I am a native of Nashville, recently returned to the city after 25 years. My arrival here launched the Third Chapter of my professional career, which emerged with a definite theme: political activism.
A lot has changed in Nashville, especially for the better: it’s richer in its ethnic and cultural diversity, enthusiastically supports a world-class arts community, and attracts corporate entities who help grow the economy by providing employment opportunities for the community. What hasn’t changed is how easy it is to obtain a firearm in Tennessee. And that’s alarming, especially in this day and age of Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedies. From concealed or open carry laws to no restrictions on assault weapons or magazine capacities, the state has allowed permissive rules pertaining to our rights to bear arms. Since when do alcohol and firearms mix? That cocktail is an accident looking for a place to happen, especially if the person carrying a weapon in public is one who shouldn’t have had access to a firearm to begin with.
I ask now for Congress and the Tennessee legislature to stand with me on bringing about substantially tougher gun legislation: more thorough background checks, strong “straw purchaser” punitive measures, and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. When we can shop during the holidays at a mall without worrying about being gunned down, that will indeed be a step towards peace on Earth.
By Caroline Hogge of Nashville
Submitted to: Tennessean, Organizing for Action – Tennessee Blog, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Knoxville News Sentinel, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro MTSU Newspaper, Cleveland Daily Banner
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