An unbelievably heavy load of gun lunacy this week. I’m struck by the fact that we have two road rage shootings ending in fatalities. The one in Knoxville has made national news; the one in Chattanooga has not, though newspaper reports say it is that city’s first ever road rage fatality.
Just a few months ago our state legislature passed “guns in trunks.” This means more people are driving around with loaded weapons. A few months later Chattanooga has its first road rage fatality? This cannot be coincidence.
Also, I just have to say: the sheer volume of gun lunacy coming out of East Tennessee is appalling. I will drive 1,000 miles out of my way to make sure I never have to set foot in the east part of the state. Everyone is armed and very, very dangerous there. Stay away.
• December 17, 2013:
1- A man tried to get a woman he said was his mother to buy him an AR-15 at a Cookeville Walmart. Store employees grew suspicious when the couple kept asking questions about background checks:
On Saturday, a man described as being a “tall white male with a speech impediment” went to the Cookeville Walmart store inquiring about purchasing an AR-15 assault rifle, according to a report by Officer Brian Long.
“The male asked (a store worker) what would stop a person from being able to purchase an assault rifle,” the report states. “(The worker) told the male that a felony conviction and a mental illness issue would prevent someone from buying the weapon.”
The man reportedly asked how far back the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation goes when looking at a person’s record. When the worker said he did not know, the man walked away and came back a short time later with a female he called his mother.
“The male’s mother told (the worker) that she would like to purchase the assault rifle,” the report states. “(The worker) knew the mother was trying to purchase the assault rifle for her son (who has had past mental illness issues) and refused to sell her the weapon.”
The two subjects then became upset, workers told police, cussing, demanding to speak to a manager and then making a statement that the workers viewed as a threat, the report states.
Shouldn’t be too hard for them to make the purchase through other channels.
2- Guess there’s something in the water: a man trying to buy a gun at Outdoor Junction in Cookeville ended up in jail when the background check revealed he had outstanding warrants.
3- In Chattanooga, one person is dead after a road rage shooting:
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, police were dispatched to 344 S. Moore Road on a “person shot” call. They found Gallman, an Ooltewah resident, in a silver Honda CR-V suffering from a gunshot wound. There was a female passenger in the vehicle, whose name has not been released. She was not injured.
According to a Chattanooga police news release, eyewitnesses described a confrontation between Gallman and another person on the road that resulted in a gunshot.
Jefferson said Gallman and Manning appear to have ended up beside each other at the Moore and North Terrace intersection when the two got into a dispute.
He said it appears Gallman left his vehicle, approached Manning and was struck by a single gunshot. He then walked back to his SUV and was found there by emergency responders.
• December 16, 2013:
1- In Greeneville, a 13-year-old is accidentally shot in the leg after his father shot a possum, apparently from inside the house, and laid the gun down to go get what was probably dinner. That old adage that guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people? Evidently not true in this case:
A 13-year-old suffered a minor leg wound Friday after his father’s gun accidentally discharged inside a house at 330 Tom White Hollow Road.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to Laughlin Memorial Hospital on a report of a gunshot victim and found Michael L. James “with a bullet wound to the back of his right leg,” Deputy Toby Price said in a report.
The boy’s father, Landon James, told deputies that he had just shot an opossum “and laid his .22-caliber revolver pistol on the table to pick up the opossum,” the report said.
2- Holy hell. I do not remember hearing about this story:
ROGERSVILLE — What started as an innocent hayride on the night of Oct. 10 turned into a horror ride as Trevor Lee Burton allegedly opened fire on a group of children who were riding in a wagon being pulled by an ATV in a field near his home.
Bullets were whizzing by as Burton allegedly fired a handgun while chasing the wagon on foot.
Seems like this would have made national news, not to mention the Tennessee news. Don’t know how I missed it. More on the incident here. Later reports say the guy was armed with an AR-15; neighbors say he frequently fired weapons from his house.
Seems the stereotype is proving the rule here.
3- In Kingsport, a man shot and killed his neighbors’ dog, then claimed the neighbor pulled a gun on him when he tried to tell him what happened.
According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, a man driving a Saturn SUV cut off two motorcycles as they exited I-640 onto Washington Pike around 4 pm. As the two motorcyclists continued behind the SUV, investigators said the the driver stopped and backed up, knocking one of the motorcycles over. A witness helped the driver get lift his motorcycle.
After that, the two motorcyclists and the witness followed the SUV in order to get the license plate number so they could report the incident to 911. The SUV stopped at a home at 2705 Mary Emily Lane. The motorcyclists and witness stopped in the street to get the information, but a man came out of the garage with a gun in both hands.
But he stood his ground, oh yeah.
• December 15, 2013:
In Columbia, a 24-year-old accidentally shot and killed his roommate:
Officials with the Columbia Police Department said 19-year-old James Tyler Wisdom was fatally struck by a stray bullet just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. They said he was found deceased in the kitchen of his apartment, located at 2228 Union Place in Columbia.
Police said the victim’s roommate, 24-year-old Ryan Frederick, was handling a pistol in an upstairs bedroom when the gun accidentally discharged. They said the bullet traveled through the floor and fatally struck the victim.
No charges filed yet. Can we start prosecuting these people, please?
• December 14, 2013:
1- Three officers at the East Knox County Detention Center were injured by shrapnel when another officer accidentally fired his gun into the pavement. The officer responsible has resigned; he was disciplined in 2005 for . . .
. . . leaving his weapon, two magazines, a knife, and cell phone in an unsecured gun locker in the jail.
Video of the incident at the link.
2- An East Tennessee woman was accidentally shot in the leg by her neighbor who was shooting at raccoons:
A Dry Branch Road resident was outside her garage when she heard a “loud screeching noise” that she recognized to be a raccoon. When she saw a flashlight on the hillside she assumed her neighbor was “shooting raccoons again” — then heard a shot and felt a “sting on her leg.” Though her skin wasn’t broken and she was not injured, a “small bullet” was found lying on the ground beside her foot. She said she then confronted the neighbor with “a few choice words,” to which he responded, “What can I tell you, I was just shooting a coon.” Police determined the bullet that struck the woman had likely ricocheted off a tree, while her neighbor had no intent of shooting her. The victim also conceded that it was an accident with no criminal attempt, so police took no action.
Yeah, sure, hunting accidents just happen! Look, I know coon hunting is done at night but that still doesn’t mean hunters have to be irresponsible, especially if they’re hunting near someone’s garage. He should have been arrested for that stupidity alone.
3- An update from last week: 46 of the 47 guns stolen from a Carter County gun shop have been recovered and the suspects arrested.
• December 11, 2013:
Sometimes what stops the bad guy with the gun is a woman who won’t take his shit. From the Kingsport police blotter:
A Kingsport man was arrested on numerous charges at his estranged wife’s home, where he had arrived under the pretense of a visit with his children. He instead held a gun to her head and asked, “Are you ready to end this?” When she punched him in the stomach he conceded, “I guess you’re not,” then placed the pistol in his pocket. Police arrived to find him sitting outside with the gun beside him, he was arrested without incident.
Men. Sometimes I think this world wouldn’t have half the problems it does if y’all could just control yourselves.