The party mailer claims Campfield’s for letting the most dastardly criminals carry guns wherever they please.
“Extreme Legislator Stacey Campfield’s got a dangerous idea,” the mailer begins. So far, so good. But then the Democrats get carried away.
He wants to “let anyone carry a concealed gun. No matter who. No matter what they’ve been convicted of. No matter where they want to carry it. Think about it, rapists or even child sex predators would be free to carry concealed weapons at schools, churches, daycare centers or playgrounds. On Nov. 2, Disarm Campfield.”
We just phoned Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester to ask him to defend this mail piece.
Q: So your mailer says Campfield’s for letting rapists run around with guns on playgrounds?
Forrester: That’s it in a nutshell.
Q: No seriously. [Pause] Since you’re not laughing, I guess you are serious. How exactly is he for letting rapists carry guns on playgrounds?
Forrester explains Campfield’s for eliminating the state’s handgun carry permit system so that citizens could go armed without state licenses. But how would that allow convicted criminals to go armed? we asked. Even without a state handgun permit system, ex-cons can’t pass federal background checks required to buy guns.
Well, it turns out there’s a little caveat that’s conveniently omitted from the party mailer. These convicted felons first would have to serve their prison time and then succeed somehow in restoring their constitutional right to own guns, Forrester says.
“If the rights are restored, the ex-rapist would have access to a gun,” he says.
When we pointed out that felons whose rights are restored can buy guns now, Forrester replied: “You’re really splitting hairs here.”
Campfield is justifiably upset about this mailer. He is for letting plenty of shady characters go armed on playgrounds and schools. We’re talking about the many thousands of firearms freaks who now own state handgun permits. Around the country, more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers, according to the Violence Policy Center. At least five people have been killed in Tennessee. To make Campfield look bad, all Democrats had to do was tell the truth.
Update: The Violence Policy Center has updated its compilation of murder and mayhem caused by all the nation's law-abiding licensed gunmen. At last report, they have killed 202 people.