Gun owners are responsible. If there’s nothing else the NRA wants us to believe, it’s that. So what’s the objective of putting a bar in a shooting range? Certainly not adding to the 30,000 gun-related deaths that occur in the United States every year!
To be fair to Oklahoma resident Jeff Swanson, co-owner and general manager of the proposed Wilshire Gun business, if things go as planned, drinking and shooting wouldn’t quite go hand-in-hand. They just have to ensure folks shoot, then drink, and not the other way around.
“Any misconceptions or joking aside, beer and bullets, guns and alcohol, they do not mix,” Swanson said.
A major aspect of the safety plan includes scanning any customer’s license before he or she operates a lane or orders food, alcohol or merchandise.
“Once your order a drink your driver’s license is scanned and you are red-flagged and you’re not allowed into any of the shooting facilities either as a spectator and certainly not as a shooter for the remainder of the day,” Swanson said.
And they might actually succeed. Although a spokesperson for Oklahoma’s ABLE Commission, the agency responsible for regulating liquor licenses in the state, seemed skeptical, it appears there is no specific rule blocking a gun range from serving alcohol in Oklahoma. Incredibly, although this would be the first such establishment in the Sooner State, there are others in multiple states.
In a two-minute promotional video released on their website (we can’t embed the video, but you can watch at the link), Wilshire Gun had some other very interesting thing to say about their proposed business. My favorite part? This one:
The way we’ve designed our lanes, we intend to take advantage of that impact and be very women-friendly. Very novice-friendly, as well, in part of the ranges, to where we have a group segregated for the lower caliber, with large, wide lanes, where women, novice shooters, anyone learning to, you know, firing a different firearm for the first time, can be in a group of lanes and not have someone with a big boom gun going off.
While it’s considerate in an odd way to separate the louder guns from the quieter ones (with ear protection, I’m not sure why it matters), but it sounds quite a bit like women shooters=novice shooters to this guy. Where he said, “with large, wide lanes, where women, novice shooters,” what he meant was, “Women and novices will probably hit the targets of the people next to them if we give them regular-sized lanes.” While he’s right about novices, there was absolutely no need to introduce gender into the conversation at all. Experienced female shooters are just as good as experienced male shooters. The difference is experience, not gender.
Swanson’s belief is that he’s filling an inevitable business gap; eventually, he thinks, all gun ranges will need to offer extras to continue to pull customers. And surely they’ll all be as responsible about not letting alcohol and bullets mix. Does anyone seriously believe that?