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Banks Weighs in on Claim that Nashville Protest Was an Insurrection in USA Today Article

April 28, 2023

USA Today

William C. Banks

William C. Banks

1,000 peaceful protesters assembled at Tennessee’s State Capitol building on March 30 in support of gun control laws following a mass shooting that killed three children and three adults at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville on March 27.

The same day, Cameron Sexton, the Republican speaker of the Tennessee House, claimed that the actions of three Democrat lawmakers in the protests were equivalent to an insurrection in the Capitol.

But an array of experts say it is ridiculous to call the Nashville protest an insurrection or compare it to the Jan. 6 attack.

“The critical difference is there was no threat to the integrity of a democracy in Tennessee,” says William Banks, professor emeritus of public administration and international affairs. “Insurrection conditions occur when civilian authorities are unable to enforce the laws. That was a real threat on Jan. 6. Not so in Nashville.”

Read more in the USA Today article, “Fact check: Experts say Nashville protest differed significantly from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.”

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