"...Sec. 26. That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense.
"Mr. Gardner said, that within a few years past, there has been a fearful and alarming increase in the number of high crimes such as murders and robberies committed by means of violence, and by the use of arms, in this State. This evil has grown into frightful proportions, and the public peace, and private security, demand the most rigorous measures o[f] repression. The members of the Legislature are impressed with the importance of this subject, but, I understand, they are restrained from providing efficient remedies, from a doubt they entertain as to the extent of their power in this direction, Under the provisions of the 26th section of the Bill of Rights. This power, I consider, is secured for the common, and not for individual defense as when the peace and safety of the people of the whole State, or of a county, or even a single neighborhood, is threatened, the people shall have arms, and a right to bear and use them to preserve the peace and good order of society. I would not, however, interfere with, or in the slightest degree abridge, the citizen's right of self-defense."--[Joshua Gardner, Thursday, Jan. 20, 1870, In [Tennessee Constitutional] Convention.]
[Nashville Union and American, Nashville, Tenn., Friday, January 21, 1870. New Series, No. 435. Pg. 1]