Who is to blame if Constitutional Carry is not enacted this year in Tennessee?
Constitutional Carry has been offered in various formats over the last few years to a Tennessee legislature that is totally and completely controlled by the Republicans. More specifically, it is dominated by a small number of Republicans, those we call “leadership”, who dominate and use the committee system that they manipulate as a means to disenfranchise the public by blocking bills from ever getting to a full consideration on the House or Senate floors.
The “never came up” half-truth. Since the bills are being blocked by leadership or its “shadow operatives” from ever getting to the floors of both houses for consideration by all of the elected legislators, some legislators will claim that they would have voted on it but it never came up. Some will claim that they are strong, reliable supporters of the 2nd Amendment, but it never came up. Some will even say they sponsored the bill – but will they tell you they only did that because they knew leadership and the shadow operatives would keep it from the floor for full consideration so that they would never really have to vote for it?
So, if constitutional carry is not voted on by the entire Tennessee General Assembly this year, who can you blame? You can blame almost all – not all but almost all – elected legislators.
In both the Senate and the House the written rules provide for recall motions. In the Senate, its Rule 63. In the House its, Rule 53. A recall motion allows any bill, such as constitutional carry, to be recalled from the subcommittee system for a debate and floor vote. The bill can be recalled even if some committee has voted to kill it or, as in Senate Judiciary this year, voted in a “tie” which stalled the process.
In the senate the recall motion requires only a simple majority. In the house, it requires a 2/3 majority.
But you seldom, if ever, see recall motions used. Why?
Because leadership takes retribution on legislators who resort to using the recall motion rule because it allows bills to bypass the committee system. Remember that leadership creates and manipulates the committee system to allow only the leadership to control which bills come to the floor for a vote and which do not.
When legislators are bullied into believing that its wrong to use the rules – all the rules – then they are at fault.
They were not sent to the legislature to submit to leadership – they were sent to uphold and defend the constitutions. They were sent as stewards under a constitutional republic to represent their constituents. They were not sent up their to be the mere pawns of leadership and thus allowing themselves to be pushed around and manipulated by the whims of a constitutionally irresponsible leadership.
This year, TFA has asked that constitutional carry be brought to the floors on recall motions. We know it is not likely to happen unless you call your own legislators and hold them accountable to their oaths to defend the constitution.
After all – its “constitutional” carry … and not some stupid bill to require 12 year olds to ride in booster seats.
This is what you need to do today.
- Call your House and Senate members. If you do not already have their contact numbers (office, home, cell or for some their “girlfriend’s number”) then at least look up their office number on the legislative directory. Call them every day. Ask to speak with the legislator or for a callback. If you only get the office staff, be kind to them because we know some of them are already frustrated with their “bosses” over their failure to take their oaths seriously.
- Email your House and Senate members. Create a paper trail. Once again, don’t limit yourself to their “official” email addresses but use their personal email addresses if you have them as well. If you need to look up their official email addresses, look on the legislative directory.
- Find their social media resources. Facebook, Twitter, even LinkedIn or, for some, perhaps other “social” sites. Plaster their social media sites with requests.
- Then do it all again and again until they understand that this is not just a passing phase.
- What to say? Perhaps something like this — “I am a constituent. I am very serious about seeing Constitutional Carry enacted in Tennessee. I understand that the bill was stalled this year by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a tie vote. I am requesting that you contact the Senate Sponsor, Senator Mark Green, and the House Sponsor, Rep. Judd Matheny, and tell them in writing that you will co-sponsor the motion to recall this bill directly to the floor for a full discussion and debate on the merits. Please respond and let me know if you have done this or are refusing to do this.”
It is that simple to be a citizen advocate. You have the right – the constitutional right – to have your elected officials debate and vote on your 2nd Amendment protected rights. You have that right. But, you must demand it. Each of these legislators have the right to demand that this bill be recalled from the black hole of the leadership manipulated committee system.
Don’t let them blow you off by talking about the “sanctity” of the “committee system” – there is no sanctity when government officials hide behind rules to intentionally and knowingly infringe constitutionally protected rights.
Act today! When you do, make sure you Tweet and FB and encourage others to do likewise!