Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can You Believe This?

Where is it I live? The wild west a century ago? A banana republic? No, Tennessee in an attempt to move backward!

A bill to allow people to take guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol has passed the state legislature and was vetoed by the governor. Now the legislature is planning to override the veto. Oh yes, alcohol and guns are a combination I don't even want to think about while I'm out eating dinner or listening to music or worrying about what could happen to anyone. Think that's bad enough? Just read this newspaper article from the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Both sides in the legislative battle over guns in restaurants serving alcohol mobilized Friday to urge lawmakers to either override or uphold Gov. Phil Bredesen's veto of the bill.

The National Rifle Association and Tennessee Firearms Association sent "action alerts" to their members to contact legislators to support overriding the veto. NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox said gun owners are "shocked and disappointed" by the governor's move Thursday.

An e-mail by Firearms Association executive director John Harris took the extra step of asking his members to review news photos and videos of the governor's veto ceremony to "help us identify the police chiefs, officers and district attorneys who stood with Bredesen. We want to compile a list of their names, districts and supervisors," which he said would be posted on the TFA Web site.

Harris said Friday the message wasn't a threat, and "if they perceive it that way, they're worried about their jobs." He said the request is to compile information members can use to question local officials about the officers' foray into public policy or whether to vote in the future for elected officials who support the veto.

The bill allows Tennessee's 220,000 handgun-carry permit holders, and millions more from states whose permits are recognized by Tennessee, to take guns into restaurants and other places that serve alcohol if they aren't drinking themselves.

The Tennessee Hospitality Association, which represents restaurants and hotels, and some local associations encouraged their members to contact lawmakers in support of sustaining the veto.

"It is now our turn to step to the plate and drive home the point -- this is a bad bill and the veto must be upheld," the Hospitality Association told members by e-mail.

Legislative sponsors of the bill, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, and Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, predicted successful override votes next week. It takes only a majority of each chamber -- 50 in the House and 17 in the Senate -- to override. The bill passed the House 70-26 and the Senate 26-7.

Memphis Restaurant Association president Mike Miller, who owns Patrick's Steaks & Spirits, said the local group is notifying its members how to contact state officials. "As an association, by and large we are against this legislation but there are a few dissenters."

Miller said most restaurateurs oppose the bill for two reasons: "Liability certainly gets pushed to the owners. By allowing guns where alcohol is served, it certainly increases the chances of a gun-related incident or accident.

"And since the bill allows us to post (signs notifying patrons that no guns are allowed), it puts us in a position to have to choose which groups of people we're going to alienate."

The Memphis City Council's public safety committee is set to consider a resolution Tuesday encouraging owners of restaurants and bars to post signs banning guns in their businesses.

Tennessee Republican Party chairman Robin Smith also weighed in, contending Bredesen's veto "is a rejection of the desires of most Tennesseans ... a slap in the face to law-abiding citizens across the Volunteer State who have carry permits and the wrong decision especially in light of Tennessee's rising violent crime rate."

"Allowing certified, trained citizens with carry permits to carry their weapons more places in public would add a measure of protection and defense against violent crime and criminals," she said.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin, Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas and other law enforcement professionals at the veto ceremony disagreed.

Godwin said the eight-hour training course required for a carry permit is "not enough," and the process relies on the applicant to declare his own "mental state," with no independent psychological review.

"What they've done is they've passed this and they've put officers and citizens in jeopardy of bad things happening," he said. "I think you're going to see the results of this fairly quickly."

-- Richard Locker
Having hunting rifles and shotguns is one thing, and I have family members who enjoy that; however, what rationale can there be to have handguns in bars? Nothing good can come from that.

Doug Jackson is one of the state senators from my district, and I will vote for a Republican next time to get him out of office if he wins the primary. This is just one of many reasons for this decision that I made quite some time ago.

I really do need to move out of this state! A recent newspaper article said TN leads the country in depression. Count me in!


frogponder said...

I wonder if this post will attract an NRA person like your one on the abortion doctor?

Joy said...

Let's hope not!

Pseudonymph said...

Move to happy state, Australia. Where the mailman brings wonderful literature out of the blue - An Insight into People Lie - you wonderful thoughtful creature you!
Thank you so much - House and Philosophy. Everybody Lies. I can't wait to delve into it - a quick flick through reveals some interesting takes on life using House quotes as backup.
And this gem from Pseudonymph:
A thoughtfully chosen gift gives twice - the recipient, obviously, but the giver in the knowledge they are the facilitator of the warm, inner happiness felt by that person.

Berry Blog said...

These are probably the same people who call abortion murder and are caclling this bill "the right to defend". It seems it is giving citizens the right to take the law into their own hands. Sounds vigilante to me. Just imagine the number of incidents where the gunner "perceives" a situation is dangerous enough to pull his gun in a paranoid belief he is being threatened. and who's going to be checking whether the gun carrier is drinking or not- who would even know a client has a permit or a gun?
220,000 licensed carriers? That's more than 1/5 of the whole population of Maine.

Bob said...

Wow, and I thought SC was backwards.
Yeah, that sounds harmless.

Joy said...

I told you I need to move! Wonder Man escaped.

I know, Charlie! It's bad enough when rednecks are drunk without arming them! They can do that at home.

Oh good, Pseudo! Amazon is obviously more efficient about sending things than River Street Sweets was. I bought that book for myself and have read part of it. Since you quote House already, I thought you might like it, too. I'm so glad you do! You're quite welcome. :-)

Dan said...

move here Auntie Flame!!!

this is a tad frightening.

mistress maddie said...

Boy that is pretty damn scary! I'd be afraid if a brawl broke out some poor person who has nothing to do with the squabble will end up dead. It reminds me of the Golden Girls, where Rose got the gun for protection after there house gotten broken in. Blanche came home with a suitor and set the alarm off and Rose fired. Sophia says,"Oh great, one night I'll burp and stable Mable here will blow my head off!" Move here to New Hope Joy!