There is a famous (or infamous) store in Columbia, Missouri that sports a giant billboard proclaiming: “Liquor, Guns & Ammo.” I went to school in Columbia, and whenever I drove by I always thought the store was funny in a one-stop-shopping sort of way. In my view, those three went together about as well as chicken, motor oil, and herpes, and in my naivete I assumed the sign was a joke.

But then I saw this storyabout the third annual Independence Institute-sponsored “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” Party in Bennett, Colorado.

The event attracts an eclectic mix of conservative intellectuals, gun enthusiasts, and of course, just plain old smokers and drinkers. Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Littleton took his turn with the shotgun and then wandered among the participants — most of whom would likely be his ideological kin.

I’ll leave you to your own images of a liquored-up Tom Tancredo with a shotgun, but the part that got my attention was this Karl Rove-wannabe quote from Independence Institute leader Jon Caldara.

At one point during the end of the program Caldara mused out loud, “What would the liberals be doing today, listening to a speech by Ward Churchill?”

First of all, if you’re going to insist on putting liberals and conservatives into these two categories, please place me in the opposite category of people who are drinking alcohol and firing shotguns; whatever that category is, I’d like to be in the other one. I would rather not listen to Ward Churchill, but I’d also rather not get shot in the ass by a drunk.

This did get me thinking, however, of what liberals might do if they staged a three-day event of similar synchronicity: “Marijuana, Organic Produce, and Condoms?”

The point is, can we stop with the labels already?