Glenn Beck and other Fox News types have been telling anyone who will listen -- and remarkably, that's several million people -- that President Obama is scheming to take away their guns (a falsehood that has already had lethal consequences.) Meanwhile, out in the reality-based world, the Verizon rule is in effect -- more guns in more places, including, yes, bars:
Cities and counties across Tennessee are preparing this week to deal with the fallout from a raft of pro-gun bills recently signed into law in the state, where Republicans are flexing their new-found strength in the legislature.
Among the new laws is one that would allow people who have gun permits to carry guns in all public parks in the state. Another would exempt from federal regulation guns and ammunition made in Tennessee and kept within its borders.
And that's not all:
Gun-rights advocates say expanded rights are needed so that law-abiding citizens can protect themselves in more situations. The new Tennessee laws also include measures that will allow permit holders to carry guns in bars and restaurants, if they are not drinking alcohol, and to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in their vehicles if the ammunition is in the magazine but not in the chamber, although it can be in the chamber for purposes of self-defense.
"The purpose of this bill is to let people know we have state sovereignty and the federal government has no business telling us what to do," State Senator Mae Beavers, a Mount Juliet Republican who sponsored the bill, said in an interview.
Exactly -- this whole thing is driven by politics, and a red state standing up to the big, bad and increasingly blue federal government in D.C. It's not about a sudden realization in 2009 that the way to make people safer is to encourage people to bring guns into bars (but tell them they're not supposed to drink!). At lrast Tennessee lawmakers haven't made it legal to carry guns into a church, like the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church where a man named Jim David Adkisson strolled in during a play and fatally gunned down two people.
For all the yukking it up about people running for governor in places like Georgia talking about secession, there's a very serious slippery slope forming here. And defying the handful of very weak federal laws regarding guns is that first slippery step.