Tennessee Governor Bill Lee
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
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Tennessee’s GOP Governor Bill Lee has tilted at windmills since the Covenant School shooting. He’s used the opportunity to call for a red flag confiscation law in the Volunteer State. Lee wants the law badly enough that he’s called for a special session in August to take up the bill.

Why August and not now? Gov. Lee wanted the law during the spring session but not a single member of the legislature filed such a bill. To say there was no appetite for infringing on the due process and Second Amendment rights of gun owners in Tennessee would stand as a monumental understatement.

Lee’s plans to give the gun-grabbing radicals and the mainstream media the entire summer to hammer legislators with desperate pleas to fears and emotional appeals to do something haven’t proven to be popular.

After all, if the Gov really wants to keep kids in schools safe in his state, he’d sign legislation allowing Tennessee teachers and school staffers the option to carry firearms during the school days. Not a single student in America has been shot or killed in schools that have armed teachers. Maybe Governor Bill is unaware of that fact. Perhaps someone could whisper that little truth nugget in his ear.

Lee thinks the NRA’s proposal of using existing due process requirements and laws to help those experiencing a mental health crisis to get the help they need (and be temporarily disarmed for their safety and those of others in the community) is too “extreme.” Sure it is, Bill.

Tennessee already has broad civil commitment laws on the books. However society has shifted in the last three generations from committing mentally ill people to allowing them to roam freely in society without addressing the underlying issues.

Unlike the Governor’s proposal, the current Tennessee civil commitment law provides individuals due process. The Tennessee law has a procedure that is based on actual medical assessment by a doctor that someone, as a result of a mental health problem, is an imminent threat of harm to themselves or someone else. If that mental health determination is made, a court can issue an order to involuntarily admit the individual to a psychiatric hospital for up to two weeks for mental health evaluation and potential treatment.

And even if the NRA’s proposal to, in the words of Gov. Lee, “to round up mentally ill people” was even partially true, how many disturbed transgendered people were shooting up Tennessee schools in the 1940s and 1950s when dangerously mentally ill people were being institutionalized?

Cough. Zero. Cough.

Instead, Lee claims his proposed new law will “protect” the gun rights of Tennessee residents. The reality is just the opposite.

Lee’s red flag law won’t offer due process rights to those who are accused before stripping them of their gun rights. In fact, Lee’s “dream law” would have a much lower threshold for confiscating guns than existing civil mental health commitment laws and it won’t provide any mental health treatment. Instead it will just grab peoples’ guns.

If the political misdirection of claims of protecting gun rights sounds familiar, that might be because Barack Obama said he was a strong believer in protecting gun rights, too. And none of Governor Lee’s proposals would have protected the kids at the Covenant school. Certainly not like a couple of armed teachers would.

If you’re a Tennessee resident or considering a move to Tennessee like many of my fellow Illinoisans, it might be time to send the good governor an email or a real one via snail mail. Tell the governor to protect due process rights while implementing solutions that better protects school kids – even better than school resource officers.

You might also communicate with your state representative and state senator. Thank them for standing up to Governor Lee’s demagoguery while protecting and defending the due process and Second Amendment rights of Volunteer State gun owners. It might also be a good time to put a bug in their ear about implementing armed teachers while you’re at it.

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  1. So instead of forcing the mentally ill to get treatrment. And locking them up if necessary. We will take away the guns for the law abiding???

    • This might be an issue of emotion over logic.

      I have heard (and it is quite likely) the Lee Family were friends/family friends with some of those killed at the school.

      When horrible events like this happen to people you know, it’s far more likely there will be an emotional response that makes little sense. I personally and going believe this was a decision made by a family grieving over a horrible loss, and trust that it will get no support from those who were less directly affected by the murders and able to maintain a more logical perspective.

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      • There are those in their grief confuse justice for vengeance and don’t care who suffers.

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    • I’m surprised so many people are attacking a good Republican governor, he seems to be a great example of a typical ‘family values’ Republican:

      “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee defended the newly unearthed image of him donning a woman’s pearls and dress – even as he is preparing to sign a bill that would restrict drag performances.

      The decades-photo was first posted on Reddit along with the caption: ‘As Tennessee moves forward to ban drag, enjoy a high school yearbook picture of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in drag (Franklin High yearbook 1977, page 165).”


      • Everyone used to understand that it was a joke for men to dress up as women. Now they do it unironically, and you think it’s one and the same. You’re a mindless regime drone.

        • “Everyone used to understand that it was a joke… “

          Sure it is…

          Why can’t you conservatives be honest, and admit you love the silky feel of ladies’ undergarments?

          Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s boyfriend is woman enough to admit it:

          “Glenn, a producer at a right-wing broadcasting network, could be heard saying: “I’m kicking the shoes off. I may keep the pantyhose on. It does feel kind of good, actually.”


          That’s why most conservatives have a tool shed in the backyard… Their closet is full.

        • “Their closet is full.”

          Yeah, that’s it. He’s really a closeted cross-dresser. That’s totally why he’s willingly holding a microphone in front of a camera for some live promotion, or whatever that is he’s doing. Yeah, you totally busted that closeted cross-dresser! You take jokes seriously when it’s convenient because you’re a disingenuous person, AKA a liar. Does the constant lying ever wear on you, or do you not have a conscience? It’s either that or you’re a low IQ regime drone. Which is it? Are you a smart liar or a dumb liar?

        • MajorLiar,

          “Why can’t you conservatives be honest, and admit you love the silky feel of ladies’ undergarments?”

          The projection is strong in you, young padawan. I’m glad to hear you like your silk panties – does dacian the demented like them, too?

          Meanwhile, on your side of the aisle, we have Epstein, Buck, Barney Frank, and thousands of others. Sure, there are some Republican gays – not that there’s anything wrong with that. That Republicans/conservatives don’t embrace your objectively insane notions about “systemic racism” and “gender fluidity” doesn’t mean they are homophobic.

          Oh, and you are a lying liar of a lying Leftist/fascist propagandist. I would say “do better”, but you are incapable of better. You, Leni Riefenstahl, and Joe Goebbels are going to have on monster party in Hell, I’m sure. That you INSIST on being a lying liar who lies, despite being called out on it OVER AND OVER again, tells us everything we need to know about your lying @$$ – well, that and your blindered, ignorant stupidity.

      • MINOR Miner49er. “Good?” Using what criteria? Your Leftist control freak agenda? This “Republican” is not a Republican; he’s a RINO. I’m not surprised you are quoting a Leftist rag from Great Britain. I’ll bet you read it daily.

  2. I never understood this republican habit of alienating your base to pander to people who will never vote for you anyway.

    • GWB raised it to an art form, but that at least could be explained by fixation on one issue. What’s Lee’s, I wonder?

    • Because Republicans and Democrats are the same uniparty scum. Principles are hard things to come by in politics. The only difference is, there ARE good Republicans and a few Libertarians that are on our side, and exactly zero good Democrats.

      • Pretty much and primary season should be a regular inspection and housecleaning process.

      • EXACTLY like bud light. The people can put a hurtin on a beer company but can’t seem to get together to vote these scum out ?? WTF

        • They get scared if they oust Democrat Light they may get stuck with all the calories and carbs of full Democrat.

        • And Target. That has lost $13,000,000,000 in stock value and had their credit rating downgraded twice in the last 60 days. Due to trying to push the Trans Agenda. Just light AB. They alienated their customer base while attempting to gain .0006% of the population, with the Trans Mental Illness.

  3. Another worthless RINO throwing Gun Control wolves a bite of Freedom. Gun Control wolves are always hungry for Freedom which has always led to slavery, concentration camps, genocide, etc. It’s the nature of Gun Control, it’s the path of Gun Control, History Confirms It.

    • You deserve the Tyranny you allow. Even the Founding patriots understood that. They would be piling and burning the bodies by now.

  4. “You can’t have teachers carrying guns in school.” Because the teachers hug the children all the time. And the kids would then know who has a gun and who doesn’t. And that would frighten the children.”

    As Told to me by Elaine B. A one-time TTAG writer here several years ago. If I could find the original post I would provide the link.
    My response to her at the time was that she would have to accept a certain number of school shootings across the United States. Where school children and their teachers, were shot dead in their classrooms. While they waited and waited, for the police to show up.

    Which now years later has actually happened. The Uvalde Texas mass shooting were nearly 400 police officers stood around and did nothing. While dozens of children and school teachers were shot dead and or wounded on that day.

    And now since people are afraid that the government will lock them up, for their accused mental instability. Or force them into treatment. Those people will I’m sure except the “collateral damage”, of several school shootings and dead school children that will occur.

    Because they are against forcing the mentally ill into treatment.

    • It’s not the teachers that hug the children that are the danger. It’s the ones you sexually molest them. They are the problem. Teachers have taken the lead in that department from the clergy.

  5. I predict any Republican in the Tennessee legislature who votes for gun control will not be re-elected. I remember very well the “revolt” they had here. And the word “revolt” is a good way to describe it.
    When the governor at that time tried to force a state income tax be passed by the state legislature.

    With the help of many radio talk show hosts like Phil Valentine. May he rest in peace. The proposed state income tax was defeated. And several Democrats who supported the state income tax were voted out of office.

    At the time they were called the “horn honkers”. Because thousands upon thousands of people showed up at the Tennessee State Capitol, with handheld air horns, and the horns on every vehicle imaginable, including 18 wheel trucks. Which I know everyone knows has an extremely obnoxious sound. The sound echoed through the area like the sounds off of canyon walls. The psychological effect on the lawmakers on the inside of the building, was overwhelming and terrifying to them.

    I’m sure you can still find the video of it on the internet somewhere. It was a great display of the first amendment in action. The right of the citizens for redress of grievances from their lawmakers.

      • It did. They stopped all discussion of a state income tax and it hasn’t come up since. I remember it well.

        • I’ll take note of that till it comes up.

          I just find it interesting that we all say that laws don’t stop criminals and a gun buster sign wont make a would-be robber out while also claiming that the thieves we call politicians are said to be stopped by a bunch of horns.

          It hasn’t been brought up because it’s on the back burner at the moment. But make no mistake, it’s still there.

      • Thousands of people used airhorns in their 1st amendment right to free speech. It is unconventional. And later thousands of texans protested by using an empty holster or a banana in their holster.
        To protest for their 2nd amendment rights.

        Both are very unconventional as a form of protest. But they were also very effective. And ultimately they were successful.

        Think outside the “box”.

    • Please, Tennessee, remind the RINO who he represents or you’ll wind up like NJ. Our .gov is also trans, trans-commie in the PRoNJ. When was the last time any of these tards used one of their precious red flag laws on known gang bangers or biker gangs, even. Not to justify them, but to make a point it seems to only cut one way. After all, you can’t have anarcho-tyranny without the lawless.

  6. You could offer facts and statistics put sorry-ass politicians like this one will cross any bounds, say anything or do anything just for a few more votes. The part that makes this type politician so stupid is that he has just lost more votes than he could ever pick up from the communist left. What a dumbass.

  7. Hell Don’t bother with laws, just go grab people up, beat on them and throw them in prison without a trial. Politicians are dipshits.

      • Maybe so, but if he has any hubris at all (and what politician doesn’t?), he’s probably thinking about higher office. Write him. Call him. Apply some corrective behavior to him. Be nice, but be firm. Politicians are like puppies that haven’t been housetrained yet.

        • This is what I wrote to the good Governor.
          Dear Governor Lee:

          I feel it necessary to remind you that red flag laws, particularly those that ignore Due Process, are unconstitutional. You should know this! Instead, please find a CONSTITUTIONAL way to institutionalize the mentally ill.

          Thanks for your attention in this matter,

          Mr. Osprey, mycity, mystate

          His site has a 500 word limit, so I didn’t have characters to tell him I would donate to his opponents in the future and forevermore, but that would have been next. If I thought I was going to have time to knock one out this week, I would have sent a real letter on real paper, with a real postage stamp.

          Sometimes the oldskool ways still work.

  8. You can’t make children safe by taking guns away from the people that are not the problem. Particularly not when those that actually are the problem get ignored.

  9. A buddy of mine said “You cannot have armed teachers in the schools. What if one of them snaps and just starts shooting people?”

    Yup….he said that…meant it, also.

    So. I said “As long as you allow them to dress in draagg, the teachers should be fine.”

    • He’s on his second (and last) term. This is a fine example of why term limits aren’t the solution to bad public office holders. The most dangerous politician is the one on their final term.

      • Well, he’s “presently dangerous”. Even if he could run another term, he might still be doing this. The longer a repub stays in office, the closer their DNA gets to liberal. So term limits is still not a bad thing. Remember, “politicians are like diapers: they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.”

        But after his term is over with, former Governor Lee will be harmless, maybe joining MSNBC as the token “reasonable republican”, lol. Unless he decides to join the presidential sweepstakes, that is. But even if he went up against Trump, DeSantis, and the others, he would lose to all of them.

        Well, he probably shouldn’t lose to (haha) “FatLegsOntheBeachButIt’sClosedToThePublic” Chris Christie. Christie should get negative votes for all the incompetence he brought and continues to bring to the US.

        • “The longer a repub stays in office, the closer their DNA gets to liberal“

          You are correct, in order to get elected they spout all the bat shit crazy conservative ideas, but once they’ve been in office for a year so they learn the actual realities of the situation and start seeking more reasonable solutions to the problems that face their communities.

          Everyone knows reality has a liberal bias.

        • Your solution for getting rid of the bad ones involves getting rid of the very few decent ones. If a bad one was elected who didn’t fear the voters, then what makes you think he wouldn’t be replaced with another bad one?

          How many Rand Pauls do we have in the senate? We’d have none if it was up to you.

        • “Everyone knows reality has a liberal bias.”

          Like men becoming pregnant? Like locking down unless you’re a left wing protester? Like making everyone poorer so we can supposedly keep the temperature from rising half a degree in 80 years? That’s reality to you? You’re a mindless regime drone.

        • MajorLiar,

          “Everyone know reality has a liberal bias.”

          Which statement proves only one thing – you are a biased Leftist idiot. Reality has no bias, but if it DID, it certainly wouldn’t be deranged Leftist ideas about infinitely malleable “genders”, or “printing more money, and borrowing more from China, is the cure for inflation and a stagnant economy”. As the quote goes, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Thank you for demonstrating it for us ONE MORE TIME, you pathetic, lying, Leftist/fascist @$$clown.

  10. we moved to Tennessee three years ago to get away from stinking Democrat idiotic ideas like this. and we voted for Lee last year and now he’s pulling this stuff. if I knew he was a traitor I would have never voted for him. the red flag laws will not work just like any other gun control.

    • So tell him that. Don’t make us out-of-state dudes be the only ones holding his feet to the fire.

      Be nice, but be firm. Show him how to find the kibble treat in the maze. And start working on paper-training him. Even repub politicians need a firm swat on the nose now and then when they take a dump on the kitchen floor!

      And what Governor Lee has been saying about adopting Red Flag laws? That qualifies as a dump on the kitchen floor. Train your pets, people!

      • he ain’t my pet, anyone that is anti-gun is not my friend. as I said we haven’t been in Tennessee long enough to know all the politicians here and what they’re truly like. I know it’s a much better place than Pennsylvania is but we have to learn what politicians are rhinos which ones are true Patriots.

  11. TN has a bill for teacher carry that was deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee to 1/23/2024. College faculty can carry if they have a carry permit. I believe they have to notify local law enforcement (not to ask for permission – just to notify) of their intent to campus carry.

  12. The children of the victim, identified as Ajike “AJ” Owens, were playing in a field near an apartment complex in Ocala when attorney Ben Crump said an unidentified white woman, 58, “began yelling at them to get off her land and calling them racial slurs.”

    According to Crump’s statement, after the woman yelled slurs at Owens’ children, they accidentally left an iPad behind, which the woman took.

    When one of Owens’ children went to retrieve it, she threw it, hitting the boy and cracking the screen. Owens walked across the street to speak to her neighbor after learning what happened, according to Crump.

    “She knocked on the door, and at that point, the woman allegedly shot through the door, hitting AJ, who later died from her injuries,” Crump said.

    • Thank you for pointing out that being unarmed is foolish. Danger can come at any time.

      Thank you for pointing out the need to always be armed. AJ should have been armed.

    • Jethro is right. Thank you for pointing out that being unarmed is foolish, dangerous, and can be deadly to self.

      And thank you for ALSO pointing out that some people might need to be committed. Most of us have no problem with that, as long as their rights to Due Process are not violated. In this case, the shooter has proven themself to be a danger to society. If this was in Ocala, Florida, the sentence should be 25 to life, under the 10-20-Life state constitutional amendment that the voters passed about a decade ago.

      • sooner or later one of these red-flag cases is going to reach the supremes…and that will be the end of that blatantly unconstitutional practice

  13. Republicans are not friends of the second amendment. They give out tons of lip service just like the left to rally people to vote for them and deliver nothing or worse as in this case. The people are wrestling the control away from the state by using the courts. It’s a slow process but it will all be gone in the coming years.

    • The left actively seeks to destroy the country while the right allows it. There are a few on the right that will fight but it is this very problem that is why there is so much angst against Trump. There is a difference between them but it’s not always easy to see through the muddy water of The Swamp.

    • You’re right, repubs give out tons of lip service. So I take it you have already written to or called Governor Lee on this? Because not doing so would be lip service, yes?

  14. We had a law where the police could put you inti an institution for a mandatory 3 day mental health evaluation, but they abused it and it was taken away. I say bring that law back, but this time make every police department maintain an on-call panel of three independent psychiatrists to make the evaluation, and indemnify them. RFPOs are bad idea, and people have already been killed over them.

  15. Pennsylvania is pushing Red Flag / No due process law too. HB – 1018 passed the Dem. controlled house.

  16. Call me cynical, but the one thing these shootings reveal, is who believes in Constitutional Principles and who doesn’t.
    RINO’s say the do, but when the feces hits the flywheel, their mask comes off.
    Tennessean’s can see for themselves who’s a RINO and who is not

  17. Never give the government anymore power than the Constitution allows. Look what happened with the Patriot Act/FISA courts when the Commies got ahold of it.

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