Council members could outlaw guns in Davidson County parks

Friday, June 5, 2009 at 1:41am

If state legislation to allow guns in parks is enacted, Metro Council members are prepared to respond by bringing forward legislation that would maintain the status quo in Davidson County.

Legislation has been approved by both Houses that would allow gun carry permit holders to bring guns into parks. It is awaiting a signature from Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Last week Bredesen vetoed similar legislation to allow guns in restaurants and bars, but legislators overrode that veto Thursday. The new law allowing guns in restaurants will go into effect July 14.

If Bredesen signs off on guns in parks, or if his veto is over-ridden again, then Council will respond by filing legislation that would again make carrying guns into Davidson County parks illegal.

“It is horrible public policy. The day the governor signs it, that same day I’m filing legislation to outlaw it locally,” at-large Councilman Jerry Maynard said.

Metro Council already passed a memorializing resolution opposing guns in parks. The bill was co-sponsored by Maynard and fellow at-large Council member Megan Barry.

Metro oversees its own parks and would by charter be able to outlaw guns in parks, according to Maynard, if Council passed a law of its own.

The bill has support of other Council members as well, including District 7 Councilman Erik Cole. Mayor Karl Dean signed the memorializing resolution sponsored by Barry and Maynard.

Dean said he believes guns in both parks and bars is “a bad idea.”

“I think there’s a general feeling that our parks are highly populated, highly utilized,” Cole said. “We are a large county and we have some rural areas but it seems like by and large the opinions I hear are folks would rather not have weapons in the parks at all.”

The movement against guns in parks by Council comes at the same time that at-large Councilman Charlie Tygard is pursuing legislation that would allow Metro to pull beer permits of establishments that allow customers to carry guns.

81 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 6/5/09 at 3:00

When guns are outlawed only the outlaws will have them.

How arrogant of these two wanting to over rule state law and the Constitution.

We don't need representatives like this.

By: NashvilleAdam on 6/5/09 at 5:19

The biggest danger to the general public are gun-grabbing men and women like Jerry Maynard and Megan Barry. MORE GUNS EQUALS LESS CRIME. This is just fact. Read here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html
Should Jerry Maynard and Megan Barry succeed, the present rate of violent crime, (including rape, murder and aggrevated assault), against law abiding citizens will remain UNNECESSARILY HIGH. My advice, contact the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION for more information and help; then, vote Jerry Maynard and Megan Barry off the Metro Council.

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 6:06

How many violent crimes take place in our parks? Very few.

I use parks and greenways all the time. I feel perfectly safe.

If you are so scared, then carry a sturdy hiking staff or walking stick.

By: NashvilleAdam on 6/5/09 at 6:48

Why ever choose a higher crime rate over a lower crime rate? Is there an acceptable level of rape or of murder in Davidson County? More guns in parks will reduce the incidence of violent crime in parks. LESS crime is simply favorable to more crime.

By: pam harrison on 6/5/09 at 6:50

I cannot believe that our legislators are so stupid, but alas, Tennessee is once again looked at as backwater, gun-toting, hillbillies who are living in the far distant past where macho cowboys had to carry guns to show how important they are.

I, for one, will not patronize an eating establishment that allows patrons to carry guns. I will not allow my safety and the safety of may family to be dependent upon some fool who has had a few drinks and thinks that he has to pull a gun in a crowded place to prove his manhood. If owners of these establishments really think that their places will be safer by allowing this idiocy, then they are bigger fools than the men who passed this asinine policy. Anyone who feels that they are safer by carrying a hand gun is liable to be shot with that gun when it is taken away from him by another fool with a bigger gun.

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 6:52

"incidence of violent crime in parks"

Please share with us precise data and statistics on how many violent crimes there are in city parks, break it down year by year, park by park.

Show us why this is so necessary. Give us facts, not fancies.

By: sidneyames on 6/5/09 at 7:03

Pam, you wrote: I cannot believe that our legislators are so stupid, but alas, Tennessee is once again looked at as backwater, gun-toting, hillbillies who are living in the far distant past where macho cowboys had to carry guns to show how important they are.

I find your comments elitist. You see, Andrea Conte is protected by armed body guards and others have armed body guards. You are "ass-uming" that everyone who wants to be trained on a weapon, be legally licensed to carry is a jerk who just wants to play cowboy. I strongly disagree. I think there are PhD's carrying weapons right now and you don't even know it. Most intelligent people don't go into bars and drink with guns in their pockets. There are the occasional fools. But you and the rest of the people who think we are all idiots and cowboys, could not be further from wrong -- or "ass-uming".

Until you can find a way to outlaw criminals in bars with guns, I suggest you stop putting down those who think it's their right -- and it is -- to carry.

By: pam harrison on 6/5/09 at 7:14

So sorry you feel the need to carry a gun. How will anyone be able to tell the good guys from the bad? Are you going to pull you gun on someone you think is committing a crime? I would rather not be around to watch you getting shot and maybe killed. Do you really think that having trained armed guards who watch the people around Ms. Conte even equate with "those who think it's their right?"

I am not an "elitist" but rather that I am a person who doesn't want to put my safety and the safety of my family in the hands of someone who thinks they can assess a situation and pull their guns to show that they are in control.

No thanks! Looks like my family will only be patronizing those places where gun-toting is not allowed.

By: NashvilleAdam on 6/5/09 at 7:22

For the women on this thread, consider this:

Concealed handguns also appear to help women more than men. Murder rates decline when either sex carries more guns, but the effect is especially pronounced when women are considered separately. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about three to four times more than an additional armed man reduces the murder rate for men. Victims of violent crime are generally physically weaker than the criminals who prey on them. Allowing a woman to defend herself with a concealed handgun makes a larger difference in her ability to defend herself than the change created by providing a man with a handgun. Guns are the great equalizer between the weak and the vicious.
--Professor John R Lott, Jr
University of Chicago

By: sidneyames on 6/5/09 at 7:25

Well, Pam, while doing my job 2 years ago, I knocked on a door. The guy who opened the door was wildly pointing a gun at my face - 3 feet from me. Hmmmmm! Turns out he didn't have permit to carry. Quite frankly if I'd had a gun, I would have shot his nasty self. He scared the daylights out of me. I lost almost a month of work. After that I was afraid of my job, doing my job after 5 p.m. and even talking about doing my job. So, yes, me being able to have a carry permit equates to Ms. Conte, cause she's no better than I am. I deserve the right to take gun lessons, have a carry permit and feel safer. It's my constitutional right.

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 7:27

Well Adam, where's your proof of how dangerous parks are?

By: joemama1977 on 6/5/09 at 7:37

Has pam harrison even read the law? She says "I will not allow my safety and the safety of may family to be dependent upon some fool who has had a few drinks...". The law specifically states you are not allowed to carry in such places if you are consuming alcohol. And if someone is going to break that aspect of the law, then why would we assume they are not going to break others, such as carrying one into a place that is not allowed in the first place?

I for one would rather have my safety dependent on a law-abiding stranger with a gun who did it right and has a license to carry, then have my safety depend on the stranger with the gun who didn't.

Atleast know the facts before you present your reasons for allowing or disallowing. While we should respect each other's opinions when they are based on facts, there is no excuse for ignorance.

joemama

By: joemama1977 on 6/5/09 at 7:37

joemama

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 7:39

you lost a month of work because you had a gun pointed at your face when you knocked on a door? sounds like you took advantage of the situation, sid.

By: dogmrb on 6/5/09 at 8:01

I'm with you Pam. Keep the gunslingers on the shooting ranges or out in the fields hunting big game like ducks and rabbits.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 8:03

me too. we don't need gunslinging nervous people walking around. sheesh.

By: sidneyames on 6/5/09 at 8:05

Blanket - GTH! I did not take advantage of any situation. I am fricking self-employed and if I don't get up and suit up, I don't make a dime. So my employer, is me. I happened to be contracted to the Federal Gov't at the time and it just meant that the guy I reported to didn't get to rate my performance at the top of the charts - as he usually did. Your a$$-umption makes you look like an a$$ and I bet you are! I have never in my entire working life "taken advantage" of my employer. And I'd take lie detector on that. I bet you know all the loop holes cause you are so accusatory!
And thank you, Professor John R Lott, Jr, University of Chicago. When I worked in D.C. in the 70's, they gave us self-defense training classes at our job because we had to leave work after dark sometimes. Women should all be trained with self-defense tactics because we can be perceived as being more vulnerable, and we usually are. Blanket, again I say -- gth!

By: sidneyames on 6/5/09 at 8:08

And Pam, let me ask you this: IF, and I use IF very largely, you did have a gun and a permit to carry, would YOU drink in a bar if you were there with a gun? NOT! So please. Give credit to logical, intelligent, fair-minded, law abiding citizens. If I had a carry permit, and I had a gun and I went into a bar, I would not drink. And neither will 99% of the registered gun owners who have a permit to carry. It's only the crooks and cocky people who think they can get away with breaking the law who do that.

By: NashvilleAdam on 6/5/09 at 8:34

sidneyames,THE FACTS ARE ON YOUR SIDE. Gun toting does not result in gunslinging--quite the opposite. The data bears only this out: "AN ARMED SOCIETY IS A POLITE SOCIETY." For example, while Pam et al. would expect simple traffic disputes to turn murderous, the reverse is true. Read this:

What about minor disputes such as traffic accidents? Are legal owners of concealed handguns more likely to use them in such situations? In 31 states, some of which have had concealed weapons laws for decades, there is only one recorded incident (earlier this year in Texas) in which a concealed handgun was used in a shooting following an accident. Even in that one case, a grand jury found that the shooting was in self-defense: The shooter was being beaten by the other driver.
--Professor John R Lott, Jr
University of Chicago

MORE GUNS EQUALS LESS CRIME

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 8:44

see, we don't need angry wacko folks like sid carrying a gun around.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 8:45

What would everyone rather do?

1. Go out to dinner having no idea if the thug at the next table is going to pull a gun?

or

2. Go out to dinner with 10 Handgun Carry Permit Holders in the restaurant that:
• have gone through the training necessary to get a permit
• have had background checks run on them by the TBI and FBI
• know the laws much better than you concerning when and how to us their gun
and
• practice on a regular basis?

As a Permit Holder, I've done and do all this. I do not drink because I know as a mature adult that guns and booze don't mix. I know the law because if I kill someone doing anything other than defending myself or someone else I'm going to jail. I don't want to go to jail but I sure as hell don't want to kill anyone if it's not necessary to save myself or someone else.

I think a thug would be much less likely to do something if he or she knows there's law-abiding citizens around to take them out.

As for the Davidson County city council, if you pass laws prohibiting HCP holders from going into city parks, I and many others will simply not go to your parks at all. This will translate into us not going to your restaurants, businesses, or other attractions within your county.

If your restaurants loose customers, you loose tax revenue and businesses close.

If your parks don't have the numbers, you'll loose state and federal tax dollars for upkeep and repairs. Parks will be gun-free zones but only the thugs will have guns. They don't care about the law.

Think about it folks. I, nor other HCP Holders are not the bad guys. We just simply want to protect our families and selves from the thugs of the world wherever me are.

Have a good day.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 8:51

sid, your posts would be humorous if you weren't so danged scary. go get some therapy and attend some anger management courses. you need it.

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 8:56

Cookie, maybe you can answer, since NAdam is afraid to answer:

Show me facts and statistics on how dangerous parks are? How many murders, armed robberies and armed assaults in Metro Parks last year or last decade?

By: scraigtn on 6/5/09 at 9:32

"I knocked on a door. The guy who opened the door was wildly pointing a gun at my face - 3 feet from me. Hmmmmm! Turns out he didn't have permit to carry. Quite frankly if I'd had a gun, I would have shot his nasty self. "

Was the guy who opened the door, the property owner? If so then since when do you have to have a permit to carry in order to have a gun inside your own house? Had you shot him you probably would have been sued by the guy or his estate if he died. And, if he was wildly pointing a gun at your face - 3 feet from you, do you really think you would have been able to get to your gun before he shot you?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 9:53

Castle law allows the owner to have a gun.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 10:01

"I knocked on a door. The guy who opened the door was wildly pointing a gun at my face - 3 feet from me. Hmmmmm! Turns out he didn't have permit to carry. Quite frankly if I'd had a gun, I would have shot his nasty self. "

See, that is exactly why sid and other folks shouldn't be carrying guns. The guy has a right to have a gun in his house. If Sid showed up and shot him she would have been in the wrong. She's be in jail and the poor dude who was protecting his property would most likely be dead.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 10:07

Kosh III, as I'm sure your hoping for, I do not have the statistics. I don't need them. I've lived in the Nashville area all my life. The reputation of the Davidson County area in general makes me decide to stay away. There's no way I would walk the green way from Shelby Park over to the Opry Mills area without being armed. You can't go to Centennial Park without being approached by numerous homeless that get angry when they're waved off. I don't need statistics when I have instinct.

Blanketnazi2, if you're suggesting I get therapy perhaps you should seek some yourself to help you get your head out of the sand. I will thank you for the laugh though. It's naive people like you that will be hiding behind people like me when the trouble starts. The difference between me and you is I don't have a problem saving either of us if necessary.

Thanks, guys.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 10:10

I go to Centennial Park all the time and have for years and I've never been armed or felt the need to be armed. I was saying that sid need therapy for her anger issues, but if you're that paranoid, you might want to seek some help yourself.

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 10:15

Cookie

You have obviously NEVER been on the Greenway from Shelby Park to Two Rivers and probably none of the others either. Shelby Bottoms is a very busy park, I have been there many many times since it opened and the biggest problem is dog poop in the pathway. But maybe that terrifies you?

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 10:16

"Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 11:07
Kosh III, as I'm sure your hoping for, I do not have the statistics."

Because they don't exist because there is NOT a problem.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 10:23

I have gone to Centennial Park three times in the past year to just eat a quiet lunch in my truck. I have been approached all three times by people asking for a handout. I waved all three off. The last time one of these individuals slapped my window when I did so. Luckily he walked away and I drove away but if it had gone wrong from there it would have been nice to have something to protect myself and my son.

As for therapy, what credentials do you have to as a doctor to say this to anyone?

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: scraigtn on 6/5/09 at 10:23

"See, that is exactly why sid and other folks shouldn't be carrying guns. The guy has a right to have a gun in his house. If Sid showed up and shot him she would have been in the wrong. She's be in jail and the poor dude who was protecting his property would most likely be dead."

Is a psychological profile required to get a HCP? If not, a person could meet all the other requirements and be able to get one, but I think we all know people who are too quick tempered to carry a gun. Even if they do meet all the requirements.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 10:27

Kosh III, wake up before you become a story on the nightly news.

Also, if pop scared me, I would never have waded into this comment section.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 10:32

So, someone slaps your car window as you drive off in terror and you wish you could've murdered them for the heinous crime?

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 10:45

No, as I would do if I were armed, my first option is to ALWAYS remove myself from the situation if possible. If I don't have that option, I want the option and ability to protect myself.

In that particular incident, my young son was with me so I drove away.

You don't understand anything about carrying a gun. It's not to murder anyone. It's to protect my family and myself. If you wish to be the victim, so be it. That's not my wish and I'll do whatever is necessary to keep that from happening.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: Kosh III on 6/5/09 at 10:59

I'm not the least bit a victim. I go to Greenways all the time and have never seen a situation requiring a gun to defend myself. I can take care of myself.

As I said before: show me PROOF of the danger and maybe now that you can go ther with guns at the ready, try Shelby Bottoms Greenway, it is a lovely peaceful place.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 11:06

Kosh,

I would like to know what gives you and others on this comment page the impression HCP Holders are bad people. I've never been arrested. I don't drink at all. I'm a Christian and treat people as they treat me, most of the time better because I don't let them get under my skin.

Yes, I carry a gun. How does that make me and other HCP Holders bad people in your eyes?

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: scraigtn on 6/5/09 at 11:25

"The reputation of the Davidson County area in general makes me decide to stay away."
And you also said, "I have gone to Centennial Park three times in the past year to just eat a quiet lunch in my truck." So do you stay away from the criminal anarchy that is Davidson County or not?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:26

so, a homeless guy knocking on your car window is reason enough to pull a gun? are you kidding me? okay, you must not get out much.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:27

yeah, i guess nashville is a great big scary city, huh?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:35

what worries me is that it's the angry, paranoid people who are so itching to carry guns. that's why i would rather leave that responsibility where it belongs - with the police. having a bunch of angry, paranoid people running around with guns isn't going to make things better.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:36

the last thing i need is to be hit by a stray bullet in Centennial Park because a homeless person tapped on Cookie's window.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 11:39

BlanketNazi2, the man did not knock on my window. It was a forceful, open-hand slap on the window because he was pissed. He was pissed because I wouldn't give him money he didn't work for. I've gotten the impression you and Kosh are a couple of bleeding-heart liberals so you should go out and give them them your money. I'll keep mine for someone I see that really needs it. This guy could get a job like I've done.

Scraigtn, yes, I do venture into the badlands of downtown Nashville from time to time. As for the "yeah, i guess nashville is a great big scary city, huh?" Blanketnazi2 wrote, it's not scary when you can protect yourself if necessary.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: scraigtn on 6/5/09 at 11:43

"It's naive people like you that will be hiding behind people like me when the trouble starts. The difference between me and you is I don't have a problem saving either of us if necessary." Are you talking about killing that thug, if necessary, cookie? You said you are a Christian, so wouldn't that violate the 6th commandment? Thou shalt not kill.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:45

Cookie, just so you know, i do not give money to the homeless. i also understand that they are not that scary. many of them are mentally ill and either have no family or their families will not care for them. i don't think they're wild packs of murderous people. so, that being said, i'm way more scared of your stray bullet than i am of them.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 11:46

"badlands of downtown Nashville." lol - wow, you really don't get out much.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 12:37

Look Guys:

As for the parks and guns, I'll agree there's some parks where guns should not be allowed. And, in answer to scraigtn, yes, to protect my family and myself, I would kill someone in self defense. The FIRST option is to not be in a situation you have to do that. However, if I find myself in a bad situation, I want the ability to hopefully defuse the situation but use force if necessary. I don't want to kill anyone as some of you have unfairly implied. I JUST WANT TO PROTECT MY FAMILY AND MYSELF IF NECESSARY.

Also, the homeless guy did not TAP on my window. He forcefully slapped the hell out of it because he was pissed. It scared the hell out of my son so I left.

The badlands comment was tongue in cheek. I've lived in Nashville all my life and think it's a great city. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else but, by the same token, there are parts of it I will not go into without being armed-PERIOD.

I wish you all the best.

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/5/09 at 12:51

Cookie, the point I was making was that HAD you had a gun that day in Centennial Park things may have turned out very badly. That guy might be dead, you may have shot an innocent bystander, etc. Instead, you left, he left and nothing bad happened. See what I mean?

By: PromosFriend on 6/5/09 at 1:10

Wow, a lot of interesting posts here (well, some are interesting - others are just dumb). The thing is, y'all are not going to change each others' minds. So, lets let the anti folks believe that the police will protect them from harm and that those of us that carry are whatever they think we are. Personally I don't care about their opinions one way or the other - they are unimportant to me. I have carried a gun for over 35 years as a civilian and have only had to display it once to calm an escalating situation. However, had I not been able to do that there is a possibility that the situation could have deteriorated to a dangerous physical altercation, resulting in harm to myself, my wife, and/or the would-be assailant. With my pistol in hand the odds were more in favor of the assailant being the only injured party, as it should be. The end result was that all three of us got to walk away. Therefore, those that prefer not to carry certainly have that right, but as for me and mine, we'll be carrying for our own protection and for yours, and you'll never know it unless the manure hits the fan.

By: Cookie47 on 6/5/09 at 1:20

If I had had a gun in that incident, I would not have used it because I had the option of retreat as I did. I also don't shoot unless I know what I'm shooting at or what's behind it. I know this because of my training. The first option is always retreat.

Now, back to my original question reworded slightly.

Would you rather:

1. Go out to dinner having no idea if the thug at the next table has an illegal gun because
he doesn't care about the law?

2. Go out to dinner with a Handgun Carry Permit Holder in the restaurant that:
• has gone through the training necessary to get a permit
• has had background checks run on them by the TBI and FBI
• knows the laws about when and how to use his/her gun
and
• practices on a regular basis?
Keep in mind this person would ONLY use their gun in self-defense.

or

3. Be blissfully unaware of the world around you.

1, 2, or 3?

Cookie47
Handgun Carry Permit Holder