Tag Archives: Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

This week’s cavalcade of responsible gun ownership includes two accidental shootings, one fatal — sadly, it’s an 8-year-old child.

• August 12, 2014:

1- This Nashville felon tried to sell a stolen gun to some kids in Pennsylvania. The mug shot is priceless:


As is the crime:

Nevertheless, police said Brin, 44, of Nashville, was drunk on Patriot Square peddling a stolen revolver to children, using as his shop a bicycle with women’s purses dangling from the handlebars and a cup holder carrying a plastic bottle filled with beer. In his pants pocket, police said they found a bag of synthetic marijuana.


The incident began about 3 p.m. Saturday when a citizen reported someone was trying to sell a gun in the middle of Patriot Square. The man told police he had been walking through the park and asked Brin to light his cigarette when Brin offered to sell a .22-caliber Ruger revolver for $150.

Brin also tried to sell the gun to “two kids on bicycles while waving the firearm around in the air” and also tried to sell “a nickle bag of fake weed” to the man who asked for a light, police said.

Dude. Get your fucking life together.

2- People with guns lose all perspective over when it’s appropriate to use them. IMHO. Case in point: this Afton man, who fired shots at someone in his truck that was for sale. Shoot first, ask questions later seems to be the MO these days. Also, I’m calling bullshit on his claim that the guy in the truck shot at him first, as no shell casings were found. Going out on a limb here and guessing he’s lying to cover up his irresponsible behavior.

3- A Shelby County 15-year-old brought a gun to Whites Station High School. First week of school, y’all.

• August 11, 2014:

An 8-year-old in White County found a gun at his grandparents’ house and shot himself with it accidentally. He died.

Nationwide, this was the 19th accidental shooting for a kid under age 18 for the month of August so far. Keep in mind, it’s only August 11. Six of those shootings were fatal. For children under age 10 there were 10 shot, two fatally for August so far. And it’s only the 11th. But nope, no gun problem here, no sirreee.

• August 8, 2014:

A 60-year-old Chattanooga man was shot twice while he was asleep:

Mr. Edge said that he was unsure of what happened to him, but did believe that he was electrocuted by some unknown object while asleep and that is what caused him to bleed. Mr. Edge insisted that he was not shot; however, the attending physician advised that he was shot once in his right shoulder and again in his upper right arm.

There were no surveillance cameras in the area to capture or record the incident as it transpired. Investigators were also unable to locate any witnesses, leads, or suspect information due to lack of evidence.


• August 7, 2014:

A Nashville man shot into a car occupied by his four children. He was arrested.

• August 6, 2014:

1- A Kingsport woman was trying to show her daughter the family’s new Ruger LCR .38 via Skype when she accidentally shot her husband in the thigh with it. These firearms equipped with laser thingies seem to be factors in an awful lot of accidental shootings.

2- A Jackson dad aimed a shotgun at his 14-year-old son’s head and threatened to blow his head off. Just as the Founders intended.

• July 23, 2014:

Here’s one from Murfreesboro that I missed when I was having all of my internet troubles. Truly astonishing exchange here, and shows the hubris and lack of common sense among the gun-toters. This one says she has a carry permit, too:

Jason Hill and his family were walking to their car when they said 37-year-old Angela Scruggs went speeding past.

Hill yelled for her to slow down and he said when Scruggs did, she pulled a weapon on him.

“She pointed it at me and I said, ‘whoa.’ And she said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’ And I said, ‘go ahead and if I live I’ll call the cops.’ And she said, ‘I don’t care I have a carry permit,’” said Hill.

Scruggs was arrested on aggravated assault charges.

Police recovered a 22-caliber, semi-automatic handgun from her car. She told them she pulled her gun out and sat it on her lap when Hill came walking toward her with his hands in his pockets.

And yes, when everyone has a gun, then a person walking towards you is likely to be armed. Better be cocked and ready to blaze away. This is the world the NRA wants us to live in.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee

A Losing Message

Here’s a picture of a campaign sign in front of a polling place near my house:

We Said No To Saying No

We Said No To Saying No

This is an anti-immigrant, bigoted message. And it is the message that lost, big-time, state-wide on Thursday. It’s the same message that was rejected by Tennesseans four years ago when they said no to Ron Ramsey for governor. This is the same message that lost, big-time, in Nashville five years ago when Eric Crafton’s English Only effort went down in flames. It’s a message that begins with racist whackjob John Tanton and filters down into his various front groups like NumbersUSA and the Center For Immigration Studies and FAIR.

I wonder when far-right Republicans will give up on this message? Probably never. Because the constant drumbeat of immigrant-bashing on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity has given the far-right fringe the mistaken idea that this idea works. They think, “People agree with this message. This is the message I need to repeat. This needs to be my position.”

What they forget is that the Rush Limbaugh Show, Sean Hannity and Fox News are trying to win a ratings game, not an election. It is in their interests to be outrageous, inflammatory, even controversial. What we learned this week, what we learn every election, is that politicians playing to the Rush/Fox crowd by aping their messaging are going to lose. Even in Tennessee.


Filed under immigration, Republican Party, Tea Party, Tennessee

Charlie Brown, He’s A Clown


Welcome, Wonketteers!


Pith reports that state Dem leaders saw this debacle coming but were powerless to stop it (why I have no clue. How about a campaign that says “DON’T JUST VOTE FOR THE FIRST NAME ON THE LIST THEY’RE PROBABLY DUMBASSES. THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE.” Whatever). Anyway, Mary Mancini’s name is being floated to replace Roy Herron, and I think it’s a damn good idea. She’s probably tuckered out from the state senate race though.

Unless this is some kind of scam, this is the guy who won the Democratic nomination for the Governor’s race in yesterday’s primary. His “maine intention” is to bring the Bible back to schools, he wants to raise the state speed limit to 80, tells everyone to join the NRA, and wants to “buy hugh deers for our Wild Life areas.”

His was the first name on the ballot; as we’ve seen in the past (*cough*cough*Mark Clayton*cough*cough), the first name on the ballot is usually the craziest mo-fo hoping to scam state Democrats into the nomination. Looks like it’s working. (No, I did not vote for him. I would not be scammed.)

This is a ginormous embarassment for the TNDP. Another illiterate clown running on the TNDP ticket. I don’t understand why we can’t find a decent Democrat for these races. Yes, Bill Haslam will most likely win but for crying out loud, a campaign now lays the groundwork for future races.

I just don’t get it. Why does the TNDP want to be associated with illiterates and buffoons?


Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee government, TNDP

Shiny-Sparkly Internet Thingie

Apparently our brilliant overlords think chucking social studies textbooks for, I dunno, Jetpunk geography quizzes and Wikipedia’d history is a great idea:

In a first for MNPS, the district opted not to purchase social studies textbooks this year when the time came to replace outdated versions every six years.

Instead, Metro administrators have asked teachers to use websites, interactive videos and primary resources as the main way to teach history, geography and other social studies topics. Though older textbooks will still be in classrooms, and teachers can use them as resources, they are no longer the central focus.

It’s a “digital classroom” these days, officials say, and teachers need flexibility to use curriculum not offered in the old-fashioned print textbook.

Ah yes, the “digital classroom,” that great beacon of our future. Last time I wrote about this in 2011, I linked to this New York Times piece about the failure of Arizona’s tech-intensive classrooms to actually educate:

Since 2005, scores in reading and math have stagnated in Kyrene, even as statewide scores have risen.

To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.

Indeed. It bears remembering that the very people touting the “digital classroom” and education based on computer gimmicks tend to be the same people selling school districts the high-tech gadgetry in the first place. I’ve long suspected that a big part of this push is to basically advertise certain brands to kids, often at taxpayer expense — to create future customers for Microsoft and Apple, for instance, the same way tobacco companies reached kids with their Joe Camel campaign.

It’s also kinda bizarre that we’re going all-in on technology in the classroom on the one hand, while barely two weeks ago we were told how important it is to teach cursive handwriting in Tennessee’s schools. Weird.

But yes, DO remind me how the problem with Tennessee’s schools is teachers and teacher’s unions. I’m all ears.


Filed under education, Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

Two accidental shootings this week. Freedumb.

• August 5, 2014:

Two men argue in a Chattanooga bar over the quality of work one had done and a gun ended up in the mix. Amazing how often that happens.

• August 4, 2014:

1- A Greeneville man fired his sawed-off shotgun at his wife’s unoccupied truck after the two got into an argument at a bar. Somehow I have a feeling a trailer park is involved.

2- Dispatches from offa my lawn: An 80 year old man in Murfreesboro attacked his teenage neighbors with a stun gun for no reason.

3- Two responsible gun owners plumb responsibly forgot all about their loaded guns when they went to the Memphis airport. So responsible.

• August 3, 2014:

A 36-year-old Memphis woman was sitting on her couch watching TV Sunday night when a stray bullet came through the window and shot her in the head.

• August 1, 2014:

1- A Chattanooga man dropped his gun on the floor while getting out of bed to take a plate of food to the kitchen. In so doing, he accidentally shot himself in the hand. Woopsies. Dude, eating in bed is gross. Eating in bed with a gun? Weird.

2- A Memphis seven-year-old was shot in the arm when some kids were playing with a gun.

• July 31, 2014:

1- Someone broke into a Nashville couple’s fenced backyard and shot and killed their 3-year-old Weimaraner:

Jeremy and his wife Julie think someone may have confused Callie for a neighbor’s dog that barks frequently.

“Who shoots someone’s dog at three in the afternoon? Why would you do that?” his wife Julie said. “This morning when I came out here with my dogs, I actually thought ‘I hope someone doesn’t shoot me in my back yard.'”

Honestly, I’ve long been afraid someone would shoot our dogs in our front yard. One of them gets her greatest joy in life running up and down the front of the yard barking at people walking past. They aren’t out there all the time but when they are, I worry.

2- Members of the 100-year-old Central Christian Church in Murfreesboro have damaged the building’s iconic golden dome with bullets in a failed attempt to remove pigeons over the years. Apparently they thought the dome was real gold. It’s not. It’s paint. Oops. The church has launched a fundraising campaign to repair the dome. They’re hoping to raise $100,000.

3- Here’s a sad sign of the times: Memphis elementary schools are handing out clear backpacks to help keep weapons out of the classroom. Elementary school, kids.

4- Related: Chattanooga firefighters have requested bullet-proof vests. Maybe we all need them.

5- A Rockvale man fired an AR-15 assault rifle at his sister, just at the Founders intended. He then barricaded himself inside his home “for hours.” A special Sheriff’s Dept. team finally used an armored vehicle to get him out.

“He was lying in bed with his AR-15,” Sgt. Chris Kauffman said in a statement. “After numerous, numerous attempts, we used the armored vehicle and he surrendered.”

Lying in bed cradling his AR-15. Sounds about right.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

With all of my internet troubles I got way behind on the Gun Report. Haven’t had time to really catch up but here are a few things I pulled together for you. Two or three accidental shootings in the past couple of weeks, lots and lots of gun cray. Oh, and the gun loons who refer to Moms Demand Action as “anti-gun mommy cultists”? Yeah, no misogyny there. Nope. Can’t even see it.

• July 27, 2014:

Beretta USA is moving from Connecticut, where gun safety laws make them feel “unwelcome,” to Tennessee, where a lawsuit against the gun maker by Memphis-based Elvis Presley Enterprises has not sullied the welcome mat.

[UPDATE]: Ahem:

The firm’s professed reason is laughably hypocritical, because Beretta is based in a country with far stricter gun laws than Maryland or any other U.S. state.

If chief executive Ugo Beretta can’t tolerate what he has described as Maryland’s lack of “respect” and “pattern of harassment” of the company and its customers, then how can he stand to maintain his headquarters in a nation that regulates shotguns for hunting more tightly than America treats assault rifles?

Yet stupid wingnuts eat this ridiculous grandstanding up, like they always do. And they call US sheep?

• July 24, 2014

Local news media are just now confirming that a Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy lost not one but two service weapons, one in 2011 (possibly at a Logan’s restaurant bathroom) and one while on department business in Chicago.

• July 23, 2014:

A Nashville woman slapped then threatened to kill a Kroger employee. Then she went to her car, got her gun (thank you, Tennessee Republicans, for allowing guns in cars! What could possibly go wrong!), and threatened the employee with it.

By the way, the mugshot on this one is classic:


Here’s the thing about guns in cars. Seems like a good idea until someone loses their shit when an argument escalates, and lookie here, someone has a gun handy to cause a lot of damage. And that happens a lot more often than someone needing a gun to stop a carjacking.

• July 22, 2014:

1- TSA employees at the Memphis airport found a loaded gun in a passenger’s carry-on. So responsible, y’all.

2- A Chattanooga man accidentally shot himself.

3- A Chattanooga-area woman was shot with a BB gun at Walmart. It’s looking like an accidental shooting but not confirmed yet.

4- Two Memphis teens were accidentally shot when one found a gun in his home and the two were playing with it.

• July 20, 2014:

Someone broke into a locked Memphis police van and stole all of the weapons. Lovely. Coming to a Chicago neighborhood near you.

• July 17, 2014:

1- A former sheriff’s captain from Grundy Co. was nabbed stealing guns from the evidence room.

2- a 19-year-old shooting victim lied about a robbery attempt. People, this happens ALL the damn time.

3- A Tipton County man has been indicted for second-degree murder in the accidental shooting death of his wife back in January. William Rains says his wife Laura was handing him a pistol when it accidentally fired, shooting her in the head. She later died.

• July 16, 2014:

Germantown police shot and killed a suicidal man. Government-assisted suicide is a thing now?

• July 15, 2014:

Standing his ground? A Hawkins County man shot at his neighbors’ feet twice during an argument over an injured animal. Yes, a trailer park is mentioned.

• July 10, 2014:

A 15-year-old boy is charged with fatally shooting and killing Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden at the National Guard Armory in Lobelville and no one knows why. However, the teen was staying at his aunt’s house for the summer, where TBI found numerous guns at the home.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

Apparently Gov. Haslam has no clue what is going on in the state of Tennessee.

In a pathetic attempt to appear tough on the Muslim-Usurper-Blackety-Black-Man-In-The-White-House and exploit a national news story, Gov. Haslam has sent what local media are calling an “angry” letter to President Obama demanding answers about 760 immigrant and refugee kids who were sent to families here in Tennessee.

In so doing, he has made an absolute fool out of himself:

The unaccompanied minors have been placed into Tennessee households with approved “sponsors” — typically their own families and relatives — as has been happening for years, said immigrant and refugee advocates.

“They’ve got somewhere to go,” said Eben Cathey, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “They’re not getting dropped off. They’re getting placed with their mom, dad, aunt or uncle.”

Haslam’s letter demanded to know such things as how the sponsors were selected, what criteria were used to determine sponsors’ suitability, etc. The Haslam administration is “still waiting” for answers, too. Which I find hilarious. Haslam is demanding to know answers about something which has been going on routinely in this state for over a decade! Perhaps there’s someone right here in Tennessee he can ask? The Tennessee Office of Refugees, perhaps?

It’s hard not to see this for the political maneuvering it so obviously is. I guess Bill Haslam is still harboring dreams of a presidential run some day down the road. Hilarious. No one is fooled, though:

Dan Kesselbrener, National Immigration Project executive director, said the process for minors has been the same since 2002 and has never included a mandate to inform states about placements.

“The only thing that’s new is the volume,” he said. “To me, the only way to make sense of the letter is that he cares now because it’s a bigger deal. It appears to be consistent with someone who is trying to score points against the administration.”

Bingo! Thank you for playing!

You know what else I just love, love, love? Right-wingers are always all like, “let the churches deal with x, y, z problem, let charities handle it.” Catholic Charities does, in fact, carry a tremendous amount of the load when it comes to immigrants and refugees, not just here in Tennessee but everywhere. But they have an especially strong presence here in Tennessee, providing sponsors, placements, English classes, and all sorts of other programs. Tennessee in general is blessed to have a lot of churches and charities which serve the refugee community — we’re the Volunteer State, fer crying out loud. It’s why we’re a go-to place for refugee resettlement, because of the support from the church sector. It’s why we have the largest Kurdish population in the nation. It’s why we have so many refugees from Somalia and Sudan living here. It’s why Nashville is seeing a large number of refugees from Myanmar. So we are, in fact, doing what right-wingers want: churches and charities shouldering the load, embracing refugees from war-torn parts of the world, assimilating immigrants into America, rah rah.

And Bill Haslam wants some answers from the White House about what we’ve been doing for years? Puh-leeze.

Here’s a thought for Gov. Haslam: why don’t you just high-tail it on down to NICE, Catholic Charities, the TIRRC, Conexion Americas, or, heck, just take a little tour down Nolensville Road and talk to some shop owners to get yourself up to speed on immigrants in Nashville. Hell, you can sit in on my ESL class today. We won’t mind. Just keep your yap shut since so much stupid keeps falling out.


Filed under Gov. Bill Haslam, immigration, Tennessee, Tennessee politics