Rational Arizonans today are surely missing former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, who left in January to become secretary of homeland security. From The Arizona Republic:
Arizonans with concealed weapons permits will be able to take a handgun into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
That’s under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday.
It would require bar and restaurant owners who want to ban weapons to post a sign next to their liquor license. Drinking while carrying a weapon would be illegal.
The last point is a nice gesture, but it’s not unthinkable that such a law will greatly increase the likelihood that people will, in fact, drink alcohol while carrying a loaded firearm in a bar.
Opponents have said mixing guns and alcohol could cause violence, but supporters said people should be able to protect themselves at businesses that serve alcohol.
It’s a self-evidently bad idea for several reasons, not the least of which is the possibility that bartenders might be a bit more reluctant to cut off customers who have had too much if they think their patrons might be packing. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on the number of DUI-related traffic fatalities in the coming months.
It’s probably worth pointing out that as governor, Napolitano served as a check on the unique brand of wingnuttery found in the Republican-dominated Arizona state legislature, and she used her veto pen generously — including on a very similar guns-in-bars bill in 2005.
Now, with Brewer — a conservative Republican — in charge, Arizona has no voice of sanity at the top-levels of state government.