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Re: “Bredesen to Veto Guns-in-Bars Bill; Override Expected

I am a long time supporter of Gov. Bredesen, and I don't mean for one issue to erase or discredit all of the great things he has done for the state of Tennessee. Overall, I wish he wasn't constrained by a term limit.

I do, however, find it necessary to point out a major flaw in his logic and approach to the recent handgun carry law veto (House Bill 962). While I can appreciate Gov. Bredesen's respect for and counsel sought of law enforcement leaders, I don't believe that representing their wishes should outweigh the wishes of the public majority. To do so is to demonstrate to the public that he believes that law enforcement leaders know what's best for citizens - NOT the citizens themselves.

I can appreciate (and respect) the position of law enforcement leaders as they have to face frightening situations on a regular basis. They don't know if suspects are armed or not, and the fear of facing a greater potential for armed civilians in alcohol serving establishments is a rational basis for anxiety. This is not, however, a basis for restricting law abiding citizens from the ability to defend themselves and others from violence.

This bill is repeatedly referred to as a ‘guns in bars’ law, when is NOT at all. It simply allows a person taking their family out to eat at Applebee's to carry their handgun. Gov. Bredesen's careless statement:
"The notion that this bill would permit one to carry a concealed weapon into a crowded bar at midnight on a Saturday night defies common sense, and I cannot sign such a measure into law,"
demonstrates that he either refuses to present the law as it is truly written, or has failed to take the time to read and understand the law before taking action. The only "crowded bar at midnight on a Saturday night" is generally going to be a 21 years and older bar - which are explicitly excluded from the law. There is no crowded bar in Applebee’s at midnight on a Saturday night...

I live in Memphis and have had to endure numerous stories of violent attacks on citizens in family restaurants in the middle of the day. Violent criminals don't care about carry laws and will not obey them. This places them at an advantage and law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage (unless you intend to post armed law enforcement at the establishments full-time during business hours).

Gov. Bredesen exhibits support for a dangerous philosophy by placing decisions in the hands of law enforcement leaders' counsel rather than the popular majority as this ceases to be a government for the people and by the people, but rather an authoritative dictatorship comprised of an oligarchy.

This is not the United States that I know and love. This is a land where the wishes of the majority establish the rule. There has been a very clear majority in support of this law, yet it has been vetoed based on the wishes of a small, elite group of law enforcement leaders. If this same philosophy were extended to the rest of our nation and included our military leaders, we would live under the rule of a very empowered and capable tyranny.

I urge Gov. Bredesen to respect, honor, and support the wishes of the majority as he has vowed to.

-Bryan of Memphis, NRA member, and proud supporter of Governor Bredesen

Posted by bryanw on 05/29/2009 at 12:33 AM


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