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Fewer Restrictions Equals Safer Citizens

TN Lawmakers on Antioch Theater Attack: Fewer Gun Restrictions Needed

In the months preceding two highly public shootings in Tennessee, state lawmakers pushed to ease restrictions on when and where people may carry or purchase guns.

They need to continue that push so Tennesseans are able to protect themselves, argued state Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, on Wednesday afternoon.

“I honestly think evil is in a person’s heart. I don’t think gun legislation is necessarily going to alter or help or hurt,” said Goins, who has sponsored several gun-related measures in the past.

“I do think people being allowed to defend themselves without restrictive gun legislation does help keep the body count down in some situations.”

A gunman died Wednesday after bringing weapons into an Antioch movie theater. The man is believed to have attacked three people with pepper spray, including one person also injured by a hatchet, according to Metro police. Law enforcement shot and killed the man, who has not yet been identified.

Earlier this summer a gunman in Chattanooga shot five members of the military before he was shot and killed by local law enforcement.

Goins argued the man in Wednesday’s incident had the intent to harm people, and that would not have changed if there had been more gun restrictions in place at the theater or in the state.

“That theater probably had a no-hatchet policy as well,” Goins said. “The best thing lawmakers can do is free people up to defend themselves in the state.”

By Dave Boucher, The Tennessean

Despite Obama’s Efforts for Gun Control, US Firearms Production Jumped 140% in Five Years

“In 2010, more than 5.4 million firearms were manufactured. That number climbed to more than 10.8 million in 2013,” stated the ATF.

In effect 2013 was a boom year for the firearms industry. Immediately following the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, lawmakers called for new gun control laws across the country—spearheaded by a push from the Obama administration for national reform. The result was a massive surge in demand for firearms. Retailers found themselves stripped bare of guns, ammunition, and firearm-related accessories, and many manufacturers struggled to keep up with demand, often resulting in large back orders.

According to Erich Pratt, spokesperson for Gun Owners of America, the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict gun ownership only served to increase sales.

“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award,” Pratt told The Hill. “People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”

While individual states managed to pass new gun laws, the national gun control movement faltered. Instead, the Obama administration oversaw one of the largest gun booms in US history.

In 2008, when Obama took office, only about 4.5 million firearms were manufactured. Production rates had been more or less stable under former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at around four to five million guns being made each year. It was not until 2011 that the number of guns made in the United States exceeded six million for the first time.

“Pistols make up the bulk of the firearms manufactured, with 4.4 million produced in 2013,” stated the ATF. “That is an increase of more than one million pistols produced compared to the previous year.”

Since President Obama took office, the sale of pistols has nearly tripled and the number rifles—among the most popular the iconic AR-15—doubled. Many of these guns were bought for self defense or home defense, and it seems that increased firearm sales may have even curtailed crime in early 2013. The FBI reported that in the first six months of 2013, all of the offenses in the violent crime category—including murder, forcible rape, assault, and robbery—showed a significant decrease in early 2013 from the same period in 2012.