Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
Before you bring your big-ass gun to a youth sports event in Tennessee, you’d better check with the local constabulary first. That’s because some Tennessee localities are already taking advantage of a loophole in a law, effective Sept. 1, that allows handgun permit owners to carry guns into any public park.
Hold your fire.
For example, despite expressing love for the Second Amendment, the Williamson County Commission (that’s the county immediately to the east of Nashville) voted 24-to-nil Monday to ban guns in county parks. However, it also voted 18-to-6 to allow its opt-out to expire in May 2010, in order to figure out whether school teams are allowed to use parks where guns are OK. In Tennessee, guns are not allowed in schools (which are getting to be among the few places where they’re not.)
Meanwhile, the Williamson County seat of Murfreesboro itself opted out of the gun ban. As Williamson County did, Murfreesboro made the point that its vote, taken last Thursday, had nothing to do with how much everyone loves guns. However, Murfreesboro is the site of the annual Spring Fling, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s five-sports-at-once state championships. The Murfreesboro vote came one day after the TSSAA said it backed down enforcing its own Spring Fling gun ban on advice of counsel. I’m going to take a not-so-wild guess that Murfreesboro was afraid it would lose the lucrative event to a less trigger-happy town.
Among the other municipalities on the don’t-shoot list: Clarksville, the hometown for Fort Campbell, and Bristol, home of a NASCAR race. Many other cities and counties are still debating the issue, and some might be passing bans while I type. One city that had a proposed ban on the agenda Tuesday night was Dandridge, where three people were fatally shot (one of the dead was the shooter) at a youth baseball game. However, opponents of the ban might say, with some justification, that it wouldn’t have prevented that 2006 incident, which evolved from a domestic dispute. Meanwhile, other cities are tabling measures or outright rejecting bans.
The best back-and-forth exchange I’ve seen on opting out of the Tennessee law comes from the comments section of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. (Of course, all comments are presented as raw as they were typed. How am I supposed to copy edit them?). From a person who presumably wants guns allowed: