January 14, 2011
Yes, it really has been a year since then-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin figuratively flipped off the entire Volunteer State and gave Smokey a swift kick for good measure on his way to his dream job in Southern California, and Vol fans went a little crazy with obscenity, effigy-burnin', death threats. You know, the usual. In that environment, the guy who tried to get a sewage plant named for Kiffin seemed sane.
News flash: Tennessee still hates Kiffin, and his dad, Monte, who walked away from the highest coordinator salary in the history of college football to follow his son to USC. They hate him so much that a gun range in Kingston, Tenn., planned to allow patrons to open fire on Lane and Monte Kiffin bobblehead dolls this weekend to benefit a local food bank. All good, clean, cathartic fun, until last Saturday, when a gunman killed nine people and critically injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a rampage in Tucson, Ariz., considerably cooling the national mood toward anything resembling "fun with guns."
The food bank, as you can see in the video above, reluctantly pulled out of the even this week. Today, the firing range even more reluctantly followed suit:
KNOXVILLE - A Kingston gun shop that planned to host a bobble-head shooting day based on ex-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's abrupt departure last year has changed up Saturday's fundraiser.
Instead of shooting bobbleheads of Kiffin and his father, University of Southern California defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Frontier Firearms on Gallagher Road plans to adopt them out.
"For a $5 donation, bobble-head lovers may take home their very own Monte or Lane Kiffin bobble-head doll to love and nurture as they see fit," shop owner Brant Williams said this afternoon. ... While we believe our choice of targets has no bearing on evil and would be unrelated to past, present, or future criminal acts, we concede that shooting bobbleheads is in poor taste - especially in light of the tragic shooting in Tucson. Sometimes what sounds like fun or a good idea just isn't and as we have said all along, no one wishes harm to Coach Kiffin."
The range will also register each $5 donor into a drawing for a one-year range membership, handgun classes and other prizes, unless (in Williams' words), "tree huggers protest too loudly the opportunity to shoot at paper targets." Because anyone who considers the opportunity to harmlessly take aim at a representation of a high profile figure in the wake of a deadly assassination attempt is obviously taking this "basic respect for humanity" thing way too far.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.