by Jeff Hartline
Most Americans bristle when the U.S. Congress passes laws for us, but exempt themselves from those same laws. Case in point: In 2009, under the leadership of Barack Obama, Democrats passed Obamacare, saddling Americans with massive increases in health insurance premiums or just loss of their coverage. In a move that defied description, Congress exempted itself from the ACA requirements they foisted on everyone else.
If that makes you mad, you’ve got bigger problems closer to home.
Between 1993 and 2010, Tennesseans began regaining their long-lost-to-Jim Crow-era 2nd Amendment rights. With the influx of a Republican supermajority in recent years, the hope was that these rights would be fully restored under the leadership of supposed 2nd Amendment “supporters.”
But those supporters never counted on Beth Harwell.
Since she was elected Speaker of the Tennessee House, she has methodically opposed 2nd Amendment legislation, set up committees that would block 2nd Amendment legislation, work with lobbyists and activist groups to intimidate 2nd Amendment supporters, intimidate and punish lawmakers pushing for 2nd Amendment legislation and protected those who stood with her in these schemes.
And now, the coup de grace – the demand that State Representative David Byrd (R – Waynesboro) pull his bill allowing teachers in our schools to be trained in the responsible use of firearms in order to protect the most vulnerable among us – our schoolchildren.
What makes this demand a travesty is the sheer hypocrisy on the part of the Speaker.
Each day, she leaves for work under the oversight of armed security, who stay with her wherever she goes and return her home safely each evening. She enters a building populated at every entrance by armed security and armed security walking the hallways. When she visits with her counterpart in the Senate, she is protected by even more armed security. When she visits her buddy in the Governor’s office, she is guarded by even more security.
While living most of her life guarded by trained and armed individuals, she works feverishly to refuse the same prerogatives to Tennessee students, teachers and education staffs statewide.
Her mantra, “Security for me, but none for thee.”
While most of her actions against the 2nd Amendment in the past have been out of sight of the public – on the phone, in the back hallways or in private meetings with her little minions in the General Assembly, lobbying groups or Governor’s office, her duplicity against our most vulnerable has now seen the light of day.
While many Members of her Caucus would never reveal being told to pull a bill for fear of repercussions, Rep. Byrd has come forward to tell the whole story of her visit and request for him to pull a bill she does not support.
Did we mention repercussions?
The level of hypocrisy in her actions is astronomical. Rather than hearing the sounds of “Duck, Duck, Goose” in our elementary schools, she is fine with these kids being “Sitting Ducks.” Rather than our middle and high schools being “Learning Opportunity” zones, she is fine with them being “Murder Opportunity” zones.
But she makes sure that wherever she goes, it is a “Security Zone.”
While pandering for votes from gun-grabbers in her bid to be Tennessee’s next Governor, she reveals a “Marie Antoinette” persona where she tells our schoolchildren in the face of danger, “Let them throw rocks.”
Rather than learning something from the millions of Americans who prevent violent crime every year with their own firearms, she joins the ignorant high school kids from Parkland in Florida. These kids obviously skipped Civics Class (if it were even offered there).
We ask the Speaker, “How are those gun-free zones working out for our children?”
You obviously oppose gun-free zones because you sure don’t live in one.
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Jeff Hartline is the Executive Director of TN Spotlight.