TN State Senate Candidate Blames Opponent For Guns In Parks

It’s not unusual for candidates for public office to blame their opponents for every manner of evil in their communities. This is how the game has been played for centuries. In fact, if you want to get blamed for stuff you didn’t do, simply run for office.

But those attempts to blame someone ring awfully hollow when you know damn good and well that it’s from someone who should know better.

A prime example of that is a Tennessee state senatorial candidate in Chattanooga.

Democratic state Senate candidate Glenn Scruggs, an assistant Chattanooga police chief, says it was irresponsible for incumbent Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire to vote in support of a 2015 law allowing Tennesseans with state-issued handgun permits to go armed in parks.

In a video on his Twitter feed, Scruggs refers to a rally last weekend in Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park where, he said, “folks were walking around with rifles out and pistols exposed.

“Coolidge Park — the same park where I take my son Jalen to play. The same park where you take your families to play and enjoy themselves as well,” Scruggs said. “The imagery of that, the thought of me playing football and playing around with Jalen and looking over my shoulder and seeing armed people walk down the sidewalks with rifles and pistols out, I know it upset my family because we talked about it. I know many of you were upset as well.

“Someone thought that was a great idea. And they passed it through the General Assembly and a bunch of senators up there voted for it,” Scruggs said, noting then-Gov. Bill Haslam signed the measure into law.

“One of those senators who helped that become a law was our current senator, Todd Gardenhire. Todd voted to allow folks the ability to walk through public parks with rifles out. Who thought that was a great idea? It was irresponsible then, it is irresponsible now,” Scruggs said.

Now, Gardenhire told the Times Free Press in an interview, “I can’t believe that an assistant chief of police would do anything to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights. That’s unconscionable. I mean, the law-abiding citizens aren’t the problem. The criminals aren’t going to show their guns.”

Honestly, Gardenhire is right.

Scruggs should know damn good and well that those walking around with firearms openly displayed are rarely the issue. They’re ordinary, law-abiding citizens with nothing to fear from police because they’re ordinary, law-abiding citizens. They represent zero problems.

In fact, Scruggs mentions seeing people, but you know what he doesn’t mention? He says nothing of there being any crimes or bad behavior by those openly carrying firearms in that park.

Why, it’s almost like those who comply with the law aren’t really the problem.

The truth of the matter is that criminals will carry guns wherever they want regardless of the law. Allowing the carry of firearms in parks and such doesn’t empower them, it empowers those ordinary, law-abiding citizens who can now carry a firearm to meet those threats. Scruggs, a police officer, should already understand that.

But, clearly, he doesn’t.