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


Howley Isn't Ready For Prime Time On Signal Mountain Town Council

I am concerned about a lack of propriety I have seen in Chris Howley, a candidate for Signal Mountain Town Council. When Mr. Howley first heard about the conservation easement agreement he posted on his FaceBook page a scathing letter he had sent the current council accusing them of having a "hidden agenda" and asking questions indicating a complete lack of knowledge about the ... (click for more)

My Trust Is In Temple, Pierce And Causer

My daughter used to jokingly say, “Don't just do something!... Stand there!” Lately I feel I'm just standing there, reading relentless newsprint against two decent Red Bank commissioners up for re-election Nov. 4. We are tired of psycho-babble from campaign cheerleaders who orchestrated a “forum” (pep rally for their team – Roberts and Co.). Shame shame, Causer, Pierce and Temple ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Lookout Valley Middle High School Closed Friday Due To Water Main Break

County school officials said late Thursday night that LookoutValley Middle High School will be closed Friday due to a water main break. Officials said, "This is an official message from the Hamilton County Department of Education to the parents, faculty, and staff of Lookout Valley Middle High School.  Please accept our apologies for the lateness of this message. "Due ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)