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.
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.
• 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.