Nov. 11, 1908 (Wednesday)
TIMES DECRIES THE STATE OF SOUTHERN MANNERS, WHICH LED TO THE SHOOTING DEATH OF A FORMER U.S. SENATOR AND NEWSPAPER EDITOR:
The Times takes a dim view of some Southern mores in an editorial about the Nov. 9 shooting death of former U.S. Sen. Edward W. Carmack in Nashville, Tenn. At the time of his death, Carmack was editor of the Prohibitionist Nashville Tennessean. The killer is allegedly a young attorney who is the son of a politician who was targeted in the editorial copy of the paper. The details of the shooting can be found elsewhere. [That's a statue of Carmack at the Tennessee capitol above.]
Speaking editorially, the Times notes that this type of killing "is of a sort mainly confined to the Southern States, and that it is directly traceable to a general sentiment which does not exist in the same degree elsewhere." Put bluntly, the Times calls for a higher regard for the sanctity of human life. Here's a telling section [emphasis added]:
If it could be borne into the consciousness of men of ability and standing in the South that the use of the bullet is a confession that BRAINS ARE WANTING in a public discussion, that would have its effect, and a beneficent one. Until such a judgment, with a higher estimate of the sanctity of human life prevails, the South must remain self-isolated. It is profoundly to be hoped that this latest and most pathetic tragedy may aid in bringing in the needed change.
One only need to go to Page One of today's Times to get a sense of how common it is for a highly-placed person in Tennessee society to carry a pistol.
A small article out of Memphis with the headline "HAS NO TROUSERS POCKETS" shows how the state's Gov. Patterson would be at a great disadvantage if someone threatened to shoot him. It turns out that Patterson never wears pants with pockets. The article states, "It is said that Gov. Patterson never carries a pistol. He says he has always worn pocketless trousers." Imagine that -- a governor without a firearm!