With the deadline fast approaching for bills to be introduced in the Tennessee legislature, proposed legislation is raining down on Nashville. I heard about a particular piece of legislation called the “Milo Bill”. The “Milo Bill” was inspired by events on the campus of the Berkeley campus of the University of California when conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was denied the opportunity to speak because of near-rioting. Protestors destroyed property and started fires to keep Yiannopoulos from speaking.
The bill is sponsored by State Representative Martin Daniel and State Senator Joey Hensley and apparently written by local campaign guru Kenny Collins. Having some interest in the bill, I attended the press conference. Evidently, the purpose of the bill is to protect free speech for everyone.
Luke Elliot, a student at the University of Tennessee and vice president of the College Republicans, spoke up in favor of the bill, saying it was important to many students and noting free speech is essential to our republic. Elliot said he believes Tennessee is a conservative state and out-of-touch professors should not be the only voices heard.
Scottie Nell Hughes, editor of Rightalerts.com and a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, attended the press conference to voice her own opinions. Hughes’ opinion varied little from that of most of those attending the event, saying everyone should have the right to speak their mind and state their opinions. Hughes said she was glad Daniel and Senator Hensley were taking the idea of protecting free speech seriously.
Mickey Shelton, a student and member of America’s armed forces, said he was at a loss for words considering he took an oath to protect the Constitution and free speech, which is not being respected nor observed at many college campuses across the country. Shelton questioned the idea of requiring a license to be able to speak on a college campus, wondering who issues the license and what circumstances allow a particular speaker to speak. Shelton clearly thought it wrong to require a permit to speak.
Needless to say, there will be a LOT of talking about this bill!