by Jeff Woods
We're still rummaging through our new file of public documents on the Ronnie Barrett melodrama. Let's see, a motion to dismiss, a document about a deposition, letters from Barrett to Nicely and Nicely to Barrett, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Wait, what's this? Barrett is worrying about terrorists staging a commando raid on his firearms factory?
Yes, he made an official request of the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security to evaluate the terrorist threat that might be posed by one of the alternate routes suggested byTDOT for the access road to his factory. (Apparently, you can order up a terrorist threat assessment in this state like a cheeseburger and fries.) That route would have come closer to the plant, thereby making it handier for terrorists to attack, according to Barrett. He's especially concerned that terrorists might swipe some of his .50-caliber sniper rifles, giving them the power to shoot people from several continents away.
State Homeland Security Director Dave Mitchell disagreed. In a letter that must have come as a great disappointment to Barrett, Mitchell writes: "There are no indications a terrorist group intends to use improvised explosive devices against this firearms manufacturing/storage facility."
Barrett isn't buying it. In his reply, he lectures the state's homeland security director:
"With all due respect, our differences lie in interpretation of the terrorist threat. The requirement that a terrorist group must be 'known' before being considered credible is outdated. The notion that a threat needs to be 'specific' before we apply countermeasures against it is the antisisis [sic] of deterrence. Waiting until we see 'indications' of intent before we protect ourselves is a luxury no longer affordable."
So Barrett is a proponent of the policy of preemptive force, and fighting terrorism mandates that TDOT cave in to his demands. It's clear that TDOT hates our freedoms.