Burch: Raging hypocrisy

Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Dana McLendon, a Franklin alderman, will see the NRA’s insanity and raise it the pot limit. But it’s a crackpot bet. He wants to allow guns in municipal buildings on the premise that, as he put it, “When the bad guy with the gun arrives, the only effective response is the good guy with a gun.”

McLendon’s zany theory is like saying that the “only way” to prevent people from making bombs and killing other people is to have the “good guys” blow up the “bad guys” first. But obviously a much better way to protect innocent people from being blown to bits is to regulate the distribution of chemicals that can be used to create bombs. And our government does just that. But if we can regulate the distribution of potentially lethal chemicals, why can’t we regulate the distribution of obviously lethal weapons and ammo?

Yes, the Second Amendment creates the right of citizens to bear arms. But it has never been an unlimited right. Bombs are a type of arms. But surely no one with a functioning brain thinks American citizens have the “right” to own and bear nuclear bombs. There must be sane limits to our rights. If every human being has an inalienable right to bear any type of armament, then obviously Iranians have the right to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. So why is our government trying to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

There is a glaring problem when politicians say two contrary things. Tennessee’s lunatic fringe leadership is saying, on one hand, that ordinary citizens have the unlimited right to own and bear arms, because of the Second Amendment. But none of them think that Muslim citizens of Tennessee have the right to own and bear nuclear weapons, or any type of arms that might be used in acts of large-scale terrorism.

If Tennessee legislators have the right to protect themselves from terrorists bearing super-lethal weapons, why don’t we have the right to protect innocent schoolchildren from madmen bearing super-lethal guns? Are the lives of adult legislators more valuable than the lives of children?

One or the other must be true: either citizens have the unlimited right to own and bear arms, or the government has the right to regulate the distribution of arms which are too lethal for private use. And if anyone deserves to be protected, it is our children, not self-serving politicians.

And let’s get real: Tennessee politicians and judges don’t believe for a second in the right of ordinary citizens to bear arms in their august presence. They are never going to allow us to carry guns into their courthouses and legislative plazas. The only armed people they will allow near them while they work are trained professionals. Nor do they believe for a second in the “right” of ordinary citizens to exercise their unlimited freedom of speech during court sessions and government proceedings. (If you want to test my theory, just try standing up in the middle of a trial and screaming the First Amendment at the top of our lungs. If you don’t quickly shut up and sit down, the judge will have you arrested, hauled off to jail and fined.)

Tennessee’s politicians and judges are raging hypocrites. They are willing to allow us and our children to become targets in a shooting gallery. But they will never accept that risk themselves. Dana McLendon has a pipe dream. His fellow legislators are not stupid enough to risk their lives. They are, however, hypocritical enough to risk our lives, and our children’s lives, while protecting their own.

Why are we paying cowardly, self-serving hypocrites to protect themselves while turning our children into sitting ducks for madmen armed with super-lethal weapons?

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

299 Comments on this post:

By: BenDover on 2/8/13 at 4:41

I never said a thing about that, brrrk. You are misrepresenting me again.

By: brrrrk on 2/8/13 at 4:42

BenDover said

"It's not need brrrrk. I hate hunting but I don't think people who enjoy it should be deprived of that right any more than they should mind me bustin' the hell out of a case of clays with my Mini."

Deprived of what right? No one (especially me) is suggesting you lose the right to hunt. How afraid of the world are you?

By: BenDover on 2/8/13 at 4:42

You are debating your perception of me... and your own characterization of me... not what I said.

By: BenDover on 2/8/13 at 4:45

I did not say I hunted... further illustration of the fact that you are debating your perception rather than my position.

By: brrrrk on 2/8/13 at 4:51

Ok Ben....

Let me make my position clear. Any gun with any option that allows the shooter to commit mass murder in a matter seconds, particularly weapons that spray munitions is such a way that the persons being shot at don't have a opportunity to defend themselves.... gone. A weapon like THAT is not, nor ever has been intended for "hunting"... except for humans.

By: bfra on 2/8/13 at 4:57

Ben, have you completely flipped? What you have said is the basis of anyone's perception of what your character is. Bluntly - It ain't much!

By: yogiman on 2/8/13 at 5:00


If only the government and military are allowed to have "assault weapons", we common citizens ain't got a chance when Barry decides to take over as dictator.

By: BenDover on 2/8/13 at 5:09

I'm not defending a right to hunt. I'm defending a right to shoot. I don't enjoy hunting I like shooting. I grew up like most other normal boys around me shooting bb and pellet guns for target practice... blowing up army men with fire-crackers and the bigger the bang the more fun. It has to do with having testosterone flowing through your body I guess. As we got older we'd go to the range and shoot pistols and rifles... the higher power, the bigger bang, the more destruction to the target the better. We'd laugh and point and say "hell yeah!" when something big went off... or when we popped a sealed mason jar full of sand and it exploded into a huge show. Fireworks give a lot of people the same joy we had shooting.

In any case laying waste to a bunch of down-range targets with a high-power semi-auto is more fun than just about anything I've ever done. I don't expect you to understand it... but being America I expect you to leave me the hell alone about it because I don't judge whatever it is you might do to get your jollies.

If you want to save a substantial number of lives you're going to have to show your hand that you want to ban hand-guns too because with 'assault' weapons the statistics are just not there. And since the murders with all weapons are a fraction of deaths caused by other things like drinking and driving and the like you'll have to abandon reason to make the case that your efforts to take away my guns makes any sense at all in light of the fact we don't ban alcohol or cars that will exceed the speed limit.

In America we are allowed to have things that we enjoy yet don't necessarily need. You be happy with your things that you don't 'need' and I'll be happy with mine.

By: yogiman on 2/8/13 at 5:18

Interesting. Why is the Department of Homeland Security "loading up"?


Are they our protectors? I thought that was the Department of Defense.

By: yogiman on 2/8/13 at 5:21

It doesn't look like the "slick six" has the mentality to understand it, BenDover. And not only that, but most other things posted on this site.

By: yogiman on 2/8/13 at 5:25

Correction, please: That is 21.6 billion rounds of ammo in the last 11 months.

By: Mike Burch on 2/8/13 at 6:09

Why not give the poor animals a fighting chance, and limit hunting to bows and slingshots?

Then we can repopulate the forests with bears, cougars and wolves, and have some REAL ENTERTAINMENT when the human hunters run into alpha predators. Just imagine the ratings of TV shows where rednecks get to watch other rednecks being ripped to shreds. It would be like Survivor meets Duck Dynasty meets Friday the 13th meets the World's Dumbest. It would be the highest-rated TV show in the Southern states!

By: Loner on 2/9/13 at 6:25

Captain Nemo....for you:

As part of a new effort to name winter storms, the Weather Channel dubbed the blizzard "Nemo."

Part of your five minutes of fame & glory.

We got nearly a foot of snow, thanks to Nemo....it's absolutely gorgeous out right now...the air is still...no wind at all....the snow hangs on the branches of the trees in a gravity-defying display....like thick white frosting on everything...it's a powdery snow over a rather wet snow base....the temps plummeted last night....good thing we cleared the driveway when we did...the base is now frozen and would be more difficult to remove.

Cross country skiing should be excellent today...hey, if you gotta endure a NY winter, you might as well get some skis and enjoy it.

By: bfra on 2/9/13 at 7:22

Loner - Sounds like Nemo did a beautiful job of spreading a Winter Wonderland in your area. The snow you described does make for some fun & enjoyment. Be careful & have a good time.

By: Loner on 2/9/13 at 8:03

Nemo just interrupted our power here...it's back on, for now, Bfra. Thanks for your concern about my well-being...earlier this year I fell and hit my left knee cap on a rock...still sore. I'll be more careful next time...I'm no Spring chicken.

By: bfra on 2/9/13 at 8:09

Loner - We used to have snows like that here, not quite that much but deeper than what we have now or have had for sometime now. People laugh at global warming, but seeing the changes in the region here, I don't. But time well tell. Anyway, do be careful & I can agree on not being a Spring chicken any more.

By: Loner on 2/9/13 at 8:17

I just had to finish what I started yesterday...I added two more stanzas...enjoy!

They're packing heat in old Tennessee,
The meanest state in the land of the free.
Even the pastors are wearing a gun,
Their Jesus resembles Attila the Hun.

They got guns in their cars...
They got guns in their bars....
They wear a gun when they pray.
They wear a gun when they play.

They're packing heat in old Tennessee,
The meanest state in the land of the free.
The Southern state with the Cumberland Gap.
They got frontier values and the coonskin cap.

By: bfra on 2/9/13 at 8:59

Time for Raspy to appear & tell everybody how he is going to let his "little" light shine! Only he just doesn't know how "little" his light is.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/9/13 at 9:22

Sorry about that Loner. lol
I thought I heard my named called the other day, but I wasn't sure til now.

By: Ask01 on 2/9/13 at 9:26

Loner, allow me to add my condolences to your knee. I, like you and others it seems, are constantly reminded by our bodies that we are no longer teenagers, or even middle agers.

The mechanic I used to turn to when I was stumped had a saying about how his "mind was writing checks his body couldn't cash."

We used to get a laugh when the condition was just starting. Not so much now, however.

bfra, thanks for the support on the other thread and the reminder of what winter once entailed in these parts.

But, we needn't worry, right? Right wing, conservative, corporate Republicans assure us Global Warning is merely a liberal fantasy, right?


By: Captain Nemo on 2/9/13 at 9:27

Back home for the moment, but leaving shorty for Memphis.

By: Ask01 on 2/9/13 at 9:31

Good morning, Captain Nemo.

I had a slight chuckle when I heard the name, mystifying my wife and kids. When queried about what what was so funny, I just replied it was an inside joke rather than try to explain.

Have a great day folks. It's market day, so we must be off to replenish our stores.

Don't let the trolls bite. Remember, their mouths are nastier and more septic than humans.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/9/13 at 9:35

Just how bad is it in your neighborhood Loner?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/9/13 at 9:36

You too Ask01! ;-)

By: Loner on 2/9/13 at 11:38

It's great, Nemo, if you love the snow...about a foot on the ground...the stuff on top is quite fluffy and will either blow off or settle over time...the forecast does not call for anything over 32F in the next few days and another storm could hit next weekend....this is seasonal and to be expected....Ground Hog prognostications notwithstanding.

By: bfra on 2/9/13 at 12:45

Ben - In any case laying waste to a bunch of down-range targets with a high-power semi-auto is more fun than just about anything I've ever done. I don't expect you to understand it... but being America I expect you to leave me the hell alone about it because I don't judge whatever it is you might do to get your jollies.

With things the way they are in this World today, that is one of the most self-centered, selfish comments I have seen put on this board, other than some hogwash by yogi.

Well Ben, I hope they ban assault weapons & if you choose to hold on to yours, you are fined to the nth of the law. Find something that doesn't kill multiple people in a matter of seconds to get your jollies. Your jollies suck!

By: dargent7 on 2/9/13 at 1:09

Speaking of, "bad neighborhoods"...
Met the guy who wrote the "History of Sylvan Park".
Lived here his entire life.
Said, "Sylvan Park is a bad neighborhood..."
" burglaries, drugs, pot smokers, home invasions, an occassional rape..."
I said, "WHAT!" We never locked our house doors, windows, or car.
For 6 years.
Never a problem with us or any neighbor.
Some people are just plain nuts.

By: BenDover on 2/10/13 at 8:53

Selfish? Selfish is imposing your irrational fears on everyone else by chasing some unachievable utopia regardless of the cost in dollars or liberty.

By: Ask01 on 2/10/13 at 10:25

Did anyone else see the editorial cartoon in the Tennessean this morning?

I believe this one panel summed up the issue at hand very nicely.

The drawing showed a smiple handgun with price tag attached. The price tag enumerated the base cost of the weapon, then added the extended costs of police, courts, ambulance, prison, and more. This amplely illustrates the price we as a society pay for unfettered access to weapons without requiring background checks, registration and psychological evaluation.

Let me address upfront the tired, overused, but inevitable rhetoric about criminals not following the law. Many of those recently responsible for mass shootings, or perhaps kidnappings and hostage situations, were considered legal, authorized gun owners, and practitioners of the Second Amendment. Right up to the point they started killing people.

I don't advocate the confiscation of weapons. Far from any such silliness. But I do support limitations on what weapons people are allowed to own, intensive background checks, registration at least of handguns, and in depth psychological evaluations to reduce the availability of weapons to the criminal element and deny access to those who are mentally suspect.

My views, however, are too logical to be supported by the pro gun crowd and not nearly draconian enough to satisfy the anti crowd.

Thank goodness for the First Amendment.

By: bfra on 2/10/13 at 11:02

As your 5:09 comment indicates, you are one sick, selfish puppy. People I am around when shooting, are usually honing their skills, not seeing how big a "pop" something is going to make. Heck, with your MO, you might decide what somebody would do if blown away. Glad I don't personally know anyone like you, I hope. Also you should get past the BB & capgun stage.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 7:49

Ben says....

"In truth there's nothing really liberal about Liberals except in the use of the penis and vagina in every way but for their natural intention of reproduction"

But he wants to be able to own assault rifiles without any background checks and accountability and complains about his freedom and liberty being taken away. At the same time he wanst to dictate what consenting adults do with their sex life. Irony?

By: bfra on 2/11/13 at 7:55

Ben thinks more of himself & his ideas than anyone else! :-)

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 8:04

Guns can kill people. The sex life of consenting adults is no one's business. Women's healthcare should be between her and her doctor and is no one else's business. People like Ben have a funny way of viewing liberty.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/11/13 at 8:06

Blanket.....When it comes to sex I assume that your advancing age has propeled you to carry a blanket now instead of the mattress.

Time does take a toll.

By: bfra on 2/11/13 at 8:07

Blanket - Ben made it clear, he only cares about HIS liberty. To he** with everyone else.

By: bfra on 2/11/13 at 8:10

Raspy - Not to worry, Blanket doesn't sound like the type that would try to steal your mattress at the homeless shelter or from under the bridge.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:14

By: yogiman on 2/6/13 at 9:06
One proven fact, dumba$$: If Rasputin72's is equal to me mentally, that means he is far superior to your mentality. And you're proving it every day.

You can't fight facts. You are as smart as yogi. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:18

Raspy has knees pads and a mattress. He is ready for any position that life offers.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 8:22

Raspy still hasn't come up with anything of substance to add to the conversation? No surprise there.....

Good morning, bfra & Nemo. :)

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 8:24

I seriously do want to hear opinions about the Pope's decision to step down. That's a very odd move. Any thoughts from the Catholics on the board?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:24


He is too stupid to know that he is stupid.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:26

Good morning Blanket

By: Rasputin72 on 2/11/13 at 8:27

NEMO.........The last time I saw a post from you was a few days ago when you crudely. Propositioned me with the written words "Are you going to suck cock?"

There are lots of things one can do with money but one of the subtle benefits is not having to have any perspnal interface with underclass like yourself.

Rage oon into the night, it is another splendid day for golf and fellowship with the genteel and gentlemanly class.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 8:28

I think the next pope will be from Latin America.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:32

Both Rasputin and yogi are metal equals and stand at the ready to show us all just how big of IgNoRayMus they can be.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:42

Raspy old boy, I would never make any proposition with you or any other of your rank. So to keep you from making any other conclusion that I would pay you for any services, the answer is no.

Now you may go and play golf, (if that is what you call it) on the street.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:50

I think the next Pope will be male, Blanket. I am safe with this.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/13 at 8:54

I think that's a good bet, Nemo. LOL! It'll be interesting if it's the cardinal from Argentina or the one from Ghana. Both are at the top of the list of potential popes.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/11/13 at 8:59

You could be right on the money, Blanket. I don’t try to think what goes on in Vatican City, but politics is politics.

By: BenDover on 2/11/13 at 9:04

No Blanket. My point, in context, was that there are only two liberties that modern liberals believe in. Inconsequential sex and recreational drugs. I, as I have noted on many occasions, am perfectly fine with both of these but my ideas of liberty extend further than this. Beyond those two however the modern 'Liberal' is no such thing. In truth outside of these the modern 'Liberal' is a totalitarian collectivist that wishes to use the power of the state to dictate to the people the nuance of their behavior, belief and speech.

That was my point.