An Open Letter to North Carolina’s Governor


Dear Governor McCrory:

In light of the new law allowing concealed weapons in bars, I’d like to propose to you and your cronies (McCrory’s Cronies has a nice ring, doesn’t it?) a law that would allow open containers at gun shows. If people are going to be given the chance to make stupid decisions with firearms while drinking, I think it only fair that people also be allowed to make stupid decisions about the purchasing of firearms while drinking.

I know what you’re thinking: Genius idea, right? Indeed, sir! This will boost sales for your NRA lobbyists, and that means more money for you and yours, Governor. Show me a drunk who hasn’t ever thought “Man, I’d love to have an AK-47 or a Howitzer right now,” and I’ll show you a man who has never been drunk at a gun show.

This will also keep us safer. No longer will women in bars need to fear the bad pick-up line—any jerk who asks “If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?” can now be taken care of, quickly and efficiently, with one squeeze of a trigger. Those obnoxious college kids with their Sex on the Beaches and Vodka/ Redbulls? I think we know what happens to them if they get out of line. Same for the secretaries on Margarita Monday, and those asshole grad students who always win Trivia Tuesday. No need for bouncers, either—Clint Eastwood over there drooling with one eye open and seventeen bourbon straws on the table in front of him can take care of any trouble, or Chuck Norris dancing with his pool cue in the corner can.

It will also keep people fearful. The more people in bars with guns, the more shootings there are likely to be, which, in turn, will make others think they need a firearm to mosey on down to the local watering-hole and have a wine-spritzer or a Zima. Which means more gun sales. Until everyone owns a gun. All of us, and we all stay home, safe and sound on a Saturday night, peering out the window, drunk as the last lords of creation, wondering what might be gunning for us—our firearms, like our bottles of bourbon, within easy reach.


Paul Crenshaw


Paul Crenshaw is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was a Fred Chappell fellow. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Essays 2005 and 2011, Shenandoah, North American Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others. He teaches writing and literature at Elon University.

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