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Unwarranted attack on permitless open carry

Motorcycle Open Carry
Motorcycle Open Carry
Photo © Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission

My rebuttal to a recent letter to the editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. If you subscribe to the N-S, you can see the slightly edited version they published HERE.


The recent letter writer, Ben Brabson, in his opposition to permitless open carry of handguns, begins with an ad hominem attack on Senator Campfield, and ends with a false assertion concerning the conduct of fellow Tennesseans.

He reminisces about his childhood firearms usage and the safety indoctrination he received from his father and uncles. I guess he missed the Bill of Rights indoctrination, which speaks of keeping and bearing arms, not for food gathering or pest control, but for defense against unlawful felonious aggression. I guess he missed the definition of infringed in the Second Amendment, which has the same meaning as abridged in the First. Maybe, too, he missed the definition of the people.

The fact is, the writer shows his callous disregard for the safety and well-being of his lower-income neighbors who can’t afford the poll tax on the individual right to bear arms. He, by extension, becomes a co-conspirator with criminals who prey on the lawfully disarmed. Are the lives of these citizens of such less value?

He asserts that if permitless open carry is passed next year,

there will be a version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral repeated in every county of the state on a daily basis.

He may be surprised, then, to learn that every county of every state bordering Tennessee, except Georgia already has permitless open carry. Can he point to crime statistics that would support his assertion? In Kentucky alone, that would add up to 43,800 gunfights last year.

He insults Tennesseans by insinuating that we are less capable of self-restraint than people in those seven states. Are we, sir, such a bunch of rubes, that we can’t be trusted to exercise a God-given, natural right, unless we first purchase a permission slip from our Master, the State?

Liston Matthews


Ultimately, there is no middle ground. Gun prohibitionists keep looking for ways to reduce/eliminate private ownership and use of firearms. They are never content, either, with partial steps. Given their choice, total prohibition is the ultimate goal.


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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.