While a number of lawmen stood with Gov. Phil Bredesen when he vetoed a bill that's to become law with an override vote by lawmakers to allow guns in bars, the man who represents Marshall County in the state House voted for the permissive gun law.
State Rep. Eddie Bass, a former Giles County sheriff, explained his position last week during a visit to Lewisburg: "I've never had trouble from a person with a handgun permit. It's from the thugs who don't have a permit. Citizens with permits have been carrying them into places like McDonalds, Burger King and Cracker Barrel. They've been carrying them in there for years."
People with gun carry permits are motivated to preserve that authority, he said.
"Once they drink and have the gun with them, they lose the permit and can be charged with carrying the gun just like carrying a gun without a permit."
Bass was the sheriff of Giles County for 14 years and an employee of the department for 20 years.
As for a pending decision on GM's car factory in Spring Hill, the Giles County Democrat said he's "looking to the representative in that area," Ty Cobb of Columbia, to see if there's help he needs from a lawmaker from a nearby district.
"I think the feds will be involved with the overall GM picture and about what comes to Spring Hill," Bass said. "Hopefully, we can work to get the new [production] line there... Now, I think it's at the federal level. Keeping something at that plant is a vital part of our economy."
In a more local issue, Bass says he's continuing to work toward keeping the University of Tennessee Jersey dairy cow herd in Marshall County. Federal funds from the economic stimulus program are being used to fund the farm here for one more year. Without another source of revenue for the dairy experiment station, the herd would be moved to Spring Hill where there's another experiment station.
Meanwhile, broadcast reports from Nashville say the current session of the General Assembly is the longest in recent memory, and Bass said on Thursday last week that he thought the session might end late this week.