Tag Archives: 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

Safety For Me But Not For Thee

[UPDATE]:

Guns in capitol rejected.

Tennessee’s legislature has been focused on guns-in-parks legislation this week, which strips local governments of the right to ban handguns in parks. Yesterday the Senate voted to allow handguns in the State Capitol and Legislative Plaza, which happens to be a state park. House Republicans think it’s a poison pill designed to spark Gov. Haslam’s veto. House Speaker Beth Harwell, who unfortunately is now my rep (I went to sleep one night in a Democratic district, woke up the next morning with Republican cooties. Thank you, Gerry Mander), is having big sads:

Speaker Harwell: It was poorly drafted and it jeopardizes the entire bill.

Reporter: How so?

Harwell: It will put a fiscal note on it. We’ll go back into Finance (Ways and Means Committee). I just feel it jeopardizes the entire bill.

Reporter: Do you think it makes it more likely the governor will veto it, the entire bill?

Harwell: I can’t speak for the governor, you’d have to ask him that. But I would suspect that it would.

Reporter: What do you personally think of the idea though, of being able to carry guns in the Legislative Plaza and the Capitol?

Harwell: I think that should be a separate issue that we address in another bill.

Reporter: Why would it have had a fiscal note?

Harwell: All of the security that we have everywhere, it’s not just the Capitol. If you read the bill, it’s all the surrounding, all the buildings surrounding the Capitol are included. Obviously, it was not offered in a constructive fashion.

Reporter: So, the Supreme Court? Library and Archives?

Harwell: If you read the amendment, all of that is included.

Reporter: So the buildings across the street?

Harwell: Yes.

Reporter: Doesn’t the security machines, wouldn’t they detect that anyway?

Harwell: We’d have to have extra people down there probably to check and see if someone has a card on them, we’d have to verify the card is on the person. There’s a lot of issues we would need to look at if we chose to go that route. Anything else?

Seems to me that those are the very same issues that the rest of us now have to deal with, thanks to the passage of guns-in-parking lots, etc. State park rangers will have to check everyone’s carry permit, for instance. Security guards at shopping malls and businesses, at banks, etc. will have to do that. There’s a lot of security at many businesses, and now those people will have to be checking for carry permits. Thanks for recognizing that there are costs and hassles associated with this. But why should we citizens have to shoulder these burdens and you don’t? What makes you so special?

Tennessee Democrats should be supporting this legislation, whether it was written to kill the bill or not. If the rest of us plebes have to be faced with armed citizens in all aspects of our daily lives, then so should our legislators. But House Democratic Caucus leader Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville had this to say:

“I’m opposed to having guns in the Legislature where tempers can get hot,” Stewart said. “I think it’s absolutely not an insignificant risk that in the heated exchanges that go on between people that come up to advocate for opposite sides of bills that … somebody could pull out a weapon.”

What? Like tempers don’t get hot everywhere, all the damn time? Have you been stuck in traffic on Hillsboro Road lately, buddy? There’s steam coming out of peoples’ ears. Tempers get hot at sporting events, Little League games, bars and restaurants, at the Kroger, you name it. Peoples’ tempers get hot because that’s what it means to be human, and it’s not like political discussions are limited to the state capitol. When you add a gun into that mix, you’ve got a deadly combination. As Rep. Stewart seems to understand. Give him a gold star.

I just don’t understand why our legislators feel like they deserve to be protected from hot-tempered, armed citizens but the rest of us do not. I just don’t understand why Beth Harwell thinks the state legislature should be immune from dealing with the costs associated with allowing concealed carry everywhere but our cities and municipalities and businesses do not.

Maybe we all need to bring sleeping bags to the state Capitol, since that’s the only place people will be safe from the gun loons.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee politics

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

When Is A Meeting Not A Meeting?

Well now, isn’t this special? It appears that Tennessee House committees are routinely meeting in secret to discuss pending legislation, but it’s not a violation of the state’s Sunshine Law because, the Tennessee General Assembly says,

… it does not come under the state’s Open Meetings Act or Sunshine Law because one legislature cannot bind a future legislature …

… and also, as House Speaker Beth Harwell explains,

… “they’re not having meetings as you think of meetings.”

Ooooookaaaay. Let’s see, the dictionary defines “meeting” as:

: a gathering of people for a particular purpose (such as to talk about business)

: a gathering of people for religious worship

: a situation or occasion when two people see and talk to each other

Follow the dang link and find out what happened in “meetings” in Speaker Harwell’s conference room. Or, hell, I know y’all are too lazy. Here ya go:

Later, at Harwell’s prompting, Lundberg opened the meeting where a thorough, often-free wheeling discussion of various bills expected to come up in committee or subcommittee was underway.

One bill under discussion involved taking some discretion away from judges on a particular issue.

“By what authority do we tell that branch of government what they can and cannot do?” asked Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, an attorney and former Hamilton County General Sessions Court judge.

No actual votes were taken. But each bill was thoroughly reviewed in a way not always done in subcommittees, which are now tasked with vetting, and committees.

Sounds like it’s a meeting to me! And you know, I don’t see what difference it makes whether actual votes are being taken. It’s the debate that’s important. The media and general public should be notified and allowed to listen in on this debate. I mean I’d looooove to have heard the “pre-meeting” discussion on these gun bills the legislature is voting on this week. And I shouldn’t have needed to be a fly on the wall, either.

Also, I love how the news media was originally refused entry to the House Civil Justice Committee’s “pre-meeting” by Republican Rep. John Lundberg of Bristol because,

…. Lundberg said he “never had anyone come” before …

Yeah, y’know, if you don’t tell anyone there is a meeting, not to mention the where’s or when’s, that’s gonna happen.

FAIL.

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Filed under Tennessee

Priorities, Tennessee-Style

Here’s a good reality check from Democratic State Senator Jeff Yarbro, whose district is in Nashville. He makes the point that I’ve been making for years: Tennessee is so gun-friendly, arms manufacturers like Beretta are actually moving their operations here! So what the heck is everyone whining about with this rash of unnecessary gun bills currently before our legislature? Why are we taking up valuable time, energy and oxygen on stuff that really isn’t that important? The gun people already think we’re wonderful, we’re so awesome we’ve got the dang NRA coming here by the tens of thousands in three weeks. Guys, they got the message. We love guns. ’nuff said.

Meanwhile, we’re at the bottom of nearly every national list you want to be at the top of: education, healthcare, etc. This makes no sense but it’s awfully reminiscent of when the Republicans took over our legislature and immediately began focusing like a laser on lady parts and rooting out Sharia Law in public bathrooms. Tennessee Republicans clearly want to work on the easy stuff while letting the real challenges people here face go unaddressed.

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Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

Been a while since I’ve done one of these — I just don’t have time to troll the local papers like I used to. That said, now is possibly the worst time for me to be slacking on the gun report: Nashville is preparing to hit Peak Wingnut as the NRA has its annual convention here in April, and Republican presidential hopefuls will arrive to fellate pay their respects to the gun loon crowd. It’s gonna be a fun week. Not. Of course, to make the gun loons feel fully welcome, there is a major push on to loosen all gun laws in advance of their arrival. The governor is not amused.

Meanwhile, the number of handgun permits in the state of Tennessee has exploded. Nationally, gun ownership continues to decline, despite an increase in gun sales: this tells us that the hard-core true believers are stockpiling weapons while the rest of us are getting on with our lives. I’d be worried about this militarization of the crayzee contingent save for their propensity to fulfill Darwin’s Law. And without further ado:

• March 12, 2015:

1- That push to loosen gun laws in Tennessee I mentioned above? Here’s an update: an attempt to end the carry permit requirement in Tennessee failed to pass out of committee. Bullet, um, dodged.

2- A responsible gun owner responsibly forgot all about their loaded gun inside their carry-on bag at the Nashville International Airport. It’s the 13th gun found at BNA by TSA agents so far this year.

• March 11, 2015:

1- Memphis police were called to a domestic dispute involving a father and his mentally-ill son, which ended predictably: the police shot and killed the mentally ill, gun-brandishing son.

The man who called police said he was involved in an argument with his intoxicated son who has a history of mental illness.

When they arrived, 31-year-old James Greenwell was sitting on the front porch with a gun. Police say he had already fired a shot at the house before they got to the scene.

As officers tried to get Greenwell surrender, he began firing shots. Three officers returned fire, striking Greenwell. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Nobody else was injured.

You know, people: if there is anyone in your family with mental illness, get rid of the fucking guns. Just, don’t even do it. Jesus Christ, how fucking hard is that to understand?

2- Here’s an update of an item that appeared in the gun report last October: a Murfreesboro man has plead guilty in the accidental shooting death of his cousin. The incident happened in Pennsylvania:

Authorities said the two had come to Wyomissing to repair hailstorm-damaged vehicles. They said the victim had gone into a bedroom and begun jumping on a mattress to wake the defendant, who then brought out the gun to scare him.

You can guess what happened next.

• March 10, 2015:

A Kingsport grandfather pointed a shotgun at his 9-day-old grandchild while confronting his “bully” stepson. Why do I get the feeling a trailer park was involved?

• March 7, 2015:

An 11-year-old Nashville boy was charged with murder in the accidental shooting death of his 15-year-old friend:

An 11-year-old has been charged with his death. Detectives said the 11-year-old told them he was playing with a gun he had found when it went off and hit Ziegler.

Saturday, those in the neighborhood said this tragedy was a wakeup call for the community.

The incident happened on a day when Nashville’s gun-free schools were closed because of the snow. Remind me again how unsafe these gun-free zones are. I’m all ears.

And let me just say: we’re charging the 11-year-old? The 11-year-old? Not the adult who owned the gun? Is this coming from our new District Attorney, the guy who campaigned on the slogan that he “knows the difference between a bad person and a good kid in trouble”?

• March 3, 2015:

A 3-year-old in Coffee County shot his 18-month-old brother in the head. UPDATE: a grand jury will take up the case in April to determine if charges should be filed.

• March 1, 2015:

The Maryville restaurant and bar which made international news for encouraging handgun owners with a “Firearms Welcome” sign went out of business. Apparently competition from a nearby Bojangle’s was the last straw. Also, taxes, gummint and probably Obummer.

• February 19, 2015:

In Nashville, an argument escalated and because everyone is always armed, the predictable happened:

The incident was reported Wednesday afternoon in front of Fire House Subs on Charlotte Pike.

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said an unidentified man was sitting alone in the outside eating area when 28-year-old Labrian Lyons drove up to meet him about a loan. The two men ended arguing inside the car and at one point, fell out of the passenger door.

Just after 2:30 p.m., shots were fired and Lyons was apparently struck in the leg and arm. The unidentified man drove off in the car.

I shop at this shopping center all the time; it’s where the CostCo is located. I keep saying this but the country’s gun craziness will only stop when people start staying home from shopping malls because they don’t want to be around the armed and irresponsible.

• February 11, 2015:

A Springfield man accidentally shot himself in the stomach, then blamed it on a fictitious assailant.

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Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Black Ice

Chaka and Willie enjoy some playtime.

Chaka and Willie enjoy some playtime.

This morning a local news reporter brought us the sad news of a traffic fatality in which “an SUV hit some black guys.”

Swear to God. Kicking myself for not recording it. This old bit from Key & Peele will have to suffice. Nashville is encased in ice right now. I’m staying home, and if I venture out anywhere it will be on foot.

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Filed under Nashville, Tennessee, weather