Tag Archives: Tennessee

Holy Loophole

IMG_1649I just love this story: A swinger’s club which had operated without incident for years near Nashville’s oh-so-hot Gulch neighborhood was recently forced to move because of a new mega-development going in. So they were going to relocate to a building in Madison, north of town. And the good Christian folks up there got wind of it and decided they didn’t want no swingin’ sullying their neighborhood and would someone please think of the children and so the Tennessee State Legislature and the Nashville Metro Council passed laws that prevented “social clubs” from being in certain neighborhoods (small government alert!), and so now the swinger’s club is reopening as a church. Whose members all pay dues to the swinger’s club:

On paper, at least, plans have changed dramatically for a Madison property where a swingers club tried to open before city and state policymakers moved swiftly to block it.

The owners now plan to open a church — a church that honors the paid memberships from the swingers club.

The United Fellowship Center at 520 Lentz Drive will honor memberships to The Social Club, according to a member newsletter, but baseball caps, bandanas, skull caps and sagging pants won’t be tolerated.

The center was “founded on the basic belief that we are all children of the same universe,” the newsletter says. “Every individual is free to practice their religion in the manner of their choosing, as mandated by the First Amendment, so long as that expression does not impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others and is in accordance with the government’s laws.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ….

By the way, I spotted the decal above on a mailbox outside a bbq place here in town during the height of the swinger’s club controversy. I thought it was pretty funny. I just love how we’re all in favor of small government here until sex gets involved and then it’s like OMG WE GOTTA PASS A LAW. I mean honestly, I do not care what people do in their bedrooms, who (or how many) they share a bed with, who marries whom, etc. It simply is not my business. As long as it’s all consenting adults, I really would prefer to not even know about everybody else’s sex life.

I used to live in a small town in Kentucky and let me say, you would be shocked at how many of these fine Christian folks who were so downright upright were also taking trips into Nashville on the weekends to indulge in carnal entertainment. I’d place bets that some of those passing laws targeting this “social club” have indulged in a little swing time themselves.

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Filed under culture wars, Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

I’ve been unable to keep on top of this because of work but as last week’s 2nd Amendment Heroes show, I really need to get back on it. Seriously, it was a bad week for gun loons here in Tennessee. This week wasn’t much better. But I’m sure more guns is the answer!

• April 12, 2015:

A Knoxville woman says she and her husband were arguing over a text he was sending so she got the .38 they kept in their nightstand and shot him. He died. She’s now in jail.

Love how these guns kept for home protection always end up being used for something else, don’t you?

• April 11, 2015:

A 7-year-old Memphis girl was playing in her front yard when she was shot. She died.

• April 10, 2015:

1- In Nashville, a man was lying in his bed when he was shot in the foot. The bullet came from outside his home by a high-powered rifle.

2- In Memphis, a 15-year-old girl was lying in bed when she was hit by a bullet fired from outside her home. She died.

3- A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer accidentally fired his gun into a classroom floor while teaching a hunter safety course in Morgan County. The class was attended by adults and childeren.

4- Two people have stolen 16 guns from unlocked cars in Cleveland, Tennessee. Says the Cleveland PD spokesidiot:

“Some of the cars are unlocked, getting in there, rummaging around, finding the firearm, selling these firearms to people on the street, then they are being taken away from the citizens who made good choices to the citizens that make bad choices.

Sorry but “choosing” to leave a gun in an unlocked vehicle is the epitome of a horrendously bad choice. Stop giving a pass for gun negligence.

Also:

West added the burglaries first started in February and cars with stickers celebrating gun ownership are being targeted.

Heh. And here we thought gun-free zones were crime magnets, but stickers labeling someone a gun owner magically kept criminals away? Not so much.

5- Idiots, Millersville PD division: a 26-year-old man has confessed to stealing an AR-15 from a Millersville police officer’s take-home vehicle. How could this possibly have happened, you may wonder?

According to officials, this was a crime of opportunity because the patrol car was unlocked. Boone reportedly admitted to being inebriated and wanting to “mess with the police.”

After taking the gun, he threw it in the Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin. The Sumner County EMA later helped Hendersonville police recover the weapon from the bottom of the lake in a shallow fishing area.

The guy who stole a police officer’s gun and threw it into the lake was charged with theft and burglary of a vehicle. He’s currently being held on $5,000 bond. The dumbass police officer who left an AR-15 in his unlocked vehicle like it’s a goddamn umbrella is … what? Was he cited, sanctioned, placed on desk duty, stripped of his weapon, anything? Anything at all? We don’t know because the news story doesn’t say. But I think the kid who stole a gun just to prove a point and threw it in a lake should be given a goddamn medal. He could have sold it to some drug dealer.

• April 9, 2015:

Armed society, police society at a Crossville tattoo parlor:

Witnesses told investigators that a man entered the tattoo studio “very drunk” and raised a shotgun, pointing it at Myers and saying, “We have to talk.” A juvenile woman who works at the studio screamed and hollered, “What’s your problem?” The assailant then allegedly pointed the shotgun at the woman and two others who were present.

The man, witnesses said, then turned to leave, threatening to “kill you all dogs,” and pointed the shotgun at a dog. The man fired three shots into the air while standing near the female victim.

Witnesses said he then walked to a gate, turned and shouted another threat and fired the gun five additional times.

• April 8, 2015:

• A Knxoville man shot his neighbors’ pet dogs when they got into his yard.

• A drunk Athens man started waving his gun around in an argument that appears to have started over a cupcake and ended with him aiming a shotgun at a police officer. So much fail.

• April 5, 2015:

Someone shot and killed this Antioch woman’s 7-month-old puppy while it was in her backyard.

• April 4, 2015:

Today in armed/polite society: a North Nashville man was shot and killed over a parking space.

And finally, some chalk art at Riverfront Park where our GunSense rally was held:

IMG_1787

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

No, Thanks

There’s this fantasy among a lot of the CCW-adoring crowd that somehow, a “good guy with a gun” is going to save the rest of us in the event of a crime. They’re all just heroes in waiting, ready to come in and rescue us like the Sir Gallahads they fantasize themselves to be. I get why CCW holders believe this but it’s super scary that this is being codified into law by our legislature. Yet here’s House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada explaining the purpose of the guns-in-parks bill:

Guns in parks today exist by law-breakers. What we’re saying is we want those law-abiding citizens that have demonstrated the ability to operate a weapon to be there and to avert a crime, which has happened many times across this country and this state. So, I think we’re being naive-like if we say there is no guns in park, and this is a guns in parks. This is not. This is letting permit holders there to defend unarmed citizens.

I just think that’s so cute, and so wrong. Guns in parks exist by law-breakers? That’s news to the Radnor Lake Rambo. “Demonstrated the ability to operate a weapon”? But you don’t need to have ever fired a gun to get one of those Utah CCW permits, like the one this “responsible” citizen defender fired at a police officer in his inebriated state.  But more to the point: “we want” CCW holders “to be there to avert a crime”? Who’s this we, anyway? I sure don’t! And what gives an idiot from Williamson County the right to tell Shelby County or Davidson County or any other county in the state what they want? We didn’t elect him. I don’t want these Mighty Mouse wannabes intervening in my business to save the day. You can’t tell me the paltry “education” you get in your CCW class is anything close to what people learn in the police academy. And even police officers are constantly in the news for their mistakes, shooting people in error, shooting unarmed black peopleshooting innocent bystanders caught in the crossfireshooting each other, or shooting themselves. It’s not like the professionals are any better at this firearm handling stuff than our wannabe heroes, which the legislature has just burdened with the task of protecting us all. So now we’re supposed to be grateful for klutzes like this week’s 2nd Amendment Hero, who not only accidentally fired a gun in church — where guns are not allowed — but also was just last week expelled from his college for carrying on campus, where guns are not allowed. Most responsible ever, my ass. These are the folks the Tennessee Republicans want defending the public? No, thanks! A thousand times, no thanks. But it’s not about safety. It’s not about the Constitution, or self-defense or home security, or anything like that. Jim Jeffries nailed it when he said those are bullshit arguments. It’s about liking guns, period. Own up to it, already. You like your toys and like any toddler, you don’t want to be without them. So, no. I’m good. I don’t need or want you to rescue me. If I’m in trouble, do me the courtesy of calling 911 and then let that be that. Oh, and here’s some fact-checking of Glen “guns are as safe as bicycles” Casada. Here’s a little data from the CDC for you. Are there a lot of bicycle injuries? There sure are. But I’ll bet they are far less serious than firearm injuries. And there’s no comparison when it comes to fatalities. (NOTE: gun data does not include fatalities and injuries from pellet guns and BB guns, which the CDC calculates separately).

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Safety For Me But Not For Thee, v.2

Guns-in-Capitol amendment has been rejected.

Well, well. I’m so confused. I thought “gun-free zones” were totally unsafe, you guys! Don’t our law-abiding legislators want to be able to protect themselves from the boogey men lurking in every hallway? Why would they put themselves at risk this way?

Quelle horreur.

Do you think even they don’t buy the bullshit NRA talking points they spout? No, it can’t be!

Meanwhile, as I predicted, the “fiscal note” and confusion that the legislature recognizes is a real thing for itself, but denies is a real thing for everyone else, has already caused headaches for at least one local school board. The Williamson County Board of Education held a special meeting last night to address new signage for its parks, which would cost $7,500:

Looney says permit-holding gun carriers won’t have any way of knowing whether they’re breaking the law at a public park, because it’s hard to tell whether a school-sponsored event is taking place.

If approved, WCS would spend $7,500 to place temporary signs at various facilities during school events that remind people guns are not allowed.

But the board failed to provide enough votes to approve the resolution, with five “yes” votes and three abstentions. Seven “yes” votes are needed to approve resolutions.

The BofE blames a “a communication error” on the failed resolution. Now there will be yet another meeting.

But I’m still confused by all of this. Because according to Legal Scholar/GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, apparently you can’t carry in any park that has ever held a school event — even if the event is not going on at the time. That’s pretty much every park, everywhere, and while Casada chided the rest of us for being confused by this bill — “good gracious, if Glen Casada can understand this, surely the good public can,” he said — the fact remains, the bill is very unclear.

Casada interprets the law as saying “if a school function has occurred at a park, not when,” but he qualified that by noting he’s neither a lawyer nor a judge. But you know who is a lawyer? Robert Cooper, our former state AG, who told Casada in 2009 that the “if not when” interpretation is wrong. So why would Casada tell everyone last week that his interpretation is correct — even being kind of a dick about it, telling us we’re being purposely obtuse — when a real, live lawyer told him he was wrong five years ago?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Of course, all of this could have been cleared up by the legislature with a handy-dandy amendment to the bill basically saying “if not when” a park has ever been used by a school, firearms are prohibited. I mean, if that was their intention — and Casada seems to be very clear that it was — you guys really could have done that. Instead of berating us for being confused by your own sloppy legislation. But you didn’t.

I wonder why.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

Is Glen Casada Lying Or Just Stupid?

Well, can you carry a gun into a park used by a school or not? And how do you define “use”? And what kind of park? Here to muddy the waters is our favorite Republican gun nut, Glen Casada!

In that now-infamous Republican press conference which has yielded much hilarity (thinking the House Republicans won’t be doing many more of these, what about you?), Casada didn’t understand why everyone is so confused about the school exception rule in the new law. Except it seems Casada’s understanding of the exception is wrong. Either that, or he’s lying:

Here’s how Casada understands the bill. People with permits can take their guns to a park, unless that park is used by a school. Describing a section of existing state law that deals with guns and schools, he specifically referenced Grassland Park, a park in Williamson County near two schools.

“But the law’s real clear: It doesn’t say ‘when,’ it says ‘if’ which in a court of law is very clear. So in this case, because Grassland has school functions there, there could not be a permit holder taking a gun on Grassland Park.”

“At any time?” a reporter asked.

“At any time,” Casada responded.

[…]

But Casada’s understanding of the law is wrong, at least according to former Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr.

Cooper issued two official opinions — one expressly in response to a question from Casada in 2009 — where he said the law only prevents permit holders from carrying their guns in areas of a park where a school event is currently underway.

“Reading (the law) indicates that the legislature intended to allow handgun carry permit holders to carry their firearms into public parks except onto athletic fields and into other recreation areas at times when they are actually being used by schools,” Cooper wrote in 2009 and 2014.

So Glen “gun accidents are acts of God/guns are just like bicycles” Casada asked the former AG and was specifically told that the school exception applied only when a school was actively using a park. And now he trots his little self in front of the media at a press conference and says something completely the opposite.

Lying, stupid or both?

Under Casada’s new definition of the school exception, if a school uses a park even once a year, that means no guns are allowed, ever:

Casada: But the law is real clear, it doesn’t say when, it says if. And current law is very clear. And so, in this case, because Grassland has school functions there, there cannot be a permit holder taking a gun on Grassland Park. Period, at any time.

Reporter: So, you’re saying that, for example, so if a Nashville school had an event one time a year at a park, that there would never be allowed to have any permitted guns at that park?

Casada: I’m not a judge, nor do I pretend to be a lawyer. But if you look at the law, it says ‘if.’ If it said any other word, your point is valid, but it says ‘if a school,’ blah, blah, blah, blah. No.

Reporter: If the whole motivation of the law was to avoid confusion for permit holders who said they don’t know which parks they’re allowed to go in or not, how would that make it more clear for permit holders if they don’t know that once a year there’s the sack race by the elementary school?

Casada: I would only submit that those who want it to be confusion say it’s confusing. I think the average public, good gracious, if Glen Casada can understand this, surely the good public can.

Shorter Glen Casada: “BECAUSE SHUT UP, THAT’S WHY!”

Seriously. This strikes me as completely stupid. I mean, think about it. With all the school groups coming out to Legislative Plaza, that right there bans guns from the State Capitol under Casada’s new understanding of the law. I know high school cross country teams use the Warner Parks for track meets and other events — heck, there’s an environmental ed center at Edwin Warner and I always see school buses there. There’s also a private school right next to Edwin Warner, and I believe they use the park, too. So no guns allowed there. Ever. And gun permit holders like our friend from Wisconsin are expected to just know that. Because shut up, that’s why.

Trying to think of any park in the state that has never at any time not been used by a school group. So Glen Casada has basically told us that this guns in parks bill is completely meaningless because as a practical matter, you can’t take a gun into a park. Ever. School groups, etc.

Suck on that, Radnor Lake Rambo. I see school buses at Radnor all the dang time. Bwaaaahaa.

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Filed under gun control, Guns

Congratulations, Matthew Johnson! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour!

Wisconsin tourist with one of those useless Utah handgun carry permits got drunk in Nashville’s busy downtown tourist area, fired at a police officer, hit a tree and electrical box, ta da. And the whole time he thought he was in Kentucky. Slow clap for our safest, most responsible evah:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man was arrested early Friday morning after he allegedly fired a gun at an officer in the heart of downtown Nashville.

It happened near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway around 1 a.m.

Metro police responded to Legends Corner bar after a report came in of an intoxicated person with a weapon.

An officer in his patrol car soon spotted Matthew Johnson, 33, of River Falls, Wisconsin, with a gun, which he pointed at the officer, near the L & C Tower on Church Street.

According to an affidavit, the officer sped away because it looked like Johnson was going to shoot at him, which he did.

The gunshots struck an electrical box and a tree. The officer did not return fire.
Police were able to take Johnson into custody after a brief foot chase.

Police attempted to interview him, but he reportedly was too intoxicated to be questioned and told police he believed he was in Kentucky for a race.

Johnson was booked into the Metro jail and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon while intoxicated.

His bond was set at $125,000.

Late Friday, police said the State of Utah is taking action to suspend Johnson’s handgun carry permit.

Nobody could have anticipated this, truly! So glad drunks are walking stumbling around our tourist areas with loaded handguns.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Nashville, Tennessee

More Hilarity From The Idiot We Know As Glen Casada

I’m sorry, but the House Republican press conference on gun legislation was just so full of stupidity, there simply isn’t enough bandwidth to share it all. Do read the whole thing. I especially liked this part:

Reporter: If someone is hit accidently with a bullet, you guys are fine defending this bill?

Casada: If someone gets run over by an automobile accidently, there’s nothing I can do about that. These are things beyond, they’re called acts of God, they’re beyond our control.

Gun accidents are completely beyond our control, just like car accidents? Really? Actually, no! Not even close, Sherlock! There are a million things we do to mitigate the number and severity of car accidents: crosswalks, traffic lights, brake lights, seat belts, airbags, headlights on cars, local statutes related to obscuring pedestrian right-of-ways, not to mention such obvious things as driver’s licenses, driver’s ed, mandatory car insurance, DUI laws, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

Glen Casada is a fucking moron, but by all means, if you want to bring Tennessee’s gun regulations to where they are on a par with the various and sundry regulations concerning automobiles and pedestrian traffic, sign me up! I’d love to see that day.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee