Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tennessee Memo: Legislators Sell Their Souls Lock, Stock and Gun Barrel

Right to Bear Arms Co.
The Tennessee Senate passed a bill in February that, according to the Right to Bear Arms Co. in San Diego, CA is a "Great victory for gun owners in Tennessee as their cities and counties will not be able to ban guns from local parks. . . ."

The bill was sponsored by none other than Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville). The very same Stacey Campfield who brought us the Assault Pressure Cooker (APC). Yep, this fellow sure has an active imagination when it comes to his weapons.

The vote was 26 to 7, which explains one of our problems in Tennessee. We're so red we make Putin look blue.

This past Wednesday, yours truly joined the local chapter of Moms Demand Action in an appearance before the House Subcommittee on Civil Justice to express our dismay over this bill. Well, the "hearing" was civil - sort of - but it was swimming in condescending male chauvinism, the likes of which I haven't seen since I left Nashville 40 years ago. In fact, out of 23 or so members, I think I was the only little old lady there in tennis shoes.

House sponsor Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown), a choir boy looking little fellow, presented his argument which mostly consisted of the usual NRA talking points mixed up with a whole lot of Second Amendment mythology. After all, our boys have been getting plenty of support from the NRA and they're kind of obligated to show their appreciation by giving back - that is, if they want any money in the future.

Telisha Arguelles Cobb, testifying for MOMS, said that the real priority here should be the right of our children to enjoy public parks with the reasonable expectation of being safe and secure. She reminded the men and women who have our lives in their hands that many mayors and even our Republican governor are against the bill.

But, says Rep. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) during the discussion that followed, "you" - meaning "you" empty headed little ladies who should stay home and let the big boys handle the affairs of state - "you" may not be aware that every time "you" go to Walmart or a bunch of other places there are people walking around with concealed weapons. "There is no difference." (paraphrased) It was all I could do to keep my big ole mouth shut and my little ole butt on the bench.

Suffice it to say, the representatives on this committee - with the exception of a couple of brave Democrats - were more concerned about their convoluted interpretation of the Second Amendment, keeping the NRA satisfied, and holding sway over Tennessee municipalities.

The bill goes before the full committee next week and then before the full House. With 70 Republicans, one Independent and 28 Democrats, my dog Bo can predict the outcome. If he could vote, he'd vote against it because he likes to go to the dog park and doesn't relish the idea of some human man flaunting his manhood at his expense.

The governor is right in arguing that "this is a property matter and not a constitutional one":
“City councils and county commissions have said, ‘OK, our taxpayers have paid for that park,’ and their elected representatives, I think, should get to decide what happens in the parks,” he told reporters after making a jobs announcement in Dickson. "To me, it’s not a Second Amendment right. It’s the same right anybody should have with a property they control."
I hope he sticks to it but wouldn't it be grand if a politician - left or right - came out and actually put the lives of people above some sick notion that carrying guns comes first? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what the ugly consequences could be.

If this bill passes
     - What parent is going to take or allow their children to go to the park?
     - What school is going to hold events in parks?
     - What churches and organizations are going to hold picnics at the park?
     - What family is going to gather for a reunion at a park?
     - Who's going to take their dog to the park?
     - Who's going to park at the park?

If this bill passes, we might as well close the parks and return the tax money to the tax payers, because one day the parks will look like this:


If you are on Facebook, please report this page: Selling the Second Amendment

CALL AND EMAIL your TN State Representative and Senator TODAY and tell them you DO NOT want guns in our parks!

Sign this petition to say you oppose guns in our parks.

Guns in parks opponents speak out on WSMV Channel 4

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:

Moms Demand Action - TN/Nashville

UPDATE - 3/20/14:
A bill allowing permitted gun owners to take a firearm with them into parks despite gun bans put in by local governments was stashed behind the budget by the House Finance Subcommittee Wednesday.

The move is usually viewed as an omen the bill will not pass. The House measure, which passed the Senate 26-7, includes a $38,000 price tag to pay for pulling down signs reading guns aren’t allowed.
Nashville Post 


  1. Nebraska (where I live...not FROM) hasn't gone quite that far, but I anticipate that it will get there directly. The "boys" in attendance at the capital have, however, introduced a bill that is maybe even a tab scarier than packing heat in parks. That is, a bill that would give public school teachers the "right" to strap 'em on in the classroom...'Cuz what we need in our school system, in addition to the three Rs, is the ability to re-create the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It has a hellofa good chance of passing.

    There are way too many fools who are in charge of things in this country who have gone bat shit insane and it is not just in Tennessee, Leslie.

    1. Trust me, I know it's not just in TN but the fact that we rank among the lowest ten states in education (#8) is reflected in the makeup of our legislature. The NRA has spent a lot of time, energy and money here to spread their lies and propaganda that only the undereducated believe. I read about that horrid bill in your state. I sincerely hope it fails.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Please obey the road signs:


  4. A dangerous trend, IMO. In my state, the mostly GOP legislature just passed
    a bill to allow anyone to carry weapons on college campuses (the NRA rep spoke for 2 hours- all the protesting college professors and administrators as well as all protesting police organizations were not permitted to testify. We
    are catering to the crazy few and hope we do not reap the whirlwind. Then
    with nothing better to do, the same group of legislators made it illegal to
    film or photograph the abuse of animals in factory farms: the penalties are
    twice as high as for those actually abusing the animals. They scream for
    states rights and want to take over the National Forests to sell them to the
    big logging companies. *and they get re-elected*

  5. Proving - not for the first time - that the people behind all this draconian legislation are bullies and mentally unstable - and paranoid cowards.

  6. Speaking of guns in schools, this just popped up on my FB page. We need to rise up and shut these paranoid bullies up for good - before we have anymore catastrophes.

  7. The last sentence of your first link:
    "A representative from the National Rifle Association spoke in support of the bill, but no private citizens did." Pretty much sums up the NRA ever since they succeeded in legalizing 'cop killer' bullets decades ago. Like several
    organizations, they are simply a front for a business sector, with willing
    frightened members. They run roughshod over the rights of most Americans
    for the rights of their members (even though most of those are fine with
    background checks at gun shows. Their answer to too many guns? More
    guns. Perhaps one day after every mass shooting, the words "proudly brought to you by the NRA" will show up in news headlines.

    1. I'm not comfortable casting a blanket over an entire group but after several years now of monitoring the NRA and reading comments from gun huggers, I've come to the conclusion that they are uneducated for the most part, kind of thuggish (understatement), monumental bullies, paranoid as all hell, mentally unstable, and a force to be feared. In fact, while they love to spread fear about all the criminals lurking around every corner, they are the ones we should be fearing. Until we have people in Congress (state and federal) with some brass, we're looking at a major calamity down the road.

  8. I wish you every success in fighting this.

  9. Thanks, Magpie. I don't have any hope for this particular bill but maybe the guv will surprise us. What I'm disturbed about is the American people seem to be becoming so numb to all the gun deaths - not falling for the NRA crap necessarily but just developing a ho-hum attitude.

  10. In Kansas, people can carry concealed handguns in parks nearly without limits. There is one in the middle of my town that just the other day I had gone to with my wife and kids and there was another man there with his family that was playing on the playground equipment, hanging from a bar, and I could clearly see, because his shirt had lifted half-way up his gut, that he was carrying a gun tucked into his waistband. There were a good 50 people in the small playground area that day. Somehow this knuckle dragger didn't realize that he was showing what was supposed to be a CONCEALED handgun to the entire park. My wife and I took our kids and headed home, but not because of the man's gun, but because we had been there for over an hour and our 2 month old son was getting hungry. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I also was carrying a handgun, somehow neither myself or this other gentleman managed to kill any innocent children at the park that day.

    1. I'm sorry you have to carry a gun to feel manly. Maybe you should seek some professional counseling.

    2. I honestly didn't think you would go straight to the personal attacks, but I guess you wouldn't understand that when the need for a gun arises it is almost always an immediate need, not one that can wait a few minutes for the police to show up. Carrying a gun doesn't make me feel manly. Being a person that has done everything in my power to be able to protect my family from people who would do harm to them is all I care about. If you've never found yourself in a place where you feel like a worm on a hook then you are fortunate. I carry a gun to be able to do more than just stand and die or have my family be hurt when someone decides we've got something they want. Also, I hope more than anything that I never have to use my gun on another human. If you can't understand that, I believe you might be the one in need of counseling.

    3. You're living in fear, Tanner.
      Not an accusation - just an observable fact.
      The insane prevalence of gun carrying that has brought you to this mindset... is the problem.

      "If you've never found yourself in a place where you feel like a worm on a hook then you are fortunate."
      I've gone my whole life like that. My 18 year old neighbours have lived their whole lives without ever there being a mass shooting anywhere in my country. I think a lot of people would like to live like that, and deserve to..

    4. Thanks, Magpie. Sorry I'm not up to speed on my "responses".

      Personally, I can't imagine living in such fear all the time. The NRA's leadership knows this and exploits it for all it's worth. Such paranoia is, in fact, a mental illness in and of itself - as exemplified by this very leadership..

    5. You didn't manage to hear a word I said. I don't live in fear. I would argue that those who fear guns in the hands of responsible citizens must be the fearful people. Obviously the responsible citizen is not going to shoot people who don't need shot. I am not fearful because I know I have done what I can to protect my family. Mass shootings are so rare that the odds of being involved in one are less than winning the lottery. They are near the least of my concerns. The "feeling like a worm on a hook" refers to moments when you find you have made a wrong turn driving through the city at night and are now being sized up by groups of gang members as you pull up to traffic lights. Common criminals, not angst filled teens who've found daddy's keys to the gun safe. I am concerned only with self defense and the defense of my family. If there was a better tool than a gun that I could use then that is what I would use. As long as there are bad guys with guns (always) then the best tool is a gun.

    6. “I would argue that those who fear guns in the hands of responsible citizens must be the fearful people”

      Excuse me… do you walk around with “responsible citizen” tattooed on your head? I don’t know that you’re a responsible citizen, or at least think that you are.

      If you’re so untrusting of your community that you’re scared enough to carry a gun, how do you then confer on yourself the moral authority to tell me that I should trust YOU?

      This is what Lesley was getting at… it’s narcissism. “I got’s me a gun – I’m a righteous family protector”.
      No. You’re just a stranger - who might shoot me if you don’t like how I look, because that’s the outcome that you want to give potential to, to make yourself feel better.

      When I go to the USA my chances of being shot go up eleven hundred percent, on recent stats, adjusted for population. Your country has an aggregate shooting death rate that equals a major mass shooting every day. You kill the equivalent of three 9/11 s annually.
      But your solution is to trust people with guns…
      Nope. I don’t. Not unless they are sworn officers of the law, accountable, trained, professional. I want everyone else to leave them at home.

      And even that can be a problem.
      There was a case I recall of an exchange student to the US who was going to a party. 16 year old Japanese kid. He went and knocked on the wrong door, the responsible citizen’s wife yelled “get the gun!”, the responsible citizen got it, pointed at the kid and yelled “freeze!”. Unaccustomed to having a gun pointed at him while arriving at a party, and not speaking English that well, he moved. Got shot. Dead.
      Nothing happened to your responsible citizen gun owner, you’ll be relieved to know…. His rights to be a fuckwit with a firearm carried the day in court.

    7. What magical substance makes "sworn officers" any better at protecting my family than myself? Especially since I have been trained and tested to be a competent carrier of a concealed firearm according to government standards. Not only did I pass the test, but I also passed an extensive FBI background check. I would consider this as close to the "responsible citizen" forehead stamp as it gets in the USA.
      I find it interesting and somewhat convenient for you that you have completely ignored the idea that if ever there is a need for a gun to protect innocent lives, almost never is there police ready and waiting to remove the threat. What sane person could argue that it is better to call the police and then wait to die rather than actively defend yourself with the most effective weapon available, a concealed handgun? With response times in American cities to emergency services calls around 10-11 minutes, how can you think that only police should have the guns? Guns are in the hands of criminals in every country in the world. Unless you are Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even better, Chuck Norris, you will generally no stand a chance against an armed attacker unless you are at least similarly armed.
      In the USA, we have freedoms not afforded to many other nations. That is what makes us the best country on Earth. With freedom comes danger and responsibility.If our country really is as dangerous as you say how could I possibly consider going outside without being armed?

    8. I don’t think you meant to say then… that your gun makes you free… but, Sport, that sure sounds like what you’re saying.
      Therefore… you DO actually need it to feel like a man after all eh?

      Guns are an addiction running through your culture, and like a lot of addicts, you don’t want to face the desperation with which you cling to it, or square up to its consequences. You clutch at it and tell yourself lies instead.

      You are NOT the best country in the world to live in… I actually laughed at the hollowness of what you said there. Your jingoism is quite sad.

      You have some of the highest rates of gun death in any stable democracy in the world, the highest rates of incarceration, appalling academic scores, shitty health care, crumbling infrastructure, dying cities (you been to Detroit lately?), crap disaster response and preparation, staggering disparity between haves and have-nots, amazing drug problems, people who still haven’t gotten over the Civil War, fucking lunatic fundamentalist religious dupes, idiot militias taking over towns and then getting trigger happy with each other, White supremacists, utterly corrupt political parties, and in general a ragged rule by the rich.

      And people with astonishing ignorance of what lies beyond their borders, as you here demonstrate.
      Yes much of the rest of the world is indeed far worse – but that doesn’t make what you have ‘good’ and certainly not ‘best’.

      “With freedom comes danger and responsibility.”

      Oh spare me the John Wayne crap. ‘Freedom’ is a catchphrase for the American Right. I think those drooling morons think they invented it. Something to fill the silence when they reveal that they actually have no idea for the future of the country other than to take it back to some Pollyanna imagined version of what it once was, but wasn’t really.

      “If our country really is as dangerous as you say how could I possibly consider going outside without being armed?”

      So is it the greatest country or not? – if so, then you shouldn’t have these fears that you claim make you need a gun…. or is it as I just described? Which is it Tanner?
      And I think your answer would be … BOTH.

      And there is a perverse pride on your part in that… it’s actually very affirming for you when a bunch of schoolchildren get shot. It feeds your sense that you’re the rugged individual staring down the myriad bad guys come to steal your hubcaps.
      Every time you slaughter a bunch of Amish schoolgirls, or whoever… gun sales go up. Like an alcoholic trying to cure his addition by having another drink.

      You see I’ve had this same conversation more times that I can count. A big part of people who think as you do LOVE that people are getting shot in such shameful numbers. The answer is always always … more guns. It’s sick. Very sick.

      How come the ‘greatest country’ doesn’t have the ingenuity, the patriotism, the drive, the benevolence, the unity… to find a better way? Or even to consider that there might be one?

    9. Thank you, Magpie. I have nothing to add to what you've said because you say it so much better than I do. "Tanner" is saying nothing new. It's the same old nonsensical jargon and convoluted reasoning that you see coming from 99 percent of the gun-huggers. While they accuse us of not hearing a word they say, they pay no attention to respected studies, to statistics and to hard core facts from respected institutions, including law enforcement agencies.

      Until today I might have said they've softened their tone somewhat but apparently that was a momentary lapse - or a ruse. Maybe, like the KKK leadership, the NRA can't keep it's bullies in line. In the end, we can only hope they self-implode.

      "Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives."

      Yes, we do have freedoms in this country. One of them includes the freedom to live in a gun-free environment.

  11. You'll find this story a bit interesting

    1. Very interesting article. I want to get back to it a little later on when my back isn't hurting quite so much. ITM, I'm sharing it on FB where most of my activity is centered these days.

  12. Tanner. You can't have it both ways!! Living in fear as you do is not living in freedom; fear and freedom in the same context is an oxymoron, a logical impossibility and fear mongering is what gun manufacturers are promoting to sell their products.

    “They are near the least of my concerns” ?????

    I’m hoping for your sake that statement was just a moment of mindless rhetoric amid the discussion. It's very easy to dismiss the deaths of innocent children as you do with this statement when the children gunned down are not your own children; when those murdered at theaters or at work are not members of your family.

    Just a few questions for you to consider:
    Can you truly protect your children at school/theater/mall when you're carrying a weapon elsewhere?
    How, if someone is pointing a loaded firearm at you, are you going to possibly defend yourself and/or your family with another firearm in the micro-second it takes for that person you fear to pull the trigger?
    At what point, after everyone in the nation is armed, do standard firearms become irrelevant and we all need bigger/better firearms to conquer the new fear that they have weapons too?
    If those folks in Kansas parks are all carrying weapons and someone is a half mile away with a high-powered rifle shooting them, what good are their weapons?
    And, if all those people in Kansas (or Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, etc..) are carrying weapons, isn’t there a point of diminishing return when you realize everyone is capable of killing everyone in an instant?
    Are you promoting safety through mutually assured death? And it this is so, how is that not fear? We lived that idea on a global scale in the 1950’s-80’s and that my friend is unadulterated fear.

    I don’t fear the criminal anywhere near as much as I fear the crowd of armed individuals. With a crowd of armed individuals, the atmosphere is far more unpredictable. I don’t know if they’ve been drinking, if they’re mentally stable, if they’re willing to use their weapons to settle disputes that would normally be settled with words, etc.

    There are just too many unknowns with everyone carrying weapons. Except one indisputable fact – more weapons mean more death.

    1. Couldn't agree more with everything you'e said. There are two points I'd like to make. I wonder if anyone else finds it rather ironic that the gun huggers talk about protecting their children when they parade around in public with their manhood on display in one hand and holding a little child in the other!!! What the hell?

      Again and for the umpteenth time, I'll just say that the comments from the gun huggers are obviously scripted by hire writers at the NRA. They all virtually say the same exact thing word for word. Even more telling is that they have suddenly become very courteous and their grammar and spelling has improved 20-fold.

  13. Ammosexuals have a tendency to spout the same 2nd Amendment nonsense whenever common sense threatens their love affair with guns. No one is trying to take anyone's gun away from them, but the very thought of a park being off-limits for them and their arsenals is more than they can bear.

    At a friend's barbecue a few weeks ago I got into a discussion with a couple of (otherwise pleasant) fellows from Louisiana about recent mass shootings in America. Each of them had a personal story to tell about how a "good guy with a gun" could have diffused a dangerous situation their family members had experienced. In both cases, law enforcement handled the situation and no one got hurt. But to them, that peaceful end wasn't the desired outcome. In both cases, they insisted that had they been there (with their ever-present handguns) they would have taken care of the threat with a 2nd Amendment solution. In other words, they would have pulled a weapon (and in both cases this would have been in crowded situations involving a LOT of innocent bystanders) and confronted the bad guy. One proudly told me he would have "dropped him like a sack of rocks". I kept coming back to this line, "But, you said the cops arrived and no one got hurt. Isn't that a good thing?"

    But in their eyes, it wasn't a good thing. Shooting someone who's threatening innocents is their solution to EVERY problem. Those two guys (and like I said, they were nice fellows in every other respect) were carry permit holders, and I suspect they daydream a LOT about saving the day with their trusty handguns. Little boys with army men in a sandbox don't dream about the fight like those gun nuts the NRA defends.

    Our state legislature is a collection of mouth breathing, knuckle dragging troglodytes, and Stacey Campfield is King of the Trolls. With any luck at all we'll be rid of his ignorant ass after this primary election. I'm sure the Republican who replaces him will be just as ideologically impaired, but NO ONE could possibly be worse for Tennessee than Campfield has been.

    1. One on one, most of the gun nuts are very nice people. Two or more, they become paranoid braggarts who try to outdo one another with how tough they would be in their imaginary worlds. There are a couple of booiks that have been published recently about this second amendment of ours, but they'd rather believe the NRA propaganda. It's always short - no more than a paragraph of soothing soundbites. Never you mind what FBI, CDC and local law enforcement studies say.

      Campfield comes from a district made up of fellow asylum mates. His GOP opponent is just as certifiably insane. The Democrat doesn't have a chance in hell. Have you seen the latest issue of Nashville Scene?