Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday Satire

Having passed legislation allowing gun owners to carry weapons in state parks and restaurants, the Tennessee General Assembly took up legislation late in the session today that would permit non-violent convicts to carry guns while incarcerated in state prisons. Supporters argued that the mere fact of incarceration should not deprive all felons of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Opponents reacted sharply against the measure, saying that its consideration proved that legislative leaders were not dealing with serious issues. "Instead of allowing guns, we should be shutting down all of the prisons," said Memphis Democrat Jim Kyle in a prepared statement. He argued that if the legislature was doing its job, there would be no need for prisons any more. Sen. Kyle said that he would file legislation next session that would divert all prison funding to the state's beleaguered ethics commission.

However, Representative Stacey Campfield said that the measure didn't go far enough and that he was preparing to pursue an amendment that would also allow violent offenders to carry.

"Some of these guys have just committed one violent offense. That should not keep them from being able to defend themselves," Mr. Campfield said in a heavily edited statement. He added that the measure would likely have the effect of shortening prison terms for some convicts, thus saving the state money.

It is not known whether the measure will come to a vote. Asked for comment, a spokesman for Governor Phil Bredeson said that it would be premature to speculate regarding a potential veto.

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