Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We now have a new favorite place for Mexican cuisine

Arizona's new gun laws go into effect tomorrow. The one garnering the most attention in the local media, naturally, is the one that will now allow law-abiding, non-drinking carry permit holders to carry concealed firearms into bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol by the drink, as evidenced by the surprisingly even-handed article on the subject in today's Arizona Republic.

(Actually, this minor change really isn't a big hairy deal, especially when one considers that such behavior is perfectly legal for law-abiding citizens in thirty-nine other states, including Minnesota, our former place of residence. We don't seem to recall there having been any problems in the 35 years or so that such activity has been lawful for permit holders there.)

Establishments are free to post signs banning firearms from their premises if they so desire, as of course they are private property. The article reports that the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control has handed out about 1,000 of them, although we have yet to see a single one posted, and we frequently eat out in places all over the Valley.

At least one local restaurant owner doesn't have any problems whatsoever with the new law. On the contrary, she quite intelligently recognizes the obvious benefits of having the new policy:

"Janie Riddle, co-owner of the local chain Valle Luna, decided not to post any signs banning firearms, saying that it would be "business as usual" at the family's three Mexican restaurants.

'We've never had a problem in 26-plus years,' said Riddle, whose husband, grown children and various relatives also work at Valle Luna.

'We basically talked about it as a family and as a business and just decided it was in the best interest to not prohibit law-abiding citizens from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.'

Riddle also said they felt the presence of those carrying guns legally could deter trouble from those carrying guns illegally. 'I think it would get them to think twice, big time,' she said."

She absolutely nails the exact reasons why citizens here pushed so hard for the changes in the carry law. Many thanks for bravely stating them in public, Ms. Riddle.

We think that we'll be having Mexican food for dinner tomorrow evening.

Guess where?

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