Thursday, December 22, 2016

Second, First Amendments need equal footing

The Knoxville News-Sentinel recently published an editorial that was very negative toward the Tennessee Firearms Association's plans for the 2017 legislative session.

Below is the text of my (somewhat tongue in cheek) response, which can be seen at the KNS site HERE.

Second, First Amendments need equal footing

A bill pre-filed for the 2017 Tennessee legislative session would remove onerous restrictions on the freedom of the press. Currently, reporters are required to get a license from the secretary of state. They must provide a transcript from a regionally accredited university, then take a proficiency test from a state contractor. Following a background check, they are issued a card-carrying reporter's license. Once licensed, reporters are allowed to report from courthouses, libraries and hospitals but must leave their pens, pencils, paper, laptops, etc., in their vehicles. The bill, the First Amendment Restoration Act of 2017, would remove the training and licensing requirements. Critics fear that removal of the state licensing law would encourage more deaths, as have been attributed to unlicensed publications such as Mao Zedong's "On Guerrilla Warfare." But wait, it’s not the First Amendment, but the Second that needs restoration. The one you editorialized against on Dec. 11. You mentioned the “effort to pass a constitutional carry law in Tennessee, which would eliminate the necessity...that the permit holder must undergo training...” Are you aware that Georgia permits, which Tennessee honors, require no training? Do you quake in fear each time you see a Georgia license plate? You go on to state, “One can only imagine how many fender-benders ...will deliver a cascade of grief and regret to the families and friends of innocent victims.” No need to imagine. Just check with Vermont, Arizona and Alaska. An honest reporter’s investigation would reveal no related problems in those states. Yet Chicago, with very strong keep and bear restrictions, has tremendously high crime rates. The unified chorus of reason Tennesseans should raise is for the restoration of the Second Amendment to equal footing with the First. Liston Matthews, Knoxville


To me, it is always funny how much of the press shelters in place behind the First Amendment, while taking shots at the Second.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Do you feel lucky?

Well, do you?

Because according to Monica Moll, Public Safety Director at Ohio State University, “we’re very fortunate that an OSU officer was there and took quick action.” Read the rest of this from my friend Kenn Blanchard HERE.

A good guy with a gun took out a bad guy with a vehicle and edged weapon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Get on the list!

Not afraid to get on a list (Signers of the Declaration
 of Independence from the National Archives)
In my last post, Triumph, I was taken to task by anonymous for advancing the case for National Reciprocity-
"State concealed carry laws which require a "permit" is an idea crafted in the pits of hell. The real purpose is to register gun owners! People think it is so cool to have a permit for concealed carry - they don't understand that it is like the free sample of heroin." 
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I vehemently oppose state requirements for carry permits of any kind. I have worked continually, spending many hours supporting repeal of those laws in Tennessee. I view the permitting process as a part of Democratic imposed and often Republican supported redo of the slave codes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016



Pundits are pouting; that is, those who are not still in a state of shock. But the Republic still stands.

And, please do not ever refer to the United States as a Democracy, as HRC does. 
"What's the difference?" you ask.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Post-election vigilance in order

Consider this-

If Trump wins, leftist minions could riot, with big cities as possible targets. Think Ferguson; think Baltimore.

Jihadists attack clubs, airports, concerts, etc.

Its time to keep an eye on your six.

In the blink of an eye, demonstrations can turn ugly. Innocents can be hurt or killed.

"Lone Wolf" attacks can occur anywhere.

Run of the mill thuggery is subject to spring up anywhere.


Learn and practice Cooper's color codes:


Study Left of Bang.

Wherever possible, be armed, and practice with your weaponry.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The pancake holster

Inside the waistband (IWB) holsters seem to be the in thing these days, with many carrying on or behind the hip. The appendix inside the waistband (AIWB), or appendix carry for short, has gained a lot of popularity, too. [I must admit that appendix carry, which places the barrel in close proximity to certain delicate anatomical parts, makes me a wee  bit nervous.]

I have used an IWB at times,

Monday, October 24, 2016

Parks lawsuit against City of Knoxville gains standing*

Why would the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) support a lawsuit against the City of Knoxville over the weapons ban at Chilhowee Park? Why go to all the trouble and expense?

Why stir up this trouble, when all the City is asking citizens to do is refrain from carrying weapons into Chilhowee Park at any time, including during the Fair?
A park is not a park you see,
If its name begins with Chilhowee!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another look at George Zimmerman's trial*

Yesterday, George Zimmerman's attacker was sentenced to 20 years, according to the Orlando Sentinel. This brings back memories of Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin, and Zimmerman's subsequent trial.

I did not follow Zimmerman's trial day-by-day. But, I remember hearing the testimony of the female medical first-responder who arrived on the scene shortly after the police. She described the injuries to Zimmerman's nose and head, and I said to myself that Zimmerman was innocent.

As stated, I did not follow the trial closely, and my opinion is just that, but Massad Ayoob followed the trial closely and compiled a series of reports at his Backwoods Home Magazine blog. If you are not acquainted with Ayoob, check his Biography HERE. He is a sought out trainer, expert witness, and speaker.

UPDATE: The twenty links to Ayoob's trial reports listed below have changed. You can access the first one HERE. Each report has a link to the following and previous report.

The following is a compilation of his Zimmerman trial reports.
1. The verdict
2. The "unarmed teen"
3. Who started it
4. The Stand your ground element
5. The gun stuff
6. "What if" vs "what is"
7. Why the jury didn't learn about Trayvon Martin
8. The quantity of injury argument
9. The propaganda factor
10. The semantics
11. Rating the lawyers (defense)
12. Rating the lawyers (prosecution)
13. Angela Corey
14. The judge
15. Talk at the scene, talk on the stand
16. The impact on the black community
17. The cops
18. Aftershocks
19. Lessons
20. ... And into the future
The facts are in. The jury decided correctly. It is up to you whether you will accept the clear facts, or stand on illogical emotion. Standing on emotion means you help perpetuate the race problem. Yes, it is sad that Martin was killed in this incident, but the facts show that he attacked Zimmerman, and Zimmerman had every right to defend himself against this unlawful, felonious aggression.

*Author's note: I originally published this when I wrote for Examiner, which is now out of

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two choices

You may not like it, but you only have TWO realistic choices in this 2016 presidential election.

On the Left, you have Hillary Clinton.
Towards the Right, you have Donald Trump.

There are other contenders, but unless you've been smoking wacky weed, you know that they are not going to win.

Read the rest of this over at Good Hill Press.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Defender Award - What a nice surprise

I went to the Gun Rights Policy Coference (GRPC) in Tampa this weekend, to meet and network with many folks in the 2A restoration community. This is a great event, giving the opportunity to meet with such giants in the movement as Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF); Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America (GOA); and David Keene, former president of the NRA and Opinion Page Editor of the Washington Times.

Then there was Alan Gura, the attorney who won both the Heller and McDonald cases at the Supreme Court, Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk Radio, Mark Walters of Armed American Radio and Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition. These are some of the individuals who are giants in the right to keep and bear arms community.

GRPC had an awards luncheon on Saturday, where Alan Gottlieb presented awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to the cause. Imagine my surprise when Alan called out my name as one of the recipients of the SAF Defender of Liberty award for 2016. 

I think if anyone had been looking at me, they would have seen my shocked face. I was glad to see that Cheryl Todd of Gun Freedom Radio received this award, too. 

There were are others who are equally as deserving if not more so. Just to name a few that I know: Rob Morse (Slow Facts), John Richardson (No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money), Rachel Malone (Texas Firearms Freedom), and Dr. John Edeen of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO).

So . . . . what's next? Well, we still don't have Constitutional Carry in Tennessee. The City of Knoxville is still banning guns at Chilhowee Park, the zoo, and Ijams Nature Center; and shooting ranges within the City. Knox County still is banning guns at libraries, Farragut Town Hall's recreation area is posted . . . 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

University of Tennessee weapons policy explained

In my last post, I questioned some SEC coaches' suspension of the Second Amendment for their student-athletes.

As mentioned, that prompted me to take a close look at the University of Tennessee firearms policy. I sent some questions to UTPD. 

After several days wait, and a follow-up email, I received a reply. My questions are in  COURIER BOLD, BLUE, UT Answers are in Arial Orange. All other text is plain text.

Simsen, Karen Ann (Karen) <>
9:47 AM (13 hours ago)

Hi Mr. Matthews –
I apologize for the delay in our response.   Below are responses to your questions.  Please send me any follow up questions you may have.  Thank you  - Karen Simsen

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Can SEC coaches suspend a Constitutional Right?

A decade ago, in the aftermath of Katrina, the City of New Orleans violated both the 2nd and 4th Amendment rights of their citizens by confiscating lawfully owned firearms. You may remember THIS video from that time.

Officials, in their officialdom, seem to have a penchant for officially banning/confiscating guns here or there, and everywhere (they can get away with it). As you see from the NOLA* video, that sometimes includes your home. In Buffalo, NY, it is from estates. In California, well let's just say they've got a lot of Goldilocks gun bans in the works.

Then we learned last weekend from Jenn Jaques at Bearing Arms that some SEC football coaches have taken it upon themselves to institute a broad-based ban against firearms by student-athletes. She had picked up on a story over at the Montgomery Advertiser, Can SEC football players own a gun? Depends on each school's policy.

Matthew Stevens at the Advertiser reports that the Advertiser asked 12 different head coaches-
if they had a policy regarding restrictions on their players legally owning a handgun.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saf-T-Round review

I was turning right from Cedar Bluff onto Kingston Pike recently, when I heard an ad for Saf-T-Rounds on the radio*. I had seen these advertised on the web, and wondered how well they work. Imagine my surprise, the ad said they are made right her in the Knoxville area!

I contacted the company and made arrangements to visit their office,where they showed me their products and told me about the history of their company.  They gave** me a few samples to try, and here are the results:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Who, or what, is really on the presidential ballot in 2016

In Knox County, Tennessee, we are currently in the midst of an election that includes county commissioners, school board members, and aldermen in Farragut.

But another group on the ballot is judges. In Tennessee, high level judges are appointed, then in order to stay on the court(s), they undergo a retention vote.

For example one race on our ballot reads like this:
Kenny Armstrong
Shall Kenny Armstrong
be retained in office as
a Judge of the Court of
Appeals, Western
Division, or be replaced?
☐ Retain
☐ Replace
Now think about the big issue on the November ballot. On the face of it, it appears to be about electing one of two people to the presidency.

But, the way you should see the presidential race is like this:
Amendment Two*
Shall Amendment Two
be retained in the Bill of
Rights, or removed?
☐ Retain
☐ Remove
. . . That is what is really on the ballot this time. A vote for Hillary Clinton is
  a vote for Australian style gun control, collect and crush. Note in the video that she also uses the term buy-back, which is a favorite leftist term, as if they owned the guns in the first place. Note what she says at about one minute forty seconds, "I think it would be worth considering on the national level, if that could be arranged, ...".

Now, since the Libertarian candidate can't win, voting for him or staying home in a huff, aid and abet Clinton in her quest. Do you really want to remove the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights for the NEXT FORTY YEARS, perhaps forever. 

Only you can decide what to do in the privacy of the voting booth. Do you want your grandchildren to be like the Normandy flock that saw their priest murdered?

I vote
 ☐ Retain 
That means I vote Trump.

*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.

Fatal errors

The Friday, July 29 Knoxville News-Sentinel contains reports of two instances of criminal foolishness that resulted in death.

One case involves an intruder who was killed by a homeowner in Union County. It was a fatal error.

The other case involves a man who decided to fight it out with deputies in Blount County. It appears that in the scuffle, his head impacted unforgiving pavement. Another fatal error.


In gun-friendly rural East Tennessee, home invaders are as likely as not to meet armed resistance. They could just be signing their own death warrant.

Fighting with the po-po can come to no good end. Police officers have to win. And, they have backup and radios. 

Another thing those of malevolent mind should consider. Tennessee no longer requires a permit to keep a defensive gun in a vehicle. 

Carjackers beware!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Defending against terroristic mass murder

Massad Ayoob

By Massad Ayoob
Backwoods Home Magazine
Issue #160 • July/August, 2016
My friend Rich Grassi is a retired cop, a masterful instructor, and one of the best writers in the tactical field today. He recently wrote that it would be wise to carry a gun all the time, given the spate of terroristic mass murders in this country and elsewhere. Someone wrote back that the likelihood of being able to stop such a thing was less than that of winning the lottery. . . .
Please CLICK HERE and go over to Backwoods Home Magazine to read this very informative article by Massad Ayoob.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Knox County early voting

Farragut Town Hall
Early voting began last Friday in Knox County, and continues through July 30. The schedule and locations are HERE.

Citizens who carry a defensive weapon should be forewarned that some early voting locations, such as Farragut Town Hall, are posted against firearms.

The Farragut leadership has, so far, decreed that you forfeit your natural right to self-defense when you enter Town Hall.
Do ya wanna come in heah, pilgrim, then leave thet popgun out in the car. Oh, and by the way, we don't provide no security in heah. No security guards, no metal detectors, no nuthin. You on ya own!
Perhaps the biggest danger is the fact that these prohibited zones with their signs are magnets for evildoers. Of all the mass shootings that have occurred since 1950, only three were not in so-called gun free zones.

But wait, there are alternatives*. The location at 1543 Downtown West Blvd in Knoxville was not posted when I voted Monday. Whether you lawfully carry a handgun or not, the absence of posted signs indicates a lower statistical risk.

Photo by Liston Matthews
There are other locations that are posted. These include the City-County Building, which does have security and metal detectors, and Carter Library, which like all Knox County Libraries, is posted. The County Commission appears to have the same attitude as Farragut when it comes to the libraries (note, too, that the Knox County Library posting sign at left lumps permit holders with sex offenders).

So, you ask yourself, "Should I carry when I go vote?"

If evil shows up, who ya gonna call?

*Some government locations may be posted by law, even if they don't have signs. You may want to seek legal advice.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lets talk elections

For most of my life, I have voted for the presidential candidate I disliked the least. The political reality is, we seldom get exactly what we want. BUT, this time we must choose between the a candidate we may not really like and one who will pick up where B. H. Obama leaves off, fundamentally transforming us into a socialist paradise. 

That choice is between D. J. Trump and H. R. Clinton. He has issued a pretty decent position paper on Second Amendment Rights. She has vowed to attack gun owners every day she is in office. She favors Australian style collect and crush gun control.

Whichever of the two is elected will name the next two to four Supreme Court justices. Do you really want to take the chance of her doing that?

Now is not the time to petulantly vote for the Libertarian candidate. All he is doing is helping skew the election, one way or another. If you cherish your natural right to be armed, yet vote for him, you are throwing in the towel; and aiding and abetting the enemies of liberty (The opposite of the Libertarian ideal?).

So, take some ibuprofen on election day, leave your Buster Brown shorts in the drawer, put on your big boy pants, and just do the right thing. You can show the GOP your disdain later on by throwing out wishy-washy incumbents, and replacing them with more conservative representatives. 

If you are still reading this far, then check out my friend John Richardson's excellent piece over at No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money:

This presidential election may be historic if for no other reason than both presumptive nominees are grossly unpopular. Now if you like Donald Trump or you like Hillary Clinton and you object to that statement, then you are probably in the minority. Both candidates had unfavorability ratings of over 50% as of late June. Frankly, I don't see that changing.
I'll admit right up front that Donald Trump was not my first choice. Heck, he wasn't even my fourth choice. At the start of the primary season, I considered Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz as potential recipients of my vote. I added Carly Fiorina to that list after I saw how she handled the press.
Read all of his thought-provoking article HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

KnoxNews flubs on two year old car carry law

Author holding 44-40 Henry rifle
The Henry Rifle I am holding here might be too large and unwieldy to carry loaded in your car, but under Tennessee law, it is legal. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported this as news yesterday, July 11, 2016 on page A4.

The problem is, this is two year old news. This piece was picked up from the Chattanooga Times Free Press from July 9, 2014.

I did a complete breakdown on this in 2014 at my Good Hill Press, and also posted commentary at  Examiner, where I was writing at the time.

So, looking at this old news in the rear view mirror, it is worth noting that the fears mentioned in the article have not come to pass. Tennesseans don't need  a permission slip from the state to act responsibly.

The next step:    Constitutional Carry

Will current legislators follow the Constitution, or will we have to replace them with those who will?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Candidates Speak at Farragut Gun Club

By Margie Hagen*

With primary day for state, federal, Knox County General and Town of Farragut Municipal elections rapidly approaching, the Farragut Gun Club (FGC) hosted local candidates at their June 13th meeting.

FGC regularly invites speakers to address the group. Law enforcement officials, firearm enthusiasts and public figures share their views on a variety of issues. It is a diverse cooperative of individuals that advocate for legislation and constitutional freedoms.

Alderman Louise Povlin photo by Margie Hagen
Louise Povlin was first up to speak. She is running for the position of Farragut Alderman, North Ward 1. In January of this year she was appointed on an interim basis to fill the seat vacated by Ron Honken in December, 2015. Having served on the Municipal Planning Commission since 2013, she is now the Alderman Representative of the MPC to the Board of Mayor & Aldermen (BOMA).

Louise is running on a platform advocating fiscal soundness, preserving residential quality and transparency in government. In addition, she wants to continue to guide commercial development in a conscientious manner.

As a sitting member of the Farragut MPC, she has concerns about Town Hall being posted as a gun-free zone but with no metal detectors or security. This potentially leaves committee members and the public vulnerable and without ready protection from armed perpetrators.

Her opponent for the seat is Richard Cataldi, also present at the meeting. He didn’t speak formally but made his way around the room chatting with small groups of friends and supporters. In a follow up phone interview he detailed his campaign agenda. Richard would like to see the Town become more business friendly and proposes more compromise and negotiation to encourage expansion of new business. “There are more than 20 empty storefronts along Kingston Pike.” he states. “Guidelines should be used less as a hammer and more as a ruler.” He served on the building committee during the renovation of St. John Neumann Church.

Rep. Eddie Smith took the floor next. He is the sitting State Representative for the 13 th District, up for re-
Rep. Eddie Smith photo by Margie Hagen
election in November and currently serves on the Education and Transportation Committees.

Eddie is a proponent of 2 nd Amendment rights and spoke about legislation that was passed during the past session. Beginning July 1 st , full time UT faculty and staff will be allowed to carry permitted concealed weapons on campus, however they must register with the University and certain areas and University sponsored events will off limits.

Along that same note, watch for reductions on permit fees. With roughly 500,000 licensed gun owners in Tennessee, that legislation is generating a lot of interest.

Other notables in attendance included Jason Zachary, incumbent Representative for the 14 th District, also up for re-election, and Bob Markli, Farragut Alderman. At one point even “Admiral Farragut”, as Lou LaMarche is sometimes fondly referred to, made an appearance.

The Farragut Gun Club, founded in 2014, has quickly become the largest club in theregion and has hosted over 100 guest speakers. There are no dues required and anyone is welcome to attend and join. It’s not a shooting club, instead focusing on information and political action.

Liston Matthews, the Executive Director, is a veritable fountain of knowledge for what’s happening in the gun world. He stays current on court decisions and legislation, often traveling to attend functions. He shares pertinent news and even advice on where to stay during events.

As Liston puts it, “You are your own first responder.” He is a firm believer that posted gun-free zones are dangerous, pointing out that the mass shooting that occurred in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub was a gun-free zone. As a 2 nd Amendment defender, he says “The Constitution is my permit.”

One thing everyone agreed on was the importance of voting. Primary day is August 4 th, with early voting open from July 15 -30 th . Your voting location may have changed. For example, 66N will now vote at Farragut Middle School instead of the high school. Check the Knox County website to verify your polling place.

With our national Presidential candidates stooping to low levels of civility and derogatory name calling, it was a pleasant experience to meet and speak with this handful of local office seekers. They were professional and respectful to each other and the audience. Refreshing!

*Margie Hagen is a Knox area freelance reporter.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A civilized dialogue

When dialogue no longer works
How many times have you heard a gun-banner say, “We need to have a conversation about _________ (fill in the blank: gun control, gun safety, universal background checks, etc.).”
Recently, I read a letter to the editor* of my local paper that included a similar statement;
“Through civilized dialogue, we can create viable solutions to make our community safer and a better place to live today and in the future.”

So, I decided to take up the challenge and initiate a civilized dialogue.

Read the complete story at AMMOLAND.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Campus Carry in Tennessee: News-Sentinel and UTPD stumble with first baby steps

Beretta USA, now a Tennessee Company
UT: Register Guns on Monday said the News-Sentinel headline above the fold on Friday, June 17. The problem is, that headline was a lie. The story was related to the recent passage of a campus carry bill by the Tennessee Legislature. The bill as passed, allows full time faculty and staff of public colleges in Tennessee, who have a handgun carry permit, to carry a defensive firearm on campus. There are certain areas that are still gun ban zones, even for those staff. There are other restrictions, including the fact that the handgun must be concealed on campus (This is in contrast with the general permitting process in Tennessee, which recognizes open carry as lawful, also). See the UTPD web pages HERE and HERE.

Desiring to get the straight facts, I emailed Lt. Mike Richardson of the University of Tennessee Police Department. I also wanted the form that UT employees must complete in order to comply:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tennessee's morning after law

Heizer PKO45
Today, Memorial Day 2016, we remember those who gave their last full measure for the United States. Others, too, have given much through blood, sweat, tears, and maimed bodies to protect our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

With that in mind, turn your attention to a  little known law in Tennessee which appears to absolve someone of the crime of possessing a firearm with the intent to go armed, but only after the fact.


See, here's the way it currently works in Tennessee. First, the Tennessee Constitution authorizes the Legislature to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. Nothing else. Nada!
But - -
Legislatures and bureaucrats have historically ignored the state and federal constitutions.

Here's the link to the morning after statute:
Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1322 Defenses.
  A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim.
So, a lady is deprived of her Constitutionally protected right to carry a defensive handgun on her person, but, if the handgun is used in justifiable self-defense, no prosecution. You might say, her rights are restored the morning after the event.

Yet the Republican super-majority  in Tennessee can't get a Constitutional Carry bill out of committee to the floor, where the light of day would assure its passage. Then the only obstacle would be the governor, who has publicly stated that he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk:

The Republican legislative leadership can fix this problem next year if they refuse to stack committees with gun-grabbers.

Smell a fish?

Friday, May 27, 2016

NRA endorses Trump

Secret Service Restricted Area Sign
At the NRA annual meetings last weekend, the NRA officially endorsed Donald Trump. This should come as no surprise to anyone following the Republican Party primary this year.

When you get right down to it, there are, like it or not, only two choices in this election: Trump or Clinton. My support in the primary was for Cruz, but this ugly thing called politics eliminated him.

The Republican Party made Trump. Huh? Yes, the GOP has given us the likes of droll Dole, lame McCain, and somni* Romney. People are apparently tired of the same old rubber stamping that the GOP has been giving to the Democrats, and have chosen Trump.

Trump is not perfect, but remember, you are not hiring your next pastor. So, either vote for him, or  help Hillary.

With Hillary, you know what you are getting: Gun grabber, abortion advocate, leftist justices, etc.

With Trump, we know he was opposed to "Assault Weapons" in the past. But last year at NRA, I had the chance to ask him about national reciprocity. Here is that video:

Trump has, since then, released this POSITION PAPER on gun rights. Here is an excerpt from that paper:
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
So who will you vote for, the person who says the Supreme Court was wrong in the Heller decision, and has never met a gun grab she didn't like, or someone who seems to now be genuinely in our camp.

You can't afford to sit on the sidelines this time.

In related news, the Louisville weekend crime rate dropped significantly while the NRA was in town. Check out Rob Morse's report over at Slow Facts.

On a personal note, it was great spending time with my son Jon at the NRA; and reconnecting with fellow travelers.

 *somni - as in asleep, specifically, Romney was asleep when he debated Obama.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CPRC on mass public shootings (updated)

Gun-free zones AREN'T!

Criminals don't obey the signs. So these zones are only free of good guys with guns.

This graphic is reproduced with permission of CPRC.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Still the greatest gun salesman

In 2012, created a graphic about how POTUS was the greatest gun salesman in America.
They've done it again. Here's the new one, reproduced with permission.

NOTE: This is a large illustration, so be sure and come back when you have time to take a l-o-o-ng look.

President Obama: (Still) The Greatest Gun Salesman in America [INFOGRAPHIC]

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Armed Civilians Saved Lives in April

Here a few of the many stories of armed self-defense in April.  Armed civilians stopped criminals and saved lives.. again.  Some stopped mass murder!
That is right; people like you saved lives until the police arrived.  Thank you!
An elderly couple was watching TV during the evening. . . . .

Media miffed at shoe on its foot?

About a year ago, I commented over at Examiner on the requirement to have
Patch courtesy John Richardson
papers to properly defend yourself in Tennessee. Unfortunately, despite a tremendous effort in the legislature, we still have not regained the right to carry a firearm without papers.

The press has historically been very vocal in their use of the First Amendment to decry the Second. It seems that the shoe is now on their collective foot.

AWR Hawkins reports on this over at Brietbart. Heh!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Who ya gonna call?

Photo by Liston Matthews
No, as I said in my interview yesterday with WBIR' Leslie Ackerson concerning Campus Carry by full time faculty and staff:
When we have an active shooter, who are you going to call? Somebody with a gun. The advantage of campus-carry is hopefully someone with a gun will be 10 seconds away instead of 10 minutes.

From the legislature's web site:This bill adds a ninth exemption . . . for full-time employees of public higher education institutions who have a handgun permit and are carrying a handgun only on property owned, operated, or in use by the institution employing the employee.

You will need to read the amendments to get the full meaning of the bill.

One might ask if this bill relegates qualified adjunct faculty to second-class status. Next year, I believe the legislature should look at including them, and also qualified adult students.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chilhowee Park lawsuit complaint modified


We filed a lawsuit against the City of Knoxville in February of this year, in the belief that their total ban on handguns in Chilhowee Park and at the Fair was unlawful.

The suit has been modified. The text of the amended complaint is available HERE.

* Used with permission.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Action item - posted properties

This Tennessee SB1736/HB2033, regarding posted properties, is on its way to the governor for his signature. It has been signed by the speakers of the House and Senate.
Thanks to Senator Delores Gresham and Representative Jeremy Faison for their efforts in getting this bill passed.

This bill, as amended, is different from the original bill. The original bill would have imposed a liability on businesses/entities, etc, if

  1. a permit holder complied with their posting signs
  2. the permit holder was harmed while on the premises

The amended form of the bill might be called the anti-matter of the original bill. Instead of doing the above, it

  1. provides immunity to the business/entity if the business doesn't post, but
  2. does not apply in the case of gross negligence, etc.

Not the best we could hope for, but sometimes on the way to the perfect, we have to temporarily settle for the ok.

In essence, an entity that does not post against firearms cannot be sued by an unarmed citizen if the unarmed citizen is injured on the premises because some bad guy comes in and shoots up the joint.*

This is a small step in the right direction, so,


Remember, we are the good guys, so act accordingly......
(615) 741-2001

*Note, this is not intended to be a complete analysis, but a quick synopsis, and is solely my opinion.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Creeped out by guns?

Last week, a letter writer to the Knoxville News-Sentinel,  Jim Dollenmaier, noted that "Guns creep me out." He especially doesn't like to see them in parks. Now if I were a wagering man, I'd just bet that if someone attacked him in a park, and he had the opportunity, he would call the po-po.

 - - And the po-po would come running with, drum roll please, GUNS, maybe lots of them.

Two of our TFA members wrote letters in response, and they are linked below.

But first, a few comments.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Senator Todd Gardenhire for Family Feud Captain?

If you have watched Family Feud recently, you would have seen near the beginning of the show, the two team captains try to guess the answer to the first question. The first one to get the best answer turns to his/her team to find out if they want to play or pass. Usually, the team encourages the captain to play. The captain turns to Steve Harvey and tells what him what they are going to do.

In this situation, the team captain is representing his constituency, his team.

This is a microcosm of a representative republic.

Enter R. Todd Gardenhire.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Packin' heat at NRA 2016 in Louisville?

Not all NRA Annual Meeting venues have historically welcomed peaceable citizens carrying handguns.

This year, with the upcoming meeting in Louisville, KY, it seemed prudent to inquire of NRA about carrying at the meeting.

A question was sent:

from: Liston Matthews
date: Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 1:58 PM
subject: 2016 Meeting
Will permitted individuals be allowed to carry at the meeting in Louisville?


The answer was yes:

AM Response <>
to: Liston Matthews
date: Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM
subject: RE: 2016 Meeting
Hello Liston,

Thank you for your email. During the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Kentucky Exposition Center with the proper license in accordance with Kentucky law. When carrying your firearm, always adhere to all Federal, state and local laws.
 Thank you for your continued support of the NRA and we look forward to seeing you in May!

So, there you have it. Be sure and check for yourself, as these things are subject to change.

- - - And, to check on the laws between your home and Louisville, go to, and download the legal heat app to your phone.

If you are traveling through Illinois, check out THIS BROCHURE. Be wary of Illinois.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Virginia's temporary reciprocity fix

Virginia passed their new reciprocity bill effective July 1, 2016. Questions have been raised about the time period before then,  has provided a link to the Virginia State Police website, which contains this text:

UNTIL JUNE 30, 2016:

Virginia extends reciprocity or recognition to citizens holding both resident and non-resident permits/licenses from the following jurisdictions as set forth below:
Listing of states with which Virginia has Reciprocity Agreements (A formal written agreement exists between the two jurisdictions):  
New Mexico 
North Carolina 
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Listing of states with which Virginia has mutual recognition (Jurisdictions have informally agreed to honor permits issued by the other):
Idaho (Enhanced Lic only)
North Dakota
Listing of states of which Virginia will grant recognition to valid permit holders:
Although Virginia will grant recognition, these states may not authorize Virginia permit holders to possess a firearm in their state. You will need to contact each state to determine if they will recognize your Virginia permit.

Action to terminate existing agreements and mutual recognition has been delayed to allow the new provisions to take effect on July 1, 2016, making revocation unnecessary.    As a result Virginia’s recognition of permits will remain unchanged until July 1 when the new law becomes effective.


So, it appears that Tennessee permits will continue to be recognized by Virginia. Go to their website, and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Constitutional Carry Bill - HB1748 - yes

OK, Tennessee friends, now is the time to contact these committee members and ask for a yes vote in this Constitutional Carry bill. If you want to refresh yourself on what the bill says, I am including links at the bottom of the page. In a nutshell, it extends the ability of the citizen to carry a defensive handgun without a permit. If you are not a Tennessee resident, I would appreciate your passing this to any of your Tennessee contacts.

1. I am including the text of my email to these individuals. Please DO NOT copy and paste my email. Write your own.
2. With the most important national election, perhaps, in our lifetime, please consider joining the NRA. I am including a link below for you to follow to sign up.

Jim Coley, Chair, House Civil Justice Subcommittee-

Subcommittee members:
Bill Beck

Mike Carter

Sherry Jones

Jon Lundberg

Liston Matthews

Click HERE to join.

Dear _______________:

Tennessee has made significant progress in the restoration of the basic right of personal defense against violent aggression. But Tennessee Law still prevents many citizens from exercising their self-preservation rights under the Tennessee and U. S. Constitution, by requiring a poll tax in the form of our current permitting system.

Two years ago, the right to defend oneself was extended from the home to the vehicle, with the legalization of "car carry" without a permit. 

So now, a lady can drive to Kroger with her handgun in her car, but when she goes into the store, she must leave her handgun unattended while crossing sometimes dangerous parking lots and shopping.

If she is on a limited fixed income, she might be able to afford an inexpensive handgun, but not afford the cost of the permitting system.

Another elderly lady who lives in subsidized housing, and whose only means of transportation is a taxi or bus, doesn't even have the option of leaving a defensive firearm in her vehicle. Her defensive rights end at her front door.

Yet, under TCA 39-17-1322*, if either of these ladies uses a handgun in a justifiable self-defense situation, the law says "no harm done" and prevents prosecution for carrying. 

So, on one end we have the right to keep or carry a handgun in the home or car. On the other end we have exemption from prosecution if the defensive firearm is properly used.

Sandwiched in the middle is the prior restraint of the permitting system which restricts and taxes good citizens, yet does nothing to curtail the criminal.

Please vote yes on this bill.


Liston Matthews

​*​ A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim.