Behave or be banned

Filed under: Opinion |

I suppose acknowledging this is bad form, but when I go to other cities, I sometimes visit their bars.

My predicament, of course, is that the libraries close too early, and my studies of urban anthropology require that I find someplace to observe human behavior, even at night, sometimes very late at night.

As Jim Peters, president of the Responsible Hospitality Institute said, “Downtown districts are the living room of the community.”

RHI assists businesses and communities in creating safe and vibrant places to socialize.

Peters told me that in one city’s nightlife district, the bars displayed posters that sent a vivid message. On the left was a photo of a condom; on the right, a photo of a bloody bandage. The text: “Which of these do you want to wear tonight?”

Colorado Springs is not alone in struggling to control raucous behavior in its bars.

To that end, there is a proposal to require all patrons to carry ID cards, which they would swipe through an electronic monitor upon entering any of the city’s downtown bars and nightclubs.

Such cards could serve either a “Glad to see you” or a “Get out of here” purpose.

For instance, the swiping of a card would alert the staff that a loyal customer was entering. That way, the bartender would have the customer’s cucumber martini poured and waiting at his or her seat.

But the second, darker purpose is why Colorado Springs really needs the ID cards.

The idea is simple. If a Neanderthal is causing a ruckus and gets thrown out of one bar, the ID information instantaneously enters a citywide database. When the frontal-lobe-protruding individual then tries to get into the bar across the street he (or she) is turned away.

For a modest infraction, such as obnoxious flirting, the ban from all the bars could be imposed for just the evening; for something much worse, such as fighting, the ban could be extended for a week or longer.

We live in the era of big-brother databases anyway — no doubt some government organization knows you are reading this right now — so why not big-brother the bar scene?

All the bar owners would have to agree to work together on this program, and they should be pleased to do so because safe, clean fun is the hallmark of a civilized city.

There is a welcome byproduct: With all the goons banished to the street, they’ll pick fights with each other, and pretty soon, by Darwinian natural selection, the herd will be thinned. Hopefully roving bands of blackballed bar brawlers would not become a problem.

If bar owners cannot agree on the ID cards, the city could try the low-tech posters, and if that happens, I prefer there be a slight change. To the condom and bandage, add a pair of handcuffs, and use this message: “Which of these do you want to wear tonight? Pick only one.”

3 Responses to Behave or be banned

  1. Lon, Back when i was working the door of a club here in town and even other places around the U.S. we already did this Via text message to the other Door Men. Worked very well and got rid of the riffraff. Everyone already has this ID, its called a DL! Why make another expensive system that will increase the cost of everything again? There is a club in town that already has a machine that does just what you described.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:05 am

  2. I think this is a great idea Lon. I do think, however, that it should be put in place and financed by the club owners. Its to their benefit AND by keeping the government out of it, there can be no “big brother” arguements. If you want to go to their club, a PRIVATE establishment, they can require whatever they want to let you in.

    Carl Smith
    February 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

  3. Carl, and thats why it will never happen. can you see any club owner in this city spending cash for anything thats not making them money. ive worked for them, they wont!!!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm