It wasn't too many years ago that mail would pile up on the front corner of my desk. As editor of a newspaper, I'd get letters and packets from just about everywhere from folks hoping to catch my eye and get a few lines in print.
Nowadays, those physical letters have disappeared. They've been replaced by a never-ending barrage of emails, usually well over 200 a day. Some organizations will email me several times a week.
One of them is the Tennessee Firearms Association, which has already put Gov.-elect Bill Lee on the hotseat before he's even taken office.
It seems the Tennessee Firearms Association wants every person in this state to walk around with a loaded gun. And the organization is very disappointed with outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam for standing in the way of this effort.
But with Bill Lee on the verge of getting sworn into office next week, the Tennessee Firearms Association wants to awaken its membership. The group says if Tennesseans want constitutional carry they "are going to need to aggressively raise the stakes and demand it."
This is the same group which flailed President Trump for his bid to outlaw bump stocks because it believes civilians have, under the Second Amendment, every right to own assault weapons.
With that thought in mind, let's look at the Second Amendment:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
I always find it interesting so many "constitutional scholars" are willing to completely disregard the first half of the sentence, you know the part about militia and maintaining a free state.
"Oh that doesn't matter," they say.
If it doesn't matter, then why is it first and why does it take half of the entire Second Amendment? I'm confident every word was carefully selected and placed.
Anyone really interested in the true intentions of our Founding Fathers needs to look no further than the writings of James Madison around that time. He was concerned a federal army might become too powerful and eventually suffocate state rights. That's why Madison, in his papers, suggested a federal army of around 30,000 soldiers and state militias with a combined 500,000.
Unfortunately, no one is using guns to form militias nowadays. They're using guns to kill 7-year-olds in passing cars. They're using guns to kill their spouses during arguments. And they're using guns to shoot clerks during robberies.
I'm fine with gun ownership and believe Americans should always have the right to have firearms in their home. But the last thing we need is more people walking around with loaded guns on the streets.
The Tennessee Firearms Association already has Gov.-elect Bill Lee in its crosshairs. I hope he looks out for the best interests of Tennesseans, not criminals and gun dealers.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.