State and national gun-rights proponents have loaded up a few new rounds of information to help voters set their sights on the gubernatorial candidate of their choosing tomorrow.
Republican Ron Ramsey has consistently hit the 2nd Amendment advocacy mark as a state lawmaker, earning “A+” grades from both the National Rifle Association and the Tennessee Conservative Union this week.
U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp scored generally well, too, earning an “A” from the NRA. He was also declared to have a “spotless record in votes on the gun issue” by TCU.
“It’s very difficult to compare these candidates. One has legislative experience on the state level. One has legislative experience on the federal level, and one is an administrator,” said Tennessee Conservative Union Chairman Lloyd C. Daugherty, who’s organization released grade rankings on a range of issue-groupings for the Republican candidates.
Daughtery said a TCU committee weighed the gubernatorial hopefuls’ voting records with personal interviews to determine how dedicated each candidate is to the issues under examination, including the right to bear arms.
“The Second Amendment is not just about gun enthusiasts. The Second Amendment is the glue that keeps the rest of the Constitution together. Without the Second Amendment, the First Amendment has no teeth. We are looking for a candidate who understands that.”
“It’s hard to imagine any elected official accomplishing more to protect Tennesseans’ second amendment rights more than Ron Ramsey over the last two sessions. The plus is for leadership on this important Constitutional issue,” according to a TCU statement.
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s report card featured a “B-”, which, on the NRA exam, placed him somewhere between a “generally pro-gun candidate…(who) may have opposed some pro-gun reform or supported some restrictive legislation in the past” and one “with a mixed record or positions on gun related issues, who may oppose some pro-gun positions or support some restrictive legislation.”
“I don’t believe that Bill Haslam is a ‘gun grabber’ but the fact that he was a member, even for a short time, in Mayor Bloomberg’s gun buy-back program demonstrates that he does not ‘get’ the issue on the same level as Wamp, Ramsey and most Tennesseans,” said Daugherty.