Early voting kicks off later this week in Tennessee’s Republican primary, and the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate is one to keep an eye on. Senator Lamar Alexander is retiring, and the open seat has attracted dozens of candidates on both sides of the aisle who are vying to replace him. Given Tennessee politics, it’s likely that the winner of the GOP primary will win in the general election, and at the moment two Republican candidates seem to be standing out from the rest of the field.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty, a Tennessee businessman, has the endorsement of President Donald Trump and much of the state’s political establishment, but Dr. Manny Sethi, an orthopedic trauma surgeon from Nashville is making a strong impression on voters, and his campaign says internal polling shows the race within the margin of error at the moment. Sethi’s also picked up some endorsements of his own, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Dr. Sethi joins me on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. today to talk about his experience growing up in rural Tennessee as the son of immigrant doctors, and how that experience helped to shape his views on the Second Amendment. Not only was Sethi raised in a culture of responsible gun ownership, after a threat to himself and his family about six years ago, the doctor purchased a Glock handgun, got his concealed carry license, and continues to train regularly.

Sethi has seen firsthand the impact of violent crime and misuse of firearms, but he’s not your stereotypical anti-gun medical professional. Far from it, as a matter of fact. The surgeon tells me that, in his opinion, gun control laws like a ban on so-called assault weapons or red flag laws aren’t just unconstitutional, they actually impede efforts to address the roots causes of violent crime.

“It’s not about the guns,” Sethi explained to me. “That’s just some politicians way of trying to act like they’re doing something. If they really wanted to do something, let’s talk about the deeper issues. As a physician and someone who’s run this non-profit called Healthy Tennessee for nine years, that’s what I’ve always been interested in, is prevention. So let’s get on the front side of this problem, and the front side is talking about some of these very complicated problems of kids and broken homes who don’t feel that there’s anyone there, that loves them, that cares for them. Nobody’s around to talk to them about these issues, people aren’t going to church, and so we’ve gotta delve much deeper into these complex problems that society faces.”

Be sure to check out the entire interview with Dr. Manny Sethi above, including a fascinating discussion about a conflict resolution program that Sethi helped to introduce into a local school in Nashville back in 2013 that saw a noticeable reduction in bullying, threats, and even students carrying a gun to school, all without a single new restriction on legal, law-abiding gun owners.

I’m not a Tennessee voter, but I have to say I love the idea of a pro-2A trauma surgeon getting elected to the U.S. Senate, especially given the push for sweeping gun bans and other restrictions that are headed our way if Joe Biden were to win in November. Sethi’s experience in treating gunshot victims, his long-term advocacy for addressing those root causes of violence, and his staunch support for the Second Amendment would help to make him a pretty powerful voice for the tens of millions of Americans who are concerned about violent crime but know that restricting our constitutionally-protected rights isn’t the way to make the country a safer place.

We’ve got more news on today’s show as well, including two brothers sentenced in the death of a Utah police officer in 2016 who were released early from their already short sentences due to coronavirus concerns, but who are now facing charges in a shooting over the weekend; an Indianapolis woman who shot and killed a man breaking into her home, and a police officer in a Detroit suburb who was in the right place at the right time to save the life of a three-week-old child. You’ll want to tune in tomorrow as well when we’ll talk with Virginia Del. C. Todd Gilbert about the upcoming special session in the state and what gun owners can expect when lawmakers return to Richmond next month.