Ben Cunningham to Speak on June 24
Want to learn how Tea Party and taxpayer groups can fight tax hikes and win at the local level? Then join us on Monday June 24th in the School House (Building G) at the Ward Ag Center at 7:00 PM when our guest speaker will be Ben Cunningham, Founder and President of the Nashville Tea Party.
Ben has been a volunteer taxpayer and tea party activist in Tennessee for 10 years. He has spoken to dozens of tea party events across Tennessee and the US. He has helped taxpayer groups across Tennessee to lower local taxes and to change their local government to become more responsive to citizens and more taxpayer friendly. Ben's primary message is this: the most important budget of all, more important than any government budget, is the taxpayer's family budget.
Ben was active in fighting against the effort to impose an income tax on the people of Tennessee at the Tennessee State Capitol in 2002. He has been active since that time with the Tennessee Tax Revolt Taxpayer advocacy group and many Tea Party Groups.
Ben lead the petition drive that resulted in Davidson County becoming the first County in Tennessee to require all property tax rate increase be approved by the voters. He is active in two non-profit groups as Press Spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc. and is the Founder and President of Nashville Tea Party, Inc.
Ben holds an undergraduate degree in financial administration and a Masters degree in Economics.
Lessons on Liberty
Posted on by Menda Holmes, Chairman
Why is that almost every time there's a tragedy, the left tries to exploit it for political gain, rather than supporting solutions based on a serious study of all the evidence?
Almost immediately after the Newtown, CT tragedy leftists began ramping up their attempts to assault the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. None of the legislation they are proposing would have prevented this horrific event since the weapons were stolen from the killer's mother. There are many factors to be considered when determining the cause of this tragedy and proposing effective solutions.
A major piece of evidence to consider is the fact that gun control laws don't correlate with decreased violence. According to FBI statistics, the U.S. murder rate has fallen by over one half since 1980 and gun homicide decreased along with it. In the late 20th century, gun ownership doubled while at the same time Americans are safer today from, "violent crime, including gun homicide, than they have been at any time since the mid-1960's."  The rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. 
In addition, John Lott in the Third Edition of "More Guns, Less Crime," writes, "There are large drops in overall violent crime, murder, rape, and aggravated assault that begin right after the right to carry laws have gone into effect. In all those crime categories, the crime rates consistently stay much lower than they were before the law. The murder rate for these right to carry states fell consistently every year relative to non-right-to-carry states."
Lott goes on to add:
"All the results indicate that violent crime falls after right-to-carry laws are passed....There is a large, statistically significant drop in murder rates across all specifications. The before-and-after average comparison implies that right-to-carry laws reduce murder by roughly 20 percent. In all cases, right-to-carry laws cause the trends in murder, rape, and robbery rates to fall."
A Wall Street Journal article by David Kopel explains. "The media rarely mention the mass murders that were thwarted by armed citizens at the Shoney's Restaurant in Anniston, Ala. (1991), the high school in Pearl, Miss. (1997), the middle-school dance in Edinboro, Penn. (1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. (2007), among others. At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The murderer's next shot was to kill himself."
Washington DC, Oakland and Chicago are some of the most dangerous places to live in America. These cities also have very strict gun control laws. This is further evidence that banning guns creates vulnerabilities by disarming law abiding people.
Cultural issues are also an integral component of this debate. The Newtown shooter played violent video games for hours at a time. The Columbine killers were immersed in violent video games and music. A mass murderer in Norway, who killed 77 people (mostly teenagers) said he played a video game to practice hand eye coordination.
The bottom line is that you cannot apply collective solutions to individual issues. Guns don't commit murder, people do. So, if the left wants to further restrict gun rights of law abiding citizens with more intrusive background checks and restrictions, consistency would dictate these same rules be applied to pressure cookers, ball bearings and nails which were used in the Boston Marathon bombings.
 Fed. Bureau of investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/index.cfm. See also, David Kopel, Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown, Wall Street Journal Dec 17, 2012
 Thomas Sowell, "Gun Control Ignorance," National Review Online, Dec. 18, 2012
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335848/gun-control-ignorance-thomas-sowell# David B. Kopel, "Crime: The Inner=City Crisis." davekopel.com, 2001, http://www.davekopel.com/CJ/Mags/InnerCityCrisis.htm.