Guns Are Just Plain Bad For Business

24 Feb


Here’s another bit of anecdotal evidence concerning the gun control debate in the USA. Should we really have more guns or fewer guns? Which would make us safer? Well, if you want to ask the real experts just consider what happened when Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar & Grill” opened in mid-December in Woodbridge, Va., outside Washington, D.C..

It seems that even though Virginia’s gun laws permit firearms in dining establishments Mr. Keith’s bar and grill has instituted a no-guns policy, which has caused some would-be customers to say that they won’t patronize the restaurant, and the restaurant’s Facebook page has drawn thousands of comments on the decision. One post announced, “If I have to be a defenseless victim to go there, NO WAY!” And another post added, “No guns allowed? Why does he [Toby Keith] hate America so much?

To be fair, other posts supported the decision to make Mr. Keith’s restaurant a “gun free” zone. And in fact although Virginia’s laws allow the carrying of weapons out in the open as well as concealed firearm permits, Carrying a concealed weapon and consuming alcohol in the state of Virginia is a Class 2 misdemeanor. So go figure. Bringing your gun into a bar pretty much means that you’re asking for trouble.

But more importantly, if you continue reading about why Mr. Keith decided not to allow guns in his restaurant, even though the good citizens of Virginia are allowed by law to bring them there, you will find that his spokespeople cited “insurance regulations” as the main reason for their decision…

And that’s really all you need to know, because insurance companies are in the business of making money (and you thought it was insurance) and as such they really, really, really hate having to pay out on any insurance claims…ever… And since statistics and mathematics and actuary tables figure quite prominently into how insurance companies decide on the probability of the company having to pay out on a claim to one of their insured, they know that nothing says trouble like a person carrying a gun.

Statistics tell us beyond any doubt that if a person carries a gun he or she is much more likely to shoot someone or get shot than a person who doesn’t carry a gun. And that means someone is going to get hurt, and that means someone is going to get sued, and that means that an insurance company is going to have to pay money to someone somewhere and that is bad! Forget about the fact that people are going to die or get hurt. If it means that an insurance company has to pay out on a claim, then 2nd amendment rights be damned! No guns!

Because guns ARE dangerous. And more guns DOES equal more violence…not less. It’s in the numbers and the statistics and any insurance company knows that. Virginia is 17th in the U.S.when it comes to gun violence and Mr. Keith’s restaurant is located outside Washington D.C. which is #1 in gun violence! So what would you expect at a bar where everyone might decide to bring a gun and then have a few drinks? Détente?…because everyone is armed? Then you’re no insurance company. They do their research and that is why Toby Keith’s place will be gun free.

Besides, if you do some research of your own about the “wild west” of days gone by, and check on the strategies of some of the most famous lawmen of that time, like Wyatt Earp, you’ll discover that when they were hired by distraught boom-town officials who wanted to stem the violence that was plaguing their citizens and townsfolk, The very first law enacted was always, “No Guns within town limits!” Wyatt Earp and his contemporaries didn’t hand out guns to make towns safer. They took away the guns! They made their towns “gun free zones”.

And it worked great. That’s why the west isn’t wild anymore. It’s such a simple concept that the very idea that we are even having a debate in this country over whether we should have more guns or fewer guns is proof positive that we have all gone stark raving mad! Oh, and by the way, did you notice while reading this article that our nation’s capital is the most dangerous place in our nation?! Imagine what other countries must think? We have all of the nuclear weapons! Who among us in the USA would advocate for giving all of the other countries some of our nukes so that the world would then be a safer place in which to live?

I guess maybe the other countries would…but would that make all of us safer?

The lesson of Toby Keith’s bar and grill is: If only we loved each other like we love our money…any insurance company could tell you how that would work out…

31 Responses to “Guns Are Just Plain Bad For Business”

  1. Jennifer Barricklow February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Interesting points. Why is it that everyone having guns makes the world safer, but everyone have nuclear weapons doesn’t?

  2. Jennifer Barricklow February 24, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    (Oops, typo — should read “everyone having nuclear weapons.” Sorry!)

  3. 3boxesofbs February 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm #


    I would be interested in knowing where you found the statistics about :
    Statistics tell us beyond any doubt that if a person carries a gun he or she is much more likely to shoot someone or get shot than a person who doesn’t carry a gun.

    I follow this subject closely and don’t remember seeing such information. Especially since many states like Texas prohibit concealed carry license holders information from being made public; I would find it difficult to believe comprehensive information is available.

    Unless you only count criminals carrying firearms.

    • gpicone February 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      The University of Pennsylvania has published a study that analyzed 677 shootings and found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the study team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher. One of the latest studies was a meta-review published in 2011 by David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. The most recent study is a 2014 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine…its overall conclusion is: “Access to firearms is associated with risk for completed suicide and being the victim of homicide.” There are many other studies out there. I like to reference those that are conducted and/or sponsored by independent universities or medical centers that are looking to answer questions that will help to improve our public health rather than those that are created or conducted to support a preconceived ideology for either side of the gun debate.

      • 3boxesofbs February 25, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

        Care to provide a link to that study?
        It sounds like the infamous Kellermann study of home defense versus being injured with a firearm. You know, the one where he excluded every use of a firearm in self defense that didn’t end up with someone dead.

        Hemenway included that Kellerman study in his newest report by the way.

        Color me unimpressed with the ‘research’ I’ve seen.

  4. polaris299 February 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    So the people of Virginia are permitted to carry concealed weapons. Good for them. While I think the whole idea defiles any sort of reason, I am not going to go into the relative pros and cons of having every Tom Dick and Jane wandering about with uncontrollable explosive devices on them.

    Part of the allure of being from the US is that you have freedom to do as you please, when you please for what ever reason you please (especially if you live in Kansas and preface anything with Freedom of Religion). Mr Toby Keith is exercising his freedom to choose to have his establishment gun free. Simple as that. He is not forcing his beliefs on anyone, he is not forcing anyone to give up their manhood, he does not hate America. If anyone chooses to enter his establishment, they choose to do so without a firearm. If they do not wish to leave the fire arm outside, they are free to choose another establishment to dine at. How American can you get?

  5. westwickletimes February 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    I think gun advocates assume that if people aren’t killing people with guns then they’ll kill them with something else, which just isn’t true. Look at the figures below:

    US murders in a year uk murders in one year
    Total 13,000 Total 651
    Shooting 68% shooting 5%
    Stab 13% Stab 39%
    Blunt force 4% Blunt force 8%
    Beating 6% Beating 23%

    So gun advocates would say: ‘The Brits must just like stabbing and beating each other to death’…..not so. Look what happens when you remove the shootings.

    US UK
    Total 4200 total 612
    Stab 40% stab 41%
    Blunt 12% blunt 9%
    Beat 17% beat 24%

    When you remove the shootings the percentages are almost the same. The gun murders suffered each year in America are extra killings that would not have happened if the guns weren’t there.

    I just wish people who advocate for guns would be honest and admit they don’t care that thousands of people die because of their right to own a gun. It’s a valid argument, and not that as callous as it sounds. We all accept the annual road deaths for the convenience of owning a car!

    • westwickletimes February 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      Sorry, the columns went out of line.

    • 3boxesofbs February 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm #


      Of course the raw numbers rarely tell the true scope of things. Using a per capita basis makes more sense. In the U.K. their homicide rate is approximately 1.7 per 100,000 ours is 5.5. Still bad.

      Of course in the U.K. they don’t count a homicide until someone has been convicted, pled guilty or the case closed through death of the murder. Greatly skews the rates.

      And if you are going to make international comparisons (always a very tricky idea ) why not look at Gun Control Paradise aka Mexico. Their homicide rate is twice our 11.0 per 100,000 despite only have one legal gun store in the country.

      I just wish people who advocate for guns would be honest and admit they don’t care that thousands of people die because of their right to own a gun.

      There will always be a risk and associated deaths due to an item. But….and this important, it isn’t the tool. Violence is the issue and your very statistics show that to be true; Americans are just more effectively homicidal then the U.K. but not as much as Jamaica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico etc. People will find a way; or do you forget that the terrorists on 9/11 used box cutters and airplanes?

      Bob S.

      3 Boxes of BS

      • westwickletimes February 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

        Murder in the majority of cases is an impulsive crime, guns are the low hanging fruit of killing tools and they are invariably lethal. Countries like Jamaica and Mexico are just not similar in culture to North America and Western Europe to make a comparison. By your logic it shouldn’t be a problem to allow people to own hand grenades, rocket launchers or nuclear weapons. ‘it isn’t the tool’. Also, I know that a lot of media sources are saying that UK records murder rates in the way you say. But it’s not actually true.

        My point was if you take away the gun crime, UK and US murder rates- and method of murder- are fairly similar. Gun murders in the US are EXTRA murders that otherwise would not occur without the massive amount of guns out there.No one in the UK is talking about wanting to relax gun laws apart from a few right wing journalists. It’s obvious why.

  6. Dom DiFrancesco February 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    This is a great post. Arizona is very much like Virginia with the exception that Arizonans think this is still the wild wild west (guess what, it is 2014). Open carry is permitted, while concealed carry requires an easily obtainable permit, too easy in my opinion. Where I come from you had gun purchase limits, no open carry and you had to show verifiable proof of an imminent threat to your life to get a concealed carry permit and even with that it was difficult and guess what, we survived and didn’t feel in danger going into a restaurant or bar without our side arms. Our country has gone out of control in my opinion.

  7. janebardwell February 25, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Lord, I could kiss you for this post! I have so many detractors for my views against private firearms ownership… I just get mad when I see on Facebook a challenge to “pass it on if you agree, that ‘Guns don’t kill people; people kill people…’ ” And that cliche used in defense of 2nd Amendment rights.

    Just ask the parents of 9 year old Christina Taylor-Green, who was shot and killed in Tucson in 2011, while waiting to meet Gabrielle Giffords in a Safeway parking lot. Of course the gun that killed her didn’t do so without help, but had no gun been available to the stalker who was infatuated by Ms. Giffords, that child would be alive today.

    Perhaps guns were a necessary part of life on the frontier, but they have no place in the hands of citizens today.

  8. lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 2:19 am #

    “Statistics tell us beyond any doubt that if a person carries a gun he or she is much more likely to shoot someone or get shot than a person who doesn’t carry a gun”

    And more likely to be victimized by a person who is bigger, stronger, crazier, or has a gun.

    Fact is that people who get concealed carry licenses are no more likely to be arrested for a firearms violation than a sworn police officer. People who get these licenses have proven themselves now over decades to be awesomely responsible and law abiding.

    In every state when concealed carry was brought up in the legislature there were predictions that blood would run in the street. Fender benders would become shoot outs.

    Guess what? Didn’t happen. Did not happen. Period.


    • gpicone February 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      Well, I guess if you consider 4 teenagers shot at in a van over loud music with one being killed not constituting “blood running in the street” or as an isolated incident that is not a big deal nor likely to happen somewhere else (like in a movie theater where a man is using his cell phone and is shot by a fellow movie goer who is carrying a concealed weapon) nor likely to happen all that often to bother you and so can be considered negligible homicides…then I guess they don’t happen and you are correct.

      • 3boxesofbs February 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

        And how is that different from 4 people shot by gang members in gun control paradise Chicago?

        Or people being murdered in L.A. day in and day out? I find it hypocritical that anti-rights cultists pay attention to the few deaths attributable to Concealed Carry license holders while ignoring the vast bulk of the homicides in America.

      • lwk2431 February 26, 2014 at 12:52 am #

        Some incidents are going to happen no matter what. Police probably killed more people illicitly in the last year and got away with it. In Chicago police shoot at some guy and wound 8 innocent people standing in the general vicinity last year. A cop in NYC is out on his bachelor’s party with friends, is drunk, gets turned away from a club by a bouncer. Cop comes back a little later and guns down the bouncer claiming self defense. His fellow cops swear its the truth (and they were drunk too).

        Cops, I think it was in Californica, see a kid with what looks iike a semi-auto rifle and _almost_ immediately shoot him dead. Here in Texas police shoot down a mentally disturbed person and a lot of people see it as totally unjustified. Washington D.C. cops shoot a mother in a car not long ago. Facts are still not too clear on that as to whether she was enough threat to gun down like that.

        Part of the reason you think “blood is running in the street” from law abiding citizens (as opposed to inner city hip hop thugs and drug dealers) is the media works overtime to make you think so.

        If the press covered police the same way you would probably be down at the station carrying a sign and protesting. Generally cops only get in big trouble shooting someone if they are members of a protected racial group.

        But statistically given the _millions_ of people carrying concealed handguns the number of real incidents are miniscule.

        “a man is using his cell phone and is shot by a fellow movie goer who is carrying a concealed weapon”

        That guy was a retired cop which gave him the right to carry a concealed handgun. He didn’t get a concealed carry license like most of us have to.

        Again, I think our perception is being highly manipulated. As witness to that I hear about just about everything bad that happens with a gun on TV, but I have to more often than not read The American Rifleman (NRA mag) to see reporting of citizens who successfully defended themselves or their families with guns.

        You think that might have something to do with it? If the media covered probably 1% of those incidents you would be singing the praise of guns. That is how propaganda works.


  9. makagutu February 25, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    There definitely is a problem here. When people have to walk around with weapons, concealed or otherwise, the message must be they are feeling insecure. Why not address the issue of insecurity than supply every Tom, Dick and Harry with a gun?

    • lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      “When people have to walk around with weapons, concealed or otherwise, the message must be they are feeling insecure. ‘”

      In psychology there is the very common situation of people projecting on others their own very real problems. Maybe it is your insecurity that is the problem? Maybe you are seeing that on other people as a reflection of your own deeper insecurity?


      • makagutu February 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

        Interesting question.
        I don’t feel insecure even though insecurity is a real problem where I live. I believe in a functional society where citizens pay taxes to be used to pay the police, the government should have monopoly on violence or they have no business being in office if they can’t provide security.
        The moment I have to walk with my own gun, there is a problem and is a moment to think seriously about moving to the next secure place.
        Thanks for asking.

      • makagutu February 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

        Is it your educated opinion that a society where everyone is armed is a more secure environment?

      • lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

        makagutu wrote:

        “I believe in a functional society where citizens pay taxes to be used to pay the police, the government should have monopoly on violence or they have no business being in office if they can’t provide security.”

        Don’t actually know where you are, maybe Australia?

        Ok, here are the facts. In the U.S. the police have NO legal obligation to protect you as an individual. They have some sort of “duty” to protect society as a whole, but you cannot sue them (and win) if they fail to protect you as an individual, and even if they fail due to gross negligence. You can’t sue a city in the U.S. and expect to win because the police failed to protect you.

        People have tried and to the best of my knowledge no one has won a penny from a government for the police failing to protect them.

        Now, why don’t you check in your country? Ok? Can you sue a city or the police if they fail to protect you? Yes? No? If you can’t they your idea about them providing security to you as an individual is sheer nonsense.

        What the government _should_ have is a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force in society. Retaliatory is like them arresting someone, trying them, and putting them in jail as punishment for violating the rights of others. Retaliatory is not the same as defensive use of force which all human beings should have as a basic human right.

        Let me give you a simple example. I come home and find my home has been broken into. I suspect my neighbor so I barge into his house with a gun, force him to let me search his house, etc – acting like police with a warrant. Only the police should be able to do that (and with appropriate protections like requiring warrants and probable cause).

        But let’s say someone pulls a knife and starts to attack me. It is not retaliation if I shoot him to save my life. It is defensive.

        Government should only have a monopoly on the initiation of retaliatory force. Individuals should always have the right to use force in self defense, and as folks in the Ukraine are learning, it is helpful to have the means (i.e. guns) to resist illegitimate government. I read that they were already proposing creating their own 2nd Amendment.

        “The moment I have to walk with my own gun, there is a problem and is a moment to think seriously about moving to the next secure place.”

        I have a great little article on my blog called “A Nation of Cowards” by Jeffrey Snyder. Read that and can get a pretty good idea of my opinion of your view.



        The moment I have to walk with my own gun, there is a problem and is a moment to think seriously about moving to the next secure place.
        Thanks for asking.

      • lwk2431 February 26, 2014 at 1:03 am #

        makagutu wrote:

        “Is it your educated opinion that a society where everyone is armed is a more secure environment?”

        Where a large majority of law abiding citizens are armed, yes. That is exactly what the Founders of the U.S. believed and one reason for the 2nd Amendment. They thought such an environment was more “secure” from _both_ criminals and government.

        In those days there was an idea that every able bodied man not a criminal, or insane, had a fundamental duty to bear arms to defend the community. And they were expected to get together and train from time to time and to bear the expense if they were able.

        But the fact is that such participation is tedious, expensive, and it eventually fell out of fashion. People started to think that maybe the police had the responsibility to protect them (and a lot of people think that today).

        The concealed carry movement in the U.S. seems to be re-invigorating the idea of citizens helping protect the community. The problem is that though there are now millions of people doing so in the U.S. – and I am one – there are not nearly enough, yet. But women are buying handguns like hotcakes these days so there is hope.

        when I was kid it was almost unheard of. Now in about 2-3 decades the majority of states have a “shall issue” concealed carry law (“shall issue” means the state has no discretion in issuing a license or permit if you meet the statutory requirements). I expect to see many millions more get these in the coming years, especially women.

        I think it was science fiction author Robert Heinlein who once said that “an armed society is a polite society.” I fully support the belief that any citizen who qualifies should get a permit. I think the government ought to give tax breaks for doing it. It advances the greater good of society.


  10. The Crazy Crone February 25, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    I watched an interview between Piers Morgan and a gun advocate and what stuck me forcibly was how angry the pro-gun advocate was. Off. His. Rocker. And the idea that because you don’t want guns in your establishment means you hate America is quite ludicrous. It just seems there is so much anger and hate these days and guns enable you to act on that. I am Australian (not living there any more) where guns are not permitted except in certain circumstances (like needing a gun if you live on a farm) and people do very nicely unarmed. People overseas shake their head at America’s addiction to guns, especially given the high mortality rates through gun use.

    • lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      ” the pro-gun advocate was. Off. His. Rocker. ”

      Probably why Piers, soon to be unemployed, picked that particular person.

      Back when the original Assault Weapons Ban was being debated in 1994 I went to a gun rights rally in Kansas City. The vast majority of people were well dressed and could discuss the issues calmly. But one inarticulate angry guy in camos shows up and that is whom the media swarmed and it was his image on TV news later that night.

      That is typical media strategy. Pick the one guy that looks bad and angry and feature him over the huge majority that would come off as not crazy. So Piers shouldn’t surprise you on that.


  11. improvisedwisdom February 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    I love weapons. I find them fascinating. but I agree for the most part. firearms are dangerous and should be treated as such. I’ve read in articles priorwhere people liken firearms to vehicles. ” if they’re going to take our guns, should they not also take our cars? They cause more deaths than gun violence.” here’s the thing, we are required by law to have a license to drive. I believe that anyone who wishes to own a weapon be wholly trained in it’s safety and use. it’s not going to solve the problem, but it sure as he’ll will reduce accidents.

    • gpicone February 25, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Hear! Hear!

    • lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      “…we are required by law to have a license to drive…”

      Which is not an explicitly guaranteed right in the U.S. Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms is. It is special.


      • improvisedwisdom February 26, 2014 at 2:28 am #

        It isn’t. Nor is your right to free speech when you use it improperly. Don’t mistake poetic words for absolution. Your “rights” could be taken away from you at any time. You being born and raised in this country has given you blinders to make you think that words on a page, that are only getting harder and harder to comprehend as time passes, are going to protect you. The constitution does not give you to the right to live without going hungry or keep a roof over your family’s head. You have to work for it. In the very argument of people who tend to spout that it’s a constitutional right to own a weapon, “If you want something, you have to earn it.” Life isn’t given to you, and words on a 226 piece of paper will not guarantee your “rights.”

      • lwk2431 February 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

        improvisedwisdom wrote

        “Your “rights” could be taken away from you at any time.
        … you think that words on a page, that are only getting harder and harder to comprehend as time passes, are going to protect you.

        Are you supposed by saying something here that is relevant to what I wrote, or something that I am not supposed to know already? Not sure where your little rant came from, but I am fully aware of the fact that rights can’t be taken for granted and have to be protected.


  12. avwalters February 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Unfortunately, reducing everything to money (and coverage) simplifies the argument. But then, I cannot disagree with the result. If I go out for the evening and stop in for a drink, It’d be nice to know that I won’t (likely) be shot there.

    • lwk2431 February 25, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

      ” If I go out for the evening and stop in for a drink, It’d be nice to know that I won’t (likely) be shot there.”

      You chances of getting home safely go up with people around who are licensed to carry concealed weapons. In the U.S. they have an awesome record for safety and responsibility. They get arrested for firearms violations every once in a while, but at a rate slightly lower than sworn police officers getting arrested for the same thing.

      However if you are in a “gun free zone” then it is guaranteed pretty much that someone having a gun is a criminal and your safety goes down.

      True story from Israel some years ago. Some terrorists thought they would shoot up a restaurant. They go in and get off a couple shots. But there were a lot of Israelis in the restaurant with concealed handguns and they shot all three terrorists down on the spot. One barely survived and in the hospital expressed surprise – apparently he wasn’t aware that his victims might so easily shoot back.

      Another true story from Texas. A woman went to a restaurant and had a loaded handgun in her car. But the law in Texas at that time didn’t allow here to carry it into the restaurant from her car (now she could with a concealed carry license). So she gets in the restaurant and a guy enters and starts shooting people. She got to see both of her parents murdered in front of her eyes. She survived. She said later that if she had just had her handgun she had a perfect chance to shoot the killer and save her parents life.

      But no. Gun laws kill good people. Good people with guns make society safer.


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