(StraightNews.org) – A Tennessee Democrat has proposed a “thoughts and prayers” tax on gun sales to help fund school counselors. State Rep. Bo Mitchell introduced a bill to add 15% on firearms purchases and give the proceeds to the Tennessee Department of Education. “If we’re going to do nothing else in this state, we’re going to put this taxation into a fund to fund K through 12 mental health counselors for our children,” he said.
Mr. Mitchell went on to say that schools will need more and more mental health professionals unless action is taken and gun control initiatives put in place. He claims he got the idea from a Republican-voting gun owner whom he heard speak at a public meeting and recommend extra taxation, which he would happily pay. Rep. Mitchell added, however, that no such tax would be necessary if Tennessee passed other gun control laws.
Firearms regulations in the Volunteer State have relaxed in recent years as lawmakers removed permit and background check requirements. In 2021, the state allowed permitless carry of handguns, concealed and unconcealed, for anyone over 21, and in response to the Nashville school shooting last year, lawmakers argued that teachers should be armed.
Democratic Rep. Justin Jones furiously responded, saying the Republican response to a shooting that took six lives was “more guns.” Jones was one of three lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee House for joining a gun control protest that spilled onto the House floor.
During a demonstration last March, Mr. Jones, with fellow lawmakers Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson, chanted “no action, no peace” in the State Capitol. Jones and Pearson used a megaphone from the House podium and told the assembled crowd that they did not want to take such drastic action, but they had no choice because “business as normal is our children dying.”
The demonstration took place days after a transgendered individual attacked a Christian school in Nashville, killing three children and three adults.
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