Category Archives: Guns

TN Had 5 Accidental Shootings This Week

Hello, America. There were five accidental shootings during a 7-day period in Tennessee this month. Most involved “responsible” gun owners who should have known better. So let’s dispense with the bullshit that gun owners are the “safest, most responsible citizens EVAH” who should be allowed to carry everywhere and anywhere to keep us all safe because calling 911 is useless.

Get over your damn selves.

The Tennessee Gun Report used to be a regular feature over here but it fell victim to my work schedule, along with everything else on this blog. However, five accidental shootings in one week is just too obvious to let pass.

All of this comes as Middle Tennessee cities like Murfreesboro and Nashville attempt to tackle gun violence.

It’s like saving a sinking ship with a bucket, guys. The problem is a culture that glorifies guns, views guns as the solution to every problems, and people who mindlessly repeat NRA propaganda without stopping to think what they’re even saying. “Ah have a raaaght to protect mah self and mah fambileee.” Yes, and of course a gun is the only way to do it, too. Meanwhile, these 2nd Amendment heroes are leaving their guns lying around for kids to find, shooting themselves and others while at the Walmart, or else their weapons become easy targets for thieves, who sell them to gangs.

Yesterday I had an argument with a friend who is an NRA supporter. He got so angry with me that he said he was going straight to the shooting range to let off some steam. Just as the Founders intended, amiright? I mean, that tells you everything you need to know about gun culture and the guys who love it. Saying you’re going to the gun range to let off some steam pretty much negates every single pro-NRA argument we’ve heard, but he was too stupid to see it.

As for those 5 accidental shootings in one week? Here they are:

• May 22, 2017:

18 year old Murfreesboro teenager accidentally shot himself in the foot.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police now say an 18-year-old who suffered a gunshot injury to his foot accidentally shot himself in Murfreesboro not too far from Middle Tennessee State University.

It happened at University Gables on South Rutherford Boulevard just after midnight.

According to a police report, the victim initially said he was at a party at the apartment complex when shots were fired while he was by the basketball court and that he was struck in the foot when he began to run.

He was taken to St. Thomas Rutherford with minor injuries and police later determined it was an accidental shooting.

They always initially blame it on some drive-by or non-existent assailant. Of course it was an accidental shooting. They usually are.

• May 19, 2017:

2 injured in reported accidental shooting at gun store

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Two people were shot in what appears to have been an accident at a Madison gun store.

The incident happened just after 11 a.m. at nRange on Gallatin Pike North.

One person was shot in the ankle. The other was shot in the finger.

Police are continuing to investigate the situation.

At a gun store. You’d think people who handle firearms for their goddamn job would know what they were doing. You would be wrong.

• May 18, 2017:

Man’s gun goes off while shopping at Clinton Walmart

An off-duty employee of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department accidentally caused quite a bit of a scene inside an East Tennessee Walmart when his gun discharged during a shopping trip. 

According to an incident report from the Clinton Police Department, on May 18 Brian Ball told authorities he had just made his purchase at the Clinton Walmart and was walking past the restrooms when he heard a loud bang. Ball then realized his gun had gone off.

He told responding officers that the bullet blew a hole through his shorts and grazed off the inside of his foot, but he wasn’t severely injured. 

According to Chief Deputy Mark Lucas, Ball is an employee of the jail.

Ball explained to officers that the firearm wasn’t holstered and was loose in his right shorts pocket when it went off, according to the report.

Another customer standing across from the bathrooms reported hearing a loud bang and then “a small sting on her foot.” She then noticed a small scratch bleeding from one of her toes “that possibly came from the bullet fragments,” the incident report noted.

Ball said that right after the incident he checked to make sure he wasn’t hurt, then sat down on a bench inside the store and cleared the firearm and took out the magazine.

Investigators found that the gun that discharged was not his service weapon, but was one he had registered with a Tennessee handgun carrying permit.

Ah, a CCW holder, one of our “safest, most responsible NEVER” citizens. I’m so glad our state legislature elevated CCW holders to near holy status, making sure they can carry everywhere and anywhere, as if they’ve got some kind of damn superpowers, even though this dufus had a gun loose in his shorts pocket.

Let us dispense with the assumption that these idiots are any safer or more responsible than your average Walmart redneck.

• May 16, 2017:

Police report: 10-year-old in Bradley Co. accidentally shot himself with his parents’ gun

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. — A ten year old boy accidentally shoots himself in Bradley County, and according to an incident report he used his parent’s gun.

Family says the boy is ok and now out of the hospital.

[…]

According to a police report, the 10-year-old was in his bedroom when he accidentally shot himself in the arm.
His parents told officers that he was talking to his friend on the computer when they heard a gunshot.

His parents also told police they didn’t know he had gotten a hold of the gun they’d “put up in a safe place.” The police report doesn’t specify if it was locked up.

Warren Duncan owns a gun shop.

Dad owns a gun shop. You’d think people who handle firearms for their goddamn job would know what safe gun storage is all about. But I repeat myself.

• May 16, 2017:

Teen accidentally shot after home burglary

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – Video helped Memphis police chase down a 15-year-old, who they say accidentally shot a 14-year-old right after a burglary.

Using video from a camera inside the home, police instantly recognized the two teens. They knew where they hung out and quickly left to find them.

An alert of an intruder on Rhonnie Brewer’s phone Saturday afternoon warned she and her daughter about the two teens inside their home.

Brewer called police as her daughter watched the teens rummage through their East Memphis home looking for valuables.

“They had pretty much pulled out every drawer, every (sic) clothes from out of the closet, I mean just deeply looking at things,” Brewer said.

An alarm triggered by Brewer’s phone scared away the two boys before police arrived.

Two iPads, about $500, her daughter’s backpack with a library book inside, and Brewer’s hand gun were all taken that afternoon from her Leatherwood home.

“I wasn’t so much worried about myself and my own safety as much, as it was what he would do while he was afraid with a loaded weapon,” Brewer said.

That loaded weapon was fired accidentally not long after the burglary, hitting a 14-year-old boy.

I love that Rhonnie Brewer has a sophisticated in-home security system with video cameras and cell-phone alerts but doesn’t have a goddamn gun safe in her house. Lock your fucking weapons up, lady. What the hell is wrong with you?

People are just too stupid to own guns.

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Does New Gun Bill Nullify All Other Gun Bills?

Surprising absolutely nobody, Republican House Rep. Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough has filed a bill allowing the open carry of handguns without a permit.

The problem with this idea, of course, is that all of the other pro-gun legislation pushed through recently has been predicated on the logic that those with carry permits are the safest, most responsible citizens evah. So if you eliminate the carry permit requirement, then what does that do to those laws? Since they only apply to those with carry permits, I guess that means that it won’t apply to these other people, right? So, what’s the point?

For example:

Guns in restaurants:

Democratic Sen. Doug Jackson, the main sponsor of the bill, said state Safety Department records show handgun permit holders in Tennessee are responsible.

This is debatable but regardless, if there’s no permit required to carry in a restaurant, then any irresponsible yahoo can carry and, well, who’s to be the wiser?

Guns in trunks:

In summary, an employer may prohibit guns anywhere on company property, but an employee with a handgun-carry permit may keep a gun out of sight in a locked vehicle in the parking lot. All other possession of weapons on company property may still be banned, and employees may still be terminated for violation of an employer’s weapons policy. Employers with operations in Tennessee will need to become familiar with the new law and evaluate their weapons policies in light of the real world facts concerning gun ownership and possession.

So, if carry permits are no longer required …. what does this mean for guns in trunks?

Gun-free business liability:

Last year the NRA fever swamp coughted up this particular piece of nuttery: any gun-free business can be sued by a concealed carrier who got injured in an incident where a gun might conceivably have been used to protect them:

The new law, SB 1736, dictates that should any concealed carry permit holder’s safety be threatened after disarming themselves to enter their place of business, then the business will be held liable.

So, pack of wolves stampedes down the aisle at the gun-free grocery? If you have a CCW permit you can try to argue that your gun would have saved you. Trying to unpack the legal logic here seems problematic (wouldn’t you have to prove you’re a good shot, for example?) but regardless, this law was definitely based on the assumption that concealed-carriers are all excellent shots who are ready to jump in and save the day. Get rid of permits and this law means what, exactly?

Guns in parks:

“My son has a concealed carry permit,” said Susan Shelton, who was at the playground with her daughter Kira Shelton and 15-month-old grandson James. “My son in-law is a corrections officer. He has a concealed carry permit.”

Susan Shelton said she trusts her son and son in-law and others who have carry permits.

“They are trained,” Susan Shelton said. “They are responsive adults. Frankly, I feel safer knowing that somebody like that is here. Bad guys are more likely to go to a gun-free zone.”

But, eliminate the permits and … what, exactly?

We are literally on the brink of making gun ownership a requirement in this state, all because of some misguided notion from the rural folk in the hinterlands that guns are these benign instruments of self-protection. That might work in East Jesus, Tennessee but it sure as all doesn’t make sense in Memphis or Nashville, and the callous disregard our rural legislators have for people in urban areas is something with which I will no longer put up. Especially considering these same people actually live and work in urban Nashville when the legislature is in session.

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Congratulations, Adam Tingle! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Armed Bardstown, Kentucky responsible citizen fires his AR-15 at a creepy clown terrorizing his neighborhood, turns out it was just a lady walking her dog. Slow clap for the well-regulated militia in action:

A man used his AR-15 gun to scare a woman wearing a white afghan Monday after mistaking her for clown, according to a citation from the Bardstown Police Department.

According to the citation, a woman was walking her dog down Burlington Court wearing a white afghan when a man yelled at her and then fired an AR-15.

The man, Adam Tingle, said his wife was outside when she thought she saw a clown, so Tingle came out and yelled at the individual, according to the citation. The woman did not move after being yelled at, so Tingle fired one shot from his AR-15 rifle in an attempt to scare her. Tingle’s wife then called 911 to report the incident.

According to the citation, Tingle said he was scared for his family because of recent criminal activities involving clowns.

I doubt the Founding Fathers anticipated this many morons would populate our great nation when they wrote the Second Amendment.

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Congratulations, Claud “Tex” McIver! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

[UPDATE]:

Dear gun loons: please stop telling me McIver is an “anti-gun activist,” simply because he served on the American Bar Assn.’s  Standing Committee on Gun Violence. He’s donated thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and Republican candidates, all of whom were endorsed by the NRA.

————————————————————–

 

A prominent Atlanta, Ga., businesswoman was accidentally shot dead by her husband trying to protect the couple from suspected carjackers:

Atlanta lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver accidentally shot his wife in the back when their car hit a bump near Piedmont Park late Sunday night, a family spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diane McIver was taken to Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road and died in surgery several hours later.

The incident unfolded after the McIvers vehicle was approached by several individuals near the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets in Midtown, spokesman Bill Crane, a McIver family friend, said.

The McIvers retrieved their gun from the center console of the 2013 Ford Expedition, alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and fearing a carjacking, Crane told The AJC.

The couple, who were being driven by an unidentified individual, left the area unharmed. But several blocks later on Piedmont Ave. near the park, the SUV hit a bump and Tex McIver accidentally fired the gun, Crane said. It was still wrapped in a plastic Publix bag in which it had been stored, Crane said.

That gun sure kept everyone safe, though!

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Accidental Shootings Are So Embarrassing

News that Tennessee leads the nation in fatal accidental shootings has prompted the TN Dept. of Health to “correct” the data, from 105 to… wait for it…. five.

While 105 may indeed be wrong, five defies credibility. Especially when looking at previous years’ numbers:

2010 — 31

2011 — 31

2012– 24

2013 — 19

2014 — five…?

Safe Tennessee says they tracked 13 for 2015 and 12 so far this year. So five fatalities in 2014 is clearly bogus.

I started the Tennessee Gun Report in 2013, never intending to create a data base and research tool, but rather to highlight the public safety costs associated with Tennessee’s pro-gun policies. However, the tool is there. It’s imperfect: links to many news stories are now dead, there’s a lack of follow-up (too many reports of a victim “fighting for their life,” not enough updates on the outcome of that battle), too many weeks where I was too busy to track the local papers.

Still, I spent last night going through the 2014 archive and found 13 accidental gun fatalities. Definitely more in line with the numbers we’ve been seeing. And again, even this is imperfect.

There’s a real story here, and it’s just as embarrassing as the TN Dept. of Health revising a ridiculously off-base number with one equally incredible. It’s that nobody knows what the hell is going on because ignorance is more politically tenable than facts. The state legislature has unleashed a rash of liberal gun laws on the public: anyone wanting to avoid being around firearms is now forced to interact with gun owners in public places like restaurants, parks, the workplace, etc.

Shouldn’t we be interested in knowing what the public health and safety repercussions of that are?

Clearly, the state is unable to accurately track this data. And I can attest that the job is too big for one private citizen to do, too.

We need real data, of the kind funded by the Federal government. It’s long past time for people to grow a pair and stand up to the NRA and TN Firearms Assn. on this issue.

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Tennessee Finally #1 At Something

Congratulations, Tennessee!

Tennessee now ranks first in the nation for fatal unintentional shootings according to the most recent data from The Centers for Disease Control. Previously, Tennessee ranked 9th based on statistics from 2013, when 19 Tennesseans died in accidental shootings. In 2014, the number jumped to 105. Unintentional shootings involving adults most often occur when gun owners fail to clear the chamber before cleaning or handling firearms or when loaded guns are dropped. Unintentional shootings involving children most often occur when children gain access to unsecured, loaded guns that have not been safely stored

[…]

“We’ve actually been aware of the new numbers for several months, but the increase was so dramatic that we wanted to confirm the numbers before reporting them,” said Beth Joslin Roth, Policy Director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “We reached out to the CDC who explained that the numbers in their national database were uploaded directly from the state health departments. We then reached out to the Tennessee Department of Health who checked their records and verified that the numbers were in fact correct.

From 9th to #1 in just a couple years. It’s almost as if allowing guns in more places and telling everyone they need to get a handgun permit was a stupid idea.

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Tennessee Gun Report

I’m so far behind on this it ain’t even funny. The problem with tracking gun accidents and gun fail in general is that there’s so much, after a while one gets overwhelmed. So I sorta stopped looking, to be honest. I took August off. So, here are some of the most notable incidents over the past month, but it’s by no means a comprehensive list. According to the Safe Tennessee Project, the number of accidental shootings in TN this year has already surpassed all of 2015.

By the way, this article is in the current issue of Vanity Fair (the one with bikini-clad Margot Robbie on the cover.) I say it’s a definite must-read. It’s a fascinating look at the NRA, now more vulnerable than ever. One thing I hadn’t considered was the impact of 3-D printers on the gun manufacturers; since that is who the NRA really represents, the time is fast coming when they will have to draw a line in the sand on their “guns here, guns there, guns everywhere” stance.

Without further ado, your roundup of Tennessee gunfail.

• September 4, 2016:

1- Stray bullets rain down on a toddler’s birthday party at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge:

Whitney Smith was hosting the party for her son Ty’s fifth birthday when the celebration was interrupted by a shower of bullets.

Several unidentified people were shooting guns in a field on one side of Melton Hill Lake as stray bullets came across the lake to an area where the party was being held.

No one was hurt during the incident and no one has been charged.

No one charged; duck and cover, kids! You’re in Tennessee!

2- Lower Broadway is Nashville’s tourist district. It’s sorta like Bourbon Street or Beale Street every weekend down there. Bars, honky tonks, and the Bridgestone Arena are all in the vicinity. So it can’t be good for business to learn it’s also a place where someone can get shot by a stray bullet:

Kyle Freeman, 23, of Smyrna says he did not realize he was shot at first.

Freeman was walking with friends near the intersection of 2nd avenue and Broadway when he says he felt pain on the upper left side of his back.

Freeman says he continued walking a block before he realized he was shot and notified police.

He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Despite the large crowd downtown, no one saw anyone with a gun.

Good grief. The only time I go downtown anymore is to go to a hockey game. Guess I’d better wear Kevlar. And by the way, this is not the first time this has happened: see the July 5, 2016 entry from this edition of the Tennessee Gun Report.

• September 1, 2016:

A responsible gun owner responsibly tried to bring their loaded gun through security at the Memphis airport.

• August 31, 2016:

A Nashville toddler accidentally shot himself with dad’s gun. Dad is a licensed security guard with a handgun permit. Safest, most responsible, etc.

• August 29, 2016:

Someone accidentally shot himself in the leg in Greeneville. Or as we call it, Monday:

The victim and his wife both told deputies that Wolfe was in a downstairs bathroom pulling up his pants when a .22 caliber derringer pistol that he kept in a small nylon cellphone case clipped to his waistband discharged.

The case fell from the waistband while still in the case and discharged when it hit the floor, and a bullet hit Wolfe in the leg, the report said.

That gun sure kept him safe, though.

• August 23, 2016:

Four Tennessee firearms executives have been sentenced for illegal gun running.

• August 22, 2016:

Drugs and a BB gun were found in a Gibson County high school student’s car.

• August 18, 2016:

In Franklin, an 11-year-old found a loaded gun in the family’s Hertz Rent-A-Car.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – A man’s child found a loaded gun in the backseat of their rental car, while his two other children were also in the back seat.

In Franklin, a man’s 11-year-old found a loaded gun in the backseat of their Hertz Rent-a-Car:

It happened after Mike Burk’s 11-year-old son Carter found the gun, and Carter said he’s just glad he found it and not his little brother.

“It was out, it was a gun, and it was facing Mason,” said Carter Burk.

Burk dialed 911 and drove to the Franklin police station and waited for officers to come out and expect the weapon.

Officers confiscated the weapon, but said it was not stolen, and no laws appeared to have been broken. Yet, Mike Burk said he will be doing his own thorough inspections from now on.

Ohhh no laws were broken, so we’re all good! Shouldn’t there be a law against leaving your gun lying around like that? By the way, was there ever an update on this story? Not that I saw. Maybe I missed something. I’d sure like to know who left that gun behind and if they were charged with negligence.

Oh, and this is not the first time this has happened, either. See here and here, for starters. Nothing to see … move along.

• August 17, 2016:

1- An employee of the gift shop at the Memphis airport brought their [loaded] gun to work, and the TSA employee who let her through security got fired for it:

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – A TSA officer at Memphis International Airport resigned after a gift shop employee was accused of bringing a loaded gun inside the airport.

TSA security lines were shut down and passengers were stopped from leaving the airport on Monday afternoon during the incident.

According to the police report, a TSA agent noticed a strange object inside Paradies employee Shwundra Boxiley’s bag. An agent, who did not check the bag, gave it back to Boxiley, who then left the checkpoint area.

Oops.

2- Two teens at Giles County High School were arrested on weapons charges. This is the part I love:

According to a press release, Orlando Ray Jr. was seen in the car rider line waiving a weapon out the window.

Stupid kids.

• August 13, 2016:

A Rockwood police officer accidentally fired a live round during a drill at a middle school.

• August 9, 2016:

A Hendersonville dad accidentally shot and killed his 11-year-old daughter on the first day of school, then lied to police about it:

He told police that he shot his daughter after being awakened by a sound in the house. He said he got the gun from his dresser and shot it.

[…]

Originally, police were told that Timea was shot between the bus stop near their home and their house. Police were told the young girl went into the house and told her dad that she had been shot.

After obtaining a search warrant to enter the home, police discovered that Timea had actually been shot inside the home.

Multiple charges have been filed because dad is a felon who shouldn’t have had a gun and he lied about what happened. Which makes me feel so much safer, considering shit like this happens all the time to non-felons, who aren’t charged at all.

• August 8, 2016:

A Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy had his rifle stolen from his patrol car.

• August 1, 2016:

In Murfreesboro, a kid found his uncle’s gun on the bedroom dresser and accidentally fired it into the apartment downstairs.

• July 14, 2016:

Guns in cars, in Murfreesboro:

Officers were told that the driver of a Nissan Titan pulled in front of another driver traveling southeast near the corner of Northwest Broad Street and Van Cleve Avenue about 5:45 p.m., according to the incident report.

The driver of the other vehicle was forced to stop abruptly when the truck pulled in front of him. When he pulled into the left lane of traffic alongside the truck’s driver, the suspect pointed a semiautomatic compact gun at him and shouted expletives, the report stated.

The suspect, whom the driver described as a white male in his 20s with facial hair and a red cast on his thumb, was last seen on North Thompson Lane, the report stated.

Angry white 20-something males waving guns around to compensate for their sense of powerlessness. Almost like it’s a trend now.

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Congratulations, Unidentified Idaho Man! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

It takes a special kind of genius to be sitting on the john with your .357 and fire it by accident, sending the bullet into your neighbors’ house. But that’s just what this one fellow did:

Police: Man accidently fires gun while on toilet

Police say a 22-year-old man was sitting on his toilet Saturday afternoon on the 1000 block of Bonnie Court when he accidentally discharged a .357 Magnum pistol and fired a bullet into his neighbor’s home.

Moscow Police Capt. Paul Kwiatkowski said the bullet went through a wall, television and window before traveling through the door of a home on Rodeo Drive.

No one was injured.

Police cited the man for suspicion of discharging a weapon inside city limits.

Especially distressing is that he was cited for “discharging a weapon inside city limits,” not, you know, negligent handling of a firearm. Extra points for hitting a house on “Rodeo Drive.” Wild, Wild West, y’all.

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Orlando Has PTSD

That’s the best explanation I have for this:

About 3:20 p.m., mall patrons began reporting on social media that an alleged shooting had occurred in the food court after hearing sharp popping sounds and a fire alarm. The unsettling sounds sent fearful patrons running from the mall.

Orange County Fire Medical and Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene, but there was no gunman, OCSO spokeswoman Deputy Rose Silva said.

Instead, the scare was caused by an industry-standard test as part of the inspection for the grand opening of former ‘NSync singer Joey Fatone’s new restaurant, Silva said. An announcement was made over the mall’s public announcement system prior to the test preparing customers for the noise.

“The test consisted of six large balloons popping consecutively, followed by a fire alarm,” Silva said. “This caused people to go into panic mode and run.”

At least 10 people were injured in the ensuing panic, “mostly falls, scrapes and twisted knees.” I guess when your city is home to the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, fears of an active shooter are understamndably prevalent. Indeed, an Apple Store employee said,

“I lost two friends at Pulse, so of course that was my first thought,” he said.

Levane said he ran to the farthest corner of the parking lot, something he learned last week when the store held active shooter training. He called his mother while running and told her he loved her.

Welcome to the NRA’s America. We are truly a nation which has lost its innocence.

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Ha Ha He Was Totally Kidding You Guys

Donald Trump’s surrogates are scrambling to defend the GOP candidate, who mentioned the possibility of “2nd Amendment Solutions” to stop Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court nominations.

This seems to be a theme with the Republican fringe. Remember this?

PH2011010902150

Someone remind me what happened not long after the above appeared? Oh, yeah. This.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

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