Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"He regarded a pistol in the hand of a man of nerve as the best sort of a peace-maker"

Tennessee Legislature.

House of Representatives

Monday, Feb. 8, 1858....

                                           ...Carrying A Pistol.

   Mr. ALGEE'S bill, 110, to punish any person with fine and imprisonment for carrying a pistol, coming up with an adverse report-- 
   Mr. ROWLES moved indefinite postponement.
   Mr. ALGEE supported his bill by sundry consideration.
   Mr. ROWLES withdrew his motion.
   Mr. BATE proposed to amend, by striking out all except the first section, prescribing a fine of $100 for carrying a pistol openly or secretly, &c.
   Mr. DAVIDSON thought the law about right now. He would under the Constitution, give a man of inferior physical strength some showing of equality with the overbearing man of more imposing proportions.
   Mr. DUNLAP advocated the bill, as a measure of peace and humanity.
   Mr. DAVIDSON replied. He saw no necessity for anything further than the enforcement of existing laws on this subject.
   Mr. KING gave his views. He dissented from the view of his colleague, that disarming the community was the best mode of preserving the peace, &c. He would allow every man to prepare for his own defence in his own way. The bill was in conflict a provision of the Federal Constitution. The act of 1837 was not against the Constitution; because, unlike this bill, it did not prohibit arms, but only regulated the manner of wearing arms, &c. He regarded a pistol in the hand of a man of nerve as the best sort of a peace-maker in a riotous crowd. This bill would send a man to the penitentiary for
drawing a pistol against the robber and invader of his own house, &c. He moved indefinite postponement.
   Mr. WILSON spoke in favor of the object of the bill, and in reply to Mr. KING. He would not however fully approve the bill.
   Mr. ROWLES gave his voice against the bill in detail, and renewed his motion to postpone.
   Mr. CARTER of Hardin, submitted an amendment which was read for information as follows: "Provided that this act shall
not prevent any person from carrying arms in self-defence, when there are threats made against him."
   The question was then taken, resulting--yeas 32, nays 25--as follow:
   So, the bill was indefinitely postponed.

-- Nashville Union and American, Nashville, TEN. Friday February 12, 1858. Volume XXIX. Number 11. Pg. 2.
Hat-tip to Mr. Davidson, Mr. King and Mr. Rowles!

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