Teed up for 2011: the bourbon-and-a-Beretta bill
Philip Van Cleave, Virginia's most ardent gun maven, had a major victory in the most recent Virginia General Assembly.
After years of unsuccessfully pushing for the legalization of concealed carry in bars, the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League finally had the winning combination: a General Assembly and a governor who were both shortsighted enough to let that dumb legislation go through.
Beginning July 1, it will be legal for concealed handgun permit holders to take their hidden guns into a bar provided they don't drink.
This has caused many bar and restaurant owners to wonder aloud: how are we going to enforce THAT, if the guns are hidden?
Van Cleave is sympathetic to those barkeeps' plight. Though the ink is barely dry on that ill-conceived guns-in-bars, Van Cleave already is readying legislation for next year: a bill that would make it legal for those gun hiders to drink.
From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Philip Van Cleave wants every Virginian who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun into a bar to be able to have a drink - or he wants no gun carrier to be able to drink.
That's the choice that Van Cleave, the leader of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, wants to offer state lawmakers next year when the General Assembly reconvenes.
He said he is going to find a legislator to submit two bills to the body representing both positions.
His aim is to force lawmakers to expand the rights of concealed-handgun owners in bars or rescind the current exception that allows law-enforcement officers and commonwealth's attorneys to carry concealed weapons and consume alcohol.
"We're not allowed to drink, but they can," Van Cleave said. "That's two classes of citizens."
Unfair! Unfair! Unfair!
One day in the coming years, the VCDL will push legislation, like the recently enacted law in Arizona, that drops a requirement for concealed carriers to have a permit at all.
And at some point, Van Cleave will mount this argument: concealed carriers should be able to bring their guns into those "dangerous gun-free zones" known as workplaces.
This year, the General Assembly passed (and Gov. Bob McDonnell signed) not only a guns-in-bars bill, but also a guns-in-cars bill. It allows gun owners to lock their guns in their cars on company property. The employer has no say in this matter.
But like the guns-in-bars bill, this law also is too limiting, the pro-gunners will argue. It leaves gun owners defenseless walking from their locked vehicles to their employer's front door.
And, they will be be just as defenseless inside, at work.
After all, there are a lot more mass shootings in workplaces than there are in bars. . .