You never know how an event like the shooting in Tucson last Saturday is going to ripple the waters across the country, but here's an example that defies explanation. This story is from today's edition of The Nashville Tennessean (motto: "We'd Cover the Rest of the State if It Fucking Mattered"), and it's all true, I shit you not.
My hometown of Kingston, Tn (site of the massive coal ash spill that some of you might remember reading about a year ago) is within forty-five minutes of Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. To say that the vast majority of citizens in that part of the world are Tennessee Vol fans would be like saying most mammals have lungs. It's pretty much an across the board truth; you're born, raised, live and die with Volunteer athletics. If not, you're probably not from Kingston originally, and the only reason we put up with your ass is because we're trying to be nice to folks who don't know any better. In other words, we're hoping you come around if we give you enough time to see the error of your ways.
Vol football is king in Kingston. A couple of years ago the University of Tennessee decided to make a coaching change, so they fired Phillip Fulmer and hired a brash, young smartass named Lane Kiffin to be the head coach. He arrived with a lot of fanfare, insulted every other coach in the Southeastern Conference, and managed to bring in one of the nation's best recruiting classes despite a late start in the recruiting wars. Things were looking up in Big Orange Country. Kiffin coached the Vols through the next season, then did the unthinkable: he bolted for Southern Cal.
USC was Kiffin's alma mater and had made him an offer he couldn't refuse, so he simply packed up his bags, took his assistant coaches, and left Knoxville high and dry after one mediocre season. Vol fans were more than upset. There were riots on campus, and had Kiffin stuck around for some kind of fond farewell party, I'm pretty sure he'd have been hung from a street light over Kingston Pike and used for a beer bottle pinata. No one, to this day, is more hated in east Tennessee than Lane Kiffin.
Well, a firearms store (we call them 'markets') decided to have a fundraising event for Second Harvest Food Bank in Kingston, and for the main cash cow they planned to have folks pay $5 each for the honor of shooting Lane Kiffin bobblehead dolls with pistols and rifles and shotguns. I'd be willing to say you'd be allowed to use a bazooka if you had one in the truck and paid your five dollars.
Apparently, shooting the bobbleheaded image of a former University of Tennessee head football coach was deemed suspiciously uncool following last Saturday's massacre in Tucson, because a lot of people called to complain about the event. One minister, whose church was the scene of a murderous shooting just two years ago, said he was afraid the event would "inadvertently and unintentionally dehumanize people" and asked that it be shelved.
Frontier Firearms owner Brant Williams relented, and now the fund raiser will be slightly less violent, at least on the premises of the fund raiser. The new plan is to sell the bobblehead dolls of Lane Kiffin as 'adoption bobbleheads' people can take home "to love and nurture as they see fit." Uh-huh... Obviously, Mr. Williams isn't happy about this change of plans. He went on to describe the fund raisers' other events thusly: "In addition, each $5 donator will be entered in a drawing for a one-year range membership, handgun classes, other prizes, and unless tree huggers protest too loudly, the opportunity to shoot at paper targets."
You can't make this shit up, no one would believe you...