Tag Archives: Tennessee

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.

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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.

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Tennessee Gun Report

One accidental shooting this week by a concealed-carry holder who was driving with his loaded gun because Freedom and Protect The Family and Constitution etc. etc. He died. Most responsible ever, etc.

This week’s roundup of gun news follows. Enjoy.

• June 10, 2014:

1- Senator Bob Corker gets a call from a “paranoid schizophrenic” thanking him for protecting her Second Amendment rights. Well, now, that’s embarrassing. Corker is such a tool:

2- A 22-year-old drunken dude fired his shotgun at a beer truck parked outside a convenience store in Murfreesboro. The mug shot is priceless.

[UPDATE]: 22-year-old drunken dude has a name: Matthew Sparks, son of Republican state Rep. Mike Sparks. It was his second DUI.

3- Assault rifles stolen from a Memphis-area Walmart back in February were used against Sheriff’s deputies pursuing drug warrants on Monday. Meanwhile, that Walmart has been hit by gun thieves for the third time this year.

WTF? Two things: bring back the assault weapons ban. Then thieves can’t steal them from Walmart because they aren’t on the shelves. Number two? If your store is hit by gun thieves three times in one six month period, you need to lose your gun dealer’s license. Clearly you’re incompetent and are contributing to gun crime. Get a fucking clue, TBI. Shut down the Cordova Walmart’s gun sales. I don’t get why this public menace is allowed to operate. It’s fucking WALMART, if they can’t figure out how to prevent obviously dangerous people from stealing assault rifles from their store then they shouldn’t be allowed to sell them.

• June 9, 2014:

I’ve heard of shotgun weddings, but this incident in Normandy takes the proverbial (wedding)) cake:

“The wedding party went to take photos by a red caboose in an open field” near the old Normandy school, Webster said in his report.

Neal and two other women allegedly yelled at them to leave because the caboose was on private property.

Bride’s side
The bride, Lisa Floyd-Stogsdill, who grew up in Normandy and whose family is described in investigative reports as having a “long and extensive history in Normandy,” allegedly told them they “just wanted to take a few photos at the caboose from her childhood” and would leave.

“One lady then discharged a firearm three times at Mrs. Floyd-Stogsdill,” the report said. “Everyone ducked behind the truck and drove out to the roadway.”

Floyd-Stogsdill approached Neal and asked if she was going to shoot an unarmed bride, Webster said. “(Neal) said she didn’t really care because they were on private property.”

“(Neal) then proceeded to point a silver snub nose firearm at the truck and threatened to shoot the truck. She then proceeded to point the firearm at Mrs. Floyd-Stogsdill with her finger still on the trigger.”

• June 5, 2014:

1- A Meigs County man accidentally shot himself in the leg while driving. He died. The money quote:

They say James “Tony” McKenzie had a carry permit and his family says he always kept a gun on him.

Guns-in-cars FAIL. Also, please stop calling these things “freak accidents.” They happen EVERY day.

2- A Kingsport man roaring through a parking lot at excessive speed pulled a gun on two pedestrians who told him to slow down. Armed society, polite society, etc.

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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.

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

At least one, possibly two accidental shootings this week. Enjoy (said with sarcasm).

May 28, 2014:

• A 70-year-old man has been arrested for animal cruelty after shooting at two Hendersonville dogs, killing one.

• May 27, 2014:

1- A Greeneville teenager has been charged with pointing a shotgun at a three-month-old baby.

2- A belligerent Nashville bar patron brandished a gun and threatened to shoot a server in the face. Alcohol was involved. Guns-in-bars FAIL.

• May 23, 2014:

An 18-year-old has [finally] been charged in the accidental shooting death of his 17-year-old friend in an incident which occurred almost a year ago:

Relatives said Skyler Boring, 17, was shot in the chest on May 28, 2013 while he and some friends were playing with guns. Police responded to the residence, but learned Boring was already being taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by personal vehicle.

The individual charged has not been named. He was 17 at the time of the shooting. Gotta wonder where these kids got a gun and if some adult/parent-type shouldn’t also be charged. I dunno, not familiar with the case but it seems like minors in possession of guns and playing with it unsupervised should require some adult-type accountability, too.

• May 22, 2014:

A responsible gun owner responsibly forgot they had not one but two loaded guns in their carry-on bag when going through TSA at the Nashville International Airport. So responsible to forget where you left your loaded guns, y’all.

• May 21, 2014:

1- A gun accidentally fired inside a Memphis movie theater:

Memphis Police say 63-year-old movie-goer George Gholson had a loaded .38 in his pocket, un-holstered, without a trigger guard.

It fired when it fell onto the floor during the show. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Police say an off-duty officer happened to witness the incident to which Gholson later confessed.

Gholson is not only accused of violating the law but Malco’s policy regarding weapons.

Signs are clearly posted at the entrance and the state law cited supersedes Gholson’s handgun carry permit.

Most responsible ever, etc. etc. BTW, according to other reports the incident occurred during a showing of “Godzilla.”

2- A Johnson City 16-year-old was shot in the leg, then lied to police about how it happened. Piss-poor reporting by the Johnson City Press here but it seems obvious the shooting was accidental and self-inflicted. However, the newspaper says because the person involved is a minor there was very little information released.

• May 20, 2014:

Our Nashville CBS affiliate flogged this report all week about a guy who has a fully-operational Saladin tank:

The Saladin has two fully-operational 30-caliber guns and a 76-millimeter main gun. It can travel at speeds up to 45 miles per hour and it is fully street legal. But you won’t want to drive far: it only gets 3-miles to the gallon.

Arnett said restoring the vehicle was a hobby. Now, he hopes to use it in parades and for educational purposes. If he can get the insurance he’d like to give children rides on it.

Gee, I’m surprised he didn’t say he uses those guns for hunting.

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Today In Tennessee Hate

Hey everyone, remember this story? Ha ha, well, funny thing, it seems the accused party has sued both Red Lobster and the waitress who posted the offending receipt on Facebook:

He said he was running tight on time, so he had his waitress put the meal into a to-go container. And when he paid the bill, he wrote “none” under tip.

The next day, a friend told Barnes to check Facebook, because his personal information was on a receipt where someone had written the n-word.

The story soon went viral and got worldwide attention.

Yes, it certainly did! This became national news, in fact. I, your humble scribe, vented a good bit of spleen over this one. I said, “Williamson County is both petri dish and microphone for the conservative worldview” and also, “let’s not fein surprise that it’s racist as hell, too.”

Woopsies! I may owe Williamson County a teensy weensy apology over this one! We will wait and see. However, I still maintain you people down there cannot drive. Especially you ladies in your big SUVs with your cell phones pressed to your ears. In particular, the lady in the black Acura SUV with the Romney-Ryan bumper sticker who blew through a stop sign at the Hill Center yesterday. Your friendly little wave did not make up for the fact that you nearly T-boned me.

But while one person in Williamson County may possibly not be the racist asshole we thought he was, at least one Nashvillian is an anti-gay bigot. They caught this one on security cameras:

According to a Davidson County affidavit, Massey was holding beer while waiting in line at the register.

Another man asked him “Where’s the party at?” and Massey allegedly responded with a gay slur.

The man, who is gay, asked if he had been called the slur and Massey said he did, then repeatedly asked “Now what’s up?”, according to the affidavit.

Massey allegedly went back to his car and told another person to help him “handle that.”

The pair went back inside the market and punched the victim in the head and face, causing the man to lose consciousness, police said. The victim needed 13 stitches on his face.

So, we’ve still got a ways to go here.

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Filed under GLBT, racism, Tennessee

Why Laws Are Born

This is an incredibly tragic story, and like all such stories, it has prompted a call for action. The form this action will take will be of the legislative variety: a new law, tougher penalties, more enforcement, and so forth.

And if history is any judge, this very law will be derided as another example of the “nanny state” and “big government” as soon as the memory of Ofc. Michael Petrina fades.

It just seems as if people have forgotten why we have laws, regulations, oversight, etc. in the first place. People have lost touch with where these things come from. It’s not because of Big Government wanting to Control Your Life. Laws aren’t born out of a committee of Nancy Pelosi, the ACLU, a union thug, and an aborted fetus. We have laws because some innocent person or persons got really seriously hurt, maybe even killed, and We The People decided to try to make sure as few people as possible had to suffer that same fate again. We decided to be a society that would would Learn From Its Mistakes.

That’s how it works, folks. Tragedy happens, people mourn, they say “please, never again,” and we pass a law requiring air bags or seat belts or building codes or No Building Here or No Doing That There. And sure as shooting, in a few years some idiot is going to come along and wonder why the hell we do that (or don’t do that), and how stupid is that, and it’s costing us jobs, and it’s the Nanny State, and stupid liberals, and on, and on, and on.

No, it’s not that. It’s because someone died and we don’t want anyone else to die in the same way.

Or maybe someone didn’t die. Maybe something really precious or special was lost, forever. And people decided, let’s not do that again. For example, when I see a bunch of idiots like the Cliven Bundy Clown Car riding ATVs through protected Native American burial grounds in Utah because of Freedom, it’s hard not to remember these assholes, also in Utah (hello, Utah? WTF?), who destroyed a 170 million-year-old rock formation, because Safety (and also Freedom).

This stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. It comes out of tragedy. Maybe next time some idiot tries to claim that everything from EPA regulations to the local fire code is stupid, maybe we could dig into the memory hole to remind them of the tragedy that spawned said burdensome chains on their freedom in the first place.

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Tennessee Gun Report

I’ve been super busy this week so this edition of the Gun Report isn’t as well-sourced as usual. Still, no accidental shootings! Yay! Just the usual gun cray. Enjoy.

• May 5, 2014:

1- A responsible gun owner responsibly forgot his gun was in his carry-on bag at the Chattanooga airport.

2- A Rogersville man fired his gun at his wife and three children during an alcohol-fueled domestic dispute.

• May 3, 2014:

1- A 30-year-old Knoxville man started waving a 2×4 waving a gun near I-40, had apparently randomly fired shots, before launching a day-long standoff that closed I-40 before he finally surrendered and was arrested. Ta da.

2- A UT student was arrested after firing shots at a bus.

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Open Primaries Are An Awful Idea And They Suck

If you’ve been to Nashville lately you know we have an election next week, because every house and business seems to have sprouted a garden of campaign signs. Judging by the yard signs and amount of campaign literature flooding our mailboxes you’d think this was a national election. But no: we’re voting for District Attorney and a whole bunch of judges. These are not normally high-interest races, but this year in addition to the constant influx of mailers we’ve been inundated with robocalls, door-to-door campaigners, television ads, etc. Oh and let me add, Tuesday’s elections are for the primaries; the actual election is in August.

We haven’t seen this level of interest for judicial primaries since, well, ever. This time, however, early voting numbers have doubled what they were the last time we elected judges.

All of which I find really interesting. So, with that in mind, this caught my attention:

Dread

Adam Dread is the poster boy for why having open primaries is stupid and lame and should be changed. Dread is running in the Republican primary for judge but he apparently did not vote for himself because he chose to vote in the Democratic primary instead. He can do that because his race is uncontested and we have open primaries in the state of Tennessee.

Adam Dread is a vocal Republican. He has always been a vocal Republican. He has name recognition in this city because before going to law school he was a local stand-up comedian and college radio DJ who developed a douchey “Man Of Leisure” personae where he got to spout his sexist and racist BS in local media. He tried to run in the Democratic primary this time out and got busted for it. So he basically got shamed into running as a Republican, even though he is a Republican.

Such are the trials of being a Republican in true-blue Nashville/Davidson County. Though Tennessee is very, very red, Nashville is not. If you are a Republican in Nashville you swim in a very small pond. This is abundantly clear when you see the Republican primary ballot for Tuesday’s election: an endless list of “no candidate qualified” non-choices and non-contested races. Sucks to be you.

So the solution for Republicans is to sometimes run as Democrats instead, which Dread tried to do before he got busted. I’m sure we have more than a few Republican “Trojan Horses” on the Democratic primary ballot, and weeding them out is hard because there’s very little information on a lot of these folks. Let me add: I really don’t get this strategy. You will have a chance to go head-to-head against the Democratic candidate in the general election in August. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? I guess they want to take the easy way out, try to beat the Democrat in the primary and then coast to an easy victory as an uncontested candidate.

But even worse are all the Republicans who are voting in the Democratic primary this time out and supporting Democratic candidates. People like notorious Republican moneybags Lee Beaman, who has funneled bazillions of dollars to conservative groups like Americans For Prosperity, the Club For Growth, not to mention the RNC and related Republican committees.

Beaman is supporting Democratic candidate Glenn Funk for DA. As a result, I’ve seen Glenn Funk campaign signs in the yards of people I know to be Tea Partiers — people who supported Newt fucking Gingrich in the last presidential primary, fergawdsake. I mean, c’mon, people.

Why should Lee Beaman, an outspoken, prominent Republican, and his minions be selecting the Democratic candidate for DA? Again: these folks can vote for whomever they want in August. But these people are not Democrats. They should vote for a Republican candidate in the primary, and if the GOP can’t find one, well, sorry. Now you know how we Democrats feel every time we go to the polls for state and some national elections.

Let me add, I’m sure there are quite a few very red counties in this state where the tables are turned and Republicans dominate the local elections and Democrats are picking Republican candidates. This is wrong.

Also, just a little tip to all of you Republicans who plan to vote in Democratic primaries: you are now listed as a Democrat in the Election Commission data base. That data base will be used by canvassers in future elections. If you don’t want to be asked for money by the Democratic Party or receive mailers and door-knockers for Democratic candidates, do not vote in a Democratic primary. (I cannot tell you how many people told me they “didn’t know how they got on the Democratic Party’s solicitation list” when I was doing campaign work. I do: you voted in a Democratic primary, idiots. So don’t do it.)

I don’t think Republicans should be picking Democratic candidates. I don’t think Democrats should be picking Republican candidates, either.

I want this changed. Republicans should want this changed, too.

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Filed under elections, Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

Forgot about this today. One accidental shooting this week.

• April 29, 2014:

Worst campaign volunteer ever, in Memphis:

(Memphis) A case of road rage landed a man in a Bartlett jail.

He’s accused of pulling a shotgun on another driver, and police say that’s not all Creighton Douglas had in his car.

Besides guns, police say Douglas had dozens of campaign signs for Deidre Malone, who’s running for Shelby County mayor.

Malone says Douglas is her son’s close friend and he’s been helped her put up signs and recruit campaign volunteers.

She says she had no idea he even owned a gun or was capable of this type of behavior.

In addition to the gun and the campaign signs, police also found an assault rifle in his car. Meanwhile, the victim of the road rage incident, Bubba (not joking) Sandefer, had this to say:

Sandefer says the situation could have ended a lot worse. He has a gun carry permit and that day had pulled out a pistol, which was on his lap.

Oh, grrrreat.

• April 27, 2014:

Funny how when people have guns, disputes tend to escalate:

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Fights during an adult league soccer game spilled over into a shooting in the Edgehill neighborhood, Metro Police said Sunday.

Officers were called to E.S. Rose Park on Edgehill Avenue about 7:30 p.m. The facility includes several soccer, baseball and softball fields.

The shooting followed a heated match between two soccer teams. Witnesses said there had been several fights during the game.

Police said the suspect got a gun after the game and opened fire on the opposing team.

A 31-year-old man was shot in the shoulder, but is expected to survive.

Officers said the suspect ran off and has not yet been identified.

So much for that “armed society/polite society” stuff. Let me add, I live dangerously close to where this happened. Hey gun loonz: I’m not feeling safer yet! Just sayin’.

• April 26, 2014:

There was a hunting accident in McMinn County.

• April 25, 2014:

A Memphis woman was shot in the back while driving, causing her to crash her car into a house. Her baby was in the car, but was unharmed. Police still don’t know who the shooter was.

• April 24, 2014:

1- An Andersonville man choked his wife, fired a shotgun into the front door of their trailer, then ran into the woods. Or as they call it in East Tennessee, Tuesday. And yes, alcohol was involved.

2- A man shot his neighbor’s cat in front of her kids, allegeldy threw it back at her.

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