TN Democrat's "takedown" of 2A argument is really a swing and a miss

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

I’ve been covering Second Amendment news and issues for close to 20 years now, so when I saw the headline touting the “almost expelled” Tennessee lawmaker who “rips apart huge pro-gun argument”, I was intrigued. I’ve yet to hear the gun control argument that’s been able to sway me, but maybe state Rep. Gloria Johnson had actually managed to come up with a line of reasoning that I at least hadn’t heard before.


Nope. As it turns out, rather than a fresh take on the gun control debate, Johnson served up nothing more than stale talking points in her conversation with The New Abnormal podcast.

Rep. Johnson joined Danielle Moodie, co-host of The New Abnormal politics podcast, on this episode of the show to talk about what the last few weeks have been like, a heartbreaking interaction she had with a third-grade Girl Scout about gun control, and a rebuttal to one of the biggest pro-gun “arguments” there is.

“They continually talk about, ‘Oh, well, criminals will get guns anyway.’ We’re a law-making body. I mean, why not have that attitude when it comes to robbery [then]? Criminals are just gonna rob people, so why have laws about it? Well, you have laws so people can get consequences,” she says. “To act as if that is some sort of defense is so lazy and disingenuine.”

Contrary to Johnson’s woefully ignorant take, we do have laws on the books prohibiting criminals from obtaining guns. We have felon-in-possession laws, statutes barring straw purchases, background checks on commercial sales of firearms, and a host of other restrictions that supposedly offer consequences for those who possess a firearm after they’ve lost the right to do so.

But the laws that Johnson wants to see in place aren’t aimed at criminals or other prohibited persons. They’re designed to chill the Second Amendment rights of those citizens who can still lawfully keep and bear arms in self-defense. Johnson was one of the three Tennessee Democrats who recently met with gun-banner-in-chief Joe Biden at the White House, and the group discussed a number of infringements they’d like to see in place.


Johnson said they talked with Biden about red flag laws, bans of assault weapons and gun safety measures such as state laws to require guns be kept in safes. Red flag laws generally allow the courts to temporarily remove a firearm from an individual who is a threat to themselves or others, among other provisions.

We have laws banning burglary, but we don’t ban the possession or sale of crowbars. We have statutes in place prohibiting drunk driving, but we don’t ban the sale or possession of alcohol (at least not after the disastrous experience with Prohibition a century ago). Many cities are dealing with illegal street races and meetups these days, but no one is suggesting banning cars from city streets.

Yet when it comes to violent crime, Johnson and her fellow prohibitionists are intent on trying to ban their way to safety by criminalizing the possession of some of the most commonly-owned firearms in the country, applying a one-size-fits-all mandate to gun storage complete with criminal penalties for non-compliance, and a gun-centric “red flag” law that supposedly treats dangerous people by taking their legally-owned guns from them while leaving them access to knives, pills, gasoline, matches, and anything else they might use to harm themselves or others.

Johnson’s hot take turned out to be luke warm at best. Lawmakers should pass laws so that “people can have consequences” is meaningless pablum. What matters is who the people are that Johnson believes should face consequences, and in this case it’s legal gun owners facing criminal penalties for exercising a fundamental right. I don’t think Johnson has ripped apart any pro-gun argument, but I do believe her anti-gun agenda would require shredding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights if it were ever put in place.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member