Bill would allow concealed guns in restaurants

Alex Sirney -- March 6th, 2010

Concealed gun in barThe Virginia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would remove the restrictions prohibiting gun owners with concealed carry licenses from carrying in restaurants and would allow police officers to drink while carrying.

The current law forbids concealed carry in restaurants, though it allows guns to be carried openly. It is legal to drink while carrying openly, though intoxication is illegal for all citizens. Senate Bill 334, referred to as the “Guns-in-bars” bill, would change that to allow concealed carry in restaurants, though forbidding those carrying concealed firearms from drinking. The bill will amend Section 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia (deletions are struck out and additions are in bold):

JJ3. No person shall carry who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in Section 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia; however, nothing herein may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. ?[ A person who becomes intoxicated while carrying a concealed handgun on the premises of such a restaurant or club is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. ?] ?However, nothing in this subsection shall prohibit any sworn apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer. [ or any retired law-enforcement officer who meets the definition of a “qualified retired law-enforcement officer” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. ? 926C and is carrying the identification required by such statute? ] . from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises of such restaurant or club or any owner or event sponsor or his employees from carrying a concealed handgun while on duty at such restaurant or club if such person has a concealed handgun permit.
Bills with similar provisions were passed but vetoed under Gov. Kaine, but Gov. McDonnell is expected to sign the bill into law. There are officially no bars in Virginia – all establishments serving alcohol must have at least 45 percent of their sales come from food and non-alcoholic drinks. Restaurant owners will retain the right to put in place their own policies restricting open or concealed carry in their establishment.

Local restaurant owners and managers reacted with caution to the change in the law, expressing concerns over enforcement and safety.

“Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to allow citizens [with concealed weapons] into places where people are consuming alcohol,” Sean Pugh, co-owner of the Joshua Wilton House, said. “It’s a bad idea.” Pugh is active in the Downtown Dining Alliance, and said that they have not yet discussed the implications of the law.

“Different restaurants are going to have a different feel about [the law],” he said. “We’re going to be less likely to encounter an issue than some place people go to drink and party.”

Chris Clark, owner of the Artful Dodger, and Mickey Arafaine, general manager of the Blue Nile – both popular nightspots – expressed concerns over security, though both expected patrons to act responsibly.

“I want to believe that [the law] will not affect anything. People are generally aware of their level of safety and we [at the Artful Dodger] feel that we provide that,” Clark said.

Arafaine said, “I don’t know how much it will change in practice. Unless you do something, no one will even know you have [a concealed gun].”

“I don’t think people will react to it unless there’s an incident.”

Neither Arafaine nor Clark anticipated adding any additional security measures beyond what they have currently in place. Neither has had any serious incidents with customers carrying guns, though both have asked patrons to leave in different circumstances. They both said the change would increase the need for staff to be more aware of who was in the restaurant.

The question of security is tied closely to the law’s enforcement.

“I think the biggest problem is enforcing it. What’s stopping any person from bringing a gun into a bar right now?” Craig Moore, owner of the Local Chop and Grill House, said. “How do you know someone with a concealed gun is drinking?”

“You’ve got to be caught to enforce it.”

He said that he would not be searching patrons because it is “a tremendous invasion of privacy.”

“I hope this doesn’t lead to other things where the burden is on the establishment,” Moore said. Arafaine expressed similar sentiments.

“The burden is on the restaurant and it should be on the person,” she said.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, Inc., a gun rights lobbying group, said that the security concerns aren’t anything new or different.

“Restaurant owners always have the trespass onus on them,” he said, calling the security issue a trespass issue at its root. “It’s nothing unusual.”

According to Van Cleave, Virginia banned concealed carry in restaurants in 1995, and with the passage of this bill would join approximately 40 states that currently allow concealed carry in restaurants and bars.

This bill will give restaurant owners more options, Van Cleave said. He has had experiences where, as the holder of a concealed gun license, he has had to carry openly in restaurants to comply with the current law. He sees this as potentially distracting to other customers, and has been asked to conceal his gun by restaurant owners, which he legally had to refuse to do.

“This empowers restaurant owners to make their own policy,” he said.

His focus on the law’s application was on scenarios where license holders were dining in restaurants. He said late-night drinking scenarios were unlikely.

“One can sit down and picture all kinds of things that could happen, but we have to look at practice,” he said. “Are permit holders going into that environment in practice? I don’t think so.”

“One should not strip away our freedoms because of what might happen.”

Lori Haas, spokesperson for the Virginia Center for Public Safety, a pro gun control lobby group, argued strongly against the bill.

“Guns and alcohol don’t mix,” she said. “A small, vocal group of gun owners wants any gun, any time.” She also expressed concerns about enforcement and said that the VCPS supports responsible gun ownership and gun control laws.

“Restrictions are not mutually exclusive with the second amendment,” she said.

Both supporters and detractors will soon take a back seat to reality, however, once Gov. McDonnell signs the bill into law as expected. What reaction can we expect from the Harrisonburg community once the law goes into effect?

Note: Local gun rights activist and NRA member Jon Ritenour, representatives from Jack Brown’s, Finnigan’s Cove, Clementine, Dave’s Taverna, the Downtown Dining Alliance, the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and the Harrisonburg Police Department were unavailable for comment as of posting. Update expected early next week.

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103 Responses to “Bill would allow concealed guns in restaurants”

  1. Emmy says:

    Eso I understand your position and don’t feel that people who want to protect their families are just being “Dirty Harry”. But, to me the chances seem much higher that I could accidentally shoot an innocent person than someone who was actually trying to hurt me. Or, that my child could end up with the gun and harm themselves or someone else. Having a gun for protection means the gun has to be out (or on your body) and loaded.

    I come from a long line of gun owning people. My grandfather had a huge collection and took my dad to the shooting range every time we went to see him. I remember my dad telling me where the guns were in the house and he always had a loaded gun under the seat of his car. I never felt safe with them around.

  2. eso says:

    Emmy: If you look at the civilian self-defense stats, most defensive shootings occur within ~7 feet as an attacker rushes in to stab or beat you to death. Even most gun assaults aren’t much farther on average. At that range, most people can get acceptable accuracy with moderate practice.

    Kids are my biggest concern. I believe that most kids can be made “gun safe” as they are growing up with careful supervision. By learning to clean an unloaded gun after you’ve been shooting, they learn how it works, how to make it safe, and it takes some of the forbidden fruit quality away from it. I know I had several guns by the time I graduated high school and I was always responsible with them. I was only unusual in that I had several fewer than my friends.
    My fiancee and I have talked. Since her kids haven’t grown up around guns, I’m getting a gun safe. That’s always a good idea if children are involved in my mind.

    Feeling as you do, my advice to you is the same as it was for my fiancee: to consider a strong flashlight(ie: Surefire and Streamlight brands) and pepper spray.

    This is all a tangent to restaurant carry which I do support.

  3. Emmy says:

    I guess when you are carrying it on your person you have less to worry about when it comes to children. I think the two things go hand in hand though. If you are carrying one while out, you are likely to have one in your home for protection as well. That’s how my father did it. But, the gun in our house stayed out and loaded. If it isn’t, then how is it for protection? If someone breaks into your house you aren’t likely to have time to unlock a safe and load your gun.

    My children are young, and have both already shot a gun. They are hunters and know all about gun safety. But, I’d be lying if I said I was happy about it, and I’m very thankful that my ex only has guns for hunting.

  4. Dave; I was extending the logic of our discussion with me the hypothetical bar owner…think you had a jam in your extractor. Honestly, I can’t think of any restaurant I frequent that would miss the patronage of an armed customer. You can advocate all the gun legislation you want but property owners will always have the primary right to deny you entry. Effectively this law will limit gun freedoms, and criminalize those who choose to ignore posted warnings. It will also shift liability should someone get shot.

  5. eso says:


    There are a number of small gun vaults that allow rapid access to a fire arm while keeping it out of the hands of curious children. The one I have is from Gunvault.

    It allows you to set a combination out of some 12 million combinations, the “keys” fit right under your fingers for rapid access, it alerts you if someone ( ie: a kid ) tries to open it unsuccessfully, and locks out for a set period of time after a number of unsuccessful tries. It is made of heavy gauge steel. It might not keep a determined burglar with a crowbar out or offer fire protection, but it’s going to keep any kid who is afraid of repercussions from being found out by their parents out.
    Since I know I am a heavy sleeper, I would probably store guns unloaded in the safe to allow me the extra second to become awake. I’m willing to make that small trade off for extra safety with others in the house. If the gun is stored locked in a safe, I don’t have a problem with others who feel comfortable with it keeping it loaded in the safe.

  6. eso says:


    I, also, will not frequent restaurants that prevent me from protecting my family. YMMV.

  7. JGFitzgerald says:

    I’m glad that people feel the need to protect their families, although the worst I’ve ever experienced in a Valley restaurant is rudeness (occasionally), bad service (rarely), and undercooked prime rib (also rarely, if you’ll excuse an awful pun). None of these, so far as I know, is a shooting offense, but some people admittedly see danger where I don’t. Deb and I are right now in Paris, where they would consider armed patrons in a restaurant to be sheer madness. Besides protecting their families at McDonald’s, gun rights advocates often cite the need to rebel against the government if taxes get too high or Nancy Pelosi comes for their guns. And yet France, which has no Second Amendment, has had half a dozen major populist revolts since we have. But while I’ve seen no one with a concealed weapon, I did see a woman brestfeeding her child on the subway. That’s probably illegal in public in parts of Virginia, but carrying a concealed weapon isn’t. I’m still as American as the next guy, more than some, but I’m not at all sure it’s the guns that made us a great nation.

  8. From the New Your Post, December of 2007. Enjoy yourself, Joe.

    “IT’S not just the renewed violence in the Muslim ghettos outside Paris creating concern in the French capital. The area around the elegant Champs-Elysees has become dangerous, like the old Times Square, with nightclubs, sex shops and violent drunks. This week, France’s National Crime Observatory reported assaults were up 32 percent last year, and violence without theft up 93 percent, in the 8th Arrondissement. Last week, a key police official warned that the Champs had become a center of racketeering and prostitution. Our friend in Paris, George Sheinberg, said, “It’s gotten so bad, the American embassy’s French Web site is the only one in Europe with specific safety tips.” The local mayor told Le Parisien newspaper: “The situation is getting worse and worse. Every year a cinema closes and a new nightclub opens. If a sex shop wanted to open, I couldn’t stop it. The Champs used to have a family atmosphere and be lively up to midnight. Now it’s lively between midnight and six in the morning, thanks to persons of a less reputable nature.” Earlier this month, a patron at a restaurant just off the Champs-Elysees was killed in a fight. In August, a woman was wounded when a reveler let off a Kalashnikov outside a nearby nightclub.”

  9. Eso says:


    I’d never take self-defense advice from the French, but it must be a great time for the trip. I hope it goes great.

  10. MF says:


    Thanks for referencing me, but I’ve not had time to get on here. So no I did not drop out because of your comments, I have been at work every day this week. Some of us have more time to sit in front of a computer at home then the rest of us.

    But, I will say I don’t appreciate the threating tone of your statement to me. Especially since you carry a gun.

  11. Emmy says:

    I agree Joe with you Joe, and personally I find it madness to have a gun in a restaurant.

  12. MF,

    What the hell are you talking about? Don’t like stereotypes, huh?

  13. Wes says:

    Everybody is missing a key point that Dave eluded to.

    As the law was written, if you have a concealed carry pistol and you wanted to go into a restaurant, any restaurant anywhere in Virginia that had any form of ABC license, you had to stop in the parking lot, take off your jacket, pull it out of your pocket/holster, and then put it in your vehicle.

    Or, you could do the other option, the Virginia Tuck, where you casually unconceal it. Because remember, it was always legal to carry an unconcealed gun basically anywhere.

    In the first case, you’re telegraphing to everybody in the parking lot that you just threw an expensive piece of hardware into your car, and you plan to not occupy it for a long time. In the second case, you have people walking around restaurants with visible firearms. And, frankly, most of the time you forget it’s there. A good concealed carry gun is like a cellphone or a wallet. It’s large enough to be functional but small enough that you don’t remember it’s there. And so if you accidentally walk into Hanks Steakhouse, which serves beer and wine, you’re now a criminal.

    So most people just took them in anyway. To all the self-righteous restaurant owners and diners who say “Guns, in MY restaurant?”, remember the point of “concealed” carry is twofold: one, somebody carrying doesn’t have to worry about getting shot out-of-hand during a robbery or whatever, it’s playing their cards close to their chest. But second, it’s so that irrational anti-gun-minded folks don’t have to wet their pants when I choose not to rely on police protection, and so I don’t have to deal with their stares.

    Next time you eat at the Blue Nile, or Dave’s, or Joshua Wilton, or any of the various places listed above, I can pretty much guarantee to you that somebody is carrying illegally. Now they won’t have to be illegal. And before you say that “Well, *those* kind of people don’t eat at *my* restaurants”, because I know you’re thinking that in the back of your mind, please realize that CCW does not equal poor white trash. I rather enjoy nice restaurants, and I don’t appreciate you thinking that I’m going to end up in a drunk stupor and shoot all of you.

    The problem has *always* been that *every* restaurant serves alcohol, *not* that some tiny handful of “bars” should be offlimites.

  14. Emmy says:

    Well Wes, I’m perfectly aware that I am in restaurants with people who are carrying guns. That doesn’t mean I like it, or that I’m irrational because I don’t think anyone should be.

    I’m not worried about you getting drunk and shooting me. I am worried about someone coming into the restaurant and you accidentally shooting me or my kids because you are trying to protect yourself.

  15. So what your “like” outweighs our desired goal of being responsible for our own personal protection?

  16. You know Wes, god love you gun magazine cowboys. Ready to brandish and Defend The Family. But as someone that has been shot at, held point-blank to a .45 ACP, and witness to the situation you fantasize I can tell you it is more likely that it is you who will be “wetting your pants” and making a decision you are ill-prepared to make. Think of it like this – remember your first public speaking opportunity? Called with no notice? Yeah, like that. So while you sit there with baby-mama and junior, loving life, your target will have no such concerns and may be far down who-the-hell-cares road. Your weapon is now his #1 target.

    This is the reason why we have paid professionals – police officers. They train constantly, stay prepared and live with a level of stress you won’t know until the day you are called to make a life/death decision. God bless those folks! The difference is that as a society we give them the benefit of the doubt, …and excellent insurance. So live your dream dude, just don’t labor under the fantasy that 12 members of the community share it.

  17. Alex Sirney says:

    Off-topic fact check – Breast feeding is not illegal in public in Virginia.

  18. Emmy says:

    Did I say that Dave? Nope, don’t believe I did.

  19. This is an aside from this particular law, but the biggest danger of guns is to the owner of the gun itself. There are more deaths by gun-induced suicides in this country than from gun-induced homicides. The laws relating to guns are very weakly and mixedly related to the rate of gun homicides, although Dave can probably cite some that support his view, although I would warn that many of those are based on distorted or manipulated stats and data (and any study by John Lott is pure garbage). But the relationship between rates of gun ownership by state and gun-induced suicide rates is extremely strong, overwhelmingly so, especially for handguns.

    BTW, the state that has had up until recently the lowest gun-related suicide rate in the country was also the state (that is not a state) that had the lowest rate of gun ownership and outlawed handguns entirely, until that law was overthrown by the US Supreme Court. I am talking about D.C., which Dave I am sure is very pleased to see their law thrown out, although the rate of suicide will almost certainly rise accordingly. Be proud of what you wanted, Dave, all those suicides that would not have happened otherwise without the ruling you and your pals have so vigorously supported, be proud of yourself.

  20. Eso says:

    While there are frequently cops at Chik-fil-a, most restaurants don’t have cops in them and you are talking about a few minute response time. That’s an awful long time when you have an active shooter…

    How often do local police departments qualify? NYPD officers are only required to shoot twice a year and their accuracy rate is only around 33%. Just because it’s an officer shooting doesn’t mean he’s going to hit what he aims at.

  21. Lowell Fulk says:

    Who are you to stand in the way of someone using their God and Constitution given right to kill themselves? Who knows, they might have robbed a Red Lobster if they hadn’t blown their brains out. Socialist! Why must you liberals constantly attempt to keep people separated from free choice?

  22. Lowell Fulk says:

    And you’re right Eso, the many times I’ve been faced with kill or be killed in the checkout line at Chi-fil-a have been far too numerous to mention. And if I hadn’t been packing, it’s hard to tell how many millions of good red blooded mercans would have been killed. Good thing I was there with my 9mm Browning…

  23. Lowell Fulk says:

    I like their curly fries by the way…

  24. Wes says:


    I think that being afraid of something, then trying to tell other people who aren’t what to do via force of law, is obnoxious. More to the point, being afraid of concealed carry because your family might get caught in some gunfight, despite statistics being heavily against you, *is* irrational.


    In the future I would appreciate it if you were not a condescending jackass. You made far
    too many faulty assumptions about who I am. First, I never actually carry anything except when I meet people from places like craigslist. The first time I spoke to more than 200 people I had a lot of fun. The last time I feared for my life was when I got caught between two groups of armed latinos making a drug deal on Reddish Knob; I called the cops as I drove away, but a cellphone with no service doesn’t do too much when the cops are 40 minutes away.

    But I want to be very specific about something…I appreciate cops. But we do not, either legally or in reality, pay them to protect us at random watering holes downtown. I value my life and that of my family. Cops cannot respond fast enough to be proactive protection. You are obviously content to outsource your safety to somebody else. I am not. But it seems it’s not good enough for you to be personally irresponsible; you must impose it on me also.

  25. DebSF says:

    I’ve never felt physically safer in a big city than I do in Paris. Not safe from high prices, traffic, the occasional harried native, classic snooty French waiters, crowded Metro stations, con artists and pickpockets. But safe. I got kissed by the most charming guy the yesterday who tried to make me believe I had dropped an expensive ring and that he deserved the price of a cup of coffee for returning it. In NYC or DC, I’d’ve disengaged and walked away as fast as possible. In Paris, the encounter generated laughter, pigeon Franglish, much kissing, and no sense of danger at all. I knew he didn’t have a gun; it was a test of wit, not a battle of any other kind. I get all the second amendment arguments, really I do. But mock the French all you want, but this is a very livable society, including the fact that women don’t have to breastfeed in the toilet stall of the local Belks equivalent.

  26. Emmy says:

    No Wes, it isn’t irrational. Your opinion that it is, doesn’t make it so.

    The funny thing is, I’m not afraid to go into a restaurant and eat. The fact that you are, and feel the need to carry a gun when you go seems far more irrational to me. With the exception of law enforcement, I don’t understand why anyone would want to carry a gun on themselves all the time. Feeling that you might need a gun in a restaurant is what seems irrational to me. But that is my opinion just like it is yours that I’m the one who is irrational.

    However my fear of going out to eat increases if I know the number of people with a gun has possibly increased due to a change in law. I agree with Bubby when he says that faced with the actual event you (general you) are much more likely to be paralyzed with fear and unable to react so I guess I shouldn’t be worried.

    Barkley is right though, the real danger of the gun lies with the gun owner himself, and in my opinion, his family. Not a risk I’m at all willing to take over the very slight chance that someone will come into where I’m eating brandishing a gun.

  27. eso it right…

    And even if the cops get there with an active shooter, we all saw how long it took Virginia Tech and other police to handle the active shooter there, on campus.

    Wait…I thought Virginia Tech was an active “no gun” zone…how did he get the gun…oh nevermind, maybe the next person will just behead his victim.

  28. Please then, both Deb and Joe, STAY IN PARIS.

  29. Renee says:

    The reason I wouldn’t carry a gun for self-protection (well there are a LOT of reasons, including I could never shoot a person) is that if a person came into a restaurant to hold it up, and everyone dives under tables and takes cover, and I pull out my weapon to be the hero, and the robber sees my weapon, he’s likely going to freak out and shoot at me.

    I think people wield guns to feel powerful. Once multiple people are in a gun-wielding situations, and all are on equal-ground with having a weapon, what makes one more powerful is shooting the other. It’s always a power struggle, especially in a hold-up situation. I think the worst thing to do would be to escalate. I also think pulling out a weapon when a crazy person has a weapon will likely get you shot at.

    Now, if a person enters the place in order to kill everyone, that’s a different situation, but I would assume that’s much less likely than someone holding up a cashier or something similar.

    As I said before, I’m not particularly against allowing licensed concealed weapons into businesses (though I wish people weren’t carrying around weapons at all), but I am definitely against people being allowed to drink while armed. Nothing good can come of that combination.

  30. Alex Sirney says:

    Eso –

    That’s an interesting point about NYPD officers and police officers in general not necessarily being proficient with their weapons. What is considered “qualifying”? What training is available for them and citizens outside of basic qualification? Are there ranges where one can practice in a more “life-like” setting – low light, obstacles, etc?

  31. Lowell Fulk says:

    I’m not against concealed weapons, nor am I against gun ownership. I own the kind of weapons that frighten gentle folk.
    I’m really even rather ambivalent regarding the current topic of discussion. What bothers me, is that so many real issues get lost in the arguments about whether the world will be saved or lost depending solely upon whether we can carry our guns everywhere.
    Do I fear being caught in a crossfire at a restaurant? Not particularly. I don’t walk around in fear, which might explain why I don’t feel the need to be constantly armed.
    I know folks who carry due to the increased risk they face with their job or area of travel etc… This is perfectly understandable.

  32. Lowell Fulk says:

    Robert Heinlein wrote of a society which encouraged everyone to be armed in “Beyond This Horizon”…
    Dueling was a fact of life, as was genetic engineering and selective breeding.

  33. seth says:

    2 out of 3 ain’t bad

  34. FG says:

    It is ironic that people have no issue using their 1st amendment right of free speech to try to remove the 2nd amendment right.
    Like it or not, the right to keep arms is that, a right of the people. Just like the 1st, 4th, 9th & 10th amendments state “of the people”…(perhaps there are others, I’m not looking them up right now) the 2nd amendment does the same.
    No one is forcing those of you opposed to, or afraid of guns to own one. However, just as it is your right to choose to voice your opinion, we also have the same right to carry a firearm. Just as restaurant owners have the right to say “no firearms” in their establishment.

    A gun is an inanimate object capable of nothing without human interaction. Same as a knife. Are those of you afraid of guns also afraid of a knife? In the hands of a criminal, isn’t a knife a VERY dangerous weapon? I ask this because I carry a pocket knife all the time. I need it at work on a regular basis to open boxes and such. I have been in many restaurants with this dangerous weapon concealed in pocket and yet somehow have managed to never stab anyone! If I walk into a restaurant with a concealed pistol am I suddenly a threat to society?

    To Bubby, yes I have had a gun pointed at me. At the time, due to the fact I am a law abiding citizen (and all around nice guy I may add..LOL) I did not have a weapon on me. Should I have told the bad guy that he was breaking the law? The cops were called. When they arrived about 15 minutes later, the bad guy was no where to be found. With all due respect to law enforcement, they usually punish someone after the crime is committed.

  35. Dave and I agree on something! Though off topic – Virginia Tech will remain a no-gun zone, even in the aftermath.

    VT Chief Flinchum, President Charlie Steger and their “incident committee” so badly botched the response to the shootings (essentially they mopped up the gore after the shooter off-ed himself), they should have paid with their jobs. Hopefully the few remaining lawsuits will effect that outcome. They were responsible for the safety of those people and they failed miserably. I still don’t comprehend the arrogance that has these two screw-ups accepting a paycheck. In fact Charlie got a raise. And I quit sending the school donations…

  36. seth says:

    “…will effect that outcome.”


    what you wrote is “will outcome that outcome.”

    that one is a pet peeve of mine.

  37. seth says:

    (insert shot @ VT education here)

  38. Correcting common errors and grammatical mistakes in online comments is a slippery slope. You do realize you don’t use proper capitalization in any of your comments, right, Seth?

  39. I am wondering what Joe F thinks about DebSF turning out to be the Hot Babe of the streets of Paris? :-)

  40. seth says:

    but i think an inability to distinguish nouns from verbs falls well outside the bounds of boggled conjugation, characteristic typos and concious disregard of rules that don’t affect meaning.

  41. Alex Sirney says:

    Seth –

    Effect was used correctly as a verb. Bubby wrote “… will bring about that outcome.” You wrote “… will change that outcome.” (#10)

  42. Alex Sirney says:

    To get back on topic, what is the effectiveness of individuals armed with firearms in high-stress situations (which I alluded to above), taking into account training (or lack thereof)? That seems to be one of the issues that isn’t necessarily discussed. Does the ability to carry concealed change this?

  43. seth says:

    yep, you’re right. it seems like they are more or less interchangeable as verbs as long as they’re used in relation to an object. is that right?

    thanks for the correction.

    bubby, sorry for the errant grousing.

  44. Good question Alex. Personally my accuracy degrades quickly with time away from the range. Which is why I’ll take my chances outside the house, and keep the smooth-bore at the manor. Nothing says ‘get out’ like 8 pellets and a 6′ kill zone.

    I’m taking leave of this conversation. Good luck.

  45. eso says:

    As a side note, breast feeding has many health benefits and as an American Man, it’s my duty to support bare female breasts. Is there a petition to sign or something for that? ;)

  46. eso says:


    I’m not aware of any statistics for civilians you ask about. Police generally have to report and tabulate the use of force. There is no such centralized reporting for civilians. There are a few sites that collect news reports of such incidents. They are anecdotal and are generally run by pro-gun groups or individuals so I doubt they would be of interest to you.

    It also happens that someone will try to break into a house, a homeowner will appear with a gun or loudly rack the slide of a pistol or shotgun. The burglars take off for easier pickings. A crime has been averted, but no shots have been fired. This effect isn’t captured in any statistics, also.

  47. Alex Sirney says:

    Eso –

    I figured as much but wanted to ask in case there was a good repository of info out there. And I’m interested in any source if it’s accurate (and the other ones too, I suppose, but for different reasons), I understand that a lot of this falls into a gray crime area – a crime is committed or attempted, but isn’t necessarily reported to the police.

  48. eso says:

    Alex concerning accuracy and training,

    There are some ranges that promote training with popping up and moving targets, etc. I’m not aware of any such public ranges in the local area. The NRA is suppose to have one of the most state of the art ranges in the country in NoVa, but I’ve never been to it. There are a number of training sites that offer training beginning in the $500 dollar range through $1500+ for up to a week of training ( Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc ).

    The most important area is practice. Like most anything, you will respond as you have practiced. So practice well. Many people will tell you that you need to shoot a box of ammo ( 50 shots ) a month to maintain your skills. More to build skills. That sounds about right to me.
    Most police are carrying 40 S&W or 357 Sig ( VA State Police ). You’re talking ~ $25-30 a box of practice ammo, a bit less if you can find it a Walmart. The police officers I know or know of tell me they can’t consistently afford that out of their own wallet on what they are paid. There are other less expensive options, Airsoft pellets or .22 pistols, but you aren’t getting the full experience of shooting what you are carrying on a daily basis.

    There is IDPA, Internation Defensive Pistol Association, that promotes realistic training and competition using stock pistols, shooting and handling safely, hitting only the target, and stressing taking cover, etc. I know them only by reputation, the web site says there is a group around c’ville.

    The adrenaline response is a physical response. You can’t wish it away. You can manage it’s effects to some degree. Concentrate in training on large, gross motor movements. When adrenaline dumps in your body, you are going to loose a good deal of fine motor skills. In times of stress, you tend to “lock in” on one person or action. Police officers and others train after dealing with one person, look on both sides and all around you for someone else you may have not noticed because you were locked in on that one person.

  49. eso says:

    For those interested, I would recommend the book _Meditations on Violence_ by Rory Miller.

    It’s a difficult book to categorize. It’s written by a martial artist who is also a corrections officer. He walks among criminals unarmed and is in the middle of violent situations on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s not self-defense techniques, I don’t remember him dealing with the politics of guns. He talks about the psychology of defusing situations, the criminal mind, and when it is important for you to consider fighting ( when they might kill you anyway ). He talks about how he and his guards train. He talks about the adrenaline response. It’s a very wide ranging book with discrete chapters you can read one at a time then put down for a bit.
    I initially got it because he is a fellow martial artist, but there is a lot there that I think would be accessible to a lot of people. ( From memory, it’s been a bit since I’ve read it. )

  50. Renee says:

    This came up on “Google Reader Play” and reminded me of the conversation here:

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