Good morning, everyone.
The clamor to release the Covenant killer's manifesto has dimmed quite a bit in the intervening weeks since media organizations across the nation have filed suits seeking its release; here in Nashville, the Tennessee Firearms Association, Star News Media, and the Tennessean, among others, have all filed suits to that end.
Opposing these efforts are a coalition of parents from the Covenant School. In conjunction with the school and church, the group has responded to the lawsuits with a court filing explaining their opposition to releasing any documents associated with the massacre.
If you've been around here long enough, you know that I, too, have advocated for snuffing out the so-called manifesto. The language in yesterday's filing echoes much of what I've said about media coverage and how our ensuing obsession with motive encourages the reproduction of these events.
Additionally, regarding the effects making these writings public might have on students, the filing posits that doing so would "violate their rights as victims under the Tennessee Constitution and other applicable Tennessee law" and allow the killer to "haunt them from beyond the grave."
Unlike serial killers, who have spawned a whole subgenre of movies and TV shows—consider Hollywood's obsession with Ted Bundy, for example—mass shooters haven’t captured the imagination of American audiences in quite the same way.
Aside from a handful of movies and documentaries, intellectual and creative curiosity is considerably dimmer. It seems the only audience for mass shooters and their motives and manifestos are the extremely online or those that plan to emulate the actions of prior shooters themselves.
This is all to say that beyond the aforementioned media organizations and nonprofits, there doesn’t seem to be a large amount of public interest in examining the deranged thoughts of someone who shot six people at a Christian school– unless you’re looking for an instruction manual on how to do so.
Maybe this will all change. Maybe, once mass shootings have given way to a new, unique American horror, there will be TV shows and movies exploring how and what made these people snap—but I seriously doubt it. Until then, I’m comfortable defending the parents and students at Covenant from prolonging this ordeal any further.
Today, Tom Landstreet gives us a preview of his webinar tomorrow with a short article on the looming debt crisis, and Megan breaks down another mayoral forum.
↗ THE UNFOLDING FISCAL DRAMA
From Tom Landstreet
Tom Landstreet, Pamphleteer co-founder, will host a webinar tomorrow at 2 PM CST elaborating on the ideas he lays out in this short article. If you're interested, you can register for the webinar here.
As we move into June, a palpable tension looms over Capitol Hill. The national coffers are set to run dry on the first of the month, heralding a bitter wrangling over the debt ceiling. Yet, it is vital to understand that this clash is merely the opening act in a fiscal drama whose repercussions could ripple across the entire economy.
It is a safe bet that lawmakers will ultimately raise the debt ceiling. However, this presents a bigger dilemma. With an unprecedented first-half budget deficit of $1.2 trillion and an additional trillion forecasted for the second half, the Treasury Department finds itself in the uncomfortable position of needing to issue a glut of treasury bonds. There's a sense of urgency because, since January 19th when we hit the debt ceiling, the Treasury has been unable to fund the government's extraordinary deficit.
- 🏎 Miles gives us the details on Nashvillian Josef Newgarden's victory at the Indy 500 over the weekend (Read)
- 🪦 Megan explores the history of one of Nashville’s most beloved historic cemeteries (Read)
- 💧 After years of neglect, Ben Harris and Witt Utility are bringing fresh water to English Mountain residents (Read)
- 🍔 And, Mike Wolf breaks down the best lunch spots across the city by neighborhood (Read)
✰ MAYORAL CANDIDATES ADDRESS CONSERVATIVES
Bright and early on Saturday, May 27th, I joined a group called the Nashville Conservatives for breakfast at the Golden Corral to hear from mayoral candidates during a Q & A session. The event was intimate and honest. While all of Nashville’s mayoral candidates were invited to participate, only two were able to stick around and answer questions directly asked by the group: Alice Rolli and Freddie O’Connell.
Here is a snapshot from the five minutes they were given to present themselves before a group of conservative Nashvillians.
ABOUT ALICE While both candidates touched on the importance of honoring our fallen veterans, for Alice Rolli, Memorial Day has a more personal meaning. Rolli’s husband, Michael, was a doctor in the United States Army; she has experienced life as a military wife. “...We were stationed in a lot of different places,” she reflected. “We were stationed overseas at SHAPE in Brussels, and then we were stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. He deployed twice, once with the 101st and once with the 1st Cav.”
She also touched on her experience as a teacher in Los Angeles, commending teachers for their hard work: “It really was the hardest job I think that you will ever love.” Addressing her mayoral platform, Rolli explained how the three years she worked for then-senator Lamar Alexander were an honor, as she was able to include the voices of parents in their children’s education. “We [did] not have a voice that was advocating for new ways of looking at supporting parents that were making choices, either to homeschool or to go to charter schools or other types of schools,” said Rolli. “And so Senator Alexander became that voice and I was glad to work for him.” She also mused on Davidson County’s literacy problem, and explained how it came down not to poor students or substandard teachers but ineffective teaching methods :“...over the last 25 years [education] has pushed a method of reading instruction that is not working,” Rolli said. “But we have, across the city, a number of our charter schools and magnet schools that are getting 60 and 70 percent literacy rates.”
Rolli closed her five-minute elevator pitch by highlighting the obstacles Nashville is facing– specifically crime. According to Rolli, it’s time to focus a bit more on the rights of the victims and a bit less on the rights of the criminals: “This kind of catch and release concept that we have going right now is not working….With your vote, we can send a message that we've got to reset that relationship that we've got.”
ABOUT FREDDIE “The best thing you can do after today if you're thinking of voting for me is not telling anybody,” Freddie O’Connell quipped. The crowd chuckled; it is well-known that the current council member and mayoral hopeful takes a more progressive approach to public policy. Despite those differences, he emphasized that his job as mayor will be to represent everyone in Davidson County. In fact, during his introduction, he directed his attention to one of the attendees who consistently emails the Metro Council regarding her stance on certain bills and issues and commended her involvement as “a great act of citizen service.” He went on to promise a transparent office, something we haven’t seen from the Cooper administration: “I guarantee you that people in here…will send me an angry email about something that I make a decision about, but it's okay…I'm going to always have my door and my inbox open.”
He went on to highlight his platform. “Everyone in Nashville deserves to have a well-run government,” he said, before touching on some of the issues all Nasvillians can agree on: “...we should not be sitting number one on top of the list of worst potholes in the country.” Near the end of his five minutes, he touched on Metro’s struggle to deliver affordable housing, stating that the chief obstacle is Metro’s inefficient process. “We know that we can do better in terms of service delivery, and overall customer service and infrastructure.”
MORE TO COME Aside from the events listed here, Baker Group Strategies will be presenting another forum in partnership with the Banner and the Scene on June 13th. You can also listen to our exclusive interviews with candidates on the Pamphleteer Podcast.
From Megan Podsiedlik
Metro Police break ground on Southeast Police Precinct, addressing public safety issues (Channel 5) Families in Antioch are on their way to having more peace of mind about public safety in the area. Metro Police will break ground Wednesday on the new Southeast Police Precinct.
3rd-grade reading scores by school districts in Tennessee (Lookout) Last week Tennessee released its statewide testing scores, showing 60% of third graders weren’t proficient at reading. This is common — never have more than half of all Tennessee third graders been deemed proficient in any given year since at least 2011.
Seattle Far-Left Reverend Training Tennessee Students to Protest Gun Control (Star) “Reverend Osagyefo Sekou came to Nashville to work with the Dores Worker Solidarity Network [DWSN] on April 13,” according to Vanderbilt University. The Dores Workers Solidarity Network was first recognized by Vanderbilt as a student group after a construction worker died on campus in May.
- Butcher & Bee opens private event venue, Music City Hot Chicken Festival returns (NBJ)
- Lyft reports 133 layoffs in Nashville (Post)
- Update uncertain for previously eyed downtown project (Post)
- Melrose's Craft Brewed changes ownership (Post)
THINGS TO DO
📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.
🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.
🎸 Damien Jurado @ The Blue Room, 7p, $25, Info
🎸 Wailin' Storms @ DRKMTTR, 8p, $12, Info
+ a mixture of doom-punk & swampy rock
🎷 The HodgePodge Plays Pastorius: The Music of Jaco @ Rudy's Jazz Room, 9p, $15, Info
+ Nashville based jazz/funk/pop collective pays tribute to Jaco Pastorius, performing music he wrote, as well as compositions from others that featured him
🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
🥁 The Wednesday Beat @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $10, Info
+ record spinner + drummer
📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.