Congratulations, Unidentified TN Woman! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour!

Welcome to Nashville, NRA members! For our third accidental shooting this week, let’s head south to Murfreesboro, where this happened:

Once on the scene, the victim told Detective Gorham at 1 in the morning that he heard a gunshot while in bed and felt something hit his ankle. Upon checking his ankle, he saw a bullet hole in his wall and his mirror was broken. He then called 9-1-1.

Police went to the next door neighbor’s address where a female was questioned about the shooting. That neighbor told the detective that the shot came from her condominium or apartment. The 33-year old woman told police she retrieved the gun to show her friends.

The report stated, “When she got to her bedroom she stated she picked the gun up and aimed it at the wall and pulled the trigger to see if it was unloaded, at which time it discharged.”

So, so, so responsible!

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Nashville, Tennessee

God Has A Strange Sense Of Humor

[UPDATE]:

He died.

I’m sure the NRA will blame the cat.

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In Nashville today as a measure allowing guns in parks sailed through our legislature, another second amendment hero proved why guns everywhere is a colossally stupid idea:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 19-year-old was playing with his cat in a park next to Tennessee State University in north Nashville when he accidentally shot himself in the head.

It happened Monday night just after 10 p.m. at Hadley Park.

Police said Craig Lambert was sitting at a picnic table when his gun slipped out of his pocket and fired, striking him in the head.

Prepare to see more of these headlines as what was once illegal becomes legal. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

This is the second accidental shooting in Nashville in as many days. All happening at the exact same time as pro-gun legislation is passing through the legislature without any debate whatsoever.

I’d say God is trying to say something to our legislators, but they’ve had their fingers in their ears on this issue for too long, anyway.

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Filed under gun control, Guns

That Not So Fresh Feeling (Again)

Sorry, Gov. Pence. But nothing says the GOP is the party of old, outdated ideas like defending your controversial anti-gay law with the argument that, it’s the same as a 1993 federal law signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

That was over 20 years ago, you disingenuous nitwit. Twenty years ago was not a good time for gay people. We had Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. We had Republicans holding up the nomination of the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador (to Luxembourg, of all places!) for two years because of his sexual orientation. Clinton had to bypass the Senate to get this guy in his post.

Matthew Shepard was beaten to death and left to die on a Laramie, Wyoming fence in 1998, for God’s sakes.

So when I hear this “religious freedom” bill’s defenders say the opposition is being hysterical because this is no different from legislation passed more than 20 years ago, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for proving our point. Thank you for admitting, for all the world to see, that you do not have a new idea, that the real conservative agenda is rolling back the clock 20 years and voiding all the progress that’s been made. Thanks for making it all so clear, so those of us who believe in putting this country in “Drive” not “Reverse” have something tangible to point to. There you go. If you want to move forward, vote D. You want to move backwards, go R. We finally have our bumper sticker moment.

You aren’t the party of the future when the best you can do is tell everyone all of your ideas are staler than a 20-year-old loaf of bread.

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Filed under GLBT

Congratulations, Theresa Steward! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Responsible Nashville gun owner responsibly waves a gun during an argument with her fiance, responsibly accidentally fires it as she’s trying to holster it. Nearly kills child. Ta da!

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 26-year-old Theresa Steward and her fiancé were arguing Friday night in the driveway of their home on Blairfield Drive.

During the course of the fight, investigators said Steward pulled out her pistol.

After things cooled off, she was pulling the gun back into its holster when it went off. The bullet went flying out of her car and shattered the window of a nearby vehicle.

A child happened to be in that car. Officials said the child was not hit with the bullet, but glass from the shattered window got into the child’s eye.

Welcome to Nashville, NRA! Your good work here is done.

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Nashville

The Revolution Won’t Be Photographed

History is written (or recorded) by the victors, or so the saying goes. Today I saw an art installation from Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar which really illustrates that idea.

For some background, here’s what the BBC wrote about Jaar’s installation in 2014:

Jaar chose not to show us any pictures but instead blinded us with a blaze of projected light. Rather than a despairing nihilist gesture, Lament of the Images was integral to a strongly held argument that images mattered.

Jaar’s installation was a response to the increasing political control, erasure and suppression of images. Our encounter with Jaar’s field of light was preceded by three glowing panels of back-lit texts presented in a darkened room, all musing on different forms of blindness and erasure: beginning with Nelson Mandela being dazzled by the light on his release from prison and how prisoners were blinded by the glare of the sun on the limestone as they broke rocks in a quarry on the centre of Robben Island.

Texts two and three considered the loss and control of images in relationship to two significant events: the burial of 17 million photographic images from Bettmann and United Press International, purchased by Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, in a limestone mine, and how before launching airstrikes against Afghanistan, the United States Defense Department had bought all rights to satellite imagery of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, creating an “effective white-out of the operation”.

And here is the final panel, the one related to the “white out” of our bombing of Afghanistan:

IMG_1745 3

It’s powerful stuff. Presented in an art context, it was more than powerful: it was enraging. As a reasonably engaged American, I wanted to know why I hadn’t heard about either the Bill Gates or Afghanistan incidents of image suppression. Especially Afghanistan. I remember much uproar about the Bush Administration censoring photographs of coffins arriving home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t remember anything about this.

Pictures are powerful, a picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes. No wonder the Bush Administration wanted to make sure nobody saw the devastation our bombs wrought on Afghanistan.

Today if you Google this story, you find this, from the New York Times:

The Pentagon contract, concluded on Oct. 7, also means that news media and other organizations outside government will not be able to obtain independently their own high-resolution satellite images of the Afghanistan region.

In addition, the contract effectively allows the Pentagon to keep the images it bought out of the public eye forever. None can be released without Defense Department approval.

The old disputes between the military and news media centered on access for the media pool. The new dispute is about access to images collected in the nonsovereign territory of space.

The Pentagon has also taken a more subtle approach to the fight. Under the law, the Bush administration could have blocked news media’s access to the satellite on national security grounds by invoking a never-used provision, “shutter control.” Such a move would have quite likely set off legal challenges and heated protests. Instead, the Pentagon achieved its desired result through its contract.

For some reason, this story basically disappeared. And that’s exactly how the Bush Administration wanted it. By using economic power instead of legal power, they made sure there was little if any knowledge or protest about their actions.

The power of the pocketbook — be it the U.S. government’s or Bill Gates’ — is not new. That these are the people who can control our history by controlling what information the world sees is scary, indeed.

I recommend that someone in the news media petition the Obama Administration to release these images, much as President Obama allowed the photographing of coffins arriving home from war. We need to see what we have wrought. We bought this war, we need to see the damage we caused.

And let me add a final word of caution: we can petition the government to release these images. We can use FOIA requests, the news media can make an argument about the First Amendment. We have no such recourse with the Bill Gates images. None.

Next invasion, wait for Son of Dick Cheney to get Bill Gates to buy (and bury) satellite images on the government’s behalf.

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Filed under Afghanistan War, media, media manipulation

No Relation

[UPDATE]:

SORRY if you snoozed, you loozed … Netflix has pulled the video. Found a new version
———————————–
Hilarious video on gun control from Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies — whose real last name, according to Wikipedia, is Nugent.

This is so spot-on, I had to share it. Also, I’m going to be out of pocket for a few days.

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Filed under gun control, Guns

Religious Freedom

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is threatening to pull its 2017 convention out of Indianapolis if Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs a bill allowing companies to discriminate against GLBT people under the guise of “religious freedom.” In a letter to the governor the denomination writes:

“Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry,” Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star.

Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is “hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees.”

I’d love to invite them to Nashville. After all, we’re the city whose Metro Council passed an anti-discrimination bill. Unfortunately, IIRC, it was later over-ridden by the bigots in our state legislature, so we don’t exactly have much moral authority on this issue. But can I just tell you how refreshing it is to see a church denomination take a bold stand on issues of equality?

More:

“As a Christian church,” it read, “we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at (the) table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table.”

The letter was signed by denomination’s General Minister and President Sharon E. Watkins, Division of Overseas Ministries Julia Brown Karimu and Disciples Home Missions President Ronald J. Degges.

The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected up to 8,000 people to attend in 2017. The estimated economic impact would be about $5.9 million, according to VisitIndy.

Well, so much for Indianapolis. Two other major conventions have also alerted the governor that they will skip Indianapolis if the bill becomes law, one a music festival and the other the city’s largest annual convention, a group called Gen Con.

Look, there’s just no money in being a bigoted asshole. Just cut it out.

Let me also say, if your religion requires you to be a bigoted asshole, then I have no use for your religion. Can you just imagine? Whatever happened to “Love one another as I have loved you”? Of course, it’s not about the Bible. It’s about belonging to a club that needs to breed hatred and fear of “the other” to justify its lack of cultural impact. You people are supposed to go out and be salt and light in the world, that’s your Great Commission, and yet all you can do is fight for the right of a bakery to not make a gay couple’s wedding cake.

Losers.

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Filed under GLBT, religion, religious right