If you remember the show In Living Color you might remember, Oswald Bates.
In Oswald, Damon Wayans portrayed a man who continually misuses words in an effort to construct more “important sounding” sentences.
“Now, if I may retain my liquids here for one moment. I’d like to continue the ‘redundance’ of my quote, unquote ‘intestinal tract’, you see because to preclude on the issue of world domination would only circumvent – excuse me, circumcise the revelation that reflects the ‘Afro-disiatic’ symptoms which now perpetrates the Jheri Curis activation.”
— Oswald Bates, In Living Color season 1 ep 3
It would seem that when it comes to gun bills, our Tennessee GOP is Oswalding their way through this thing.
From the beginning of this guns in parks shenanigans, the GOP led house has been saying that this bill would override any local laws prohibiting guns in parks. That without exception, guns would be allowed in parks regardless of signage.
However, once the media started asking questions, House Republican Caucus Chairman
Oswald…er…Glen Casada said “I would only submit that those who want it to be confusing say it’s confusing. I think the average public — good gracious if Glen Casada can understand this, surely to goodness everybody else can.”
Word Salad, Mr. Chairman.
“But the law’s real clear: It doesn’t say ‘when,’ it says ‘if’ which in a court of law is very clear. So in this case, because Grassland has school functions there, there could not be a permit holder taking a gun on Grassland Park.”
The reporter asked if Casada meant any time, and he clarified that yes… he indeed meant “at any time”.
As the fine folks at the Tennessean point out, Casada is trying to convince the (rightly) outraged constituents and concerned parents of Tennessee that this portion of the bill “property owned, used or operated by any board of education, school, college or university board of trustees, regents or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution” means “if a P.E. class plays frisbee here once, the park is off limits for guns forever” but it doesn’t. It is the general public’s understanding (as well as former Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr.) that this simply isn’t the case. As the Tennessean summarized, the law only prevents permit holders from carrying their guns in areas of a park where a school event is currently underway… as in actually taking place at the time.
To try and convince us, the people of Tennessee, means he is either ignorant of the details of the bill on which he voted yes or he is being deliberately obtuse about the facts of the legislation he is promoting.
Let’s just say that he wasn’t outright lying to us and that this was the truth. Let’s live in the pretend Oswald world where one game of frisbee was enough to protect a park from the NRA convention invaders and all the other armed yahoos who just want to ride merry go rounds with their guns strapped to their hips…. as one does.
Let’s say this is the truth.
How would we let them know?
Thanks to a rush job on this nutty ass bill and a desperate effort to avoid attaching a fiscal note, there is no requirement for cities to remove their no guns signs.
So let’s take Cumberland Park for example. There’s a sign up that says no guns. Despite the (pending) change in the law, there have been no funds made available for new signage or to provide for a representative of the city to go collect said sign.
It’s a sunny day and a man with a gun wants to take his gun for a walk…as one does… at Cumberland Park. According to House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (pictured at right) if a school field trip EVER visits Cumberland Park’s explorer trail to learn about the various plant life, Bobby Baretta has to leave his heat at home. You see, according to Casada’s explanation, one school use makes it off limits for guns.
In reality though, one school use does not a school property make. Our wee botanists wouldn’t prevent Redneck Rambo from trotting out his Don’t Tread on Me shirt and bringing out the big guns for a stroll through the sprinklers.
Confused yet? Me too.
I’m a visual learner though so I worked on a flowchart to help you remember when it is and isn’t okay to bring guns into a local park if Governor Haslam signs this cluster puck into law.
Clear as… mud?
Add to that the fact that the gun free signs are still going to be up everywhere telling everyone “Hey, this park is safe! It is gun free!” when it ISN’T! It isn’t gun free because they sold our parks to the NRA.
I’d pray on it, but good ol’ Glen even has me a little afraid to do that. You see, during an exchange with a reporter this week…
Reporter: If someone is hit accidentally with a bullet, you guys are fine defending this bill?
Casada: If someone gets run over by an automobile accidentally, there’s nothing I can do about that. These are things beyond, they’re called acts of God, they’re beyond our control.
Holy shit, y’all!
I had no idea that shootings were an act of God. Frankly, I’m terrified. I know I’m supposed to go to the interior room of our house for a tornado, but what the hell do I do for a bullet tornado?
Calling a shooting an act of God is a dangerous level of irresponsibility. It sends the message to parents that there is nothing we can do to keep our kids safe (lie) and that there’s nothing gun owners can do to help keep their families just a little bit safer from their guns at home (lie). Is he trying to say gun locks are useless? That gun safety training is useless? That a gun in the hand of a trained police officer is the same as a gun in the hand of a child?
The lows to which our legislators will sink to please the gun lobby never cease to amaze me.
But Glen wasn’t done there. Our amateur theologian and part time politico, had more “expertise” to add to the important issue of child safety. Guns, you see, are no more dangerous than any other common item you might find lying about in a park. Say, a bicycle for example.
Reporter: I’m not trying to debate, but these are the questions that we’re being asked about this. And one of the things that keep getting pointed out to me, is you guys keep talking about criminals, but there are accidents. Permit holders have accidents.
Reporter: So, if there’s an accident and a permit holder is in a park, there’s a high chance it’s going to hit a child.
Casada: There’s accidents with bicycles in parks. Should we outlaw bicycles?
Reporter: Yeah, but bikes very rarely kill people.
Casada: That’s not true, I disagree with that statement.
Reporter: Guns are weapons. Are you saying a gun is as safe as bicycle?
Casada: If used properly I am. If used properly.
Reporter: In the event of an accident, which is more likely to kill someone?
Casada: Now we’re back in theoretical. I think in Tennessee we’re dealing with a lot more questions than guns in parks. I think this is a minor thing in the scope of what we’re doing good in Tennessee.
Only we have giant campaigns about bicycle safety telling parents accidents happen all the time. Doctors tell their patients to make sure their kids are wearing helmets. Parents are encouraged to put helmets on their kids, and because of that, actual deaths from a fall from a bicycle are virtually unheard of now. In fact, I couldn’t find one.
Sure people get hit by cars while on bicycles, but not in parks. And do you know what doesn’t happen? Bicycles don’t accidentally discharge and fly across the park hitting a toddler and killing them. So there IS that small difference.
Guns though, in Florida and South Carolina doctors aren’t allowed to talk to their patients about guns and the NRA is trying to get similar legislation passed here. Kids don’t go to the parks dressed like this
That would be stupid.
Why? Because these vests are for “hunting, range time (I almost literally can’t even with myself right now for typing that) or any other application where gunshots are possible” WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK OF GUNSHOTS AT A PARK?
Apparently they didn’t get the memo that gunshots are possible everywhere. They are an “act of God” and can smite us all down anywhere we go.
Do we really have to live like this, Bert?
We deserve better. Our kids deserve better. Our parks deserve better. Oswald deserves better. Oswald probably would have DONE better.