McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — My wife and I moved to Tennessee in June and we’re real happy to be here.
By Kelly Cobean
I lived in Northern Virginia for 27 years. I got my handgun permit in 1995 when Virginia became a “shall issue” state. I watched as bad gun laws like “one gun a month” and the “restaurant ban” were overturned and crime numbers continued to fall, proving that these restrictions didn’t work and weren’t necessary. I was proud to be a Virginian because we had our heads on reasonably straight, politically speaking.
Then I watched the state go from being one of the very best in the nation for gun rights to coming within two legislative votes of making me a “felon-to-be” for nothing more than owning a rifle.
And it happened in ONE election.
We depart Virginia
As soon as the bill that would have made it illegal to own a whole list of common firearms was introduced (in November), we started making plans to move. I wasn’t going to wait and see what happened and then be in a race to get out before the proverbial hammer dropped on me. I have multiple NFA items. The mantra of “they don’t know what I own” doesn’t apply to me, or many other Virginians.
It took us 6 months to uproot our entire lives and get out. 21 years in the same house. A 20 year old son figuring out how to stand on his own. It was painful and it was stressful. During that 6 months, I fought along side fellow patriots to try and stop the onslaught. When we moved, some people in Virginia say we “chickened out” or “ran away from a fight”. Perhaps we did. I prefer to think of it as refusing to live under the boot heel of a tyrannical Governor and a complicit legislature that wasn’t listening anyway. I’m a vet, I come from a family of vets. Freedom and Liberty are not just abstract concepts in a document somewhere, they are tenets by which we all deserve and should demand to live.
They only fell 2 votes shy of passing HB961 because two Democrats didn’t like the lack of a grandfather clause when making 10+ round magazines illegal. They will fix the bill and bring it back in 2021 and Virginia will become worse than CA.
Remember, this took one election.
I attended “Lobby Day” in Richmond for years. Putting on a suit, speaking to legislators and being “heard.” This year we estimate that 50,000 people from across the country, most of them armed, gathered peacefully at the capitol in solidarity against government oppression. We stood shoulder to shoulder, all of us, black, white, Asian, gay, straight — it didn’t matter. The message was clear that we wanted no more gun-control in our state or in the country.
Rights protections vaporized
The government didn’t listen.
Except for HB961, they passed it all. Red flag laws, gun purchase limits, universal background checks. They destroyed state pre-emption, allowing cities and counties to establish their own rules for carry, making it a patchwork of legal minefields to travel inside the state with a firearm.
Remember, this took one election.
My point in all of this, my message to my now fellow Tennesseans, is that elections have REAL LIFE consequences. Bloomberg and Soros turned their focus on Virginia and bought elections with MILLIONS of dollars. They bought DAs and delegates into office. It was not possible to outspend their candidates.
And the state GOP is horribly broken. Twenty-seven legislative seats went completely uncontested to the Democrats who promptly took freedom and threw it in the trash. The Virginia GOP failed to find, fund and support a viable candidate in 27 legislative districts. That freed up a LOT of money for Democrats to focus on close races elsewhere, and win.
I’ve met quite a few people here who say “Not in Tennessee, buddy!” For now, I believe them. But if you’d told me what the political landscape of Virginia would have looked like today 5 years ago, I’d have said you were crazy.
Every call, e-mail counts
So my point is this: Freedom requires two things: Personal accountability and eternal vigilance.
Never let your guard down because the consequence of doing so is one you WILL feel the effects of. For every vote you don’t cast, you hand a vote to the gun grabbers. For every email you don’t send to your legislator urging them to support a pro-freedom bill or to oppose tyranny, it’s one more person they believe doesn’t care or isn’t watching.
Do you care? Are you watching? Who are your state reps? Can you name them? Have you written them lately to tell them that you’re watching?
I literally watched a free state fall in real time. Virginia is lost and many people I know want to get out. Some will come here. They will bolster our numbers, but eventually the eye of tyrants will turn to TN and when it does, we will have some hard choices to make. It’s far easier to make those choices at the polls than when tyranny gains a stranglehold and no longer needs to listen because it has the power and the numbers to do as it pleases.
Vote like freedom hangs in the balance, because it does.
I know. I just lived it, and it was costly.