Terrance Heath

From DUI To PUI

Filed By Terrance Heath | October 15, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Curry Todd, drunk driving, gun owners, PUI, stupid politicians, Tennessee

Typical, isn’t it? The guy who spearheaded the fight to legalize guns in bars — at least in Tennessee — has been arrested for driving under the influence. That makes two things in his car that were loaded, because he was also packing heat.

A Tennessee lawmaker who was the lead sponsor of a law allowing permit holders to bring guns into bars has been arrested on DUI charges and possession of a gun while under the influence, The Tennessean reports.

Rep. Curry Todd, a Republican state representative from Collierville, was stopped by police in Nashville on Tuesday, failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer, according to court documents.

The newspaper says a loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special was found in a holster stuffed between the driver’s seat and the center console.

“The subject was obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun,’ ‘the arresting officer says in his report.

Rep. Curry couldn’t be reached for comment, by the way. I just bet he couldn’t.

Curry’s gone from DUI to PUI (Possession of a handgun while under the influence).

Ever since that town in Kansas, I suppose we should be used to gratuitous lawmaking where guns and conservatives are concerned. Arizona almost allowed guns on campus, but the governor vetoed it, but other states may soon follow suit. Virginia students will be treated to a series of “campus safety” demonstrations organized by a group advocating guns on campus. Now there’s even a movement advocating guns in church.

Ohio legalized guns in bars this summer, as did Virginia. When taken in context with an utter lack of any agreement on what constitutes “reasonable restrictions” regarding guns or gun ownership, the push to allow guns in more places makes me wonder how many different ways this could go wrong.

Guns in bars seems like just asking for trouble. So, you’ve got people in place where they’re more than likely drinking. So, their inhibitions are lowered, their judgments impaired, and their reflexes dulled. And you think it’s a grand idea for them to be armed? I’m not saying everyone who drinks gets drunk, but it still seems like a recipe for having barroom brawls becoming barroom shootings.

Not that it couldn’t happen without guns in bars, but the guy who’s got to go back to his car to get his gun before he can shoot the guy he’s pissed with at least has some time to reconsider while he’s walking and fumbling with his keys. Maybe even enough time for someone to lock the door behind him and call the police. Definitely enough time for those patrons who’d rather not be in the middle of boozy firefight to head for the exits.

My guess is that the gun lobby’s answer on barroom shootings would either be something like “That’s the price of freedom,” or “That’s the risk you take with liberty,” or that some other bar patron can now draw and shoot the would-be first shooter before he gets off a round. (Which takes me back to impaired judgment, dulled reflexes, etc.)

But here’s what I wonder. We can require people to be licensed in order to drive a car, which means passing a test. We can require that those licenses be renewed. We can limit where and how fast they can drive those cars. So, what’s the deal when it comes to guns?


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Interesting thoughts.

Rick Elliott | October 16, 2011 2:00 AM

What's the deal? Packing in bars gives the NRA another issue to help them continue to collect even more money than the millions they already receive in donations. It also blows more smoke to draw attention away from the fleecing of the American people by the 1% at the top and rapacious corporations.

Tall Stacey | October 16, 2011 5:34 PM

With few exceptions states require a person be licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Those permits must be renewed periodically. There are limitations as to where those weapons may be carried - just like the motor vehicle. But just like motor vehicle regulations, and most every other regulation, weapons conditions occasionally get ignored, especially by those who don’t deem it necessary to obey the law in the first place, to have a driver’s license, or weapons permit, or observe the public decency statutes.

I don’t see in the article whether he was properly permitted to carry a weapon at all. But it wouldn’t really make any difference would it? This guy’s crime was his irresponsibility. He was drunk, in public, at the wheel of a motor vehicle, and in possession of a weapon. He was in violation of public intoxication laws, vehicular laws, weapons permit violations is the least of his problems. The crime is his callous disrespect for the law.

I carry. I have for years, and I have a County Sherriff issued permit to do so. In order to obtain the permit I had to demonstrate both my need and my responsibility. My reason to carry is personal protection. It is a defensive tool, just like the pepper spray I also carry.

In the 40 some years I have carried, I have not shot anybody. I’ve not even displayed my weapon to anyone, or threatened anyone. That is responsibility. The only time it comes out most days is to be placed in the security lock box when I enter the Courthouse. We are not cowboys waving our guns around, we are responsible citizens actively participating in our own defense.

I live in the country. The average response time for a police call is over 3/4 hour – on a good day. I am just as likely to have a bear waiting on my porch when I get home at night as I am to have a lost hunter (with a gun). I am a non-assimilating transsexual woman who has been attacked just for being who I am. In my work I regularly carry large amounts of money and/or expensive electronic equipment at odd hours and strange places, travel a lot at night, usually by myself. Why shouldn’t I carry protection?

And on occasion late at night I stop at a tavern to ask directions, use the bathroom, or have a bite to eat or a drink. Just because I am sober and minding my own business does not mean that everyone else is. I carry for defense, what better place to be prepared for the worst than in the lion’s den? I have been accosted with a suddenly broken beer bottle about my perceived orientation and/or gender identity, have you?

There is an old slogan: “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”. The fact is that I have seen weapons in bars. Some self-styled cowboy or Dirty Harry without a permit doesn’t care whether it’s any more illegal for him to carry in a bar than anyplace else. If he is going to pack, he will, and he will then show it off. So what happens then is that everyone else becomes his victim because they are unarmed to defend themselves. That is not a position I care to be in. It really doesn’t make much difference, gun, knife, broken bottle, pool cue, if someone chooses to go off, he will, with whatever weapon is at hand.

Personally I think you should be supporting those of us who are prepared to protect not only ourselves, but you too. I am no martyr. But I am no victim either. I may be big and dumb and blonde, but I am smart enough to leave at the first sign of trouble. Unfortunately others are not always smart enough to allow my retreat. I have used the pepper spray in my right hand. My pistol has remained at the ready in my left. I hope it stays that way.

But consider this. How often do we read of people being attacked leaving the relatively controlled environment of the bar, walking home or to their car? The gang that attacks the fags, knifes the tranny, beats and runs over Mr. Boyd in the parking lot, ties Matthew Shepherd to a fence..... how might these events have been different if the victims were armed? To become an unarmed victim simply because I wanted to enter a liquor dispensing establishment doesn’t seem right. I said earlier that when I enter the Courthouse, they have a locker to place my weapon in, and they scan everyone so that I know I am protected from others. If they want to disarm everyone in a bar, then disarm everyone. But don’t necessitate that I be disarmed when I leave! Make me prove my sobriety to retrieve my weapon, I don't have a problem with that, if I am drunk it's my fault. But to be disarmed otherwise is to make me an unwilling victim to those who will violate the law to violate my rights to peaceful existence.

I wonder if the Ohio law allows a bar's workers to be charged with a crime if they over serve someone who is packing a pistol? Something like accessory to murder?