ALCOHOL AND GUNPOWDER
I was approached by a gentleman last week and he complimented on my column. While chatting, he asked “Jim, you ever thought about writing about people drinking while shooting?” I told him I had not and thought that would be a very good subject to discuss.
We laugh when we hear that famous line, “Hold my beer and watch this!” It conjures up mental images of somebody doing something incredibly stupid and then damaging property, getting badly hurt or, worst case scenario, both. Sometimes the results are comical, sometimes they’re tragic. You don’t need a PhD in thermonuclear dynamics to figure out what might happen when someone is handling a firearm and drinking at the same time.
I really don’t need to site examples of why handling firearms while drinking is a bad idea. Medical records are full of cases involving everything from minor injuries to death resulting from a combination of alcohol and gun play. I’m sure all of you can share at least one story that you know of. Yet, people continue to handle and shoot firearms after having a few drinks.
We hear stories all the time about auto accidents that result from impaired judgment, response time and the ability to control a vehicle because of alcohol. If you’re inclined to consume alcohol and then handle and shoot your gun, I have a question. What makes you think you can control a gun any better than you can control a vehicle when you’re three sheets in the wind? If you think you can, you’re thinking wrong.
Let’s assume you do this when you’re alone. There’s nobody around to be injured. At the least, you might blow out the windshield in your truck. At the worst, you might blow out your own leg. Now you’re on the ground bleeding out and there’s nobody to help you. Oh, that’s brilliant, Einstein.
On the other hand, if there are others around, you endanger all that are present. If you want to risk your life playing with a gun while your head is bad, that’s your business. However, when you do that around me, it becomes my business. And when you endanger my life with a gun while you’re drinking, I’m going to leave like Superman, “Faster than a speeding bullet”. And as soon as I’m clear, I’m also going to call the Sheriff’s Office.
I’m sure there’s somebody out there thinking “I’ve done that a thousand times and never had a problem.” Yet. Children have played with matches many times over and not started fires. Yet. Eventually, you will have one too many and think you’re still in control. And then you’ll wake up in a holding cell to find out you killed somebody.
I have no problem with someone enjoying an adult beverage. I do myself from time to time. But before I do, the guns are put away and stay that way until another time. I know what alcohol does and I’m not about to allow it to impair my judgment while I’m handling firearms.
Next time you decide to have a few and then get your gun out, don’t. Trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster.