Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield is at it again! Campfield, who is well-known for his “Don’t Say Gay” bill and claims that AIDS is next to impossible to contract through heterosexual sex (and began when some pilot had sex with a monkey), has introduced another controversial piece of legislation. Campfield, who has previously been shamed by a child into dropping bill aimed at taking food away from children who did not meet certain academic standards, has devised a new attack on the safety and health of children: he wants to allow open carry in public parks and playgrounds!
Campfield, a representative of the “small government” party, hopes that this measure will expand state control while simultaneously dissolving local government’s say in matters involving firearms. His proposal, Campfield hopes, will expand on a 2009 law that allowed city and county governments the ability to opt out of a law prohibiting his beloved boomstick’s presence in public parks, playgrounds, and sports fields.
Despite that the 2009 law allowed local government to decide if they wanted guns in places frequented by children, Campfield noticed a problem most of society does not; not enough local government bodies felt that it is sensible to permit firearms in places where kids play. The solution, of course, is to provide more opportunities for “responsible gun owners” to place children at risk.
Joined by “gun rights” advocates and a number of lawmakers, Campfield hopes to overturn those pesky restrictions local governments have placed on gun owners’ freedoms. Citing that “there have been multiple rapes” in the parks, Campfield says that “someone should be able to defend themselves, no matter where they are.” So far, the “Guns-in-Parks” measure has passed a Senate Judiciary Committee 6-2.
Tennessee governor and former mayor of Knoxville Bill Haslam (R) continues to vocally oppose this measure, citing “major concerns.” When Haslam was mayor of Knoxville, he upheld a 2009 city council vote that banned handguns in at least some of the city’s parks. Ironically, Haslam says of the Tea Party gun advocate’s proposal:
[box type=”shadow”]“I have a concern about that in the sense of I think if that property belongs to local governments then their locally elected officials should be able to decide what happens to that property,”[/box]
The measure would still ban guns if there is an official school function, but includes no other measures to protect children from those it would allow to freely bring firearms along to a day at the park.
We question how the Tea Party can claim to want “smaller government” while its representatives seek to impose further state control on local government bodies — something akin to that which the Tea Party regularly calls “tyranny.”