And since we’re talking about anti-gun academics here, of course the vast majority of their proposals deal with limiting access to firearms, not alcohol.
The academic/activists at the Michael Bloomberg-funded Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions have released a new report entitled “Alcohol misuse and gun violence: an evidence-based approach for state policy” in which they call for two broad policies; first “limiting access to firearms by persons with a record of alcohol misuse”, as well as “limiting access to guns when and where alcohol is consumed.”
Each of those policies comes with a longer list of legislative agenda items, from “temporarily prohibit[ing] purchase and possession of firearms by persons convicted of two or more offenses of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated within a five-year period” to “prohibit[ing] the public carry or possession of firearms in locations where alcohol is consumed on the premises.”
We’ve already seen a couple federal judges shoot down the idea that concealed carry can be banned in all locations where alcohol is served, including U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb, who said New Jersey’s prohibition on carrying in those locations wasn’t likely to survive a legal challenge. Other courts have found that while there may be historical analogues to laws that prohibit using a gun while intoxicated, statutes that prohibit gun owners from being around alcohol when they’re lawfully armed are historical outliers that run afoul of the right to keep and bear arms.
This restriction doesn’t just fail the Bruen test. It doesn’t pass the smell test either. When my family goes out to eat I’m usually the one driving, so while Miss E may enjoy a cocktail with dinner I’m stone cold sober. Why should I or any other lawful gun owner be forced to forgo my right to protect myself and my family just because we’re dining at an establishment with a liquor license?
While the bulk of the report’s recommendations are about restricting access to guns or limiting where they can be carried, the anti-gun academics do include a few additional measures aimed at alcohol tucked away in the fine print:
1. Limiting alcohol outlet density through the use of regulatory authority (licensing and zoning)
2. Limiting the hours and days of sale when alcohol is sold
3. Increasing the price of alcohol by raising taxes
Once again we see the prohibitionist tendencies of the anti-gunners shine at work. Make booze more expensive, limit where and when it can be sold as much as possible, and hope for the best.
Look, I’m not blind to the dangers that come about when you mix guns and alcohol, or the harm that can come from misusing either of those two things by themselves. As some of you know, last year my oldest son passed away a week before his 31st birthday as a result of his lifelong battle with alcoholism. The last 14 months have been the most painful of my life, and I know that the grief that my family feels will never totally fade. I also know that the supply-side “solutions” offered up these anti-gun academics aren’t a substantive approach to dealing with alcohol misuse, whether or not there’s a firearm involved.
What’s most striking about this report is the utter lack of any educational/awareness campaign to better inform the public about the risks of mixing the two. You’d think a group of academics would be inclined to at least mention something like that in passing, but almost every one of their proposals involves new laws and new criminal penalties instead of the “harm reduction” approach so common on the left when it comes to drug use/abuse. I found this report to be just more of the same old “restrict our way to safety” approach that results in laws that are unconstitutional, ineffective, or (in many cases) both, but you can read the full report here to see for yourself how off-base their proposals are.