Sheriff Gobble: Carry Permits And The Law - And Response (2)

Thursday, June 04, 2009 - by Sheriff Tim Gobble

I have long been an advocate for the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, in accordance with our Second Amendment right. A well-armed citizenry is one of the best defenses against crime.

Our elected representatives in Nashville recently proposed legislation that would allow qualified citizens to carry firearms into state parks, restaurants and other places that serve alcohol, provided the carrier does not drink. They are to be commended for their pro-gun position, as well as for overriding the governor's veto of that gun bill.

I support self-defense rights and every law-abiding citizen deserves the option of protecting themselves, even in those places where alcohol is being served, as long as they, themselves, are not consuming alcohol.

I believe carrying a sidearm is much like operating a vehicle ~ it must be done responsibility. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol because an impaired driver becomes a danger to themselves and others on the road. This analogy holds true with gun ownership. As soon as a person is under the influence of alcohol while carrying a gun, they become a danger to themselves and others. It is not the car that is the danger and it is not the gun that is the danger, it is the impaired or irresponsible operator or carrier who is the danger.

I have a proven record of supporting gun rights, and this record was noted in American Rifleman magazine last November when I defended a homeowner who used his firearm to protect himself. I will continue to uphold and advocate that Second Amendment right for all qualified citizens.

The operative word there is "qualified." As a law enforcement professional, I am well aware that people can be dangerous who use guns inappropriately. That is why I encourage everyone who owns a gun or who is thinking of buying a gun to take gun safety classes and practice proper usage. I also encourage folks to only purchase safe, reliable, functional weapons from reputable firearms dealers, and go through the proper channels of securing permits and knowledge of the law. The BCSO offers gun safety and training courses. If you are interested in taking our gun safety course, contact Cathy Ruth at 728-7301. She will arrange for you to receive all the information you need. Although the course is free to Bradley County residents, a $5 fee is required for use of the shooting range.

It is every individual's Constitutional right to own and carry a firearm for sport or personal protection unless in certain areas prohibited by law (such as courtrooms and presidential venues) or illegal or irresponsible actions on their part preclude them from that right.

To find out more about the BCSO, visit: www.bradleysheriff.com. You can also write: 2290 Blythe Ave., SE, Cleveland 37311, or email me personally: comments@bradleysheriff.com

* * *

Sheriff Gobble, thank you for bringing rational sanity to a highly emotional and often distorted issue. The media and several officials have misrepresented the intent and actual effect of the handgun carry permit bill just passed in the Tennessee legislature, by overriding the governor's veto.

The Times Free Press issue today has an article about bar owners being concerned about the new law. Yet the bill was written such that the right for a permit holder was extended to restaurants, and not bars, and restaurants are defined clearly in our law.

Nearly everything I have read on this issue has been on the basis of an emotional bias one way or the other. Sheriff Gobble's analogy of the responsibility of the the handgun owner compared to the responsibility for safe operation of motor vehicles is excellent. I know that common sense isn't that common, but it's nice to know that it's not completely extinct.

Thomas A. Cook, MD
Signal Mountain

* * *

Everyone should take special notice of the all too common error of all people, not just Sheriff Gobble. The constitution and second amendment give us no rights as Sheriff Gobble stated, but merely clarifies many of the rights that are self-evident and spring naturally from our maker. Our God given right to bear arms is spelled out in the Constitution, not for hunting or crime protection, but for defending our nation from enemies, foreign and domestic, and to protect from government tyranny. Government infringement on any of our rights is tyranny in and of itself. We must embrace our rights and not enable bad laws or bad government through acceptance, but change them.

Neeld Messler
Signal Mountain


Perry Perkins, The Right Candidate For District 7

Perry Perkins is a man of integrity, he will not only talk the talk, he will walk the walk.  I am not writing this as a District 7 voter, but as a friend who has had the pleasure of knowing Perry for the last 25+ years. During the past 25 years, I have never known Perry to be anything but truthful, honest, hardworking and a man of his word.    I have had the pleasure ... (click for more)

Joe Manuel Is Most Qualified To Be Chancellor

I strongly support Joe Manuel for chancellor.  As a businessman, I understand that Chancery Court deals with a lot of complex business and financial issues. Also, within the last two weeks, we have seen the School Board announce that it would sue the city of Chattanooga in Chancery Court and retired firemen and police officers have already filed a lawsuit against the city ... (click for more)

Strong Winds, Freezing Temperatures In Chattanooga Forecast; Growers Advised To Take Precautions With Young Crops

A cold front with strong winds was moving into the Chattanooga area today and was set to bring freezing temperatures overnight. Area growers were advised to take precautions with their young crops. Temperatures were expected to drop into the 20s. Here is the freeze warning: ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM EDT /7 AM CDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT /7 PM CDT/ THIS EVENING... ... (click for more)

Zachary Bryant Was 6-Year-Old Killed Monday At Chattanooga Valley Elementary

Zachary Bryant has been identified as the 6-year-old boy who was killed after being run over by a school bus on Monday at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School. Authorities said the kindergarten student had just gotten off the bus when it moved forward and struck him. Walker County coroner Dewayne Wilson said he was killed immediately in the 7 a.m. incident. Funeral ... (click for more)

Cuonzo Martin Leaves Tennessee For Job At California

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin apparently took his name out of the coaching search at Marquette so he could put it in a hat at the University of California at Berkeley. On Tuesday, Martin broke ties with the Volunteers and accepted the head coaching job with the Bears. Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart admitted Martin’s move surprised him. “Not from my perspective,” ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Women's Southern Conference Championship

The Chattanooga Mocs are your Southern Conference Women’s Golf Champions. That’s five straight team titles and sophomore Emily McLennan (Queensland, Australia) made it the fourth consecutive sweep winning medalist honors. McLennan was solid shooting 222 for her 54 holes on a tough week for scoring. She won by four strokes over Furman’s Taylor Totland and was seven clear of ... (click for more)