In the name of stopping health care reform, someone severed a gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman’s brother.  Others shattered windows at congressional offices in Kansas, New York and Arizona.  Tea baggers picketed the offices of the attorney general in Arkansas and Tennessee to demand they sue the federal government.  Still others phoned death threats to their representatives.  It was enough to make a person want to carry a gun to church, and the Georgia Senate has voted to let you do that.

If church is not where you like to do your shooting, well, the Senate bill headed to the House would also let you tote your piece into a local bar to get something to steady your aim.  Fear that President Obama will take away people’s guns has led to stockpiling.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources reported that tax revenue collected on 2009 gun sales was a third more than the previous year.  Gun dealer Hamp Dowling told his gun sales were up 30-40 percent the past year and ammunition sales doubled.

The health care reform law signed by President Obama had not yet led to gunplay, but tempers continued to rage. In Tennessee, a state House committee’s decision to postpone for a week final action on a Senate bill saying the feds can’t make Tennesseeans buy insurance drew boos and shouts of “no” from Tea Party members packed into the committee room wanting immediate action.  Outside Attorney General Bob Cooper’s office, protesters shouted “kill the bill” and one protester complained the attendance wasn’t big enough.  “When we come back,” she said, “it’s got to be a mob.”

“I think all of a sudden we have a black man elected president, and everyone wants to start acting like something’s wrong with our country,” declared Tennessee state Rep. Mike Turner, a Hermitage Democrat, who is white. “I didn’t agree with a lot of things George Bush did, but I wasn’t ready to secede from the Union.”  Republican legislative leaders demanded he apologize.


Striking back in Virginia, where Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was the first to sue over the health care reform law on Tuesday, state Sen. A. Donald McEachin, a Henrico Democrat, accused Cuccinelli of advancing “a right wing agenda” with the blessing of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.  McEachin and several other Virginia Democrats have filed a Freedom of Information request to find out how much money is being spent for staff, correspondence, consultation and contract assistance on the litigation.

Dew Droplets:  More Southern oddities and entities

  • Asheville, North Carolina, wiccans will celebrate the spring equinox Saturday at the Episcopal Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village.
  • Curtis Coleman, a North Little Rock, Arkansas, businessman running as a Republican for a state Senate seat, says he doubts President Obama was born in the United States.  “I’m not aware that his birth certificate has ever been published or seen, which I think should be a concern to every American,” he said.
  • South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who compared school children who get free lunches to stray animals, announced he is running for governor.
  • An attorney for reggae star Buju Banton contends his client has been denied a proper Rastafarian diet and should be moved from the Pinellas County, Florida, jail where he is awaiting trial on cocaine charges.
  • Nine-year-old twins in Maury County, Tennessee, were suspended for having a line shaved into their hair in violation of their school’s anti-gang policy.  The boys’ father said they’d worn their hair that way since kindergarten.
  • On his Web site, The Daily Caller, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has declared Williamson County, Tennessee, to be the nation’s most conservative friendly county.
  • Vampire author Anne Rice has agreed to terms with the video-book company Vook on a multimedia edition of “The Master of Rampling Gate,” a vampire story published in Redbook magazine in 1984.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.