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Places I Won’t be Going Back To, #3359

So I can’t light a cigarette in a bar in Arizona, but you can walk into one with a loaded gun, get completely trolleyed and be fully defended by a state law that doesn’t remotely consider this a dangerous and inevitably tragic situation.

Around 80 people die by gunfire per day in the United States. That’s about fifteen deaths per one hundred thousand people, per annum. In 2005, the number of children killed by gunfire would have filled 120 public school classrooms. Since 11 September 2001, somewhere in the region of 220,000 people have died by gunfire in America.

Published in brainjuice


  1. Krazmo Krazmo

    Feh. If they let YOU in at all, yer lucky.

    Also, it amuses me to read British hand-wringing over US gun laws. You don’t live here or vote here, but you think you know whats best for us.

    I beg to differ.

  2. And typically, Americans are afraid of these kinds of statistics so they buy their own guns to defend themselves.

  3. But But But we need our guns to protect ourselves from other people with guns!

  4. Wait… please stop there.

    As a veteran of more online gun threads than I care to count, let me tell you how this argument goes, give or take:

    Anti: Think of the children. Guns are dangerous.
    Pro: Yeah, and bad guys have them. Everyone should be armed.
    Anti: But people are stupid. No one should have guns.
    Pro: But governments have guns. You can’t trust the government.
    Anti: Sure you can. It’s your neighbors you can’t trust. And besides [$disturbing statistic]/
    Pro: Well [$equally disturbing statistic].
    Anti: You obviously want children to be slaughtered.
    Pro: You’re obviously a coward who would rather see children assaulted than keep them safe.

    Point, counterpoint, ad nauseum.

    This is an issue that raises hackles in people usually reserved for religious arguments; once someone is firm, no number will change their mind. Neither will reason. It’s not a position, it’s a belief.

  5. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    Well, they let me into Arizona the first time: did a signing in Tempe two years ago. Right in the middle of one of those crazy “micro-storms.” The drive from San Diego was fantastic, though.

    Always nice to hear from the ‘death is good’ lobby. Isn’t “You don’t live here or vote here, but you think you know whats best for us” actually American foreign policy? (As opposed to British foreign policy, which is usually a tiny voice saying “Would you terribly mind not doing that anymore? Please?”)

  6. D D

    The first comment is sarcasm, it has to be – and as such rather a nice laugh too. If not, also a good laugh if rather more ‘laugh at’ than ‘laugh with’.

    I need some Tom Waits to counter this urge to go on typing.

  7. Hyperandum Hyperandum

    I live in Tennessee. The law actually specifies that you can’t both carry and drink, you can just carry where other people are drinking. Most bars are actually banning them on their own. We still have a few bars here where you can smoke too. So you can drink and smoke or smoke and carry a gun but you can’t drink and carry a gun.

  8. If you think the gun laws in the US affect only the citizens of the United States, then you are delusional. Gangs from Rio Grande to the Patagonia buy guns that are stolen or bought in the United States.

  9. Keith Keith

    In 2005, the number of children killed by gunfire would have filled 120 public school classrooms.

    Our classrooms are overcrowded, so this “problem” you speak of is really a solution in disguise. Beats spending money to hire more teachers. That way lies socialism.

  10. Orbulas Orbulas

    It’s hard enough to masturbate and drive with your hands free, let alone masturbating and driving while holding a gun a beer and a cigarette. Now, I’m sure you wondering “Orb, what does road jacking have to do with smoking, drinking and packing heat?” and I can’t tell you how much it delights me to make people wonder such things.
    Orbulas B. Harding away!

  11. Yes I am an American citizen.
    I’m a strong believer in the right to bear arms and the constitution, but also believe gun control is necessary.
    You need a license to drive a car – you should have a license for a gun.
    Its simple, if you’re old enough, and you can pass a test that you know proper safety and use, you register pay a fee, get a license.

    Some cars are street legal, others require a special license and inspection, and still others are restricted from public roads. Some cargo is harzardous and requires a special license.

    IE: so a regular license is ok for a honda, or ford, or even a hummer,
    but if I want to drive a large truck or bus I need a special license,
    and a race car or a tank is out of the question on the street.
    Flammable fluids or cargo requires another license and insepctions.

    So whats wrong with these kind of restrictions on guns:
    You can get a license for a handgun or rifle,
    but if you want something a little more highpowered or to carry a concealed weapon you need a special license,
    and a fully automatic or a brocket launcher should be out of the question.
    Armor peircing rounds or silencers should require special clearences.

    Why some people object to these kind of restrictions for guns is nonsense.

    But I think more to the point of Warren’s post – that carrying a gun under the influence should be illegal outright. I’m not allowed to drive home from the bar, but I can carrying a gun in?

    There are a lot of US states with bizzare antiquated laws that need to go.
    And a lot of issues that people try to make black and white, that aren’t that simple, but politics gets in the way.

    I would like to apologise now for being sucked into a gun control debate, when really the point is that some US states should be avoided altogether, and I agree.

  12. I’m all for you being able to light a cigarette in a bar in Arizona (or anywhere else).
    I’m also all for being able to carry a gun if you choose.
    Most gun deaths in the US are in the inner cities and are due to drug wars caused by stupid drug laws.
    I was in Tenerife last year, and was amazed and bemused at seeing people smoking everywhere, and drinking in the streets.
    what amazes me more is that countries with socialized medicine let people smoke at all, since that is a cause of many health problems.
    Maybe the rest of the world is saner in some ways than the US.

  13. Orbulas Orbulas

    All my very liberal civil liberties bones say that guns, like most nearly everything, are things one should have a right to have. My practical “shit I love in Philly” bones say, I should have a gun, if only to protect myself from other peoples guns. And of coarse I can appreciate their recreational uses; I can appreciate the novelty of target practice or just shootin’ shit for fun with a great big gat like Hunter S. Thomson. And historically they’ve been a handy equalizer against oppression. And, lets face it, they’re totally awesome when they’re pretend, and they shoot pretend bullets that maim and kill pretend people.
    But just looking at the facts and statistics (or just reading the newspaper or watching the news)and compare the US to other developed nations with stricter gun control, I can firmly say that we need much, much stricter gun control, and many, many less guns. Most other weapons are also things not to have, with the exception of melee weapons, I think we could all appreciate the fun of taking a mace to a bar, or maybe swingin’ a pair of giant scissors, or a razor boomerang!… you should be allowed to murder people if you can do it with a really cool melee weapon. Razor boomerang sprees are not a crime!

  14. Lorenzosama Lorenzosama

    @Rev. Bob.
    Why are you trying to take away my brocket launcher?

  15. Accuser Accuser

    Damn, was that signing in Arizona two years ago? God I’m getting old quickly.

    Anyway, you think the people who demand to carry their guns into bars are crazy – I intend to keep going to bars here without so much as a taser. THAT’S crazy.

  16. Jared Jared

    My problem when people use death statistics like this:

    Okay, we can all admit, no matter what side of the debate you’re on, that innocents caught in gunfire, school shootings and the like, are really fucked up and shouldn’t happen. So, to try to prevent it, we take away the guns. My worry with that is: if that happens, does the amount of deaths decrease, or does the amount of deaths from other weapons increase? Taking away a gun doesn’t take away the want to kill some fucker, it just takes away a weapon.

  17. Eli Green Eli Green

    Easy solution: if you are a bar owner in Tennessee or Arizona simply ban guns on your property. Enforce this rule with a gun. It’s the American way.

  18. Daniel Daniel

    It isn’t that there are more shootings in the US than the rest of the world, we just have better aim.

    (As a gun owner I personally think that 80% of the people in the US that have guns, shouldn’t have them. I should probably be included in that 80%.)

  19. rsw rsw

    It’s worthwhile to note that while carrying into a bar is now legal in AZ and TN, drinking while carrying is not. If you are carrying you can walk into the bar, but you cannot drink.

  20. Ace Ace

    It’s illegal to carry a gun onto school grounds. Yet we had Columbine and Virginia Tech.

    The gun control groups (Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center, et al.) say that easy access to guns leads to mayhem and mass deaths and all that. However, I’ve yet to hear of mayhem and mass deaths and all that taking place at a gun show or at a gun shop where there is clearly easy access to guns.

    Can someone better schooled in the matter explain this to me?

  21. George George

    The second amendment is in place so the American peoples can protect themselves from a government gone wrong. That and only that. What Warren has wittily pointed out is but a single mote of shit in the landfill of all that is wrong with our government today. It shames me to be American when people react to such points with an “I’m gonna shoot British Warren Ellis for having the audacity to point this out” attitude.

    Query: In America police carry guns, it is illegal for them to carry blackjacks. In England police carry blackjacks not guns(as is my understanding). Per Capita, which nation has more deaths by guns?

  22. I’m afraid of Americans…

    I’m afraid of the world…

    I’m afraid I can’t help it…

    I was born in Texas and I’ve lived here all my life, never owned a gun and never had the impulse to. I’ve always sort of felt like an alien here.

  23. Rey Rey

    “Guns are for amateurs.” – Brock Sampson.

  24. Anonymous Anonymous

    Warren, I guess you’re a fucking hypocrite and all the shit you wrote about freedom in Transmet is complete bullshit. I was going to read it, but now I’ve reconsidered. Honestly, I truly, sincerely, don’t give a fuck how many people die because of guns, any more than I do because of car accidents or heart attacks (both kill far more people on their own than guns). Should we ban Cars and McDonalds too? It’s ok if you want to give up your own rights, but don’t you fucking DARE to try and take away mine, or you will see just what the 2nd Amendment was intended for.

  25. anonymous 2 anonymous 2


    You are such a retarded carrot, your the reason guns are dangerous. PARANOID wtf! Many Americans need to wake up an smell the air because no one is trying to get you. Al Quadea is mostly made up bullshit to control you because fear makes you needy for some big brother figure to protect you. Humans are equal, the world is a big playground full of bullies and victims and when is the last time you saw bullying in school and thought “yeah thats the way to go about life” Governments need to stop getting their tacktics from Kindergarden.

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