Thursday, August 27, 2015

Corker Supports Haslam Gas Tax Increase...more

Crockett Buzz for 8-27-15

The American religion of guns & money has blinded us to an epidemic of death

Why Is Gun Control So Hard

Corker Urges Long-Term Road Funding Solutions in Tennessee

Columnist sees TBI being used for political purposes

Columnist Frank Cagle thinks the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is being dragged into local politics, citing recent cases in Jefferson and Anderson counties, and that this is not a good thing. An excerpt:
The thing that is worrisome about this whole mess (in Jefferson County) is local officials using the TBI to punish political enemies.
Isolated case? Maybe not.
The political atmosphere over in Anderson County is toxic. While Mayor Terry Frank was running for re-election last year, a TBI agent was going around the courthouse interviewing people about possible wrong-doing in awarding a contract. The rumor was that Frank was going to be indicted just any time. She managed to win anyway, but the TBI “investigation” surely didn’t help anything.
Knox County Chancellor Mike Moyers reviewed the contract and ruled that no one did anything improper.
This was a plainly a dispute between political enemies about the validity of a contract. A difference of opinion on state purchasing law. It was properly adjudicated in a Chancery Court. How did this involve a crime to be investigated by the TBI? The important issue here is that some local officials manipulated the TBI into engaging in an “investigation” into a flimsy allegation in order to inflict political damage on Frank. LINK

Walmart halts sale of assault rifles

Walmart, the nation's largest selling of guns and ammo, announced that they would stop the sale of assault rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and other firearms commonly used in mass shootings when their stores restock with fall merchandise. The decision to halt the sale of the weapons was not made in response to Wednesday's deadly shooting during a live news report in Virginia or public outcry from gun violence groups. Instead, the company will pull the firearms off the shelves for business reasons. "We previously carried modern sporting rifles in less than a third of our stores," Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg told Forbes. "Our merchandising decisions are driven largely by customer demand. In our everyday course of doing business, we are continually reviewing and adjusting our product assortment to meet our customers' needs."
According to Quartz, Lundberg downplayed the stoppage of assault rifle sales, noting, "This happens to get more attention because of what the product is. The decision was completely based on what customers are buying and what they want." Walmart had already been in the process of phasing out high-powered firearms like AR-15 and modern sporting rifles, and they'll discontinue stocking modular sniper rifles (MSRs) in the coming weeks. The retail chain had long stopped selling handguns and high-capacity magazines. LINK

Why Is Gun Control So Hard

Another day, 
another horrific shooting in America.

Actually, not just one. Thisalso happened today in Kentucky. And this in West Virginia. Not to mention thisand this.
But no, these and all the other gun stories today will get overshadowed by the events in Virginia, which unfolded on live TV while viewers were taking their first sips of coffee.
Why is gun control so hard? Why, after every shooting, does nothing ever change? Despite the fact that large majorities of gun owners — not just people but the gun owners themselves — support basic gun control measures like waiting periods and universal background checks, it doesn’t happen.
Why? Why is it always “too soon” to call for gun control after a tragedy, but nobody waited a beat to call for arming military recruiters after the Chattanooga shooting? Or arming teachers after Sandy Hook? In fact, action has been swiftly taken in several states to arm National Guard recruiters, even though everyone fails to mention that at least one of the “good guys” at the Chattanooga military base actually was armed. Apparently it didn’t do a damn bit of good, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good talking point, shall we? We even have a Knoxville Republican wanting to give Guardsmen immunity if they use their guns and injure someone. LINK

The American religion of guns & money has blinded us to an epidemic of death

Another day, another horrific shooting. An angry man with a grudge against his former workplace killed his former co-workers as they did their jobs. It’s so sickeningly common there’s even a name for this very specific form of mass killing: “going postal” after a series of workplace gun massacres by postal workers going back to the 1980s. Yesterday’s  had the unique and extra-disturbing characteristic of first taking place during a live TV spot and then further unfolding on twitter and Facebook where the shooter posted video of the murders from his own point of view. He was a failed celebrity who used all the modern forms of media to document his depraved acts.
But the unusual public nature of this particular crime does not mean that similar gun murders aren’t an everyday occurrence. The Washington Post published a shocking statistic yesterday: In the 238 days of 2015 America has had 247 mass shootings. This is happening more than once a day. We are so inured to it that we don’t hear of them most of the time unless there is something conspicuously different about it. (This is very likely attributable to the depressing fact that the vast majority of mass killings are perpetrated by men murdering innocent women and children in their personal lives.) LINK
A Tennessee judge on Wednesday upheld the state's lethal injection process for executing inmates.

Tennessee Judge Upholds State's Lethal Injection Process

Davidson County Chancery Judge Claudia Bonnyman said from the bench that the plaintiffs, 33 death row inmates, didn't prove that the one-drug method led to a painful and lingering death. She also said the plaintiffs didn't show during a lengthy trial that there have been problems in states where the method has been used.
"Plaintiffs were not able to carry their burdens ... on any of their claims," Bonnyman said.
Plaintiffs' attorney Kelley Henry said they plan to appeal.
Tennessee's protocol calls for the use of pentobarbital mixed to order by a pharmacist, because the only commercial producer of the drug has placed restrictions on its distribution to prevent it from being used in executions. LINK

Corker Urges Long-Term Road Funding Solutions in Tennessee

Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he hopes his home state of Tennessee won't emulate the Washington approach to spending on transportation projects without finding ways to pay for them.
Corker on Wednesday praised Gov. Bill Haslam, a close friend and fellow Republican, for trying to find long-term solutions to Tennessee's transportation needs.
Haslam is on a statewide tour to draw attention to transportation funding needs. And while Haslam has yet to make any specific funding proposals, some GOP leaders in the General Assembly have been quick to rule out a gas tax hike in 2016. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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