published Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Pam's Points: Guns galore, donations as bribery and event halls

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Handgun madness

Tennessee handgun carry permit applications have doubled this year.

Seriously?

What is this, the Wild West?

Tennessee officials on Thursday said state handgun-carry permit applications grew from 40,503 in the first six months of 2012 to 86,334 handgun permit applications in the same period this year.

How disgusting.

Tragically, the numbers are up in many other states, as well, according to a story earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal. The reason cited was concern that renewed gun-control efforts soon could constrain access to weapons, along with heightened interest in self-defense in the wake of mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

Frankly, lots of people should be constrained from obtaining guns.

The Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group that advocates for gun control, said that since 2007, concealed-carry permit holders have fatally shot about 500 people, that 128 of them have been convicted of manslaughter or homicide, and 36 have committed murder-suicides.

Elections and corporate bribery

Kudos to former President Jimmy Carter of Georgia who said Wednesday that unchecked political contributions are "legal bribery of candidates" as he denounced a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made possible unlimited election spending by outside groups, including corporations and labor unions.

Carter, a Democrat, said the court made a "very stupid" decision by removing limits on independent campaign spending by businesses and labor unions which the court found was a constitutionally protected form of political speech. Carter said he and his Republican opponents used public financing to run their general election campaigns in 1976 and 1980.

Those days likely are over.

The public can't compete with big business groups.

And unfortunately, there likely won't be too many senators or representatives looking to propose any new laws or amendments to stem campaign contributions. Even fewer would vote to pass such a proposal.

Event halls and shootings

Chattanooga's mayor and council are looking for ways to stop the shootings in Chattanooga by tightening -- or creating -- regulations for event halls.

Two such halls -- buildings rented out for parties -- have been settings where three people have been killed since April.

Emotion Event Hall on Dodds Avenue, better known to patrons as Da Building, and a hall with no sign at 2510 E. Main St., are venues that have prompted more than a hundred calls to police since 2010.

With the "event" arrangement, neither the owner nor the renting party group is having to seek drink licenses or inspections.

Taking action on event halls would be good, but it certainly won't be enough. It is a start, though. And hopefully it won't take as long as talking about chickens.

5
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cooljb said...

Even though Gun Carry permits are many and growing, it is shameful to act as though they are the ones committing the violence we observe on a daily basis. You rarely hear of a licensed gun carry permit holder involved in a gun incident. Fact. You need to do a story about how responsible they are for possessing a gun and not using them on a whim. How about it?

July 20, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.
Pass_it_on said...

Weak sauce ...

Just how many shootings in the last ten years have been committed by a permit holder?

Why won't you write about the real reason permit applications are soaring?

July 21, 2013 at 10:02 a.m.
chatt_man said...

C'mon Pam... admit that the carry permits are up because we've done such a good job as a society, raising our kids with ambition, self worth, respect for others, and well... because Obama's economy and foreign policy is so strong.

Kudos on the event hall topic and money in politics...

July 21, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.
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