Respect The Culture

Notice anything about these seven states?

Study Flags Seven States With High Rates of Accidental Gun Deaths

Researchers seeking to identify each state’s most “distinctive” kind of injury-related death uncovered a pattern that could help cut shootings across the South.

The study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that seven states — West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee — all suffered from disproportionately high rates of unintentional firearm deaths.

The researchers noted that none of the states have laws requiring the safe storage of guns, which have been shown to prevent accidental shootings, particularly among children.

The gun derp, it is strong in the South. Remember, it’s “just a way of life,” right? And also, too: “respect the culture.”

As long as there are no penalties for gun negligence, and accidental shootings are written off as just “freak accidents” (even though they happen every day in America!), there is no incentive to behave responsibly. But there needs to be a law on the books before it can be enforced and violators prosecuted. That’s how it works.

Unless there is a statewide gun safety standard that can be enforced, cases of negligence will continue to be prosecuted inconsistently, if at all, and some accidental shootings will be more accidental than others.

Fortunately just such a bill was recently introduced in Tennessee:

Bill would punish gun owners if children gain access to loaded weapons

NASHVILLE — Democratic lawmakers unveiled a bill Thursday to deter gun owners from leaving loaded guns accessible to children — and named it “MaKayla’s Law” after the 8-year-old East Tennessee girl killed by an 11-year-old neighbor with his father’s shotgun.

MaKayla Dyer’s mother, Tasha Patterson of White Pine, and grandfather, Robbie Huddleston of Illinois, agreed to have MaKayla’s name on the bill and support the effort, said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for the Safe Tennessee Project, which is helping push the bill.

If approved, the bill would make it a violation for a person to “recklessly place, leave or store a firearm in a location in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended” and either contains ammunition or ammunition is in the immediate vicinity — unless it has a trigger lock or similar device or is in a locked container or cabinet accessible only by the owner or his or her spouse.

Let me take this moment to say, kudos to Rep. Sherry Jones. I love this woman, who most recently was in the news for her “Viagra bill.” Next time I meet you, Rep. Jones, I’m giving you a big hug. Ditto to Sen. Sara Kyle of Memphis, who so warmly welcomed us supporters of refugees to the senate chambers this week. We need more Democratic women in our legislature. Let’s get to work on that, Tennessee.

Naturally, gun humpers hate these kinds of regulations, saying,

…the government has no right to determine how people keep themselves safe at home. Training and education are more effective, they say. Some warn that safe storage laws are being used to the government to take people’s guns away.

Oh, puh-leeze, get over yourselves. There are thousands of ways that the federal, state and local governments keep people safe in their homes, from product safety standards on household appliances to local building codes. This is no different than anything else. Training and education? Pfft. The kid who murdered MaKayla Dyer because she wouldn’t show him her new puppy had been trained in firearm safety, according to the judge.

Here’s the thing, gun humpers: you’re always talking about your RIGHTS. But with your rights come RESPONSIBILITIES. It just can’t be all rights and no responsibilities with you people.

The gun derp is strong in our state legislature, so unless there is a massive effort to support MaKayla’s Law, it faces an uphill battle. But it’s clearly something we need.

Write your state reps and senators, folks.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

4 responses to “Respect The Culture

  1. Kathleen

    I’m glad to see you have legislators in your state with some sense. I, however, am biting my keyboard when I see the list of states. Must. Be. Nice.

  2. Randy

    Mae Beavers, Mark Pody, Terri Lynn Weaver. Just typing their names in this comment accelerated climate change. No good will come of a letter. (Add Diane Black, Corker and Lamar and I’m effectively disenfranchised.) But I appreciate your commitment to this issue.

  3. Beale,

    Slightly OT, but since you are the reigning queen of anti-gun blogging, I had to share with you my latest rant in the commenting section of RockyNC’s post entitled, “The Price We Pay,” over at the Swash Zone. I have been going back and forth over this issue for some time over at MikeB302000’s blog, now in hiatus.

    So many mistakes have been made in the last forty years. So many more guns have been manufactured and sold right here in the U.S. So many people have lived and died with mental illness. Although I would posit that it is not the mentally ill homeless and marginalized that are responsible for the sickening gun culture that has evolved in our fair nation.

    I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who is going to lose their mind and just start shooting at innocent people. It is my opinion that a large segment of our society has lost their collective minds and is in a large part responsible for the astonishing numbers that we have seen increasing every year. Increasing exponentially during the Obama presidency. Believe me. I have talked to gun owners on-line. They attack every new gun law with the ridiculous slippery slope argument.

    First thing. Limit the amount of guns that are allowed to be manufactured. Many guns are channelled into illegal markets. They are either smuggled out of the country or end up in the hands of criminals through straw purchases or just the ridiculous availability of guns in this country. There need to be several caps on production and purchasing of guns. We will never truly be free from the three hundred million guns that already exist in this country. But we can limit new production and new purchases. We do not have to kowtow to ridiculous arguments from criminal organizations such as the NRA and ALEC. This is still a democratic republic. The people can and will regain the reigns of power.

    Of course, we must do all that we can to identify and help people with mental illnesses. But we must more importantly remove the easy access to guns. This is not a restriction on law-abiding citizens to own and use guns. Make it a little bit harder to get guns. Tax ammunition. Make people register their guns with their local law enforcement officials. Stiffen penalties for violations. Eliminate private sales. We do not have to continue unabated as we have for the last forty years. Obama could not have been elected had he not promised not to touch current gun law. Eight years later, the field has changed.

    Most of the meaningful legislation and selective law enforcement has been happening at local levels of government and police departments. Anybody driving around with a gun in their car in my home town of San Diego had best keep their car in good running operation and not run any stop signs. The SDPD does not want to talk to anyone carrying a weapon in their car, CCW permit or not. Until recently, ALEC has had the option of trying to take local law up to the Scalia SCOTUS. His death is a huge victory for common sense gun legislation.

    Another important new wave of freedom is going to be the Hillary Clinton presidency. Hopefully those voters that are attracted to her will substantively affect the outcomes of an enormous number of congressional elections. We do not have to lose on this one. We can bring out the numbers to once and for all slam the haters against the ropes of the boxing ring. We will never have to listen to a blowhard like Trump again. Power to the people.

    Next thing we can do is quit manufacturing weapons for the world markets. This is a libertarian thing, since most of it is funded by our taxes. Witness the “foreign aid” to Israel. All guns, planes and munitions. There is common ground for thinking Americans.

  4. CB

    Kinda surprised not to see Georgia in the list. Thankful for very small favors? Maybe. Or, maybe next week the numbers will be up.