Tag Archives: Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

A brief round-up … Haven’t actually had a lot of time to look for news. However, we do have one accidental shooting this week.

• September 9, 2014:

1- Two loaded guns were found in different carry-on bags at Nashville International Airport. So, SO responsible, y’all.

2- A Brownsville student brought a loaded gun to school. Sigh.

• September 6, 2014:

A Memphis-area man accidentally shot his friend in the car while it was parked at a Mapco station, killing him.

• September 3, 2014:

A road rage incident on I-26 resulted in one man pulling a gun and threatening to blow off the other man’s finger.

• August 29, 2014:

Nashville’s own open carry loon, who parades around public places with a rifle strapped to his back and wearing a bullet proof vest, is back openly carrying is high-powered weaponry around the streets of Nashville. I have not seen this man, but if I ever do I am leaving. If that means I don’t pay my restaurant check, or bar tab, or whatever, so be it.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

Doing It Wrong

I am not sure why East Tennessee State University has opened its campus to crackpot evangelists who harass students, but apparently being fat-shamed and berated as a “fornicator” is something you must endure as an ETSU student. From the Johnson City Press:

One student, whose identity will be protected by The Press, emailed the newspaper complaining that she was verbally harassed by Jackson in front of a large group of her peers when the streetcorner deacon said she “looked like (she) weighed as much as a football linebacker.”

[...]

But Jackson, who travels a circuit of U.S. college campuses issuing provocative condemnations of nearly every vice, bad habit, alternative lifestyle and differing viewpoint, properly filled out and submitted his application to speak in ETSU’s Borchuck Plaza, one of the college’s defined limited public forum areas, Smith said.

Apparently this guy is part of a fundie outfit called Revival Mission Ministries, which sends preachers out to college campuses to do “open-air preaching,” in which they rail and rant against pretty much everything they don’t agree with. They look an awful lot like the Westboro Baptist Church cult. Here they are at East Carolina University back in March:

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Note the joy on the students’ faces. /sarcasm

According to the story, Jackson’s ranting was followed by yet another raving street preacher the next day, with the campus public safety office erecting wooden barriers around him, something deemed necessary after Jackson’s appearance the day prior. Ye shall know them by their fruits, folks.

This isn’t preaching, it’s harassment. It’s ego-indulging, attention-seeking, self-promotion. In fact, people like this aren’t doing themselves or their cause any favors:

A landmark Pew Research from 2012 shows that attachment by young people to organized religious bodies is on the decline. Many of those who don’t belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque still practice religion informally to a certain extent. However, they have grown wary of the way that traditional institutions mix political power with the pursuit of otherworldly aims.

Nine out of ten older Americans are directly affiliated with a religion, a statistic that goes down to two-thirds with the youngest adults. Softened commitment generally means less strong attachment to God and less frequent attendance at services. It also entails more liberal political views, a higher likelihood of voting Democratic, and support for abortion rights.

Here’s a video of Jackson, pulled from the ministry’s website. As one might expect, he doesn’t seem to be winning many converts. Instead, he seems to be indulging his ego. He also seems to have a very narrow view of “sin.” Intolerance and unkindness are just as much sins as what you do with your naughty parts. Not sure why college students should be subjected to this. Jackson seems young and inexperienced, perhaps in a few years he’ll wake up and realize he’s Doing It Wrong.

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Filed under culture wars, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

The report is back! We were on the road last week, so I’ve got two-weeks’ worth of gun lunacy to share. Two children accidentally shot themselves or siblings, and a police officer accidentally shot himself.

• September 2, 2014:

A Washington County sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot himself in the leg fending off an attack from a dog.

• September 1, 2014:

A 10-year-old Knoxville boy, who graduated from the TWRA’s Hunter Education Program, accidentally shot himself in the foot while dove hunting.

• August 28, 2014:

A judge has dropped charges against the notorious Nashville gun loon who walked around downtown, scaring tourists and shop owners, wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying an AR-15. He calls himself a “gun rights activist.” I love it that guns have rights but people don’t. Asshole.

• August 25, 2014:

1- A 2-year-old Memphis boy found his mother’s boyfriend’s gun under the couch and shot his 4-year-old sister in the foot with it. Ooops.

2- Guns-in-restaurants fail: This nice old man decided to pull a loaded gun on an acquaintance while he placed his order at the Kingsport Dairy Queen. It’s not the first time he’s threatened the man, either.

• August 21, 2104:

1- Two men were fishing on Todd’s Lake in Murfreesboro when a nutball started waving a gun at them and told them to get off “his” lake or he’d shoot.

2- A Shelbyville man was shot in the arm as he drove down the street. The bullet came through the driver’s-side door.

3- Someone is firing a gun in this Mt. Juliet neighborhood, hitting homes and nearly hitting people.

• August 20, 2014:

1- A Memphis police officer lost his personal weapon and someone found it in the street:

GERMANTOWN, TN -(WMC) – Germantown police say a loaded handgun found in the middle of a busy intersection actually belonged to a police officer.

Police say it was the 23-year-old officer’s personal weapon and that he was off duty when he lost track of it.

Sigh.

2- A bus driver for Murfreesboro schools has been accused of pulling a gun on another driver in yet another incident of road rage. She was in her personal vehicle at the time:

According to a police report obtained by News 2, 41-year-old Robin Snyder was driving on South Church Street and Indian Park Drive Tuesday when she pulled out her handgun and threatened another driver who cut her off.

Guns-in-cars FAIL.

3- A Waren County high school junior was charged after bringing a .22 to school.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, 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:

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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.

Curious.

• 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.

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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.

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Filed under immigration, Republican Party, Tea Party, Tennessee

Charlie Brown, He’s A Clown

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Wonketteers!

[UPDATE] 2:

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.

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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?

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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.

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Filed under education, Nashville, Tennessee