April 13, 2023
Two Democrat Tennessee House of Representative members who were recently expelled for mounting an anti-gun protest on the chamber floor during open session are blaming racism on their removal, rather than the fact that they grossly violated House rules.
On April 6, the Tennessee House voted 72-25 to expel Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville and 69-26 to expel Justin Pearson of Memphis. Another lawmaker involved in the melee, Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville narrowly avoided expulsion, with lawmakers coming up one vote short of getting the needed two-thirds majority.
On March 30, Reps. Pearson and Jones approached the podium during an open session of the House of Representatives and began leading anti-gun chants, stirring up an already unruly crowd clamoring for stricter gun laws after a transgender woman shot up her former Christian school, killing three children and three adults. The Republican majority continued with the business on the calendar, enraging anti-gun lawmakers and protestors.
“This is just not about one specific instance or one specific rule that may have been broken. The rules here are for order,” said Republican Rep. Johnny Garrett, who led the GOP arguments against Jones. “We owe that to the constituents that we represent across this state.”
Many lawmakers were not only critical of the now banned legislators leading the anti-gun skirmish, but of the crowd that caused such a large spectacle inside the House chambers during open session.
"Their actions are and will always be unacceptable, and they break several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor," House Speaker Cameron Sexton tweeted following the loud free-for-all. "In effect, those actions took away the voices of the protestors, the focus on the six victims who lost their lives, and the families who lost their loved ones."
The anti-gun lawmakers chose to make the issue about race, as did many in the media. An Associated Press headline stated, “Ousted Black lawmaker could soon return to Tennessee House,” While an NBC News headline read, “Black Tennessee residents frustrated over expulsion of legislators.
Even Vice President Kamala Harris got in on the race-baiting, coming to the aid of the expelled legislators who represent predominantly Black districts.
“It wasn’t about the three representatives,” Harris claimed at a rally after the expulsions. “It’s about who they were representing. It’s about whose voices they were channeling. Understand that.”
Of course, Harris knows that there are certain rules legislators throughout the country must abide by, and that gross violation of those rules can result in punishment. But since these particular lawmakers violated rules while touting one of her pet projects—banning guns—she sees it as important work for a righteous cause.
At the time of this writing, the Nashville Metropolitan Council had voted to return Jones to the legislature. Pearson is also looking for ways to be reinstated to his former post.
In the end, however, make no mistake: There’s no doubt that Pearson and Jones did violate written House rules and did deserve the expulsion they received. Any cries of racism are simply attempts by the Left to further divide the nation so they can exert even more power over the American people.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.