Just when the number of mass shootings has gotten to a point that it’s difficult to keep them straight, someone comes up with yet another genius idea. And by “genius idea,” I mean one of the most reckless, most ridiculous, and most purposeless ideas ever to hit the ether. Some businessmen in Oklahoma City plan to open a gun range that serves alcohol. I’d think it wasn’t necessary to say it out loud, but it’s an incredibly, breathtakingly bad idea. Here’s why.
Guns and alcohol don’t mix.
Remember what I said about it shouldn’t be necessary to say it aloud? Well, this one goes double, and no, I’m not talking the double shots that will be available that the range, both of the alcoholic and the automatic weapon variety. Considering that alcohol consumption in sites that are not bars can increase your risk of being shot, imagine alcohol consumption in a place that’s, by its nature, full of guns. And possibly intoxicated gun owners. When people drink, tempers flare, attention to detail wanes, risk-taking increases, all setting the stage for a tragedy rather than a good time.
Intoxication decreases reflexes and increases response time.
If driving while intoxicated is illegal, shouldn’t we be banning the use of machine guns while sopping up the booze? Your processing of information slows way, way down when you’re drinking. That’s one thing if the information you’re processing is the phone number of a woman you’re chatting up in a bar; it’s another thing entirely when it’s whether the safety of the gun you’re waving around is engaged, or whether the firearm is loaded.
It’s a bad idea to link alcohol and guns.
While the planned range in Oklahoma, which owners are calling a “guntry club,” says they will deny entry to the gun range to anyone who has left the range to drink, it’s not clear how they will deter people who start out at the bar and then head for the range. Regardless, the concept links alcohol and guns as though having the two in the same space is no more harmful than having drinks at the 19th hole. It’s likely to relax attitudes not only at the drinking range, but when people go home. Given that gun accidents have nearly surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death among young people, relaxing attitudes regarding gun safety is the last thing we need.