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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Blanchette: Fans packing heat might lead to problems

The usual hand-wringers are assembling again to bash State Rep. Matt Shea (R-’Murica) and his wingmen for some of the proposed bills they’ve floated in advance of this year’s Legispalooza.

Like secession. What we know now as the 509 is what Rep. Matt and the boys want to turn into the 51st state – ripping eastern Washington from the bosom of Mother Olympia and having it branded henceforth as Liberty. Very splashy and symbolic.

One big problem with this one, however. Well, two.

A) Would the postal abbreviation be LI? Or LY?

B) The Liberty State Cougars? That’s going to screw up college football’s best logo.

Possibly there are other downsides, as well. New license plates and such. Sounds like just more government if you ask me.

But the real talker from Shea’s satchel is House Bill 1015, which would allow concealed pistols, properly licensed, to be ferried into sports stadiums and other arenas owned or maintained by a public facilities district. This would include, notably, Safeco Field and CenturyLink over the mountains in Gomorrah and the Spokane Arena right here. But PFDs also administer spaces like the Comcast Arena in Everett and the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Even the INB Performing Arts Center down on Spokane Falls Boulevard would have to allow licensed handguns.

Naturally, the alarmists are out already, saying stadiums need to be firearms free.

Just what are they implying?

It’s not like alcohol or vitriol are used to excess in these places, or that people’s emotions inevitably get the best of them at fever-pitch sports events, or that perceived enemies are easily identified by the clothes they wear. It’s not as if judgment is easily impaired in these settings or that fans get booted for boozy and boorish conduct now. And if they’re taunted mercilessly by a rival fan or steamed at an outrageous call that decides the game, it’s not like their first urge is going to be to reach for their gun.

But if it is, well, isn’t that reason enough to be packing? John Wayne had his Peacemakers, and that’s all this is about, surely – keeping the peace.

Isn’t that all a gun is for – persuading misbehavers to behave the way you think they ought to?

In that respect, think of all the correctional … uh, persuasive … scenarios that could unfold at our PFD facilities under this new law:

  • “You cut off beer sales to Chiefs fans after the second intermission? Be reasonable, pal. Who are you going to listen to – your boss, or my Beretta?”

  • “Just who does Colin Kaepernick think he is, not standing for the National Anthem?”

  • “Felix, maybe you’d better tell your pitching coach I’m of the opinion you just need to intentionally walk ol’ Mike Trout in this situation.”

  • “What do you say, Mr. WIAA? About time we get these private schools out of the B tournament, no?”

  • “Yeah, you can wear your Rams jersey into CenturyLink, smart guy. If you want it to be a mesh jersey when you go out.”

  • “What do you mean my Chiefs season tickets are no good when they play down here at Tri-City? I say they are.”

  • “This is my first Sounders game. I’m guessing “shootout” means exactly what I think it does.”

  • “No, there’s no Elton John concert at the Arena tonight. There’s a Toby Keith concert. You heard me.”

  • “Ed Hochuli’s refereeing this Seahawks game? No, Ed’s going to stay in the dressing room and watch a replay of the 2006 Super Bowl. After he loans me that striped shirt. And that whistle.”

  • “These ‘Best of Broadway’ shows are a little pricy, Mr. INB. Now, the ‘Best of Branson, Missouri’ – that I’d pay good money for. Get me?”

  • “My turn to raise the ‘12th man’ flag.”

  • “Yeah, I know these are general admission Mariners tickets, but I see a couple of empty seats down there in the Diamond Club. So I figure I’ll sit there.”

  • “Tell the referee if he keeps calling fouls on Shadle Park, the Groovy Shoes are going to look like Crocs.”

  • “I think these pairs skaters should do their long program to ‘Cat Scratch Fever.’ Pass it on.”

  • “I liked it better when Russell Wilson didn’t slide so much. Tell him not to slide.”

  • “It’s high time the Harlem Globetrotters gave the Washington Generals a fair shake.”

  • “Hey, Pete Carroll – that goal-line slant pass? Not on my watch, ace.”

  • “No, ref, that wasn’t pass interference on Sherman. Not if it costs the Seahawks the game. That would be a tragedy. And the last thing you want to have at the ballpark is a tragedy.”

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