Category Archives: gun violence

Congratulations, Greg Philip Winnick! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Someone please take his guns away before somebody gets hurt:

A Wind Gap man said he dozed off with a loaded firearm on his lap and was awoken when it fired just before 3 this morning, according to court records.

Greg Philip Winnick, of Oakwood Drive, was watching YouTube videos on a new trigger for his Rebel Arms AR-15 after installing it on the gun, when he fell asleep at the computer with the gun on his lap, according to court records.

Winnick told Pennsylvania State Police with the Belfast barracks that he woke up when the rifle discharged and that he did not realize the gun was loaded, according to records. The 37-year-old told authorities that he had been awake since midnight Sunday, records indicate.

Ah, brilliant. The bullet entered the bedroom of Winnick’s neighbors, who were asleep at the time. The neighbors’ two small children were asleep in the apartment, as well. Apparently the bullet entered right above the neighbors’ mattress.

This happens so often I can’t even count: some idiot in an apartment building discharges a weapon and it narrowly misses an innocent neighbor (or doesn’t miss them, tragically). “No guns” clauses in landlord agreements are going to become more common, methinks.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

Tennessee Gun Report

I thought we might make it a week without an accidental shooting but, alas, no. Also, I haven’t really checked the reports this week, so there may be others I haven’t heard about which will have to wait for next week.

• June 18, 2014:

A Murfreesboro woman accidentally fired her gun inside her apartment while trying to put the safety on. The woman’s baby was asleep in the same room, but fortunately was unhurt.

• June 17, 2014:

Someone shot up a Murfreesboro judge’s home, and no one knows why.

• June 12, 2014:

A mass shooting plot at Volunteer High School in Rogersville was discovered and thwarted. The alleged plotters were teenagers obsessed with the Columbine shootings.

• June 10, 2014:

File this one under no good deed goes unpunished:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A good samaritan is assaulted by an elderly man while trying to help him change his tire in Nashville.

The victim offered to help the 65-year-old man change his flat tire at a local Walmart parking lot in Nashville on June 6. However, according to Metro police, the elderly man, due to his intoxication level, began to argue with the victim and make insults and threats.

The suspect, John Bowers, then grabbed a 9MM Smith and Wesson handgun from his car. The victim saw this and lunged on the elderly man, grabbed the pistol from his hand and slammed him to the ground, according to the police affidavit.

Armed society, polite society, lather, rinse, repeat.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Tennessee

Enduring Myths

Oh, how people love, love, love their fantasy narratives. Like this one:

“This is something you do not see in rural southern Tennessee. You just don’t see armed hostages,” said Weigel.

Bullshit. I read half a dozen rural Tennessee newspapers every week and I see stories like this one all the time. It’s that myth of “rural American values” (or “real American values,” if you prefer.) It doesn’t exist. You’re no better or worse than your city cousins, Real America. You’ve got the meth, and the boredom, and whooo-boy do y’all have the crazies. Like this small town guy accused of murder and cannibalism.

This is not a story you see in the big city. In the big city, someone shoots you because they want your stuff. This is a crime I understand. They do not take you out so they can have a side of human with their Bud Lite.

And let me tell you, as someone who has lived both in major metropolitan areas and small-town America? There is waaay more crazy stuff going on in rural America.

Myth number two:

“If the criminals feel that more people are armed and that more people might be set up to protect their selves, they may steer away from those places and go somewhere where they don’t feel they have direct harm in their way,” said Weigel.

Dude, you’re a moron. Criminals don’t think logically or rationally. This guy in the CVS incident started out shoplifting at Walmart, was called out, grabbed his gun and ran into the CVS and took a pharmacist hostage. That’s someone who is not exactly clear on their thinking. They’re not gonna stop and go, “gee, hmm, might be some armed folks in that pharmacy, better not do this.” As a police officer once told me: criminals are stupid. That’s why they have that job. They can’t do anything else.

Myth number three:

“You can see across the country it’s a growing trend which is unfortunate,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Jimmy Brown. “Yesterday we were very fortunate. We are very lucky.”

No, actually, the growing trend across the country is that violent crime rates are down, not up. And they’ve been going down for decades.

But don’t let facts stand in the way of a beloved narrative.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Tennessee

Truly Nobody Could Have Anticipated This


This is rich: the guy who was shot at Walmart was a concealed-carry holder who confronted the killers. So he died. For no reason. And his concealed carry ass was wasted for absolutely no reason, stopping absolutely nothing. But apparently the gun humpers are jacking off all over this guy’s corpse because … I dunno, freedom or something. But that kid who used pepper spray to take out the Seattle shooter last week is a wuss or something.

Seems to me this basically nullifies the talking point that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.


Someone lifted the rock covering the American west and look what crawled out: Bundy Ranch racists, gun humpers, anti-government loons, wannabe revolutionaries, and, yes, even Walmart. Read about history’s most pathetic revolutionaries:

Residents at an apartment complex where it appeared the two lived together said they had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.

The duo also told people they planned to commit a mass shooting, said Brandon Moore, a resident of the complex.

“They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine,” Moore said.

We’ve had over a decade now of non-stop hate speech spewed on conservative-funded television stations, radio stations and websites. Since the black man became president it’s reached fever-pitch. The raging paranoia ginned up by leaders of the right like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and other conservatives who actually hold elected office has been non-stop. They’ve spun completely unfounded tales of government oppression, saying the government will cart people off to FEMA camps, institute death panels, ban the Bible, hand the reins of U.S. government over to UN thugs who will, I dunno, force everyone to eat brie or something, and on, and on, and on.

And after years and years of this shit, we still act surprised when yet another anti-government loon takes up their guns (Constitution! Freedom!) and mows down some innocent people who embody this hated government. In this case it was two innocent cops on their lunch break eating some damn pizza.

And you know what? This wasn’t even the only incident of an anti-government loon trying to take out a symbol of government oppression in the past week. We also had this Constitutional genius in Georgia, who decided to show up for his court date armed with an assault rifle, explosives, and spike strips:

Rather than turn up on time for a court hearing Friday morning on charges of marijuana and firearms possession, Dennis Marx was apparently readying for his assault on the courthouse.

Sheriff’s Department officials told the Associated Press on Saturday that they found a checklist at Marx’s home in Cumming, Ga., that listed all of the weapons and tools that police found inside the car Marx drove toward the courthouse.

The items included zip ties and explosives that could be tied to hostages. Police found more explosive devices at his home, according to the Associated Press.


Marx had a beef with the Sheriff’s Department, stemming from his 2011 arrest and subsequent indictment on 11 felony drug and weapons charges.

Last August, he sued the department for civil rights violations, alleging in federal court that deputies regularly engaged in excessive force and overzealous searches and seizures. He had been representing himself in the lawsuit.

Marx said in the court documents that inmates in Forsyth County had to deal with sewage on the floors and limited access to medical care. Deputies also hit and kicked him and refused to loosen handcuffs, Marx alleged.

In a court filing in April, Marx said deputies had seized some of his property, which prevented him from protecting his family and contributed to the death of a family member. The case brought against him, meanwhile, was ruining his own life and hurting his chances of finding a job, he said. Marx also described himself as a professional gun collector, with other court documents listing guns as among the items police sought to seize.

I mean, Jesus, I just don’t know what the fuck is wrong with people anymore. It’s the guns, and it’s the mental illness, and it’s the paranoid hate speech that ricochets unrestrained around the land, because there are never any consequences for spewing this stuff any more. At least, not negative consequences: Phil Robertson can open his yap and let some misogynistic, homophobic and racist stupid fall out, and Fox News puts him on TV and he gets invited to speak to the Republican Leadership Conference. No, these days, conservatives are rewarded for extremist rhetoric. Sorry, folks, but the Republican Party’s far-right lurch is a huge part of the problem here. When are you guys going to stop empowering the whackjobs and bigots in your party?

Should we blame Hollywood, too? Sure, why not! Not for its perpetuation of gun culture, but for its endless promoting of the archetype these nutjobs seem to have latched on to: the “independent lone wolf” who saves the country from forces of evil. You know the type: John McClane from Die Hard, Dirty Harry or Jack Bauer. This idea that it’s not just okay but actually necessary for the lone wolf to go rogue and take on the forces of evil because only he knows the truth — well, you know what? Great for a movie script, not so great in real life. Maybe Hollywood will make a movie where Jack Bauer goes rogue and tries to takes down the terrorist ringleader plotting to blow up Los Angeles, you know, the guy everyone else thinks is the city’s esteemed mayor? And only Jack Bauer knows the truth? Except, ha ha, plot twist! Turns out Jack Bauer has actually gone mentally insane from listening to too much Rush Limbaugh and Fox News paranoia and he’s made all of this shit up. The mayor’s security detail takes him down just in the nick of time and Bauer spends the rest of his years in a thorazine-enduced haze at the local mental ward.

I’d like to see that movie. Because goddamn, that’s pretty much how these stories are playing out in real life. I mean, what do you want to bet that the Open Carry Texas gun humpers are going to claim if only they had been at that Vegas Walmart with their AR-15s they could have stopped this? Because, lone wolf, and the government can’t keep you safe, lather, rinse, repeat.

Seriously, when is this shit going to end?


Filed under conspiracies, Current Events, gun control, gun violence

Congratulations, Unknown NV Man! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

In the NRA’s America, banging on the wrong door at 2 a.m. will get you shot. Because an armed society is a polite society:

A man who accidentally banged on the door of a stranger’s house early this morning was shot by the homeowner, Metro Police said.

The victim had been at a birthday party at a nearby house in the 9200 block of Wittig Avenue, near Fort Apache and Elkhorn roads, Metro Lt. Ted Glaude said. He and a friend left briefly, and when they tried returning about 2 a.m., they confused the two houses and knocked on the wrong door, police said.

Sidebar: here’s a picture of the neighborhood. I can’t imagine why anyone would confuse these cookie-cutter houses, can you?


Officer Laura Meltzer said the homeowner called police, believing the men to be burglars, and fired a single round.

The bullet hit one of the men in the chest.

Let me get this straight: You are inside your home. People you do not know are outside. You’ve called the police. Why the fuck did you start shooting? It’s like that idiot in Georgia who killed the old man with Alzheimer’s, or that Michigan man who shot and killed Renisha McBride when she knocked on his door seeking help, or that Tennessee woman who shot at a car full of kids ’cause she thought they going to turn around in her driveway. Or George fucking Zimmerman or … or … there are a gazillion of these incidents every year, you know?

People are idiots. Armed people are dangerous idiots.

The money shot is this pic of the front door of the house:


Guess God didn’t bless his house after all.


Filed under gun control, gun violence

Tennessee Gun Report

Sorry, been busy, haven’t had time to pay a lot of attention to our gun loons in Tennessee this week. However, it appears we have at least one, possibly two accidental shootings. Enjoy.

June 2, 2014:

WTF. Apparently a Murfreesboro woman was driving with her husband in the passenger seat when he pulled out a gun and committed suicide right next to her.

June 1, 2014:

Today in armed society/polite society: an argument outside a Nashville coffee house near Vanderbilt University escalated (don’t they always?) and the guns appeared (don’t they always?):

Police said two men, Courtney Smith, 30, and Antwan Robinson, 31, got into an argument with a small group of people outside the restaurant. The second group drove away and the two men allegedly followed them down the road in a Jeep Cherokee.

A third man, 26-year-old Mason Caples, who was apparently friends with those the second group, said someone in the Jeep appeared to have a gun. He followed closely behind both vehicles onto Charlotte Pike.

Caples told police someone in the Jeep allegedly rolled down the window, while holding a gun. Believing that his friends were in danger, he pulled alongside the Jeep fired into the vehicle.

The Jeep sped away from the scene.

Caples, who reportedly had a handgun permit, flagged down an officer and explained what had happened.

This story does not make me feel safer in the least. The idea that some 26-year-old with a handgun permit is going to follow a carful of armed guys and play Captain America does not make me feel safer. This is the kind of shit that gets innocent bystanders killed. These gun permit guys who think they can save everyone are fucking delusional.

• May 30, 2014:

TSA agents confiscated loaded firearms in carry-on bags at the Memphis airport twice in three days. Nothing says “responsible gun owner” like forgetting where you left your loaded gun.

• May 29, 2014:

1- An employee of a Dyersburg gun shop accidentally shot himself in the hand with a 9mm while trying to discern what was wrong with it. Give this guy a genius award:

The customer who brought the weapon in told deputies he unloaded the magazine from the gun, but evidently there was still one round in the chamber. The customer stated the employee had his hand over the end of the barrel when it discharged.

2- A drunk Kingsport man claimed he accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun he found while walking along a Kingsport road. Police interviewed him at the hospital where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh but refused to say where he found the gun. Hmmm ….

May 28, 2014:

A man banned from a Kingsport Walmart for allegedly shoplifting carried a holstered gun into the store and displayed it to the store manager before leaving.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee

Congratulations, Taylor Ann Kelly Timothy Fisher of South Carolina! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour


Apparently Taylor Ann Kelly lied about who shot Blake Wardell. Apparently her boyfriend, Timothy Fisher, pulled the trigger.


And her boyfriend Blake Wardell is our Darwin Award winner:

Deputies have charged an 18-year-old South Carolina woman with the fatal shooting of a male friend who had donned a bulletproof vest and allegedly asked her to “shoot me,” according to local media.

The killing occurred Wednesday in Honea Path, S.C., after 25-year-old Blake Randall Wardell discovered the old vest in a garage where he had been hanging out with friends, WYFF-TV reports.

Anderson County deputy coroner Don McCown said Wardell asked Taylor Ann Kelly to “shoot me,” the TV station reports.

Kelly allegedly fired a small caliber weapon at Wardell, but the bullet went through the edge of the vest and into his heart, McCown said.

I blame Hollywood, violent video games, divorce, abortion, Obama, etc. Also, where were the parents, get a job, etc. And also, respect the culture:


Stupid kids. Meanwhile, also in South Carolina, a four-year-old found a gun at his grandparents’ house and shot himself in the head with it. But nobody knows where he got the gun from, it’s a big ol’ mystery.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

Because It’s Not About Guns


Case in point:


This is a comment waiting approval this morning (and no, I won’t) on this week’s Tennessee Gun Report thread. This is rather mild compared to some of the stuff I’ve received and routinely delete. Stats tells me I got a link on, so I’m gonna guess that’s where this lovely missive came from.


Mother Jones looks at the gun extremists’ attacks on women, especially the women behind Moms Demand Action. It’s a must-read. Specifically:


The Female Mannequin Firing Squad
Open Carry Texas takes pains to convey a clean, friendly image in the press. Last November, the group made national news after some 40 members armed with assault rifles showed up outside an Arlington, Texas, restaurant where four women from Moms Demand Action were having lunch. The group released a statement saying it was being misunderstood: “In reality, the peaceful gun owners were posing for a photo.” After a rally outside Austin City Hall this April, Grisham told the Texas Tribune, “We’re not out there to bait police officers or to scare the community. We wave, we smile, we hand out fliers. If we see someone who seems really nervous, we’ll talk to them.”

What the group hasn’t publicized are some of its members’ more degrading antics. In March, a group of them held a “mad minute” at a firing range, pulverizing a female mannequin with a hail of bullets. They positioned the figure with her hands raised in surrender, naked from the waist up. Afterward, they posed with the bullet-riddled mannequin, her arms blown off and her pants down at her ankles. “Mad minute” is a military expression referring to a burst of rapid fire, and Open Carry Texas members have often referred to Moms Demand Action as “mad moms.”

Four of the men who shot up the mannequin were present at the Arlington restaurant, including one listed by Open Carry Texas as a board member and the group’s Director of Operations.

Grisham said he was not part of the group at the gun range, but when the mannequin video was posted on Facebook, he commented: “Warms the cockles of my heart.” Recently he called women from Moms Demand Action “ignorant, retarded people,” and last fall he referred to them as “thugs with jugs.”

The thing you have to remember with these guys is that it’s really not about guns. It’s about power, and their inability to deal with a culture in which they have to share that power with women, minorities, Muslims and gays. It’s about feeling culturally irrelevant. It’s about being left behind while the rest of the country moves forward.

You know, a gun isn’t going to solve a psychological problem. Maybe some therapy and anger management classes? I don’t know, but I’m finding the gun loonz increasingly indistinguishable from the rest of the right-wing lunatic fringe (such as these guys, another group unable to come to terms with their cultural irrelevance).


Filed under feminism, gun control, gun violence, Guns, women's rights

Tennessee Gun Report

Forgot to post this yesterday. Sorry.

• March 11, 2014

1- I don’t normally post gun crimes in the gun report but this one was notable: three masked gunmen robbed a Mt. Juliet Goodwill store.

Say what?

Does this make sense? Who robs the Goodwill store? Couldn’t you guys hit up a liquor store or something?

2- Seeing a lot more of these stories now: road rage and fights escalating into shootings, now that everyone is carrying guns in their cars.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Police are investigating a fight that escalated into a shooting, Tuesday afternoon.

Based on the preliminary investigation, four people were shot at while inside a minivan. The minivan was struck at least once. There were no injuries.

• March 10, 2014

An 11th-grader in Nashville was arrested for bringing a loaded gun onto school property:

Investigators said the teen told them he bought the gun for social status. He was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon on school property.

“Social status.” Right. Let’s keep blaming Hollywood and oh by the way, you can shut up about that now that Harvey Weinstein has pledged to stop glorifying gun violence in his films. Aaand the screams and hollers about how gun loons are oppressed and being ignored by Hollywood start in 5… 4… 3…

• March 9, 2014:

A Clarksville man apparently brandished a gun not once but twice in the same day in road rage incidents. However, the second incident was self-defense, he claims:

According to the warrants, Bellamy told the detective that he owned the gun and admitted that earlier in the day he waved it a woman driving on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard near Exit 4. He also told Honholt that he displayed the weapon when the driver of a vehicle on Madison Street pointed an AR-15 assault rife at him, then tossed it out of the vehicle between Pageant Lane and 10th Street.

Guns-in-cars FAIL.

• March 8, 2014:

A customer got into an argument with a clerk at a Jackson business, went to his car, pulled out a gun, and fired it into the business’ awning. He is still at large. Guns-in-cars FAIL version eleventybillion.

SO glad the state legislature is making sure we have guns at the ready for every instance when they’re not necessary.


Filed under gun control, gun violence

Death Of An NRA Talking Point

The pants-wetters of the pro-NRA crowd have always argued that the Second Amendment is the only thing protecting American citizens from tyranny, i.e. American citizens need to arm themselves so they can take over the government if they need to.

This is a ridiculous assertion on a lot of levels, not the least of which being the far right has always supported expanding our armed forces, too. We now have the world’s largest military, spending over $554 billion a year for this show of strength, and any attempt to cut the Pentagon’s budget is met with screams and hollers about “protecting the homeland” and “liberals make us less safe,” and other BS. So yes, Joe and Jane Teabagger, do tell me how you’re going to out-gun the largest military the world has ever known, please I’m dying to hear. How are Gus and Jethro down in the holler going to do what the Russians and Chinese haven’t?

But anyway, that’s all beside the point, as Joe Nocera made an excellent observation this weekend about Ukraine:

Ukraine, a nation of 45 million people, has restrictive laws governing private gun ownership. The government is in possession of more than seven million guns, while three million weapons, both legal and illicit, are in the hands of private citizens, creating a staggering gulf in firepower. By comparison, in the United States, there are 310 million guns in private hands, with only 3.85 million possessed by the military and police forces.

And yet, these “largely unarmed Ukrainian protestors” took on “a military armed with the world’s sixth-largest inventory of small arms” and just overthrew their government. The president has been ousted, a new president has been put in place — despite the disparity in firepower. Amazing, isn’t it?

I’ve said from day one that anyone interested in overthrowing their tyrannical overlords, either in some future America or anywhere else in the world, is better off learning to write computer code, not fire an AR-15. Of course, expecting people pretending to be leading players in their “Red Dawn” fantasies to care about reality is a stretch.


Filed under gun control, gun violence