A special appeal to defend the religious liberty of a Tennessean, Paul Vaughn.
Paul Vaughn of Hickman County was recently convicted of violating the FACE Act for ministering at an abortion clinic back in 2021 and is now facing up to 11 years in federal prison for that crime. To get more details and fully understand what is at stake, please listen to Episode 110 of The Freedom Matters Podcast, Facing Time, with Special Guest: Paul Vaughn. https://freedommatters.co/110-facing-time-with-special-guest-paul-vaughn/ We believe that the outcome of this trial has ramifications well beyond just Paul Vaughn and his ministry concerning abortion. But this is a signal from the federal government that they will no longer tolerate those who publicly espouse a Christian worldview. We are indeed living under a two-tiered justice system and what is happening to Paul could happen to anyone of faith. Further, this is a moment where the state of Tennessee including the Governor, the Attorney General, and the General Assembly have an opportunity, a duty, to step in and interpose itself on behalf of the rights of a fellow Tennessean, constitutionally secured rights that are being stripped away by a weaponized federal justice system. Please be sure to listen to this episode and then contact our leaders to act. https://www.tn.gov/governor/contact-us.html https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/contact-us.html https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/fml2022/search.aspx
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Talking conservation easements with Margaret Byfield of American Stewards.
Complex global issues dealing with central bank digital currency, conservation easements, school choice, UN Agenda 2030 policies, Biden 30x30 agenda policies, and a host of others are quickly and methodically finding their way through the Tennessee General Assembly. One such bill is HB 1890 (William Lamberth) / SB 2099 (Jack Johnson) which is a move by Governor Bill Lee's office to create an "agricultural easement" program under the TN Dept of Agriculture. The stated purpose is to help Tennessee small farmers preserve their farmland. However, national examples of these easement programs reveal that with tax subsidies comes the loss of private property rights when a farmer cedes the control of his land to the government. This is a complicated issue. Conservation is not necessarily a bad thing. We agree that steps should be taken to preserve our agricultural lands and secure our food supply into the future. But accomplishing that goal by ceding control of those lands to the state does not seem to be in the best interest of the people. Please take the time to listen to this interview and get a glimpse into how these globalist policies are making their way into Tennessee. We oppose this legislation and would ask that you contact your state legislators to communicate the same. Want to know more about conservation easements and the threat of Natural Asset Companies (NACs)? Make sure to visit www.americanstewards.us
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Tennessee RINOs file a fake state sovereignty bill that does absolutely nothing.
Do not be deceived. For the second year now, Tennesseans have been advocating for the Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act sponsored by Rep. Bud Hulsey and Sen. Janice Bowling. This bill would put a process in place by which a Bill of Nullification could be brought directly to the floor for a roll call vote at the petition of registered voters and/or county legislative bodies. That is important because it creates a mechanism by which the General Assembly can be brought to action by the people. This bill gives Tennessee a process to stand up against unconstitutional federal overreach and declare the sovereign rights of citizens of this state which shall not be threatened by an out-of-control federal administration or court. But as we've come to expect, RINOs like to get credit for doing "something" while actually doing nothing. So, Sen. Adam Lowe has filed SB 2058, the Tennessee State Sovereignty Act of 2024. Want to know how this bill purports to stand up to the federal government? It creates a committee, a committee led by the Speakers of the General Assembly who appoints the members of every other committee in the House and Senate. Conservatives want to know that our legislature has what it takes to meaningfully stand up to federal overreach. If they reject the Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act and instead choose to move forward with the Tennessee State Sovereignty Act of 2024, then we will know that they lack both the will and the courage to stand.
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Tennessee poised to pass regulations for digital currencies.
We saw the warning signs last year with the passage of the Money Transmission Modernization Act which redefined "money" in our law to include currency adopted by foreign governments and even currency agreed upon by two or more international governments. You can thank Senator Jack Johnson for that one. Now we are contending with SB479 / HB640 which would adopt the 2022 UCC Amendments creating regulations for digital currencies and the introduction of "controllable electronic records" into Tennessee law. The Uniform Law Commission is working to push these regulations throughout all 50 states. So far, only 11 states have adopted these amendments. And states like Texas and Florida are NOT on that list. But it seems that Tennessee is always looking to "lead the nation." So, why not lead the nation in creating pathways to adopting a central bank digital currency in our state? That makes sense, right? While these UCC amendments, of course, do not "create" a currency, they set the regulatory scheme for the use and transaction of such a currency. We oppose this bill and any measure that would create regulatory schemes for digital transactions such as CBDC.
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Continuing the school choice debate.
National pundits continue to parrot the talking points for school choice stating that no regulations are going to follow the money. But, they can cite no historical examples where regulations do not follow government funding. In an interview with the Pampleteer in Nashville, Corey DeAngelis, a self-professed school choice evangelist, acknowledges that school choice is in fact an entitlement program and compares the program to food stamps. He goes on to make the argument that the more people become dependent on government funding for the private education of their children, the more powerful they will become collectively to push back against future government encroachments. Again, please cite a historical example where people take money from the government for any purpose and then become more powerful. In fact, the opposite is true. Those throughout history who as a people have become more dependent on their government have become subjects of the same. As in most instances we face in the legislature, GOP leadership is in lockstep on pushing universal school choice throughout Tennessee. And many Tennesseans are excited about the short-term prospects. But we are asking Tennesseans to think about the long-term consequences of funding private structures with public dollars. We fear that in time, there will be no difference between the public and private structures. And what was once a safety net for many families shielding their children from public indoctrination camps will be no longer.
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Roll call votes defeated in the House.
As the 2024 legislative session convenes here in Tennessee, the House had an opportunity, by amending its rules, to introduce more transparency into the process. Rep. Bryan Richey submitted an amendment that would require a roll call vote in every committee hearing as bills make their way to the House floor. But the rules committee rejected the plan. So, we are left with the voice vote procedure in the House which puts the passage of a bill squarely in the hands of one individual, the committee chairman. This is not how representative government should work.
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Bill Lee's brand of education freedom will fund private school tuition for illegal immigrants.
This week, Governor Bill Lee introduced his plan for school vouchers, aka school choice, aka education freedom. For many, the plan sounds great. Parents get to take their tax dollars out of failing public schools and direct those funds to private schools or homeschool costs. The problem, of course, is that what might seem like a great plan on the surface oftentimes comes with unseen entanglements and negative consequences. We have a couple of questions. (1) Why are Tennesseans not being told that federal law requires education saving accounts to fund private school education for illegal immigrants? (2) Why are leftist billionaires funding PACs and 501c4 organizations that promote school choice programs across the country? Admittedly because we have not seen any bill language yet for this proposal, we have a few more questions than answers. But we believe that the questions themselves should be alarming considering that the answers we are finding in other states lead us to believe that once again, Bill Lee is selling us a false bill of goods. This ESA proposal seems to direct tax dollars into the private sector all while still funding the same failing public school system that we want to see held accountable. Additionally, the threat of future government regulations following that money into private schools and home schools is ominous.
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Sixth Circuit upholds Tennessee's ban on gender affirming surgeries on minors.
We applaud the General Assembly's efforts in protecting children and banning the practice of child mutilation in the state of Tennessee. And we are thankful that for now, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a state legislature's sovereign power to enact such laws. This is how elected representation should work. However, upon looking beyond the surface and a bit deeper into the court's decision, we find it very concerning that all of this is predicated on the FDA and its silence on this issue. In other words, the moment the FDA may approve surgeries and puberty blockers as a legitimate form of medical care for transgender patients, then we are back to square one. And perhaps at that point, the court might rethink its "states rights" stance on allowing this legislation to stand. This court decision, while a temporary win to protect children, is built on a foundation of sand. Instead of proclaiming the created order and declaring the truth of our humanity in the way we are created, men and women, the court simply finds no compulsion to act because the FDA has not yet "lent their credibility" to these types of treatments. This should be concerning.
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Our response to disparaging remarks made on the Matt Murphy Show 99.7 WTN
It is a regular occurrence to be cast in a negative light on the Matt Murphy Show here on "conservative" talk radio in Nashville. And lately, the rhetoric has been turned up due to a relationship with the TN Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization based in Williamson County that by all accounts is the new cheerleading squad for Senator Jack Johnson. On the regular, 99.7 WTN celebrates the "conservative" exploits of some of our favorites like Gov Bill Lee, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. And in kind, casting aspersions on Tennessee Stands painting us as a fringe conspiracy group. Guests of the show have gone so far as to call our organization a cult. And yesterday on the show, we were painted as Marxists by Aaron Gulbransen of the TN Faith and Freedom Coalition. The accusations levied are at best childish and shameful. At worst, they are defamatory and libel. I usually don't respond to public attacks because it is not worth the effort and a distraction from the work we do every day. But I am going to break out of that norm and issue this statement.
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TN Dept of Education is becoming more and more woke by the day.
About 5 months ago, I told you about Governor Bill Lee's hire for our new Commissioner of Education, Lizzette Reynolds. If you haven't watched that report in full, I highly suggest you do so. (see link below) https://rumble.com/v2lodqu-who-is-your-new-tn-commissioner-of-education-lizzette-gonzales-reynolds.html In that report, I went through some of Reynolds' history with various organizations that are focused on things like equity and ridding our education system of racism. I posited that Reynolds would be highly motivated to continue that work here in Tennessee. True to form, Reynolds' first major hire is our new State Turnaround Superintendent, Bren Elliott from Washington D.C. schools. Dr. Elliott's crowning achievement (in her own words) is her work of making D.C. a "less racist" school district. And you have no one else to thank for this chicanery but Governor Bill Lee.
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We are calling on county officials to follow the law, and do the right thing.
Sevier County has an upcoming drag performance open to minors. This is illegal in the state of Tennessee. Local parents and pastors are standing up for children. But so far, the local district attorney and other local law enforcement refuse to act. The law banning these activities was indeed ruled unconstitutional and enjoined by a West Tennessee federal court. BUT, the law has ONLY been enjoined in SHELBY COUNTY. The law is enforceable in all 94 remaining counties in the state. We need men of courage to stand up and do the right thing. We need elected officials to enforce the laws on the books. And we need not defer our actions because of a fear of the courts.
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Update on the Governor's Special Session for Public Safety (Red Flag Laws).
Tennesseans across the state have advocated loudly that voters do not want this special session. Primarily, we do not want restrictions on our 2nd Amendment rights and we do not want to debate complex topics like mental health in the abbreviated course of 3 days. Fortunately, it seems that our advocacy has taken hold and the General Assembly will recess after having done very little. To our knowledge, the Senate is set to pass only 3 bills having to do with tax abatements on gun safes, TBI reporting requirements, and reports on autopsies. Things are still in process and can change on a dime. But right now, this seems to be the general sentiment. Yesterday on the first day of session, motions were made in both the House and Senate to immediately adjourn but failed. It has come to our attention that especially in the House, failure came at the hands of Speaker Cameron Sexton and Leader William Lamberth due to their efforts to intimidate and coerce by threatening members of the House of Representatives by removing chairmanships, committee positions, and killing other pieces of legislation if members were found voting to adjourn the special session. Additionally, we asked you to take action by contacting your senator to express support for her resolution to adjourn session today on August 22, SJR 7101. Thank you for doing that. Unfortunately, though the resolution was indeed filed, Senate leadership did not allow for the bill to be calendared and gave no opportunity for it to be heard on the Senate floor. But all is not lost. We leave you with this inspirational speech that Senator Janice Bowling gave on the Senate floor yesterday. She had the courage to stand up and say out loud what so many others are thinking.
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We are playing with fire putting more federal money into mental health in the name of public safety.
As part of the Governor's call for a special session on red flag laws, Bill Lee is asking the legislature to consider the following... "Directs TennCare to seek a waiver from the federal government to allow federal matching funds for Medicaid to cover services for mental illness and substance use disorders at institutions of mental diseases." This "waiver" would mean that the state of Tennessee is going to propose addressing our mental health crisis by funding these programs with federal money and thereby bringing these treatments under more federal regulation and scrutiny. What is even more nefarious about all of this is that these waivers for federal money all stem from the 2016 CURES Act signed into law as a final act of the Obama Administration which pumped billions into Fauci's NIH, reduced regulatory burden for the FDA and pharmaceutical development for novel diseases, and made adjustments to the FDA's emergency use authorization. That same bill contains the regulatory landscape that Republicans put in place to address gun violence by way of mental health. This is a trojan horse. More federal money equals more federal regulation and more federal control over the liberties of the people of Tennessee. Legislators in Tennessee must give a resounding NO to this proposal. CMS Letter SMD # 18--011 on Medicaid Waivers https://www.medicaid.gov/sites/default/files/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/smd18011.pdf 2016 21st Century CURES Act https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ255/PLAW-114publ255.pdf Medicaid IMD Exclusion https://medicaiddirectors.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/IMD-NAMD-Federal-Policy-Briefs.pdf Biden Executive Order 14075 https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/06/15/executive-order-on-advancing-equality-for-lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer-and-intersex-individuals/
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Man arrested at the Franklin Pride festival for praying in a public place.
On June 3, 2023, Joe Cocchini was arrested by City of Franklin Police for the crime of criminal trespassing...in a public park. Many people attended the pride event that day in Franklin, TN with an aim to talk with people, pray with people, and simply act as a watchman to ensure that activities occurring in a public place were not contrary to state law or what was agreed upon in discussions with the city council. Some were denied entry for carrying a Bible. Some were asked to leave because they "made people feel uncomfortable." But Joe was arrested by police because he was lawfully and respectfully occupying a public place. Now, Joe faces criminal charges for praying. Tennessee Stands is paying for his defense and we need your help. Please go to www.tennesseestands.org/helpjoe and help us post a legal defense to this attack on religious liberty and free speech.
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Continued expansion of emergency powers and executive tyranny.
The Uniform Law Commission (ULW) based out of Chicago is drafting model legislation that would greatly expand the powers of a governor during a public health emergency. And interesting for Tennesseans, it is important to note that Alberto Gonzales, former AG under George W Bush and now Dean of Law at Belmont University in Nashville is on this commission. We express deep concerns about the continued push to expand the powers of the executive branch despite the Constitution granting no such authority. Here are just some of the proposed powers of a governor in this legislation... - acquisition, stockpiling, commandeering, management, distribution, or use of drugs, devices, equipment, or tests - testing, isolation, quarantine, movement, gathering, evacuation, or relocation of individuals - surveillance, monitoring, or assessment of the public-health emergency or any of its effects - suspension of a provision of any statute, order, rule, or regulation if strict compliance would hinder efforts to respond to the public-health emergency or pose hardship or undue risk for compliance - access to and security of electronic communication in support of activities, including commerce, employment, education, notifications, and warnings Stay vigilant. The tyrants will not stop.
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Does the first amendment protect obscene materials in schools?
It is incredibly important that when passing legislation to solve a problem that we do not create new ones by making the wrong argument. Upon review of some laws that were passed this year, we found just that. This then led us to take a closer look at a school board meeting in Williamson County regarding objectionable materials in public schools and a vote to keep or remove certain books from school libraries. School board members agreed they had a duty per state law to review and potentially remove the books in question. School board members agreed that the books contained questionable, or at least age-inappropriate material. And then proceeded to keep the books in the library. We continue to be astounded at the actions of elected officials and courts in perverting the First Amendment in such a way that would protect child predators and continue to expose minors to obscene and mature content.
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We must stop playing the middle, before it's too late.
It is no secret that establishment players in the GOP find me to be divisive. They believe that I have a goal to divide the party. "Can't we all just get along," is often their mantra. But the way I see it, we are in the fight of our lives. Am I wrong? The Chamber of Commerce Party will tell you that we must play the middle. Conservatives can't win general elections. We need to broaden the base and support more moderate candidates. Hogwash. I support the Republican Party. But make no mistake. The party only has value in so far as it can be effective in fighting for and preserving conservative values for the next generation. If the party only serves to "re-elect Republicans" but in doing so neglects the values upon which its platform seeks to preserve, then it has become nothing more than a ship of fools. Andy Roth of the State Freedom Caucus Network stated on a recent episode of The Freedom Matters Podcast that he believes the current two-party system is simply the Uniparty vs Conservatives. And I have to admit, I wholeheartedly agree and that scenario is unsustainable for the future of America. I would issue a challenge to real conservatives across the state of Tennessee, you must hold the line on the Constitution. You must hold the line on our values. Compromise is no longer an option. If you are playing the middle, you are the left.
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TREF Hearing on Audit of Gary Humble for Senate Campaign - June 15, 2023
On Sept 7, 2022, the TN Registry of Election Finance (TREF) voted to audit the senate campaign of Gary Humble based on its own accusations that the campaign may have coordinated with Tennessee Stands. Acknowledging that the vote taken by the board was unlawful per state statute, the board voted to audit the campaign again on January 19, 2023. In this hearing, the Board acknowledges that their action on January 19, 2023, was again, unlawful. Nonetheless, the board has voted again for access to campaign records. This hearing is presented in full and without comment. You can draw your own conclusions. We advocate across the state of Tennessee for individuals to run for elected office, serve our communities and defend conservative values. And that remains our call to action. But please take note, it might cost you something.
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A TN federal court favors the sexual agenda that is coming against our children.
On Friday, June 2, 2023, Judge Thomas Parker of Tennessee’s Western District Federal Court ruled the new Tennessee law protecting minors from sexually explicit and obscene performances as unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The judge claims that the legislature engaged in viewpoint discrimination in passing this law rather than fulfilling its state’s interest in protecting children. The judge’s claim on viewpoint discrimination is interesting because, before his appointment to the federal bench, he was a shareholder in Baker Donaldson, a large law firm, that regularly financially supports Pride festivals, including such events in Memphis. Contrary to media reports, it is important to recognize that this court order does not extend beyond preventing the enforcement of this law by the Shelby County District Attorney. Meaning, this law is still enforceable in 94 counties in our state. It is incumbent on DAs across the state to prosecute those who violate this statute and protect our children from these obscene acts. Statements made by Judge Parker in this ruling are very concerning considering the implications that this case may have (especially on the topic of gender identity) as it proceeds to the Sixth Circuit and we would wager on to the Supreme Court. Be prayerful for Attorney General Skrmetti as he poses the state’s continued defense of this law. We cannot lose this battle. Download the court order with highlights here. https://tennesseestands.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Georges-v-Mulroy.pdf
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Drag performances for minors are not banned in Tennessee, unfortunately.
The month of complete debauchery is coming upon us and you are going to have questions. You are going to wonder why we are still having drag shows for minors in our public parks and why businesses are still advertising all ages drag shows. You're thinking, isn't that illegal in the state of Tennessee? Not exactly.
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Who is your new TN Commissioner of Education - Lizzette Gonzales Reynolds
Almost immediately, Tennesseans had issues with Gov. Bill Lee's first appointment to lead our education efforts here in our state, Commissioner Penny Schwinn. She was quick to make way (many believe unlawfully) for a CRT-styled curriculum called Wit & Wisdom to enter into over 31 counties in our state despite a rejection of the curriculum by the State Board of Education. As we have now found out that Commissioner Schwinn will be stepping down from her post, Governor Lee has already named her replacement, Lizzette Gonzales Reynolds. Get ready. She has deep ties to the Bush family, the USDOE, organizations with a mission to eliminate racism in education, and on the boards of organizations funded by Gates, Soros, Zuckerberg, and all of your favorites. Don't miss this video and be sure to share. This woman will be setting the table for the future of public education here in Tennessee thanks to Bill Lee (or the real Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam). Want to go deeper? Make sure to download our research into Ms. Reynolds and her connections at https://tennesseestands.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/ReynoldsResume.pdf
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Constitutional Carry and Red Flag Laws with John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Assoc.
As the debate continues in the legislature and Governor Bill Lee continues to push for a red flag law in Tennessee, we are talking with John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Association about your constitutionally secured 2nd Amendment rights. Violence is tragic. What happened in Nashville at Covenant is tragic. But this cannot be an emotional debate. It must be a debate based on the Constitution and the limitations therein of what powers the government actually has when it comes to regulating a right to bear arms and "who" gets to practice that right. We continue to call on our legislators here in Tennessee to stand firm on those rights, on their constitutional limitations to address these issues, and to drop the gun debate and discuss ways to actually address the root of the issues we are having in our society.
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We must stand firm against red flag laws here in Tennessee.
Legislators like to use different words to achieve various policy goals in order to rebrand the message. So, Gov Bill Lee talks about taking guns out of the hands of "dangerous people" all the while protecting your constitutional rights. Other legislators are now talking about similar legislation but calling it ERPO (Extreme Risk Protection Order) instead of using the term "red flag law." And then you realize that these are not policy decisions, but marketing decisions. Do not be deceived. The 2nd Amendment is not a second-class right, but a right to be defended just like the 1st and any other Amendment. The right to bear arms is a God-given, pre-political right not to be taken or abrogated by government in any way. Please join us in standing firm against any move by the Tennessee General Assembly that would purport to limit our right to bear arms or work to qualify a citizen's ability to practice that constitutionally secured right.
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A HUGE win for our Tennessee Constitution.
Today on the Senate floor, SJR 34, a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed the state of Tennessee to invest your tax dollars and become "owners" of private corporations FAILED. This is a big win for liberty and limited government. Thank you to EVERY Tennessean that spoke up and emailed or called your state senator on this issue. Your voice matters! Also, thank you to the 10 Republican and 6 Democrat state senators that stood up today for the proper role of government in midst of pressure from the administration. You made the right vote. And Tennessee thanks you for it. Please reach out and THANK these senators. Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D) Sen. Paul Bailey (R) Sen. Janice Bowling (R) Sen. Richard Briggs (R) Sen. Heidi Campbell (D) Sen. Rusty Crowe (R) Sen. Joey Hensley (R) Sen. Sara Kyle (D) Sen. London Lamar (D) Sen. Jon Lundberg (R) Sen. Charlane Oliver (D) Sen. Mark Pody (R) Sen. Steve Southerland (R) Sen. Art Swann (R) Sen. Bo Watson (R) Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D)
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Enough with the fake insurrection talk, the 2nd Amendment is on the line.
We appreciate facts and we love the truth. And what happened yesterday in Nashville at the Capitol was by no means an insurrection. But the events certainly continue to be instructive of where we are in society and a generation heavily influenced by progressive media and programming. The real issue at hand is our 2nd Amendment rights here in Tennessee and on that point, we ought not to get distracted. Our understanding and per reports from our friends at the Tennessee Firearms Association is that moves are underway to present some form of red flag laws to the legislature in response to the "crisis" and the demonstration at the Capitol. We do not live under mob rule democracy here in America. And my hope is that our elected representatives continue to stand firm on our constitution and the rights secured therein. The pressure is on to bring gun control to Tennessee. You need to be on the phone with your legislators and let them know that you do not support red flag gun control measures.
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