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The Senate Judiciary Committee has just voted to open city playgrounds and state parks to handguns. Under this bill, which will whisk through the full Senate as soon as it arrives there, licensed gunmen can stride around the monkey bars at Shelby Park twirling their pistols on their fingers if that's what they want to do unless the Metro Council can muster the courage to outlaw it.
In a major concession to reasonable people, the senators decided local governments can outlaw guns in their parks with a majority vote, not the two-thirds vote that the bill originally required. Tennessee Firearms Association chief John Harris, who was the one actually running this show, oversaw the proceedings from the hearing room's front row. The bill's sponsor, committee chair Mae Beavers, occasionally would make goo-goo eyes at Harris to make sure he was OK with everything.
On the committee, only Democrats Jim Kyle and Beverly Marrero voted no and they didn't bother to put up a fight. Sen. Doug Jackson tossed out this putrid line of bullshit: "We're not taking into account the fact that handgun permit holders are responsible," and no one mentioned all the murders and other crimes committed lately by these upstanding citizens.