MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - This is supposed to be the season of peace on Earth, and good will toward man. It doesn't exist outside of Club Crave on Beale Street. It's a location that cops know all too well. There have been shootings, murders, stampedes and stabbings. Enough says Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, enough. "We will be owning Beale Street in about a month," the mayor says. "We will be overseeing it as well. And I don't want to be a landlord of a place that's got something going on like at that club."
It's not the first time the mayor has been angry about what happens in and outside of that club. He says this might very well be the last time he has to deal with it. "I've been talking to District Attorney Amy Weirich and Police Director Toney Armstrong today (Christmas Eve). All I can say is we're going to deal with that situation and it will be sooner than later."
The club represents a Memphis the mayor wants to change. It is well known that Memphis is a violent city. Mayor Wharton wants crime fighting plans to replace violence as what people think of, when they think of Memphis. His big push for the coming year will be on people stealing guns. "Now, I don't know how anybody could oppose enhancing punishment and making it tougher for folks to get out on bail who steal guns," Wharton says, "...and even tougher for those who use a stolen gun in the commission of a crime."
People own guns. We all know that. Nobody is talking about taking them out of the hands of good people. It's that simple. The trouble is those guns can be stolen by bad people. "We've got to be really tough on those who steal guns and use them in crimes. First we need tougher punishment for stealing weapons. Secondly, we need tougher punishment if they use it in a crime."
Tougher laws will mean they need help from the Tennessee State Legislature. Tennessee is a state that has some of the most liberal gun ownership laws in the country.