US Rep. Phil Roe speaks at Sevier gun rally
Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 @ 7:24PM
SEVIERVILLE — The crowd of about 75 to 100 people who gathered Saturday around the Sevier County Courthouse in support of the Second Amendment tried to find space under shaded trees to avoid the midday sun.
But they left no doubt they are willing to stand out in the open to call attention to and support Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.
“The Second Amendment is coming under heavy attack, and it’s time for people to stand up and realize that,” said Steve Osborn of the Sevier County Patriots LLC and Sevier County Tea Party, which sponsored the event.
Osborn said he organized the event, which included speeches by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and other gun-rights officials and supporters, after hearing about a California case in which two people were denied gun carry permits. He thought the July Fourth weekend — and the second day of the month, the same as the amendment — was a perfect time to encourage attendees to contact the Tennessee General Assembly to help turn around such trends.
“It’s going to be that body who stands up to the federal government and says, ‘No more,’ ” he said.
Keynote speaker Roe, who represents the First District in Northeast Tennessee, traveled to Sevierville after taking part in a parade in Jonesborough, Tenn., and arrived just as the two-hour rally was nearing its end. But he offered words of support, saying the recent shootings by radical Islamic extremists — including in Orlando, Fla., last month — have placed blame in the wrong place.
“They were blaming the gun for the shooting, not ideology,” he said.
He encouraged those on hand to vote for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, saying Trump will support the Second Amendment. “We have to support him,” he said. “We know what will happen if Hillary Clinton is elected.”
A table at the event offered Trump merchandise, as well as T-shirts skewering Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, that read “Hillary Clinton for Prison.” Confederate battle flags and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags also dotted the gathering, and several attendees were carrying handguns on their waists.
Raffle tickets were being sold for a rifle, a hunting knife kit and a shooting range gift certificate.
No protesters attended the event.
Among the other speakers were Knox County gun-rights advocate Liston Matthews, state Senate District 2 candidate Scott Williams, state District 12 Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville, and state House Majority Whip Tim Hill, R-Blountville.
Carr said he is often asked what will happen if guns are taken away from people.
“We will protect ourselves as we see the need,” he said.
Read the full article HERE at the Knoxville News-Sentinel.