Welcome Back to the Wild, Wild West

Created: July 14, 2009 09:48 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

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.

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