Voters should question endorsements that do not match the facts – particularly on 2nd Amendment issues.
Presently, in Tennessee, a number of incumbent candidates like Charles Sargent, Doug Overbey and even congressional incumbent Diane Black are touting their high ratings and endorsements from a certain national firearms advocacy group. It is obvious to many who pay close attention to the events that really take place behind the scenes and in the manipulated committee system that perhaps these endorsements are perhaps misplaced or are the result of being misled.
Let’s examine one as an example, state Senator Doug Overbey. Senator Overbey serves on the Senate judiciary committee. The NRA’s lobbyist, Erin Luper, was in Tennessee and in that committee this year when Senator Mark Green presented his bill to enact Constitutional Carry in Tennessee (SB1483). Senator Overbey voted on a roll call vote “no” against Green’s Constitutional Carry bill. However, the national organization has given him an “A-“ rating and an endorsement in his primary race.
Let’s examine another example, the Congressional race involving incumbent Diane Black and her challenger, former Tennessee House member Joe Carr. In this primary race, Diane Black has received the NRA’s endorsement and an “A” rating but, once again, its not clear why. Consider some of the facts however.
Recently, Diane Black has been running a radio advertisement about how strong she is on the 2nd Amendment. There is also a Youtube video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrA4VpsKOfQ ) of her ad so that you can hear it. In the radio ad, Diane Black states that when she was 45 years old she was walking the streets of Nashville alone and 3 young men approached her. She said “they were aggressive, they beat me up, they ruptured a disc in my back and there was no one there to help me. They tried to get me in the car but I knew I could not let that happen . . . and I decided right then that I could never be a victim again. I bought my pistol. I got my permit. I got trained. Now I carry it with me.” The next statement is that she is endorsed by the NRA.
At least one part of the story was easy to check and that was whether and when Diane Black got her permit about 20 years ago when she was 45. Based on her statement and her date of birth, the story was describing an event around 1996. TFA has copies of the state’s handgun database at various points from April 2013 back. When TFA checked the state’s records, it was discovered that the first time Diane Black ever got a permit according to these records was in February 2010 which would be approximately 14 years after the event if it occurred 20 years ago. Something did not sound right so we started asking questions.
Diane Black went on a local radio station last week and demanded an apology from John Harris who had discussed the initial examination of the TFA’s records with a local radio host the previous day. She admitted on the radio that she did not get her permit until 2010. Her radio spot can be heard here.
We have now had a chance to review the police report from the Metro Police Department (#94-210886) concerning what appears to be the violent, injurious assault that she has described in her campaign ad.
According to the 13 page report, the event occurred on June 29, 1994, at about 3:00 pm on a sidewalk near Vanderbilt. She would have been 43. The event was reported as a “Robbery – Strongarm” involving the theft of a purse. Significantly, the “offense” was not listed as an “assault”, a “violent assault”, an “attempted abduction” or anything else.
The injuries to Mrs. Black were listed as a “bruised left cheek”. No ambulance was called and no medical treatment was requested or observed as needed.
The report does state that three males were observed although only one is identified as being involved in the incident. Specifically, one adult male was described as getting out of the passenger side of a car that had pulled past Mrs. Black and stopped in the street. The report states that he approached her, she smiled at him, he tried to grab her purse, she resisted him, he said “bitch” and punch her in the face then he fled with the purse.
The other two young men that Diane Black suggests – using the term “they” in the ad – that she claimed assaulted her? One is identified as the driver of the car who never got out of the driver’s seat and who she could only describe him as a “male/black”. The other is identified as an 8 to 9 year old “male/black child” sitting in the back seat of the car.
Although Mrs. Black says that there was no one there to help, there are two eye witnesses and one even followed the assailant’s car as the drove off. Although Mrs. Black says “they” – suggesting all three men – attacked her, the report states that only the male passenger confronted her.
Although Mrs. Black says that the “they” tried to get her in the car, there is nothing in the 13 page report describing any attempted abduction.
The combination of the police report and the state’s records suggest that Diane Black was punched in the left cheek in June 1994 when she resisted a pursue snatching by a single black male who took the pursue and fled with a driver and a child. These records then show that 15 and ½ years later, she got a handgun permit. The records show it was a robbery. Significantly, it is not listed as an “assault” or an “attempted abduction.” Yet, Diane Black accuses this 8-9 year old child and a getaway driver as committing what sounds like a felonious assault on her in the campaign ad.
When you consider the NRA’s direct observation of Doug Overbey’s vote and then its endorsement recommending him for re-election. When you do even minimal questioning of Diane Black’s “I am a victim” ad – specifically its intended inference – that she got her handgun carry permit as a result of being victim of violent crime and find out that there are potentially serious inconsistences with the verifiable facts, you have to wonder whether these endorsements are reliable or whether the NRA has also been misled.
If you are concerned about the reliability or reasoning behind these and other national endorsements, perhaps you should call the NRA today at (800) 672-3888 and ask them to help you understand why they are endorsing people in Tennessee who vote against Constitutional Carry and who appear to exaggerate their actions in campaign ads. Ask the NRA to stand with Tennesseans to elect pro-2nd Amendment candidates who are trustworthy and who vote the right way – even in the committee system.