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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Donald Trump’s 47% Moment

I never would have guessed that Donald Trump’s 47% moment would be the revelation that he appears to be an actual member of Mitt Romney’s 47%:

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Of course, we don’t know what taxes Trump actually paid during this time, because he won’t release his tax returns. And now I think we know why. Donald Trump is a notorious skinflint, who famously stiffed his vendors and employees. I’d say it’s a good bet he took advantage of every tax loophole available. As he said at the last debate, “it makes me smart.”

Let me interject here: if you lose $916 million in one year, you should lose the right to call yourself a smart businessman. Just sayin’.

The bigger story here is the utter hypocrisy of right-wing conservatives on this issue. We’ve been hearing for years how the poor are moochers and freeloaders, lining up for “free stuff” on everyone else’s dime. This is a deeply cherished belief that cuts at the heart of blue-collar conservatism: people who could be working are getting free stuff on my dime! (Indeed, I heard this same argument from my right-wing dental hygienist on Friday). It cuts at the core of the “people voting against their economic interests” phenomenon: no, actually, they aren’t voting against their economic interests. The poor aren’t voting, period. The people up a rung or two (or three) on the economic ladder are the ones voting a conservative ticket that promises to slash the safety net because, as the New York Times noted last fall, they believe many of those dependent on benefits are unworthy. Or to put it another way,

[…] their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.

It’s resentment, pure and simple. It’s hating on the poor because they are a visible reminder of how the American dream is a lie. It’s always been a lie, it’s just that now it’s happening to people they know, whereas before it was happening to “those” people living in “that neighborhood” (i.e., the blackety black black blacks).

But now it appears the real freeloader is a multi-millionaire. But that’s okay? That person is “smart,” but the person who needs unemployment or food stamps or Medicaid is the “moocher”? Get out of town!

Look, we dirty hippies on the left have been saying for years that the real freeloaders are the wealthy and corporations that don’t pay taxes yet reap tremendous benefits. Donald Trump may not be on food stamps or collect unemployment, but he has prospered from our huge military protecting his vast overseas interests, for example. So yes, the system is rigged, and I don’t think the person to fix it is the guy who has been taking advantage of it for in all likelihood two decades.

And it’s not just Donald Trump:

The documents show, for example, that while Mr. Trump reported $7.4 million in interest income in 1995, he made only $6,108 in wages, salaries and tips. They also suggest Mr. Trump took full advantage of generous tax loopholes specifically available to commercial real estate developers to claim a $15.8 million loss in 1995 on his real estate holdings and partnerships.

But the most important revelation from the 1995 tax documents is just how much Mr. Trump may have benefited from a tax provision that is particularly prized by America’s dynastic families, which, like the Trumps, hold their wealth inside byzantine networks of partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations.

The provision, known as net operating loss, or N.O.L., allows a dizzying array of deductions, business expenses, real estate depreciation, losses from the sale of business assets and even operating losses to flow from the balance sheets of those partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations onto the personal tax returns of men like Mr. Trump. In turn, those losses can be used to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income from, say, book royalties or branding deals.

America’s “dynastic families” do not want to upset the apple cart. The idea that Trump exploited our system and is thus the only one who can fix it is just ludicrous. He’s been whining and complaining about how unfair the tax system is for years. For example:

And:

trump-tweets-about-amazon-taxes

And:

tax2

If he was so “smart” to take advantage of the system to make himself wealthier, why would he fix it? Wouldn’t that make him dumb?

I don’t see an “out” here for him, I really don’t. Trump is not the populist savior people want to believe he is. He’s just another rich asshole, a penny-pincher and skinflint who rips others off for his own personal gain. So you can all shut up about “America first.” The person who doesn’t pay taxes is not thinking about America. He’s thinking about himself.

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election

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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Tennessee Gun Report

While the state tries to figure out if it has the worst or best accidental gun fatality rate in the land, Greene County grapples with its own dubious distinction, leading the state in gunfail. It’s something I’ve long suspected.

Sheriff Hankins said after we showed him the high number of gun incidents in his county, he plans to work with area gun shops and ranges to set up more classes and raise awareness about safety.

Probably a good idea, bro. Because ….. read on.

• September 25, 2016:

A 12-year-old in Nasville was shot in the leg by another child this morning. Update:

Metro Capt. Jason Reinbold said the shooting took place when a group of children […] ran out to the driveway to meet a visitor who had just arrived. The visitor, a woman who has not been identified, had a gun in her car, Reinbold said.

The 2-year-old child found the gun and accidentally fired, hitting the 12-year-old in the leg, Reinbold said.

Dear god, let’s charge that idiot woman with negligence.

• September 24, 2016:

There appears to have been an accidental shooting in Memphis, with the victim in critical condition. No other information at this time, however.

• September 23, 2016:

1- One of our safest, most responsible citizens EVAH took his gun to work, as the law allows, and promptly shot the place up, killing two supervisors before turning the gun on  himself. Slow clap, Tennessee. Getting harder to tell the good guys with guns from the bad  guys.

2- A Madison Co. corrections officer has been suspended after his gun discharged at the jail.

• September 22, 2016:

Another incident involving a CCW holder, this one out of Columbia. Guy was drunk and brandishing a gun at a car containing children in a case of rage, because safest, most responsible, etc.

• September 21, 2016:

A 15-year-old student brought a gun to Siegel High School in Rutherford County.

• September 16, 2016:

1- Congratulations, Greeneville! The state capital of gunfail notches an entry in this week’s run-down: a man accidentally shot a relative in the eye attempting to shoot a dog. For some reason I get the feeling that a trailer park might have been involved. Just a hunch.

2- A Murfreesboro man has been charged with plotting to assassinate two Democratic members of Congress, neither of whom are from Tennessee, and threatening to shoot up a courthouse:

Kaehiokahouna Stewart, 36, was arrested Friday morning at his home, officials said. Court documents and officials say Stewart went so far as to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii to carry out his murder plot.

A complaint filed by the government says Stewart sent threatening emails and posted threatening videos on social media, specifically targeting U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

On Aug. 19, Stewart sent an email saying he would fly from Nashville to Honolulu on Nov. 1 “with the intent to shoot people at the Princess Jonah Federal Building,” a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera’s office says.

The complaint says Stewart has sent grievances to various government officials, including Hirono, Gabbard and President Barack Obama, since November 2013.

“Stewart falsely believed that his (Social Security number) had been duplicated and issued to a fellow soldier he met while stationed at Camp Stanley in Korea in 2002,” the news release says.

He wrote to the Social Security Administration and Department of Defense saying they ruined his life.

“Stewart demanded he receive 100% Veterans Administration disability and $50 billion or he would purchase a gun and a silencer and would not be responsible for any crimes he committed,” the complaint says. It also says Stewart’s Social Security number was determined to be one digit different from the other U.S. Army soldier.

So many crazy people out there and every damn one of them can buy a gun, no questions asked.

• September 14, 2016:
1- A Roan Mountain hunter was accidentally shot when his hunting partner tripped.

2- Members of the Tennessee Firearms Assn. tried to test the Tennessee Valley Fair’s ban on firearms in order to gain standing for a legal challenge of the ban.

Nobody actually entered the fairgrounds or was arrested. However, they recorded a police officer telling them they’d be “subject” to arrest if they entered the fair armed.

Okie dokie.

• September 13, 2016:

Multiple weapons stolen from a home in Memphis.

• September 10, 2016:

1- Two are injured in separate accidental shooting incidents in Clarksville:

CLARKSVILLE — One man was injured Friday night after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning a gun, and another was hit by stray gunfire during an altercation on Ryder Avenue early Saturday morning, according to Clarksville Police.

Are we safer yet?

2- A gun-toting UT football fan didn’t show much sense when voicing her support for the Vols at the Battle of Bristol:

bristol

• September 9, 2016:

1- Two Nashville teenagers tried to rob a pizza delivery man but it all went awry when one of the robbers accidentally shot himself in the arm.

2- This responsible Chattanooga-area gun owner launched a standoff with law enforcement and fired as many as 30 shots at 6 sheriff’s deputies.

We haven’t really talked about this but Google “standoff with police” and be amazed at the huge number of angry white males armed for battle who are terrorizing their neighborhoods these days. It’s really quite shocking.

• September 8, 2016:

In Louisville (Tennessee, not Kentucky) a woman isn’t charged after shooting a nine-year-old in the head. Because, accidents:

The sheriff’s office said the boy’s mother was handling the gun while the boy was playing and it went off by accident.

They said the round traveled through the floor and sub-floor to to the first floor and struck the boy on the forehead.

• September 5, 2016:

A dispute between neighbors in Drummonds starts with one firing gunshots into the woods and ends with the other bulldozing a house in the middle of the night.

• September 2, 2016:

A Goodlettsville man was arrested for trying to enter Canada with a gun.

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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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I Have Questions 

Kudos to law enforcement for their quick apprehension of the Texas bombing suspect.

Wait, Texas? Yup:

Cary Lee Ogborn, 50, was arrested late Friday after retrieving a package he thought contained explosives powerful enough to maim or kill people or destroy buildings.

This is the other terror plot from last weekend, the one cable news ignored, probably because the guy’s name is Cary Lee Ogborn, not something Muslim-y like Ahmed or Mohammed.

I’d like to know where Ogborn was radicalized. Did he act alone? Did he belong to a church or other group which spread anti-U.S. beliefs? Is he part of a larger network, or is he a “lone wolf”? What materials did he read, what radio shows did he listen to, what websites did he visit?

We may never know because this story has gone virtually ignored.

If I find out I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m without a computer this week, and am posting this via my iPhone. Please forgive any mistakes or typos.

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Filed under eco-terrorism, Housekeeping, terrorism

Bad Advertising Idea, 9/11 Edition

Hawking mattresses with a 9/11 sale is tacky enough, but Miracle Mattress of San Antonio, Texas outdid itself by re-creating the collapse of New York City’s Twin Towers with stacks of mattresses representing the World Trade Center:

In the social media video ad that has since been pulled, Cherise Bonanno appears on screen with two men standing by two stacks of mattresses, one topped by a U.S. flag.

“What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Tower sale?” Bonanno says. “Right now you can get any sized mattress for a twin price.”

The men knock over the towers of bedding. Bonanno then lets out a small scream and says: “We will never forget.”

Jesus. Was there nobody around to knock some sense into these folks?

I’m not the most sentimental person out there, and I’ve come to see some of our annual 9/11 commemorations as over the top. But even I am offended by this particular brand of tackiness.

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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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Brute Strength

We all know conservatives have Daddy Issues, but fer crying out loud, they’ve actually started worshipping dictators and authoritarians? First Hugh Hewitt praises Vladimir Putin for being a “strong leader” compared to our “weak” POTUS, and then this from Republican pollster and political spinmeister Frank Luntz:

luntz

Whaaat???

He knows that people who don’t profess support for North Korea’s dear leader find themselves before a firing squad, right? Was this supposed to be a joke?

Is this some kind of projection resulting from their own cultural impotence?

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Filed under conservatives, Republican Party

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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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee