Your Mom Is Not a
But on January 17 and 18, UMC will use live pigs to teach future doctors how to treat human patients. After the training, the animals are killed and discarded.
January 16 - 27, 2013
Tell UMC to join the 98% of programs that use hightech, human-based methods for medical trainingâ€” including Emory, Vanderbilt, and Duke.
www.JacksonTakeAction.org FROM PHYSICiANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE
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1/3/2013 2:08:51 PM
JACKSONIAN DARRELL WINSTON
s program director for the Jackson chapter of the Sigma Beta Club, Darnell Winston in the most positive role model in many young males’ lives. Born in Inglewood, Calif., Winston arrived in Jackson in 1995 on a scholarship to play trombone at Jackson State University, and has called the capital city home ever since. Winston pledged to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1999 and his masters of science in mathematics in 2002. In 2005, Winston began mentoring public-school students from Jim Hill and Terry high schools. From these small mentoring groups, along with another group from Provine High School, Winston created the Jackson chapter of the national boys mentoring program, the Beta Sigma Club, in 2009. “This mentoring program is designed to enhance young males’ educational skills and one of our main goals is for them to complete high school and pursue some form of higher learning,” Winston, 35, says. The program, for boys ages 8 to 18, provides ACT preparation classes as well as workshops on how to dress and interview skills, and monthly assessment meetings. Beta Sigma Club also engages in an array of monthly community service projects, including feeding the needy, visiting nursing homes, annual events such as Toys for Tots and High School Day at JSU, and sending care packages to children in Africa.
“We hope to provide guidance and just some type of male figure in their life, because of lot of them don’t have that. We have a lot of young guys out there whose fathers are in jail or just not a part of their life,” Winston says. The boys often have speakers come in to talk with them from various professions, including lawyers, doctors, police officers and mayors. Controlled by the Mu Sigma Graduate Chapter of Jackson and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. members, the mentoring program also teaches and young men to perform step-show routines, but academics come first. “A major concern are their grades,” Winston says. “If you don’t have the right grades you can’t make it to the show.” Winston also serves as the after-school director at BJ’s Learning Center, where he helps young people with their homework. He has worked at the Mississippi Museum of Art since 2002, where he currently serves as the assistant chief of security. Each year, Winston looks forward to seeing members graduate from the program. “I wouldn’t say I tear up, but once they head across that stage, and I know that they’re headed off to college … it’s just a great feeling to see them, and I know they’re going on to do things,” he says. “That’s the big rush—knowing they’re headed to another chapter in their life.” For more information on the club, visit sigmabetaclubofjackson.com. —Darnell Jackson
Cover photograph by Trip Burns, cover design by Kristin Brenemen
10 Off to the Races
Meet the four women vying for District 28’s seat in this year’s Mississippi Senate race. Nine candidates total are after the spot left vacant after the death of Sen. Alice Harden.
27 Midtown Mural
Scott Allen unveils a new public art mural focused on the Midtown community, part of a grant to bring more art to the neighborhood.
33 Wandering Chef
“I buy all local, from the little mom-and-pop grocery stores to the farmers markets to individual farmers. That is my 100-percent passion. Every farmer I deal with, I spend a day at their farm, doing some odds and ends, cooking them dinner. I want to see how they’re treating things, seeing their whole practice or else it could be off a truck, and then I just defeated what I went for.” —James Roache, “The Next Culinary Adventure”
4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................. EDITORIAL CARTOON 15 .................................... OPINION 17 .............................. COVER STORY 26 .............................. DIVERSIONS 27 .......................................... ARTS 27 .......................................... FILM 28 ....................................... 8 DAYS 29 ............................... JFP EVENTS 31 ....................................... MUSIC 31 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 32 ..................................... SPORTS 33 ......................................... FOOD 34 ................................. ORGANICS 35 ...................................... FAMILY 36 ................... GIRL ABOUT TOWN 37 .............................. ASTROLOGY 38 .................................. FLY HOME
ANDREW DUNAWAY; COURTESY SCOTT ALLEN; TRIP BURNS; TRIP BURNS; CORUTESY KATHY SYKES; TRIP BURNS
JANUARY 16 - 22, 2012 | VOL. 11 NO. 19
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Weapons of Mass Destruction
h, guns. We have a bittersweet joke at the Jackson Free Press: If we feel like piling up a few more page views, we can just do a gun story or a blog post. All we have to do is mention guns, or God forbid criticize any form of the precious instrument, and the gun aficionados come out of the woodwork. They troll, yell, sputter, moan and even freak out if you call a “semi-automatic” weapon an “automatic” one (although gun makers do, too). They get personal, and ugly, and really, really angry, and they call us names. They wail at any attempt just to discuss potential gun regulation on behalf of public safety, immediately jumping to the conclusion that we want to take all their guns. And most remarkably to me, they come up with some of the most illogical analogies one can imagine—the kind that I would have flunked out of logic class at Mississippi State for floating. So, so … if people didn’t have guns, they’d use cars or buses or airplanes as deadly weapons, they spout. You know, like on Sept. 11, 2011! Yes, we-the-logical respond, and we vastly regulated everything to do with air travel after 9/11. Cars and buses are already saddled with massive safety regulations. But, but … the framers didn’t mean the Second Amendment to allow any sort of regulation of any “arm” whatsoever, they tell us, not even for safety reasons! Don’t tough my guns! No, we point out. Even the First Amendment is limited in cases of libel and yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater. And if you look closely, the word “regulated” is firmly ensconced in the Second Amendment. And the right to “bear arms” already doesn’t mean any damn arm you want to stockpile and play war with on the weekends. Or , or… on the same day as Newtown, a man in China attacked a group of kids with a knife in a mass attack, too! Yes, we respond, and none of those children died. It was bad, but not deadly. Children dying is why we want to have
this conversation that this brand of gun geek really doesn’t want us to have. In other words, these folks want to deny our First Amendment rights to talk about their Second Amendment ones. Not logical. But we’re going to talk about guns in America anyway, and we have to stop bowing down in front of the powerful gun lobby that exists to help gun corporations sell more guns. If we don’t, it means we are bought and owned by a large, dangerous industry. Does having that conversation, or en-
The gun lobby has become too strong, too strident and a bit insane. acting smarter gun regulations, mean we want to stop all hunting or take weapons of self-defense away from everyone? Of course not. That’s absurd, and I personally don’t know anyone who is supporting that. Here’s where the rubber—like on all those cars that are more regulated than guns, by the way—meets the road. Too many adults and children, and suicidal Americans, are dying because they have too easy access to too many weapons. The country that supported a war in Iraq over a lie about weapons of mass destruction are actually confronted with real WMD right here and now. Whatever you want to call them—mostly automatic, too automatic, somewhat automatic, deliciously automatic, mine’s-bigger-thanyours automatic—the U.S. is inundated with guns that make it easy, and rather romantic, for a mentally disturbed person to
act out his videogame fantasies in a theater or synogogue or school full of innocent victims. They make it easy to kill many very quickly. The fact that a gun can and is sometimes actually used for self-defense—as the Twitter trolls love to point out—is beside the point. You can still have a gun for selfdefense, but you don’t need to shoot up your damn neighborhood with an AR-15 to run the robber off your property. What we’re talking about here are delusions of grandeur and bloodlust. And too many people end up using those crazy guns to act it out. Here’s the thing: You can love guns and still be part of a serious conversation about them. If you also love children, it is incumbent on you to decide to be part of the solution. The gun lobby has become too strong, too strident and a bit insane. They seem to want us to turn against each other and assume that our government is coming to get us. (And I assure you that, should they, these AR-15 hobbyists aren’t going to protect us.) Countries and states with more gun control are less violent. We all know it is easiest, and quickest, to commit a mass killing with one of these weapons. (Ask that guy in China.) The question now is what kind of nation do we want to be? Do we want to follow the lead of people who profit off our distrusting “the other” and arming ourselves against them? Do we want to continue being the state that provides huge numbers of guns used in violence in Chicago? Do we want to assume that we solve violence with violence? The same people who argue those things look and act like they’re afraid of their shadows. You can watch them on talk shows and see it all over their faces. They have no problem with the gun industry flooding our poorest communities with huge numbers of guns, which they damn well know will be used in crimes. They seem to want to play war games with “the other.” But even many NRA members know that it doesn’t make sense to have no regu-
lations or restrictions on what guns we can have—or, more importantly, that gun makers can make and market to civilians. The point of gun regulation, ultimately, is not to keep any gun crime from happening whatsoever (even though we can wish); it is to reduce the supply of weapons and the incentive for the gun industry to profit off elementary kids being blown to bits with guns designed to blow people to bits. Meantime, not only is the NRA owned by the gun industry; so are the politicians it funds. Right now, we have state leaders who are drooling all over themselves (looking at you, Tate Reeves and Phil Bryant) to be the elected pawns of the corporate gun industry. These men are showing no interest in making your children safer. And the absurd idea to arm schools more? That would work out about as well as Haley Barbour’s pardons: It might seem like a good idea until a pardonee goes and kills someone, as one allegedly did last week. Imagine being the lawmaker who pushed for that lunacy when an armed teacher shoots and kills an innocent child. Armed school officials do not stop school shootings—including right here in Pearl. Yes, an assistant principal went after the shooter when he was leaving with a gun, but well after he had sowed the destruction that his guns empowered him to mete out. If the shooters don’t kill themselves, someone often gets to them after the rampage: No, trolls, that is not preventing a shooting. Not to mention, since Republicans expired the assault weapons ban, we’re seeing gun inflation even among the mass shooters. They are covering themselves with badasslooking guns and magazines because they can easily buy them at places like Walmart. Thank you, gun industry. It is time we talk back—in honor of every child and teacher who died at Newtown and every other victim of gun violence and suicide. We can change this, leaving the Second Amendment fully intact. We must.
January 16 - 22, 2013
Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s an award-winning writer and the JFP’s news editor, where she practices her hobbies of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She contributed to the cover package.
Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Contact him at 601362-6121 ext. 12. He contributed to the cover package.
Editorial intern Darnell “Chris” Jackson is writer, photographer, graphic designer and entrepreneur. He is a Jackson native and Jackson State graduate. He owns J.Carter Studios. He wrote the Jacksonian.
Genevieve Legacy is an artist and writer who relocated from New York last August. She lives in Brandon with her husband, and son and one of Mississippi’s laziest dogs, a piebald hound named Dawa. She wrote a music story.
Andrew Dunaway Jim PathFinder Ewing Kelly Bryan Smith Andrew Dunaway knew his friends and family were tired of hearing him talk constantly about food, so he took to writing about it. He’s doing his best to keep it to a dull roar. He wrote a food piece.
Jim PathFinder Ewing’s book “Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating” is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @ edibleprayers or visit blueskywaters.com. He wrote the organics feature.
Kelly Bryan Smith is a busy mom, writer, brain tumor survivor, and nursing student living with her son in Fondren. She enjoys cooking, swimming and collecting pastel blue eggs from her backyard chickens. Kelly wrote the family feature.
Monique Davis Advertising coordinator Monique Davis is a passionate promoter of all things Jackson. She is a cartoonist, is married to the smartest man on the planet, and a mother of six wonderful children. She can be bribed with red wine.
COURTESY ALFENETTE ROBINSON
[YOU & JFP]
Send us a photo of you and your JFP somewhere interesting. You get a $20 gift certificate if we print it.
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WHAT IS THE TOP THING YOU PLAN TO DO IN 2013 TO HELP JACKSON BECOME THE BEST POSSIBLE CITY IT CAN BE? Angela Grayson I will educate as many families as I can on how to become properly protected, debt free and financially independent! Share how Godâ€™s Grace and Mercy can change the city and let as many people possible experience a CakePopCutie. Dane Carney Going to try to get a job somewhere as IWW union salt. Donna Ladd I will do more investigative reporting. Lynn Robinson I will continue to have community discussions with real people that have no vested interest in making money off Jackson, but want to see a better city. Dawn Beasley Macke Give more: words, time, compliments, positivity, props, appreciation.
Tom Head I plan to do more pro bono grantwriting, copywriting and social media work for small local nonprofits. Thereâ€™s a huge demand for that. Jenni Watson I do not think Jackson can become a â€œbest cityâ€? as long as we are supporting businesses and politicians that want to take away the rights of various groups. I think we have some serious soul searching to do. This place is nothing to be proud of right now. What do I want to invite friends here for, so they can see the way we treat gay people and see the fetus truck making traffic issues on Lakeland? We look like we are stuck in 1870 here.
Carrie McMahan Support small business, vote, tell as many people as I can on how to save money the right way for their future. Tony Davenport Utilizing my skills & talents to work with other positive, inclusive and visionary people who really want to move forward in creating the change they want to see here in Jackson. Monique Davis My top tactic is to only emphasize the positive, i.e the Peaceful Parenting Expo happening at St. Dominicâ€™s Jan. 27. I will not repeat any crime stats, house burning, etc. I will be affirming the good.
Janice Hogan Become a better informed citizen, communicate with those who make decisions for our community, and exercise my constitutional right to vote. Mississippi Youth Hip Hop Summit ACLU of MS Youth and Parents are fully engaged to make MS Schools the BEST THEY CAN BE! Join us! Beth Poff Zoo It Better!
Percy King Volunteer more.
Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Random acts of kindness.
Andrea Thomas I will promote only the good. People always speak on the negative aspects of Jackson. If everyone would replace the negatives with a positive, I think the morale of the city would change. Positive visualization or positive reinforcement always equals a positive outcome.
Torri Nichelle Mow my lawn, support more small businesses, attend a Koinonia Friday morning session. Vote in the mayoral election.
Amanda Joullian Ragland Give more support to local musicians, restaurants and retail!
Virginia Ezelle Shop and patronize small local businesses. We are fortunate to have many wonderful ones.
-OST 6IRAL 3TORIES AT JFPMS
True Mississippi Hospitality
January 16 - 22, 2013
ast Saturday I ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon. It was a memorable event and visit. The highlight occurred in a post office near the airport. I was waiting in line to buy stamps for my postcards. The line was a little lengthy, and my husband finally came
in, anxious to leave for the airport. The ladies behind me first offered and then insisted on not only mailing my postcards but buying the stamps as well. They said they wished to show me true Mississippi hospitality. Their warm kindness topped our list of Mis-
sissippi memories and will never fail to fill me with sense of gratitude for being treated to heartwarming Mississippi friendliness and generosity. Laura Schultz East Lansing, Mich.
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Thursday, Jan. 10 Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announces that federal regulators will make a decision on Mississippiâ€™s health-insurance exchange within 10 to 15 days. â€Ś Wayne Harris, one of more than 200 felons to whom former Gov. Haley Barbour granted clemency in early 2012, is involved in a shootout leaving one man dead. Friday, Jan. 11 Reps. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, and Mark Formby, R-Picayune, file a bill to prohibit abortions if doctors can detect a heartbeat except when a medical emergency necessitates. Gipson also files another personhood bill. Saturday, Jan. 12 Conservatives mount a â€œnot-sofastâ€? campaign against a $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package, believing much of the money will go toward other recovery efforts and projects. â€Ś About 3,500 Pakistani Shiites block a main road with dozens of coffins of relatives killed in explosions to demand better security from the government. Sunday, Jan. 13 State Rep. David Gibbs, recalled as a common-sense lawmaker who preferred to keep a low profile, dies at age 76. â€Ś Thousands march through Moscow to protest Russiaâ€™s new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
January 16 - 22, 2013
Monday, Jan. 14 Several parents of Sandy Hook victims speak at the launch of Sandy Hook Promise, a group calling for a national dialogue to help prevent similar tragedies.
Tuesday, Jan. 15 Mississippi Senate Education Committee members send a charter-school bill to the full Senate for consideration. â€Ś The Rhode Island House hears testimony on whether to make Rhode Island the 10th state to legalize gay marriage. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com
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One City, United and Divided by Jacob D. Fuller
ithin two months, the city of Jackson and community leaders have unveiled several programs that claim the same goals: to unite Jacksonians, promote the capital cityâ€™s positive features and move Jackson into a better future. That presents a question that no one seems to answer: Why arenâ€™t they working together on one big project? On Nov. 14, the city unveiled Celebrate Jackson, a marketing campaign for Jackson, at a surprise event with little advance notice. City officials announced a celebration, called Eleven 14 until the day of the event, but gave little more information prior to the event. On Nov. 14, a Wednesday, local restaurants set up booths, school choirs performed, and bands played on the green around City Hall for a couple hundred people as the city announced its new marketing campaign: Celebrate Jackson. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., with the support of the Jackson City Council, hired the local Fahrenheit Creative Group for $98,000 in July to help shine a better light on the cityâ€”coincidentally or not, just in time for the 2013 city elections. Johnson is up for reelection. City Director of Marketing Anthony Dean said the goal of Celebrate Jackson is to give local residents a chance to use their voices to highlight the cityâ€™s positive aspects. Dean said the campaign will feature Jacksonians highlighting the cityâ€™s best attributes in television commercials, on billboards, in print
advertising and in other outlets. Darren Schwindaman, a graphic designer and branding specialist at Jacksonbased Creative Distillery, says the entire
man said. â€œThey didnâ€™t do any focus grouping to figure out what the perceptions are from people in the suburbs and in the city,â€? Schwindaman told the JFP. The opening event drew criticism, too. Signs that marketers designed to hang from light poles were too long and dragged on the ground. The city meant for the signs to showcase the city. Instead, workers took them down soon after the Eleven 14 event. Dean said the signs, which read â€œCelebrate Jackson,â€? still advertised the campaign as intended despite their wrong size. â€œIâ€™m not saying it was a mistake,â€? Dean told the JackDuane Oâ€™Neill, President and CEO of the Greater son Free Press. â€œIt was just the Jackson Chamber Partnership, addresses members at way it turned out. The banners the first Team Jackson luncheon. were just long.â€? Starting the campaign Celebrate Jackson campaign process stunk with an event was a very poor way to start from the beginning. The first problem a marketing campaign, Schwindaman said. came when the city didnâ€™t bid the campaign Branding the TV commercials and posters out, he said. Most organizations request for the event with the Eleven 14 logo was bids and proposals before hiring agencies, even more confusing to Schwindaman. he said, but the city hired Fahrenheit Creâ€œAll the promotion that was done and, ative without a bidding process. The city presumably, all the money spent wasnâ€™t even doesnâ€™t have to bid out projects that can be about the Jackson rebranding. It was about considered professional services. the unveiling event for the Jackson rebrandOnce Fahrenheit Creative got the con- ing,â€? Schwindaman said. tract, they didnâ€™t do any of the needed prepaDespite early promises of TV commerration to discover what the views of the city cials, billboards and more, little has come of were that they wanted to change, Schwinda- the campaign since the Nov. 14 event.
JACOB D. FULLER
Wednesday, Jan. 9 Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, files a resolution urging Mississippiâ€™s congressional delegation to support federal aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery. â€Ś Officials at the Washington National Cathedral announce that the church will implement a rite of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members.
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TOP-GROSSING MOVIES OF 2012 1. Marvelâ€™s The Avengers 2. The Dark Knight Rises 3. The Hunger Games 4. Skyfall 5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 6. The Amazing Spider-Man 7. Brave 8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 9. Ted 10. Madagascar 3: Europeâ€™s Most Wanted 11. Dr. Seussâ€™ The Lorax 12. Men in Black 3 13. Wreck-It Ralph
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
14. Ice Age: Continental Drift 15. Snow White and the Huntsman 16. Hotel Transylvania 17. Taken 2 18. 21 Jump Street 19. Lincoln 20. Prometheus 21. Safe House
22. The Vow 23. Magic Mike 24. The Bourne Legacy 25. Argo 26. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 27. Flight 28. Think Like a Man 29. Rise of the Guardians 30. The Campaign 31. The Expendables 2 32. Life of Pi 33. Wrath of the Titans 34. Beauty and the Beast 3D 35. Dark Shadows 36. John Carter
37. Act of Valor 38. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol 39. Les Miserables 40. Contraband 41. Looper 42. Tyler Perryâ€™s Madeaâ€™s Witness Protection 43. Battleship 44. Mirror Mirror 45. Chronicle 46. Pitch Perfect 47. Django Unchained 48. Hope Springs 49. Underworld: Awakening 50. The Lucky One
*movies with instances of gun violence are in bold
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Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, makes the opening remarks at the first Team Jackson luncheon at The South Warehouse off State Street.
â€œVision 2022 is an initiative that takes a lot of projects, money and things to do. Team Jackson is more to share the information and keep everybody plugged in,â€? Oâ€™Neill told the Jackson Free Press. â€œ(Vision 2022) is more down in the nitty gritty, making it happen.â€? Like Vision 2022, Team Jackson also consists of 10 committees. Marika Cackett, co-chairwoman of the Team Jackson news committee, said Team Jackson, unlike Celebrate Jackson, is not focused solely on the capital city, but also on surrounding suburbs.
From Team Jackson and Vision 2022 to Celebrate Jackson, the capitol city suddenly has a host of organizations trying to change the perception of the city. How is a bit more unclear.
To help those suburbs, Good said the focus needs to be on Jackson, though. For the suburbs to thrive, he warned, the core city must thrive. Not a Political Platform Despite the 100-plus member group including businesses and individuals with direct links to political candidates in this yearâ€™s city election, and the timing of its announcement, Cackett says Team Jackson is not a political group. Mayoral candidate Jonathan Lee is a member of Team Jackson, as are former City Councilman Ben Allen, who has remained actively involved in city politics, and the law firm of Sam Begley, who has close ties to Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and worked on his campaign in 2005. The city is also listed as a member, although city sources say it has not been actively involved in the effort. â€œI think if you look at the different committees and the different people, weâ€™re all very different people,â€? Cackett said. â€œWeâ€™re not trying to elect someone to office. Thatâ€™s not what this is about. Weâ€™re just trying to let people know whatâ€™s going on in our city.â€? Money for Team Jackson membership and bi-monthly meetings goes to the Central Mississippi Growth Foundation, a non-profit created in 1970 by the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. Oâ€™Neill said the foundation is a way for the GJCP to raise and distribute funds for various projects without having to create separate non-profit organizations. CMGFâ€™s tax records show the nonprofit brought in $656,604 in 2010 and $706,671 in 2009. Most of those revenues, between $484,000 and $540,000, come from membership dues. Most of the remainder, about $160,000, came from government grants. Oâ€™Neill said he couldnâ€™t say exactly without looking at the records, but that he
believes the membership dues come from fund raising. The grants are mostly workforce development grants, Oâ€™Neill said, that the GJCP uses for job training projects. The largest expenditure for the foundation over the past five years has been the Horizon United campaign. Oâ€™Neill said Horizon United was GJCPâ€™s five-year plan that led up to Vision 2022. It is now complete. Among other investments, the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership donated $250,000 through the foundation to the Pearl River Vision Foundation for its lake project. That foundation is led by McGowan Working Partners, which is also a Team Jackson member and active in local politics. Central Mississippi Growth Foundation filed tax returns as a IRC 501(c)(6), which includes business leagues and chambers of commerce. Under that filing, CMGF is legally capable of making campaign contributions to candidates and lobbying office holders, as long as neither of those actions is the organizationâ€™s primary activity. Paul Moak, former president of the GJCP, said he did not know much about the foundation, even though he is listed as the groupâ€™s president on its 2010 IRS Form 990. He said his presidency at GJCP made him president of CMGF. He said CMGF is not a political organization. CMGF makes it easier for the GJCP to fund various projects, such as Team Jackson, Moak said. Instead of having to set up nonprofits for each program, GJCP can use the Central Mississippi Growth Foundation name to report the revenues and expenditures of Team Jackson. Why exactly the chamber set up CMGF in the first place is a mystery to Moak. â€œI think itâ€™s primarily a vehicle that was just created to help facilitate a lot of different things that have occurred over the years without having to recreate (a nonprofit) every time some project comes down the pike,â€? Moak said.
A Team â€Ś Vision? In January, two business groups, Downtown Jackson Partners and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce announced Team Jackson, an effort to counter bad perceptions about Jackson and promote business in the city and its suburbs. Membership in this group is available to anyone for a fee of $100. It is made up of schools, businesses, individuals and organizations from around the city. Team Jackson states the same basic and vague goals of Celebrate Jackson: to provide citizens a chance to be heard, to focus on the positives in the city and to move the city forward with one united vision. To accomplish its goals of spreading positive perceptions, Team Jackson plans to hold luncheons every other month for members and their guestsâ€”who presumably are already on board with the groupâ€™s mission. The lunches cost $20. Non-members are invited to join luncheons, but Team Jackson requires a RSVP. At the groupâ€™s first luncheon Jan. 15, organizers pledged to move Jackson forward. Jeff Good, member of the board of directors of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, also spoke to the crowd of more than
100 Team Jackson members about Vision 2022, yet another chamber-led project that popped up in recent months. Vision 2022, which the GJCP announced in October, is a comprehensive 10-year plan for the entire Jackson metro that includes building a lake near downtown Jackson, a medical corridor along Lakeland Drive and Woodrow Wilson Avenue, pedestrian trails throughout the metro, and a focus on aerospace engineering development, as well as other aspects. A group of 10 volunteer committeesâ€”separate from 10 Team Jackson committeesâ€”are steering the Vision 2022 initiative. Good said the committees donâ€™t set any agendas, because the plan is already complete. The committeesâ€™ job is to put the plan into action. Duane Oâ€™Neill, president and CEO of GJCP, said after the Jan. 15 meeting that Team Jacksonâ€™s purpose is to act as a public relations tool for the chamber and the Vision 2022 plan. He hopes that Team Jackson will help bring the 10-year plan, which focuses on the growth of Jackson as well as its suburbs, to fruition. JACOB D. FULLER
Jason Thompson of Fahrenheit Creative Group said he is working with the city to plan the next steps of the campaign and search for new avenues of funding. Thompson said Fahrenheit hasnâ€™t spent the full $98,000, but the company approached the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau board Nov. 30 and asked for additional public funding for the campaign. JCVB Executive Director Wanda Wilson told the JFP that Fahrenheit Creative didnâ€™t ask for an exact amount, and didnâ€™t present any specifics about how it would use the money. Other sources present at the meeting, though, said Mayor Johnson warmed the room up before Fahrenheit Creative requested more than $100,000 in additional funding, based on a vague PowerPoint presentation that gave little specific detail. Despite the lack of details, Wilson still called it a â€œgreat presentation.â€? She said Fahrenheit Creative will submit a grant application with more specifics, at which time the JCVB board will make a decision. â€œIt is being taken under consideration at this point,â€? Wilson said. â€œWe wonâ€™t know for sure until after the grant application has been received.â€? The Jackson Free Press has requested the Fahrenheit proposal, budget and expenses of the Celebrate Jackson campaign to date. The city had not responded to the request at press time.
TALK | politics
Senate 28: Meet the Candidates by R.L. Nave
TAMARRA GRACE BUTLER, health educator Having worked for four years as an assistant to Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, Tamarra Butler is confident that she knows her way around the Senate. Butler, said she wants to take her practical experience working on political campaigns and in government to build on Harden’s legacy of championing public education and supporting workers’ rights. A resident of the Washington Addition community, Butler believes improving the relationship between Jackson Public Schools and the Legislature, as well as working to attract and retain Mississippi teachers by increasing their salaries, is critical. “We lose teachers to surrounding states because of the pay,” she said. Butler also said she would have to look at the particulars of any charter school bill before deciding whether she would vote yes, but said she also believes in keeping public money in public schools. A community health adviser for the American Cancer Society, Butler focuses on promoting cancer prevention in minority communities. She said her work has demonstrated the need for the state to expand
CASSANDRA WELCHLIN, policy consultant Cassandra Welchlin is running—and walking—for state Senate. Welchlin, a Jackson native and 10year resident of the district, kicked off her campaign on Jan. 7 with a 100-mile walk through the district and a promise to walk the territory and knock on the doors of would-be constituents every day until the special election. Welchlin opposes charter schools and supports Medicaid expansion. She works with the Mississippi Low-Income Childcare Initiative, and believes that Medicaid would help more low-income families get health-care services they need. The candidate also believes that citizens of her district could also benefit from the 9,000 Medicaid expected might create. She can’t say charter schools would have the same benefits, however. “Charter schools would hurt the district,” she said, adding that she’s concerned about tax money following the child to charter schools, which don’t have to meet the same teacher certification requirements as public schools.
“Why are we taking about charter schools when we are not funding our publicschool system?” she asked. KATHY SYKES, organizer Kathy Sykes has what her boss, Bill Chandler of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, calls “movement experience.” Sykes, MIRA’s lead organizer, has worked with the Mississippi Poultry Workers’ Center in Morton as a liaison between black and Latino factory workers as well as the Jackson branch of the NAACP. Sykes, who hopes to continue Sen. Harden’s activism—she led a teacher’s strike in 1985—opposes anti-immigration efforts, anti-reproductive-rights legislation and charter schools. “It will drain funds from public schools,” said Sykes about charter schools. She favors specialized public schools such as science and math academies over charters. “The schools are already doing a lot with a little, and they would have to do more with less if we allow the passage of charter schools.” Sykes also wants to expand Medicaid, which she believes would benefit hospitals and community health centers in District 28. “That’s an investment in the people of Mississippi, just like we invested in the Nissan and Toyota plants because they were going to bring jobs here,” Sykes said. “We are investing in the health of Mississippians so that we will improve our health care, longevity and our productivity, and Mississippians are worth it.” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at email@example.com.
COURTESY KATHY SYKES
Medicaid under the federal health-care law known as the Affordable Care Act. Butler also wants to work on economic development along U.S. Highway 80, and is encouraged by the city’s decision to relocate offices and services in Metrocenter Mall. “The district needs more businesses that will come in and be able to hire the people that live in this district,” Butler said. “If people have jobs in the area, then they’ll tend to spend that money in the area.”
January 16 - 22, 2013
CINDY AYERS-ELLIOT, farmer Two years ago, Cindy Ayers-Elliot became a farmer. At her 68-acre farm, she raises goats for meat and, depending on the season, vegetables under the auspices of her company Foot Print Farms LLC. For AyersElliot, everything goes back to the land, and she wants fellow Jacksonians to farm their backyards for economic empowerment and improve their family’s health. “Prevention is the key. A lot of it ties back to your diet,” Ayers-Elliot said. That’s why she supports expanding Medicaid, which is one of the key issues with which lawmakers will grapple. Covering more people under Medicaid would save the state money in the long run because fewer people will rely on expensive emergency room visits as the primary form of health care, which is costly for hospitals
and taxpayers, she said. Ayers-Elliot, a former assistant to state Treasurer Marshall Bennett, ran unsuccessfully to replace Bennett in the 2000 Democratic primary. She is noncommittal on which way she would vote on a charter-school bill, saying she would have to look at any legislation that comes before the chamber. She said: “I believe in improving what you have. I don’t think you put another layer on top of it.”
ine people want to fill the Mississippi Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Alice Harden. Broadly, two issues will dominate the session—education and health care. Specifically, the issues are a renewed push to establish charter schools in Mississippi and whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program to qualify for billions of dollars in federal health-care funds. In District 28, which consists of westcentral Jackson including Jackson State University and part of the U.S. 80 corridor, jobs and economic development are other key areas that have the candidates’ attention. Here are snapshots of the four women who are in the race. Next week, we’ll profile the male candidates.
jacksonfreepress.com Harvey Johnson, Jr. - Mayor
LEGISLATURE: Week 1
Good to Be Back by R.L. Nave
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orking on a shorter 90-day Charters Set to Fly schedule compared to last A highly anticipated charter-school bill year, Mississippi lawmak- made its way out of the Jan. 15 Senate Eduers got right to work filing cation Committee. The bill allows for the bills in the opening week of the 2013 legislative session. House members filed more than 350 bills and senators filed close to 200 in the first week, including many of the old standbys that have become staples of Mississippi’s legislative proceedings. For example, Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, and chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee, submitted two anti-abortion bills. The first, Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, and fellow Democrats HB 6, prohibits doctors from denounced anticipated changes to the Public performing an abortion when Employee Retirement System. a fetal heartbeat is present—except in medical emergencies—and re- establishment charter schools, privately run vokes the medical licenses of physicians schools that receive public funding for the who don’t try to detect a heartbeat before children who attend, across the state. Howperforming an abortion. Then, HC 14, ever, school boards in school districts rated A would amend the state Constitution de- or B must approve a charter school’s applicafine a person as all humans “from concep- tion. Proposed charter schools in C, D and tion to natural death.” F district can be approved without the say so Even though the state is embroiled in a of local public school boards. lawsuit over abortion restrictions the LegislaSenators agreed by voice vote to send ture passed last year, Gipson, a Baptist min- the measure to the floor with one key ister, said he filed the bills again because “it’s modification. the right thing to do.” Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, ofAlso from the here-we-go-again file is fered an amendment to strip virtual Brookhaven Republican Rep. Becky Currie’s schools in the bill. As proposed, the legisbill that puts more regulations on employers lation did allow up to three online charter to prove they’re not hiring people who aren’t schools to operate in Mississippi. authorized to work in the U.S. and imposes Blount told the Jackson Free Press he stiffer penalties on employers who do. wanted to amend the bill because he does Last year’s attempt to implement im- not believe that virtual charter schools, which migration crackdowns similar to those in allow kids to log on to a computer and comArizona and Alabama failed, and over the plete coursework without the supervision of summer at a hearing Gipson convened, Re- a teacher is effective. publicans tipped their hand, signaling that Legislative Republicans have said they immigration efforts this year would focus on want charter school legislation to pass quickbusiness regulation, over which the state has ly. The Senate could vote on the charter bill more leeway to enforce immigration law. as early as today, Wednesday.
Workers’ Rights Redux A push is under way to beef up workers’ protections. Several groups, including the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, are lobbying lawmakers to extend workers’ compensation protections “We want to increase workers’ compensation coverage to 520 weeks (10 years),” said Jaribu Hill, executive director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. Currently, workers can receive up to 8.5 years of workers’ comp. The Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission, reports there were 11,761 workers injured and 84 workers killed on the job in 2011. It’ll be an uphill climb to get lawmakers in Mississippi to give workers any more rights. Last year, Republicans succeeded in rolling back rights by ending the so-called “found dead” presumption that held if workers are found dead at work, the law presume the employee while working and mandating drug and alcohol testing for people hurt at work. Democrats this week also decried proposed chances to the Public Employee Retirement System, PERS. According to the analysis Moak provided reporters, the bill changes the number of PERS board members from 10 to 17 and adds more appointees from the governor and lieutenant governor’s offices. In addition, the so-called 13th check— a cost of living adjustment—would be frozen for three years and tied to the Consumer Price Index. Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, said he is worried about the effects of making what he considers unnecessary changes to PERS because in his Delta district, government agencies are among the largest employers. “You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game,” Simmons said. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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elcome to a new winter/spring semester at Hair Did University Schools of Cosmetology and Vocational Studies. The universityâ€™s objective for 2013 is to enhance the lives of the disenfranchised masses through critical thinking and quality vocational education. â€œThe faculty and staff at Hair Did University are committed to teaching students how to navigate around a system of spiritual and economic oppression. This is the year for teachers to implement and execute a non-traditional method of instructing students. At Hair Did University, over-crowded classes will transform into large think tanks. Students will be required to take arts, humanities, history and political science classes. â€œAs dean of students of Hair Did University, I will dedicate my time and effort to develop well-informed and educated graduates capable of critical thinking. I plan to achieve my goal with help from concerned members of the Ghetto Science Community Education Board. â€œSo students, get ready for a different approach toward your education. I hired Chief Crazy Brotha of Jojoâ€™s Discount Dollar Store to teach part-time classes in creative store-operations management and theatrical arts. Kunta â€˜Rahseed Xâ€™ Toby, filmmaker and multi-media artisan, will be your journalism, radio and television production instructor, as well as head of Hair Did Universityâ€™s Mass Communications and Marketing Department. Iâ€™m also honored to have Congressman Smokey â€˜Robinsonâ€™ McBride teach political science, history and economics. â€œRemember: Classes begin in February. And I hope to see you at H.D.U.â€”Hair Did University.â€?
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January 16 - 22, 2013
Â°&/8 .EWS COMMENTATOR "ILL /Â´2EILLY *AN ON THE SALE OF !L 'OREÂ´S #URRENT 46 CHANNEL TO !L *AZEERA %NGLISH
Why it stinks: While the parent company of Al Jazeera English also owns Al Jazeera Arabic, the two stations are not the same. Al Jazeera English is a well-respected news outlet in the West. Oâ€™Reillyâ€™s quote was part of a daylong FOX rant regarding the sale of Current, focusing on everything from the amount of money Gore stands to make to the fact that the anti-fossil-fuel environmentalist Gore is selling to people in a country that sells a lot of oilâ€”fossil fuels. It saved its big guns, though, to skewer Gore over Al Jazeera Arabicâ€™s antiAmerican sentiment. Conveniently, what FOX failed to tell its viewers is that one of its own big stock owners isâ€”wait for itâ€”Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king, who also owns a share in the anti-American, anti-Israeli network Rotana. One of the other shareholders of Rotana is none other than Rupert Murdoch himself, majority owner of News Corp., the group that includes FOX News and The Wall Street Journal. Thatâ€™s a connection you wonâ€™t hear on FOX News.
Put Funds into Education, Not Guards
ast week, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves went on the record to push the National Rifle Associationâ€™s pro-gun agenda in Mississippi. In case you missed it, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre announced Dec. 21 that he had the answer to gun violence in public schools: Put armed guards in every one. As the largest representative of gun and ammunition manufacturers and dealers in the United States, as well as the largest provider of gun training, LaPierre kindly offered the services of the NRA to help make his multi-billion dollar program a reality. On Jan. 14, Reeves proposed allocating $7.5 million in taxpayer funds to begin carrying out the plan. The initial amount, which Reeves wants the Legislature to pass this session, would cover approximately 750 of Mississippiâ€™s roughly 1,050 schools. Schools could apply for the funds, and the state would match up to $10,000 that the schools would need to provide. Simply put, the NRA/Reeves plan would put taxpayersâ€™ money into the wrong side of the equation. Putting armed guards in Mississippi schools, which already have a nationwide reputation for overly harsh disciplineâ€”and for running school-to-prison pipelinesâ€”will do more harm than good. The stateâ€™s zero-tolerance policies create a hostile environment for the very children that our schools are attempting to educate. And, as any parent of a 13-year-old will tell
you, making enemies of our children is no way to create environments where kids are actually open to learning. The stateâ€™s hard-core discipline policies have done far more to alienate students than educate them. Adding armed guards, metal detectors and all the rest of the paraphernalia that comes along with weapons is a drain on the stateâ€™s economy. Teachers end up being authoritarians instead of educators. Students with multiple suspensions simply get farther behind until all hope of catching up is gone. At that point, dropping out probably looks like a pretty good decision. It isnâ€™t, of course, and these kids donâ€™t just disappear. Where they are most likely to show up is on the dole, in the courts or behind bars in a Mississippi prison. Even if they find gainful employment, a dropoutâ€™s earning power and his or her ability to make a meaningful economic contribution to society is radically curtailed. Mississippi loses every time the state makes a decision to put money into the situations caused by decades of systemic racism, poverty and the bigotry of low expectations. More black kids are suspended for minor infractions than whites in just about school districtâ€”even the ones that are majority white. More African Americans drop out of school, and more fill the stateâ€™s prison cells. Mr. Reeves, you could just ignore that NRA campaign contribution. How about trying different tactics now that we know what doesnâ€™t work?
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EMPHIS, Tenn.â€”Before 1878, this city was a â€œCasablanca on the Mississippi,â€? a rough river town of 50,000, two-and-a-half miles long and one mile wide, densely populated with immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Italy, Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, white cotton traders, scalawags and carpetbaggers, and former slaves up from the plantations farther south. It was a city of sharp contrastsâ€”bars and brothels from its waterfront to its eastern edge, â€œa dangerous, dirty placeâ€? with pigs roaming the streets, but also churches, opera, French cuisine at the finer restaurants and the ever-present Peabody Hotel. Then came the 1878 yellow-fever epidemic. More than half the population fled. Of the 20,000 who remained, 17,000 got sick, and 5,000 died. It was a plague of biblical dimensions, and it exposed an even deeper dissonance in the cityâ€”the bravery and selflessness of those who stayed to fight, and the corrupt and cowardly leaders who fled after long refusing to fund the basic city services that might have lessened suffering. Memphis in 1878 became a city of the deadâ€”people hiding behind shuttered windows and locked doors, the clickety-clack of wagons carrying the corpses to waiting gravediggers. This is the story that unfolds in Jeanette Keithâ€™s new book â€œFever Season: The Story of a Terrifying Epidemic and the People Who Saved the Cityâ€? (Bloomsbury Press, 2012, $30). A historian who teaches at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa., Keith offers an amazing tale that hits close to home, not only to Mississippians and Louisianians who remember all too well a different disaster, Hurricane Katrina, but also to the East Coast, still reeling from Superstorm Sandy. Itâ€™s a human tale of untold suffering and courage that makes you question whether weâ€™ve really progressed much in our understanding of public and private life, the role of government, and the limits of charity. â€œYellow Jack,â€? as the fever was known, is a horrific disease. The victimâ€™s temperature tops 105, delirium sets in, and the destruction of the bodyâ€™s organs produces the telltale â€œblack vomitâ€? and the stink of impending death. Infected mosquitoes cause the sicknessâ€”mosquitoes that originally came from Africa on slave shipsâ€”but people wouldnâ€™t know this until Major Walter Reed and others made that determination decades later in Havana, Cuba. The 1878 epidemic wreaked havoc in Mississippi, too. Some 3,000 died. Towns were decimated, some losing half their population. A skinflint Mississippi government
created a Board of Health that helped fight the fever, according to historians James W. Loewen and Charles Sallis. In Memphis, people looking for causes pointed to the cityâ€™s filth and squalor. Cotton traders in Memphis grew rich but, as a municipality, the city â€œwas a failure,â€? Keith writes. Only the well-to-do had any kind of water or sewage system. Garbage went uncollected, streets turned to mud after heavy rains, and crime ran rampant while political leaders enjoyed mint juleps with cotton traders at the Peabody. Of course, people blamed the poor, particularly Irish workers who populated the teeming warren of shanties along the levees. Race complicated things. Memphis largely escaped the ravages of the Civil War. White bitterness after the â€œLost Cause,â€? however, led to one of the nationâ€™s worst race riots there in 1866. Newly enfranchised black voters aligned with the cityâ€™s Irish and Italian immigrants in the mid-1870s and put a halfdozen blacks on the City Council and an Irishman in the mayorâ€™s office. Reconstruction ended in 1877, however, and white rule soon reasserted itselfâ€”with a vengeance. As horrible as it was, the 1878 epidemic provided an opportunity for a major southern city to point the way to a truly â€œNew Southâ€? where all people could work together. Among the heroes who stayed to fight the scourge were Catholic priests and nuns, Episcopalian nuns, the brothel madam Annie Cook, doctors, nurses, journalists, and a host of former slaves who, as soldiers, police officers, relief workers and nurses, used their newfound freedom to help others. They were celebrated for a while, but then attitudes on race and class hardened. Banquets held after the plague excluded not only blacks but also working-class Irish and women. â€œThe very fact that white Memphians (and white Memphis) would not have survived without the aid of blacks was something that whites had to deny and hide,â€? Keith says. Memphis was a changed city after 1878, even losing its charter for a while. From a city of European immigrants, it became a city of poor southern black and white immigrants. Modern Memphis is a city of 650,000, famed for the music that those poor southerners made its legacy, and poverty and crime are still a plague. It isâ€”like the South as a wholeâ€”working even today on those old issues of race and class that seem never to go away completely. A veteran journalist who teaches at the University of Mississippi, Joe Atkins is author of â€œCovering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press.â€? His blog is laborsouth.blogspot.com.
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City of the Dead
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January 16 - 27, 2013
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A Public Health Crisis?
espite the pervasive notion that guns make people safer, science suggests otherwise. “They actually pose a substantial threat to members of the household. People who keep guns in their homes appear to be at greater risk of homicide in the home than people who do not. Most of this risk is due to a substantially greater risk of homicide at the hands of a family member or intimate acquaintance. We did not find evidence of a protective effect of keeping a gun in the home, even in the small subgroup of cases that involved forced entry,” a group of researches wrote in a 1993 article that ran in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article challenged the conventional thinking at the time—which remains the conventional thinking today—and bolstered the long-held view in the medical community of treating guns as a public-health problem, and treating guninduced trauma the same way doctors treat patients suffering from other traumatic events. Consider, for example, that 30,000 people die every year in car accidents. The numbers were once higher but, over the
years, stricter laws requiring passengers to wear seat belts and prohibiting the use of alcohol while operating motor vehicles have caused the number of car crashes to plummet. Recognizing the public-health benefits of ensuring that people drive as safely as possible drove down the rate of vehicle deaths from around 26 per 100,000 people in the late 1960s to 10 per 100,000 today. After the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults were murdered, publichealth officials urged President Obama to intervene. “The tragedy of gun violence is compounded by the fact that the usual methods for addressing a public health and safety threat of this magnitude—collection of basic data, scientific inquiry, policy formation, policy analysis and rigorous evaluation—are, because of politically-motivated constraints, extremely difficult in the area of firearm research,” the group wrote in the Jan. 10 letter. Pro-gun groups such as the NRA have resisted government-funded research about the effects of gun violence, however. An investigation by NBC News revealed that U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark., led a push in the mid1990s to slash $2.6 million from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, THE EFFECTS OF GUN VIOLENCE a division of the Centers for Disease Control COULD A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH END THE CYCLE? and Prevention. Ultimately, center’s budget remained intact but gun-friendly lawmakers 9OUTH 3HOT succeeded in adding language to the CDC’s 4REATED IN 3TABBED OR appropriation bill in Congress that “none of $EATH *AIL %MERGENCY !SSAULTED the funds made available for injury preven$EPARTMENT tion and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” !DMITTED TO Meanwhile, the number of gun-related )NPATIENT 2ETALIATION deaths tends to mirror deaths that result from 3URGICAL other forms of trauma. In 2009, the United 3ERVICE States saw 31,347 firearms deaths. Of those, about 60 percent were suicides, and 37 percent were homicides. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young people $ISCHARGED TO 'ET 7EAPON !CUTE ages 10 to 24, according to the Centers for 3ELF -EDICATE 3TRESS THE 3TREET Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. John Porter is a trauma surgeon in SOURCE: JOURNAL OF TRAUMA & DISSOCIATION the emergency department of the University
of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and is on the frontlines of the public-health crisis rising from the cycle of gun violence. “When a person gets traumatized, whether it’s a gunshot wound or a car crash, what the doctor does at that point is not the end,” Porter said. “There’s a big path to recovery that includes nursing, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy and also of the families that are involved because it’s such a huge event.” Annually, medical costs and lost productivity from gun violence totals more than $70 billion, according to a 2007 American Journal of Preventive Medicine article, “Medical Costs and Productivity Losses Due to Interpersonal and SelfDirected Violence in the United States.” At UMMC, the path to healing begins in the ER, where a team of surgeons, residents and nurses stabilize the victim before there, the patient receives case managers, social workers, physical therapists and speech therapists who work not only to get the victim and his or her family on the road to recovery. A unique feature of UMMC’s trauma program involves working closely with churches in the victim’s community and talking to children, Porter said. “Sometimes on TV, it makes it looks like you’re a hero to be shot, but we want to point out all the pain and all the recovery involved,” Porter said. About 18 percent of patients seen in the UMC trauma center are penetrating trauma victims—shootings and stabbings—and Porter sees many of the same patients over and over. In fact, the trauma recidivism rate is around 30 percent, and the severity of the wounds worsens with each shooting, Porter said. To Porter, treating gun-related trauma from a publichealth perspective is similar to fighting an infectious disease pandemic. “You have the host—that’s the person who was shot. You also have the environment, which is where the person lives. And then the pathogen is actually the guns itself,” Porter explained. Porter eschews debates about gun control, preferring instead to offer his trauma patients with information on how to store guns and ammunition more safely. “I’m not in the business of saying who can have a gun, I’d just like the guns to be safer so fewer people get shot,” Porter said.
by R.L. Nave
Castle Doctrine: Not So Cut and Dried by Jacob D. Fuller
n 2008, Justin Vanquez Thomas, 24, shot and killed Dexter Harris outside the Southaven Performing Arts Center. According to witnesses, a gang known as â€œTNTâ€? was assaulting Justin Buckner, Thomasâ€™ friend, outside the center. Thomas fired two shots into the air to distract the gang. It worked. The gang left Buckner and turned their attention to Thomas, who got into his car. The gang surrounded the vehicle and began banging on it, at which time Thomas fired two shots out of the car. Both bullets struck Harris, killing him.
Mississippi legislators passed one of the nationâ€™s broadest Castle Doctrine laws in 2006, giving Mississippians a wide range of legal reasoning to use deadly force. The statute exists as a lengthy amendment to the stateâ€™s â€œjustifiable homicideâ€? law. The amendment set several key provisions under which Mississippians can use deadly force. One criterion is location: A person can invoke the doctrine from inside or in the immediate vicinity of a vehicle, a dwelling or a place of business. A dwelling does not only apply to a personâ€™s home. It
can apply to any place with a roof, mobile or immobile, that he or she plans to occupy for at least one night, even a tent. Secondly, the law states that the person who uses the deadly force must do so â€œin resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him.â€? The law requires that the person who uses the deadly force must have a reasonable fear for his own or anotherâ€™s life or health. If a person has unlawfully entered a dwelling or vehicle, for example, or has unlawfully attempted to remove someone from a dwell-
ing, vehicle or place of business, a defender could use those actions to demonstrate his or her fear. Under these provisions, Thomas claims to have a defense under the statute; however, two juries failed to agree. In April 2009, a jury convicted Thomas of manslaughter after the judge denied Thomasâ€™ attempt to claim innocence based on the stateâ€™s Castle Doctrine. The court sentenced Thomas to 15 years in prison. The Mississippi Appeals Court overturned the ruling Aug. 30, 2011, saying
More Gun Control in Mississippi? by Jacob D. Fuller
January 16 - 22, 2013
Can Felons Own Guns?
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The stateâ€™s other major prohibitive law is a requirement for retailers to make a public record of firearm or ammunition purchases, including buyerâ€™s name, type of gun or amTRIP BURNS
ith statewide household gun ownership at 54 percent in Mississippi, itâ€™s no secret that heightened gun-control laws arenâ€™t likely to get much support from the state Legislature. Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obamaâ€™s gun control task force are addressing possible gun-control measures on the federal level this month. That has some state and local officials thinking and talking about gun laws. There seems to be a consensus about the goal: greatly reducing, if not eliminating, mass murders like that of teachers and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Getting people to agree on how to reach that goal is far from simple. In Mississippi, it is as easy as just about anywhere to purchase a firearm. Any resident 18 or older who has not been convicted of a felony can purchase rifles, shotguns and any non-felon 21 or older can buy handguns. The state does not require a waiting period, a permit to purchase guns, licensing of gun owners or registration of firearms. One prohibitive law on the stateâ€™s books is one that requires a permit to carry a handgun or concealed weapon, including stun guns, several types of knives, rifles with barrels under 16 inches long and shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long. The license costs $100 from the Department of Public Safety. The DPS can deny a license to anyone under 21, anyone convicted of a felony, violent misdemeanor in the previous three years, committed to a mental health, drug or alcohol rehabilitation program in the previous three years, or anyone with a physical disability that prevents them from properly handling a firearm.
A vendor shows off part of his collection at a Jan. 12 gun show in Jackson at the Trade Mart Building.
munition purchased, and the date. Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, is chairman of the House Education Committee. He believes the answer to preventing gun violence is less about getting guns out of the wrong hands and more about getting them in the right hands. â€œIâ€™m thinking very strongly about introducing a piece of legislation that requires each school district to arm some of their staff so this kind of situation wonâ€™t happen,â€? Moore told the Jackson Free Press. â€œWhen you put a big sign out in front of a school full of children that says, â€˜This is a gun-free
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zone,â€™ that means to the person whose intent is to do them hard that heâ€™s got a free rein. He can go in there and kill as many people as he can carry the bullets in there for.â€? Potential gunmen may change their minds if they know there are an unknown number of licensed gun owners with concealed weapons in the school, Moore said. He will think long and hard before introducing such legislation, however, because he knows it will create a lot of backlash. In 2011, the state passed a law that allows licensed carriers to have concealed guns on college campuses. Previously, guns were not allowed on any campuses in the state. On elementary and secondary campuses, only non-students can possess weapons, and only if the weapon remains in a motor vehicle and no one brandishes the weapon. Gov. Phil Bryant told the Jackson Free Press Jan. 7 that he would like to see legislation that would require armed guards on school campuses. All other state buildings already have armed guards, he said. A 2011 study by the non-profit Violence Policy Center shows the numbers donâ€™t support Mooreâ€™s claim that more guns equal less gun violence. The study showed that Mississippi, which has some of the nationâ€™s loosest gun laws and one of the highest percentages of household gun ownership, ranked second in the nation in gun deaths at 19.32 per 100,000 deaths. All of the top five statesâ€”Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Wyomingâ€”had a household ownership greater than 45 percent. In contrast, the bottom five states in gun deaths all had household ownership of less than 19 percent. Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr., D-Canton, believes the state needs to push for bans on assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. Such weapons are clearly not made for sport hunting but maximizing human casualties, Blackmon said. Such weapons were illegal for civilian ownership in the United States under the Public Safety and recreational Firearms Use Protection Act from September 1994 through September 2004, when the act expired. Federal legislators have made several attempts to reinstate the law, often called the assault-weapon ban, but no legislation regarding the weapons has reached the House floor for a vote in the eight years since.
SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION
the lower court should have allowed Hawthorne drove away. the jury to consider the Castle Doctrine The jury didn’t see it that way; it acquitdefense. “Thomas was entitled to a jury in- ted Pannu of both charges. struction that properly covered his theory Smith said after the trial that he believed of defense under the Castle Doctrine,” Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee wrote in the decision. Thomas went to trial a second time on the charge last April. The court declared a mistrial and scheduled another trial for August. That third trial ended much the same as the second, with a hung jury and no decision. Despite state lawmakers’ attempt in 2006 People can invoke Mississippi’s Castle Doctrine from inside to make the Castle Docor in the immediate vicinity of a vehicle, a dwelling or a place of business. trine less ambiguous and more black and white, gray areas still exist, often leaving the determination of justifiable or the jury’s perceptions of crime in Jackson afunjustifiable homicide up to police, juries fected the decision. People fear being robbed and judges. and killed, he said, and he believed the jury For example, in August 2008, the same was trying to send a message that such bemonth Thomas shot and killed Harris, Sa- havior would not be tolerated. brinder Pannu shot and killed James HawDays after Pannu shot Hawthorne, thorne, 15, outside the J & S Food Mart on on Aug. 25, 2008, Terrance Prior entered a Medgar Evers Boulevard in Jackson. Haw- convenience store on Robinson Road wearthorne had stolen a case of beer and was in ing a mask and carrying a gun and robbed a car pulling away when Pannu shot and the store. killed him. After he left the building, the clerk Hinds County District Attorney Robert chased Prior, and shot and killed him. In Shuler Smith prosecuted Pannu for murder that case, law enforcement refused to press and for firing his weapon into an occupied charges against the shooter, citing the Castle vehicle. Smith argued that neither Pannu’s Doctrine. Authorities did not release the life nor anyone else’s life was in danger as shooter’s name.
THE BEST TEQUILA IN THE WORLD
ALEC Pushes Stand-YourGround Bills by Jacob D. Fuller
Always Drink Responsibly
(Next door to McDades Market Extra) Mon. - Sat., 10 am - 9 pm • Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. • 601-366-5676 • www.mcdadeswineandspirits.com
January 16 - 22, 2013
lorida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which received widespread media coverage after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin Feb. 26, 2012, is similar to Mississippi’s Castle Doctrine, with one major difference: location doesn’t matter. The law, Title XLVI, Ch. 776.012 of Florida law, a person can use deadly force and does not have the duty to retreat if “[h]e or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.” This provision allows a person to use defensive deadly force just about anywhere he or she feels threatened. The second provision of the law sets up the defense of one’s home, work or vehicle, much like Mississippi’s Castle Doctrine. The Florida law became a model for legislation that the American Legislative Exchange Council has promoted across the country. ALEC is a group made up of legislators, corporate organizations and lobbyists, including the National Rifle Association and Walmart, the nation’s leading gun retailer. In August 2005, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer asked legislators and lobbyists at a meeting of ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force to adopt Florida’s stand-your-ground law as model legislation for other states. At the time, Walmart co-chaired the Criminal Justice Task Force, which accepted the NRA’s pitch. To date, more than two dozen states have adopted similar legislation that originated with ALEC and the NRA.
The ‘Gun-Show Loophole’ by Ronni Mott
Pub Quiz with Andrew
Vulcan Eejits (Traditional Irish)
Baby Jan and all that Chaz (Soul/Jazz)
More than Caffeine (Acoustic Pop)
Ceili 2 - 5pm
with Jackson Irish Dancers
Karaoke w/ Matt Open Mic with Zach Lovett
Includes Drink & Choices of Fresh Vegetables
All for only
Monday: Hamburger Steak Tuesday: Grilled Tilapia or Fried Chicken Wednesday: Roast Beef
January 16 - 22, 2013
Thursday : Chicken Diane
or Grilled Pork Chop Friday: Meatloaf or
Chicken & Dumplings
Handguns for sale at the Jackson Gun Show. Private sellers don’t need to run background checks on buyers.
A gun vendor displays his wares to Mississippians at the Jackson Gun Show that took place Jan. 12 and 13 at the Trade Mart Building. Organizers estimated that the turnout hit record numbers; some attendees waited in line for hours just to get in.
monitors, at most, 2 percent of gun shows fickers,” published in June 2000. In 2005, nationally. The bureau hasn’t had a perma- Canada’s Criminal Intelligence Service called nent director in six years; the U.S. Senate, unregulated American gun shows a “serious which hasn’t brought a nomination up for threat.” And a study from the University of a vote in that time, must confirm nominees Oxford in 2002 estimated that 80 percent of for the position. The department’s budget Mexico’s illegal firearms are imported from has been nearly stagnant for a decade, as has the United States. its staffing levels. The Virginia Center for Public Safety A spider’s web of laws further hampers has determined that background checks the bureau’s effecwork to keep firetiveness. For examarms out of the ple, the agency canhands of criminals. not maintain a daIn 2005, licensed tabase of firearms, dealers doing backmaking tracing ground checks preand determination vented 2,668 illeof gun ownership gal gun sales. The a tedious, manual Virginia Tech Reprocess when a fireview Panel recomarm has been used mended closing in a crime. the so-called “gunBetween the show loophole” to Gun shows are a common occurrence in legal loopholes and its state legislature. Mississippi nearly every weekend, as they are nationwide. Some 5,000 shows take lack of regulation “Gun shows place annually in the United States. and enforcement, provide a large margun shows have ket where crimibecome sales bonanzas for those who are nals can shop for firearms anonymously. either unable or unwilling to sell or buy Unlicensed sellers have no way of knowing firearms legally. Few states have laws that whether they are selling to a violent felon govern gun shows, and Mississippi isn’t one or someone who intends to illegally trafof them. The exhibitor registration form for fic guns on the streets to juveniles or gangs. the Jackson Gun Show, which holds three Further, unscrupulous gun dealers can shows in the Mississippi Trade Mart annu- use these free-flowing markets to hide their ally, asks for minimal information, which off-the-book sales,” wrote the authors in doesn’t include whether the exhibitor is a “Gun Shows: Brady Checks and Crime Gun federally licensed dealer. Traces” in 1999. The report was a joint effort Gun shows are the second-leading of the U.S. departments of the Treasury and source of crime guns recovered in firearms Justice in cooperation with the ATF. trafficking investigations nationwide, behind “While most gun-show sellers are hononly corrupt federally licensed dealers, re- est and law-abiding, it only takes a few to ported the ATF in “Following the Gun: En- transfer large numbers of firearms into danforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traf- gerous hands,” the report concluded. TRIP BURNS
ississippians with a yen to add to their personal arsenals can head out to a gun show in the state just about any weekend of the year. A quick review of the MississippiGunShows.com website Jan. 4 listed 52 shows in 2013, with 11 in Jackson alone—one every month except June. Gun shows have proliferated in the United States since 1986, when Congress passed the Firearm Owners Protection Act. That law reversed a section in the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibited firearms dealers who hold a Federal Firearms License to sell guns anywhere but their registered address. After passage of the FOPA, dealers could take their “stores” on the road. The so-called “gun-show loophole” takes these shows—which numbered more than 5,000 in 2005—to a whole new level. Under federal law, retailers, manufacturers and others who sell guns as a business must be licensed. Licensed sellers must perform background checks on the people who buy guns from them and keep records of their sales, though records of background checks must be destroyed after 24 hours. Hobbyists, collectors and others who only make occasional sales are exempt from either performing background checks or keeping records of who buys their guns. These “private” sellers make up an estimated 25 percent to 50 percent of sellers at gun shows. No background check on purchasers makes it easy for anyone to buy guns, even those who can’t pass a check and are legally prohibited from owning firearms, such as convicted felons. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ lack of adequate resources to enforce gun laws makes buying guns at gun shows even easier. The ATF
by R.L. Nave
JOSE M. OSORIO/CHICAGO TRIBUNE
ate on the evening of May 20, 2010, Arkansas, southern states provided 17 perThomas Wortham IV was sitting on cent of Chicago’s guns. his motorcycle when a car pulled up. The gun used in Wortham’s murder, for A Chicago police officer who had example, came from Holly Springs. There, a just returned from a second tour of duty in West Chicago resident and Rust College stuIraq as second lieutenant with the Wisconsin dent named Quawi Gates, hatched a MisArmy National Guard, Wortham bought sissippi-to-Chicago gunrunning scheme. the Yamaha R1 as present to himself and While at Rust, Gates recruited Mississippi had gone to his parents’ house to show them residents, including friends from college, to pictures from a recent trip. buy guns at local gun shops and gun shows. As he sat in front of his parents’ home on South King Drive, four armed young men exited their Nissan Maxima attempting to take the motorcycle away from him. Wortham identified himself as a police officer and brandished his service weapon, but took a fatal bullet from a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson to his abdomen. His father, a retired police sergeant, heard the shots and rushed out onto the porch with to his son’s Thomas Wortham IV, a Chicago police officer aid and fired his weapon at the asand Iraq war veteran, was killed during a 2010 sailants, wounding two of the robshootout with a gun traced to Mississippi. bers, one of them fatally. Chicago has increasingly developed a reputation for unceasing gang warfare Gates then illegally transported the weapons that has resulted in one of the nation’s high- back to Chicago where he would sell them to est murder rates. But the roots of the city’s gang members, federal prosecutors said. problem with guns, including the one that The investigation by the Chicago and killed Wortham, go much deeper than Chi- Oxford branches of the Bureau of Alcohol, cagoland gangs, often extending southward Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) redown Interstate 55 to Mississippi. vealed that five firearms purchased on Gates’ Chicago officials have long decried this behalf were used in violent Chicago-area so-called “Dixie Pipeline” of guns purchased crimes, including Officer Wortham’s murlegally in southern states, where gun laws are der. Gates received a sentence of 10 years in more lax, and transported to northern cities prison for orchestrating the plot; four Miswhere familial ties to the South are strong. sissippians were also charged for buying the “It’s a multiple-pronged problem,” said guns for Gates. Nick Roti, chief of CPD’s Bureau of OrgaCourt documents in the government’s nized Crime. case against Quawi Gates illuminate the In 2010, the year Wortham was killed, problem of using straw purchasers, people Chicago had 435 murder, good enough give with clean criminal histories who buy guns the city its lowest homicide rate in 45 years. for someone else. According to the transcript Last year, the number of murders ballooned of Gates’ plea bargain, a woman named Jacto 500 by the close of 2012. quisha Sims bought one gun for Gates from A University of Chicago analysis con- a gun shop in Southaven and three more at ducted for the Chicago Police Department gun show in Tupelo. shed light on exactly how out-of-state guns “Sims stated that she knew that Quawi complicate matters for law enforcement was from Chicago and assumed that he was agencies by analyzing more than 17,230 not allowed to buy firearms in Mississippi guns that cops recovered from January 2008 because he was an out-of-state resident,” to March 2012. Only 42 percent of them stated Susan Bradley of the U.S. Attorney’s originated in the state; the rest poured in office during Gates’ 2010 plea hearing. from out-of-state. Behind Illinois’ next-door Roti, of the CPD, said that loophole neighbor, Indiana, Mississippi sent the most that permits people like Sims to buy weapguns to Chicago. ons at gun shows without a federal backIn all, the analysis showed that roughly ground check could help Chicago reduce its 1,200 guns, or 7 percent of the total num- gun violence and should be closed. ber of guns recovered by CPD, came from “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s just a Mississippi. Adding weapons originating in built-in way to circumvent the law, and Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and it’s silly.”
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From Dixie With Slugs
The NRA Bankroll by Ronni Mott
n Dec. 21, National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre went in front of the TV cameras to read an announcement regarding the shootings in Newtown, Conn. The organization, which boasts 4 million members, had hesitated out of respect for the grieving families, he said. LaPierre went on to blame politicians, the media, the â€œcriminal class,â€? prosecutors and the â€œshadow industriesâ€? of video games and filmmakers for the deaths in Newtown and sites of other mass shootings. His solution to gun violence in schools? Put armed guards in every school and put the NRA in charge: â€œEvery school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as Americaâ€™s preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.â€?
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