State Sen. Bill Jackson took some ribbing last week for telling legislative colleagues that hammers and frying pans kill more people than some guns do.
“More murders were committed last year with hammers than with shotguns, rifles or AK-47s,” Jackson said during a discussion of a mental health bill that the sponsor said would do more to prevent mass shootings than gun control.
Jackson, R-Appling, also mentioned a slaying he read about in which the victim was bludgeoned with a frying pan, Morris News Service’s Walter Jones reported.
Jackson said he didn’t remember where he read the statistic. His point, he said, is that no one is worried about regulating hammers and frying pans.
“If they’re going to take the guns, let’s take the frying pans and the hammers,” he said. “It’s crazy. That frying pan wasn’t going to go and get up out of the kitchen and kill nobody now until that varmint got a hold of it.”
Jackson might have read the statistic from FBI crime reports that show the number of homicides committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number committed with rifles. In 2011, more than twice as many people (728) were killed with hands, fists and feet than with rifles (323) such as AR-15s.
Just last week, an Augusta man who beat his former girlfriend with a baseball bat was sentenced to seven years in prison. And who could forget the man arrested awhile back after hitting his wife in the head with a hammer because she drank their last can of beer?
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE GRAVE: Jezebel.com predicts “It’s Only a Matter of Time Before You’re Involved in a Frying Pan Attack,” a prediction based on cases such as a woman accused of hitting a Covington, Va., dry cleaner owner with a frying pan and stealing money from the cash register.
Blogger Anna North also wrote about a New Jersey woman accused of hitting a 9-year-old boy with a frying pan after he dropped a bagel and her dog ate it. A woman in Naples, Fla., was accused of attacking her boyfriend with a pan because he wouldn’t let her use his razors. And a North Carolina man was accused of hitting his housemate with a frying pan after she tried to move out using his luggage. (She also allegedly threw grape jelly at his head.)
One man was acquitted of a frying pan assault last year after being accused of hitting his fiancée in the head. She had broken ribs, a broken nose and a possible concussion. The man was acquitted; however, he was convicted of hitting a police officer trying to arrest him, according to North.
There are too many other examples of frying pan, hammer and bat assaults to mention here. One man camping out with friends even killed a rabid mountain lion with a frying pan. But that’s another story.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If we don’t do this, we can be sued.” – Augusta Commission member Marion Williams, after putting the issue of Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s and Solicitor General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre’s requests for “salary adjustments” on this week’s commission agenda after they were defeated on a racially divided 5-4 vote last week.
WHAT’S IN A NAME CAN BE POLITICS: I couldn’t attend former state Rep. Jack Connell’s funeral, but I was told it was a “beautiful tribute to a great American.” I tried to write about the former Georgia House speaker pro tem and his wife, Nan, last week but was under attack by some evil bug.
I wanted to say how regrettable it is that an Augusta State University building has not been named in Connell’s honor because of the millions of dollars he helped bring to the campus during his 33 years in the Legislature.
Friends and family did establish a $50,000 endowment at the school that will help pay tuition for students who have been out of school for a while.
A plaque dedicated to Connell was placed on a bench on the school’s History Walk. Nan laughed and said, “Allgood got a building. At least Jack got a bench.”
Augusta State’s Allgood Hall is named in honor of late state senator and Georgia Board of Regents member Tom Allgood.
Partisan politics kept River Watch Parkway from being named in Connell’s honor. In 1993, state Rep. Henry Howard introduced a bill to rename the road for Connell because of his efforts to get $50 million from the state budget to build it. But his adversaries in the Senate (Republicans) gutted the legislation, effectively removing his name.
In 2004, Sen. Don Cheeks introduced a resolution to “dedicate” the road in Connell’s honor, which was done later that year.
A proposed policy for naming public buildings is on Tuesday’s Augusta Commission agenda. It states in part that a building can be “named or renamed for persons who have made significant monetary or land contributions or other significant contributions to the well being and betterment of Augusta, Ga.”
Surely a man who flew 79 missions over Europe in World War II to help save the free world would qualify on that alone, not to mention his work bringing home the bacon – even receiving the Stuck Pig Award for getting a $25,000 state grant to replace drought-stricken city azaleas – plus holding the record for being the longest-serving speaker pro tem in the United States.
HE’S BEEN NOMINATED, BUT HE WON’T RUN: Somebody created a “Bob Young for Congress” Facebook page, but it wasn’t Young.
“I’m running from Congress as fast and as hard as we can,” he said. “We all are.”
MORE HONORS FOR STRENGTH: The Augusta State University Alumni Association will honor former Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength with its 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award at a dinner at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Friday.
The award is given to alumni who have achieved a level of excellence in their chosen profession and provided outstanding support to the community and ASU.
The Exchange Club of Augusta has established an annual award in honor of Strength. The award will be a major donation to a county charity, preferably dealing with child advocacy, according to club President Pat Thompson.
Strength will choose this year’s recipient. Roundtree will choose future recipients during his tenure. Strength will present the first award during the Exchange Club’s media day Thursday at First Baptist Church.
One can’t help but wonder whether Roundtree will demand immediate and equal honors. Never mind that he hasn’t earned them.
HE’S GONE COUNTRY: Since retiring, Strength has grown a goatee, saying, “Everybody down here in the country has got one.”
These days, instead of being at the sheriff’s office at 7 a.m., he heads over to Peggy’s Café in Wrens for breakfast with a “great group of people.”
“They keep up with what’s going on,” he said.
I’ll bet that crowd solves all of the problems of the world before the second fill-up.
FAT CHANCE: State Rep. Calvin Hill, R-Canton, has called for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit public officials from holding office if they are delinquent on taxes. The provision would apply to all state or local elected or appointed offices and all federal, state or local taxes.