During the attack on the recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the attacker chose targets in “gun free” or “disarmed victim zones.” He didn’t enter the first zone, he fired from outside of it. He didn’t hit any innocents there before moving on to a secondary target, also a disarmed victim zone at the Navy Operations Support Center, a few miles away. There he killed five marines and wounded another a police officer before he was stopped . . .
He fired at the first target for at least 20 – 30 seconds, perhaps as much as a minute. According to eyewitness reports he reloaded at least once and moved to his Mustang convertible before leaving. One eyewitness was only feet from the attacker, but unable to intervene. She was not armed. There were no armed citizens present to counter the attack.
One of the reasons: Tennessee politicians conspired to kill a constitutional carry bill that was up before the legislature this year. In 2010, Governor Haslam promised that he would sign a constitutional carry bill if it reached his desk – and then did everything he could to make sure that didn’t happen.
MURFREESBORO – State Rep. Rick Womick continues to pursue his “constitutional carry” gun bill despite opposition from Gov. Bill Haslam.
“According to the Second Amendment, we all have the right to bear arms,” said Womick, a Republican from Rutherford County’s rural Rockvale community southwest of Murfreesboro. “In Tennessee, you would be allowed to carry a gun without a permit. What my bill does is it allows the person who possesses a firearm to carry that firearm openly or concealed regardless of whether the person has a handgun permit.”
Womick, however, could face a harder time getting his bill through the House after the governor and his departments of education and safety red-flagged the bill, Haslam Press Secretary Dave Smith confirmed.
The House Civil Justice Subcommittee also defeated a similar open carry gun without a permit bill Wednesday.
Kansas passed constitutional carry this year. A young man carrying a pistol under the constitutional carry law recently foiled an armed robbery. So despite what you may read, it does happen. Constitutional Carry could have increased the number of armed first responders (i.e. citizens) in Tennessee at the time of the Chattanooga attack.
The Volunteer State charges over $100 to obtain a concealed carry permit. In spite of this price tag, over 10 percent of the adult population has a concealed carry permit. One out of ten adults. With the elimination of an expensive permitting process, the odds seem good that an armed American would have been able to confront the attack at one of the two shooting scenes. The attacker was visible for many seconds, and clearly vulnerable. The odds would have been better if Tennesssee was Constitutional Carry.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.