Saturday, July 17, 2021

Tennessee is the 11th least productive state in America

24/7 Wall St., June 17, 2017 - ... Using data on both total productivity and total hours worked, 24/7 Wall St. calculated labor productivity in each state. ... Improvements and differences in productivity from state to state can be due to a number of factors, including technological advancements, capital available to workers, and the workforce's education and skill level. These are the most and least productive states in America.

 (For the full story and list, follow this link)

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Wendy Hancock found guilty of custodial interference. Attorney Connie Reguli will now go on trial.

Weny Hancock and
Connie Reguli
by Rod Williams- July 15, 2021- Yesterday in Franklin Tennessee, Wendy Hancock was found guilty of the crime of custodial interference.  I had, prior to the trial in a previous post, said that family law attorney and Department of Children's Services critic Connie Reguli was on trial.  She was not, but the trial could have determined her fate.

The person on trial was Wendy Hancock.  She was charged with custodial interference and Connie was her attorney at the time. Connie was charged with accessory to custodial interference or abetting custodial interference or facilitating custodial interference or some such charge.  If Wendy would have been found not guilty, then charges would have been dropped against Connie because that would mean there was no custodial interference and thus no crime to which Connie would have been an accessory. Unfortunately, in my view, Wendy was found guilty. Connie will now go on trial.  

I attended the last day of the three-day trial. I got to see the attorneys argue the wording of the charges to the jury and watch closing arguments. While I missed the first two days of the proceeding, I had a close friend, Lydia Hubbell, who attended and she took good notes and gave me detailed reports of what happened, also, another friend, Jeni Bokhari gave me reports on what she observed.  I also watched various videos and read social media reports from others who attended the trial and feel I have a pretty good understanding of the case. 

Here is the essence of what this was all about as far as I can tell.  In 2019 Wendy Hancock, a single mother of a teen boy and a pre-teen girl was having problems with her out-of-control son. He was doing drugs, skipping school, and would not mind.  Wendy asked the state to intervene.  They took the child and put him in foster care.  He, in retaliation, told State authorities that his mother was a bad mother and was dealing drugs. The state then took action to remove Wendy's daughter and place her in foster care also.  By all accounts, there was no truth to the charges against Wendy and there was no indication that Wendy's daughter was in any danger, was being neglected, or otherwise in an unsafe environment. 

This is where the charge of custodial interference gets confusing.  Wendy had participated in an investigation that led up to the order to take her daughter.  She anticipated an order was to be issued to take her child.  She sought the help of attorney Connie Reguli. At some point, she knew or assumed an order to take her daughter had been issued but she had not been served. She avoided service. She fled her home in Lebanon and stayed a couple days with relatives in Watertown.  She stayed a couple nights in a motel.  She put her cell phone on "airplane mode," so it would not be tracked.  

She went to see her attorney and, I think, spend a night at Connie's home in Brentwood.  I am not clear on how, but somehow the Williamson County sheriff tracked her down at Ms Regali's house and took the child, and arrested both the mother, Wendy, and the attorney Connie Regali. 

In defense of Wendy's actions, it was pointed out that the order to take the child into custody did not specify a date by which she must surrender the child or a place to do so.  Also, Connie Reguli called the DCS office numerous times to say she was representing Ms. Hancock, and would someone please call her.  She was wanting to accommodate the surrender of the child in a less traumatic fashion than having law enforcement take her into custody. No one returned her call.

Why was the mother and Connie Reguli arrested? Many believe it is because Connie Reguli is a thorn in the side of DHS and this was revenge for her activism.  Ms Reguli has represented numerous parents in custody battles and has represented parents who have had their children removed by DHS.  She has become a national leader in the parental rights movement.  She does videos on the topic, has been a featured speaker at conferences across the county, and has testified before state legislative bodies. Connie Reguli believes Wendy was a victim of the State's effort to take revenge on her.  During the trial, the prosecutor objected to any attempt by Ms Reguli to make this point and the judge would not let her do much more than answer yes-no questions. Several observers of the trial told me, it was terrible the way Ms Reguli was treated in court.

I believe the charge that this fiasco was revenge against Ms Reguli. Listening to closing arguments, I can see how the jury could have found Ms Hancock guilty as charged. However, in my view, she should never have been charged. Once charged, the charges should have been dropped.  She had no intent to permanently avoid surrendering her child; she was a mother in distress about having her child taken and stalled for time hoping her lawyer could stop it from happening.  Wendy was never ruled an unfit mother. She was forced to take numerous drug tests which she always passed and after her daughter was in foster care for six months, she was returned to her mother. 

This trial did not get mainstream press news coverage but it should have.  It is being widely reported on social media.  Several people came from across the country to observe the trial. Among those attending was Jennifer Winn, an outspoken and passionate family rights activist who was a gubernatorial candidate in her home state of Kansas, and investigative journalist, Terri LaPoint, from Alabama.  Parents and grandparents who have had negative experiences in family court and advocate for child welfare and family court reform who were in attendance came from Texas, Georgia, and from several counties in Tennessee.

Now that Wendy Hancock has been found guilty, the State will proceed with the charges against Connie Reguli.  If found guilty, Connie would lose the ability to practice law.  I have no doubt, that even if she does lose her ability to practice law, that Connie Reguli will remain a fierce advocate for families. 

While there are cases in which children need to be removed from a home and while the state has an interest in protecting children, the state often fails.  Children or too often removed from homes without just cause, judges will sign anything DHS puts in front of them, parents are powerless to oppose DHS, proceedings in DHS custody cases are conducted in closed court and parents rights are often not protected, and children sometimes die in foster care or are abused.  Even if not mistreated in foster care, they may be in several foster homes in a short period of time being required to change schools several times in the year. In my view, children should only be removed from a home in rare circumstances.  If necessary to remove a child because a situation may be dangerous, then that determination should be made quickly and the child reunited with their parents as soon as possible. 

Part of the problem causing so many children to be taken from their parents is that government funding is often contingent upon showing results.  To get more funding, state agencies must show the federal government or the state agency must show the state legislature they are being productive and that means removing children from their homes.  I have heard many tales of children being taken from parents when it was unjustified.  Even if parents are not great parents, unless a child is in danger if it remains in that environment, children should not be taken from their parents. 

I hope when Connie Reguli goes to trial, it gets mainstream press coverage.  Her trial could help shed light on a problem that needs it. 

For more on this story see these links: Family Forward Project with video reports,  Connie Reguli's Facebook page, Jennifer Winn's Facebook page with video interviews of the day of the trial and more, link.

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(Correction) Connie Reguli, Middle Tennessee attorney, DCS critic, active Republican, goes on trial July 12.

by Rod Williams, July 8, 2021- If you are active in middle Tennesee conservative and Republican political activities you probably have met Connie Reguli.  She is an attorney who practices family law.  She is a regular attendee at First Tuesday and other Republican gatherings.  At the recent contentious convention of the Tennessee Republican Assembly, she served as the legal advisor for the convention. 

Connie Reguli also heads a national group called Family Forward Foundation. The mission statement of the organization says: "The Family Forward Foundation is a national organization dedicated to the rights of familial integrity, and the rights of parents and children to be free from unreasonable intrusion of the government, as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution."  

Connie Reguli has been an outspoken critic of the Department of Children's Services and has testified before state lawmakers, calling for DCS reform. She also is a national spokesman for children and parental rights and often speaks at conferences across the country. 

Connie Reguli will be in court on Monday, July 12, in Williamson County.  Being in court is common for a lawyer, however, in this instance, Reguli is not defending an accused or representing a client, she is on trial. 

In July, 2019 Connie was representing Wendy Hancock who was fighting DCS in an attempt to regain custody of her children.  Connie had let Wendy and one of her children move in with her or maybe Wendy was just visiting Connie to discuss her case. Available information reports it both ways.  In any event, Connie Hancock had an outstanding warrant and she was arrested at Connie's house and Connie was charged with a crime.  She was arrested for "custodial interference."

Connie says she was doing nothing more than assuring her client's due process rights were protected. Connie claims her arrest is retaliation for her role as a critic of DHS calling for reform. 

Connie posted to Facebook, "So for y'all who watched this debacle....the case goes to the jury on Monday, July 12, at 9:00 in the Williamson County Courthouse. We should let FOX news local know. It is a public court, so anyone who wants to wander in can do so. I know I have a few who wanted to and can show up. 135 4th Ave. N, Franklin TN,"

From what I can gather, Connie Reguli was arrested for doing no more than what a good lawyer should do to represent their client. Having heard horror stories about how DCS fails to protect children and how abusive the system can be of the rights of parents, I tend to believe Connie's charge that she is a victim of DCS retaliation.  I think I will attend her jury trial.  

For more on this story see, link, link, link, link, link.

Correction, July 15, 2021 -It was not Connie Reguli who was on trial. It was Wendy Handcock. She was charged with custodial interference and Connie was her attorney at the time.  Connie was charged with accessory to custodial interference or abetting custodial interference or some such charge. Connie had to testify at Wendy's trial.  If Wendy would have been found not guilty, then charges would have been dropped against Connie because that would mean there was no custodial interference and thus no crime to which Connie would have been an accessory. Wendy was found guilty.  Connie will now go on trial. Look for an update. 

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by John Harris, Tennessee Firearms Association, July 14, 2021 - A Fourth Circuit federal appeals court issued a ruling on July 13, 2021, in Hirschfield v. BATFE, et al, 4th Cir. No: 19-2250 (linked below) which addressed the issue of when do constitutionally protected rights under the 2nd Amendment attach. That appellate court concluded that the rights attach at age 18 – not age 21 – and struck down a portion of federal law that prohibits transfers by federal firearms dealers of handguns to those under age 21. 

As Tennessee Firearms Association has argued, the court found that those rights attach at a minimum by age 18. The court’s introductory paragraph states: 

 When do constitutional rights vest? At 18 or 21? 16 or 25? Why not 13 or 33? In the law, a line must sometimes be drawn. But there must be a reason why constitutional rights cannot be enjoyed until a certain age. Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.

Plaintiffs seek an injunction and a declaratory judgment that several federal laws and regulations that prevent federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to any 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old violate the Second Amendment. We first find that 18-year-olds possess Second Amendment rights. They enjoy almost every other constitutional right, and they were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons. We then ask, as our precedent requires, whether the government has met its burden to justify its infringement of those rights under the appropriate level of scrutiny. To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes. So we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status. Hirschfield, p. 3 

As the court continued to examine the historical question of whether those of at least 18 years of age had the rights to arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment in the early years of our states and nation, it concluded that they did. 
Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights. Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different. The militia laws in force at the time of ratification uniformly required those 18 and older to join the militia and bring their own arms. While some historical restrictions existed, none support finding that 18-year-olds lack rights under the Second Amendment. 

As with any matter of constitutional interpretation, “our inquiry begins with the text of the Constitution.” Altman v. City of High Point, 330 F.3d 194, 200 (4th Cir. 2003). Both the text and structure of the Second Amendment, along with its place within the Constitution as a whole, reveal that it protects 18- to 20-year-olds. First, nothing in the text of the Second Amendment limits its application by age. Second, the most analogous rights to the Second Amendment, those in the First and Fourth Amendments, similarly contain no age limits. Third, most other constitutional rights are not age limited. And fourth, the few rights that may not apply to those under 18 or that change by age are not analogous to the Second Amendment, and most of those rights become applicable at age 18, not 21. Hirschfield, p. 24 
As the analysis continues the Court, as did the TFA when advocating for constitutional carry for those 18 and up this year in Tennessee, also considered the historical significance of militia duty and service and concluded that at a minimum those 18 years of age and up were both subject to the militia call and also its requirement to respond with their own arms. 
The historical evidence from the Founding shows that 18- to 20-year-olds are protected by the Second Amendment. Founding-era militia laws provide powerful historical evidence. Near the time of ratification, the federal government and every state required 18-year-old men to be part of the militia and bring their own arms. See Heller, 554 U.S. at 596, 627. This evidences the Founding public’s understanding that the “militia,” and thus the Second Amendment, encompassed 18-year-olds. 

These Founding-era militia laws illuminate the broader individual right enshrined in the Second Amendment. Id. at 600–03. The phrase “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” augments the individual “right of the people” and helps us understand its scope and resolve ambiguities. Id. at 577–78, 595–99. 

… The third purpose of the militia is closely related: to act as a check on a tyrannical government. Many feared that a standing army would be used to disarm and oppress the people. The militia democratized self-defense and gave the people an important check on and voice in government action. In order to serve these purposes, a wide swath of the public had to be armed. Hirschfield, pp. 29-32.
Ultimately, the court struck down as unconstitutional that portion of federal law that restricts the sale by FFLs to those 18-20 of handguns and handgun ammunition. We expect that this is not the end but that the case will be further appealed yet it is the trend in which federal courts, particularly those with conservative, constitutionally focused justices, are headed. 

So, what does this mean here in Tennessee? 

Tennessee allows individuals 18 and up to purchase and possess handguns. The restriction that applies to those 18-20 on purchasing from a licensed dealer is actually a federal prohibition on the dealers that prohibit them from “transferring” handguns and handgun ammo to those under age 21. But both state and federal law is clear that an individual 18-20 can purchase a handgun and ammo in a “casual sale” from another private individual. 

But let’s look specifically at Tennessee’s handgun permitting laws and now the new permitless carry law by Governor Lee. Those laws prohibit 18-20 year olds from obtaining the permits or from qualifying under the permitless carry qualifications (with the “pandering” exception given to those in the military or retired from it). See, TCA 39-17-1307(g), 39-17-1351 and 39-17-1366. 

If the Fourth Circuit’s analysis is correct that those 18 and up have rights that are protected by the 2nd Amendment from government infringement, then isn’t this statutory scheme in Tennessee just another massive infringement on the rights of citizens? Are these laws, to the extent that they infringe those rights, unconstitutional? If they are unconstitutional restrictions on constitutionally protected rights, do they give rise to perhaps federal civil rights claims under 18 USC 1983? The answer is apparently yes.

Tennessee Firearms Association has asserted that real constitutional carry must apply to everyone 18 and up who can legally possess a firearm. Two separate bills were filed in 2021 that would have recognized that right – but both of those bills were opposed by the Governor, apparently opposed by the NRA, and clearly opposed by enough Republican legislators that they never saw a floor vote in either the House or the Senate. TFA, GOA, and NAGR all supported true constitutional carry efforts that would have applied to those 18 and up in 2021. 

As the Fourth Circuit noted in quoting James Madison at p. 34 of the opinion, one of the purposes of the 2nd Amendment, the armed citizens and the unorganized (that it – not under government authority) militia is to form a “barrier” against tyranny in domestic government. That those 18 and up were not just entrusted with that duty but compelled to provide it under risk of criminal prosecution makes clear that the right to arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment exists fully and without restraint in an 18 year just as it does in a 21 or 25 or 30 year old. 

We must be demanding that Tennessee’s law which continues to infringe rights of Tennesseans and other citizens be purged from our laws. We have an obligation as citizens, to the full extent as discussed by James Madison, to compel government to remove these infringements or we have the duty to move forward as that barrier against tyranny of domestic government which duty and function lies at the very core of the type of governments that the Founding Fathers created and that today’s political parties work so hard to dilute.

Rod's Comment:  I cannot disagree with the logic of this article.  It certainly appears that the 2nd amendment applies to 18-year-olds.  If the right to bear arms was not a right, but just a policy preference, I would prefer that 18-year-olds not possess guns.  We prohibit 18-years-olds from purchasing alcohol and tobacco.  That is a policy preference.  One does not have a constitutional right to purchase alcohol or tobacco, however.  A policy preference cannot trump a right.  To impose a policy that violates a right, the right must be abridged.  The way to do that is to amend the constitution.  My view is that we must follow the constitution even if it means policies I may disagree with are permitted. 

For more on the issue of guns, see the following: 

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Another day, another gun death. Metro PD: 1 dead, 1 injured in Cane Ridge Road shooting. Business as usual.

Metro PD: 1 dead, 1 injured in Cane Ridge Road shooting

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The best is yet to come, A night with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sat., August 7,


Purchase tickets here. 

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Take back Nashville, Davidson County Republican Party, Tea Punch Party, July 15th

Do you live in Davidson County South Region? (Metro Council Districts 4, 25, 26, 27 & 34) 
This Thursday, July 15th, the DCRP be holding a grass roots Tea Punch event for South Region Republicans who want to get involved and make a difference in Davidson County. 

Due to space limitations, this event will be focused on those Districts in the South Region.  Additional events are being planned for other Regions, so, if you do not live in the South Region. be on the lookout for those announcements.

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Another day, another gun death in Nashville. 8-year-old dies after accident with gun at Goodlettsville home. Business as Usual.

8-year-old dies after accident with gun at Goodlettsville home

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NFIB Files Brief in Case That Would Provide Vital Tax Relief for TN, KY Small Businesses

NFIB Press release, NASHVILLE (July 12, 2021) — The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky supporting Kentucky and Tennessee in their challenge to the provision of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that would prevent states from using federal funds for state tax relief for small business owners. 

“Small businesses are still struggling to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and need as much financial relief as possible,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.  “Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to relieve some of the financial pressure caused by the pandemic, but a provision that blocks Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states from cutting taxes is eroding state sovereignty and hurts local businesses.” 

Earlier, Kentucky and Tennessee filed a lawsuit questioning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that prevents states from using the funds they receive from the law to offset tax cuts. 

NFIB Tennessee State Director Jim Brown said, “With our rebounding economy, Tennessee demonstrated prowess last year in allocating federal relief funds to commonsense tax relief policies. The extraordinary restrictions in the most recent federal legislation should be removed so our state has the flexibility to establish tax policies that will help continue our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

NFIB Kentucky State Director Tom Underwood said, “Small businesses are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 downturn. They can’t afford to pay higher taxes. Kentucky needs the freedom to spend the money from the American Rescue Plan in a way that makes sense for Kentucky.” 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made funds available to states if and only if states agree to not pass any laws or take any administrative actions that decrease their net revenue, whether that decrease comes through tax credits, rebates, reductions in tax credits, or new or expanded deductions. 

NFIB believes the court should block this unprecedented tax mandate and grant the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction. 

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in over 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Another day, another shoot-out in Nashville. 100 shots exchanged behind Hillsboro Village. One dead. Business as usual.


Neighbors calling for change after shootout behind Hillsboro Village-area business

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Save Nashville Now files lawsuit against Election Commission to stop referendum

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Save Nashville Now, a group fighting a Metro charter amendment referendum to restrict the Metro Council from enacting property tax increases, has filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County Election Commission. 

After a ruling in Davidson County Chancery Court, the election commission canceled the referendum originally set for July and rescheduled it for September. (read more)

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Monday, July 12, 2021

Eighteen Men Arrested, including Matthew Brewer, a youth pastor at Fairfield Baptist Church in Hickman County. Charged with Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor.

TBI Newsroom, July 12, SPRING HILL – A two-day joint undercover operation by special agents
with the TBI Human Trafficking Unit, the Spring Hill Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper has resulted in the arrest of eighteen men accused of seeking illicit sex from minors. 

Over a two-day period beginning July 8th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in Middle Tennessee, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The focus of the operation was to identify and recover potential victims of human trafficking as well as identify those seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. 

As a result of the operation, authorities arrested eighteen men and booked them into the Maury County Jail. The investigation remains ongoing, with additional charges pending. 
  • Georgie George (DOB 11/26/95), Clarksville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Marvin Sparkman (DOB 1/26/92), Columbia, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Steven McCanless (DOB 1/16/95), Culleoka, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Ketankumar Patel (DOB 4/5/68), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Ivan Ashley (DOB 8/20/71), Dania, FL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • David Christopher May (DOB 9/25/94), Fayetteville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Andrew Myung Kim (DOB 12/2/82), Franklin, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Bryce Lawson (DOB 7/2/97), Charles, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Jeremiah McSpaddin (DOB 1/31/85), Spring Hill, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Brian Mitchell (DOB 8/5/70), Thompson’s Station, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Nabi Rahman (DOB 3/5/88), Nashville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Patrick Harris (DOB 4/9/89), Murfreesboro, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Matthew Brewer (DOB 2/27/74), Centerville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Suleiman Musa Osman (DOB 1/1/83), Chattanooga, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Juan Gabriel Hernandez Eufracio (DOB 8/29/84), Huntsville, AL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Pablo Godines Cervantes (DOB 5/17/70), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
  • Haojie Wang (DOB 2/25/89), Brentwood, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Luis Diaz-Mendez (DOB 4/17/94), Baton Rouge, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
The operation also had the support of End Slavery Tennessee, which works to provide services to survivors of human trafficking. Information about human trafficking and TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at

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Strict local gun policies aren’t effective in reducing gun violence. (Gun talk #4)

by Rod Williams- In looking at the issue of gun violence, one thing seems safe to say, strict local gun control policies have little impact on the level of gun violence. 

Statista Research Department recently compiled a list of the world's 50 most dangerous cities with a population of over 100,000, by murder rates (link).

While most of the world's most dangerous cities are located in Latin America where violence is caused in great part by drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and gang wars, four American cities are on the list.  They are St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit. 

The pro-gun group American Association for Firearms Advocacy said that among the U. S. cities with the strictest gun laws are New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.  Note that Baltimore is on both the list of cities with the strictest gun laws and the list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world. 

While the Statista Research listed four American cities as the world's most dangerous, any number of list of America's most dangerous cities include on their list the city of Chicago.  As reported in the Washington Post, Illinois ranks 8th for the toughest gun laws in the country and in addition, Chicago also bans what is commonly called "assault weapons."  Having relatively strict local gun laws does not keep Chicago off of the list of deadly places.  Actually, while Chicago has the most murders of any city in America, it has a lot of people and is not among the top ten cities with a high murder rate.  Some list ranks it as the 18th worst.  Still, I think the point is valid that relatively strict gun control policies do not stop Chicago from having a large number of murders.  The Washington Post article does say that some states with lax gun control policies have cities with high murder rates, but the evidence seems slim that there is a cause and effect.

Washington D.C has had a high murder rate for a long time despite having had a ban on handguns.  When the ban was lifted, murder rates dropped.  I am not suggesting that the removal of the ban on handguns led to the decline in the murder rate, but lifting the ban did not cause an increase in the murder rate. 

While some cities with strict gun laws have high murder rates, New Orleans has a high murder rate and Lousianna has some of the laxest gun laws in the nation. There seems to be no pattern. 

From my look at the data, I can only conclude that local gun control laws are ineffective at impacting the rate of gun violence.  Any effort to impact the incidents of murder and gun violence by passing local gun control laws is a waste of time.  Doing so may make some people feel good but even if strong local gun control laws are passed, it won't accomplish much. Also, there are limits to what a local government can do even if they want to.  Cities do not have the authority to impose gun control policies more strict than what their state will permit.  Also, ever since the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision, cities cannot just ban handguns, even if their state would permit a city to do so.  

In looking at any data as I have done above it is wise to keep in mind that people who carry cigarette lighters have higher incidents of lung cancer.  Correlation does not equal cause and effect.  Also, in making comparisons between one time and another time or one place and another place, one cannot hold the other variables constant. 

Having reached the conclusion that local gun control laws are ineffective and efforts to pass them are a waste of time, that is not to ignore reasons why that is so.  Our cities have city limits but not walls or border controls.  We can move freely in this country and even if a city could ban guns, that would not stop someone from bringing guns into the city.  Also, what is on the books, may not be as important as how stringently it is enforced.  I think even the most adamant gun control advocate would have to concede that not many members of the criminal element would voluntarily surrender their gun even if a city could and did ban possessing a gun. 

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TN Supreme Court won’t take jurisdiction of Election Commission appeal. Another blow to a referendum on Metro's 34% tax hike.

 Read more here and here

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Tennessee Court Halts Biden's Loan Forgiveness Program That Excludes Farmers Because they are White

Southeastern Legal Foundation, Jackson Tennessee - On July 8, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee declared unconstitutional President Biden’s recently enacted program of forgiving loans for farmers based on the color of their skin. The Court also entered a nationwide injunction, halting the program throughout the country. 

The case was brought by Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) and Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) on behalf of Rob Holman, a farmer from Union City, TN, whose family had been farming the same land in Obion County for generations. Holman had farm loans with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) but was ineligible for loan forgiveness solely because he was white. (link)

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World's most dangerous cities includes St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit. (Gun talk #3)

World's most dangerous cities, by murder rate 2020 Published by Statista Research Department, Jul 5, 2021 -  This statistic ranks the 50 most dangerous cities of 2020, by murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants. 

Most of the world’s most dangerous cities are located in Latin America.  Violence in Latin America is caused in great part by drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and gang wars. 

The highest ranked most dangerous city outside of Latin America is St. Louis in the United States, which is ranked thirteenth with a murder rate of 60.59 in 2018. Detroit, with a murder rate of 39.7, came in at forty-second place.

Why are these four American cities among the most dangerous cities in the world?  What, if any, characteristics do they have in common? 

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Gun violence is a symptom of a dysfunctional society, not the root cause. (Gun talk #2)

Albert U Tieche
by Albert U Tieche, July 11, 2021 - Gun violence is a symptom of a dysfunctional society, not the root cause. Well, what are the root causes then? Our culture tells us: 

1. The traditional family is no longer something to aspire to, even though it was, is, and will always be the basic building block of any functional society since time began. How many murderers had no father figure in their home? Show me those stats. 

2. Christianity has been under attack in our culture for decades, even though it was and is the foundation of western civilization and the self-governance required in a free society. How many murderers regularly attended church? Show me those stats. 

3. The focus on guns allows us to avoid the much more unpleasant conversations about 1 and 2 above. We can give the appearance of caring about the loss of life by focusing on inanimate objects. Present day society will not call us “racist” or “bigots” if we blame inanimate objects for our own failings. Focusing on the root cause means focusing on and correcting our own failings as a society. It is much easier to stand back and point at guns as the cause. 

NOTE: Disarming law-abiding citizens is where the discussion about guns always goes. That is because 1., 2., and 3 above form artificial “guard rails” around the discussion that prevent an honest assessment of the problem. Those who seek to disarm law-abiding citizens are active participants in the destruction of Western Civilization.

Albert Tieche is a retired manufacturing consultant and lives in Madison, TN.  He is a former Administrator of Elections for Davidson County, TN. The above comments by him were posted to facebook in response to my post, The U.S has the seventh highest firearms-related death rate in the world.

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