Tag Archives: Tennessee

Support The Troops

[see update below}

Across Tennessee (and, indeed, around the country) “armed volunteers” have taken it upon themselves to stand guard over military recruiting stations.

People, there are no two words in the English language which strike more fear in my heart than “armed volunteers.” This is a recipe for disaster. But they’re so cute, you guys:

“We’re here to serve and protect,” Clint Janney said Tuesday, wearing a Taurus 9mm handgun as he stood in a parking lot across from a recruiting center on the west side of Columbus. “What the government won’t do, we will do.”

Ahh ….. and, no. “Serve and protect,” now isn’t that the motto of law enforcement? Go to the police academy if you want to “serve and protect,” you narcissistic paranoiac.

I absolutely adore how this story is playing into all of the hero fantasies of the gun humpers, though. Here they come to save the day! The gummint has failed — but they never will!

Roll tape: “In a world, where Islamofacsist terrorists lurk behind every bush and shrub, and the local strip mall has become a battlefield .. one brave patriot stands on guardFOR FREEDOM!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

You have to know that the only reason our gun loons are doing this is because the Chattanooga shooter was Muslim. I don’t recall the case of Christopher Clark Farrar generating anything close to the same attention or media interest. I certainly don’t recall any of our safest, most responsible citizens evah vowing to stand on guard outside black churches after Dylann Roof went apeshit, do you? Oh but nooo that was an isolated incident!

Meanwhile, the gun humpers stand by their MOAR GUNZ! solution to this mass shooting disease America has contracted, which is their only solution every time there’s a gun tragedy. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and yet the only way we can stop mass shootings is with more guns because guns don’t kill people … erm, the circular logic hurts my head.

Going completely ignored by the news media is that fact that not less than 24 hours after the Chattanooga shootings, a Navy recruiter in guns-everywhere Georgia brought his gun to work and promptly shot himself in the leg with it. You’d think as we “debate” the common sense of having armed recruiters in civilian strip malls that might get mentioned, but, nope! And buried at the very end of a long CBS This Morning piece on this story came the information that there was, in fact, an armed person at the Chattanooga military base where all those people were shot. You’d think that would be mentioned a little more prominently in this “debate” but again, no.

Anyway, I eagerly await the moment one of these Barney Fifes passes out in the 90+ degree heat and narrowly misses shooting some mom and her toddler leaving the local Walmart.

[UPDATE] :

Hmm. Evidently MOAR GUNZ is not, in fact, the answer. Imagine that:

A report distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting’s aftermath said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed a Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.

So not one but two of the military personnel at the Chattanooga base where five people were killed were armed. Didn’t help, did it?

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Filed under Guns, Tennessee

Rep. Rick Womick Is Certifiably Crazy

Every state has their lunatic legislator (or three): Texas has Louie Gohmert, Minnesota had Michelle Bachmann. Here in Tennessee we’re blessed with an abundance of wackaloons, and our state legislature could easily be mistaken for the set of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest rather than the deliberative legislative body it’s supposed to be.

Chief among these mental cases is Rep. Rick Womick, who has now made headlines for his calls to impeach the Supreme Court justices and Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam over same-sex marriage:

NASHVILLE — Furious at Republican Gov. Bill Haslam for having “bowed down” to the U.S. Supreme Court on the same-sex marriage ruling, a tea party-style GOP Tennessee lawmaker wants colleagues to give “serious consideration” to removing the governor from office.

In his Facebook posting Monday night, state Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro, brought up impeachment as he shared a link to MSNBC liberal talk show host Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” page, which featured a video of South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright attacking the legalization of same-sex marriage during a debate on the Confederate flag.

In the post Womick said, “And where is Tennessee’s leadership oh that’s right our Governor bowed down to the five self appointed gods in black robes just minutes after they issued their ‘opinion!'”

Womick went on to charge that Haslam “changed Tennessee state law and our State Constitution without ever consulting with the General Assembly. I think it’s time to give serious consideration to impeachment hearings against Gov. Haslam and these five rogue SCOTUS justices!”

Rick Womick is a certifiably crazy person. There isn’t a conspiracy theory he hasn’t embraced, a fringe idea he hasn’t endorsed. Of course he thinks Haslam can (and should) be impeached. He doesn’t know how the world works, so this makes perfect sense to him. The only thing crazier is that he has been elected to the state legislature, I assume by other crazy people.

A brief rundown of Rick Womick’s greatest hits:

• Rick Womick believes that an “electromagnetic pulse bomb” was detonated outside of Shelbyville in 2013.

• Rick Womick believes Agenda 21 is a U.N. conspiracy to take away citizens’ property rights.

• Rick Womick believes that a local ordinance requiring Papa’s Butts and BBQ Hot Sauce Store repave its parking lot is proof of how the U.N. is taking away citizens’ property rights.

• Rick Womick believes Muslims are trying to kill him and should therefore be purged from the U.S. military.

By the way, there is “zero support” for Womick’s impeachment idea. Unfortunately, this idiot remains elected to the state House for reasons I cannot fathom. Surely there’s a less crazy Republican in this part of the state who can do a better job? No? How about a decent Democrat? Anyone?

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Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Tennessee Gun Report

It’s baaaaack! Three accidental shootings in this week’s gun report. Enjoy!

• July 10, 2015:

A Nashville couple kept a loaded gun under their child’s mattress.

• July 8, 2015:

1- Nothing screams “pro-life” like pulling a gun on a women’s clinic client at an abortion protest:

BRISTOL — A report of a gunman during a clash between protesters and visitors at a Bristol abortion clinic Wednesday led to a Chilhowie, Va., man’s arrest.

Police were called to the Bristol Regional Women’s Center on West State Street just before 8 a.m. and learned of an argument between a protester and a patron of the business, Derrick Doss, 32,

Police said Doss went to his vehicle and retrieved a handgun, which he loaded by racking the slide. Police found Doss with a handgun.

After gathering evidence and taking witness statements, police charged him with aggravated assault. He was taken to the Sullivan County Jail.

That’s so pro-life, you guys! Also, love how when you’re exercising your Second Amendment rights, all other parts of the Constitution are pretty much shredded.

2- Tennessee state rep Mike Stewart (Democrat, of course) doesn’t think it’s “perfectly acceptable” to shoot a firearm into the air in celebration. Gun humpers disagree!

“It’s perfectly acceptable conduct,” said John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association.

“We can’t have people shooting a lethal weapon into the air,” said Rep. Stewart. “That’s crazy.”

Tom Michaud, who got hit in the arm by a stray bullet at Nissan Stadium, was shocked to find out that no one would be held responsible or charged with reckless endangerment.

“It doesn’t meet the standard at all because the Supreme Court has said the harm has to be directed towards an identifiable person or group of people,” said Harris.

Reckless endangerment in Tennessee is defined as placing another person in imminent danger. Appellate Court case State vs. Fox says merely discharging a gun is not enough to meet the requirement of reckless endangerment.

“We need to make it obviously clear that firing a weapon in the air in a populated area is illegal,” said Rep. Stewart.

Rep. Stewart says he plans to patch-up this legal loophole with new legislation. The executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association says he would oppose it, “Because people all over the state can do it safely in areas that are not a threat to a third person.”

That makes SO MUCH SENSE, Mr. Harris! Oh wait. It doesn’t. Any claims that the Tennessee Firearms Assn. are reasonable, responsible gun owners have permanently flown out the window. They are the extreme of the extreme — and yet, our idiotic state legislators are afraid of them.

• July 7, 2015:

A Chattanooga man accidentally shot himself while taking his gun apart to clean it, while at work:

Chattanooga police responded to an accidental shooting on Access Road near Highway 153 today just after 12 p.m.

Robert Henry, 38, shot himself in the chest while attempting to take his own gun apart to clean it, according to police. He was trying to field strip his gun while sitting at his desk at Technology Sales, on Access Road, where he works.

Police said he was awake and alert after the shooting and his injury was not life-threatening.

Henry has a valid gun permit.

Remind me, who told us that guns at work were a good idea? Pretty sure it was the Tennessee Firearms Assn.

• July 7, 2015:

Some rare good news in the gun report: a Rockvale woman attempted to buy a gun and was arrested when the background check revealed active warrants against her in two Tennessee counties.

So remind me why we don’t want background checks for all gun purchases?

• July 4, 2015:

As mentioned earlier, two people were hit by stray bullets during Nashville’s July Fourth celebration downtown. We now have an interview with the second victim:

“We were hanging out in the back of the truck, talking to each other,” Michaud said. “I was standing there talking, with my arms crossed, when I heard the noise hit. It sounded like a splat.”

It was the sound of a bullet grazing his left bicep and lodging into his right forearm.

“I felt it and I looked down and I thought it was a singe, maybe from the fireworks or something like that,” Michaud said. “I tried to wipe it off. And on my other arm, I saw a bump. I touched it and I could feel something in my arm.”

In a matter of minutes, Michaud’s friends discovered what had actually happened. They called 911 and helped Michaud to a temporary police post set up in the parking lot of Nissan Stadium.

“I know that it upset a lot of people in my family because of how close this actually was,” Michaud said. “I got really lucky with this. This could have been my life.”

That guy is damn lucky it wasn’t his head.

• July 2, 2015:

Guns and ammo, including an AK-47, stolen from a Memphis home … for the second time!

And here I thought criminals stayed away from homes they knew had guns?

• July 1, 2015:

We still don’t know who shot this bald eagle in Dandridge but there’s a hefty reward.

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Filed under Guns, Tennessee

How Americans Celebrate

[UPDATE]:

Apparently there were not one but two “celebratory gunfire” injuries in downtown Nashville. Slow clap.

—————————————————————

Happy Birthday, Murica! How did you celebrate our national holiday? Did you do it with guns? C’mon, you know you did. You know you did!

Did you remember the law of gravity? That what goes up must come down? You know you didn’t!

What follows is a brief and by no means comprehensive look at American gunfail, Fourth of July style. And I’m going to start right here at home:

• Nashville:

A 9-year-old girl was struck by a bullet in downtown Nashville Saturday night while waiting for the fireworks show to begin.

The girl, who was visiting Nashville with her parents from Mississippi, was waiting with her family at First Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard before the show when she felt a pain in her back, according to a news release from Metro Nashville police. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and treated for a small caliber wound, the release says. The injury is not critical.

ALSO:

A man also sustained a gunshot wound from a stray bullet while in the parking lot of Nissan Stadium during the fireworks.

The male victim was in parking lot C with his wife and two friends when a bullet traveled through is right arm and became lodged in his left wrist.

He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Police told News 2 his injury was determined to be accidental and to have come from someone shooting a gun in the area.

Not exactly a tourism selling point, guys.

• Pittsburgh, PA:

Woman shot at Kennywood amusement park, possibly by celebratory gunfire

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (AP) — Police say a woman was shot while inside an amusement park in suburban Pittsburgh, and they’re investigating whether the bullet came from someone nearby celebrating the Fourth of July.

Allegheny County Police say the 26-year-old woman was in stable condition following the shooting just after 10 p.m. Saturday at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. She was struck in the upper chest near her shoulder.

• College Park, GA:

Fulton County police have identified a person of interest in the death of a 16-year-old girl they believe was killed by celebratory Fourth of July gunfire.

Rasheedah Evans, 16, was inside her home on Harper Valley Drive in College Park on Saturday night when she was struck by a stray bullet and killed. Fulton County police spokesman Lt. Scott McBride said detectives have since identified 23-year-old Marcel Smith as a person of interest.

Inside her home. Even in your own home you aren’t safe. UNbelievable.

• Council Bluffs, IA:

A 7-year-old Council Bluffs boy is recovering after being wounded in the shoulder by a stray bullet fired into the air Saturday night.

Police say the boy was standing in the driveway of his home near North 26th Street and Avenue J around 10:30 p.m., watching the neighborhood fireworks with his grandparents when he began crying, complaining of pain in his right shoulder. His grandmother noticed a small amount of blood and thought he’d been struck by a firework. When she took him inside to clean the wound she discovered the bullet.

Spartanburg County, SC:

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. —The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says a young man is in the ICU after getting accidentally shot in the head by his friend.

According to investigators, the friends were setting off fireworks for the July 4 holiday when someone — apparently angered by what they were doing — drove by and fired shots into the air.

Lt. Kevin Bobo said the two then got into vehicles to retaliate for the gunfire. Upon reaching the intersection of Chelsea Street and Old Farm Road, the friend fired at a vehicle but ended up striking the car where the victim sat.

Wild wild West, y’all. Weren’t we told that would never happen?

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

Tennessee Terrorism Update

Here’s an update on Tennessee’s own home-grown anti-Muslim terrorist, Robert R. Doggart. I wrote about him back in May. He’s a failed Congressional candidate who plotted to “utterly destroy” the upstate New York village of Islamberg.

Doggart confessed after he was wiretapped discussing his plans to burn down a Muslim school, mosque and to shoot anyone who tried to stop him and his “militia.” But if you thought getting caught plotting a terrorist attack on Muslims would actually get you labeled a terrorist, you would be wrong:

Doggart was arrested April 10 and charged with soliciting others to violate civil rights, attempts to damage religious property because of the religious character of the property and making threats through interstate communication. He pleaded guilty to interstate communication of threats and was released on bond to home confinement. He may not face any jail time.

“If a Muslim had planned to carry out such a religiously-motivated deadly attack, he would certainly have been labeled a terrorist and charged accordingly,” said National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We ask the Obama administration to rescind the plea agreement, which – as it stands – could see this individual free in the community.”

What is it about white, male right-wing hate that is never recognized as terrorism? If this was Muslims planning an attack on a church or Christian school, every cable and network news program would be covering it non-stop. I’ve seen little if any news coverage of Doggart in Tennessee newspapers, even though the guy ran for Congress.

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Filed under conservatives, right-wing hate, Tennessee

Sign of the Times

Sign in front of what I affectionately call the Wingnut Bible Church located near my house:

WingnutBibleChurch

The Wingnut Bible Church appears in this space about once a year. Last year they were (illegally) advertising a fringe U.S. State Senate candidate. Every Memorial Day and July Fourth they put dozens of American flags out on their lawn, too. Because Jesus was totally all about America, you guys.

Wonder if they’ll go all in with the American flag display this Independence Day or if they’re so disgusted with SCOTUS that they’ll take a pass.

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Filed under gay equality, GLBT, Nashville, Tennessee

TN Legislature Grandstanding Over Nonexistent Threat

Apparently Tennessee legislators are unfamiliar with the First Amendment of our Constitution because they have been crafting a “Pastor Protection Act” to make sure no pastors are forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies:

A new bill in Tennessee seeks to “protect” churches and clergy from performing same-sex marriages. But is it necessary?

The move comes after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage on Friday. State Reps. Bryan Terry and Andy Holt anticipated the Supreme Court ruling and have been working on the bill for several months, reports Nashville’s CBS affiliate.

Both representatives reject the validity of yesterday’s decision. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” Representative Holt said in a press release.

The proposed law would reiterate protections already in place. As Representative Terry noted, “The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.” He also cited Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution and said “personal freedom of religion is protected and no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience.”

Oh. So they know this law is unncessary but they want to “reiterate” protections already in place because Tennessee politicians can never pass up an opportunity to grandstand on the culture wars. Which they are always losing, I might add.

Hey, if you guys want to write in stone how you’re yet again on the wrong side of history, be my guest.

What this really comes down to, of course, is religious conservatives wanting to be protected from criticism for being on the wrong side of history. Sure as day follows night, there will be a case where a same-sex couple wants to use a pavilion or building owned by a religious non-profit and they will be denied — legally. And it will hit social media, and they will be mocked for their recidivist stance, and there will be pearls to be clutched and couches on which to faint, and once again conservatives will confuse free speech with the free hand.

This will happen because this always happens. Hell, churches around the South still have a problem with interracial couples.

So why don’t we dispense with the bullshit and remind everyone that nobody is forcing anyone to perform a ceremony they don’t want to perform — hell, religious groups have been refusing to officiate ceremonies between divorced couples, interfaith couples, etc. since forever. None of that is changing. Lots of churches already refuse to rent out their buildings for weddings to couples who are not church members. Why? Because weddings are a huge pain in the ass for church staff.

So nothing is going to change. And every time you idiots grandstand about how God doesn’t wants gays to get married and God Hates Fags and all that crap we’re going to mock you and tell you you’re wrong and call you names. And that noise is just going to get louder and louder.

[ALSO, let me repeat: Tennessee Republicans are really off the mark when they grandstand on the homophobic crap but can’t be bothered to grandstand with a vote of disapproval when the goddamn Ku Klux Klan holds their annual meeting at one our state parks.]

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Filed under culture wars, gay equality, GLBT, religious right, Tennessee, Tennessee politics