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Constitutional Open Carry defeated in House committee

. . . if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
. . . if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
photo by Liston Matthews

Last night, contrary to a 6 pm report by WVLT anchor Ted Hall, the House Finance Subcommittee voted 10-1 to defeat the Constitutional Carry bill, making it apparently DOA for this legislative session. Liberty lost this time.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch weighed in with tired, disproven arguments about the old wild west, prompting this column to write him,

Dear Chief Rausch;

Your opinion, quoted on local stations WATE and WBIR, is, factually without merit. I am sure you mean well, but your stated opinion is an affront to honest citizens who wish to carry arms for personal defense.

Are you aware that twenty nine or thirty states (in Arkansas, it depends on who you ask) already have this law on the books. Wouldn't you agree that Tennesseans are at least as trustworthy as citizens of North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Alabama. Or do you think that only those who can afford the expensive permitting process should be able to exercise their God-given, natural right to defense against felonious aggression.

You stated that this bill would take away probable cause when someone is carrying a weapon. I submit that if you or one of your officers sees me with a handgun exposed, which is legal under current Tennessee law, you cannot ascertain whether or not I have a permit. The only way to learn about the permit is by asking. Mere possession of a Constitutionally protected weapon should not be probable cause.

You know that there are many who are already prohibited from possession of firearms by Federal law.They have already been through the system one or more times. This bill is irrelevant to them. It only applies to citizens who do not fall into that prohibited persons category.

You also know that there are many low-income citizens in your bailiwick who have never broken the law, but can't afford the handgun carry permit. Each time they leave their home, they are subject to criminal attack, because they live in high crime areas. Do you really prefer that they remain unarmed and helpless each time they step out the door, as they are legally required to do under current Tennessee law?

Why should they have to get a permission slip in order to exercise the most fundamental civil right of all, the right of self-preservation? Just to make your job easier?

I hope you will look at the success of un-permitted open carry in those other 29-30 states, and reconsider you stance.


Liston Matthews

Whether it be mayors limiting people's right to armed personal defense in parks, or legislators doing the same on a state or national basis, it is up to liberty minded people to be steadfast in their efforts to defeat these petty potentates at the polls, and replace them with true Constitutional conservatives.


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A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)

Disclaimer: The information and ideas presented in this column are provided for informational purposes only. Firearms, like cars, kitchen knives and life itself all can be dangerous. You should get professional training as part of any plan to use firearms for any purpose. I have made a reasonable, good-faith effort to assure that the content of this column is accurate. I have no control over what you do, and specifically accept no responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading my columns. Any action or lack of action on your part is strictly your responsibility.

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