Tennessee Gun Report

With all of my internet troubles I got way behind on the Gun Report. Haven’t had time to really catch up but here are a few things I pulled together for you. Two or three accidental shootings in the past couple of weeks, lots and lots of gun cray. Oh, and the gun loons who refer to Moms Demand Action as “anti-gun mommy cultists”? Yeah, no misogyny there. Nope. Can’t even see it.

• July 27, 2014:

Beretta USA is moving from Connecticut, where gun safety laws make them feel “unwelcome,” to Tennessee, where a lawsuit against the gun maker by Memphis-based Elvis Presley Enterprises has not sullied the welcome mat.

• July 24, 2014

Local news media are just now confirming that a Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy lost not one but two service weapons, one in 2011 (possibly at a Logan’s restaurant bathroom) and one while on department business in Chicago.

• July 23, 2014:

A Nashville woman slapped then threatened to kill a Kroger employee. Then she went to her car, got her gun (thank you, Tennessee Republicans, for allowing guns in cars! What could possibly go wrong!), and threatened the employee with it.

By the way, the mugshot on this one is classic:

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Here’s the thing about guns in cars. Seems like a good idea until someone loses their shit when an argument escalates, and lookie here, someone has a gun handy to cause a lot of damage. And that happens a lot more often than someone needing a gun to stop a carjacking.

• July 22, 2014:

1- TSA employees at the Memphis airport found a loaded gun in a passenger’s carry-on. So responsible, y’all.

2- A Chattanooga man accidentally shot himself.

3- A Chattanooga-area woman was shot with a BB gun at Walmart. It’s looking like an accidental shooting but not confirmed yet.

4- Two Memphis teens were accidentally shot when one found a gun in his home and the two were playing with it.

• July 20, 2014:

Someone broke into a locked Memphis police van and stole all of the weapons. Lovely. Coming to a Chicago neighborhood near you.

• July 17, 2014:

1- A former sheriff’s captain from Grundy Co. was nabbed stealing guns from the evidence room.

2- a 19-year-old shooting victim lied about a robbery attempt. People, this happens ALL the damn time.

3- A Tipton County man has been indicted for second-degree murder in the accidental shooting death of his wife back in January. William Rains says his wife Laura was handing him a pistol when it accidentally fired, shooting her in the head. She later died.

• July 16, 2014:

Germantown police shot and killed a suicidal man. Government-assisted suicide is a thing now?

• July 15, 2014:

Standing his ground? A Hawkins County man shot at his neighbors’ feet twice during an argument over an injured animal. Yes, a trailer park is mentioned.

• July 10, 2014:

A 15-year-old boy is charged with fatally shooting and killing Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden at the National Guard Armory in Lobelville and no one knows why. However, the teen was staying at his aunt’s house for the summer, where TBI found numerous guns at the home.

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Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

Apparently Gov. Haslam has no clue what is going on in the state of Tennessee.

In a pathetic attempt to appear tough on the Muslim-Usurper-Blackety-Black-Man-In-The-White-House and exploit a national news story, Gov. Haslam has sent what local media are calling an “angry” letter to President Obama demanding answers about 760 immigrant and refugee kids who were sent to families here in Tennessee.

In so doing, he has made an absolute fool out of himself:

The unaccompanied minors have been placed into Tennessee households with approved “sponsors” — typically their own families and relatives — as has been happening for years, said immigrant and refugee advocates.

“They’ve got somewhere to go,” said Eben Cathey, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “They’re not getting dropped off. They’re getting placed with their mom, dad, aunt or uncle.”

Haslam’s letter demanded to know such things as how the sponsors were selected, what criteria were used to determine sponsors’ suitability, etc. The Haslam administration is “still waiting” for answers, too. Which I find hilarious. Haslam is demanding to know answers about something which has been going on routinely in this state for over a decade! Perhaps there’s someone right here in Tennessee he can ask? The Tennessee Office of Refugees, perhaps?

It’s hard not to see this for the political maneuvering it so obviously is. I guess Bill Haslam is still harboring dreams of a presidential run some day down the road. Hilarious. No one is fooled, though:

Dan Kesselbrener, National Immigration Project executive director, said the process for minors has been the same since 2002 and has never included a mandate to inform states about placements.

“The only thing that’s new is the volume,” he said. “To me, the only way to make sense of the letter is that he cares now because it’s a bigger deal. It appears to be consistent with someone who is trying to score points against the administration.”

Bingo! Thank you for playing!

You know what else I just love, love, love? Right-wingers are always all like, “let the churches deal with x, y, z problem, let charities handle it.” Catholic Charities does, in fact, carry a tremendous amount of the load when it comes to immigrants and refugees, not just here in Tennessee but everywhere. But they have an especially strong presence here in Tennessee, providing sponsors, placements, English classes, and all sorts of other programs. Tennessee in general is blessed to have a lot of churches and charities which serve the refugee community — we’re the Volunteer State, fer crying out loud. It’s why we’re a go-to place for refugee resettlement, because of the support from the church sector. It’s why we have the largest Kurdish population in the nation. It’s why we have so many refugees from Somalia and Sudan living here. It’s why Nashville is seeing a large number of refugees from Myanmar. So we are, in fact, doing what right-wingers want: churches and charities shouldering the load, embracing refugees from war-torn parts of the world, assimilating immigrants into America, rah rah.

And Bill Haslam wants some answers from the White House about what we’ve been doing for years? Puh-leeze.

Here’s a thought for Gov. Haslam: why don’t you just high-tail it on down to NICE, Catholic Charities, the TIRRC, Conexion Americas, or, heck, just take a little tour down Nolensville Road and talk to some shop owners to get yourself up to speed on immigrants in Nashville. Hell, you can sit in on my ESL class today. We won’t mind. Just keep your yap shut since so much stupid keeps falling out.

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What It Takes To Get An “A” Rating From The NRA

I’m just now catching up on all the news I missed from the past week. This is absolutely hilarious:

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has gotten a boost in his reelection bid in the form of an endorsement from the powerful National Rifle Association’s political arm.

“On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund is proud to endorse your candidacy,” wrote James J. Baker, the group’s director of federal affairs in a July 14 letter.

The NRA-PVF gave DesJarlais an “A” rating.

DesJarlais is facing a tough reelection fight after it was revealed that the pro-life Tea Party wackaloon is a serial philanderer who pressured at least one mistress to have an abortion, while his wife had two abortions. This is a pattern with pro-lifers: my abortion is necessary and perfectly fine. Yours, not so much.

But here’s what I love about the NRA endorsement: this is the guy who allegedly dry-fired a gun outside his then-wife’s locked bedroom door and held a gun in his own mouth for three hours during an argument with her.

An “A” rating from the NRA, yessirree. And they wonder why we call them gun-humpers.

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Good News Friday

Well, it appears we’re back in business at the Beale household! A technician came this morning, figured out something to do with serial numbers and handshakes and whatever, and we got our phone, TV and internet back. Keeping fingers crossed that this is the real deal. Now starts the fighting over our money. Sigh.

I know I owe you a Good News post, so here’s an abbreviated collection. Sorry for the rants and craziness this week.

• The town of Somerset, KY, opened its own no-frills municipal gas station, after years of complaints from citizens about price gouging from private retailers. Gas prices at nearby retailers immediately dropped, though the local gas station owners are whining about “socialism.” Competition will do that.

• Ted Nugent’s long history of being an asshole has cost him another gig, this time an August 4 concert at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians’ North Idaho casino. Said Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, in a statement:

“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way.”

Nugent responded as only he can: by proving how right the tribe was to cancel his show. That cost Nugent yet another casino booking, this one in Washington. It’s about time these pieces of shit start paying a price for their racism.

• Death of another right-wing myth (this is getting to be a regular feature over here): high taxes don’t make rich people move. Guess we here in Tennessee shouldn’t expect Sean Hannity to arrive any time soon.

• If you want to see a place with robust economic growth fueled by a rapidly expanding middle class, take a look at Africa. Hey, it’s not all kids with swollen bellies and drought-ravaged landscapes. Who knew?

• A deeply unpopular Republican Party and a more-popular-than-expected Obamacare have dwindled Republican hopes for midterm landslide.

• I always thought billionaire Mark Cuban was a bit of a dick, bit this week he took to Twitter to attack corporate tax cheats:

“When companies move off shore to save on taxes, you and I make up the tax shortfall elsewhere sell those stocks and they won’t move,” he tweeted later.

* Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville bookstore Parnassus Books, owned by author Ann Patchett, has been named one of the world’s coolest bookstores by CNN. I’ve been there many times and it is, indeed, very cool.

• Nashville held its first-ever GLBT wedding expo.

• Related: my local Gannett fishwrap actually printed a same-sex marriage announcement. Progress!

• More Nashvillians are recycling.

• Billie, one of the hundreds if not thousands of abused circus elephants worldwide, finds a new home at Tennessee’s Elephant Sanctuary.

This week’s cool video: watch this dog get so excited to see its owner for the first time in two years that it passed out! Kinda like how I feel about having my communication services back:

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Day 17 Of My Captivity

I’m starting to wonder if this all hasn’t been one big psychological experiment conducted by our Corporate Overlords to see just how far the average American customer can be pushed before they go postal.

On the other hand, Starbucks has really great coffee cake.

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Greetings From The 9th Circle of AT&T Uverse Telecom Hell

Day 13 of our captivity and we are completely out of service — all services. No internet, no TV, no telephone. It’s been this way for 48 hours.

We’ve had six people come over to our house to try to figure out what’s wrong, including our personal electrical contractors, who AT&T told us to call because they couldn’t figure out our phones. Lord knows how much that’s going to cost me. And now it appears it was all entirely unnecessary, anyway.

Yesterday we had a guy I call the Telecommunications Whisperer come over, ostensibly to give us a new box but after 15 minutes here he determined the problem was a fault in the line from the street. “They should have run you a new line from the start,” he told me. Gee, you don’t say.

Here’s where it gets good: as soon as the line guy arrived, all of the electronics in the house seemed to rejoice, because I was immediately back in service. TV popped on, emails started flooding the in-box, and I got a dial tone on the phone. I went out to ask the guy what he did and he said, “Nothing, I just got here. I’m just getting ready to run some tests.”

I’m starting to think we don’t need a repairman but an exorcist.

By the time the guy left at 6 pm, new line installed, everything was dead. No phones, no internet, no TV, no nuthin’. On the phone with AT&T I was told I need a new ONT box. But — here’s where it gets good — apparently Nashville has a shortage of ONT boxes. They have to order one and who knows when FedEx or UPS can deliver one!

I just give up. I really do. Each new person leaves me in worse shape than the last guy. No one knows what to do so they’re just replacing everything to see what sticks.

I’m done. Finished. Come and take your crap, put my old box back, give me back my old DSL line, and let me get on with my life.

I mean, seriously. We put a man on the moon 45 years ago. Today I can’t even get a telecom service installed.

I tell you this long saga as a way of explaining why I’ve been out of pocket the last few days and comment moderation has been slow to nonexistent. I don’t know when I’ll be back on line. I’m writing this from Starbucks.

Be well.

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Congratulations, Jason Paul Bryant! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

One of our safest, most responsible gun owners ever exercised his Constitutional right to conceal-carry a gun into a Texas convenience store because Freedom and also Self-Protection and Stand My Ground, whereupon he hitched up his shorts and promptly shot himself in the leg:

“He walked maybe six feet in the door when he pulled his shorts up, something caught the trigger and the gun discharged into his leg,” Vanover said. “People immediately rushed over to help.”

By the time Officer Shelbye Alemeida arrived at the scene a women in the store had secured a tourniquet made of a belt around the shot leg and was applying pressure to the wound.

Chief Vanover said the accident could have most likely been prevented if proper gun safety had been observed.

“If you’re going to carry a gun it needs to be in a safe holster,” Vanover said. “It’s dangerous to stick a gun in your pants. No one was hurt besides him.”

No charges were filed against Bryant for the negligent discharge, and no word on his condition as of Monday morning.

No, filing charges would be wrong. Taking away his concealed-carry permit would be wrong. Even though Chief Vanover said the accident was preventable, Bryant was not practicing proper gun safety, and was in fact carrying his gun in a dangerous manner, no charges were filed.

Because Texas.

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