We’re Number 2! We’re Number 9! When It Comes to Danger, We Think It’s Mighty Fine!

Via the wonderful folks at the Nashvillest and the charming Caleb Hannan at Pith, we learn that Forbes has ranked the most dangerous cities in the nation and Tennessee has made the list twice–Memphis at #2 and Nashville at #9.  As Hannan points out, we’re more dangerous than the city The Wire was based in.

And, frankly, it’s for this reason that I’m opposed to any gun control in Tennessee.

When you listen to why people in the State want guns, they’re saying a lot of things that we Democrats need to hear.  Why do people want guns?

Most people have some pretty ordinary and understandable reasons for wanting to have guns.  They want to be able to protect their families.  They want to feel safe in their own homes and communities.  They want to be able to feed their families.  They have seen what happens to people who have their guns stripped from them by the Government, that they then become easy targets for nefarious people.

I’m not going to begrudge the single mother in a shitty neighborhood in Memphis a gun.  It might not be a choice I would make and I might have to play all “But what if your kids find it and shoot you or themselves,” as is my way as a liberal, but I’m not going to begrudge her having one.

I’m not going to begrudge the man who takes his son out and spends weekends filling their deep-freeze with deer meat, meat they otherwise couldn’t be able to afford.

I’m not going to begrudge the rape victim who now has a gun in her purse.

I’m not going to begrudge the African American man who says, “Hell no if I’m going to let the Government disarm me again” when our State has such a long and ugly history of pretending like the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to Black people.

What I am going to do, though, is say that we, as Democrats DO BELIEVE that it is a societal failure that we’re at this point.  No one in Tennessee should have to live in a neighborhood where they are afraid for their lives and the lives of their children.  No one in Tennessee should be afraid to call the police for fear that involving the authorities will cause more problems than it solves.  No one should be terrified to think of how they’re going to put food on their family’s tables.  And we damn sure should be aware and ashamed of how gun control has been used in this State to disarm oppressed communities in order to make it easier to keep them down.

What we need to do is to hear what the gun owners are really saying and to show how our policies would help them meet their goals.

You know, if we have any policies that would help them meet their goals.

I’m still unclear about that.

I’m assuming that most Democrats see it as an abject failure that we make up 1/5 of the top ten most dangerous cities.

But maybe they don’t.

Or maybe I’ll break off into my own subset of the TNDP and say that, for the record, “The TNBDP is damn tired of talking about gun control and is ready to start talking about what we can do to fix our communities.”

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Open Letters to Folks Who Need Them

Dear Times-News,

“Last month, the New York Times published a story examining the county’s economic troubles and its effects on both local and Hispanic workers.”  Really?

So, these Hispanic workers of which you speak don’t work locally?

Do they all somehow have giant robotic arms that allow them to live in, say, Nashville and work their arms so as to be employed in Kingsport?

You might want to rethink your nomenclature there, buddies.

Love,

Aunt B.

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Dear State Representative John Litz,

I read that you say, “I don’t think the Tennessee Democratic Party that I’m a part of is like a California Democrat. We’re not baby-killing, gun-stealing tree huggers.”  And, yeah, fuck those environmentalists!  Environmentalists ruin everything.  Like, environmentalists get all pissed off when you dump a billion gallons of coal ash on a place.  What pussies!

Of course, we here in Tennessee see a billion gallons of coal ash and we’re all “Yeah, TVA, dump some more of that toxic stuff on us!  Our kids are nowhere near sick enough!!!!”

Okay, yeah, in all seriousness, you are aware that your state is home to the worst environmental disaster since Chernobyl and the main people responsible for helping us have been the environmentalists, right?  So, are you saying that you don’t think disasters like that are really a problem or are you saying that a few dead children are worth it if you don’t have to be associated with tree-huggers?

Just wondering,

Aunt B.

“But We Have to Be This Way in Order to Win”

I’ve been thinking more and more about this idea that a.) Obama lost Tennessee because Tennesseans are unrepentant racists (Though, let us note that at least the “Obama lost Tennessee because Tennesseans are unrepentant racist” argument at least gets us beyond the TNDP v. the Governor and his buddies fight which is “Obama lost Tennessee because Jennifer Buck Wallace ran such a shitty campaign for him here” v. “Obama lost Tennessee because the Governor condescendingly told him to get to Walmart and to not bother to come here.” Which, thought it sucks because it blames the voters, at least is an outward motion better than the circle-jerk that is the Democratic in-fighting.) and b.) some Tennessee Democrats have to act like Republicans or they can’t get voted into office because their constituency is so conservative.

Both of these ideas carry an overlapping theme–that Tennesseans are white and conservative.  That the Tennesseans that matter, anyway, are white and conservative.  The ones that count, the ones whose votes you court.

That, right there, is an attitude we’ve got to let go of, as Democrats.

Winning in politics is never about what most of your constituents are like–it’s about who can motivate the most voters to the polls.  It might be nice if it were different, but that’s the truth.  Can you get more people to the polls that your opponent?

Sure, you can continue to go after the “real Tennesseans,” but when you’re only thinking of “real Tennesseans” as white and conservative, you’re going after the exact same demographic that the Republicans in this state are genius at reaching already.