by Jeff Woods
on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 8:09 AM
The wife of Ben Goeser, who was shot and killed in a Nashville sports bar, is speaking out for the legislature's bill to allow handguns into places that serve alcohol. In a Tennessean column today, Nikki Goeser writes: "My husband was gunned down on April 2 right in front of me at Jonny's Sports Bar on Nolensville Road here in Nashville."
"I am a permitted gun owner here in the state of Tennessee. If I could have been allowed to carry my gun that night, perhaps I could have saved my wonderful husband. ...I can tell you that the odds would have been more in our favor. I had to leave my gun locked in my car in the parking lot that night because we have a law in place right now that makes innocent people 'helpless' and at the mercy of people with horrible intentions."
Certainly, this killing is tragic, but could it have been stopped by Nikki Goeser or any other patron who had been armed at the time? That's the crux of the debate over this bill, which is on the governor's desk. If more guns had been pulled and fired, how many more innocent people might have been shot? According to the bar manager, it happened fast. The killer, who had been stalking Nikki Goeser, took his gun from his jacket without warning and started shooting, the manager testified.
"I saw the tip of the gun and my memory is kind of blurred from there, but that's when I heard the gunshot. I mean I saw him pull his arm out."
She said she heard at least five gun shots. When Wise stopped shooting she said he turned to leave, but three or four men tackled him and held him until police arrived.
Rep. Jimmy Naifeh referred to Goeser's death in arguing against the guns-in-bars bill on the House floor. Here's the video:
"Here we are doing this at this time when just last week at a restaurant in Nashville someone was shot and killed," Naifeh said. "People are getting killed across this United States. I'm a believer in the Second Amendment, but I'm a believer that we should have restrictions."
Naifeh pointed out that Tennessee's police chiefs, sheriffs and district attorneys all oppose the bill: "I believe more in my chiefs of police, my sheriffs and my DAs than I do the NRA."