Burch: "Enough"

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:00pm
By Michael R. Burch

Like the dinosaurs, ultra-conservative Republicans are inflexible, hidebound creatures who seem incapable of adapting to changing times. If anyone else demonstrates evolving intelligence, the cold-blooded raptors respond with breathtaking fury. So if, for example, a politician suggests that it’s time to consider banning military-style assault weapons, the NRA and its minions quickly lunge for his throat, like a scene from Jurassic Park.

Before President Obama even announced the things he intends to do to help protect schoolchildren from gun-related violence and deaths, the NRA released an online video in which he was labeled an “elitist hypocrite.” Why? Because Secret Service agents protect Obama’s daughters, but he doesn’t favor having armed guards in every American school. Those of us with warm-blooded hearts and functional brains can easily understand why Secret Service agents are needed to protect all American presidents and their families. But like many lower life forms, the NRA seems to just lash out mindlessly at anything slightly different that crosses its path.

And when it comes to reactionary gun-related madness, Tennessee seems to be leading the pack (if rushing headlong in the wrong direction while being followed by a pack of agitated lemmings can be called “leading”). If you think I’m exaggerating, just take the time to talk to the typical Tennessee gun nut. He/she will probably inform you, in between juicy spurts of Copenhagen, that the following things are undoubtedly true:

(1) The only thing standing between American liberty and totalitarian socialism/communism is the Second Amendment.

(2) The single greatest danger right-wing patriots face today is not being able to shoot government representatives on sight, when they come to rob them of their assault weapons and ammo (and perhaps their snuff and spittoons too). Why are the hicks so hysterical? Because they really believe there is a conspiracy by the federal government to strip Americans of their guns, in order to strip them of their other rights. Somehow Sasquatches and UFOs factor into the conspiracy, as do Islam, China, demonic principalities, the UN, the New World Order, the Masons, the Bilderbergs, the Illuminati, etc. But how there can be so many “all-powerful” entities and organizations, since if any of them were truly all-powerful all the others would be powerless?

(3) The hillbillies also insist, in between swigs of especially potent moonshine, that the NRA is not solely concerned about the profits and political influence of the weapons manufacturers and gun dealers it represents. They deny that the gun lobby is like the tobacco lobby, with its abhorrent willingness to let children start smoking and die, for the sake a few extra pennies on its multi-billion-dollar patrons’ bottom lines. Somehow the moonshine-swilling yokels know with great and profound certainty that the NRA is the valiant protector of the Second Amendment, and that its ideals are as pure as virgin snow. Schoolchildren who get shot by madmen wielding fearsome assault weapons are a small sacrifice to be paid for those American rights and freedoms so staunchly protected by the heroic NRA!

I could go on, but I think the picture I’ve painted is pretty clear. Dinosaurs had small brains and thus couldn’t adapt to their rapidly changing environment. When a giant asteroid appeared out of the blue and slammed into the earth, they were doomed. We human beings, thanks to our big brains and boundless ingenuity, are not completely incapable of saving our children and grandchildren from extinction. We should be able to read the handwriting on the wall and change our ways before it’s too late. Perhaps we still have time to figure out what to do about global warming and other long-term dangers. But what about the immediate danger to the lives of young schoolchildren, now that madmen have declared open season on them, and while the next serial killer probably lusts for an even higher body count in order to insure his immortality in some macabre Hall of Infamy?

Who can fathom the minds of men capable of such heinous crimes? Who can predict when and where they will strike? Because we can’t accurately predict their behavior, it actually makes perfect sense to prevent them from getting their hands on assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips. It also makes perfect sense to look at technologies that require legal gun owners to identify themselves before guns can be fired, perhaps via fingerprint or retina scans. What makes no sense whatsoever is to do nothing different or to flood schools with even more weapons, which is what the pea-brained dinosaurs of the NRA are now suggesting.

There was an armed deputy present on the school grounds the day of the Columbine massacre. He was outnumbered and outgunned, and couldn’t risk harming innocent children, so he was unable to prevent the killings.

And as Mark Kelly pointed out recently, the elite Navy Seals he knows say it’s “ridiculous” to put armed guards in schools. Kelly is an ex-combat pilot whose wife, Gabby Giffords, was shot and almost killed by yet another madman armed with a semiautomatic weapon and a high-capacity ammo clip. There was at least one armed person in the audience that day, Joseph Zamudio, but he was unable to prevent the shootings. Although he helped subdue the killer, he never had the chance to use his own weapon; the shooting stopped when the killer had to reload and he was tackled by some of his would-be victims. A smaller clip would have limited the carnage.

I agree with Gabby Giffords. When she was asked by Diane Sawyer what she thought about children being shot in schools, she said simply but emphatically, “Enough.”

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

87 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 1/19/13 at 12:19

Ask01,

I don't know if it was propaganda (BS) or not, but I heard those comments meany times during WWII and many years after WWII.

If you know of the history of that time, many honest American citizens were put in "camps" because they were Japanese heirs. Their farms were taken from them.

Things were different back then, people were different back then. The world wasn't "open" to the people back then. Many nations were not worldly known.

There has been much in the line of knowledge advancement from then. I wish it was an advantageous advancement for the US but congress has become a career for people claiming they want to be elected to represent us. Too often they like the "power" they get through their office.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/19/13 at 12:24

Brevity is what takes place after so many from the right and its fringe group constantly whine about their lost. Even before President Obama took office 4 yrs ago there was the moan that we would be under Communist control by a Muslim.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/19/13 at 12:25

govskeptic, you ware your, “I lost” buttons so well.

By: Ask01 on 1/19/13 at 1:17

We won, eh?

What exactly did we win?

A nation more divided than at almost nearly any time in history?

A congress which reportedly rates lower than cockroaches in likableness, if that's a word?

A supposedly "loyal minority party" so entrenched in their own vitriolic rhetoric, they would have let the country go over a cliff, rather than come to terms with the majority?

A national so economy weakened by self serving politicians and greedy corporate entities, it is slowly fighting it's way back to some degree of sustainability, and is still so fragile, the least bump sends shudders up and down the frame?

A nation where local law enforcement openly declares refusal to enforce spotential federal laws and threaten federal agents attempting enforcement?

We won, huh? I guess we are lucky we didn't lose.

Oh, wait. The losers received the same consolation prize.

I guess we are all in this together. I hope our elected leaders figure this out.

And soon.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/19/13 at 1:24

Well I sure feel lucky that we did not lose.

By: yogiman on 1/19/13 at 2:29

Read the Constitution, Ask01. Study it. The law enforcement officers simply made statements they were going to work under the constitution.

Now, do a little research: How many executive orders has your man Barry issued saying 'to hell with the constitution', I'll do it my way.

Can you explain why Barry put this nation deeper into debt than all presidents before him combined..., in only four years? Why do you think he's doing this? Why do you think congress is allowing him to do it?

Think about communism, Ask01. Why? How was Barack Obama raised? Who was his mentor in his childhood years through his teenage years? What faith was Obama raised in? How did he spend 20 years in a "christian" church before he realized his "pastor" hated the USA? Really, how many times over those 20 years did his pastor tell his congregates "to hell with the United States"?

If you want a communist government, stand by, Barry's working one up for you.

By: Ask01 on 1/19/13 at 8:18

But you know, Captain Nemo, even with all our problems, and the lunatic fringe running wild, I would still rather live here than anywhere else.

Even with the trolls spreading dung all over this board, it is still a desirable place to discuss issues with other intelligent adults.

Have a good evening.

By: yogiman on 1/20/13 at 7:15

Time will tell, Ask01, and I hope I'm wrong, but Barry's history tells too much about him.

Maybe you should use your intelligence and read his past in his life's history.

By: yogiman on 1/20/13 at 8:34

Exploiting my ignorance, Ask01, I have another dumb question: Can you explain how an unknown could go from the Illinois Senate to the White House in only two years?

Another dumb question, Ask01: What did Barry mean when he made the commented about him being "inspired" by his parents by Dr. King's march in Selma AL since he was born in 1961 (according to him) and Dr. King's march was in 1965?

How could his father be his [father] in 1965 if he was born in 1961?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/20/13 at 10:07

Thanks Ask01. Thin is a great country and I love it even with trolls.

By: Ask01 on 1/20/13 at 10:21

To steer this back to Mike Burch's original aticle, I wish to focus on the title, "Enough."

After having breakfast with the family, I read the Tennessean. I appreciate the comics, the crosswords, the unintentionally funny editorial pages, and the wide offering of varied and more in depth articles not possible in an online edition. (Sorry NCP, I enjoy the immediacy of online news, but I'm also older and appreciate a physical newspaper. Plus, I can't take the computer to the bathroom, line the cat litter box, or wrap fish, uses for which the Tennessean is excellent.)

What caught my eye and prompted me to comment was the article in the local section about gun enthusiasts, hundreds of them, protesting in War Memorial Plaza about non existent schemes to take away guns.

A photo, showing some person I suspect to be a consumate dullard holding a sign declaring "My Rights, Not Yours" typifies, to me at least but I suspect many others, the stereotypical image of their ilk, further bolstering Mike's caricature of gun owners outlined in his column.

These people are only concerned about their rights and have zero thought for the rights or concerns of others.

Given the inability of the fringe to comprehend the proposal, which says nothing about confiscating all firearms, and the inability to be empathetic with those of opposing viewpoints, I must side with the editorial in the Tennessean supporting Vice President Biden's proposal presented to President Obama.

Gathering such as these, especially with the sign I noted, and other I've seen, including one with an assault rifle bearing the inciting message, "Come and take it," give rise to serious questions about the mental stability of those in attendance.

I hope and pray the lunatic fringe doesn't decide to express their displeasure in the only way they seem capable during the inauguration.

I wish all of you a pleasant Sunday. Having worked all week, we must now be off to market to purchase the weeks groceries. I'll check in later for the inevtianle infantile rants and peurile insults.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/13 at 10:37

Diversity will ultimately bring the United States to its knees.

ASKO1...........would be considered a lunatic by 80% of the people with a net woeth of 5 million dollars or more. Almost anyone who does .ot see the world through the eyes of ASKO1 is considered a lunatic by him.

Opinions are like the anus, everybody has one. In my time on earth never have I seen so many so passionate about their own opinion.

By: bfra on 1/20/13 at 10:47

Raspy & yogi keep their mind where their heads are. In the Anus area, therefore, they see everything thru "brown". No wonder they are so stupid!

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/13 at 11:50

Bfra......states his or her or its passionate opinion.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/20/13 at 12:07

President Obama has been scorned inti office for a second term.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/20/13 at 12:58

It is a fact that Rasputin has his head up his ass.

By: yogiman on 1/20/13 at 3:13

Just don't flush the Tennessean down your commode, Ask01. Just handle it like you should Barack Obaba and throw it in the trash.

By: yogiman on 1/20/13 at 3:24

Ask01,

We all know it was a dreadful thing that those children was killed in CT and Barry used that as a use to say to hell with the 2nd amendment of your constitution, I'm going to take your guns from you.

Two "ignorant" things I want to point out to you: Why wasn't the murder of 14 teenage kids murdered in Mexico with guns that had been gotten from Obama and Holder?

Go back a few decades of history and what show did Adolph Hitler use to convince the Germans to give up their weapons? He was surrounded by children, Ask01. Why?

Why did Hitler form his young army? Why is Obama forming a young army?

You had better wake up, young man before it's too late.

You can laugh now if your wish so you can cry later.

By: yogiman on 1/20/13 at 3:35

In case you don't understand what it is, Ask01, I'd like to brief you: The constitution doesn't give the federal government absolute control power over the [57] states or the counties of the [57] states like Barry thinks it does.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/13 at 5:39

Rat Nemovitz..........What has been up your ass?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 9:05

'Horrific' New Mexico shooting leaves 5 dead; investigators arrest 15-year-old
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/20/justice/new-mexico-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1

5 injured after firearms go off at Ohio, N.C., Indiana gun shows
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/19/us/north-carolina-gun-show-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1

By: yogiman on 1/21/13 at 9:08

And 14 kids are killed by a gang shooting at a teenage party in Mexico. But I guess that's immaterial in the USA.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 9:37

You do realize that a lot of the guns carried by Mexican gang members came from the US, right?

By: Mike Burch on 1/21/13 at 9:53

Ras-Putin,

I think most sane people would consider you to be the one on the lunatic fringe, not Ask01. However, because we live in state where insanity is becoming the norm rather than the exception, your prehistoric, law-of-the-jungle mentality seems to be catching on like the Plague.

Hence, people are in a panic because they may not be able to buy assault weapons. They claim the right to bear arms. But arms would include bazookas, mortars and nuclear weapons. We don't want Iran to have nukes, but should Iranian-Americans have the right to buy and bear nukes, if they can afford them?

We must have reasonable limitations on the right to bear arms. But lunatics don't know when enough is enough.

By: yogiman on 1/21/13 at 10:23

Mike,

Don't you think our founders would have written the Constitution quite a bit differently if they had known the future when they wrote it?

They obviously did to quite a degree, but I double if they could have thought of the life of today in this USA today back then. They didn't even have telephones back then.

By: Mike Burch on 1/21/13 at 11:40

Yogi,

Yes, I think the founding fathers would have chosen different words if they had been able to foresee the future. They had no idea that "arms" would one day include such things as bazookas, nukes and other WMDs.

But one cannot legislate against legislative insanity. We have politicians who want guns in bars, guns in parks, guns in trunks ... and now guns in grade schools, kindergartens and daycare centers.

But the term the founding fathers used was "arms" and there are even more fearsome weapons. Are we going to allow disgruntled men to carry WMDs around on their persons, so that they can kill hundreds or thousands of people if they get pissed off? Are we going to allow personal nukes to people who can afford them?

The GOP and the NRA seem to have gone insane, and they seem to be unable to read a word like "arms" and understand that such a word requires reasonable limitations in the real world.

By: yogiman on 1/21/13 at 12:02

Mike,

This apparently isn't the world you grew up in. But yes, in "today's time", I see nothing wrong with a law abiding citizen carrying a gun. Can you name one incident where a law abiding citizen killed someone unless they were protecting themselves or someone else?

The terms "arms" means nothing to a criminal; and no law restricting them a gun is going to stop them.

Our founders did foresee the future in the 2nd amendment because. I imagine your man Barry will bring the gun issue into the light tonight. And you can bet your a$$ if he could pull it off he would become our dictator by proclamation.

That was his goal the day he went in that office, Mike; and I will continue my argument on his refusal to identify himself. There is no way he could be eligible for that office after becoming an Indonesian citizen.

If you're ready for a dictator, you can back him all the way. I'm not.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 12:09

What about the guy who had a concealed permit and shot the guy in the pizza restaurant over a petty argument?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 12:11

Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Fatally Shoot Each Other During Argument: VPC Concealed Carry Killers August Update

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/08/30-0

Two Florida concealed handgun permit holders who got into a confrontation and shot and killed each other on a neighborhood street are among the additions and updates to Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders.

Since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 189 individuals--including nine law enforcement officers--in 26 states. Of the 114 incidents that resulted in the deaths, in more than half (63 incidents) the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted, committed suicide after the shooting, or was killed in the incident. Of the 51 cases still pending, the vast majority (44) of concealed handgun permit holders have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, two incidents were unintentional shootings, and three incidents are still under investigation. Of the 114 incidents, 16 were mass shootings where concealed handgun permit holders claimed the lives of 65 victims.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 12:12

That was as of August 2010. The total is surely higher now. So much for the law abiding people who carry guns.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 12:14

http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm

Clicking on each category's tally will link you to vignettes describing the circumstances for each killing, listed by state. The descriptions also include the current, known status of any charges filed against the permit holder as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide

By: JohnGalt on 1/21/13 at 12:45

:Like the dinosaurs, ultra-conservative Republicans are inflexible, hidebound creatures who seem incapable of adapting to changing times. If anyone else demonstrates evolving intelligence, the cold-blooded raptors respond with breathtaking fury."

Obviously, Burch was looking in the mirror when he wrote this.

By: budlight on 1/21/13 at 3:27

Gabby Giffords is a gun owner.

"There was an armed deputy present on the school grounds the day of the Columbine massacre. He was outnumbered and outgunned, and couldn’t risk harming innocent children, so he was unable to prevent the killings."

One of the tings not publicized is the fact that in some cases, the armed person does prevail. These cases are left in the dark while the left shines a light on the failed ones.

Guns do not kill people. People kill people. And they will find a way, even if not with a gun. Tim McVeigh is a prime example. How do you explain that?

By: Mike Burch on 1/21/13 at 3:54

I'm not an ultra-conservative Republican. If I was, I would (on average), believe a long list of crazy things.

I would insist that the founding fathers gave every American the unrestricted right to bear arms, which would mean bazookas, flamethrowers, mortars, Stinger missiles, nukes and other WMDs.

I would demand the right to have concealed guns in bars, parks, trunks, etc. but never think about the rights of other people to know when their lives are in danger. Does a mother having pizza with her children have the right to know that the men drinking pitchers of beer at the next table are packing heat and endangering her children's lives?

I would deny gays the right to marry based on the "wisdom" of the Bible, even though the Bible commands and condones slavery, sex slavery, the stoning of boys for being stubborn and girls for being raped, etc. If we can't trust the Bible on matters of race, slavery and proper child rearing, how can we trust it on marriage?

I would demand the right to pray and discuss the Bible in schools, but if anyone prayed to Allah or brought a Koran or Wiccan book to an American school, I would have a meltdown, since conservative Christians are the last people who want real religious freedom in schools.

I would believe that God created a perfect world, and that suffering and death only entered the world when Adam and Eve "fell," despite the evidence of the fossil record that animals were suffering and dying long before man even existed. How can man be responsible for things that happened millions of years before he existed? But if there was no "fall" and no "original sin," conservative Christians are obviously wrong to blame human beings for the Creator's mistakes.

I would deny the clear evidence of global warming and call global warming a "liberal" conspiracy.

I would insist that the US always support Israel despite Israel's system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing that led directly to 911 and two unwinnable, trillion dollar wars.

I would insist that abortions are "immoral" but refuse to help poor women provide for their children, ensuring all sorts of misery for babies born into poverty. I would insist that every birth is the "will of God" even though in nature most human babies would never reach adulthood.

I would object to federal aid to Planned Parenthood, even though family planning is necessary in a nation that refuses to bear the cost of unwanted babies, each of whom costs nearly a million dollars if raised properly and given a college education.

In other words, if I was an ultra-conservative Republican, I would believe all sorts of things that aren't true, make no sense, and endanger our nation and cause children to suffer. I would be a dinosaur trying to live in an ever-changing world that requires the ability to think and adapt.

I prefer to think for myself, so I left the Republican party when I saw that it was losing its marbles.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 4:12

bud, there are other means of killing someone other than shooting them, but guns make it easier to kill people. That's what a handgun is desgined to do. Otherwise, why wouldn't you just be happy with cars, knives and hammers since you say they are capable of killing people too? One thing isn't going to fix the problem but we shouldn't take an all or nothing viewpoint in trying to solve it.

btw, what did they ever decide about the Antioch Target? Is it still scheduled to close?

By: Ask01 on 1/21/13 at 4:25

Explain Timothy McVeigh? There isn't enough time or Stoli in Nashville to adequately investigate the psyche of Oklahoma City bomber.

In short, though, Timothy McVeigh was a demented, psychopathic killer who determined he stood a better chance of achieving a maximum kill zone and possibility of getting away with his crime by using explosives in a rental truck than storming the door with guns blazing.

This was a federal building, so armed security was almost certainly present. McVeigh, while a "head" case was not crazy. He was fully aware of his actions and did not intend to kill himself, just others.

No gun laws will stop those determined to inflict pain and death on others.

However, making assault weapons and high capacity magazines much harder to obtain will force those opting for guns to commit their foul deeds to use other guns. Guns which need to be reloaded more often, slowing their progress.

It is not a difficult concept. In addition, those aaw abiding citizens who refuse to surrender their firearms of this class will simply no longer be law abiding citizens. They will be criminals, just like McVeigh.

By: budlight on 1/21/13 at 5:59

y: Blanketnazi2 on 1/21/13 at 8:37
You do realize that a lot of the guns carried by Mexican gang members came from the US, right?

And sold to them by U.S. government.

Target is scheduled to close in Feb. I believe. Or that was my last word I heard on it. Shame. I liked that Target. However, I'm sure someone will get us a mom and pop type of flea market put in. That's about all we seem to get here in antioch. Wanna buy my house? It is in an awesome location. Horse farm across the street; woods in the back and walking distance to priest lake (well, a good walk on a warm sunny day).