NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — 14,644.
That’s the exact number of responses Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) has received as of last Friday after he requested the public to weigh in on the upcoming special session.
“It matters what people think,” Lee said. “It’s why we created the opportunity for them to weigh in.”
News 2 reached out to a few of those people who responded to get a general feel for where things stand outside of the legislature.
“Until you have restrictions around the automatic rifles, we can expect more of the same, which is scary until we get there,” Will Norton said.
It was a common belief among those who agreed to speak publicly.
“We need to find common ground, and I hope our legislators can find some common ground and begin there,” Mark Moore said. “But we all want the same thing and we all want to be safe.”
Though everyone who spoke cited similar ideas, they all pushed the fact that they really want to see something change.
“I’m just confident that there’s nobody in that legislature that wants this to happen again. I’m confident that everybody involved here wants to do something,” Stuart Gordon said.
Plus, they wouldn’t mind seeing some civility either.
“I hope we can be a model to the nation as a group of people and a group of elected officials who can come together and have a common sense, rational discussion about how to work through this,” Moore said.
Ultimately, the decision won’t be up to them; it’s up to the General Assembly.
So, it’s not unique to wonder how much stock Lee was putting in these responses.
“What matters to Tennesseans is what matters to the General Assembly, and that’s what matters to me,” Lee said. “Tennesseans care a lot about this; that’s why I thought it was important to have a special session.”
Whether the legislature holds that same belief remains to be seen.
You can share your thoughts with the governor ahead of the special session here.