Our Guns Are Way More Important Than Your Disasters:
While a good chunk of Nashville, which, in addition to being Music City, is also the capital of Tennessee, was underwater this week, the legislature kept at its job of making the Volunteer State safer for drunks. Yes, as residents of middle Tennessee were driving boats around the streets of their neighborhoods, wondering how much FEMA was gonna come through for the many homeowners without flood insurance, the state House passed a bill that had been previously passed by the Senate, both by veto-proof majorities, which allows people with carry permits to bring their guns into anywhere that lets you drink, and "That includes restaurants, nightclubs, honky-tonks, country clubs and any other place with an alcohol license, including places such as the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga." Honky-tonks and aquariums? Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker, indeed.
Down in Louisiana, as the slick diarrhea of oil crept its way towards the outer islands and began its long wreckage of the seafood industry there, the state House debated and voted on a number of gun measures. The vote was 96-1 to allow people with concealed carry permits to do so within 1000 feet of a school. School campuses remain gun-free, so far. But, with the proper permit, you can walk around the sidewalk outside a school with a gun in your pants. However, a vague modicum of sanity prevailed and the bill that would allow concealed weapons in churches got a majority, but not the necessary two-thirds needed to pass. Don't worry. You can still stalk around outside a church with your sidearm.
In Washington, D.C., senators who have no problem with the government spying on citizens without a warrant or holding people without charge for years, even torturing them for information, finally drew a line in the sand. They refused to budge on the idea that people on the government's terror watch list should be banned from buying guns, and they told this to Mike Bloomberg, mayor of the city that almost got car bombed. For Susan Collins, the Elmer Fudd of the Maine congressional delegation, it comes down to the possibility that someone could be on the list who's not a terrorist. Lindsey Graham, needing to appear butch after getting teabagged in his home state recently, said that it's just a slippery slope to banning handguns. In other words, you can stop someone from flying if they're on a list, but not from buying a gun.
Back in Tennessee, Joe McCord, a Republican from Maryville, which is as conservative district as you could imagine, went on a tear about what really is going on with the guns-in-bars law: "Essentially, the NRA is saying to us, if you don’t support and vote for carrying guns in bars, we will not endorse you and in fact will oppose you. This line of reasoning is just bordering on lunacy."
By the way, McCord has an "A" rating from the NRA. But, still, he said, "No one’s right all the time. The NRA is not right here, and we’re not standing up to them. It makes me wonder, what line will we not cross for the NRA? At what point do we say, this is too much?"
Oh, and, by the way again, before you start thinking that this is some portrait in courage, of a brave legislator standing up to the monolith that is the National Rifle Association, he's not running for re-election, which he admits has given him a bit of freedom: "I’m not running again. You can tell because I’m sitting here criticizing the NRA."