Tennessee Democrat Rep. Justin Pearson, who was expelled from his position for inciting an “insurrection” in the state Capitol, is now complaining to corporate media that Republicans are enlisting mob rule to once again stifle a leftist-led gun grab in the Volunteer State.
“I wonder what you make of the fact that the people of your state who you were standing up for would like to see some gun safety legislation, and the Republicans are ignoring the will of the majority,” MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace asked Pearson in an interview on Tuesday.
“Our democracy is in peril and the reality is we have people in the state of Tennessee Republican Party who are much more interested in turning our democracy into their ‘mobocracy,’ where mob rules,” the 28-year-old replied.
Pearson’s comments are ironic considering he was one of the “Tennessee Three” representatives who encouraged a mob in the chamber gallery in March to bully legislators into passing restrictive gun control laws.
Their attempts to rouse the rowdy crowd with jeers, taunts, and chants of “no action, no peace” were met with swift accountability from the General Assembly, which voted to boot Pearson and Rep. Justin Jones from the House days later.
At the time, Democrats all over the nation, including President Joe Biden, and the corporate media condemned the committee removals and ejections as “racist,” an erosion of “democratic norms,” and the “latest GOP move to stifle dissent,” even though Pearson and Jones were reinstated to their positions less than a week later.
Now, Pearson says Republicans’ fight to keep Gov. Bill Lee’s red flag law proposal and other unconstitutional gun policies off of the books in their state also constitutes undemocratic behavior.
“We are seeing in state legislature after state legislature the erosion of our democracy and so I’m deeply concerned about what is happening here in Tennessee, under the leadership of this extremist Republican Party of Cameron Sexton and William Lambert,” Pearson told Wallace.
Pearson specifically took issue with Republicans’ attempts to secure the state Capitol against another bout of unrest during their August special session.
“We are seeing that quite literally in the rules that are being passed that have now prohibited our own constituents from coming into session and holding a sign that says ‘Protect kids not guns’ or that says ‘Am I next?’ — that has now been banned during this special session,” Pearson said. “In fact, pieces of paper have more regulation than guns in our state.”
His colleague Jones joined in with a video posted to social media claiming that “The Guns Over People (GOP) Caucus has put more work into limiting the voices of the People and keeping them out of the Tennessee Capitol then listening to their demands for common sense gun laws.”
Corporate Media Really Want Gun Control in Tennessee Too
Pearson and Jones aren’t the only ones using empty definitions of “democracy” to browbeat and guilt-trip their legislative colleagues into doing their bidding when it comes to firearms.
Desperate pleas for gun control littered front pages on Monday morning as the state chambers convened for the special session. Even Wallace’s initial question to Pearson indicated she believed Tennessee Republicans who refuse to infringe on the Second Amendment are in the wrong.
Mere days before the special session began, The Washington Post published a feature of Melissa Alexander, the mother of a student who survived the Covenant School shooting.
“She’s a Republican gun owner. Now she’s pleading with GOP lawmakers for change,” the headline states.
The article claims that the only thing standing in the way of gun control activists like Alexander is “a powerful Republican-supermajority legislature that has resisted demands that lawmakers say infringe on rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”
“Grieving Governor’s Moderate Gun Proposal Is Spurned by G.O.P. Allies,” The New York Times also lamented once it became clear Republicans would focus more on mental health and safe gun storage than restricting Americans’ constitutional rights.
Local outlets such as The Tennessean published op-eds calling for Tennessee lawmakers to “listen to children about their gun violence fears.”
Missing from the front pages of these publications was any mention of polls suggesting that a majority of Tennesseans want current gun laws enforced instead of adding new laws to the books.
The specific gun law pushed by activists, Lee, Democrats like Pearson, and now the propaganda press is far from “moderate.” As my colleague Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi noted during the legislation’s debut in April, a law deeming someone who has a “psychiatric disorder” or “serious behavioral condition” eligible to lose his Second Amendment rights for 180 days or more is an “unconstitutional travesty.”
Lee’s failure to clarify whether transgenderism, the radical gender ideology that possessed the Covenant School shooter who murdered six, counts as a “psychological disorder” only furthered the GOP’s case against passing such a sweeping law.