The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
The Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition is asking Governor Bill Lee to cancel a session planned for August due to concerns for public safety. The group says there are “schemes made by Marxist agitators targeting said session.”
Aaron Spradlin, Scott Nelson, Dave Galbraith, and Greg Lewis, the group’s board members, signed the letter sent to Lee on Tuesday.
The letter read as follows:
It is important to note, before we get into our main issue of disagreement with you, sir, that we, the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, recognize that there are many important things we do agree with you on. To name a few issues from just this past year, we want to commend your commitment to defending the unborn and the right to life, conservative criminal justice reform, and legislation that you’ve signed defending children against mutilation.
Today, we are writing you because you have made it clear that you are planning to use your authority to officially call an ill-advised special session of the Tennessee General Assembly on August 21st to address gun issues in the aftermath of the Covenant School shooting tragedy, a heinous and despicable act committed by a mentally ill individual who claimed to be on the transgender spectrum.
In the interest of public safety, the safety of downtown Nashville, the safety of those brave men and women charged with maintaining order at the Capitol, the safety of legislators, staff, interns, and visitors, and in defense of the Constitution – we, the Board of the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, plainly and emphatically oppose the calling of a special session of the General Assembly on this issue and are prayerfully writing to strongly urge that you reverse course on your plan, not call a special session, and wait until normal session in January to make proposals for the legislature to consider – as is the normal process of government.
As you and the public are aware, that heinous act of the murder of six individuals has been politicized by far Left activists and anti-Second Amendment groups funded by Leftist interests, the Biden Administration, Marxist agitators in the General Assembly who nearly started a riot over legislatures lack of desire to take away our Second Amendment constitutional rights – namely Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson, and others who wish to make every inroad they can in order to fulfil their ultimate goal of eliminating the constitutional protections that exist in the Second Amendment.
As you are aware, due to reporting by The Tennessee Star, SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, and other media organizations, Marxist groups that include MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood and the so-called “Tennessee 3” protest organizers have already held at least one meeting in which audio was obtained that demonstrates clear and cohesive planning for agitators and potential terrorists to disrupt a special session. That same audio also contains details that some of the agitators will be armed and that they are planning to be arrested.
If nothing else, this proposed special session currently scheduled for August 21st has become a rallying cry and a clarion call for every Marxist, Leftist, Soros-funded, and anti-Second Amendment organization across the United States to come to Nashville and, as said in the leaked audio, “____ it up.”
It is important to oppose any encroachment on the Constitution and we firmly oppose Red Flag laws. The Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition has nothing but the highest praise for the leadership and members of the Tennessee General Assembly who are defending the U.S. Constitution against Red Flag laws, leadership that includes: House Majority Leader William Lamberth (who actively blocked a Red Flag bill presented at the end of this past session), Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, Senator John Stevens, Representative Chris Todd, Representative Rusty Grills, Representative Jason Zachary, Representative Jody Barrett, and many others.
However, given that the General Assembly has justly made public their commitment to defending the Constitution, the more immediate concern is the danger of violence and other illegal acts that are being planned by the Marxist Left because of the proposed Special Session.
It is imperative that a special session of the Tennessee General Assembly not be called this summer and we again reiterate our prayer that you, in the interest of public safety, do not officially call the special session currently proposed for August 21st.
It is additionally worth pointing out that the United States does not have a gun problem, but rather a God problem. The power centers of our society promote mental illness and spurn faith in God. Violence is a crisis of the soul, one that will not be solved by passing additional anti-Second Amendment laws. The only way to fix what ails our national soul is by turning back to God.
Attached to this letter is a statement of facts that we hope you will additionally consider as you make your decision.
We look forward to continuing to work with you and your office on areas where we share common ground.
Respectfully and Prayerfully,
The Board of the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition
The group included the following statement with the letter, adding more specifics to the information provided:
“ Statement of Facts About Proposed August Special Session
— As previously stated, a special session in August places public safety in and around Tennessee’s Capitol at risk.
In mid-May of this year, the content of a Marxist agitator meeting was obtained by The Tennessee Star and other news outlets.
Comments like the following one made by Julie Edwards, the Advocacy & Organizing manager for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi pervaded the meeting:
“Keep in mind, the special session is August 21st, so everything we learn here today is to be applied towards the special session,” she said. “So, we are investing in y’all as activists, with the promise that y’all will show up when we need you to show up. Including August, but also I know some of y’all aren’t from Nashville so we’re trusting y’all to go back in your communities, share this information and ___ it up when it needs to happen.” Another comment about the meeting was:
“So this is like very much an intro into protest safety and what to do – how to come up with a plan if you are gonna plan an action,” the organizer said. “But a big part of doing protest safety is knowing where you are best suited for. If you are best suited for logistics, you’re not best suited to be a safety captain that day. If you are somebody who shows up armed and you have that training, you are best suited to be off the safety roster that day.”
That is but a sampling of the proof that Marxists are planning on flooding Nashville and the capacity for violence is high. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and downtown Nashville experienced what the Left is capable of in the late-spring/early-summer of 2020.
Security expert and TN FFC Board Chair Aaron Spradlin, who was recognized by the Tennessee General Assembly for his work protecting members of the body, predicts massive protests and nefarious actions by the Marxist anti-constitutional activists.
Spradlin states, “This situation is a powder keg. The capacity for violence, agitation, and danger for the members of the General Assembly, their staff, law enforcement, and the citizens of Tennessee is nearly limitless. This could conceivably dwarf what happened in 2020.”
— The Constitution is not a list of rights and duties granted by the Federal government to the people of the United States. It is the mere recognition of the Federal government of rights granted by God. The rights and freedoms described cannot be trampled on by government.
The Constitution must always be defended and that fact is underscored by the vast overreach and outright crimes against the American people committed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential for a Red Flag law being applied against Tennessee citizens who don’t comply with potential future mandates is very real.
President Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
— A special session in August is being proposed, but previously suggested special sessions by the public and members of the public policy sphere on issues like Human and Child Trafficking, saving the jobs of the Guardsmen who were scheduled to be fired due to the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate, and other matters – were not called or seriously publicly considered by the Lee Administration.
It is curious that an August special session, in light of the danger to the public and Constitutional concerns. is on the precipice of being officially called when apparently no consideration was given to calling a special session on other matters of compelling public interest.
— Any attempt to curtail the Second Amendment is a linking of arms with Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, Gloria Johnson, Joe Biden, George Soros, and the Marxist Left.
The point of those Leftists that orchestrated the well-documented situation and near riot at the end of the regular session of the 2023 Tennessee General Assembly that adjourned earlier this year was to politicize the Covenant tragedy and to result in a chipping away of the Constitution.