Fighting masks and vaccines, it’s hard to be Humble

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Let’s stop yelling at each other and talk for a minute.


Meet Gary Humble, a Williamson County man who has launched a movement. Or maybe he’s a guy who can’t hold a job so he’s jumped on a cause.

Gary Humble

Humble formed TennesseeStands.org, a website dedicated to stopping what he calls “lawless executive orders and mandates.”

In a YouTube interview, Humble said COVID-19 has “tried to cancel our constitution.” Humble said mandates (masks, reduced business hours, closures) equal limits on freedom. And further, “recommendations or good ideas do not equal authority.”

Gov. Bill Lee has been roundly criticized for not acting decisively to deal with Covid. I’ve referred to two of his executive orders as “executive suggestions.” But Humble’s organization has sued Lee for going too far. Citizens vs. Gov. Bill Lee is pending in Chancery Court in Nashville. Read it: Citizens v Lee.

Basically, Humble argues that the Tennessee legislature violated the state constitution in delegating to the governor powers to make laws (limit freedom) in times of emergency; therefore, the governor then violated the constitution in delegating such powers to county mayors. And we’re not even talking about the “appointed health boards” in the six big counties.

Humble claims status as a citizen of Williamson County where the county mayor enacted a mandatory mask requirement for people outside their homes. TennesseeStands.org also has initiated legislation (HB 0010, SB 0007) to allow religious exemptions from vaccines. “People have a right to reject medical treatment,” he said. Track the bill here.

Humble said he was a minister before leaving to launch a microbrewery. He’s also worked in real estate. He’s led at least one rally in Knoxville, and he’s someone to keep an eye on this year.

I agree with Humble that each individual has a right to live, a right to die and a right to refuse medical treatment. But no one has a right to kill. It’s settled law that schools can require vaccinations. I suspect the Nashville chancellor will toss Citizens vs. Lee. But what happens if the legislature passes HB 0010?

Somebody will have to form a counter group – perhaps TennesseeDon’tBreatheOnMe.org. Volunteers?

  • Joe Biden won the election, folks. He polled 81.2 million votes to Donald Trump’s 74.2 million. More important, in our federal system the Electoral College matters. These are state-certified votes, 306 for Biden, 232 for Trump. In the two months from Nov. 3 to Jan. 6, Trump had every right to contest a state’s count. He did. But he did not win a single challenge. There are many things on which to disagree, but the winner/loser of the 2020 election is not one. It’s over.
  • John Schoonmaker is a nice man and a fair-minded county commissioner. But he’s got one really weird resolution on the commission agenda for Monday. Seems he wants to create a committee to redistrict the commission and school board (based on the 2020 census) comprised of 11 commissioners, one school board member and the administrator of elections. Not fair, not balanced.
  • And finally, Mayor Glenn Jacobs will bring to Monday’s meeting his recommendations for members on a new board, the Knox County Committee on Health and Economic Well-Being (This could be the new health board if the existing one is abolished; otherwise, why bother?). Appointments are: David Moon and Dr. Ramon DeGennaro, economists; Dr. Kathleen Brown, epidemiologist; Candace Viox and Allison Oaks, business leaders; Dr. James Choo and Regina Hensley, medical professionals; Dr. Carletta Smelcer and Dr. Joshua Williams, psychologists or social workers; and Commissioner Dasha Lundy, representing Knox County government.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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