Monday, October 20, 2008

Stacey Campfield Speaks!

Today, State Rep. Stacey Campfield, Dist. 18-Knoxville (R), came to speak at Tennessee. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the difference between his reputation and the persona he displayed today. It was remarkably pragmatic at times. As a man who has only been in the General Assembly since 2005, he seems to have already learned a lot about politics.
Gun legislation was a hot topic of the day. Campfield's personal belief seems to be that any responsible adult should be able to carry a firearm when they aren't drunk. But the legislation he has proposed is more tempered in its approach. The two major gun bills he's introduced involve higher-ed professors carrying firearms on campus and anyone to be able to carry in state parks (assuming they can meet federal regulatory and state carry permit requirements). As opposed to a free-for-all approach to gun carrying, the legislation is designed to actually win over a few votes. Whether or not it actually does so remains to be seen.
Rep. Campfield has already had to choose his battles. He has sought middle ground on gun issues. He knows that law already on the books are hard to change. There are two sides to the bailout. Solutions to immigration problems will not be easy or popular. And sometimes trying to change one piece of a regulatory scheme opens up pandora's box for the myriad other problems in the overall regulation.
The issues facing Tennessee today are plentiful. In only one hour, Rep. Campfield and the Federalist students were able to touch on a number of them, but so many more remain. We talked about illegal immigration. There's one piece of the puzzle. We also talked about being a low-tax state and being attractive to outsiders. Which leads to the question: who do we deal with a large influx of residents, both legal and illegal? And how far can we trust government to go in dealing with growth?
Bring on your comments!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I was particularly impressed with how personable Mr. Campfield was- a number of us stuck around and ate lunch with him and discussed everything under the sun like we were old friends, which was really nice.

I was also somewhat amazed at the conservative student body we had today- for such a conservative speaker, the first question out of the box was a challenge about why he wasn't willing to go further (and allow students, rather than just professors, to carry guns on campus)!