McGary-Gardenhire Forum: Guns and Groans

Major differences emerged between the men seeking Democratic state Sen. Andy Berke’s seat in a forum sponsored by the Chattanooga Voter Empowerment Group, the Chattanooga Times Free Press and NAACP, according to Chris Carroll.
Asked how he would resolve a growing inner-city gun problem, (Todd) Gardenhire touted his endorsement from the National Rifle Association and said “responsible” gun owners shouldn’t be deterred by “the crazies” who obtain guns illegally.
(Andae) McGary quickly retorted that guns don’t belong in churches, schools, parking lots or the workplace. He blamed cuts in education for the city’s crime issues and criticized lawmakers who allow the Legislature to be used as “an open place for the NRA to declare war” on advocates for gun control.
When the questions ventured into education, Gardenhire came out in favor of school vouchers, an issue McGary said wouldn’t exist if “our schools were properly funded.”
After Gardenhire’s closing statement, McGary criticized its length and called it a “CPM” — what he later explained in a text message as a “colored people’s minute.”
“Gardenhire was supposed to limit his answer to a minute,” said McGary, who is black. “He took three.”
Race entered the discussion when Adams asked both candidates if Republicans were fair to minorities during the redistricting process.
“Whether somebody was being fair or unfair, it depends on what side you are,” Gardenhire said, drawing audible groans.

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