Tennessee Gun Report

Back to our usual two accidental shootings a week, I see. Meanwhile, my local TV news says a woman fired shots at the Dept. of Children’s Services in downtown Nashville while someone else fired a gun outside of Rivergate mall yesterday. These rootin’-tootin’-shoot’em’up stories of irresponsible gun use are so common they apparently don’t even warrant posting on any news site’s website. Yee-haw, y’all.

• December 10, 2014:

• A Murfreesboro woman says she shot herself in the hand trying to shoot a dog who chased her cat. No charges filed.

• Another loaded gun was found in someone’s carry-on bag at the Nashville airport. Because forgetting about your gun is so responsible!

• According to a new report from gun control advocates, Tennessee has had 7 school shootings since Newtown, ranking it third in the nation. We are tied with North Carolina.

• December 9, 2014:

Guns were stolen from a home in Erwin.

This is an every day occurrence but it reminds me of one of my biggest pet peeves: people who leave guns in unlocked cars, or unsecured in their homes, where they are easily stolen. If you aren’t responsible enough to safely store your guns and keep them from falling into the hands of thieves, then you aren’t responsible enough to own one.

• December 8, 2014:

One of our safest, most responsible ever:

COOKEVILLE — A customer dining at Cheddar’s on Saturday caused some damage as his firearm accidentally discharged, according to a report filed by Cookeville Police Officer Anthony Leonard.

The customer, who was not charged with anything, said he was sliding over in his seat when his firearm went off, shooting the bench seat.

“The bullet went through the seat and struck the concrete/tile floor, causing approximately $500 in damage,” the report stated. “He did have a valid Tennessee handgun carry permit.”

No signs of malfunction were detected by Officer Leonard, but the weapon was in a holster that had no safeties or trigger guards.

The customer then put his weapon in his vehicle, unloaded, and no further action was taken.

And they told us this would never happen. Shocking! Also, no charges filed because hey, that would be wrong.

• December 6, 2014:

• A Williamson County grand jury has issued an indictment against one of its new commissioners for carrying a gun onto school property.

• December 3, 2014:

• If this Springfield man didn’t have a gun in his car, he probably would have cussed his fellow customer out and driven away. Instead, the presence of a gun caused the inevitable escalation:

A Springfield man is facing an aggravated assault charge after Franklin police say he pulled a pistol on a Hardee’s drive-thru customer Monday morning.

In an act that police are calling “parking lot rage,” Joseph R. Evans, 34, entered into a heated verbal altercation with another customer, which led him to get out of his car with a gun and approach the victim in a threatening manner, according to a Franklin Police Department news release.

Evans, who is free on a $15,000 bond, could face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, if convicted.

Police urge those confronted with street violence to protect themselves by locking vehicle doors and driving away from the danger while calling 911.

That last bit is hilarious. In Tennessee, where everyone is carrying, the obvious response is to pull your own weapon. Slow clap, Tennessee Republicans.


Filed under Housekeeping, Tennessee

Suck It, Bob Corker & Bill Haslam

The UAW now has enough members at the Chattanooga VW plant to begin holding meetings with plant officials. Formal recognition of the UAW is expected to follow:

The company will reach out to the UAW in the near future to start the discussion regarding the opportunities available to them under the automaker’s community organization engagement policy, according to VW.

At the highest of three levels, at least 45 percent of the plant’s eligible workforce, Local 42 can meet biweekly with plant’s executive committee and human resources office. Also, the UAW can reserve and utilize on-site locations for meetings on nonwork time with staff and/or employees as reasonably needed.

In addition, groups can reserve and utilize space in the Conference Center for internal employee meetings on non-work time once per month, and post announcements and information in company-designated locations.

Gary Casteel, the UAW’s secretary-treasurer, said the local leadership is ready to move forward with additional conversations with the company.

“As a starting point, UAW Local 42 will take advantage of the company’s offer to establish biweekly meetings with Volkswagen Human Resources and the Volkswagen Chattanooga Executive Committee,” he said.

A right-wing anti-union group is whining about it, because that’s what they do.


Filed under Tennessee, unions

Good News Friday

The holiday last week messed up my schedule and I totally forgot about Good News Friday. Sorry, y’all. Here’s this week’s round-up:

• The labor market showed its strongest hiring in nearly three years, with small businesses accounting for the most new job creation. Also:

Perhaps most encouraging is the monthly jump in worker pay. Average hourly wages rose a stronger-than-forecast 0.4 percent in November, according to the Labor Department. That is the sharpest rise in wage growth in more than a year. The number of hours employees work per week also rose, often a prelude to stronger hiring.

• A Federal court struck down Indiana’s anti-abortion TRAP law.

• The minimum wage in Chicago is now $13/hour.

• A Federal appeals court has halted the execution of a severely mentally ill Texas prisoner who, inexplicably (OK, Texas = explicably) was allowed to serve as his own lawyer at his trial. The man is batshit insane, for real:

“But he was deemed fit to stand trial, and he was allowed to defend himself, dressing in a cowboy costume in court, insisting he was a character from a John Wayne movie,” Wade reported.

This is the death penalty in Texas. What a joke.

• Related: A Republican criminal appeals judge in Texas has called for the state to abolish the death penalty.

• Congratulations to 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis, named Sports Illustrated’s SportsKid Of The Year.

• The City of San Francisco became the nation’s first to pass a retail worker’s Bill of Rights.

• Our Awesome Hippie Pope prayed in a mosque.

• You ever hear of the Olive Garden “Neverending Pasta Pass“? Utah’s Matt Tribe scored one and used it to feed random strangers and the homeless.

• Colorado’s Roane Plateau may be protected from oil and gas drilling.

• The Los Angeles City Council makes a stand for gun sense:

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave tentative approval for an ordinance that would require ammunition sellers to electronically report sales to police.

The city council also ordered the City Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance that would require gun owners to store firearms in a locked container or disable them with trigger locks.

• The last remaining clinic providing abortion services to women in Cincinnati has obtained a variance and will be allowed to remain open. The clinic was threatened with shuttering after Ohio’s Republican governor slipped anti-choice legislation into the budget last year, which would require abortion clinics have transfer agreements with private hospitals. From the link:

The variance will allow the clinic to have agreements with doctors who have privileges at area hospitals in case of emergency. Most private hospitals are run by religious organizations that refuse to enter into a transfer agreement with abortion clinics based on their beliefs.

Assholes. I have a huge problem with religious hospitals. I’ll get to that in another post.

• Dale Scott became the first active male referee or umpire in pro sports to came out as gay.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Here’s a switch: they demolished a strip mall for a historic site. Usually, it’s the other way around here in Middle Tennessee.

• Lebanon’s Little Seed Farm, which makes organic herb and goat milk skin care products, won a $25,000 grant from retail giant West Elm as part of the latter’s “We love LOCAL” small business grant program.

• President Obama will visit Nashville next week to discuss immigration at Casa Azafran.

This week’s cool video is from HBO’s The Newsroom, a show I’m actually not hugely fond of but this interview about climate change pretty much mirrors where I stand on the issue. Maybe not a “good news” item by any means but if you appreciate dark humor you may enjoy it. Have a good week!


Filed under Good News


White man parades in front of a high school in one of Nashville’s wealthiest neighborhoods with a high-powered rifle. He’s not shot by police. Indeed, he’s not even arrested:


White people walk down the street in Medina, Ohio with AK-47s. Are not shot by police. Indeed, they aren’t even arrested:


Black man picks up an air rifle from a shelf in an Ohio Walmart. He’s shot and killed by police. Grand jury does not indict the officers.

Black child with airsoft rifle in public park is gunned down by police. Grand jury decision pending.

The take-away: White people can parade around public places with massive firepower on display. Black people cannot carry a toy gun through the very store that sells them. Why is this? Black people are scary. Duh.

When the open carry loons walk around with their guns in Nashville, Tennessee, or Medina, Ohio or or Texas, what they’re really doing is reaffirming their power and privilege. They do it because they can. Let us imagine what would happen if a black man walked by Hillsboro High School with a high-powered rifle strapped to his back. He’d be lucky to see the sunset. That’s just reality.

I wonder why that is.

A popular ruse among the fringe of the gun-nuttery is that modern gun control laws are enacted to deny African Americans their 2nd Amendment rights. Which is a hilarious denial of history. Sorta like saying the Democrats are the real racists because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

American history. Enjoy:


Filed under gun control, racism, Tennessee

Is Feature, Not Bug

Every now and then amid the celebrity gossip and news of the weird I find something over at Gawker that resonates on a deeper level. Albert Burneko’s post on the Eric Garner case is one of those times:

The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates has written damningly of the American preference for viewing our society’s crimes as aberrations—betrayals of some deeper, truer virtue, or departures from some righteous intended path. This is a convenient mythology. If the institutions of white American power taking black lives and then exonerating themselves for it is understood as a failure to live out some more authentic American idea, rather than as the expression of that American idea, then your and my and our lives and lifestyles are distinct from those failures. We can stand over here, and shake our heads at the failures over there, and then return to the familiar business, and everything is OK. Likewise, if the individual police officers who take black lives are just some bad cops doing policework badly, and not good cops doing precisely what America has hired and trained them to do, then white Americans may continue calling the police when black people frighten us, free from moral responsibility for the whole range of possible outcomes.

The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Sam Shepherd, and countless thousands of others at the hands of American law enforcement are not aberrations, or betrayals, or departures. The acquittals of their killers are not mistakes. There is no virtuous innermost America, sullied or besmirched or shaded by these murders. This is America. It is not broken. It is doing what it does.

More later. But yes, these are not aberrations. This is how our system is set up.


Filed under racism

Tennessee Gun Report

I’ve been too busy to check my local papers for gun loonery this month. Nonetheless, a few Tennessee gun fails have crossed my path. This is a November round-up, by no means comprehensive, but it looks like we had a few accidental shootings nonetheless. Enjoy.

• December 1, 2014:

1- A veteran Knoxville police officer accidentally shot himself in the thigh with his personal weapon while getting out of his car.

2- A Greeneville man attempting to fix his lawnmower by shooting a hole in the blade was, predictably, injured by flying metal shards. Dumbass.

3- East Tennessee. ‘nuff said:

Shortly before 5 a.m. police responded to a report of shots fired on Harrison Avenue. Upon arrival, the complainant stated that a neighbor had been outside on his porch at approximately 10 p.m., “cussing and beating on things.” She put in ear plugs to “ignore him” and get some sleep, but when she awoke six hours later he was still “yelling and cussing.” When he fired a gun, she called police. They found the man to be intoxicated with a rifle, charged him with reckless endangerment and booked him into the city jail.

• November 29, 2014:

TSA agents at the Nashville International Airport discovered the 45th weapon in carry-on:

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Ross Feinstein says the loaded and chambered Taurus Millennium Pro 140 .40 S&W pistol turned up in the bag of a passenger headed for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday.

Feinstein says the gun had nine rounds of .40 ammunition inside.

So responsible, y’all.

• November 26, 2014:

A Jackson man accidentally shot his brother. No charges filed.

• November 24, 2014:

A Memphis man accidentally shot himself in the leg in the parking lot of a supermarket.

• October 30, 2014:

1- Mom puts gun in baby stroller, it accidentally fired. Oops.

2- A Memphis elementary school was put on lockdown after a gun was found on campus.


Filed under gun control

Hey: Girls Do It All The Time

This was hilarious: American guys in European style swimsuits!

Their reaction to wearing what is the male equivalent of female swimwear was hilarious. One said the skimpy European-style swim briefs made him feel “uncomfortable” and “very sexualized.” Another lamented (probably ironically) that, “it’s about my mind not my dick pocket.”

Um, yep. That’s about the, er, size of it.


Filed under fashion, feminism