Category Archives: Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

• October 22, 2014:

You know how we’re always told that criminals will stay away from places where they know there are guns? Not so much: in South Nashville, burglars used a stolen pickup truck to break into a gun shop, making off with $14,000 worth of guns. The shop had an alarm which, amazingly, did not go off (no doubt the “responsible” gun shop owners didn’t bother to set it), but a Metro police patrol happened to be passing by and saw the suspects pulling away.

Would be nice if we could have some kind of regulations on these places — how hard is it to set an alarm? — but, sadly, in gun crazy Tennessee, that’s asking too much.

• October 21, 2014:

In Memphis, a middle school student accidentally shot himself in the leg showing his gun to other students:

A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he brought a loaded gun to school Tuesday and was hit in the leg when the gun fired.

The boy, who has not been identified, was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in noncritical condition after the incident at A. Maceo Walker Middle School, 1900 E. Raines Road. It happened about 7:45 a.m.

“Apparently while trying to change classes, he had stopped and was going to show the pistol to some other children when he dropped his backpack and the gun fired,” said Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph.

• October 20, 2014:

1- In Paris, a 4-year-old got her hands on the family handgun and shot herself. She died.

2-Four shootings in Clarksville in the span of one hour. It just gets worse and worse. It’s almost as if the more guns there are, the more people abuse them.

• October 17, 2014:

A 23-year-old woman fired her handgun during a traffic altercation in East Ridge, just outside of Chattanooga. She fired the gun into the air, and was arrested.

These wannabe Yosemite Sams and Samanthas are gonna kill us all.

• October 16, 2014:

A 7-year-old Winchester girl was accidentally shot in the lower abdomen when her dad was showing her two brothers how to load a high-powered rifle:

John was showing his two sons how to load a rifle in the basement of the family’s 45 Living Oak Lane residence, located between Winchester and Cowan, when the gun misfired, sending a .233 caliber bullet through a bedroom wall and an air hockey table before hitting 7-year-old Liberty Miller in the lower stomach.

The tree of patriots must be watered with the blood of Liberties, I guess.

Also, to whomever wrote this story: nice use of the passive voice gun dodge there. “The gun misfired” all by itsownself. Guns don’t shoot people, except when some lame reporter doesn’t want to state the obvious.

• October 15, 2014:

1- Proving yet again the poor judgment of so many of our gun owners, this happened in Clarksville:

Gregory Wayne Brown allegedly discharged a handgun during a domestic altercation with a 38-year-old man. He did not fire in the direction of Knight, but the bullet went through the wall, through a baby’s crib and stopped at the next wall, according to a police report.

The wall where the bullet stopped was the wall where his 10-month-old child was sleeping in his bed. Brown later changed his story and said the child was asleep in a different room, the report said.

2- This story comes out of Pennsylvania but it concerns a Tennessee man who the family says accidentally shot his cousin:

Soumpholphakdy, 22, was sleeping when Chanthara began jumping on his bed to wake him up around noon, police said.

That’s when, police said, Soumpholphakdy grabbed a gun to try and scare Chanthara. The two men began wrestling and the gun went off, police said.

Friends and family members said the two men are cousins, and it must have been an accident.

“We don’t think there was any foul play or anything like that. If anything, it was accidental,” said Shaggy Phon, a friend.

3- Four guns were stolen from a Memphis police officer’s truck this week. This is not a repeat of the last 12 times this happened. Memphis, get your shit together.

• October 10, 2014:

A Memphis police officer had his gun stolen when he left it in a shopping mall bathroom.

• October 8, 2014:

Guns-in-cars fail: a Chattanooga woman got angry at another driver, started tailgating her, and when that driver pulled over to let her pass, pulled out a gun and pointed it at her.

Seems to me that the vast majority of people simply do not have the emotional maturity to responsibly carry firearms with them.

• September 26, 2014:

• A security guard at a Nashville Walmart shot a man who stole a 6-pack of beer. He’s in serious condition.

I think that is a use of force way out of proportion for the crime.

• September 25, 2014:

• A responsible gun owner responsibly forgot about their loaded Sig Sauer pistol they’d left in their carry-on bag when they tried to board a plane in Nashville. And it’s the 31st such incident this year.

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No, Random Mt. Juliet TN Woman, You Do Not Have Ebola

[UPDATE AD NAUSEUM]:

Let the games begin:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An American Airlines flight from Dallas was quarantined in Nashville after medical scare. Health officials said there was no risk for Ebola.

[...]

The Metro Public Health Department said the passenger with the medical issue had no history of contact with anyone with Ebola in Dallas and had no travel history to Africa. Officials added there was no concern the passenger had Ebola and there was no risk to other passengers on the plane.

This was the second Ebola scare in the mid-state in the last 48 hours. First responders in Hazmat suits quarantined a Mt. Juliet gas station late Saturday night.

————————————-

Oh fer crissakes. With the arrival of cold and flu season, expect to see more stories like this one:

MT. JULIET, Tenn. – A Mt. Juliet gas station was closed for several hours after a woman called emergency dispatchers with what they described as Ebola-like symptoms.

Wilson County officials said the woman was complaining of chest pains just after midnight Sunday. After dispatchers began questioning the woman for additional information, they determined she could have symptoms of the Ebola virus.

EMTs responded to the Mapco gas station at the intersection of Lebanon Road and Mt. Juliet Road wearing full protective gear. The gas station was closed while crews worked.

The woman was transported to TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, were medical crews had already been alerted to the possible Ebloa threat. Nurses met the patient at the front door wearing masks, gloves and protective masks.

After evaluating the woman, the situation was “cleared,” according to officials. No Ebloa protocol was activated.

A spokesperson for Summit Medical Center said doctors have cleared the woman, and she does not have the Ebola virus. No threat remained at the hospital.

Here’s a quick meme to determine if you might have ebola:

ebola-quiz-you-dont-have-ebola

There is a rampant, overriding, highly politicized culture of fear in America. It’s been with us for about the past 30 years, maybe more. It used to thrive on the fringes of American society, where people afraid of the coming zombie apocalypse would stockpile their canned goods, guns and ammo. Hell, I remember in the mid-70s my mom kept a stash of canned food and 50-gallon bottles of water in our garage “for the revolution,” and we were not a nutso survivalist family.

But since 9/11 this culture of fear has been mainstreamed. It’s been aided and abetted by talk radio — mostly right-wing radio, but I’ve heard my share of fear porn on left-wing radio, too. The news media has fear as its default position (Missing white women! Shark attacks! Immigrants! Terrorism!) and political entities exploit it for profit.

I have this theory that fear sells so easily here because we are such a prosperous country. People who have a lot, have a lot to lose, and thus tend to be more fearful. Fear is an easy sell, but it’s also incredibly damaging. It’s turning America into a ridiculous parody of modern civilization.

When I read stuff about random people thinking they have Ebola all I can do is laugh at them.

[UPDATE]: And another one, in Birmingham, Alabama. This one was at an airport so the “abundance of caution” makes slightly more sense.

[UPDATE] 2:

The only thing more depressing than this story are the search engine terms WordPress tells me has brought folks here today: “ebola scare in mt. juliet, tennessee,: “mt juliet ebola,” and this one: “is it true that a woman has ebola in mt juilet.” Seems like the full-court fear has begun.

I am slightly encouraged by “george zimmerman is an asshole,” however.

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Filed under fear, media, Tennessee

The Craziest Story Out Of Tennessee You Will Read All Year

I poke fun at Williamson County a lot over here, and with good reason. On the plus side it has a lovely landscape of rolling hills and historic Antebellum farms. On the downside, it’s the center of hypocritical, uptight, phony Christian, “free market fairies will save us all” political wingnuttery. There’s a reason Victoria Jackson, anti-Muslim extremist Laurie Cardoza Moore, and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips all call Williamson County home.

Also, the people down there can’t drive for shit. If you’re stuck behind a ginormous SUV creeping along at 20 miles under the speed limit or doing something stupid like trying to turn left out of the right-hand lane, there’s a 90% chance that it has Williamson County plates. Usually it’s driven by a soccer mom texting while driving, let me add.

So let me just say, I am finding it absolutely hilarious that the brand-new chair of the Williamson County School Board — the same school board recently in the news for a textbook flap ginned up by anti-Muslim groups — has been forced to resign over a novelty product.

In particular, this novelty product:

buttleopener-800x430

Apparently the “Buttle Opener” was invented by Mark Gregory’s brother. Gregory helped get it on the market. The product had already caused the school board’s vice chairman to resign. And now Gregory has resigned as chairman (he says he will stay on the school board, however).

Just hilarious.

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Tennessee Gun Report

I’ve been way too busy this week to do my usual perusal of local news reports. Still, we have one accidental shooting this week — this one a fatality.

• September 22, 2014:

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with stolen guns is a woman with a couple of vases, apparently:

Authorities said a woman in East Brainerd slugged a man with two vases after he had walked in their house and attacked her husband.

The sheriff’s office said Joshua Aaron Mills had a short time earlier in the Wednesday incident walked into another house on the same street. They said he walked upstairs and stole $5,700 worth of guns.

Mills, 22, of 2421 Quail Nest Circle, is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, theft and assault.

Walter Pryor Jr., another resident of Quail Nest Circle, said he had two construction workers inside his residence when a man wearing a gray shirt and brown shirts walked in and asked them about a job. They said the man, who identified himself as Josh Mills, proceeded to walk upstairs.

The workers a few minutes later saw the man jump down with several plastic gun cases and begin running toward some woods.

The guy proceeded to walk into another house in the street where a woman conked him on the head with a vase.

By the way, who leaves gun cases lying around when you’re having construction done on your house? Also, doesn’t the fact that guns are so often stolen from private residences negate the right-wing belief that criminals stay away from homes with guns? So much fail.

• September 20, 2014:

A 20-year-old Cordova man playing with a gun accidentally shot himself in the eye. UPDATE: he died.

• September 19, 2014:

Today in armed society/polite society: An argument between a man and his girlfriend led to the girlfriend’s sister being shot:

Investigators say the man, who lived at the home, got into an argument with his girlfriend. The girlfriend called her sister who came to the house.

When she arrived, police say Cook and the man got into an argument. Cook pulled a gun, the man armed himself and both of them fired shots.

The man was injured, the girlfriend’s sister was killed. Brilliant.

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Lamar Advertising: Hate Profiteers

Notoriously despicable billboard company Lamar Advertising is profiting from homophobia by accepting this billboard north of Nashville. It was apparently paid for and purchased by “concerned Christians.”

Yeah, this is why people are leaving the church in droves. Just stop the crap, already, religious people. Apparently the tone and message has prompted complaints:

Mayor Wilber said he’s well-aware of the discussions surrounding the sign; one resident called him to complain.

“Thought it was not fit for the time that we’re in, just thought it was out of place, just sent a bad message,” he explained.

Good for the people of Portland, Tennessee. And really, Lamar Advertising is profiting from this? What a horrible company. I’m reminded of this story from just a few years ago in which they refused to run ads from Georgia Equality, saying,

…”We just didn’t feel the copy was right for those markets” …

The offending copy?

The billboards proposed by Georgia Equality feature images of professionals, such as a male firefighter and a female doctor, and include tag lines that read, “I protect you. And … I am gay. We Are Your Neighbors.”

Yeah, so not right.

What a bunch of assholes. Profiting from hate never works, Lamar Advertising.

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Jim Summerville’s Very Bad No Good Year

So, this just happened:

Tennessee State Sen. Arrested For Public Intoxication In Dickson

DICKSON, Tenn. – Tennessee State Sen. Jim Summerville has been arrested in Dickson County on a charge of public intoxication.

Officials with the Dickson Police Department said Sen. Summerville was arrested Friday night in Dickson after he was seen walking down the street while drinking an alcoholic beverage from a glass mug.

Police said Summerville was spotted walking down the street while carrying a lawn chair in the McCreary Heights area.

Hmm. Okie dokie. Summerville is yet another of Tennessee’s crackpot racist Republicans known for “controversial” legislation like banning affirmative action. Oh, and there was that time where he said he “didn’t give a rat’s ass” what the black caucus thought. However, in August he was primaried, and lost to someone who could possibly be even crazier than he. In response, Summerville resigned from Tennessee’s Republican caucus and said he was henceforth an independent. In his concession speech, Summerville quoted Lord Byron.

I shit you not.

In the irony department, when Summerville’s anti-affirmative action effort failed, this happened:

Last year, he proposed a measure to eliminate affirmative action initiatives from higher education institutions in Tennessee. After the legislation failed, Summerville threatened GOP lawmakers who voted against it, saying they would face repercussions in this year’s election.

Right. So the guy who said there will be repercussions for not doing what he wanted lost his primary and just got arrested for public intoxication. Brilliant.

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Good News Friday

Hey everyone! We survived another 9/11 without a terror attack. You can stop being scared now.

In other good and/or interesting news:

• Environmental regulators have blocked Western Australia’s truly atrocious shark cull.

• If you haven’t heard NFL Today host James Brown’s passionate plea for men to address domestic violence, do so now.

• The mid-’90s “tough on crime” legislative wave that swept the country that resulted in the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act is now revealed to have been a huge, budget-busting mistake:

“Here’s the federal government coming in and saying we’ll give you money if you punish people more severely, and 28 states and the District of Columbia followed the money and enacted stricter sentencing laws for violent offenses,” Travis says.

But as Travis now knows all too well, there’s a problem with that idea. Researchers including a National Academy of Sciences panel he led have since found only a modest relationship between incarceration and lower crime rates.

“We now know with the fullness of time that we made some terrible mistakes,” Travis said. “And those mistakes were to ramp up the use of prison. And that big mistake is the one that we now, 20 years later, come to grips with. We have to look in the mirror and say, ‘look what we have done.'”

Maybe this is the beginning of a shift away from the punitive, prison-for-profit moral cesspool this country has placed itself in.

Panera Bread’s CEO has asked patrons to leave their guns at home. This is a weak gesture — the stores won’t post “No Guns” signs and store employees won’t ask gun-toters to leave. But it’s a gesture nonetheless. I hope those of us who dine at Panera (guilty as charged!) leave as soon as we see a gun loon walk in the door.

• Acceptance of gays and lesbians in U.S. congregations is on the increase.

• On the grounds that it’s necessary to deter others, prosecutors are seeking 16 months in prison for right-wing narcissist/asshole Dinesh D’Souza, who pled guilty to campaign finance fraud in May:

In a Wednesday court filing, federal prosecutors rejected defense arguments that D’Souza was “ashamed and contrite” about his crime, had “unequivocally accepted responsibility,” and deserved a sentence of probation with community service.

[...]

The government said a 10- to 16-month prison sentence was appropriate for D’Souza, and necessary to deter others from abusing the election process, including “well-heeled individuals who are tempted to use their money to help other candidates.”

It also said D’Souza waited to “the last possible moment” prior to trial before admitting guilt, and then went on TV shows and the Internet to complain about being “selectively” targeted for prosecution, and having little choice but to plead guilty.

“Based on the defendant’s own post-plea statements, the court should reject the defendant’s claims of contrition on the eve of sentencing,” prosecutors led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said in the filing.

Bwaaahaaa. Guess those Fox Noise appearances didn’t help his case.

• Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris, who wed his longtime fiancee David Birtka last weekend in Italy.

• Scientists find another Stonehenge buried beneath the Stonehenge we all know and love. And President Obama just visited there last week. Coincidence? I think not!

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• A first-ever GLBT summer festival in the notoriously conservative Tri-Cities area received a warm welcome, showing signs of progress for East Tennessee:

Although it was their first festival, organizers said attendance was almost double what they expected. With a final turnout of more than 400 people, PCC Co-Executive Director John Baker said he was overwhelmed with the support he and his cause received.

[...]

“The simple fact that we can have it here in East Tennessee is a big plus,” Baker said. “The perceived notion is that East Tennessee is not accepting. But we find that, in East Tennessee, people are very accepting.”

The event was a fundraiser for a planned gay and lesbian center in East Tennessee.

This week’s video is a Key & Peele clip about, erm, “black ice.” Hilarious.

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