A liberty activist infuses local foes of the Hamilton County “mask mandate” with hope by explaining a long-forgotten right of remonstrance in the Tennessee constitution’s bill of rights.
John Gentry of Goodlettsville says that the constitutional rights of remonstrance and address are the only way the protest can have an effect upon the legal and political establishment, partly because they are part of the means of redress by the people.
Since January 2019, Mr. Gentry, a former Force Recon Marine and CPA, has been fighting to exercise the right of remonstrance to the Tennessee general assembly.
“I have grave concern that the right to redress of grievance against state officials by ‘address or remonstrance’ protected in the constitution is oppressed. The incontrovertible fact that I am the first to exercise this right since the year 1850 is prima facie evidence that this right is oppressed.”
It is found in the bill of rights, Article1, section 23, in the last phrase:
That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
Mr. Gentry speaks to a group just shy of 40 people on the steps of the Hamilton County courthouse. He is joined by other speakers such as Eugene Jorge, 78, a refugee from Cuba as of Dec. 3, 1980, who is proud to be an American and to stand with the protesters against despotic government.
The group also hears Dr. Nathan Collier, who says masks don’t work and that CV-19 affects the elderly almost exclusively, especially if they have health problems.
The founders “put in the constitution that no judge shall hold any other office of trust,” Mr. Gentry says.
“And this is why we have to defend the Tennessee constitution, because it establishes our form of government, and when you have a government that steps out of its proper form by issuing mask mandates, by placing judges in prohibited offices, by oppressing the right to petition for redress of grievances, by address or remonstrance — when you have that departure from your fundamental form of government, you have tyranny.”
This reporter uses the microphone to explain how Gov. Bill Lee has operated against the liberty and prosperity of the people by ignoring black-letter authority in the health code and exercising vague powers from the emergency statute in Title 58.
He is using police powers intended to be narrowly focused under quarantine power upon the proveably sick and has turned them upon the population at large, focusing obligation and force promiscuously upon the healthy. Gov. Lee — and local followers such as county Mayor Jim Coppinger — extinguish the essential elements of Christianity in government: These require that the power of the sword (the magistrate) be aimed specifically at individuals personally, not undifferentiatedly at the mass without due process.
Mr. Gentry says that governments statewide have acted so apart from their constitutional authority they have given reason for “a resort to arms” among the people who have an “unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.”
Remonstrance and petition is the proper release valve for such pressure toward violence and revolution, he contends.
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