY legal to have a loaded gun in a bar or resturant in Virgina.

2. It is ALREADY legal to have a loaded gun in a bar or resturant AND consume as much alcohol as you like.

The DIFFERENCE with the bill just voted on is that the gun may be CONCEALED.

ANYONE who can legally have a gun in Virgina can ALREADY, TODAY, RIGHT-NOW, carry a gun OPENLY into any bar or resturant that serves alcohol!

Since I go to Chipotle all the time and they serve alcholol, I MUST switch from CONCEALED carry to OPEN carry.

The new law only FIXES the problem of allowing me to continue carrying my gun in a properly LICENSED manner.

Contrary to the opinion of morons and fools, passing this law will not endanger anyone.

The ONLY impact this bill will have is that you will see far fewer guns at resturants or bars. HONEST, LAW ABIDING people will be able to carry PRIVATELY as they should be able to.

To all anti-gun nuts, please concentrate on keeping guns away from CRIMINALS and not us HONEST, SANE, and LAW ABIDING people and STOP TREATING US LIKE CRIMIALS!

Posted by: SlideRule | February 16, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

They need to pass legislation permitting guns in the State Capitol building. What is good for us is good for them.

Posted by: retiredgovie | February 16, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Another reason to leave VA.

The NRA is right, guns don't kill people. Guns and people kill people.

Posted by: zackool | February 16, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Poor VA restaurant owners, bartenders and waiters. Are they expected to ask each patron whether he or she is packing heat before serving the person alcohol?

Posted by: JohnnyU2Berry | February 16, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I imagine that, given its general politically-liberal reputation, many of the East Coast fearful sheep posting here would see Minnesota in favorable terms.

About seven years ago, Minnesota passed its carry law. The hubbub was undiminished; all the antigunners wrung their hands and cried "blood in the streets." Several rabidly antigun representatives, known as the flakjacket jackasses (Democrats, get it?) wore said jackets in a symbolic showdown for the staged vote.

That Minnesota Permit to Carry not only allows open or concealed carry, it also allows one to carry in restaurants and bars, unless otherwise lawfully posted by the owner. Further, it even sets a BAC level for lawful carry, thereby allowing one to carry and drink.

Not only has there been no blood in the streets, but bar fights do not resemble the Wild West of your imagination. Based on our experience here, you East Coast fearfuls have nothing to fear but your own hopolophobia.

Posted by: jfhanson | February 16, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

" If your not insane...you could protect the people in the resturant if a looney tune walks in. Hmmm...this one is very very interesting.

Who is classified as a looney tune and has the potential to kill and when and what sets them off? People losing their jobs have lost it alot recently....A guy brought one into my job in 1990s and everyone loved him...except me and I'm lucky to be alive. I suppose if I had one I could have stopped him from doing the damage he did."

Looney Tunes is an animated cartoon series that does not exist as a single physical entity capable of conscious decisions. There exists no possibility of an animated cartoon entering any restaurant.


"People putting hitler mustaches on our President and carrying signs maligning this President..yelling no busing...no diversity....literacy test......sorry..."

Your statement is incoherent and appears to bear no relevance to the current discussion.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Well,

We will see what this decision does..won't we.

Where are you guys when these sports guys and musicians carry weapons in car etc. get thrown in jail with the key thrown away and their reputations ruined.

I never see NRA out taking up for them.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"Poor VA restaurant owners, bartenders and waiters. Are they expected to ask each patron whether he or she is packing heat before serving the person alcohol?"

I do not know. Are restaurant owners within states that currently impose no such restriction expected to make such inquiries? I have patronized numerous restaurants in the state of Kentucky wherein alcoholic beverages were served for consumption upon the premises, however no individual at any time inquired as to whether I was in possession of a firearm.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"We will see what this decision does..won't we."

As numerous states currently impose no restriction such as the one to be repealed in the state of Virginia, deriving the consequence of the repeal of this restriction should be possible. I am curious, therefore, as to why opponents of the repeal of the extant restriction have not justified their opposition through evidence derived from other states.


"Where are you guys when these sports guys and musicians carry weapons in car etc. get thrown in jail with the key thrown away and their reputations ruined."

Your statement is entirely irrelevant to the current discussion.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Why the heck do you guys keep arguing this case with known felons and not the Looney tunes who snap and go on rampages? What is the deal...you act like the others don't count. They were not felons before they walked into the job, church..shooting like the pro lifer who thought it was his right to kill a doctor with his registered gun or the guy who went into the museum and killed. They were not felons. 160,000 later... are you kidding me and how many of the 160,000 later are on edge? trigger happy... just waiting for an excuse to act a fool?

I still need to think a little more about this one...

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"They need to pass legislation permitting guns in the State Capitol building. What is good for us is good for them."


I was there last week. Several people were carrying guns during the Senate meeting and speaking to the senators while carying. You need to have a concealed permit to carry (open or concealed) in the General Assembly Building.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I have a concealed carry permit and I carry one of my hand guns virtually everywhere I go. I carry because I'm old and physically impaired. I can not flee and I can not fight. Criminals look for easy targets like me. I carry for self defense.

I'm not a nut, I'm not a hero, I'm not a criminal. I obtained my weapons legally and I know how to safely handle my weapons. I have been trained to identify targets and to be completely aware of everything in my potential field of fire. I would never fire in a direction that was not completely free of unintended consequences. My weapons are routinely inspected and meticulously maintained. My weapons are modern with the latest safety features. Such weapons will not discharge accidently; the trigger must be squeezed to fire. One could through any one of my weapons against a brink wall and they would not discharge.

I am typical of those with concealed carry permits. I'm the nice old man you see every day at the supermarket, the gas station, the bank, McDonalds, and Starbucks. After the Governor signs this bill and it becomes law, I'll also be in the restaurant drinking a soft drink. You won't know who I am and you will be safe from me and my weapon.

That is my choice and my right. Those who choose differently are free to do so without comment from me.

Posted by: japete | February 16, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Republican World, designed for the pleasure of the thugs and imbeciles who put these worthless political hacks in office.

Posted by: lydgate | February 16, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why the heck do you guys keep arguing this case with known felons and not the Looney tunes who snap and go on rampages? What is the deal...you act like the others don't count. They were not felons before they walked into the job, church..shooting like the pro lifer who thought it was his right to kill a doctor with his registered gun or the guy who went into the museum and killed. They were not felons. 160,000 later... are you kidding me and how many of the 160,000 later are on edge? trigger happy... just waiting for an excuse to act a fool?"

I am curious; are you actually attempting to engage in discussion, or are you merely making irrelevant and irrational statements while dishonestly ignoring that your claims and your inquires have been addressed upon multiple occasions?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@Larkinvos, February 16, 2010 3:48 PM
"Let's not forget. Virginia is the same state that allows its residents
to buy one gun PER MONTH."

That is true at the moment. However, Virginia House Bill 49, repealing the limitation of purchasing one gun per month, passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 61 to 37 and is heading to the Virginia Senate. If it passes there and the Governor signs it into law, Virginians will no longer be limited to purchasing one gun per month.

Posted by: member8 | February 16, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

IT is already LEGAL to CARRY a FIREARM into a RESTAURANT that serves ALCOHOL.

As long as the FIREARM is OPENLY DISPLAYED.

It's called OPEN CARRY.

Notice that the WaHPost Toasties forgot to mention that part.

Last year the VA Legislature gave Commonwealths Attorneys the ability to CONCEALED CARRY into a Restaurant that serves alcohol - but with NO RESTRICTION on DRINKING.

Are you, dear citizen, equal in status and citizenship to a Commonwealths Attorney?

Pay attention people. This isn't new ground being broken here.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 16, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Google "Luby's massacre"

A Concealed Carry Permit holder watched 43 people shot (23 killed) including her parents while the permit holder could do nothing. Why you ask? Because state law at the time prohibited her from carrying inside the restaurant.

The criminal somehow forgot to follow the law. They also forgot to follow the law at Va Tech and every other mass shooting.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

"Welcome to Republican World, designed for the pleasure of the thugs and imbeciles who put these worthless political hacks in office."

Have you any commentary that is rational, relevant, or both to offer?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Why carry a gun into a restaurant? Well my first answer is because it is my right. But to build upon that....because crime occurs in restaurants.

But that is just to entertain the anti-gun sheep. The only answer that needs be given is.....ITS MY RIGHT. Period. You don't like that? Don't carry a gun. Don't like that I carry a gun? Too bad.

That's pretty easy huh?

Posted by: richarcm13 | February 16, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

At least there’s no cigarettes allowed. Those d@m!! things will kill you.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

a bill whose time has come: if you're going to enforce the smoking ban in bars, you need some muscle.

Posted by: geliot1729 | February 16, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic, backwards pandering to the right-wing extremists in the NRA and the "Virginia Citizens Defense League" (yeah, it's as crazy as it sounds). When are Democrats and progressives in Virginia going to demand accountability from their party? The VA Democratic Party platform actually states, "We believe that keeping Virginia's citizens safe and secure, both at home and abroad, is one of the most vital functions of government." What a joke. Scared of Tea Partiers much? We can assume Republicans are maniacs, but this only happened because the Democratic Senate allowed it to.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Can't they wait until after the recession where the people there is less risk of looney tunes snaping. Isn't funny they say they have the right...yet the Party of No block my right to have representation in the Senate , Congress and White House..

People will now be scared to go to eat afraid that they neighbor would snap and shoot them ...never know what sets a person off and now theres no warning because it is concealed in the eating place instead of open.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

A Haplophobe has a neurosis that manifests itself with the illogical, irrational fear of firearms. Look around and ask yourself how often this neurosis is expressed by otherwise-mentally-healthy people, like elected officials who seek gun control in Washington, DC. How many Haplophobes posted a response here? Some are quite obvious, but others less so.

Posted by: is4817 | February 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"People will now be scared to go to eat afraid that they neighbor would snap and shoot them ...never know what sets a person off and now theres no warning because it is concealed in the eating place instead of open."

You have yet to justify your concerns with any factual data. Until and unless you do so, there exists no reason to consider your expressed concerns to be rational.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

First, there are between five and six million holders of concealed handgun licenses in the U.S. The Violence Policy Center will tell you that CHL-holders have murdered 85 people in the last three years (although not all with guns). And the National Weather Service says that in an average three-year period there are 186 deaths from lightning strikes in the U.S. So the average American is more than twice as likely to be struck by lightning than murdered by a CHL-holder. Pretty good odds.

Secondly, for over twenty years Virginia CHL-holders have been allowed to carry their handguns in restaurants that do not serve alcohol. Serious problems? None.

Thirdly, the experience of other states that already allow CHL-holders in restaurants that serve alcohol has been very positive. And in Virginia the current law allows “open carry” of handguns in restaurants that serve alcohol, and this has not been a problem.

Fourth, gun-controllers frequently point to England as a gun-control success story. And England does have very tough gun laws and very low rates of gun crime. But the violent crime rate of American CHL-holders is even lower than that of England.

The choice you have between Virginia and the District with respect to guns is that in the District all the people carrying guns have criminal records, whereas in Virginia the people with concealed handguns all have clean criminal records.

That's really your choice.

Posted by: boomcat | February 16, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"Pathetic, backwards pandering to the right-wing extremists in the NRA and the "Virginia Citizens Defense League" (yeah, it's as crazy as it sounds). When are Democrats and progressives in Virginia going to demand accountability from their party? The VA Democratic Party platform actually states, "We believe that keeping Virginia's citizens safe and secure, both at home and abroad, is one of the most vital functions of government." What a joke. Scared of Tea Partiers much? We can assume Republicans are maniacs, but this only happened because the Democratic Senate allowed it to."

I am curious; have you any actual rational argument to offer in support of retaining the current relevant restriction?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Mattg wrote something similar but I'm not going to retype my version so here it is anyway:

Anyone that is against this bill should learn about Suzanna Hupp in TX. In 1991 Suzanne was forced by law to leave her handgun in her car while she ate at the Luby Cafeteria with her parents.

That day 43 people were gunned down and 23 of them died including both her parents. There's no telling how many lives she could have saved had the laws at the time been different.

This was the most deadly shooting in the US until VA Tech and it's no coincidence that mass shootings happen in gun-free zones (yes, that includes Ft Hood).

That said, it's the Restaurant owner's choice to ban guns. I'll just choose to dine at establishments that do not give criminals the upper hand.

Read about the Luby massacre here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby%27s_massacre

Posted by: MountainCat | February 16, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Welcome to Republican World, designed for the pleasure of the thugs and imbeciles who put these worthless political hacks in office."

This might be relevant, except that the Senate in Virginia is CONTROLLED BY DEMOCRATS.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

By the way, law-abiders, the purchase of only one gun per month never did apply to the holder of a concealed-carry permit. I've purchased as many as five guns in a month, all background-checked by the VA State Police, and legal as can be. Those of you who post while only knowing a portion of the law continue to fascinate me!

Posted by: is4817 | February 16, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Dimensio-

You should offer a valid argument instead of trying to steer the debate you way...I asked the question and it is valid...now answer or debate and stop with the demeaning condescending responses... My ARGUMENT is valid.... Now debate the friggin issue.

I believe in gun rights…I want to know why you have to carry it concealed while I’m eating… Carrying the gun open gives me fair warning that I should be finishing up eating and getting the heck out precisely because you thought it proper to take one in the restaurant.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

carrying a gun into the restaurants has nothing to do with whats going on in the restaurants. its whats going on between the restaurants and the car or home. also the best place to steal a gun is from a car in a restaurant parking lot. thats why i bring mine in with me instead of leave it. Thank You Sen. Hanger!!

Posted by: xxxjonfxxx | February 16, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me. Next on the list for concealed weapons should be barber shops, neonatal intensive care units, and used car dealerships. We can only hope for a stronger Democratic majority in the future so that we can finally carry our concealed weapons into organic Korean delis... ahh, that'll be the day.

Posted by: Elnok | February 16, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

You write I'm not a nut........

I'm sure all looney tuners think that just before they snap...just like the Professor or the man who killed eight but stocked piled all his guns...

I still am on the fences since I think you should be able to carry the gun in the open.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.

The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

Right to Carry states (40 states by the way) have lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country (total violent crime by 24 percent; murder, 28 percent; robbery, 50 percent; and aggravated assault, 11 percent). See FBI 2007 Crime in the U.S. report.

And for all of you who proclaim to boycott VA ~ You better really stay away from Vermont where no permit is required. Period. And they boast the second lowest violent crime rate per 100K in the country. Go figure.

Posted by: TomJeff1 | February 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

GAPRDDESC

Criminals carry concealed into restaurants all the time now... because they are criminals and do not follow the law. Why is it that you want to take freedoms away from law abiding people?

When I travel to Pa, I eat out with my concealed weapon in restaurants all the time. Pa is just one of the majority of states that allow it.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

All you folks from MD who think this law is bad should familiarize yourselves with your OWN laws... In MD, it is ALREADY legal for Concealed Carry permit holders to carry in bars and restaurants, and has been for years... The only difference is in VA, any law-abiding citizen who meets the requirements can get a permit--in MD, you can't get a permit unless you are rich, famous, or politically connected (and for the most part, white). Notable "gun nuts" from MD who have held Concealed Carry permits include Senator Babs Mikulski... Political elitism is a mental illness, and is antithetical to a free society... It's not that the anti-2A crowd wants EVERYONE to give up their guns--they just want "the wrong sorts of people" to be disarmed--and we all know what THAT means. "Gun control" is a racist, and people need to wake up to that fact... Hurray for the VA General Assembly for doing the right thing! I can't wait for Gov. McDonnell to sign this bill into law!

Posted by: OpenCarry | February 16, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

There have been three MASS shootings (three or more deaths) by individuals who were permitted to carry concealed handguns in the last two years alone:

www.csgv.org/vaccw

The application process is an absolute joke. Thanks to Ken Cuccinelli you can now qualify for the "training" requirement by taking a one-hour online course (you watch a video and then take a 20-question multiple choice test that people who've never even held handguns pass on the first try). The mental health screening is also near nil, as there are few records in the databases the VA State Police check before approving applicants. Speight is an obvious example.

Finally, there are no statistics Americans can look at to find out how law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders are, because the NRA has had laws passed in 29 states that ban the public and media from accessing this information. I wonder why...

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The naysayers to this law obviously don't remember an incident at a Red Lobster Restaurant several years ago where a man and his girlfriend in their 20's were leaving said establishment after having dinner and were accosted by a man with a gun on the way to their car. After taking their wallets and jewelry he forced them to their knees and shot them execution style killing them both. This happened at a Red Lobster on midlothian tnpk not 3 miles from my house. It could just as easily been a Pizza Hut, La Siesta or (enter any eating establishment here). So for all who think you're completely safe or have been before this law eating at a Red Lobster or anyplace else, think again. I bet those two thought they were safe too. If one or both of them had been carrying maybe they'd still be alive.

Posted by: SlushFun | February 16, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

japete, chet and boomcat, good posts. japete, like you I too carry for the same reasons. I was hit by a drunk driver in 1998 while I was working. Even though I'm not disabled, I walk with a limp. I think I could be labeled as an easy target also. I carry concealed everywhere I legally can. I open carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. I have never had an experience that was as negative as some of the posts I have read on here tonight.
I carry because it is my right to defend my family and me - not for any other reason. I will do anything possible to not put myself in a position where my weapon is needed - and I pray to God I never have to use it in self defense.

Posted by: pressureman | February 16, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I fail to understand the logic behind the fear of concealed handguns in restaurants that serve alcohol. Especially when those carrying are prohibited from drinking.

There are at least 15 states where it is legal to carry concealed in restaurants, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Indiana, New York,California even Massachusetts to name a few. Do you see daily news of restaurant shootouts from those states? Are the residents of those states any more trustworthy than the citizens of Virginia?

The carrying of a firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol is legal in Virginia now, the only difference is it must be carried exposed. The 2 changes this law will make is it will allow a permit holder to carry concealed, and it will prohibit him from drinking. When was the last time you heard of a shootout in a restaurant in Virginia? Guns are in the restaurants, the alcohol is there, no one is shooting the place up, what is going to change?

Posted by: archer51 | February 16, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Elnok

I will apologize in advance if I misunderstood your comment. Virginia law does not list where one may carry concealed; it list where one may not. Consequently, concealed carry is allowed everywhere unless prohibited. If my memory is correct, all the places you cite are not on the prohibited list now so this change to the existing law has no effect on them.

Posted by: japete | February 16, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever noticed that the guys who "pray they never have to use their weapons" are the guys who love guns the most and want to carry guns everywhere and anywhere?

Me, too.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds good to me. Next on the list for concealed weapons should be barber shops, neonatal intensive care units, and used car dealerships. We can only hope for a stronger Democratic majority in the future so that we can finally carry our concealed weapons into organic Korean delis... ahh, that'll be the day."

Elnok, add in banks, shopping malls, and nail salons. It's already legal unless they have a no-gun sign.

Posted by: MountainCat | February 16, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr

I carry a gun for protection. I do hope to never have to use it. I don't carry everywhere, but I almost always do when I am out with my family. I always carry at night.

It is my responsibility to protect my wife and children. Maybe you would rather call the police and have them clean up after the crime. I would rather prevent it from happening in the first place.

Criminals don't follow laws, and therefore they carry concealed into restaurants. I should not have to leave my gun in my car, walk across a dark parking lot after giving up my right to self defense.

I don't tell you to leave your first amendment rights behind anywhere you go, and you don't get to tell me where I can exercise my 2nd.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

God you libs have the blinders on. Just ask the people of Texas how nice it would have been to have ONE person with a CCW in the Luby's in Killeen in 1991…or better yet if there would have been somebody there to protect themselves @ Virginia Tech.

Posted by: guardog36 | February 16, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

You write...I will do anything possible to not put myself in a position where my weapon is needed ....

I'm sure that is what the Professor and the man who killed his family of 8 thought before she snapped.

Not to mention the others who fight our heros the first responders...

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Why do you guys keeping telling us to ask Texas who number one export is Oil and Gas who hollers secede and charged $5 a gallon last year or so... Just ask Virginians..

BTW I'm for owning guns...well, I will just have to stop eating out. I do not trust you.. sorry.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: GAPRDDESC

You write...I will do anything possible to not put myself in a position where my weapon is needed ....

I write what I mean.. I don't think it should be too hard to understand...

Posted by: GAPRDDESC
I'm sure that is what the Professor and the man who killed his family of 8 thought before she snapped.

....now how can you be sure of that?

Posted by: pressureman | February 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

to GAPRDDESC….Huh?

Posted by: guardog36 | February 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

GAPRDDESC

But you trusted the criminals carrying concealed there the last time you went out to eat?

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Raise your hand if you feel safer knowing that anyone who wants to can carry a gun into a bar or restaurant? Really, we want guns around drunk people?

Posted by: Shulan | February 16, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I never trust the criminals…ever.

Posted by: guardog36 | February 16, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: GAPRDDESC
BTW I'm for owning guns...well, I will just have to stop eating out. I do not trust you.. sorry.

....you probably have been in the company of people carrying concealed in restaurants that serve alcohol before. Did it bother you then?

Posted by: pressureman | February 16, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Shulan…ANYONE cannot carry a gun whenever it pleases them. We, as CCW holders had to go through stringent background checks and qualifications every year…much more than you did to get your drivers license. Vehicular homicide is much more rampant than gun violence ever will be.

Posted by: guardog36 | February 16, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

gaprddesc,

If you choose to stay away from places where it is legal for conceal carry permit holders to carry their weapons, the list is much longer than restaurants. The Va State police web site is a reliable source for information on where concealed carry is prohibited. I'm only trying to be informative. You have the absolute right to make such a choice.

Posted by: japete | February 16, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I live in WV and I am not a bit afraid of a person carring a Gun with the required permit, The one I am afraid of is the one like at the university a couple of years ago that could mow down anyone he met because the only ones on the campus with guns was the bad guy. Why do we have our ARMED FORCES unarmed where any nut that gets onbase can shoot as long as he wants until some rent a cop shows up to stop him?

Posted by: mont9744 | February 16, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope you folks realize that people can already carry a gun in a restaurant that serves alcohol in Virginia, they just can't carry concealed. As it is now you must carry open.

Posted by: guntotenliberal | February 16, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

zdfk

Posted by: uva2manassas | February 16, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The sad part of all of this is that Sen. Hanger's sister was gunned down along with others at her work at a Medical Equipment Rental Facility in Harrisonburg, VA some years back. That place did not serve alcohol either.

Posted by: crimco | February 16, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Just ask the people of Texas how nice it would have been to have ONE person with a CCW in the Luby's in Killeen in 1991...or better yet if there would have been somebody there to protect themselves @ Virginia Tech."

We don't have to ask the Virginia Tech families, they've made their position public.

Not a single surviving victim or family member has come out in support of the NRA/VCDL agenda on concealed carry. Not one.

On the other hands, members of at least 25 VA Tech families have worked diligently to strengthen gun laws in Virginia:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/opinion/article/CRUMC_20090408-184005/252063/

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr wrote:
Finally, there are no statistics Americans can look at to find out how law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders are, because the NRA has had laws passed in 29 states that ban the public and media from accessing this information. I wonder why...
*********************
wanna know why? cuz then the criminals could look up who are the license holders and then rob their home and steal their guns...then use them to do the type of real bad things criminals do. the roanoke times posted all va ccw license holders on their website for a few hours until they were called to the carpet for it. it was removed in a matter of hours.

Posted by: SlushFun | February 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Living in DC just across the river, we dine weekly at NoVa restaurants and spend a fair amount of money in the process. I will vote with my wallet not to cross the river if Virginia passes this legislation as I will fear for the safety of my family when drunkards are allowed to conceal in restaurants.

Posted by: HillRat | February 16, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The NRA has never been able to produce a single example of a concealed handgun permit holder being targeted by a criminal because of that information being public. You guys are full of it. You tell us gun-free zones attract criminals one second, and then want us to believe gun-full zones attract criminals the next.

Speaking of criminals, there have been three confirmed MASS shootings (three or more deaths) by Virginia concealed handgun permit holders in the last 2 years:

http://www.csgv.org/vaccw

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr wrote:
Finally, there are no statistics Americans can look at to find out how law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders are, because the NRA has had laws passed in 29 states that ban the public and media from accessing this information. I wonder why...


Or maybe because the list includes people who have a concealed handgun permit because they were victims of domestic violence and publishing this data gives their past boyfriends/husbands their new address.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually gritsjr..this pertains to the supposed "gunshow loophole" and not concealed carry...

Posted by: guardog36 | February 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

You don't encourage criminals to carry guns by making concealed carry easier to attain for the law abiding. Criminals have no respect for the law and carry when and where they chose.

Obviously carrying concealed 'against the law' is kind of a small crime when the perpetrator commits murder.

Posted by: rdatman | February 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hillrat - "Living in DC just across the river, we dine weekly at NoVa restaurants and spend a fair amount of money in the process. I will vote with my wallet not to cross the river if Virginia passes this legislation as I will fear for the safety of my family when drunkards are allowed to conceal in restaurants."

Drunk people are not allowed to conceal in restaurants.

...and this is funny considering the murder / crime rates of DC compared to Virginia.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

When guns are banned only hot dogs will have guns.

Posted by: ssterno | February 16, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Here in Virginia we already carry openly in places with liquor licenses. I don't recall hearing any stories of legal open carry at all, one way or another. Must not be much of a problem. For those who have decided to avoid those scary VA establishments where concealed carry may become legal and go to Maryland or Delaware - PERMIT HOLDERS IN MARYLAND AND DELAWARE CAN ALREADY DO THIS! In fact, now that Delaware recognizes my VA permit, I have more rights there than in my home state.

Posted by: ldyer12 | February 16, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

All the hippie liberal idiots from the People's Republic of Merryland and the District of Crime can continue to sit knee deep in crime and communism. All the liberals in Virginia in places like Arlington threatening to leave can go right on ahead, we won't miss you. You're more likely to get shot in sissy states up North like Merryland New Jersey. The less tight-a** bleeding hearts in the South, the better.

The Constitution states that every man has a right to defend himself, and I'm very glad the Virginia Senate and new governor recognize that. McDonnell is already doing an excellent job setting us on the right political path.

Posted by: uva2manassas | February 16, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I voted yes but to clarify, I 100% agree with this as long as it does not trump property rights.

Posted by: war_is_my_chosen_occupation | February 16, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I believe in gun control laws - mostly because I feel that guns are responsible for killing people. I also believe a woman has a right to choose - so by McDonnell signing this bill into law does this mean that he believe a woman has the right to choose. What's the difference both methods can take life?

Posted by: sun52shine | February 16, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"I believe in gun rights…I want to know why you have to carry it concealed while I’m eating"

As I have noted, your inquiry is invalid. In a free society, actions are permitted unless valid justification for restriction is provided. That you have dishonestly ignored this fact will not alter reality.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"There have been three MASS shootings (three or more deaths) by individuals who were permitted to carry concealed handguns in the last two years alone:"

Please explain how this compares to the populace as a whole.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"I will vote with my wallet not to cross the river if Virginia passes this legislation as I will fear for the safety of my family when drunkards are allowed to conceal in restaurants."

Then you are dishonest and irrational, as the alteration in legislation will not permit "drunkards" to carry concealed deadly weapons. However, your commentary is consistent with my current hypothesis that civilian disarmament advocates are typically irrational and dishonest.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with these maniacs carrying their guns openly, that way I can see them and get my family the hell out of there. Concealed is a whole different story, for sane people around them and for the bartenders who have to figure out who is armed and who isn't.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"There have been three MASS shootings (three or more deaths) by individuals who were permitted to carry concealed handguns in the last two years alone:"

"Please explain how this compares to the populace as a whole."

I'd love to, just as soon as the NRA stops blocking public access to the criminal records of concealed handgun permit holders in 29 states. Right now, a comprehensive, comparative analysis has been made impossible (and effectively covered up the history of god knows how many other deranged permit holders).

The scary thing is those three mass shootings by Virginia concealed handgun permit holders in the last two years are probably not the only ones, but simply the ones we know about:

http://www.csgv.org/vaccw

Posted by: gritsjr | February 16, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"I believe in gun control laws - mostly because I feel that guns are responsible for killing people."

Please explain this assertion.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"I have no problem with these maniacs carrying their guns openly, that way I can see them and get my family the hell out of there."

No "maniacs" are relevant to the current subject of discussion. For what reason have you introduced this irrelevant topic?

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"I'd love to, just as soon as the NRA stops blocking public access to the criminal records of concealed handgun permit holders in 29 states."

Please explain, specifically, how the National Rifle Association has "blocked" access to such data.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"I will fear for the safety of my family when drunkards are allowed to conceal in restaurants."

Excuse me, but are you misinformed or are you being willfully ignorant??

Nobody is trying to promote drinking alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon at a restaurant. The proposed law is about simply being at a restaurant while the person has a concealed firearm.

It's already illegal to be under the influence in public with a weapon.

It's also currently legal to be at a restaurant with a firearm that is exposed. AKA Open Carry.

Think about it.

Posted by: MountainCat | February 16, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@ ldyer12

Even if you are legally allowed to carry concealed weapons into establishments in Maryland with a permit those permits are extremely difficult to attain, while practically anyone over 21 can get one in Virginia. A much much larger proportion of Virginia residents have firearms than Maryland or Delaware residents do. In fact I heard somewhere that only DC and New York have tighter restrictions than Maryland.

To even own a handgun period (not just concealed carry) in the state of MD, you must have a certification card which requires you to watch a video and have a valid MD license as well and includes numerous purchasing and monitoring restrictions. I don't know whether this is true or not, but a popular theory is that criminals in Maryland purchase weapons at gun shows in Virginia.

I'm not against or for the new law, I'm just trying to set the record straight. If Virginia wants to change their law fine. They've obviously considered the risks and rewards involved. Maryland (with DC & Delaware) and Virginia are very different states, on different ends of the political spectrum, with different values and different rules work better or worse in different jurisdictions. To each his own.

Posted by: CharlieIndiaAlpha | February 16, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"I voted yes but to clarify, I 100% agree with this as long as it does not trump property rights."


It does not. Business owners are (and have always been) able to post their establishments with signs prohibiting weapons from their restaurant. That is another point against all the freaking out by the sheeple.

Of course, I will not patronize such businesses.

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Dimensio-

I'm actually not confusing the issue with the fool who wants to taunt those who oppose him just because he's too immature to recognize the seriousness of the issue.

I am, however, tired of hearing that sort of crap from people like Magnum45. Just as conservatives don't want to listen to liberals whine, those of us liberals who take the issue of 2nd amendment rights seriously are sick of being called crybabies.

When it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of immature people (like Magnum), irresponsible people (like Gilbert Arenas) and psychotic mass-murderers (Seung-Hui Cho), Virginia would be smart to take big, big steps toward RESPONSIBLE, SANE gun control, instead of encouraging people like Magnum45 to see the rest of us as wussies.

And if there really are so many responsible gun carriers in Virginia, why aren't they actually around to rise to the occasion--to step in and play the hero?

Perhaps it's because so many Virginia politicians are blind to the facts: while most gun-carriers are responsible, decent citizens, Virginia still makes it tragically easy for one irate employee or one homicidal-suicidal maniac with a semi-automatic weapon to take out more people than you could possibly save with a legally-carried gun (concealed or not).

Don't feel safe enough in a restaurant or neighborhood without your gun? Then you really need to find an eatery with a little more ambiance.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 16, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"When it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of immature people (like Magnum), irresponsible people (like Gilbert Arenas) and psychotic mass-murderers (Seung-Hui Cho), Virginia would be smart to take big, big steps toward RESPONSIBLE, SANE gun control, instead of encouraging people like Magnum45 to see the rest of us as wussies."

Perhaps, were you to explain the specific regulation that you desire and were you to provide a factual justification of such regulation, rather than merely claim a vague need for undefined regulation and attack those who do not share your position as being "immature", your position would be more credible.

Mr. Arenas was in possession of a firearm illegally, and he has been prosecuted for his criminal actions. Mr. Cho was also in possession of firearms in violation of federal law; the deficiencies in state law that enabled him to obtain firearms have since been corrected.


"Don't feel safe enough in a restaurant or neighborhood without your gun? Then you really need to find an eatery with a little more ambiance."

"Need" is not relevant. It is the responsibility of those who seek restriction of a liberty to provide justification for such a restriction.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 16, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

CharlieIndiaAlpha

I have bought 3 guns at gun shows in Va this past year. All three were after a background check. No sales to out of state residents take place from the dealers. The only exception to this is a private seller who can sells from their own collection at the show, which is also legal (private face to face sales) anywhere else in the state at any time.

BTW, how have those tight gun restrictions worked in DC and MD. Crime rates are pretty high there compared to the wild west of Virginia.

http://www.infoplease.com/us/statistics/crime-rate-state.html

Posted by: mattg43 | February 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Someone commented that they will have to find restaurants in DC and Maryland in which to eat. Sorry, that won't help. Neither DC nor Maryland have laws preventing Concealed WEAPONS Permits in their restaurants, and only Virginia limits the "weapons" to handguns.

PLUS, Virginia doesn't have bars! Pennsylvania does have stand alone bars, and they don't ban concealed carry. They have had only ONE problem with drunk jerks shooting at a guy the didn't like. The shooters were DEA Special Agents and didn't need a permit.

Finally, why worry about the people who have had their backgrounds checked, when there are PLENTY of people illegally carrying guns, and many more in Maryland, and MANY MANY more in DC.

Posted by: postreadme | February 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Someone commented that they will have to find restaurants in DC and Maryland in which to eat. Sorry, that won't help. Neither DC nor Maryland have laws preventing Concealed WEAPONS Permits in their restaurants, and only Virginia limits the "weapons" to handguns.

PLUS, Virginia doesn't have bars! Pennsylvania does have stand alone bars, and they don't ban concealed carry. They have had only ONE problem with drunk jerks shooting at a guy the didn't like. The shooters were DEA Special Agents and didn't need a permit.

Finally, why worry about the people who have had their backgrounds checked, when there are PLENTY of people illegally carrying guns, and many more in Maryland, and MANY MANY more in DC.

Posted by: postreadme | February 16, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I assume that the better establishments (those that I frequent) will make available a "house gun" to patrons that find themselves out without their own gun?

Posted by: sgs8r | February 16, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@sun52shine February 16, 2010 9:44 PM
"I believe in gun control laws - mostly because I feel that guns are responsible for killing people. I also believe a woman has a right to choose - so by McDonnell signing this bill into law does this mean that he believe a woman has the right to choose. What's the difference both methods can take life?"

Fortunately the Governor is not burdened with reconciling your convoluted thinking.

Posted by: member8 | February 16, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

sgs8r,

'house gun' LOL! Under current law, as I understand it, they could 'loan' you a weapon as long as you did not conceal it. If the Governor signs this bill, the only change would be you could cover it with your napkin!!! You would also have to pass on the wine.

Posted by: japete | February 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@sgs8r February 16, 2010 10:13 PM
"I assume that the better establishments (those that I frequent) will make available a "house gun" to patrons that find themselves out without their own gun?"

Surely the manager would consider your suggestion. How about you make the request and see if they actually are 'better establishments.'

Posted by: member8 | February 16, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who has a racist relative like mine, who refuses to go to Red Lobster and is not shy about saying why, will understand exactly why Senator Throwback set his example in that particular restaurant. Congratulations, Virginia. Not only will I not be staying to eat when I run errands there from now on, I'm also seriously thinking about canceling my yearly trip to Chincoteague over this.

Posted by: csdiego | February 16, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL the typical democratic drivel!

Many states have concealed carry in establishments that serve alcohol (including bars) & there have been almost NO CCW persons behaving illegally.

Hear that people, no gunfights in the OK corral that the "Brady" idiots always spout & then get proven to be the idiots they are.

The reason these bills are passing in so many states is because of the times a person (criminal) has opened fire in an business & because dumb dems have prevented the law abiding people the ability to defend themselves - GOOD PEOPLE DIE!

You never hear about the 1-2 million times (yes dumb dems - 1-2 million) that a firearm has been used to stop a criminal action by law abiding people.

The main stream media sure won't tell you about them, but if your willing to check it out, you will find that "GUNS SAVE LIVES" when "the people" carry them.

Who knows you might be put in a position where you are in danger & you will be very happy that someone carrying like me is around to save you "sheep" butt!

Just an old retired Marine that has been carrying for over 40 years & hasn't shot anyone by who didn't deserve it, ever.

Just in case your looking for a good example, my wife used her gun to chase off a cretin that was trying to assault her & this was a good 20 years ago.

Glad she was carrying, we've been married 45 years now & that sure beats 25.

Get real people.

Posted by: tygarjr | February 16, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I told Senators Edwards (Roanoke/B-burg), Petersen (Fairfax), Deeds (Charlottesville, Bath, Nelson), and Marsden (Fairfax) in person that guns in bars would be bad for restaurants, tourism, and public safety. The only one who listened was Sen Marsden. Glad the NRA "A" rating is so important to these guys that they are willing to screw over our economy and small businesses in these fabulous economic times. Time to throw these bums out.

Posted by: cmkoeb | February 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I am please with the Senate decision. Not so much because I have CHP, but because it affirms my right to exercise this form of carry as a law abiding citizen. It is statically demonstrated that CHP holders are not criminals. The fear of such appears irrational based on “what if” or what is seen on TV. There is something odd with the attitude “if you have (carry, possess, whatever) a gun, someone could get shot (of killed)” thus branded as a “criminal” before the fact. I dare say the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities is far greater than the TOTAL number of firearm deaths (homicide, suicide, accidents) per year. No one seems to question somebody drinking in a bar and driving afterwards “wait a minute; you don’t know if they are driving!” – You’re right and you won’t know that I’m carrying, but I’ll stick out because I won’t be drinking alcohol either, because that’s the law. I wonder who really is the threat?

Posted by: dantoday | February 16, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I heard if you had a concealed weapon you could carry everywhere including where we eat. Is this true? If so, what they heck if Virginia Senators doing.

Posted by: GAPRDDESC | February 16, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how much this article DOESN'T say.First this law applies to concealed carry permit holders only.You see it's already fully legal to carry a firearm into any restaurant(wet or dry and if the owners allow)in the state of Va. Until now if one wanted to carry a firearm into a restaurant you were forced to carry openly.
second,this article mentions that ex-Gov. Tim Kaine veto'd a simular bill last year.Yeah,he did.what the article didn't mention was that he did sign a bill allowing off duty cops and Distric Attorneys to not only carry concealed in food joints but to DRINK WHILE ARMED at the same time.Typical liberal elitist reach around.VCDL members hammered him with questions about this at every town hall meeting after that.Oh if I had a dollar for every dodge he tried.

Posted by: blackbottle | February 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how much this article DOESN'T say.First this law applies to concealed carry permit holders only.You see it's already fully legal to carry a firearm into any restaurant(wet or dry and if the owners allow)in the state of Va. Until now if one wanted to carry a firearm into a restaurant you were forced to carry openly.
second,this article mentions that ex-Gov. Tim Kaine veto'd a simular bill last year.Yeah,he did.what the article didn't mention was that he did sign a bill allowing off duty cops and Distric Attorneys to not only carry concealed in food joints but to DRINK WHILE ARMED at the same time.Typical liberal elitist reach around.VCDL members hammered him with questions about this at every town hall meeting after that.Oh if I had a dollar for every dodge he tried.

Posted by: blackbottle | February 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"I believe in gun control laws - mostly because I feel that guns are responsible for killing people. I also believe a woman has a right to choose - so by McDonnell signing this bill into law does this mean that he believe a woman has the right to choose. What's the difference both methods can take life?"

You're comparing the right to self defense to abortion? Really??

Try this distinction on for size: In one of those scenarios, the life being terminated is that of a criminal. Get real.

Posted by: dbrenn1 | February 16, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a 52 year old female with a concealed gun permit. If you wonder why I choose to carry, it is because when a crazy gunman walks into a restaurant, or a university auditorium, or movie theatre or even a grocery store and starts shooting people like fish in a barrel; I choose NOT to be a victim. I choose the RIGHT to protect my own life and that of anyone with me. I choose NOT to have to fight a 285 pound male who wants to rape me with hand to hand combat. I CHOOSE TO LIVE! If you choose to believe that average citizens don't need to be responsible for protecting themselves, then I assume if all guns are gone, we won't need the police anymore, because there will be no crime. How stupid is that? There are always going to be bad people in this world, because you can't legislate morality. You liberal sheeple don't understand that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. They are NOT going to be there to protect you. I CHOOSE TO PROTECT MYSELF ... IT IS CALLED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

Posted by: maya4 | February 16, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed at the number of people that are flabbergasted about this, saying "who is going to monitor whether people carrying a concealed weapon are drinking??" Of course the answer is, the same people who are currently monitoring whether someone is illegally carrying a concealed weapon into a restuarant the serves alcohol now, which is NO ONE. You are all worried that someone who is reckless enough to use a gun for anything other than legitimate self-defense or defense of others will have a gun in a restuarant that serves alcohol, that person is not one who will likely obey this law, or any other law on the books; another word is a criminal. That person, or criminal, doesn't care about the current law forbidding concealed carry in a restuarant that serves alcohol and is probably already carrying in such a situation. Look around, they may be seated near you!

This new proposed law simply allows those of us who have gone through the trouble to obey the law, have taken gun safety training, gone through the hassle of obtaining a CHP, to carry in a restaurant. That's it. In Virgina, we can already carry a weapon in a restaurant the serves alcohol, and have been able to for years -- as long as it's open. Now, we will just have the option of carrying concealed like we normally do without instilling mass hysteria from all of you who believe the very presence of a firearm should be outlawed.

Who's going to monitor us, indeed. Do you even know what it means to be a free people? Do you only obey the law if you suspect you are being monitored? If you are sure no one is looking, will you steal from your neighbor?

Posted by: mannidr | February 16, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

You know, if folks here in Virginia had known that all it would take to keep you Yankees from DC and Maryland from coming to our state was to pass a few gun laws, we'd have done this a long time ago. Anything else you don't like that we could use to keep you out?

Posted by: maya4 | February 16, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

EdgewoodVa wrote:
Don't feel safe enough in a restaurant or neighborhood without your gun? Then you really need to find an eatery with a little more ambiance.
***************
if you think for one second that there is any place on this planet that you are 100% safe and that there is no possibility of harm to you or that you'd never possibly have a need to defend yourself...then you are living in a fantasy world.

Posted by: SlushFun | February 16, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

My disappointment is with the Virginia Democrats who caved on this gun issue. Guns kill people. People with guns kill people. Even cops kill people, often recklessly. Civilized societies do not need guns. In England, the "Bobbies" do not use guns. Only in America. The NRA, weak-kneed politicians (of both parties), and some Supreme Court justices have played havoc with gun laws in this country. It's the 1800's, or wild west in Virginia, and several other states. I fear for my grandchildren. FYI, I came to Virginia in 1951. Segregation, poll taxes, the Byrd machine, guns. It has not become better.

Posted by: JimfromAnnandale | February 16, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Dimensio-

"Perhaps, were you to explain the specific regulation that you desire and were you to provide a factual justification of such regulation, rather than merely claim a vague need for undefined regulation and attack those who do not share your position as being "immature", your position would be more credible."

The specific regulation I desire:
The Gun Show Background Check Act--
lautenberg.senate.gov.

You accuse me of name-calling.

I called Magnum45 "immature" not because he disagrees with me--in fact, he hasn't specifically addressed the issue at all--but because he gloated about the fact that people are upset by this bill and called them cry-babies. I teach preschoolers, so can you agree that I'm qualified to judge this man as immature, or do I need to show you my degree and certification?

I said that people who feel they *need* a gun in a restaurant should think about eating somewhere else, and you countered that by saying that *need* is irrelevant? You are oblivious to (among many other things) the fact that THOUSANDS of NRA members and supporters defend their rights to gun ownership in part because they *need* to protect themselves and their families when they go out.

Yes, Arenas possessed his guns illegally, and he wasn't even in Virginia, but he's an example of irresponsible gun ownership. He was torn between bringing his guns to work or leaving them at home, where he admitted he could not keep his children safe from them. A man with guns--illegally or not--without a locked cabinet is irresponsible. Making jokes about it by pointing his fingers a la cap-gun is hardly mature in anyone's eyes, regardless of how you may stand on gun rights.

I bring up Cho because he killed 32 innocent professors and students (who should NEVER feel the need to pack a gun along with their books!) and injured many more and was indeed clinically insane. Virginia laws--and this has been proven, in case you haven't been reading--actually made it far easier for him to get and keep those guns, as well as the ammunition for more than 170 rounds.

The loophole actually hasn't been closed --it was voted down in January--and I don't give a tinker's d*mn that the police found him out AFTER his many crimes were done. It's too frickin' late.

You don't know what you're talking about, and unfortunately, people like you make it hard for reasonable (yes--I'm calling you unreasonable *gasp*) supporters of gun ownership to be heard.

The best way for you to defend the 2nd amendment would be to log off.

I'm out.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 16, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Think again with the U.K, argument - see the link - a report compiled by the European Commission and the U.N.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

Posted by: TomJeff1 | February 16, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Slushfun:

"if you think for one second that there is any place on this planet that you are 100% safe and that there is no possibility of harm to you or that you'd never possibly have a need to defend yourself...then you are living in a fantasy world."

Please, I don't think that this world is 100% safe--it never has been and it never will be! But danger does not lurk around every barstool, either. I'm saying that people who don't feel comfortable in a particular restaurant without a gun don't *have* to go there.

Carrying a gun through a risky neighborhood that you can't avoid is one thing, but deliberately walking into a restaurant where you expect you might be attacked is actually pretty dumb!

There are good reasons to support responsible gun ownership--and I do, I really do--but the "I don't feel safe at the restaurant I chose to return to" isn't a good argument. Instead, it actually gives your opponents more fuel.

I think it bites that our neighborhoods aren't safER.

No one should ever feel a *need* to take a gun to their local pizzeria.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 16, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"My disappointment is with the Virginia Democrats who caved on this gun issue. Guns kill people. People with guns kill people. Even cops kill people, often recklessly. Civilized societies do not need guns. In England, the "Bobbies" do not use guns. Only in America. The NRA, weak-kneed politicians (of both parties), and some Supreme Court justices have played havoc with gun laws in this country. It's the 1800's, or wild west in Virginia, and several other states. I fear for my grandchildren. FYI, I came to Virginia in 1951. Segregation, poll taxes, the Byrd machine, guns. It has not become better."

What color is the sky where you live.

In my world it is usually blue. Criminals carry guns illegally in my world. Are you suggesting that we disarm the Police also??

Please...Please read the US Constitution and the VA Constitution. Also, please stop watching those old wild west movies. They aren't accurate. Oh, and Bobbies do not have Ninja powers.

Posted by: MountainCat | February 17, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

csdiego wrote:
Congratulations, Virginia. Not only will I not be staying to eat when I run errands there from now on, I'm also seriously thinking about canceling my yearly trip to Chincoteague over this.
**********************
SWEET!!! is there anything else we can do to keep you liberal diaper sniffers out of virginia??!!??

Posted by: SlushFun | February 17, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Almost without exception, those who oppose a citizen's right to choose to carry a handgun for self-defense invariably support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. Their rationale for opposing the right to carry a gun is that guns kill human beings. Isn't that what abortions do? I would think the right to defend an innocent life from violent criminal attack would be at least as important as the right to destroy an innocent life for, forgive me, I am searching for a valid reason here. Would that reason best be described as "convenience"? Is there any place for logic and rational thinking in the "progressive" mind? I search in vain for evidence.

Posted by: SammColt45 | February 17, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

EdgewoodVA,

"No one should ever feel a *need* to take a gun to their local pizzeria."

What if it's a matter of *want*, or the desire to exercise one's individual liberty so long as one doesn't infringe on the liberty of others? In other words, if I *want* to walk around town and grab a bite to eat with my shiny new gun in my pocket for no other reason than because I like having my shiny new things around, then does that change your position? It's not as if I feel having it around is necessary to protect my safety, so the emotional argument that people shouldn't ever feel a *need* to take a gun around doesn't apply.

On issues of liberty, the burden of proof is on those who propose to restrict it in favor of some greater good. So what if someone does sincerely feel a *need* to carry a gun? Is the fact that you disagree sufficient grounds to prevent him from doing so? Is it necessary for him to justify his reasons to your satisfaction? If you are successful at preventing his access to the means of self defense, and his concerns are justified, then how do you propose protecting him since you also take on the moral obligation to do so?

I'll admit that there are rational reasons to oppose guns, but attacking the motivations of gun owners isn't among them. Discrediting the *need* to carry guns isn't sufficient to justify the prohibition of carrying them.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

This bill really changes little except that firearms do not have to be only openly carried in restaurants. Openly carried firearms in restaurants have been legal for decades, and in the past few years and hundreds of times I have dined while armed no restaurant has ever refused me service or been overly concerned over my being armed, and this has been in establishments in areas like Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax.

Posted by: longwatch | February 17, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

What those who are bringing the spectre of drunken gunfights into the argument don't realize is that prior to 1994 it was legal for CCW holders in Virgina to both carry in locations serving alcohol AND drink.

How many drunken gunfights were there in the years prior to 1994 by those holding CCW permits?

ZERO.

It's a constant litany by the "guns are evil" crowd. Any change in the gun laws on the side of responsible individuals brings hysterical predictions of a return to the wild west, rivers of blood flowing in the streets, and corpses of innocent mothers and children who have been hacked down by CCW holders.

Hasn't happened in Virgina. In fact, it hasn't happened anywhere.

Just more obfuscation and hysteria by the anti gunners.

Posted by: kframe_19 | February 17, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

This bill, while a welcome addition to our freedoms, really changes little. Prior to 1994 it was perfectly legal to carry a concealed firearm in a restaurant. After the change to the CCW laws in 1995, it was still legal to do so, but only openly. If this law goes into effect it will mean only that law abiding handgun carriers will be able to put their shirt or coat over their pistol, instead of behind it.

Despite the same tired, old whining that there will be a sudden surge in shootings there will be, as has been proven over and over and over and over again, no such thing. People will continue to carry sidearms and they will continue to do so responsibly. Just like before.

Posted by: wps8506 | February 17, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

As the law stands now, people can carry guns into restaurants and drink as much as they want. This bill actually improves safety, because it allows people to carry concealed only if they do not drink. It also allows other customers to enjoy their meals without staring at a gun all evening. It's just common sense. Tim Kaine vetoed exactly such a bill. Says a lot for his common sense. Restaurants will still be able to ban guns on their property -- as Red Lobster does. But that's a lot of customers to turn away. More than 205,000 people in Virginia have concealed carry permits.

Posted by: LoneRanger2 | February 17, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

As there have been a number of excellent posts on this topic, I will limit my comment to points not previously addressed.

For Bob97 who suggested companion legislation permitting concealed weapons in the State House, governor's office, and courthouses, feel free to visit the Commonwealth's General Assembly, the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, to see citizens with a CHP carrying handguns, openly and concealed, visiting their legislators in the General Assembly building. On Lobby Day, a separate entrance is designated for CHP holders to speed their entrance.

Legislation has been submitted to permit carrying a weapon in a Courthouse when it is being used for a purpose other than holding Court, e.g. a night-time public meeting.

The post citing 160,000 persons holding Concealed Handgun Permits (CHP) is out of date. Virginia has about 204,000 citizens who hold CHPs. The number is increasing rapidly.

For those proposing additional gun control, or even a complete ban on personally-owned firearms, may I refer you to a study entitled "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" (Kates & Mauser) published in Harvard's "Journal of Law and Public Policy." The study is available on the internet. For those without the time to read, the answer is, "No."

Forty-eight states allow some form of legal concealed carry, although in eight it is tightly restricted. Only seven, soon to be six, of those states prohibit carrying concealed in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises.

The most recent state to remove that prohibition is Tennessee.
Tennessee did so in the face of the same hysterical predictions of bloodshed everywhere that have been posted here. Has anyone read reports of that violence? (Maybe those reports were knocked out of the news by the shooting deaths in the gun-free zone at the University of Alabama - Huntsville.)

As for those predicting violence over small matters. and other irrational behavior, might I suggest obtaining a good psychology book and reading the section on "projection."

I am a CHP holder who carries a gun everywhere it is legal to so so, even in my own home in a very safe neighborhood. Why? Because when my gun is on my person, I know exactly where it is, and because while in Baghdad five years ago I noticed a sign on a ready-room door. The sign read: If you need one, and don't have one, you may never need one again."

I don't expect a fire, but my home has fire extinguishers. I don't expect to have an accident, but I never drive without wearing my seatbelt. I don't ever expect to be attacked or be where someone else is being attacked, but I always have a gun.

Posted by: fuzzyscout | February 17, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

FuzzyScout,

fire:fire extinguisher :: accident: seatbelt :: attack : gun.

This is the logic you have created. Where does the situation at hand play in? busted fire extinguisher : defective seatbelt : gun in the hands of someone who has been drinking... no thanks.


Plus the first two "fixes" always prevent deaths, never cause them.

Also, the whole argument of CHP holders is that "concealed carry" should not make people uncomfortable because they can't see the gun. Yes, the gun cannot be seen-- even by bartenders. Just as much as CHP do not trust the rest of the world not to ambush them, I do not trust all gun owners to go by an "honor code" and remain sober.

Posted by: Mmead | February 17, 2010 4:47 AM | Report abuse

In Buddhist countries, people use chopsticks, not guns, in restaurants!

Posted by: snakafj | February 17, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

- I wonder if the people at Tech felt fear for their lives when they went to class the day of the killings, or if those that have been randomly attacked on their way to the car from a store or restaurant?

The point of carrying is to have it if and when it is ever needed...if we could tell ahead of time when that would be, the outcome would be different.

DA

Posted by: cash4re | February 17, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

fuzzyscout,

"As for those predicting violence over small matters. and other irrational behavior, might I suggest obtaining a good psychology book and reading the section on "projection.""

Ouch! Well-played.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Mmead,

"This is the logic you have created. Where does the situation at hand play in? busted fire extinguisher : defective seatbelt : gun in the hands of someone who has been drinking... no thanks."

Are we to take this to mean that you don't believe in fire extinguishers or seatbelts because they may be defective? Besides, the point of keeping a gun around is to protect against the irresponsible people who get drunk when carrying, among other things.

"Plus the first two "fixes" always prevent deaths, never cause them."

Guns can prevent specific deaths. If somebody has to die, then I'd rather it be some criminal instead of me. Besides, not having guns doesn't always prevent deaths either.

"Just as much as CHP do not trust the rest of the world not to ambush them, I do not trust all gun owners to go by an "honor code" and remain sober."

You could always buy a gun to defend yourself from all these crazy CHP holders and their drunken antics.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

What these naysayers don't realize is, in most states this is already the law. Although a permit is hard to come by in states like NJ and MD, even they don't prohibit concealed carry in restaurants.
This talk of "wild west" shootouts has been around since the 1960's, but has yet to materialize. It seems those who push this theory aren't grounded in facts but their "feelings".

Posted by: press12801 | February 17, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Did most posters above not understand the part:"... allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as the person carrying the weapon does not drink."? We are law abiding people, we have been subject to background checks before being issued a "permit". We could always open carry to those restaurants as well, but that upsets some hoplophobics, so most of us prefer not to. Criminals are already carrying concealed to the same places (and drinking), you just don't know, and since you didn't know, you weren't feeling upset, right? You should feel better now, the good guys will also carry concealed now, and you will not know! Your FEELINGS - as opposed to FACTS - being the most important single factor in which you (non-conservatives) base your decisions, won't be affected. Think of it as a Win-Win situation. Your welcome!

Posted by: Mile66 | February 17, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

A common theme in the comments from those opposed to this bill seems to be a complete ignorance of the law as it is currently, the debate over lawful concealed carry itself notwithstanding.

I hate to tell these people that it's already perfectly legal to carry a gun in Red Lobster, or any other restaurant that serves alcohol in Virginia. The current law, however, requires that when doing so, the firearm may not be concealed.

That's right. When I go to Virginia, legally carrying a gun, and I decide to eat in a restaurant that serves alcohol, all I have to do is remove my jacket, tuck back my shirt, etc., so that my once-concealed gun is on display for all the world to see. Perfectly legal.

Since many who carry a concealed handgun don't like to advertise (which is why they don't open carry anyway - again, perfectly legal in Virginia), they opt to leave their gun in the car. Is that really a safer place? I know the favorite response from the anti-gun crowd would be to simply not carry a gun to begin with, but that's another debate entirely.

I suggest to anyone that before you enter a debate on a subject like this, you know the law so that you can formulate a fully informed opinion.

Posted by: BurtonRW | February 17, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

One should have the absolute right to protect one's self anywhere at any time. Citizens afraid of guns shouldn't try and deny the rest of us the right to protect ourselves.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | February 17, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Senator Whipple?

Any relation to that utter wuss Mr. Whipple?

Well, Senator Whipple, I never feel safe in half the places in your district.

Posted by: RJFried | February 17, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Vtechnole:

"...if I *want* to walk around town and grab a bite to eat with my shiny new gun in my pocket for no other reason than because I like having my shiny new things around, then does that change your position?"

Nope--I personally think it's kind of silly, but you do have the right to do so, and I never said you didn't or you shouldn't.

I brought up the "I need to" argument because so many gun fans brought it themselves, some of them to the point of sounding either trigger-happy or paranoid.

"Is the fact that you disagree sufficient grounds to prevent him from [carrying a gun]?"

Nope; it isn't and I didn't say that it is.

"If you are successful at preventing his access to the means of self defense, and his concerns are justified, then how do you propose protecting him since you also take on the moral obligation to do so?"

I don't propose to take guns away from responsible, mature, sane people.

However, I certainly hope that the restaurants and legislators are willing to take legal resposnsibility for anyone who does get shot, including those who sue "for damages," because you know someone will, especially if they fail to enforce the "don't drink and pack" rule.

"...attacking the motivations of gun owners isn't among them. Discrediting the *need* to carry guns isn't sufficient to justify the prohibition of carrying them."

Again, I'm not attacking the motivations of responsible gun owners, I'm saying that less rational people than you aren't winning their arguments against the extreme gun-phobics by insisting that they "need" one at Baskin-Robins, nor is the "pry it from my cold dead hands" attitude going to end the arguments.

I don't claim to have all the answers. I respect the 2nd amendment while completely understanding why others (including me) don't want to be around guns when the intentions and abilities of those carrying them aren't clear.

This is such a heated topic because some seem to want to take guns away from everyone, and so many others use their guns for all the wrong reasons.

Sucks that there aren't more rational discussions about it.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 17, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I think it is a good law I see others views but the way I look at it is. Concealed is better in the way that it is hidden from others who are drinking that could use your gun to kill people. Becouse as it is now you can open carry only.

Posted by: wolf-father | February 17, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I note with interest that none of the anti-gunners have been able to produce data from the other states that don't have restaurant bans to demonstrate that all the mayhem they're crying about will actually occur.

Hmmm could that be because no such data exists? So they're just left with the usual blubbering "what if? what if?" like addled children.

Posted by: EnjoyEverySandwich | February 17, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Choice #1 = Eat at a MD or DC restaurant where only criminals will be armed and law abiding citizens will be targets.

Choice #2 = Eat at a VA restaurant where law abiding citizens might be able to defend against the criminally minded.

I know what I'd choose, and I think I know what the criminals will choose as well. The same way they pick "gun free" school zones to do their damage.

I only wish common sense were more common....

Posted by: gaallen | February 17, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

You have more to fear from the person who has an illegal gun and is a violent felon that a person that went through the proper background checks and had to go through a process to carry a concealed gun.

The far left want you to believe that the moment you pickup a gun even if you are the most innocent person it will turn you into a cold blooded killer without the ability to know the difference between right and wrong.

Posted by: JB71 | February 17, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey stupid people:

This poll was worded stupidly. 10% of the patrons of any non-drinking establishment (say, Five Guys) in VA are CHP holders who could legally be carrying a concealed handgun in the *gasp* restaurant.

People right now already carry concealed into alcohol-serving restaurants because , if they didn't, they'd have to carry OPENLY or leave their weapon at home. These are the single most law-abiding class of people it is possible to classify, yet, because of a stupid law, common-sense compels them to break it.

You damp-panty types would really wet yourselves if people were carrying openly around you. Don't you think you'd prefer it if the same people who are aready carrying concealed all around you weren't compelled to break the stupid law? THINK about it, it's a "gateway" crime, once you break the law once, over some stupid law, it becomes easier to break it again. They might have a sip of port next or jay walk in the parking lot on the way to their cars.

I guess I understand why you think only the chosen ones should have the means to exercise their basic human right of self-defense at hand ... you assume all people are as ignorant and stupid as you are.

Posted by: wjamyers | February 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

just a side note - all those that say they will avoid the restaurants in Va when this law is finally signed...I say, good it will make it easier to get seats in the better restaurants.

For the record, I would still step in and help you if you were being assaulted in a parking lot, even though you would seek to have me disarmed. I would just prefer not to have to run to my car first before I came to assist...I am sure you would prefer it as well when you thought honestly about it.

Posted by: cash4re | February 17, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Every CCW permit holder has had training and undergone a background check in order to earn the privilege to have a permit. These individuals understand the responsibility that goes along with the permit. I myself have held a permit for over fifteen years. I do not carry my weapon concealed into an eatery that serves alcohol.

I could however, keep a holster in my vehicle that clips to my belt so that I could carry my weapon openly into any bar/restaurant in Virginia. This would allow me to carry my weapon openly and if I choose to, drink spirits up to the legal intoxication limit, and I would be perfectly legal. But, behavior such as this generally has a negative affect on the "open-minded" citizens of the Commonwealth. The usual reaction is horror. Citizens usually react by immediately dialing 911 as soon as they see an openly displayed weapon. Even police officers who are SUPPOSED to know the law are caught up on this. Just ask the city of Norfolk, they are about tired of paying on lawsuits for false arrests on the matter.

The point is CCW permit holders are pretty darn aware of their privilege to carry the weapon concealed, they are aware of what is at stake if they screw up, i.e. loss of their permit and perhaps ever acquiring another permit. Or worse yet, being able to own any firearms if they are convicted of a felony. As I stated each of these CCW holders is trained, and has had a background check and is probably not a “gang-banger”.

This is not going to be a bad law, it allows us CCW permit holders to retain our weapons, concealed, while we have a meal in a restaurant instead of leaving the weapon in our vehicle where it could possible be stolen. It prohibits the CCW holder from imbibing in any spirits to prevent any “Old-West Shootem-ups” from occurring, even though I can’t for the life of me remember any occurring in my 22 history in Virginia (remember it is legal to openly carry firearm in bar/restaurant and drink). And the law allows the CCW permit holder the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones going to/from the establishment.

Virginia is one of only a few states that don’t allow CCW permit holders to carry concealed into bars and restaurants legally. So erase out of your minds Hollywood’s 1950’s shootem-up saloon scene, as that is not what is going to happen. In fact for the first time in a very long time Virginia diners might actually breath a bit deeper knowing that amongst them now will be a few more level headed folks with the ability to put down an armed robbery or an armed assault if they had to. Because most of these CCW permit holders like me, practice with their weapon, just for the unthinkable.

I applaud the potential passing of the new bill.

Posted by: chuckyj | February 17, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The 'blood in the streets' arguments in this thread make me laugh. Currently, it is completely legal to walk into a restaurant with your firearm so long as it is visible ("open carry"). Where are the actual reports of all these terrible accidents and murders? Nowhere. This law simply allows the weapon to be concealed, by someone who has a permit to do so. Here is a fact: if you get out much at all in this state, you are very likely to walk by people with concealed weapons every day. Put away the Hollywood paranoia.

Posted by: VA024 | February 17, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Just as much as CHP do not trust the rest of the world not to ambush them, I do not trust all gun owners to go by an "honor code" and remain sober."

If your concern is valid, then you should be able to demonstrate that individuals who carry concealed deadly weapons into establishments where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises frequently do not remain sober while in possession of a deadly weapon. As thirty-two states do not prohibit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons into restaurants where alcoholic beverages are served, such data should be readily accessible, if it exists. Please provide references to it.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 17, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"The loophole actually hasn't been closed"

Mr. Cho was able to purchase firearms due to a deficiency in state law relating to the reporting of court-mandated mental health treatment. This deficiency has, in fact, been corrected through additional legislation. Either you lack an understanding of the relevant legislation, and thus your claims are not credible as they are a result of ignorance, or you are lying, and thus your claims are not credible as you are dishonest. Please explain which is the case.

Posted by: Dimensio- | February 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

remember - they are not allowing anything new - we already can carry open in restaurants, most of non-hun owners are just ingorant to an extreme point that they dont even notice our side arms; and I have yet to find a restaurant owner who asked me to leave. They love us! We keep EVERYONE safe around us. Senator Whipple must be lacking a basic knowledge that "you are safe until the moment criminal chooses you (or the place you are in)as his target" and then "when seconds count, police is too far away". My safety is only a thumb-click away. Can you count how much time it takes you to dial 911 and take the time to tell them where you are, what the emergency is, etc?

Posted by: voiceinthedesert1 | February 17, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

There's quite a bit of irrational conjecture in many of the comments. Let's ignore for a moment the question of Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and focus on the logic. Unfortunately, violent crime does happen in the U.S. Of the crimes involving guns, the number involving individuals who have the legal right to carry is infinitessimally small. Almost nonexistent.

Conversely, in jurisdictions where concealed carry is legally recognized, two things occur: (1) violent crime drops precipitously and (2) legally armed men and women regularly stop violent crimes that are in progress through the use of their guns. To assume that otherwise rational people suddenly change into homicidal maniacs when their right to carry guns is legally recognized simply defies logic and experience.

Posted by: MisterMike1 | February 17, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I wish that you brain dead leftist doo-doo gooders would remember that for several decades;

IT HAS BEEN LEGAL TO CARRY A GUN IN A VIRGINIA BAR "IF OPENLY CARRIED".

Had you rather sit by someone couvering their gun up with a garment or showing it openly?

I wish everyone opposed to this measure would move to DC and keep their mouth shut about Virginia affairs.

Posted by: tenncohee | February 17, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

for all you people saying how will they know not to serve alcohol to those who are carrying, let me ask you how do they know now not to serve alcohol to those are going to drive home which is also illegal...do they take your keys at the door before serving you a beer...no they don't...do they ask your date if you are driving before serving you a cocktail...no they don't...do they ban you from the restaurant because you walked into the restaurant with your car keys...no they don't...the people this law affects are people who are law abiding citizens who have been vetted by the police with background checks, fingerprinting, FBI data background checks, and required weapons safety training courses in order to be allowed to legally carry a firearm concealed...you're fearmongering is unwarranted against this group of citizens...if you are suddenly worried about dining out after this law goes into affect then you have been living in denial up until now because criminals will carry guns in spite of the current law anyway in these very same places...

Posted by: jbseltzer | February 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This change allow allowing persons with concealed handgun permits issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia to carry concealed handguns in restaurants that serve alcohol, provided the person does not consume alcohol.

For those opposed to this, please provide me one example, just one, where a person with a CHP fired their gun while inside a restaurant.

Posted by: Sig2340 | February 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

If anyone can make a case by example of a law abiding citizen who has a CCW getting drunk and using a gun in a fight them maybe the against crowd has a point however you are not going to find a case to back them up because it is nothing but a fantasy of the worried that such things will happen.

Criminals do not get CCW licenses they just carry if they want to carry; they don’t care about the law. CCW holders play by the rules which is why they have the license in the first place.

Nothing bad will happen people take a chill pill.

Posted by: flonzy3 | February 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D). "As a final comment, let me just say this. I've really never been afraid for my life at the Red Lobster,"
----

I guess Mrs Whipple never went to a Red Lobster in which she got jumped in the parking lot on the way back to her vehicle. But elsewhere outside of Mrs. Whipple's bubble, this does happen.

Posted by: AlbyVA | February 17, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow! The fear-mongers must have stayed up all night voting repeatedly. Glad everyone knows this is NOT a scientific poll.
Check out this link... It tells the whole story.
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/754.html

Posted by: RichNearRichmond | February 17, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

To all who think it is paranoid to feel the need to be able to protect themselves in a restaurant, talk to the people at Luby's in Waco Texas......

Posted by: USMCVIKING3 | February 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

EdgewoodVA,

"Again, I'm not attacking the motivations of responsible gun owners, I'm saying that less rational people than you aren't winning their arguments against the extreme gun-phobics by insisting that they "need" one at Baskin-Robins, nor is the "pry it from my cold dead hands" attitude going to end the arguments."

Ah, I see what you're saying and I agree with you. In this case, trying to convince gun opponents that the reasons for carrying aren't silly is a losing effort. Even the most eloquent argument fails if the opponent disagrees *in principle* (e.g., if the opponent accepts that if you're so afraid of danger, then you should just stay away from dangerous places).

It'd be nice if these discussions can be reduced to their underlying principles. I know I'd like to see more rational debate about it, too.

"However, I certainly hope that the restaurants and legislators are willing to take legal resposnsibility for anyone who does get shot, including those who sue "for damages," because you know someone will, especially if they fail to enforce the "don't drink and pack" rule."

I don't think it's unfair to ask that gun advocates address the negative externalities of their ideas. We only need one case of a CHP holder (who would've complied with a restaurant ban) getting drunk and firing at patrons to make the argument that the total cost of allowing the guns may exceed the total cost of not allowing them. In fact, that would be the first step to justifying infringements on liberty, so the prudent gun advocate would anticipate that line of thought and account for it.

I tend to think that research seems to indicate a correlation between lower gun crime rates and law-abiding citizens being allowed to carry guns, so at first I may try to argue that the positive externality of lower crime rates for everyone sufficiently outweighs the negative externality that a CHP holder might get drunk and shoot someone.

That said, I also have to accept that there should be strict consequences for the reckless use of a gun--whether one is drunk or sober, or even has a permit in the first place. Basically, the problem isn't that people have a beer while carrying; the problem is that they use the gun in a dangerous and irresponsible way. State of mind is irrelevant (or, it's better to have a drunk crazy that doesn't shoot patrons than a sane, sober person that does).

I'm not a fan of holding restaurants or legislators accountable for the actions of those that break the law--I believe we should blame the guy pulling the trigger instead--but I'll grant that it's a worthwhile issue that's appropriate in another discussion.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

My family will just avoid restaurants that cater to slack-jawed inbreds.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 17, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D) says who needs protection in Red Lobster?....Who needed protection at Luby's, McDonald's, VA Tech or at the University of Alabama Huntsville?

Posted by: Ghost6 | February 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

With the passage of these gun-rights bills, expect the crime rate in VA to go lower while it goes up in DC and MD as the criminals looks for safer victims.

Perhaps you gun-hating Leftists should read up on S. Gratia-Hupp's account of the Luby's restaurant shootings?

Posted by: NeverLeft | February 17, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

CCW holders in Pennsylvania can carry *and* drink if they wish.

Posted by: wpjunk | February 17, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

CCW holders in Pennsylvania can carry *and* drink if they wish.

They didn't go far enough. One should be able to drink up to (but not over) the legal threshold for intoxication and still be able to carry if they wish.

Posted by: wpjunk | February 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

One more reason to never go to Virginia.

Posted by: jake14 | February 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

jake14: for me , one more reason to come. when im traveling from the free state to the sunshine state, i will be able to remove my secured handgun from the trunk and strap it on when i go enjoy some cracker barrel at a rest stop

Posted by: wpjunk | February 17, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

God gave each of us natural rights - self defense is certainly an important one. The 2nd Amendment applies everywhere - not just in your home. Unalienable rights do not stop at county or state or territorial lines nor can they be alienated.

People have licenses for driving - yet some 43,000+ die every year in MV accidents. This is the leading cause of accidental death - 44.3%. Where is the outcry for these fatalities?

Approx. 29,000 die because of firearms, and this number includes Gang Warfare, Self Defense, and those killed by Police. Note: Firearms is one of the lowest causes of accidental death - 0.8%.

A simple fact is "Guns Save Lives" - yet we never hear about this because "fear" sells.

Criminals do not care about you, your rights, or the law. They do care when your armed and ready to protect yourself and others.

So each of has a choice - be a victim or be a survivor. This choice should not be taken from you because you choose to dine out instead of in.


Posted by: databrain | February 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"To all who think it is paranoid to feel the need to be able to protect themselves in a restaurant, talk to the people at Luby's in Waco Texas......"

Or you can talk to the Virginia Tech families, who have fought hard in the General Assembly for stronger gun control laws since the shootings there. Not a single surviving victim or family member of a victim has come out in support of the NRA/VCDL agenda. Not one.

There have been 3 confirmed MASS shootings by Virginia concealed handgun permit holders in the last two years alone:

http://www.csgv.org/vaccw

The screening process is an absolute joke.

At least with open carry, you can identify these guys readily and get your family the hell out of there.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but had that teacher that put himself in front of the shooter in Tech had more than his empty hands, the shooting may have ended sooner. Had another student or faculty member been armed at the time, the situation would likely have ended sooner with less loss of life.

Fact Sheet - Guns save lives http://gunowners.org/sk0802.htm

Are there "nut jobs" out there...yes there are which is exactly why many of us choose to carry.

Can we be 100% sure that everyone is 100% sane and responsible...sadly no.

I do not know what causes someone to snap and go on random killings, and I do not understand exactly why the jihad to kill all Americans is out there another reason why I choose to carry.

But I do know that I am ready willing and able to protect myself, my family and others if needed wherever I am.

Posted by: cash4re | February 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry, but had that teacher that put himself in front of the shooter in Tech had more than his empty hands, the shooting may have ended sooner. Had another student or faculty member been armed at the time, the situation would likely have ended sooner with less loss of life."

You're entitled to your opinion, but no one who was actually shot or lost a loved one in that tragedy agrees with you.

"Are there 'nut jobs' out there...yes there are which is exactly why many of us choose to carry."

There are nut jobs out there with Virginia concealed handgun permits, like Christopher Bryan Speight, Nidal Malik Hasan and Aaron Jackson. So you guys are carrying handguns to defend yourselves against other guys permitted to carry handguns. That might make sense...in an anarchy.

"I do not know what causes someone to snap and go on random killings, and I do not understand exactly why the jihad to kill all Americans is out there another reason why I choose to carry."

Oh, so VCDL and their permit-holding buddies are our national homeland defense plan? That's great, can Speight still sign up?

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

To those of you who are so afraid of armed citizens, let me clue you in on a little secret. Anyone who would carry a gun into a bar, get drunk, and misuse his gun in a violent confrontation, is ALREADY carrying a concealed handgun into bars (and everywhere else he pleases) and getting drunk. Do you think a simple law against carrying a concealed handgun into a restaurant that sells alcohol has any effect whatsoever on the irresponsible idiots who would break laws against assault with a deadly weapon, malicious wounding, brandishing, homicide, or any number of other FELONIES? The only additional people who will carry a concealed gun into an alcohol-serving restaurant after it becomes legal are the good citizens who are coscientious enough (or FOOLISH enough IMHO) to allow the law to disarm them in the first place.

Yes, I am one of the few who admits to breaking the law when it puts my safety at risk. I obey the law whenever I, in good conscience, can do so. When I have to choose between obeying the law and doing what I believe is the right thing to do, I follow my own conscience and my own sense of morality. I obey all laws which are laws against things which are evil in and of themselves (mala en se). I do not always obey laws which are arbitrarily and capriciously imposed upon society simply because someone in power thinks citizens should not be "allowed" to do certain things (mala prohibita). When it comes to making, and obeying, laws, let's keep it simple: "No victim, no crime!"

Posted by: SammColt45 | February 17, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr,

Just to be clear, are you trying to say that you're in favor of banning all guns? Some of the particular incidents you cited happened in gun-free zones where no citizen can legally carry, so you can't use them as cases against concealed weapons in particular.

Quit trying to capitalize on the VT tragedy in order to score emotional points for your personal ideology. I was there in '07 and had classes next door to Norris; I also have indirect ties to one of the victims through a mutual friend, so I'm not exactly disaffected by the shooting. Leave us alone--I don't know of a single Hokie that wants our school turned into a pawn in a political game. If you can't support your argument without appealing to our suffering, then you need to go back and rethink your position.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

*snip*
I do not see this as a problem; but of course I can see the naysayers concentrating on all the bad things that could happen while glossing over any good that may occur.
***************************
I hear what you are saying, and in principle I agree with you. However, look at how things really work in the world. When it comes to carrying a concealed weapon, how many incidents can you come up with comparing...

Amount of people saved - the "good that may occur"

vs.

Amount of people injured

Posted by: legendarypunk | February 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not at all surprising to me that those posting here who oppose this legislation have to invent fantastic and highly unlikely potential scenarios to try and support their ignorance.

A person with a CCW permit gets bumped in line and pulls the gun in a rage...
A gang member pulls a gun off of the CCW holder and starts shooting...
A CCW holder gets blitzed and decides to start shooting...

Those scenarios are all completely ludicrous.

Those of you making these ridiculous claims are not basing your opposition on the idea of having a CCW permit, or the idea of carrying it into a restaurant...

Your basing your opinion solely on the assumption that anyone who carries a concealed weapon is a homicidal maniac on the brink.
And any rational person knows that is FAR from the truth in 99.999% of all cases.

Crazed maniacs are not going to go through the trouble of obtaining a CCW permit just so they can go into a public place and commit mayhem. Likewise, a vast majority of CCW holders do not "proudly display" their weapons (what part of "CONCEALED" did you morons not understand?) so anyone who wants to grab it from them isn't even going to know they're carrying.

Oh, and in case some ignorant numbskull wants to make ANOTHER dumb assumption and say that I feel this way only because I'm some redneck pistol-packing Jesus freak...I do not own a gun, my political views run mostly to the left, and I would generally be classified as an "intellectual" who looks down on rednecks and generally simple people.

Obviously stupidity knows no political or ideological boundary, though, since so many of you are running your mouths off...er, fingers...half-cocked (sorry, pun intended).

Posted by: JMGinPDX | February 17, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

SammColt45, thanks so much. It's comforting to know that concealed handgun permit holders break the law at will when their "conscience" dictates. That makes me feel ever safer knowing you might be around me and my family in public.

At least the "law-abiding" myth is now officially out the window...

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

vtechnole, you should direct your post at the Virginia Tech survivors and family members who are actively lobbying for stronger gun control laws at the Virginia General Assembly. At least 25 families have lobbied the Assembly directly to appeal for tougher gun laws:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/opinion/article/CRUMC_20090408-184005/252063/

Maybe you should tell them to stop playing "political games."

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

JMGinPDXm, here's three other preposterous scenarios:

1) A Virginia concealed handgun permit holder with a "history of mental breakdowns" shoots and kills 8, including a 4 year-old and three teenagers.

2) A Virginia concealed handgun permit holder with a history of mental illness and disturbing Anti-American views opens fire on a military base.

3) A Virginia concealed handgun permit kills himself, his girlfriend, and his two baby children in a trailer.

http://www.csgv.org/vaccw

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Eats shoots and leaves.....

.......without paying the check.....

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Judy Coyle, if 75% of people don't want carry laws, then turn about is fair play. The majority of people in the US don't want abortion on demand or gay marriage. Now what?

Posted by: Kansasgirl | February 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr,

They are actively lobbying for stronger gun control laws because they sincerely believe that such laws could've protected their loved ones. I don't see that they're trying to take advantage of the situation for their own ideological gain, and I don't see that they're relying solely on emotional empathy to guilt people to their side. They're trying to lobby for their beliefs with reason and logic, so I don't have a problem with what they're doing.

You seem to be conveniently ignoring that some survivors and family members aren't in favor of stricter gun control laws, but you don't read about them in the news because they aren't actively engaged in lobbying and they don't want to take advantage of our suffering for a f***ing talking point.

The shooting can be used to support either argument: in a gun free world it wouldn't have happened, but if the university wasn't a gun-free zone somebody could've stopped the guy. Most hokies seem to understand that, so they **don't play that card**!!! Neither should you.

Like I said, back off the Tech shooting. If hijacking our pain to win emotional support is the best you can do, then your position is best served by you shutting the hell up.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

EdgewoodVA wrote:

Slushfun:

"if you think for one second that there is any place on this planet that you are 100% safe and that there is no possibility of harm to you or that you'd never possibly have a need to defend yourself...then you are living in a fantasy world."

Please, I don't think that this world is 100% safe--it never has been and it never will be! But danger does not lurk around every barstool, either. I'm saying that people who don't feel comfortable in a particular restaurant without a gun don't *have* to go there.

Carrying a gun through a risky neighborhood that you can't avoid is one thing, but deliberately walking into a restaurant where you expect you might be attacked is actually pretty dumb!

There are good reasons to support responsible gun ownership--and I do, I really do--but the "I don't feel safe at the restaurant I chose to return to" isn't a good argument. Instead, it actually gives your opponents more fuel.

I think it bites that our neighborhoods aren't safER.

No one should ever feel a *need* to take a gun to their local pizzeria.

*******************************

edgewood is missing the point here. while danger may not lurk around "EVERY" bar stool...it may lurk around "ONE"...and that's all it takes to end your life. and you cannot tell me that you can tell ahead of time where that danger may be and where it is not. and all it takes is one crime to turn a good area into a bad area.

no one leaves their house "EXPECTING" to be attacked...i don't carry a gun because i don't feel safe. i carry it in case i find myself in a situation that may be a threat to my life. if that never happens *and i hope it never does* then all is well. if it ever does, then hopefully i can have the presence of mind to defend myself and all will still be well. i don't carry a gun so that i can shoot a drunk that bumps into me or a waiter that pisses me off and all of you liberal bed wetters who think that, are just showing your ignorance.

it's not that i feel the need to take a gun to my local pizzeria...rather the need is to have the ability to defend yourself from the time you leave your home until the time you return, and if visiting the local pizzeria falls in between then i should have the right to defend myself there just as i would anywhere else.

for the liberals out there who think "OMG the streets are gonna run red with blood now cuz they're allowing concealed weapons in restaurants"...again are just showing the world their ignorance.

i was under the impression we lived in the land of the free...

Posted by: SlushFun | February 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Every time the right to keep and bear arms is further inserted into the here and now all the doomsayers and bleaters show up armed with cliches. "Wild West," "gunfights over petty disagreements," "what about the children," et al ad nauseam. You all said it when concealed carry was passed, you all shrieked it when various castle doctrines were enacted, and here you go again. All the while the rate of violent crime continues to fall. No correlation there, eh?

Face it, you naysayers like creating criminal empowerment zones. You think it's a good thing when predators can prey unchallenged. You think the clear intent of this nation's founders should be cast aside leaving a mewling mass of docile victims pleading for further government encroachment to make it all better. If only you had the intestinal fortitude to say so forthrightly, or the brain power to frame an intelligent argument supporting the abject surrender of self defense. Instead we get the hackneyed hysteria that failed to materialize the last time around. No doubt you are patting yourselves on the back for recycling this gibberish.

Posted by: Disambiguation | February 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Here's what you anti-gun folk don't understand, and seemingly never will -- CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY THE LAWS ANYWAY.

Someone who would disobey the law and drink while having their gun with them, would also disobey the law and have their gun with them even if it were illegal to bring into any restaurant.

Gun control only stops law abiding citizens (i.e. the the ones who wouldn't get drunk and start shooting in a bar). It doesn't do a thing to criminals.

Posted by: jberman2 | February 17, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr,

To elaborate on my last post, what I'm trying to get at is that there is a distinction between merely using the shooting as a talking point and parading the suffering of friends and family as if to say, "look this person's mom in the eye and tell her that guns are a good thing." You're crossing that line.

I'm not a fan of the former, but I can tolerate it; the latter reflects very bad taste.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Studies such as the 20 year one completed in Florida in 2009 show that concealed carry permitholders are much less likely than the general population to commit crimes with guns--and it's already very low for the general population, although media hype would have us believe otherwise. The reality is that humans generally try to protect themselves and those around them. Notice that all of the heinous mass murders have occurred in gun-free zones--where no one could protect the innocents. And nothing we do will stop psychopaths, sociopaths, and mentally ill individuals from acting out, so we may as well be prepared to protect ourselves.

Posted by: memerider | February 17, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that many in VA. know the Dems in the State Senate are finally afraid, that not listening to the public may cost them their jobs. The Obama Admin. is so un-Const. in its view that their war against the 2nd Amend. has infuriated anybody who wants to legally own a legal gun for protection. I have never owned or shot one yet am a life member of the NRA because frankly, I do not trust liberals legislating against any Constit. right that Americans have. In one year , Obama has shown that fear and in VA. thank the Lord for the new Guv. and the AG who want laws that protect not decimate the rights of its citizens. If only the Blue states could do this, freedom , liberty and cutting spending and taxes might just follow. Liberals rarely understand Consti. rights or responsibilities.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | February 17, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

GUNS ARE ALREADY ALLOWED IN RESTAURANTS IN VIRGINIA. THIS IS NOT NEW.


The new law would only make it legal to carry concealed. This is a GOOD thing because it means fewer people will be scared.

Posted by: boristhebulletdodger | February 17, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

My family will just avoid restaurants that cater to slack-jawed inbreds.

Posted by: koolkat_1960

---------

Kind of like how I stay out of places that cater to men who tune meat whistles in the bathrooms.

Posted by: RJFried | February 17, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

That was an interesting profanity-filled tirade, vtechnole.

You've made it pretty obvious why the Virginia Tech families are lobbying for stronger gun control laws, and to keep guns off of Virginia's college campuses.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing new about this proposed law. Before 1995, it was legal to carry concealed in Restaurants that serve alcohol. It is legal now to open carry in Restaurants that serve alcohol. There are no bars in VA, only restaurants that serve alcohol. The change in the law back in 1995 did not curtail crimes related to alcohol served in these establishments. It only put law abiding concealed weapons permit holders at risk to having their guns stolen from their vehicles, or being maimed or killed in the restaurant by a criminal who could appreciate the gun free zone, created by the stupid law of 1995. All this mass hysteria is based on propaganda not based in fact, pumped into all of us by the anti-gun media, from childbirth to the present. Wake up America!!! Switzerland has never slept on these issues and nobody Fs with them!!

Posted by: ardent_phoenix | February 17, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"Criminal empowerment zones." Wow, that's an interesting thought.

Hey, did the NRA and VCDL create "criminal empowerment zones" when they pushed one loophole-ridden weakening of Virginia's gun laws after another through the legislature? You know, the laws that armed maniacs like Christopher Bryan Speight, Nidal Malik Hasan and Aaron Jackson?

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Here's what you anti-gun folk don't understand, and seemingly never will -- CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY THE LAWS ANYWAY ... Gun control only stops law abiding citizens. It doesn't do a thing to criminals."

I was wondering when a gun nut on here would make the standard argument for anarchy so popular with that crowd.

And there it is...

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, those "law-abiding" concealed handgun permit holders in Florida?

I've heard about them...

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2007-01-28/news/MGUNS28_1_carry-a-gun-license-to-carry-concealed

Posted by: gritsjr | February 17, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

gritsjr,

Are you capable of engaging in an intelligent conversation, or is the ad hominem, appeal to emotion, and hyperbole your modus operandi?

You haven't rationally addressed a single point yet, and you continue to disrespect the Tech victims by tastelessly stating that people you don't even know are somehow in agreement with your narrow worldview.

Methinks you're a troll.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 17, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I am so frustrated with individuals who have comments about things they have no experience with. I am a former Marine who gladly put my life on the line for everyone who has commented on this page. I have years of weapons training and I do have my CHP (concealed handgun permit for those of you who don't know what that means)in the state of Virginia. I support the restaurant conceal bill and here's why, the bad guys know where the free killing fields are, schools, restaurants, malls etc. The bad guys are not brave people, in fact, they are cowards and are looking to make their mark without being detected or stopped by an armed citizen. This is not what I put my life on the line for when I was in the Corp! I will not be taken down by some coward who isn't man enough to face his competition. Even worse, I will not put my wife in that position either. As for my son and my daughter, they are fine, they both got their CHP's and I can assure you, if you are in Red Lobster and something happens god forbid, we too would help you so just please say thank you and now I understand. Oh, and by the way, please stop with the red neck comments, that is very offensive to me and my family....I thought DC'ers where more liberal than that?

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 17, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@gritsjr February 17, 2010 3:59 PM
"2) A Virginia concealed handgun permit holder with a history of mental illness and disturbing Anti-American views opens fire on a military base."

Your web site indicates that Nidal Malik Hasan renewed a Virginia concealed handgun permit in 1998. It would have expired long before his murderous shootings in 2009.

You imply that he held a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit at the time of the shootings. Is that the truth or a lie?

Posted by: member8 | February 17, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

don't confuse law abidding citizens and mentally deranged criminals. that seems to be a mistake most anti-gunners have.

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 17, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

bblackmoor,

Do you even know the law in yur own state of MD? In MD, if someone has a permit, it has been legal for them to carry concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol, for YEARS. Even in gun-hating states like NY, CA and MA, permits holders may carry in such establishments.

The difference between THOSE states and VA is that in VA any law-abiding citizen who meets the legal and training requirements may get a permit. In states like MD, CA, and NY, only the well-connected, the very rich, and the political elite (and mostly the WHITE ones) can get permits. For instance, did you know that Senator Babs Mikulski--one of the most virulently anti-2A senators in congress, held a MD carry permit for YEARS?

Also, have you ever wondered why, when MD and DC have such "great" gun control laws, their homicide rates (according to the newly released FBI UCR for 2009) are almost 3 times the national average, and almost 2 times as high as VA and PA? Maybe it's because honest, law-abiding citizens can't legally defend themselves in MD and DC, and the criminals and thugs in MD and DC know there is nothing to fear for their evil activities...

You need to research gun control laws. Almost EVERY single gun control law on the books for the last 100 years is rooted in racism. These laws are ALWAYS put in place to keep "certain types of people" from arming and defending themselves. Until the "minority communities" in the US wake up to this fact--that they are being diarmed to further their dependency on and subjugation to "the man--their communities will continue to be "free fire zones" for criminals who know they have nothing to fear. Your government has lied to you--The police are NOT there to protect you (Warren Vs. DC). The mere presence of a firearm doesn't automatically turn someone into a cold-blooded killer. Guns don't cause crime any more than forks cause obesity.

Wake up, folks--you've been had, contrary to what you'd like to think, the "plantation" is alive and well in America and it's "massah's" are named Paul Helmke and Sara Brady...

Educate yourself before hitting the keyboard. You really have NO idea what you are talking about, and it's getting old...

Posted by: OpenCarry | February 17, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Consider this: it is already legal for everyone who works there to carry a concealed gun in a restaurant; it's already legal for any current or retired police officer to carry a concealed gun in a restaurant; it's already legal, without any permit at all, for anyone to carry a gun openly in a holster in a restaurant. The only people who cannot legally carry a gun in a restaurant are customers who have a concealed weapons license who don't want to walk around with their guns exposed. So, who are we kidding here? It's not like we're opening some kind of Pandora's Box with this law. Virtually everyone can already carry a gun in a restaurant, this just allows those people who have gone through the process of actually obtaining a license to keep theirs concealed - that's it. Big whoop.

Posted by: Rob29 | February 17, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know that concealed weapon laws had limits on where the gun could be carried...would rather have it with the owner than left in the car...

Posted by: goldieoldie | February 18, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Every single time people get their gun rights BACK the anti gun Nazis claim that there will be MASSIVE VIOLENCE as a result.

Has this been the case thusfar? I believe that despite recent increases in both gun rights and gun sales the FBI stated on record that the crime rates throughout the country have decreased.

HOW CAN THIS BE!!?!?!

Posted by: richarcm13 | February 18, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I have a right to protect myself and others and I never know where I may need to use this right. Bad stuff happens every where, even at Red lobster.

http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=163448

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/four-teens-charged-gun-point-robbery-brooklyn-man

Fortunately nobody appears to have been hurt in either situation, but the potential was there. More than likely I will never have to use my weapon to defend myself but I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.


Posted by: Taco1 | February 18, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Great - when will "Ray's your arms" be opening?

Posted by: manutd | February 18, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree, this really isn't anything new in Va, I always carry my weapon into restaurants and I am always uncomfortable having to show it to everyone. I usually use an ankle holster and tuck my pants behind the grip. No one looks at your feet anyway but you are in full compliance of the law becuase the gun is fully exposed. Just a real shame I had to go to such great lengths just to carry my own protection. Thank god that will be a thing of the past.

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Think for a moment. This allows permit holders -- those who have gone through background checks, who have had their fingerprints taken, who are on file with the police and proven themselves to be trustworthy -- to carry. A crazy person or criminal who's going to shoot up a restaurant is going to carry ANYWAY. Like all gun control laws, this only affects those who obey the law in the first place.

Look up a real event to see why this is a good idea... the Luby's restaurant massacre in Kileen, Texas. Suzanna Hupp, a REGISTERED, LAW ABIDING gun owner had to leave her pistol in the car because carry in restaurants was prohibited. A deranged guy burst into the restaurant and started shooting, killing her parents in front of her eyes. Had she been armed, she could possibly have stopped him and saved lives. As it was... no chance. Slaughter.

Posted by: ad13 | February 18, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Look up a real event to see why this is a good idea...the Luby's restaurant massacre in Kileen, Texas."

Why look all the way to Texas? You can look at what 25 families who lost loved ones at Virginia Tech have done here right in the Commonwealth. They've been actively lobbying for stronger gun control laws, and advocating against the liberalization of concealed carry regulations that you gun fetishists so adore:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/opinion/article/CRUMC_20090408-184005/252063/

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/14652/concealed-carry-permits-are-too-easily-obtained

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/GUNS11_20100210-210007/323539/

Not a single victim from that tragedy, nor a single family that lost a loved one in that tragedy, endorses the NRA and VCDL agenda on guns that you embrace. Not one.

These survivors and family members are some of the "anti-gun Nazis" that you lunatics are raving about on this blog. Personally, I'm proud to stand with them in the fight to toughen Virginia's gun laws and keep your guns out of our public places. No one who is sane wants you anywhere near their families with a loaded weapon.

Posted by: gritsjr | February 18, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

funny comments gritsjr, did you go the VCDL day at the General Assembly Building this year? probably not! But surely you went to the city councel meeting when the anti-gunners pleaded their case? probably not! I was at both of them in support of our / my gun rights. We had over 1,000 gun carrying, law abidding citizens at the VCDL day at the General Assembly this year and guess how many people got shot there? How about that, NONE! You said you are proud to stand with them to fight for tougher gun laws, why weren't you there? Hopefully you will show up in DC in March for the biggest pro gun event on the schedule this year, hope you can keep an open mind and see the light my friend. We are not criminals, stop treating us like we are.

PS: my neighbors son was best friends with one of those students and he told me personally he wished he had his 9mm with him so maybe he could of helped instead of run for his life because he was unarmed.

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 18, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, VCDL Lobby Day. That's when they shouted "Guns Save Lives!" on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and then ranted about how concealed carry laws should be weakened across the board.

Yeah, I remember that. I also recall that the very next day, January 19, Virginia concealed handgun permit holder Christopher Bryan Speight shot and killed 8 people, including a 4 year old and three teenagers.

Wasn't that the worst mass shooting in Virginia since Virginia Tech?

Yeah, VCDL Lobby Day was a great day for the Commonwealth, you should be so proud...

Posted by: gritsjr | February 18, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I am very proud of myself and our organization. Thank you! Anti gunners always point to one incident and try to make that a fault of a CHP holder. Speight was not a CHP holder in the state of Va and didn't even come from here in the first place......so whats' your point? a bad guy with a gun kills inocent UNARMED individuals, my daughters Dean of Longwood who was killed in that incident possibly could have stopped the whole thing if she or someone else during that terrible day would have been armed, who knows? Did you ever think about that? Just more anti gun whining!

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 18, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

got the wrong criminal on my last post but the story is still the same, a criminal is still a criminal. Nothing changes in that regard. Armed cowards target area's that are "killing fields" gun free zones or area's where they know guns are not available, evident when Speight surrendered to authorities instead of taking a stand which of course I am glad that he came enough to his senses to surender before anyone else got hurt.

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 18, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

dag4myrights,

gritsjr is just a troll. He's not interested in exchanging ideas, and he doesn't care about the victims of gun crimes--to him they're nothing more than a convenient excuse to raise blood pressures.

A contributing factor to many gun crimes is that we have sub-optimum gun control regulations; basically, the laws go too far or not far enough. Inadequate gun control creates a situation where the supply of guns isn't seriously affected and restrictions on carrying them are arbitrarily defined. Since law-abiding citizens tend to comply with the rules, and criminals don't, we've created the perverse environment where someone can easily obtain a gun and go crazy with it in gun-free zones knowing that nobody will shoot back.

Admittedly, we would be better off going either way. However, as you well know, implementing adequately strict gun control laws is problematic. One obvious hurdle is the supply of guns. Making it tougher to buy them by closing the gun show loophole or enacting more broad background checks may help, but they do nothing to stop either black market transfer or people with clean records and bad intentions. Basically, it doesn't deal with the root cause of the problem. As I see it, the only defensible gun-control positions involve either a widespread ban on guns or placing armed police protection anywhere that gun possession is restricted. A gun-free zone without armed guards in an environment where guns are readily available is asking for trouble.

The other way is to soften carry laws. If we accept that we can't get rid of guns or hire enough cops to protect everyone, then it's only prudent (if not a moral imperative) to allow citizens the right to protect themselves. As studies seem to indicate, this position is also less-bad than inadequate gun control.

The underlying principle is that each person has a right to self defense, and those that seek to infringe on that right take on the moral responsibility of protecting them. If they are unable to do so, then it is ethically wrong for them to settle with inadequate compromises.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 18, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

very well put, my moto is "you're most vulnerable when you're most comfortable". I totally agree, an armed society is a safer society. Too really make a difference, lock up the bad guys instead of smacking them on the wrist when a crime with a weapon is commited. I remember some years ago adds on TV that said, commit a crime in the state of VA with a weapon and go to jail for 10 years period! What happened to that? I know, the jails became over crowded and of course in our society we need to make sure everyone including criminals are comfortable and treated in a way as to not offend anyone. Look, the bottom line is, if it's meant to be, it's up to me! thanks for the great comment

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 18, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I often hear anti-gun people say something like, "What's to stop me from getting a concealed weapon permit, then buying a gun, then shooting up a school or a restaurant or a mall?" Of course, sane people would never consider doing such a thing, but it certainly seems to be a fantasy for anti-gun activists. It is sad that many anti-gun people project their own violent fantasies on the rest of us and therefore feel obliged to limit the freedom of us all.

Posted by: blainenay | February 19, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

These statists think that if they don't like doing something, that "something" must be banned accross the board (except for elites and their agents). For the rest of us, if we don't like doing something, we don't do it.
And don't ever think that there are safety reasons behind the whole "Gun Control" movement. It is ONLY about control.

Posted by: Mile66 | February 19, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

gritsjr pontificates:

**"Criminal empowerment zones." Wow, that's an interesting thought.**

. . . before going on to toss similar sand in the air.

To which I respond:

Snarky and misleading, now there's a surprise. Bet you work for the Brady Campaign or Violence Policy Center under some sort of ACORN grant that allows you to spend the day spewing slanted invective on the internet. Alas you didn't address my other points, opting for hyperventilation once again.

Though you roll over and die when confronted by an armed criminal types relentlessly shriek about the costs associated with an armed citizenry, you cover your ears and wail whenever confronted by the fact that armed citizens foil millions of crimes each year. If similar cost/benefit ratios were applied to cars, ladders, pools, cell phone conversations in traffic and so on, we'd have to ban all those activities, too, but that doesn't keep you single note yo-yos from applying a standard to armed defense that makes no sense when applied to every circumstance. Your inconsistency is laughable.

Next half baked non-sequitur, please.

Posted by: Disambiguation | February 19, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I still am wondering why there are so many postings on this blog? The solution is clear, decisive and final. CHP's will be gaining our due right to carry concealed in restaurants period. A very good friend of mine who lives in NJ told me to fight for every right that we have not just to preserve that right but to expand upon our abilities. I agree, the next thing we need to do is get our Mayor out of Bloomburgs control and then maybe we can make some real headway in the states that just don't get it.

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"If I have to live with the possibility of someone wandering around with a concealed weapon, and who may decide to take it out because they're irritated with the service or the misbehaving children in the next booth, those who make the laws should do the same."

I hate to be the one to tell you, but you have reason to have this fear of unlawful people regardless of where you live or dine and regardless of what the laws are there. People who are willing to break the law don't care what the laws are and they live everywhere.

Posted by: maninva | February 19, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"I often hear anti-gun people say something like, 'What's to stop me from getting a concealed weapon permit, then buying a gun, then shooting up a school or a restaurant or a mall?' Of course, sane people would never consider doing such a thing, but it certainly seems to be a fantasy for anti-gun activists."

Oh yeah, sane people like Virginia concealed handgun permit holders Christopher Bryan Speight, Nidal Malik Hasan, Aaron Jackson, Gerald Ung and Jose Avila...

http://www.csgv.org/vaccw

Yeah, they were real sane. And I find your theory that they engaged in mass murder because of the fantasies of "anti-gun activists" (like the 25 families effected by the Virginia Tech tragedy who are fighter for tougher gun control laws) very convincing.

Let me ask you guys a question. Do you have any real understanding of how crazy you sound? Or how unbelievably offensive your insults ("Nazis" and the like) are to people who have lost their loved ones to nutjobs who LEGALLY bought guns and/or obtained concealed handgun permits?

Nah, I didn't think so...

Posted by: gritsjr | February 19, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

to gritsjr:

while the tragedies you speak of are terrible, the families affected are not the target as you imply. What makes you better than me? You state how offensive the word Nazi is and then one sentence later you call me and everyother gun rights citizen nut jobs! That too is very offensive to me and the rest of my family which are all professionals. School Teachers / Sales Reps and I am a National Manager for a fortune 50 company. I am anything but a nutcase and I can say the same for my family who also hold CHP's in Va. Please quit hidding behind their loss. This is about our god given constitional rights that our fore fathers fought and give their lives for.

Secondly, let's talk about the great things that the anti-gunners are doing, well, I'm struggling to come up with one but let's try this; how about the sense that it makes for news papers (won't mention names) published the names of people who got CHP permits. What a great idea, everyone who is hidding from an X that has it out for them, who were scared enough to get a CHP in the first place are now identified with City and street address! WOW, great idea, my name was on that list and for that I need to say thank you very much for your concern but don't worry about me, I make certain that I can protect myself becuase out of the two types of people in this world, I am a lion and i refuse to be the lamb......good luck with that one and let me know how it works out for you!

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It seems amazing to me that all the people on here saying "how are we going to know if someone carrying a gun is drinking, they'll just do it if they want" You people seem to be missing the point. It is the law abiding citizens who would like to legally carry and obey the law.

Criminals do not follow the law, that's what makes them criminals. Do you really think the old law banning guns would stop a criminal from bringing one into a restaurant? Of course not, it only prevented the people who followed the law from doing so. The same people who follow the law and don't drink when they carry.

I have a CCW and know many others that do as well. People who legally carry are typically the ones you never know have a gun on them. All states should have similar laws allowing carry in restaurants.

Posted by: youre_an_idiot | February 19, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

We could already carry it just had to be in the open. Now, if you are a law abiding citizen WITH a conceal carry permit (that's an important note) you can conceal carry .. and not create that fear when someone sees that "a law abiding citizen" is utilizing their 2nd amendment right. Then you never have to know I'm carrying. [Unlike the criminals.. that don't care what the law says, they come in to assault you no matter what the rules/laws/signs say.] Why do I carry a gun? Because I can't carry a policeman in my pocket. In the SECONDS it takes a crime to happen.. the police are only MINUTES away. I take responsibility for my safety - It's not the Government's responsibility to do that. And I don't live in fear. I embrace life and take responsibility for my life. [Gun Control.. yep.. that's a good firm grip on my gun.]
Oh.. yeah.. and I just want to be able to go to any restaurant. I could care less if I can have an alcoholic drink or not.

Posted by: danu213 | February 19, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. and .. I can't stand Red Lobster.. so you all are SAFE to eat there. I'll take me and my 2nd amendment rights to all the restaurants I enjoy.. and you'll never know you had me and my weapon sitting right next to you.. unless some criminal decides to rob the place or create trouble, then, I'll be ready to protect myself (and maybe you). Silly People.

Posted by: danu213 | February 19, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dag4myrights. Jail isn't really a deterrent to people with nothing to live for, but we should absolutely have an appropriate punishment for anyone who violates the rights of others. Short of preemptively keeping everyone in separate cages, though, we have to accept that life has some inherent risks. The trick is how to best manage those risks without creating bigger problems than we were trying to solve. I think we're on the same page with what to do!

Posted by: vtechnole | February 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how every person who is pro-gun is willing to protect their loved ones, themselves and even people we don't even know. There is a code of honor that all of us wear on our shirt sleeves and that code is what makes us special to the public. I am right there with you danu213, I posted the very same comment earlier on this week on this blog. Preserve the right for your own self defense and you then can help the weaker individuals that can't protect themselves........maybe they should just say thank you to us and let us alone......until we are needed? semper fi

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 19, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Mile66,

"These statists think that if they don't like doing something, that "something" must be banned accross the board (except for elites and their agents). For the rest of us, if we don't like doing something, we don't do it.
And don't ever think that there are safety reasons behind the whole "Gun Control" movement. It is ONLY about control."

I don't think that's entirely fair to their position. There are some negative externalities associated with legalized citizen gun ownership, so in principle the statists may be able to justify gun control--provided, of course, that the negative externalities of gun control don't outweigh those they're trying to alleviate. In other words, there is some societal risk with letting citizens have guns, so the burden is on the statist to justify that gun control would actually lower those risks.

I tend to think that the average gun control advocate sincerely has everyone's best interests in mind. They seem to perceive that a minor benefit (allowing "rednecks" to play cowboy) comes at an enormous cost (innocent victims of shootings), so it's not surprising that their first instinct is to take the guns away from the crazies. However, it seems to be human nature to seek out (or fabricate) arguments that confirm one's biases and dismiss anything that might conflict with them, so again it's not surprising that gun control advocates would cling to some irrational beliefs. Errors here can set up the situation where well-meaning people with no malicious intentions actually support policies which are counterproductive to their preferred outcome.

Basically, I think in general we're all on the same team; no civil person wants to put innocent people in jeopardy. Gun control advocates may have some silly ideas, but they're motivated by more than just statist control.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 19, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I hear the dinner bell, so that means it's time to feed the troll:

"Do you have any real understanding of how crazy you sound?"

Since we've been making logical arguments supported by reason and available data (as opposed to solely focusing on outliers like other commenters are prone to do), and since those arguments remain uncontested, it's important to note that there's no objective basis to claim that we're crazy. In fact, we seem to easily satisfy the basic requirements for sanity.

With that said, I'll answer your question: yeah, I have an understanding of how crazy I must *sound* to some. Some people have great difficulty with critical thinking. Some people dogmatically cling to their biases. Some people deflect arguments which contradict their opinions, choosing instead to attack the motives or credibility of their opponent (presumably deep down they know their position is weak at best, or perhaps they can accept that they lack the intellectual resources necessary to defend their intuition directly). Some people are practically incapable of generating the necessary cognition to understand that reasonable people can, in fact, disagree. If you draw a Venn diagram and plot the point where each of these circles overlap, then it's actually very easy to understand that we might *sound* crazy to somebody that can be described by said point.

"Or how unbelievably offensive your insults ("Nazis" and the like) are to people who have lost their loved ones to nutjobs who LEGALLY bought guns and/or obtained concealed handgun permits?"

I'll let someone else defend the insults, being that I haven't actually insulted anyone that had sincere intentions.

It's curious that you are feigning concern about offending people who have lost loved ones to gun crimes, though. You certainly didn't seem to have a problem actively trying to offend me, even though I admitted to losing a friend at Tech. You also don't seem to have a problem aggressively capitalizing on our suffering solely to inflame emotions, as if you welcome these events because they enhance your trolling repertoire--even though some of my fellow hokies who are in favor of gun control take offense at people who do that. However, since you clearly weren't there and don't know any of the victims or their friends and family, I guess it shouldn't be -that- surprising that you don't actually care about them.

So basically, you're the pot calling the kettle black.

"Nah, I didn't think so..."

You didn't think? We already knew that much.

Posted by: vtechnole | February 19, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

To gritsjr:

Yes, you may rest assured that I do not, and will not, and have no obligation to obey UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws! Sorry to inform you, but that is the right of all free citizens. After all, slavery used to be the law of the land. So did prohibition. You may condemn those who ignored and broke those laws. I, on the other hand, applaud them as the true American heroes that they were. Just because it is the law, doesn't mean it is RIGHT!

Posted by: SammColt45 | February 20, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Good move by Va, to those who oppose this new law, has a restaurant never been robbed or what about the Tx incident where a man drove his truck into a restaurant and jumped out and opened fire. How many lives could have been saved if a patron had been armed. Or how about an attack entering or leaving the restaurant in the parking lot? Even if you do not want to take the responsibility for your own safety others do, and their may come a time you need to thank them for this.

Posted by: Brychan | February 20, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

point #1: Virginia does not have bars, we have restaurants. Becouse of this I can not go into a Chipotle with my pistol becouse they serve beer.
point #2: If a CHP holder does decide to break the law and consume alcohol, they may be arrested on the spot. Now I do understand the fact of "well how do you know if he is "strapped"", you don't. That is why it's the honor system. It's the same way now, how do you know I am not "strapped" when I sit next to you at RL?
Point #3: People who get their CHP are for the most part law abiding citizens. I do not carry my gun into restaurants concealled becouse it is against the law. further more, I will not consume alcohol when I am "packing heat".
Point #4: Criminals do NOT follow laws. "Gun Free Zones" are field days for some wacked out lunatic who is hell bent on taking as many people with him to the after life.
Food for thought: Take a walk with me for a second; you go to your favorite restaurant with your family. You order the steak and the wife orders fish. You talk about your day and how stressed you are that Sandy got the promotion and you didn't. Unknowningly, there's a guy who just walked in with an itchy trigger finger and a wishlist that includes killing everyone at the restaurant. He walks around table by table shooting everyone he comes across. not a soul insight that can do anything to stop him. Becouse "carrying guns in restaurants is illegal."
Same senario, out to dinner; instead it is legal to carry. I'm sitting next to you with my girlfriend. Guy walks in and fires a shot, I pull out my S&W 99 and put 1 round through his head.
I am no hero, just protecting the sheep from the big bad wolf. On this day what will you say, (A) that guy who shot the bad guy shouldn't be allowed to have a gun, or (B) man am I glad you were here???
This senario has played out more times than you think.
Before you get all bent out of shape about my post please, put yourself in the senario I layed out and truly think about. I know I have. Thats why I carry, not only to protect myself and loved ones, but to protect those who can't protect themselves.

Posted by: arg12 | February 22, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Well said arg, i sure am glad you're my son! Proud of you, what a true American. Love Dad

Posted by: dag4myrights | February 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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