NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled against a Brentwood man who claimed state law regulating the carrying of firearms was unconstitutional.
Leonard Embody filed a lawsuit in 2010 after state officials took away his carry permit, finding a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public.”
The revocation came after Embody was detained by Belle Meade police in 2010 while walking with a .44-caliber black powder revolver in his hand. He was detained in 2009 while walking in Radnor Lake State Park with an AK-47-style pistol. He also has been stopped in at least three similar incidents, although he was never charged with a crime.
Embody, who represented himself, claimed in court that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives him a right to carry firearms.
According to the court, “The crux of Embody’s argument is that, as a law-abiding citizen, the legislature may not constitutionally bar him from carrying loaded firearms in public.”
The apparent suicide of a mentally-troubled Florida man distraught over the re-election of President Obama is cited by Lenard Pitts in a column critical of right-wing commentators. Sometimes, they act — the Hannitys, the O’Reillys, the Trumps, the Limbaughs, the whole conservative political infotainment complex — as if this were all a game, as if their nonstop litany of half truths, untruths and fear mongering, their echo chamber of studied outrage, practiced panic, intellectual incoherence and unadulterated equine feculence, had no human consequences. Sometimes, they behave as if it were morally permissible — indeed, morally required — to say whatever asinine, indefensible, coarse or outrageous thing comes to mind in the name of defeating or diminishing the dreaded left. And never mind that vulnerable people might hear this and shape their beliefs accordingly.
Did the conservative political infotainment complex kill Henry Hamilton? No.
But were they the water in which he swam, a Greek chorus echoing and magnifying the outsized panic that troubled his unwell mind? It seems quite likely.
One hopes, without any real expectation, that Hamilton’s death will give pause to the flame throwers on the right. One hopes, without any real expectation, that somebody will feel a twinge of conscience. Or shame.
But that will not happen.
— Frank Cagle, who is pretty darn conservative in many matters, says in a column that elections show the Republican party needs to distance itself from the “crackpot caucus.” The Republican brand has come to be associated with bigotry and hate speech. It is the tone and the rhetoric that turns off people who might otherwise agree more with conservative principles than liberal ones.
In the 1950s, the John Birch Society began to make inroads into the Republican Party. Their extremist views and paranoia about government plots threatened to marginalize the party. William F. Buckley, editor of The National Review, and other conservative opinion leaders worked to throw these people out of the party.
What can Republican leaders today do to change the perception of minority groups and demographic changes?
They can start by condemning people who claim, all evidence to the contrary, that Obama is not an American citizen. They can call out conservative talk-radio hosts for hateful tirades and name-calling. They can condemn Limbaugh when he does things like refer to a young woman testifying before Congress as a slut.
They can also call out a handful of state legislators who make national news with stupid bills.
It’s time to start taking responsibility. Call down and excise the Crackpot Caucus.
Excerpts from The Tennessean’s setup story on the 7th Congressional District race:
Re-elect her, Rep. Marsha Blackburn says, and voters will get what she’s always given them — a lawmaker passionate about staying in touch with constituents, making government transparent and curing its overspending.
Re-elect her, her opponents say, and voters will get someone who has turned into a Washington insider after 10 years in office.
Such are the battle lines in the race for the 7th Congressional District, the U.S. House seat that has drawn the most candidates in Tennessee this year, with six.
Blackburn, 60, a Brentwood Republican, says anyone who thinks she has become comfortable in Washington and no longer cares about changing things just isn’t paying attention.
“Look at who has been (making) an issue of out-of-control federal spending since Day 1,” she said in an interview. “I have been a solid member of a whole change-agent team.”
…Several of Blackburn’s five opponents, however, portray her as captured by the congressional lifestyle and the campaign contributions that come with it. Blackburn has raised $1.45 million for her 2012 campaign, and her personal political action committee and has cash on hand of $1.26 million. Sixty percent of her money comes from special interest PACs, a larger percentage than for any other Middle Tennessee member of Congress.
“She votes to take care of the needs of the corporate empire,” said Green Party candidate Howard Switzer, 67, an architect in Linden. Switzer says America needs decentralization of its economy — highlighted by more local food production — and more “earth-friendly” policies in general. Switzer also believes these are “apocalyptic times.”
The Democrat in the race is Credo Amouzouvik, a 34-year-old disabled Army veteran in Clarksville. Amouzouvik said he was motivated to run because the low approval ratings of Congress indicate voters are not getting the leadership they deserve.
…Another Army veteran in the race is independent candidate Jack Arnold of Kingston Springs, 38, who just graduated from Vanderbilt Law School. Arnold said he would emphasize changing a campaign finance system that makes lawmakers worry more about fundraising than addressing issues.
…Arnold is the only one of Blackburn’s opponents to report any campaign money to the Federal Election Commission. He’s raised $13,353, a mix of his own funds and some individual contributions, but no PAC money.
Another independent candidate, Leonard Ladner, 58, of Hohenwald, operates his own trucking firm and drives an 18-wheeler. Ladner said Blackburn is “a slick talker” and “a Republican who has been there too long.”
…The other candidate in the race is Ryan Akin, 44, a customer service representative from Bon Aqua who contends “the American way of life is diminishing right and left.”
Akin said his drive to preserve American values would emphasize the primacy of the English language, among other aspects of U.S. culture.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has upheld a state statute that restricts the possession of firearms in a case involving a Williamson County man who carried a pistol at a state park.
Chancellor Russell T. Perkins on Monday ruled against Leonard S. Embody of Brentwood, whose loaded AK-47 pistol was seized by a park ranger at Nashville’s Radnor Lake State Park in 2009. The ranger, Steve Ward, said Embody posed a threat to others by carrying the pistol across his chest while walking around the park.
Embody earlier lost rulings in federal court on the same issue.
After his arrest, the state in 2010 took away his permit to carry a firearm. Embody had claimed he had a permit for the weapon, which was a legal handgun.
Perkins ruled that Embody’s argument that the statute is overbroad is without merit. The judge also said Embody failed to show that his right to due process was infringed.
Embody did not return a phone call from The Associated Press on Wednesday seeking comment on the decision.
State Attorney General Robert E. Cooper said in a statement he was gratified that the court “upheld the constitutionality of reasonable laws regarding firearms outside of the home in the interests of public safety and crime prevention.”
Embody has also been stopped by police at least three other times in similar incidents. In 2010 police in the Nashville suburb of Belle Meade detained him after he walked down a street with a .44-caliber black powder revolver in his hand.
Gun rights activists have criticized Embody, saying his provocative style hurts their cause.
The statute outlaws “the carrying of firearms for the purpose of going armed.” There are exceptions for those with permits, hunters, farmers to protect livestock from predatory animals and other cases.
A judged has ruled that a Brentwood man who walked through Radnor Lake State Park with a loaded gun did not have his rights violated when park officials seized the weapon, according to the Tennessean.. Leonard Embody had sued the state, saying his constitutional right to bear arms and his right against illegal searches and seizures were violated.
On Dec. 20, 2009, Embody went to the park wearing camouflage, with a short-barreled AK-47-like gun strapped to his chest. Park Manager Steve Ward and Metro police detained Embody but determined the gun was legal because it was less than 12 inches long. Police let him go.
U.S. District Court Judge William Haynes said Embody’s rights were not violated and granted Ward’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.