My relationship with Shooters has been one of the more turbulent, yet long lasting, I have had at Duke. We have raised each other up, and we have knocked each other down. The biggest step in our relationship, however, came when I discovered Sober Shooters. It happened my junior year, and it took confidence in myself and confidence in my friendships. But that’s when our relationship became love. And I’m not ashamed to say it. You don’t have to drink to go to Shooters.

We drink to have fun. When we go to Drunk Shooters, we have fun. We go to see our friends. We go to be seen. We go to talk to people we wouldn’t talk to sober. We go to dance. We go to make out. We go to flirt with people we’re crushing on. We dance on the bar, dance in the cage, ride the bull. These are great things. But these are all things we can do sober. I promise.

The number of people that flocks to Shooters proves that we want what they’re selling. We want to dance, talk and make out with each other. But why do we need alcohol to do it? I don’t think drinking is bad, but I also don’t think being sober is bad. After all, the sober me is the real me, and nothing—not even Shooters—should have the power to make me afraid of being me. So don’t be afraid of it anymore. Go to Shooters sober.

Initially, Sober Shooters is shocking, as pointed out in the recent Towerview piece, “Notes from Shooters.” You’ll probably never be quite so acutely aware of college students’ massive and raw horniness as you will be the first time you stand sober in the middle of the Shooters dance floor. You’ll notice things you never saw before. Did you know there is a picture of dogs dressed as humans having a fancy dinner hanging by the back bar? There is also a Franklin stove by the bathrooms. The first time might hurt, but it gets better. You’ll notice that, actually, there are other sober people there, too. You’ll notice that, actually, Sober Shooters is fun, too.

We are all good enough to go to Shooters sober. We are confident enough and fun enough to have a great night out without alcohol. We can talk without it. We can make new friends without it. We can dance on the bar sober. We can make out sober. We can be around drunk people without drinking. We can go to Shooters sober. Try it.

Blair Ganson, Trinity ’14