I had the honor of speaking to the Tellico Sportsman's Association on August 18th. These are my notes for that meeting:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Please repeat with me from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I have a few things that I want to talk about. They all revolve around that unalienable right to life. You see, if the right to defend life does not exist, the right itself has little meaning.
But, I am looking for audience participation, and welcome questions at any time.
Thank you, Wes Hibbert, for inviting me to speak tonight. Thank you all for having me.
My name is Liston Matthews. I started being a gun guy when I could count my birthdays on my fingers. I grew up thinking that the Second Amendment applied to us all in the United States. It wasn’t until recent years that I learned what the term incorporation means. I learned that the Second Amendment didn’t really apply until after the Heller Decision of 2008 and the McDonald Decision of 2010.
You can find my writings at my Blogs: Knoxgunguy.com and Good Hill Press. I formerly wrote at Knoxville Gun Rights Examiner. If you would like a copy of my notes with links to source documents, just send me an email and ask.
Tonight, I would like to touch on - - --
Gun law history since 1994
We are in a new different era in the United States. A confluence of events have come together that remind me of the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity (unbelief),
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .
Now, here are some things to think about from recent history -
The so called Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 limited several features on firearms, (e.g. detachable magazines and two or more of the following: collapsible buttstock, bayonet lug, pistol grip, flash hider, grenade launcher) but also limited magazine capacity on newly manufactured magazines to ten rounds.
About the same time, many states started passing shall-issue handgun carry permit laws.
Many states required that the handgun must be concealed. But not Tennessee.
The combination of these events, the AW ban, and CCW passage fueled a market for small, concealable handguns, like never seen before.
Fast forward to 2008
On November 11, 2008, a friend from west Tennessee emailed me, and asked me for some advice on AR-15 rifle kits. At the end of my reply, I wrote, BUY AMMO NOW. There must have been a bunch of people reading my email.
Within a few days, you couldn’t find ammo anywhere.
LESSON LEARNED. Buy while supplies are plentiful
Fast forward to 2009
The Tennessee legislature removed the ban on handgun carry in parks, but gave local governments the opportunity to opt out.
Fast forward to 2010
February 22, the 94 year firearms ban in National Parks was rescinded.
Fast forward to 2012
Following the December 12, 2012 school massacre at Newtown, CT, both CT & NY passed new registration laws; yet in a massive act of civil disobedience, modern sporting rifle owners have refused to obey the law and register those firearms.
At the same time, Americans from all demographic groups have been buying guns like there is no tomorrow.
So, on the one hand, we have certain controlling elements of our society trying at every turn to limit, and in some cases, ban firearms possession or CONFISCATE, as has happened in Buffalo, NY following a pistol owner’s death - - while on the other hand, citizens are buying firearms and ammunition like there is no tomorrow. There were 946,528 NICS checks in July, up 16% from July last year.
Fast forward to 2014
Tennessee legalized vehicle carry
Tennessee rescinded the switchblade ban and no longer limits knife length.
Fast forward to 2015
Tennessee made parks carry legal in all state and municipal parks
I was involved in getting Alabama to remove the gunbuster signs at Welcome Centers and Rest Areas.
I mentioned earlier that we are in a new era
From the standpoint of personal protection, we face some dangers we have not faced in the past---
● Feral humans, including graduates of our sport fishing criminal justice system
● Sexual predators (btw, there are Three Registered sex offenders in my zip code. There are twenty nine RSO’s in zip code 37774, which this facility is located in.)
● Mentally deranged people who gravitate to GFZ’s
What to do about these?
Be armed - - - all the time.
Carry a bandana and a ballpoint pen
Carry a cell phone
Think about this: police average response time is 10 minutes or so, meaning,
Learn and practice Cooper’s color codes of awareness
You’re on your own!
Winning the fight
Tom Givens of Memphis has trained many people over the years in defensive handgun use. He has had 65 graduates involved in gunfights. 62 won their fight. The other three lost. They left their gun at home that day.
What if you lose a gun fight
A fight, whether it be a gun fight, knife fight or fist fight, is a chaos situation with no guaranteed winner. Today is the day to seriously consider what happens toyour mortal soul if you lose.
Since November 2008,
Permits from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million this year
Permits iincreasing at an ever- increasing rate. Over the past year, 1.7 million additional new permits have been issued – a 15.4% increase in just one single year.
5.2% of the total adult population has a permit.
Five states now have more than 10% of their adult population with concealed handgun permits.
In ten states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.
Since 2007, permits for women has increased by 270% and for men by 156%.
Some evidence suggests that permit holding by minorities is increasing more than twice as fast as for whites.
Between 2007 and 2014, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.2 (preliminary estimates) per 100,000. This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 156%. Overall violent crime also fell by 25 percent over that period of time.
States with the largest increase in permits have seen the largest relative drops in murder rates.
Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies at one-sixth the rate that police officers are convicted.
Changing concealed carry map
States with shall issue laws have increased dramatically since 1986.