Actually, you'd be surprised. Open container and bottle laws are stiffening up everywhere you go down here.
Even during Mardi Gras, where I'm from, the laws are tightening up. But you can still take a beer out on the street in most places, at least in a plastic or styrofoam container.
But definitely no bottles. And some cities have laws stating no open container outside of an establishment, period.
But you're right. Generally our liberties are greater down here. Weapons permits are much easier to obtain, (simply don't be a felon). And with only 8 hours of training by a certified instructor, you can get privileges to carry in nearly every place.
Gun purchases are virtually no wait right now, but we will see how that is a year from now.
I can understand your aversion to owning one, but I advise all my friends to learn to shoot and keep one as close them at all times as the law will allow. A person is his own first line of defense. Cops generally arrive after something has happened. People operate under this false assumption that first responders will be there if anything bad happens, but they'll tell you, they are there after it has gone wrong.