Tennessee Constitutionalists

I received a letter Thursday and I wanted to share it with you because it is important to all of us to remember why our fathers, and their fathers as well as their fathers before them fought and died to defend this nation. You will hear a great deal of talk about how a few individuals are working toward the replacement of sitting members of our existing Tennessee legislature. Those members were directly responsible for attempting to undermine your constitutional rights and they will be challenged for it. The letter is from the Tennessee Firearms Association for which I am a financial supportor and member and is signed by John Harris who is the Executive Director. The letter lays out it’s reason for the actions they are taking. This letter is important because it defines a position rarely taken……. The letter:

Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc.

Box 198722

Nashville, TN 37219

June 11, 2012

Dear Tennessee Firearms Association Supporter

As a resident of Tennessee, you have some choices to make this election year. As a firearms owner and patriot. you need to be informed about important issues surrounding some of the politicians in our state.

Believe it or not, we now have proof that too many of the elected Republicans only give lip-service to the Second Amendment; telling you what they think you want to here in the election year. and then voting against your rights in the legislature. The proof lies in the results from the votes they gave and refused to give in 2011 and 2012 on important 2nd Amendment legislation.

Sometimes folks assume that just because a politician is a Republican, they are a solid supporter of the Second Amendment. We know that they claim to be publicly but the citizens of’fennessee cannot make that trusting mistake. Take Rep, Debra Maggart, Rep, Gerald McCormick and Speaker Beth Harwell as examples. All three are House Republican leadership. All three claimed that the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution are important. However. all three voted in a committee to kill and did kill the Safe Commute legislation this ycar rather than allow it to be considered and voted upon by all 99 House members. By doing that they have intentionally conspired to deny all citizens of the right to have their voices heard through their own elected representatives on this legislation and probably other legislation. Effectively, they manipulated the system so that only a handful of legislators who were obedient to their demands voted to stop the Safe Commute legislation even though it had 30 sponsors and had passed by overwhelming margins in every other committee that had considered the legislation.

For the last four years, Tennessee Republicans have virtually dominated the legislature and now the Governor’s office, yet despite the “pro-2nd Amcndment” sales pitch from these politicians. Tennessee’s gun owners have been left in the dust and intentionally taken for granted, The fact is that the actions of these Republican leaders evidence that the words they spoke cannot be trusted.

Now we see that in the two years of super majority Republican control, the Republican leaders in the legislature have shamelessly killed good pro-2nd Amendment bills year after year. Republican leaders have stonewalled important self-defense and constitutional issues often to appease Big Business or a moderate Governor.

It is important to repeat that our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms hangs by a thread. You might think that Tennessee is a “pro-gun state,” but let me tell you that Republican leadership, the RINO’s (Republicans in-name-only) and even “the Left” are doing everything in their power to make Tennessee a nightmare for our gun rights.

You see, while other states are lifting permit fecs, reducing or eliminating background check requirements, opening local parks, and moving forward with Constitutional Carry legislation, Tennessee Republican leadership – and those who put and keep them in power have been sitting quietly hoping you won’t notice their lack of motivation to restore and protect your rights.

Constitutional Carry is the basic principle that if you are legally eligible to purchase a firearm, you should be able to carry that weapon, concealed, for self-defense without government “permission.” Since the 2010 Republican gains nationwide.

Constitutional Carry has been introduced in 23 states, passed four legislative chambers, and became law in Wyoming, It is already the law in Vermont. Arizona and Alaska and is partially the law in some states like Kentucky, Sadly, this bill wasn’t even proposed in Tennessee and at least one Republican leader has already told us that they do not want to even see it introduced in Tennessee

Tennessee’s firearms owners like you – deserve better than the anti-gun Republican leadership we have seen in Tennessee including legislative leadership and even the present Governor.

That’s why it’s vital you take immediate action.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Get involved in the statewide campaign to defeat a member of Republican House Leadership – Debra Maggart (Sumner County) so that we can make an example of her for others to see;
  2. Check out the 20- other Republican primary races where there are challenges to incumbent Republicans. I am not saying vote against all them but find out whethcr thcy support Speaker Harwell Rep.M1aggart and or Rep. McCormick and, if thcy do, think seriously about replacing them as a step toward removing these three from leadcrship: and.
  3. Give all Republican candidates an earful. Demand that they honor their oaths of office, that they uphold and protect the Constitutional rights of citizens, that they abstain from the sell-outs to Big Business: and that they pledge to remove Beth Harwell as Speaker along with hcr helpers Maggart and McCormick and that replace them with constitutionally conservative leaders who will promote the right of all citizens to have their voices heard on important legislation having full and fair floor debates and votes.

Ultimately. the point is that we as citizens should not be required to demand the attention and allegiance to the oaths of office of elceted officials. however. to many become addicted to the power and arc bought by the “drug” of corporate finances for their parties and their re-elections. Indeed. recently Rep. Debra Maggart was quoted by TNReporLcom as actually proclaiming that her most important junction is to get the incumbent Republicans with apparently no regard to whether they arc the “best” conservatives for service.

In a TNReport.com news report dated June 1.2012. where Rep. Debra Maggart’s “partisan first” and “incumbent first” mentalities arc highlighted. it was written:

But party leaders, particularly in the House. say a first priority is to ensure that members of their caucus survive challenges in the Aug. 2 primary.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart both say incumbents winning primaries is a prime concern. In McCormick’s words. incumbents deserve to be “rewarded on election day” for responsibly governing since they began dominating state politics two years ago.

Maggart sees it as her unwavering responsibility to ensure sitting lawmakers get their jobs back next year. And she faces her own tough re-eketion challenge Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville. a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel.

“My job is to bring the incumbents back,” Maggart told TNReport. “That’s our job – my job – as the caucus leader.”

It is the job of the citizens to make sure that their elected representatives honor the Constitution and uphold a Republic as our form of government. To do this. it may be and is necessary to prune the tree of incumbent legislators to remove those who do more harm than good.


John I. Harris III

Executive Director

Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc. Contributions can be made here.

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