The Satanic Nature of Tennessee Gun Control
by Ltc. Tom Pardue (USA Ret)
State Senator Ron Ramsey, a Sullivan County (TN) Republican, got into hot water with the press the other day. Ramsey speculated that the April 6 murder of a family in Greene County (TN) proved the need for quicker access to concealed carry handgun permits. The family was returning from a Jehovah's Witness conference when they were abducted from an Interstate 81 rest stop and murdered in a remote area. The alleged perpetrators, aged 14 to 20, shot the unarmed victims point-blank with two handguns. The father, mother and seven year-old daughter died. The two-year old boy survived.
Senator Ramsey suggested that the covenant head of this family might have been able to carry a gun to protect his family had the state been more responsive in the permit process. Several thousand applicants have been waiting since October 1996 for their permits. An editor for the Kingsport (TN) Times-News castigated Ramsey on the editorial page. The editor, no friend of orthodox Christianity, faulted Ramsey for "religious insensitivity" toward "pacifist" Jehovah's Witnesses.
I say that the doctrine of pacifism contradicts Scripture and that Ramsey is right and editor is left, er, wrong. Men are commanded to protect the weak (Ps. 82:4; Prov. 24:11) and their households (Ex 22:1-2). The most modern and lethal weapons of the era are used to accomplish this (Luke 22:36 ).
It is appropriate to act as the noble Bereans did and examine the Scriptures to see if this be so (Acts 17:11). The Apostle Paul clearly described heresy in 1 Tim. 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever." The context is that of charity for involuntarily indigent people but has a broader application. This command does not pertain exclusively to Christians but to all ("anyone"). "Especially for those of his household" is a component of "his own." All whom God has appointed to positions of authority (Romans 13:1) are commanded to provide what God has revealed that they provide for their constituents. God holds fathers, church leaders and civil magistrates accountable for their performance (Heb 13:17). This includes "providing" protection. Fathers are to protect their families and the state is to protect the right to do so.
Let the reader judge the performance of our state civil magistrates in their "providing.". The 1796 Tennessee Constitution affirmed "That the freemen of this state have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense." In the parlance of the era "common defense" meant "each and every person" or individual self defense not "collective defense." The 1835 Constitution changed "freemen" to "free white men" . This change was a result of the 1831 "Nat Turner Rebellion" and denied free Negroes the right to carry arms. The 1870 Constitution added "but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime." The new wording had the covert goal of denying free Negroes the right to carry guns. The government asserted that "common defense" was related to militia service and defined "arms" as military weapons that Negroes could not afford. Tennessee's 19th century government was concerned about the control of a presumed aberrant class and indifferent toward the protection of God given rights. The majority consented to this.
Tennessee's 20th century government is no better. Our modern laws treat the right to self defense as a privilege. There is a requirement for fingerprinting, a background check, $100 for the permit, mandatory training, all restrictions that prevent the law abiding from protecting himself legally. The total cost approaches $200 and is a de facto tax on a God given right. Permits are denied to any criminals dull enough to apply.
Another "enlightened" rule is found in Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-A-1307. It criminalizes the carry of any weapon without a permit including unconcealed firearms, clubs and knives over three inches long. This code prohibits carrying weapons for self-defense under the oxymoronic stipulation that one cannot carry arms for the purpose of going armed.
The codes, theoretically designed to prevent crime, hinder the free carry of guns for self defense. The Greene County (TN) murders cast immense doubt on the efficacy of the codes in deterring crime. The alleged murderers ignored them. The Bible shows that the best deterrent to crime is the remedial force of a Biblical system of justice. A Biblical system of justice loudly proclaims the temporal sanctions for violating God's standards of conduct. This proactively serves to purge the evil from the land (Deut. 17:12) because the wicked will fear to transgress God's standards (Deut. 19:20). They know that justice will be certain and swift (Ecc. 8:11). This is not mere theory posited by criminologists, psychologists and sociologists in doctoral dissertations. It works because God's Word is tested (Prov. 30:5).
The General Assembly has the power to regulate wearing of arms. I suggest that the manner in which the General Assembly regulates is unjust because it has the effect of disarming most law-abiding citizens. This is an exercise of power beyond its right. When the state exercises power beyond its rights, it is tyrannical. God has warned the state not to enact unjust laws (Is. 10:1). The messianic and paternalistic state is not providing for its own and has set itself in opposition to God. All men must oppose this. I suggest that by failing to oppose state tyranny one is not doing all that he can to provide protection for his own, and especially, protection for those of his household.
If readers disagree with my Biblical or Constitutional exegesis, do nothing. If you agree, contact your state legislators. Tell them to obey God rather than men. Repeal these unjust laws.
Copyright © 1998 Ltc. Tom Pardue (USA-Ret) is a five point Calvinist, a theonomist and a Christian Reconstructionist and a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Kingsport, Tennessee. He has a BS in Environmental Health from East Tennessee State University and a Masters degree in education from Milligan College. He is a descendent of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian patriots who fought in the War for Independence and the War For Southern Independence. He retired in 1992 from the large standing Army where he served as an Army aviator, tactical communications officer, operations officer, air traffic control officer and commander, general factotum and dog robber - jack of all trades and, by the Grace of God, master of some. Ltc. Pardue has contributed articles to several newsletters, The Herald Free Press, the Reformed Theology journal Contra Mundum and has written guest columns for the Chattanooga Free Press on Biblical law and the Constitution.
Posted here by permission of the author.