The video link at that bottom takes some artistic License, and is not accurate in every detail. But it comes from a true event and food for thought. What is the 2nd Amendment for.
The Battle of Athens
(sometimes called the McMinn County War
) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of political corruption and voter intimidation. The event is sometimes cited by firearms ownership advocates as an example of the value of the Second Amendment in combating tyranny.
Citizens of McMinn County had long been concerned about political corruption and possible election fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice had investigated allegations of electoral fraud in 1940, 1942, and 1944, but had not taken action. The wealthy Cantrell family essentially ruled the county. Paul Cantrell was elected sheriff in the 1936, 1938, and 1940 elections, and was elected to the state senate in 1942 and 1944, while his former deputy, Pat Mansfield, was elected sheriff. A state law enacted in 1941 had reduced local political opposition by reducing the number of voting precincts from 23 to 12 and reducing the number of justices of the peace from fourteen to seven (including four "Cantrell men"). The sheriff and his deputies worked under a fee system whereby they received money for every person they booked, incarcerated, and released; the more arrests, the more money they made. Buses passing through the county were often pulled over and the passengers were randomly ticketed for drunkenness, whether guilty or not.
In the August 1946 election, Paul Cantrell was once again a candidate for sheriff, while Pat Mansfield sought the state senate seat. After World War II ended, some 3,000 military veterans (constituting about 10 percent of the county population) had returned to McMinn County. Some of the returning veterans resolved to challenge Cantrell's political control by fielding their own nonpartisan candidates and working for a fraud-free election. They called themselves the GI Non-Partisan League. Veteran Bill White described the veterans' motivation:
Polls for the county election opened August 1, 1946. About 200 armed deputies turned out to patrol the precincts—the normal complement of 15 deputies significantly augmented by reinforcements from other counties. A number of conflicts arose before the polls closed, the most serious of which was when deputy CM Wise shot and wounded a black man who was trying to vote.
As the polls closed, deputies seized ballot boxes and took them to the jail. Opposition veterans responded by arming themselves and marching there. Some of them had raided the National Guard Armory, obtaining arms and ammunition. Estimates of the number of veterans besieging the jail vary from several hundred to as high as 2,000.
When the men reached the jail, it was barricaded and manned by 55 deputies. The veterans demanded the ballot boxes but were refused. They then opened fire on the jail, initiating a battle that lasted several hours by some accounts, considerably less by others. In the end, the door of the jail was dynamited and breached. The barricaded deputies—some with injuries—surrendered, and the ballot boxes were recovered.
During the fight at the jail, rioting had broken out in Athens, mainly targeting police cars. This continued even after the ballot boxes were recovered, but subsided by morning.
The recovered ballots certified the election of the five GI Non-Partisan League candidates. Among the reforms instituted was a change in the method of payment and a $5,000 salary cap for officials. In the initial momentum of victory, gambling houses in collusion with the Cantrell regime were raided and their operations demolished. Deputies of the prior administration resigned and were replaced.
The Video is about 15 min. long. Some may recognize some of the actors.