Tennessee delaying any gun control measures until 2024?

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Following a deadly mass shooting, people get emotional, especially when it touches them in some way. Believe me, I know.

Right now, nerves are raw in Tennessee. Six people are dead, three of them children. That’s going to rattle some folks.


Yet rattled lawmakers tend to make for bad, poorly thought-out laws. That’s why I like what I’m seeing from Tennessee right now.

Any legislation regarding stricter gun control could be postponed until next year. It comes in the wake of The Covenant School shooting that forever changed the lives of six families.

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Tuesday to postpone any and all firearms legislation until 2024.

It comes as Governor Lee has said he supports some form of a red flag law, as long as it does not violate Constitutional rights. His focus would be on keeping firearms from dangerous people, but now that legislation may not have the chance to be up for discussion this year because of the vote.

Of course, Democratic lawmakers aren’t thrilled with this. It’s not because they think failing to do something now will cost lives, though they might claim as much. The problem is that they know if they postpone gun control until next year, people won’t be as wound up and emotional, thus less interested in Doing Something (TM).

Creating a bit of a buffer so that people can approach legislation rationally is hardly a bad thing. If it’s a good idea now, it’ll be a good idea in 2024.

The problem with gun control measures is that they’re never good ideas in the first place. If they were, they wouldn’t need raw emotion for passage in so many places. So a delay works against them and proponents of those laws are going to be bent out of shape because of it.


Well, deal with it.

The truth is that gun control advocates have long been able to strike while emotions are hot and damn any and all consequences for that. Being told to hold on for a bit is really just pulling them short and jerking a knot in them, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Tennessee doesn’t need gun control. They don’t need a red flag law or any other such measure. What happened in Nashville was awful, but the truth is that even if you eliminated guns, you wouldn’t eliminate mass murders.

What we need to do is start trying to figure out why people do this instead of just pretending that guns are cursed magical items from a roleplaying game that somehow makes people into homicidal murder machines. We’re not going to get that by pretending gun control is the answer, though.

So, my hope is that we’ll soon see more states at least consider such delays following mass shootings. Even if you believe gun control is good and necessary, waiting until we can coldly and rationally evaluate such legislation shouldn’t be a huge issue. I get that you wouldn’t want to do that, but it doesn’t mean you couldn’t.

The fact that this push has to happen now, though, tells you a lot about gun control.

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