With Bredesen Cowering on the Sidelines, Gunmen Demand Access to Schoolyards Next

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The Neutral Planet where our governor feels safe.
  • The Neutral Planet where our governor feels safe.
After a brief foray to the tumultuous world of people who care about things, Gov. Phil Bredesen has retreated to the safety and comfort of the Neutral Planet where the motto "Live Free Or Don't" better suits his governing style. It was completely out of character and a little troublesome when he vetoed the guns-in-bars bill. But not to worry. He admits he didn't talk to a single legislator to try to sustain his veto.

"I guess the issue for me was it seems this would have taken a very difficult, all-out effort," he told reporters. Well, we wouldn't want the governor to exert himself, now would we?

Even though he called guns in bars "an invitation to disaster," he said he had "bigger fish to fry" in passing the state budget. We think he was stifling a yawn at the time.

That means clear sailing for the National Rifle Association and its fanatical followers in the legislature. The governor won't put up any more fuss. Three gun bills still are on his desk. One allows guns in city parks. Unless the Metro Council votes to forbid it, licensed gunmen will stroll around the softball fields and playgrounds of Shelby Park before the summer ends. Isn't that a comforting thought?

Another bill lets drunken rednecks ride around in their pickups with loaded rifles and shotguns. We wouldn't want them to feel threatened. And yet another one, called the "Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act," purports to eliminate federal regulation of guns made in Tennessee. It won't really do that because the ATF says it won't, but whatever. We've already hurled ourselves down the rabbit hole here, so things make sense only if they don't.

Bredesen has already suggested he'll sign the guns-in-parks bill. He doesn't think it sounds all that dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Firearms Association is ready to go for more. That's after assuring everyone they'd be satisfied with this year's slew of gun bills. Of course, they say that every year. Now, in an email to supporters, the association's John Harris says the Second Amendment absolutely demands that state law allow handguns on schoolyards too. He says guns in bars "is just the beginning."

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