Fri 5 Jun 2009
Welcome to Tennessee, “The (I’ll) Volunteer (To Kill You in a Restaurant or Bar That Serves Alcohol) State”Posted by Fredric Koeppel under What Were They Thinking
Yes, friends, it’s official. Yesterday, the morons, I mean the eminent statesmen, of the Tennessee Senate overrode the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen and passed a bill that allows permit-holders to carry their concealed handguns into restaurants and bars where alcohol is served — if they don’t drink. Since the nature of a concealed weapon is that it’s, you know, concealed, a heavy burden is placed on waiters and bartenders.
Mild-mannered gentleman sidles up to the bar: “Hendricks martini, my good fellow, up with a twist.”
Bartender: “Yes sir, comin’ right up, but are you packing heat?”
MMG: “Excuse me?”
Bartender: “Are you carrying, sir, you know, a gat, a heater, a rod, are you hiding the ol’ Smith & Wesson under your arm?”
MMG: “Look, I just stopped in for a martini on the way home.”
Bartender: “I understand, sir, but now that it’s legal in Tennessee for permit-holders to carry concealed weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as they don’t drink, it’s my obligation to ascertain your ballistic preparedness before I serve you. Oh, and can I see some I.D.?”
MMG, drawing a .45 from the holster under his jacket: “You can see this, motherfucker, and you can make me a Shirley Temple, pronto!”
Bartender: “As you wish, sir. And don’t worry about the I.D.”
Actually, the bill, which was opposed by the state’s law enforcement agencies and restaurant associations — which apparently have no power against gun-owners and the NRA — does not become operative until July 14 (here’s a new way to celebrate Bastille Day!), so if you’re planning a trip to Tennessee, the state where Davy Crockett “killed himself a bar when he was only three” — “bar” being local dialect for “bear” — I would do it within the next few weeks.
The law does provide an out for restaurant and bar owners, in that they may post signs prohibiting guns in their establishments. Imagine this: You open the menu and at the bottom are the words “No smoking. No substitutions. No guns.”
In a move that didn’t receive as much publicity as the “Guns Mean Fun in Bars Bill,” the Tennessee legislature recently voted to ban a requirement that restaurants post nutritional information about the food they serve. So take your choice: Eat yourself to death on McFatso Burgers in blissful ignorance or be gunned down in a restaurant because you forgot to turn off your cell phone.