Permitless carry bill really is inexplicable

Why do Tennessee legislators want to risk lives?

Under the current permit system, anyone served an order of protection, or convicted of multiple DUIs, is prevented from getting a permit. If permitless carry passes, how would law enforcement officers know who is a threat?

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation opposes this bill. The TBI points to the nearly 5,500 people who were denied permits or had their permits revoked in 2020. 63,000 Tennesseans are legally excluded from carrying guns for mental health or behavioral reasons.

Glenn Scruggs, a 26-year veteran law enforcement officer, says "I cannot express how truly bad an idea I think this proposal is. The majority of the Chiefs of Police and District Attorneys in our state and across the country feel the same way."

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich asks "Is it really asking too much for someone to get a permit to carry a deadly weapon on our streets?"

The Tennessee Sheriffs Association states "This bill, as it is written, has no method or procedure for law enforcement to identify if an individual is unable to lawfully carry a firearm."

Anabel Garner


Sewanee Rotary pledges to support healing

In light of the disturbing racially-charged incident at the Sewanee vs Emmanuel College lacrosse match on March 13, I feel that now is the correct time to express the abhorrence, embarrassment and shock that is felt among Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club members. In doing so, I would like to share a statement from Rotary International covering the subject of racism:

"At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism. Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work...

"We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us... Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change."

We feel that the students at The University of the South are outstanding, tolerant and future leaders. Unfortunately, it only takes a few to tarnish the many. There will be a need for healing, so please know that our Rotary club will continue with our love and respect for this great institution, and that we stand in support of the university in any way possible.

Richard W. Deutsch

President, Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club


Limbaugh legacy one of hate, condescension

Free Press editorial page contributor Roger Smith's recent commentary about Rush Limbaugh spoke volumes. Many retired military officers idolized Limbaugh, as does Smith. Some were at the Capitol insurrection.

While driving for Hertz, I listened to Limbaugh frequently. He belittled women, made insensitive comments about blacks and gays, said smoking didn't cause cancer and disliked warnings on cigarette packs. His jokes were condescending. He apologized for his outlandish remarks only when his sponsors threatened to drop him.

Many of Limbaugh's comments were, indeed, "racist, sexist and homophobic," and he found a receptive audience. He used vulgarity and called women "Femi-nazis."

Limbaugh, "who loved the military," chose not to serve. After educational deferments, his father helped him get physically deferred when he dropped out. Reason: a cyst on his back and an alleged "leg injury in high school football." The high school coach said, "he never played." He sat on the bench for a year.

Limbaugh repulsed me. At a wedding reception years ago, the groom's cake had his face on it. When asked what part I wanted, my reply was "his tongue!"

Wilbourne C. Markham Sr.

Signal Mountain