“An AK-47 in a Tennessee Park”

When I read this heading on an editorial in yesterday’s New York Times, I started thinking, “Oh shit what more horrors do I have to absorb over the Boys Bearing Guns-Second Amendment nonsense.”

But wait. The editorial actually offers a shred of hope — and it comes partly out of the fairly conservative U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the blood-red states of Tennessee and Kentucky and purple Ohio (as well as parts of Michigan, which better not go purple in November, or else I’ll be out there gunnin’ for you, although maybe I shouldn’t be putting it that way, OK, never mind that part).

The lawsuit brought by a Leonard Embody (yes, that is his name), who strode bravely into a Tennessee state park near Nashville “carrying a Draco SK-47 pistol fully loaded with 30 rounds to test his constitutional rights,” was against the park ranger who responded to some “frightened visitors report[ing] that a man was in the park with an ‘assault rifle,'” and who “ordered Mr. Embody to the ground, removed his gun, patted him down for other weapons and detained him.”

Brave Southern park ranger. But what’s so hopeful is that Embody’s case was not only rejected by the Sixth Circuit but was, understandably, opposed by the valiant Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence … AND something called the Second Amendment Foundation!

OMG. Could the worms be turning? And a great line from Judge Jeffrey Sutton: “Having worked hard to appear suspicious in an armed-and-loaded visit to the park, Embody cannot cry foul after park rangers, to say nothing of passers-by, took the bait.”

Meanwhile, as much as I love Tennessee (a gorgeous state) and a couple of (gorgeous) friends who live in Nashville, as long as the state “lets people with permits carry handguns in public parks,” I — who drove a car alone throughout the southeast, into and out of state parks and isolated towns — will not be returning to Tennessee.

Still, let’s all us sane people jab a middle finger sharply upward at Mr. Embody.


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