We’ve got the usual lunacy at our state legislature, with State Sen. Stacey Campfield wanting to make sure that no local government can opt-out of the state pants-wetter’s “carry yer gunz everywhere cuz we’re too a-skeered to leave home without ‘em” laws. Seriously, y’all think this is a good idea? You’ve got “responsible gun owners” shooting at people in movie theaters for texting the babysitter, shooting and killing people inspecting the land they’ve just purchased, shooting themselves in the leg in the elementary school pick-up line, and, of course, apparently unable to clean their guns without shooting themselves (and others). Excuse me if I’m not comforted by the knowledge that more of you loons are walking around more places armed. These incidents are far too commonplace for me to buy the myth of the “responsible gun owner.”
Whenever some idiot like Campfield talks about how people need guns to protect themselves in public places, like we live in fucking Baghdad or something, how come no one ever points out the huge numbers of accidental shootings that happen every day, or the number of shootings which happen because an argument escalated into a gun fatality?
Here’s something worth pondering:
The National Rifle Association likes to argue that criminals, or people intent on committing a crime, will obtain guns no matter what the law says. Among the 5,417 gun homicides in 2012 that the FBI assigns a circumstance to (3,438 are “unknown circumstances”), a mere 1,324 were committed in conjunction with another felony. Three times that (3,980) were committed by otherwise law-abiding citizens. Of that, over half (1,968) were the result of an argument that escalated fatally out of control.
To put it another way: otherwise unpremeditated murders, where people kill out of momentary rage, are the single most common type of gun homicide in America. More than gangland killings (822); more than murders committed during robberies (505) and drug deals (311) combined.
This is a national disgrace. Here’s another sobering study [Update: that link apparently no longer works, here's another story on the same topic]:
A study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that there are about 20 children hospitalized for gun injuries every day. According to the study, published in the January 27th edition of Pediatrics, six percent of these children die from their injuries.
The attention paid to these injuries is typically minimal, “but that every day, 20 of our children are hospitalized for firearms injury, often suffering severe and costly injuries, clearly shows that this is a national public health problem,” says Robert Sege, co-author of the study.
The Tennessee state legislature isn’t doing anything to prevent these accidents, escalations, and injuries, quite the opposite. By increasing the average person’s daily contact with firearms, they are increasing the statistical likelihood that the average person will be killed or injured by a gun. That’s not liberal propaganda, that’s called math. But apparently our Republican legislators care more about the gun manufacturers’ lobby than public safety. This will change, as it always does, when the inevitable tragedy happens to one of them.
Without further ado, your weekly round-up of gun lunacy from across the state.
• January 29, 2014:
A 15-year-old student at Nashville’s McGavock High School — the school which President Obama is scheduled to visit tomorrow — was accidentally shot and killed by his 17-year-old friend. Apparently the teens were “playing with a gun” when one fired the weapon, shooting Kevin Barbee in the face.
• January 28, 2014:
1- A Nashville first-grader brought his mom’s .22 pistol to school. No charges filed:
A seven-year-old boy who brought his mother’s handgun to Inglewood Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon will not be charged by Metro Police.
The unnamed first grader showed the trigger-locked .22 caliber pistol to a classmate who then told a teacher about it, a Metro Nashville Police Department release said.
The gun was confiscated from the student’s backpack that afternoon. The boy was allowed to go home with his mother because of his age, police said.
His mother was not aware her son had taken the handgun and was “clearly angered” by what had happened.
OH well if mom was “angered” then that’s perfectly fine, right? I don’t expect charges to be filed against the child, you morons. I DO expect charges to be filed against the parents. You leave a gun where a) a child can get his hands on it, and b) can take it off your property without you even knowing about it? That’s the very definition of negligent behavior.
What the hell is wrong with you people?
2- A young Memphis area hunter was shot while trying to get into his deer stand.
• January 25, 2014:
Two rifles and a handgun were stolen from cars inside the upscale Westhaven subdivision in Williamson County. Again: I do not understand people who leave their guns in their vehicles overnight. If you think you live in fucking Mayberry why do you need the gun in the first place?
• January 24, 2014:
1- A bipolar/manic man in Putnam County went on a rampage and shot up his home:
Sometime Thursday, Donald’s symptoms got out of control. He went on a rampage, smashing just about everything in his house and firing guns into the walls and through windows.
Fortunately, Donald was the only one home at that time and no one was hurt.
At that point, the SWAT team forced their way into his home and took him to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
The story is especially tragic because the man’s wife had been trying to get him help for days before the incident. I just have one question for Sarah Garrison: you know your husband is mentally ill and violent. Why the hell do you keep guns in the house? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you want there to be a tragedy? Fortunately this time no one was hurt. You won’t be so fortunate next time.
And yes, we need to change the way we deal with mental illness in this country. But we can start by making sure violent, mentally ill people don’t have access to guns.
2- A Cookeville man is accused of firing shots into a yard and pointing a gun at a neighbors’ face in an argument over vehicle noise. He told the police,
He alleged Brown said “he fired the gun because he has a newborn baby.”
• January 23, 2014:
1- A Memphis high school student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school.
2- A Memphis teenager went to a convenience store to get change for his mother and got shot.
3- Two teenagers in Cookeville have been charged with shooting at people with BB guns, apparently for shits and giggles.
4- A Southern Adventist University student threatened to use firearms against the school because of delayed paperwork, putting the school on lockdown.
There’s this thing happening across the country with a lot of young men getting unhinged. It needs to stop.
• January 21, 2014:
Memphis police shot and killed a deputy U.S. Marshall when she fired on them for unknown reasons.