Alcohol at gun shows doesn't mix

Opinions Columnist | Journalism sophomore

Selling alcohol at gun shows is an irrational and ill-conceived idea. 

Many things do not mix well with drinking. Swimming, texting long-lost exes and, of course, driving are just some of the things that one should not do when drinking. One would think that browsing and possibly purchasing firearms would fall under this list of don’ts as well, but some do not share this view. 

There has been a recent movement in Texas seeking to allow the sale of alcohol at gun shows. If this proposal were to pass, some of the current regulations at gun shows would change, the logic being that if stricter safety regulations were in place, then public safety would be insured. I do not see this logic. I firmly believe guns and alcohol do not mix.

According to an Aug. 19 KXAN.com article, many gun show owners feel that allowing the sale of alcohol is a bad idea. They claim that current regulations are fine and that allowing alcohol around guns just sounds like a safety hazard. 

According to an Aug. 10 Huffington Post article, many gun show-goers echoed the same concerns as the owners. The patrons claimed their main complaint about the sale of alcohol at gun shows was that it could interfere with the overall process of obtaining firearms at the show. If alcohol was actually sold at gun shows, the firearms purchased would not be transferred to customers on that same day.

The concerns of the general public seem to be a bit different. The main concern of the average person is simply the mixing of alcohol and firearms. Many would feel uncomfortable if the drunk patron at the bar turned out to be in possession of a concealed handgun, regardless of whether they owned a license or not. Now picture a drunken person stumbling out of a gun show—in both situations, many would not feel safe. Therefore, it is generally agreed upon that the mixing of alcohol and firearms is a foul-tasting cocktail.

While I am normally a huge proponent of allowing people to live their lives and do what makes them happy, I simply cannot have this viewpoint when it threatens the safety of the public. I do not have any problems with people drinking. I just do not want people to potentially be put in harm’s way. I realize that some people love guns and gun shows are more than likely here to stay, but all precautions should be taken to make these shows as safe as possible. Allowing alcohol at these events is simply unsafe.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, commonly known as TABC, has allowed people to voice their opinions until Sept. 8 on the issue of alcohol at gun shows. When it comes down to it, this is an issue of public safety and having the sense to know that alcohol and firearms just do not go together.