Residents of the Volunteer State are stepping up and packing heat, according to statistics released by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. In January 2008, 191,208 Tennesseans had carry permits. As of February 2015, that number has mushroomed to 488,911. With 6.5 million people now living in Tennessee, that means roughly one out of every thirteen Vols are licensed to carry . . .
Dave Boucher, writing for The Tennessean, concurrently reports that the number of “crimes against persons” involving a firearm in Tennessee dropped from 10,426 in 2008 to 9,117 in 2013 (the most recent year for which figures were reported.) During the same time period, the number of accidental deaths from firearms in the state increased from 985 to 1030 (according to the CDC, see table 19).
Since no article about guns in a legacy media outlet would be complete without a money quote from a gun grabber, Boucher reached for Beth Joslin Roth of something called the Safe Tennessee Project. In this case, deprived by the facts of of a “more gun, more crime” talking point or rivers of blood running through the streets, all she can manage is to mumble something about accidents that happen when someone “drops a gun or forgets that a gun is loaded.”
So, to recap: number of carry permits up 155%; assaults with a firearm down by 13%, accidental deaths up 5%.
That said, has anyone actually heard of the Safe Tennessee Project? Is it somehow possible that this is just another Bloomberg astroturf group? Because the only place I see a web presence for them is on a Facebook (204 likes) and mentions in three articles…from The Tennessean. What are the odds?