Gun rights advocate speaks to Republican women
Second Amendment activist Nikki Goeser spoke on behalf of the protection for gun rights during the annual Hamblen County Republican Women’s Picnic Saturday at Cherokee Park. Goeser wrote the book “Denied A Chance” after witnessing her husband being shot to death at a restaurant.
The evening sunshine during Saturday’s annual Hamblen County Republican Women Picnic at Cherokee Park helped shed some literal light as a special guest speaker discussed the subject of gun control and the Second Amendment.
Nikki Goeser, a Middle Tennessee resident, witnessed her husband being shot to his death by an alleged stalker of hers in a crowded restaurant where the couple worked.
The gunman was a former karaoke patron of Goeser’s who continuously tried to make contact with her, despite her informing him of her marriage.
Goeser said she informed her bosses of his presence when he arrived at the bar and when they went to confront him, he opened fire killing her husband.
While the gunman was carrying illegally, Goeser was a permit holder and kept her gun in her vehicle, abiding by state law, which at the time prevented her carrying a concealed weapon into the establishment.
“I felt like it was important for the public to hear from a victim of violent crime who doesn’t blame the gun. I’ve never blamed the gun, a gun is an object. I blame the murderer and those who legislated me out of my right to try and defend my husband and I,” Goeser said.
After the death of her husband, Goeser worked with her state senator to change the “right to carry” law to include bars and restaurants, which was approve and changed into state law.
Following her success in Tennessee, she then testified before the Ohio state house and senate committees. A little more than a year later, Goeser was back in Ohio to witness the bill signing that put restaurant carry into effect.
Her lobbying work was heard around the country and with the addition of completing her book on the issue, “Denied a Chance,” Goeser made several television appearances speaking on gun rights.
This past legislative session Goeser helped with a Victims Rights bill in Tennessee so families of victims will no longer have to renew wrongful death suits every 10 years. The new law will keep the original judgment permanent.
She also recently submitted her testimony to the North Carolina legislation to aid the state’s gun rights proposal.
“We all have the right to protect ourselves and our family. We have the second amendment for a reason. Our founding fathers knew we as Americans needed to be able to protect our families,” Goeser said.
Goeser said one of the biggest problems in the country is gun free zones are also now criminal protection zones.
“(Gun free zones) are places where bad guys go to harm or kill where they know good people have absolutely no way to protect themselves, they’re (good people) sitting ducks,” Goeser said.
Goeser introduced the crowd to economist, Dr. John Lott Jr., who wrote “More Guns, Less Crime.”
Lott used the fact that 98 percent of mass shootings occur in spaces deemed “gun free zones” because shooters want victims to be defenseless. He made the argument that changing those zones by allowing people to carry concealed could result in less shootings.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe said during his time as representative he has had two people threaten to kill him and admitted to sometimes feeling unsafe in Washington D.C., which has one of the highest crime rates in the nation.
“There are a lot of unstable people out there and you have to have a way to protect yourself,” Roe said.
Roe briefly discussed the ongoing debates in congress including his proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act and the improvements in healthcare in the military and how the military has made a difference in countries overseas, like Vietnam, that are seeing the development of capitalism.
The picnic also served as a platform for candidates in the upcoming August election to introduce themselves. Candidates in attendance included State Rep. Tilman Goins, Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain and Dan Armstrong for District Attorney. Roe is also up for re-election.
-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer