It was a WTF? moment for Pith when Jameson informed his favorite blogger that he was on the fence about banning guns in Metro parks. He confessed he's wringing his hands over whether such a move would invite a lawsuit from the gun lobby and whether the Second Amendment actually gives Americans the right to stroll about with loaded weapons wherever they please. In other words, he's worried Metro might have to spend a little money defending itself in court. Here's what Jameson said:
"I'm not a gun nut. I don't own one and I don't like them. But you have an individual God-given right now to gun ownership. The problem we've got is that, if you are removing that ability even within a limited circumstance like in Metro parks, you've got to have a compelling interest. I assume the sponsors say it's safety. And if we can't demonstrate that, then I think it's ripe for a legal challenge. Unless we can demonstrate it, then we might be walking into a lawsuit. I want the sponsors to be right, don't get me wrong. But right now, I'm going in the other direction."
That's crazy talk. If ever there was a compelling state interest, it's to prevent armed nutjobs from roaming about in our parks where children are playing. Did you see yesterday's report saying licensed gunmen were responsible for more than 50 killings in only the past two years? That's a murder spree to make Charlie Manson proud. How safe will parents feel with their children sharing, say, Dragon Park with a guy with a gun? Even if the legal issues were as cloudy as Jameson thinks, this is no time for our city's public officials to run and hide. Some matters, such as the safety of children on playgrounds, are too important for cost-benefit analysis.
Update: One council member wants to allow guns in parks at night.