Burch: The 'whiz-dumb' of the NRA

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

I believe Tennesseans should carefully consider this small gem of wisdom from the pen of Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

It’s bad enough when we adults become the victims of our own irrational assumptions. But when our foolish beliefs lead to the deaths of innocent children, stupidity becomes infanticide.

Here in Tennessee, and throughout the “red” states, millions of people — dare I call them rednecks? — are full of the certain and unquestioned “knowledge” that “guns don’t kill people.” But this “fact” is not supported by the evidence of statistics, which tell an entirely different story: throughout the civilized world, where there are fewer guns, there are far fewer gun-related deaths. So it turns out that guns really do kill people, perhaps in the same way that high levels of lead in paint lead to more poisonings.

The Divine Oscar Wilde once said that the only sin is stupidity. I think we can safely say that 99.9 percent of Americans want to protect children from unnecessary suffering and death. But then it is beyond stupid for us to make it so easy for the deranged .01 percent to get their hands on assault weapons. Letting gun dealers peddle assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips is like letting home supply companies sell lead-based paints. In both cases, many innocent children are going to die for the sake of a few pennies per share on some company’s bottom line.

So let’s make no bones about it: for the sake of their real God, the Almighty Dollar, the NRA and its political lackeys are going to cause the deaths of large numbers of American children, unless we stop them. Perhaps the NRA and its minions will not be pulling the triggers directly. But if I am selling drugs in your neighborhood, and children start dying of overdoses, am I “innocent” or a huge part of the problem? Obviously, easy access to the wrong things can kill, whether the products are drugs, lead-based paints, or guns and ammo.

Here are some sobering statistics:

A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. Among the world’s 23 wealthiest nations, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all children killed by guns are American children.

According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in the 44 years since Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were shot to death, bullets have ended the lives of more than one million people. In the civilized world, an extraordinarily high percentage of those deaths were American deaths. Children in Japan, England and 20 other industrialized nations were much, much safer.

The Virginia-based Violence Policy Center ranks Tennessee seventh nationally for the most gun-related deaths, at a rate of 15.03 per 100,000 people. Tennessee’s household gun ownership rate is about 46 percent, the VPC estimates. Hawaii came in last — which in this case means first — with a death rate of 2.82 per 100,000 and a household gun ownership rate of only 9.7 percent.

So in the U.S. and around the civilized world, there is a strong correlation between the ownership of guns per capita, and the rate of gun-related deaths per capita. I’m sure we could find similar relationships between the presence of other deadly items and deaths related to those items: drugs, lead-based paints, asbestos, cars and houses that don’t meet safety standards, etc.

But the dumb whizzes of the NRA and their religion-mad political allies don’t believe in facts, statistics or science. They are people of faith — blind faith. In the past, people like them used the Bible and the Constitution to “prove” that slavery was the will of God and the Founding Fathers.

Now they want to enslave us and endanger our children by forcing us to bow down and worship the Almighty Gun. But people of blind faith were wrong about slavery, witch-hunts and the sacrifice of animals and children to the gods. I, for one, am confident that they are just as wrong about this strange new idolatry.

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

125 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 1/11/13 at 5:00

I hardly think that a country that has a major city like Nashville that cannot pass a bill that allows grocery stores to sell wine has a snowball chance of passing any effective gun laws.

Gun sales are soaring among the productive class who are frightened about the future. Gun sales and gun thefts are soaring among the underclass because that is where the birthrate is the highest. It is a strange alliamce. The productive class and the underclass uniting with the NRA to keep America headed toward all out civil disobedience.

By: Ask01 on 1/11/13 at 5:15

The handwriting is on the wall. (Or bathroom stall, for some of you.)

There will almost certainly be more severe restrictions on ownership of certain classes of weapons and their ammunition.

The sterling performance of Alex Jones on Piers Morgan cemented for many the image of gun owners as wild eyed, foaming at the mouth, spittle spewing lunatics.

That award worthy tirade, coupled with the theory advanced by James Tracy, supposedly a professor at Florida Atlantic University, that the Newtown murders were part of a plot to advance an anti gun agenda serve to portray gun enthusiasts as, quite honestly, dangerous, paranoid, and volatile people barely holding on to sanity.

Let's not forget the former marine who declared he would ignore any laws restricting ownership of assault weapons.

The constant, droning, liturgy of "they wanna take our guns," "pry my gun from my cold, dead, hand," and "guns don't kill people" is beginning to sound like demented ravings played ad nauseum.

Who sounds more reasonable? Mike Burch, Mr. Jones, Professor Tracy, or the former Marine?

I have to say Mike wins hands down, which is why the average citizen, turned off by the extremist rhetoric from gun owners, will force congress to tighten controls.

Remember, gun owners, you could have compromised, but chose to display your inner selves.

You brought this on yourself.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 5:47

Good morning, Nashville.

Excellent article, Mike Burch....I agree with your analysis and conclusion.

Lots of born-agains are armed to the teeth, especially in the former confederacy....these 2nd amendment Jesus freaks worship a savior that bears little resemblance to the Jesus that I learned about in Catholic school.

The nuns claimed that Jesus was an unarmed pacifist who did not believe in self defense. In my opinion, Christian gun-nuts are heretics; their Jesus was a well-armed, vindictive, virgin, heterosexual stud who not only believed in using deadly force in self defense, but believed in and supported the apartheid Jewish State concept , a strong military and the death penalty....that, of course, is pure heresy.

Born-agains often refer to Satan as, "the great deceiver"....their "Jesus" shares core values with Satan....and they are lobbying to make this nation a living hell.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 5:52

Rasputin is our Most Delusional NCP troll...he fancies himself a member of the "productive" or "upper" class"....and he loathes the "underclass"....poor bastard probably lives under an overpass and dines at the Mission....this site does provide entertainment....no doubt about it.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 6:20

Gun sales are soaring among the productive class who are frightened about the future.

Since when is white trash the productive class?

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 6:31

Most of the 10 amendments that we call, "the Bill of Rights", have come under some sort of criticism. alteration or clarification over the centuries; the 4th amendment, for example - freedom from unwarranted and unreasonable searches & seizures - has been trashed, as a result of our zeal to punish drunk drivers and drug addicts....and to identify the "terrorists" that may be among us.

But the 2nd amendment, seems to be elevated above the others...sacrosanct....beyond reproach....invulnerable.....inviolate....as if Jehovah Himself inscribed it onto a stone tablet.

Yes, I agree with Mike Burch, this worship of the right to keep and bear firearms is akin to idolatry.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 6:36

It's all or nothing with these nuts...if you hint about gun control, it's repealing the 2nd amendment. Maybe they're too stupid to understand simple ideas, I don't know. It's getting old. These people are delusional.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 6:41

Gd posits a rhetorical: "Since when is white trash the productive class?"

Since the recipe for meth went online and into the trailer parks, that's when...they have been producing ever since.

Without white trash, the tattoo parlors would all go under...white trash buy the cigarettes that provide the tax revenues for the states...they buy the guns & ammo....they buy the gasoline and diesel....from beer to chicken wings, white trash are propping up the entire economy....isn't that being, "productive"?

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 6:44

Good point. I guess the better question would be, when did our society become dominated by white trash? Do you think that young professionals are lining up to buy guns or fans of Honey Boo Boo?

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 6:47

And you're one of the best entertainers on this site, Loner. But back to the subject:

Only people kill people, guns do not. And statistics show more people are killed by hammers than guns. Should we ban hammers also? How about banning anything that can be the cause of death in a person? What about that knife you might have in your pocket? How about laying it on the table and letting it kill your neighbor.

It is known facts that gun deaths are caused by mentally ill people and you hear about people being killed by guns every day in the news sections. Why wasn't it noted in the "news" an armed man entered a school with intent to kill in Blountville TN. Wasn't it news because he was killed before he killed anyone?

God put you on this earth and God makes the decision when you are to leave this earth and how you are going to die. The only thing on this earth we all have in common is birth and death. Our living lives are us alone.

As is also known, only nations with unarmed citizens have dictators as their rulers and every nation that has had dictators take over as rulers are people who have had their guns taken from them.

It's funny, but it seems to be okay for people in power to have guns and armed security personnel under their command. If the people of the USA gave up their guns, would the President still need protection by security personnel carrying guns? How about our legislators and well known entertainers? Would they still need armed security personnel? You can but your a$$ they would still have them.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 6:47

GD, when bargaining, it's always best to originally demand more than you are willing to settle for.....I'd like to think that this is what is going on here....even the NRA cannot support the idea of mentally deranged persons legally owning firearms.

But the gun lobby has never compromised in the past, so my hope is a dim one.

I like the idea of a Presidential Executive Order circumventing our bribed & beholden Congress on this imminent threat to our national security and domestic tranquility.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 6:54

Junior Bush was white trash personified, Gd...from his cowboy boots to clearing brush on his ranch....a good old boy.....being a vacuous and arrogant ass became quite the fashion during the Bush era....when a "black guy" was elected POTUS, the Bush-loving white trash began calling themselves, the Tea Party....that's where we stand today.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/11/13 at 6:56

There is something about the people that could not compete and were the last chosen at school recess that resembles the twits and the Simple Six on this forum.

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 6:59

You "children" need to do a little study about the history of this world, especially the USA as to why it was founded and has gotten as far in the future as it has gotten to date. Learn when the communist party got a foot on the road in our nation and began it's takeover... one step at a time.

They are near the end of that road now, folks. I don't think you're going to like it when they get their ad out saying; "End of the Road, Subjects", we now have you under our command.

By: Kosh III on 1/11/13 at 7:09

People WITH guns kill people.

The year following the introduction of firearms licensing in Canada (1977), saw a significant decline in murder involving firearms.... From 1977 to 2003 Canada firearm homicide has declined from 1.15 to 0.5 per 100,000"

" Statistics Canada says the risk of firearms death was more than three times as great for American males as for Canadian males and seven times as great for American females as for Canadian females.
Because more of the U.S. deaths were homicides (as opposed to suicides or accidental deaths), the U.S. rate of gun homicide was nearly eight times Canada's,"

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 7:11

It's the paranoid ramblings of trash like yogi that perfectly illustrate my point.

Raspy, is that what happened to you? Is that why you now swindle little old ladies...because you took one too many balls to the head in gym class by bullies?

Double entendre intended.

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 7:12


We still have our Constitution as our "law of the land". Our founders determined the requirements for a person to become President of this nation to avoid anyone with possible control by foreign power.

May I ask one more time; how did a man whose father was a British subject meet the "natural born citizen" status? Because he was born in Hawaii (which he cannot prove)? If he was born in Hawaii, or any other state of the USA, he would only be entitled to dual-citizenship, not a natural born citizen.

Maybe you can explain why he's so secretive on his citizenship.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 7:15

My god...how stupid can one man be...

By: Rasputin72 on 1/11/13 at 7:18

Speak for yourself, Gdiafante

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 7:41

Oh Raspy...don't you have an old woman to con? Chop Chop

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 7:44

Happy Friday, g. Good to see you back.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 7:46

Once again, Mike Burch is baffling the idiots with facts.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 7:50

Thanks blanket...good to be back...? New year, same neanderthals...sigh.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 7:50

The neanderthals did know how to make weapons....

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 7:51

Sorry, B2, Mike is baffling you idiots with false facts. The actual facts show more people are killed being beaten with a hammer instead of shot with a gun.

Mike seems to only get the information as he want's to see it.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 7:53

Mike seems to only get the information as he want's to see it.

Pot, meet kettle. LOL

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 7:54

Funny how the idiots can't reference their so-called "facts." Oh wait - they think chain emails are "facts."

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 8:00

The neanderthals used to use stones as murder weapons, B2. Should we make people throw their stones in a gulley to prevent people from drowning? Would drowning be better than using stones to kill them?

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 8:00

Or conspiracy videos...hey there's a viral video of a yahoo in Mississippi saying that the government's taking my guns...IT MUST BE TRUE...lol

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 8:02

They didn't use all the stones...just the ones not in groups of ten...that would be heresy...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 8:06

Such blithering idiots. Then half the time they don't have the comprehension skills to even understand what is posted.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 8:08

If the NRA canard is true, that guns don't kill people, people kill people, then the cause of death on thousands of death certificates is inaccurate...gunshot wounds did not kill those people....people killed those people.

Maybe we could say that people don't kill people, gunshot wounds kill people.

In a motor vehicle accident, the victims are not killed by motor vehicles, they are killed by drivers? The death certificates do not reflect that logic.

In a war zone, people aren't killed by bullets, artillery shells & bombs, they are killed by people?

Maybe people don't kill people, Satan kills people...or does God kill people, by allowing them to be slaughtered?

This is fuzzy logic, my friends....a slippery slope to absurdity.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 8:11

lol, g.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 8:14

Guns are a tool...an means to an end. It's only purpose is to kill. If it's an assault weapon, it's purpose is mass killings. I'm still waiting for someone to explain why an ordinary citizen would need a military assault weapon.


By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 8:23

Sorry I'm not as smart as you, B2. But I'm sure you can prove me wrong even when statistics show I'm right.

If any of you was living during the flooding of New Orleans I would think you could learn what will happen to you if Barry get's our guns.

But what the hell, it seems okay for Dianne Feinstein? to have guns but the common people don't have the same rights she has. After all, she's in our legislature, isn't she? So she's entitled to them. Right?

According to our legislature, only the common citizens don't have the rights, the communist rulers do and you all seem to be right in the program with them.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 8:24

Falling from a high place doesn't kill people, gravity kills people....strangulation does not kill people, lack of oxygen kills people....knives & arrows don't kill people, bleeding kills people....ad absurdum.....ad nauseum....ad infinitum

Time for reason, not absurdity....enough of the NRA sloganeering....enough of the gun industry bribing the People's Congress....time to circumvent the 2nd amendment....Biden is onto something here....a Presidential Executive Order, to stop the carnage and protect our schools and our students from more carnage in the future, is called for...the POTUS has a duty to protect the citizens from enemies foreign and domestic.

IMO, the POTUS is constitutionally empowered to order gun safety action at the federal level...a clear and present danger exists and it is his duty to act swiftly and decisively....go for it, Mister President.

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 8:37

Burch is cherry picking his results. Of course there are more gun crimes in a country where guns are available. The question is whether the guns serve as an equalizer and deterrent between the assailant and victim in violent crime.

The statistics clearly show sharp increases in overall violent crime in both England and Australia AFTER their gun bans and the statistics also show that local right to carry laws have contributed to a substantial DECREASE in violent crime in the areas they have been applied in the US. Right to carry areas contrasted to areas like Chicago and DC where stringent gun ownership laws are in place and where mostly only criminals are armed show an inverse relationship in violent crime rates where the more liberal rights of individual gun ownership result in far less violent crime and the strictly controlled areas where law abiding citizens can be expected to be unarmed are seeing increasing crime rates.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 8:37

I agree, Gd, guns are tools, whose sole purpose, I might add, is to kill a living thing.

Oddly, we regulate motor vehicles and drivers; because together, they can kill, although that is definitely not their designed purpose.

But we Americans are loathe to regulate guns and/or gunners....even though guns are designed to be lethal and gunners buy them for that reason. Where is the logic, reason and sanity in that?

Enough of this madness....Congress is on the take....time for the Executive Order from the POTUS. The Republicans can always overturn it when their boy takes over....but in the meantime, let's be reasonable.

By: PKVol on 1/11/13 at 8:37

"According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in the 44 years since Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were shot to death, bullets have ended the lives of more than one million people. In the civilized world, an extraordinarily high percentage of those deaths were American deaths. Children in Japan, England and 20 other industrialized nations were much, much safer."

Did the Children's Defese Fund also proclaim that in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade decision, abortions have ended the lives of more than 50 million people, all of them children? In the civilized world, an extraordinarily high number. Children in non-industrialized nations were much, much safer."

We want to be civilized when it comes to gun control, but we don't want to be civilized when it comes to saving lives of the unborn...

By: grid on 1/11/13 at 8:41

I would like to chime in on this discussion. As a gun owner, avid target shooting enthusiast, & rational person, there must be some common ground on which people can come together.

I believe the root problem is that both extremes ("ban all guns" and "no gun restrictions/laws at all") are so entrenched that they are unwilling to compromise or even listen to what the other side has to say.

I carry my firearm as an absolute, last resort. I hope I will never be forced to fire on a human being (or anything living, for that matter). But, I will do what is necessary if I have no other choice to protect myself or my family. An adult's safety is ultimately his/her own responsibility. I choose to accept that responsibility, knowing full well the consequences of that.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 8:49

Ben certainly has the NRA talking points down pat....I appreciate that...but I don't buy it.

Ben is alleging that "sharp increases" in overall violent crime has occurred in both Australia and in England, as a result of gun control legislation in those two nations....though he offers no credible evidence to back up that claim....but, even if this claim is statistically true, is that the result of gun control, or in spite of it? Or did gun control have nothing to do with the alleged sharp increase in "overall violent crime"?

Is Ben trotting out a non sequitur?

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 8:53

You sound like a rational person, grid. I have no problem withwhat you said. There was an assault weapon ban in place before without the 2nd amendment being repealed. I think that most people understand that some weapons shouldn't be in commercial production.

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 8:55

Is Ben trotting out a non sequitur?

That's rhetorical, right?

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 9:00

PKVol tried to correlate women's rights with gunner's rights?

Grid, welcome to the board, I appreciate your points...there must be some common ground.....when we find it....we'll have to stand it....could call for sandbags & concertina wire around the perimeter.....armed zealots number in the tens of millions in this country.....if the union ever falls apart and anarchy reigns....armed bands of gunmen would soon terrorize everyone across the fruited plain....the veneer of civilization is remarkably thin...we see images of that in places like Libya and Syria....and across Africa.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 9:01

Metaphorical, not rhetorical, Gd.

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 9:06

I'm just wondering: What would you "gun hatters" do if someone broke into your homes? Just sit in your chair and let them take what they wanted? Ask them if you could help them in getting it out to their car?

What would you do if they decided to rape your wife or daughter; or kill them? Relax and watch the "show"?

You can live your lives, fellows, I chose mine instead. If someone breaks into my home they will be carried out on a stretcher to the funeral home where they will learn not to attempt any more burglaries.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 9:10

Ben, you were nominated, if not awarded an NCP Oscar, at 7:38, on the other thread:


You deserve it, my old friend.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 9:12

The old gun-in-hat trick...but, I must ignore....discipline....discipline!

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 9:12

What the hell happens in Gordonsville? Maybe you should find a nice gated community...lol

By: budlight on 1/11/13 at 9:21

Burch said "According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in the 44 years since Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were shot to death, bullets have ended the lives of more than one million people. In the civilized world, an extraordinarily high percentage of those deaths were American deaths. Children in Japan, England and 20 other industrialized nations were much, much safer."

And yet, Mr. Burch, you don't even flinch when the statistics show the number of unborn babies aborted in the U.S. annually. If people who kill a pregnant woman are also charged with murder when the child she is carrying dies, then abortion is also murder. Why are you not jumping up and down and screaming for the right to live for the unborn?

I'd like to start a movement to change the meaning of birthday to "birth-day". We should celebrate the women who carry their children 9 months and give them life. We need "birth-day" cards commemorating the women who actually protect their unborn until they are born. (a day in addition to Mother's day).