Well, they did it.

Both the TN House and Senate voted to override the Governor's veto of the bill allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol. This in spite of the NRA's own warning that "guns and alcohol don't mix."

I'm seeing a lot of blog chatter.

But I want to hear what my fellow Democrats have to say to each other.

Here's your chance.

Views: 4

Tags: 2nd-Amendment, Bredesen, Doug-Jackson, NRA, bars, guns, party-unity, restaurants, wedge-issues


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Comment by Michael Romanello on June 5, 2009 at 9:31am
I agree that Tennessee, and the Tennessee Democratic Party, is badly in need of change. I've lived here for six years and for the life of me, I can hardly tell Democrats from Republicans. The thought of elected Democrats voting the way so many Democratic members of the Tennessee legislature do is mind boggling. I'm beginning to wonder if there really is a functioning Tennessee Democratic Party, or if what exists is merely a haven for more moderate Republicans masquarading as Democrats.
Comment by Ashford Hughes on June 5, 2009 at 12:32am
The time has arrived in the State of Tennessee, where the need for NEW representation at the state political level, needs to be ushered and elected in. Over the past few years, whether republican or Democrat, the legislation that has been brought forth to committee, has not aid in the betterment of the state of Tennessee as a whole. This year in the legislature, while health care premiums rise twice as high as the average Tennesseans pay check, while un employment is at 7-8% statewide, while gang activity rises daily and domestic violence has taken the lives of women and children in our state, and while environmental disaster has struck the eastern region of Tennessee, our 2009 legislative session has dealt almost whole heartedly on the issue of abortion, saggy pants, guns, guns in park, guns in restaurants and guns on college campuses! The silence in my mind is deafening when I try to grasp the last six months of effort or lack thereof to serve the people of Tennessee.

I consider myself to be relatively active in my Nashville and throughout my Tennessee community, as I am currently working on an historic campaign to pass through Congress this year President Obama's Health Care Reform Act. As I go from neighborhood throughout neighborhood, some wealthy and some housing projects, people in Tennessee are concerned about their jobs, their house payments, their health insurance, their retirement savings and their children’s futures. Not many, if any people that I can remember talking to, where concerned about saggy pants or how many places they could legally carry their loaded weapons. I’ve spoke and debated issues with democrats and republicans alike and the main point of focus that people want addressed is the economics of today that will lead to a prosperous tomorrow. But our state legislature, led by the Republican party for the first time since reconstruction has decided to stereotypically focus on what the Southern GOP feels is job #1; regulating or deregulating (which ever measure serves their interest) God, Guns and Gays. The almighty southern 3 g's of Republican Dogma. These legislators have begun to define what is and isn’t acceptable in Tennessee society.
I firmly believe Tennessee deserves better. I deserve better! We , the voters of Tennessee are the GOVERNMENT. WE ARE!! We vote these officials in to represent OUR voices. We have the ultimate power to call our officials, write them, send letters to the papers, and to take part in our states everyday affairs. That is why we need to rethink how we vote and who we vote for when WE assign our representation. We need to elect more people that come from “the people”, a Robin Hood of sorts, instead of the retreaded, good ole’ boy cronyism that continues to persist in our state two party system. Our state has the potential to be a state that other states look up to. We have the capability to be that beacon of light as to how a state government can be ran effectively to meet the needs of the people.
I strongly believe we should have a year around legislature to foster a stronger pool of potential elected officials. Being a public servant is very hard work and while increasing the pay year round to attract better candidates, you also can assist in eliminating the prospects of lobbyist and the ethical dilemmas that may occur. Today many of the best candidates whom may want to run for public official DON’T based on the assumption, rightfully so, that the private sector will provide a better life financially.
In Tennessee, and this pertains to the federal level as well, we in America must begin to open our minds as well open the political door to those highly talented and driven individuals whom attend Universities that may not be as prestigious as a Vanderbilt, Belmont, University of Tennessee or Lipscomb. Universities such as Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State, Spellman and many other smaller yet nationally unknown Universities produce BRILLIANT minds who take the knowledge and expertise to other states outside of Tennessee and the south to better serve those communities instead of the communities “in house”, so to speak based on opportunity.
Tennessee deserves better. We deserve better. We need to begin the process of accessing what is most important in our collective lives and relaying that message to our state house, our state senate, as well as our Governor. Until we do we will have yet another , if not many more, WASTED General Assembly’s.
Who out there, or over there at the State Capitol is representing the poor, less fortunate communities throughout Tennessee? Who amongst the state legislators is representing abused women and children in this state? The people whom need the most help have the smallest voices on Capitol Hill. Why is this? Why is there no fighting for economic development in our poor communities, but we fight over guns, abortion and the birth certificate of our President.
I was always taught that you are only as good as your weakest asset, or your weakest link in the chain. Just imagine how great our state, our country truly could be if we catered to the notion of economic and social empowerment from our wealthiest areas to our poorest areas. Where are the candidates that where raised on the premise of community and the greater good for family and society. Women, children and our elderly citizens are our most vulnerable citizens, yet we neglect the common sense applications of public policy to cater to the application of so-called gun privileges.
I for one am tired of the same ole same ole process. The same small minded thinking that distracts many of us from the BIG picture. I have made many mistakes in my life, lord knows. But I vow to step in to take back my community and to take back the much needed common sense integrity that is NEEDED to govern this great state of Tennessee. Whom amongst you out there is willing to follow me? Who amongst you out there inspires to see Tennessee reach its epic greatness as a southern example of good policy influencing good people? I for one am and so should you.
Comment by Michael Clark on June 4, 2009 at 8:54pm
Well, I think - if we grant that the majority of people don't like this bill, and want to resist it, that Democrats begin the process of identifying restaurants and chains that will or won't allow guns inside; patronize those that don't and spread the word on those that do. And this can be done by groups affilliated as well - unions, church groups, Sierra Club, etc. No chain is going to want to p.o. any group willing to go to the press about this issue and let themselves be painted as The Longbranch Saloon ...
Comment by Ben Vos on June 4, 2009 at 2:33pm
27 = More than half the caucus AGAINST guns in bars. Confused. "voted in favor" means...? I think you're right though - much ado about nothing. Esp. since restaurant owners can restrict guns carried on their private property or deny service to people who are carrying. The obsessive over-anxious "vigilantes" are the concern.
Comment by Sean Braisted on June 4, 2009 at 12:33pm
If anything, I'm annoyed at the time the Democrats in the House Caucus spent focusing on this matter, considering over half the caucus voted in favor. Ultimately, most actual bars are likely to post signs banning firearms in their establishment...the likely impact will be A) bouncers can now carry weapons, which could be a bad thing considering the types of people the "bouncer" position attracts; and B) more people will be packing in restaurants that happen to serve alcohol.

I've met various sorts of people who pack heat since I moved to TN over 8 years ago, for some, this won't effect them because they won't go to any sort of alcohol serving establishment without enjoying a tasty adult beverage. For others, their obsessive paranoia with regards to their safety will allow them to patronize certain eateries more often than before now that they have the security blanket that is their pistola. The latter variety concern me in general, but they are no more a threat in a restaurant that serves beer than they are behind the wheel of their car or at a mall.
Comment by Ben Vos on June 4, 2009 at 12:07pm
The Tennessean has a summary for you to see how your legislators voted.

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