You can not see this on their web page, only if you buy a paper, that is why I am copying it here.
(moderators, feel free to delete this if you feel it constitutes a copyright violation)
"Why all the pro-gun legislation?" by photo editor Michael McMullan
Granted, the Second Amendment was written for very good reasons. It's a good deterrent to military dictatorships,
But I can't help being mystified by the preoccupation, in several state legislatures, with guns and the right to carry
them, even in some of the most unlikely places. I never felt I needed a gun in church, but the Arkansas legislature has
been kicking around a proposal to allow people to carry weapons in their place of worship. The same goes for the
classroom, but states from Idaho to Texas have proposed making it legal to carry a gun on college campuses. If you
have a handgun carry permit in Tennessee, you can already carry your gun to the bar you head to after work, and now
some legislators want to stop your employer from enforcing rules that would keep guns off company property.
It just makes me wonder how and why we all have become so afraidl, and why our lawmakers are so preoccupied
with authoring these divisive sideshow bills, instead of working onslutions to the energy and economic problems
facing our country - the problems that make us feel like pickin up a gun in the first place."
I have written a letter in response. Here it is.
In today's edition, commentary titled "Why all the pro-gun legislation" indicates that the writer, Michael McMullan, does not understand the need.
What I don't think many people realize is that untill primarily the 1950's to 1960's there was little legislation restricting the free exercise of our Second Amendment rights. What there was, if people do a little research, was in fact the result of various state constitutional amendments to limit the availability of firearms to the recently freed slaves following The Civil War and Jim Crowe Laws. Some later came in the early 20th century to limit automatic (machine guns) weapons that became popular among organized crime during prohibition.
Few will argue that firearms among citizens were a necessity during the pioneer days. They protected wilderness families against the perils of wilderness living and provided food. As society became more urban, fewer people saw the necessity as most urban areas employed armed police. As fewer people owned and used firearms, most of what we as a society ever saw or heard about firearms was either military, police, depicted in various dramas from Hollywood at the movies or on TV or worst criminal use in the news media. It was easy for society to form a negative opinion of firearms.
As a result with every horrific event, our social knee would jerk and demand that we impose more layers of control on the purchase, ownership and use of firearms. What society has always failed to recognize is that criminals do not obey laws and therefor the only people that they were really controlling was those who did not need controlling.
So the answer to Mr. McMullan's question is that the various legislative bodies across the country are not liberalizing guns and gun ownership, what they are doing is trying to give back to law abiding citizens the rights that were enumerated and protected years ago.
Also we as a society THINK that our legislators "are so preoccupied with authoring these divisive sideshow bills", as Mr. McMullan puts it, is because that is what the media tell the public that they are doing. It is just way too easy to follow what the Tennessee General Assembly and your representatives are really doing if they would just look at the Tennessee General Assembly web site. You will find that such "sideshow, divisive" legislation takes up a VERY small percentage of the time in Nashville. But 90% of it is not dramatic, emotion raising topics that can be used to stirr passions and sell papers.
He also asks "how and why we all have become so afraid". All you have to do is look at our society. Also just because you choose to arm yourself does not mean you are afraid. It just means you are prepared. Many people choose a variety of ways to provide for their own self defence. Disabling sprays, clubs, learn martial arts are just a few and not all are right for everybody.
Experts will all agree the best defence is to be aware of your surroundings but when that fails, remember crime knows no specific neighborhood, race, or time. I would rather be prepared and NEVER need my weapon than become the next statistic reported in your paper because I felt that an inanimate object was bad.