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TN Passes Firearms Act; WI and Feds on National Guard; Tiananmen 20th

First, Montana fired a proverbial shot across the bow of the federal government in challenging Second Amendment regulations. Then, Utah followed suit with their own State-based law. Not to be out-done, entities who opposed these measures fired back with a promise to follow up in Court, where Nordyke v. King‘s precedent currently reigns supreme.

And now Tennessee has entered into the fray with their Firearms Freedom Act, overwhelmingly passed by both State Houses (via

…the Tennessee State Senate approved Senate Bill 1610 (SB1610), the Tennesse Firearms Freedom Act, by a vote of 22-7.  The House companion bill, HB1796 previously passed the House by a vote of 87-1.

On its way to the Governor’s desk, the bill states that “federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”

The bill also states that “firearms accessories imported into Tennessee that are subject to federal regulation do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce simply because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Tennessee.”

“Be it the federal government mandating changes in order for states to receive federal funds or the federal government telling us how to regulate commerce contained completely within this state – enough is enough,” urged Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers. “Our founders fought too hard to ensure states’ sovereignty and I am sick and tired of activist federal officials and judges sticking their noses where they don’t belong.”

Governor Phil Bredesen must now sign the bill. He claims to be a strong Second Amendment advocate, though he just vetoed a bill that would have allowed firearms in restaurants and bars.

The full text of the bill can be found at the referenced link.

From Wisconsin:

Under the radar in most spheres until now, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 203 (introduced in April, 2009) seeks to restore a Constitutional balance to the common practice of federalizing the national guard. …

The Guard considers its charter to be the Constitution of the United States, and specifically mentions Article I, Section 8, Clause 15:

Clause 15 provides that the Congress has three constitutional grounds for calling up the militia — “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasions.” All three standards appear to be applicable only to the Territory of the United States. …

The actual bill:

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

AB203, s. 1
Section 1. 321.02 (3) of the statutes is created to read:

321.02 (3) The governor shall examine every federal order that places the national guard on federal active duty after the effective date of this subsection …. [LRB inserts date], to determine whether the order is lawful and valid. If the governor determines that the order is not lawful or valid, he or she shall take appropriate action to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty. Appropriate action may include commencing a legal action in state or federal court to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty.

The governor shall submit a report to the standing committees of the legislature with specified subject matter jurisdiction over military affairs, as provided under s. 13.172 (3), that summarizes his or her review of every order that places the national guard on federal active duty and any action he or she takes in response to that review, within 30 days after his or her review is complete.

For those who may be wondering, “What’s the big deal about the American Constitution having a Second Amendment?” I now draw your attention to the AmericanThinker blog’s posting on June 4 being the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China:

It was 20 years ago today that China savagely repressed the democracy protests in Tienanmen Square. Today, China remains a dictatorship, and continues to have high levels of civil unrest (almost completely ignored in the foreign press). Of course, the country is now far richer, and holds our debt.

Lest we forget, view the CBC’s coverage of the events 20 years ago:

Ethel Fenig:
A Chinese victim offers his view.  Exiled university professor Chen Xiaoping, formerly at China University of Political Science and Law and now a researcher in Chinese Law at Wisconsin University Law School reminisces, also in Forbes , about the events that cost him two years in a Chinese jail,  convicted for being one of the plotters of the student demonstrations.  

Like students and young people everywhere he feels

The students emphasized their purity. They did not want to be involved in the power struggle. They were naïve. They wanted to preserve the purity of the students’ movement.

But in evil “Amerika” unless they harm property or individuals, students aren’t punished, imprisoned or exiled; even if they are convicted they emerge as heroes (hey there Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn);  Chen is still far away from home, certainly not a hero in his native country.  And what did he learn?

1989 was a lesson to the Party and it was a lesson to me: don’t be optimistic about the hope that the Chinese Communist Party will reform.

Paul Shlichta adds:

We should never forget the brief appearance of a lone hero, whom we know only as “Tank Man”, who for a few dazzling moments stopped a line of advancing tanks.He fully deserves all the praise given him on Fox News and on a page of Facebook. As one contributor put it, “there was that shining moment, where this man faced down a column of tanks … and showed us all what a spark of freedom can ignite in a soul”.
But, for twenty years, we have forgotten another, equally brave, hero (or perhaps heroes), obvious but invisible.

Look at the photo [pictured on this post]. Tank Man, alone and defenseless, is confronting a tank—a tank that stopped for five or ten seconds, until he decided to get out of the way. Based on their performance elsewhere that day, I am confident that the proper procedure in the army of the People’s Republic of China would have been to unhesitatingly run over him. I suspect that, if they had done so, the tank crew would have been commended.
But they stopped. Whoever was in that tank stopped and waited, or perhaps argued with Tank Man, until he got out of the way. Despite all that Maoist training, some spark of humanity remained in those men or was at least rekindled by Tank Man’s reckless bravery. Heroism is, thank God, like a disease that is sometimes contagious. 
I suspect that the men in that tank got into some trouble because of their humanity and hesitance. I hope all went well with them.

So, again, what is my point in drawing a parallel between the Tiananmen Square event and America’s Second Amendment?

Didn’t you notice something conspicuously missing from the rank-and-file Chinese citizens in the above video and picture?

Let’s ask the question in a different way:

What could the Chinese people have used as a final bulwark and fighting chance against their tyrannically oppressive government in such a situation as the above that the American Constitution would afford them?

Yes, I think you’re getting it now: firearms! The right to keep them and bear them when one’s life is in danger, even if that danger is coming from the government.

What do you think would have happened if the Chinese government knew that any of their citizens were bearing arms and those same citizens were free to associate?

A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.



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