Burch: Leave your guns at the reality checkpoint

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:25pm
By Michael R. Burch

In a previous article, I predicted that Franklin alderman Dana McLendon would never see his pipe dream fulfilled of ordinary citizens being allowed to carry guns into government buildings.

Ironically, I just had occasion to visit the Franklin courthouse, where I and my wife, Beth, appeared as character witnesses for a friend involved in a child custody case. Not only were we not allowed to carry assault weapons into the august presences of Franklin’s judges, but Beth was not allowed to carry her purse into the courthouse while I had to remove my belt just to make it past the scanner.

What happened to our unlimited Second Amendment right to bear arms, which should have allowed us to carry machine guns, howitzers, bazookas and flamethrowers wherever we pleased? Beth couldn’t even bear her lipstick and mascara containers into the courthouse. I was fortunate just to keep my pants from collapsing around my ankles.

Not only that, but once we were inside the courthouse, we were not afforded our Constitutional right to speak freely without limitations. We had to wait our turn to testify and couldn’t just say whatever popped into our minds. We had to follow a very strict code of conduct, to keep the judge from finding us in contempt, throwing us in jail, and fining us.

It seems obvious that the people who know the Constitution and Bill of Rights best — American judges — have no illusions that the rights it grants are unlimited.

Nor do Tennessee legislators who hypocritically claim to be the protectors of our First and Second Amendments rights have any problem infringing on those rights, in order to protect themselves.

Security measures have just been upgraded on Capitol Hill, as part of a $15.7 million renovation program. Our hard-earned tax dollars have been spent on scanners, cameras and permanent guard stations. Will ordinary citizens be allowed to carry weapons of any sort into the renovated capitol building? Not on your life. The only people bearing arms there will be trained professionals assigned to protect the people denying us our right to bear arms.

House Speaker Beth Harwell said the upgrades will make legislators and visitors safer without curbing access to the Capitol. But the upgrades will certainly curb our access to Tennessee legislators if we go bearing arms.

The current security upgrades were budgeted soon after Gabby Giffords was shot. Previous security upgrades were budgeted soon after 9/11. It seems obvious that when Tennessee legislators feel threatened, they are ready, willing and able to spend large sums of money and infringe on our rights, in order to protect themselves.

But then why not do everything possible to protect the lives of innocent schoolchildren? Are the lives of adult legislators more sacred than the lives of students? Adult legislators can find other lines of work. No one can force them to enter dangerous buildings. But children are required to attend school. They have no choice but to enter dangerous school buildings, if legislators refuse to make them as safe as possible.

The raging hypocrites on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill have two very different sets of standards. For themselves, the standard is their personal safety, even if it costs large sums of money and trumps our Constitutional rights. But for everyone else, personal safety means nothing. So we have bills that allow guns in bars, guns in parks and guns in trunks. Now there is talk of guns on campuses. Can anyone doubt that the next “logical” step will be guns in high schools, grade schools, kindergartens and daycare centers?

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

76 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 2/17/13 at 4:25

If you don't get shot, and would like to know how many years you have left in life, go to:
//media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan/ ... and don't lie.

By: EddieA on 2/17/13 at 5:09


Thank you. You are really very polite. In 2008, I had terrible things written about me in Nashville Scene - Pith in the Wind.

By: Loner on 2/17/13 at 5:19

Bromance brewing?

By: yogiman on 2/17/13 at 7:38

Bromance? That "sounds" like something you're very familiar with, Loner. Are you having a 'bromance' with the "silly six" on this site?

By: yogiman on 2/17/13 at 7:51


If you're ready for a dictator as your superior, then give him your gun. I'm not ready for a dictator for my heirs and I will not give up my gun. I prefer they have the freedoms I've had in my life.

I love it much better than I would slavery to a dictator. And that is Barry's goal.

By: yogiman on 2/17/13 at 8:59

Well, well. I have been ridiculed and referred to Snopes on issues regarding Obama. I've made remarks about Snopes being "on Obama's side". Facts are facts: read it and weep or prove it wrong.


By: govskeptic on 2/18/13 at 6:46

I'm sure the Williamson County Court was wooed by the unarmed Burch's
character witness testimony in the custody case. It would be no surprise to
hear that there was a loud applause from the audience and a favorable ruling
from the Judge for their friend. Gun security is for the Rich and Political only,
not for the isolated rancher, farmer, or loners and their families in remote or
crime infested areas of a state, city, or this nation.

By: bfra on 2/18/13 at 7:10

govskeptic = Gun security is for the Rich and Political only,
not for the isolated rancher, farmer, or loners and their families in remote or
crime infested areas of a state, city, or this nation.

Where did you come up with that bunch of bull?

By: yogiman on 2/18/13 at 7:41

That ain't bull, bfra. Or do you have an explanation why Senator Feinstein has the right to carry a gun but we common citizens don't?

Correct me if I'm wrong: I've never heard, or read, of a honest, law abiding citizen pulling a gun without due reason.

So why is it okay for government officials and criminals to be armed but honest law abiding citizens should be unarmed? Don't they trust us?

By: bfra on 2/18/13 at 7:56

Another bunch of BULL!

By: yogiman on 2/18/13 at 9:22

Sorry you have such a feeble mind, bfra. Have you thought about why the government is buying billions of rounds of hollow point ammunition?


Maybe you need to buy another gun and more bullets.

By: bfra on 2/18/13 at 9:35

More BULL from the champion BULL spitter!

By: budlight on 2/18/13 at 9:54

By: Mike Burch on 2/16/13 at 2:47

That sounds like saying we should be glad that our daughters have been raped, if we end up with grandchildren as a result.

Mike your analogy is too far fetched even for a liberal. No, that is not what Yogi said. And he did not say slavery was "necessary". Slavery was what it was. And many black families can trace their American roots back to their first ancestors who were slaves. The lives of Americans are all different today than in those days. And far better. I can see what he is saying. Would some families be here if it were just an immigration issue? Probably not.

And regarding Republican slavery, I bet Nancy Pelosi has some house help that thinks they are slaves to her. And I've worked for some democrats who worked people like dogs and paid them very little. I bet all those people in India working for Microsoft and making peanuts (compared to Gates and U.S.) think they have a Democratic Slave owner - bill gates - BMOC!

By: Mike Burch on 2/18/13 at 10:03


The German "productive class" once acted like a bunch of lemmings, and see where it got them. People who act without thinking, or who think badly, often perish together.

By: Mike Burch on 2/18/13 at 10:07


Thanks again for posting the article. I had never considered the connection between slavery and the "state militias" of the Second Amendment, but as soon as you mentioned the connection, even before I read the article, it made perfect sense to me.

I will write an article about the real reason for the revised wording of the Second Amendment. The original version mentioned a "free country" and nothing about state militias. James Madison made the change to appease slaveholders who wanted the right to shoot and whip slaves. The South was a giant police state, and the militias were a hyperactive Big Brother.

By: Mike Burch on 2/18/13 at 10:13


One of the great lies is that the Bible is a source of good ethics. The Bible is wrong about nearly everything:

Sex Slavery
Stoning "witches" to death
Stoning boys for being stubborn and talking back
Stoning girls for not proving their virginity by bleeding on their wedding nights

There are a few decent verses in the Bible here and there, but much of the Bible was written by men worse than Hitler. Even Hitler didn't say that fathers could sell their own daughters as sex slaves (Exodus 21) or that husbands should stone their wives to death if they couldn't prove their virginity by bleeding on their wedding nights (Deuteronomy 22).

People who think the Bible teaches good ethics refuse to read the book and think independently. I read the Bible as a young boy, and it was obvious to me that it didn't come from a good God. Priests and pastors lie to their congregations and the gullible sheep the lies.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/18/13 at 12:37

Mike the Bible is wrong because it was written by men and then rewritten by other men.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/18/13 at 12:52

Mike Burch, WHAT the hell are you trying to say that correlates between Adolf Hitler and the productive class buying guns because they are afraid of the underclass?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/18/13 at 1:52

Raspy old what the hell do you know about productive anything. You are a mooch.

By: Mike Burch on 2/18/13 at 2:58


The parallels between the Nazis and American rednecks are more than obvious.

German rednecks claimed to be "more productive" and "superior" to Jews and other people. The self-professed "Aryan supermen" then went on a rampage and came close to destroying the world.

Now American rednecks claim to be "more productive" and "superior" to other people. This time the helpless targets are people in the Middle East, because they have oil. Now the US threatens the world with destruction by using its "superiority" to dominate weaker people, using its military power the same way Hitler and Co. once did.

People of superior intelligence don't brag about their superiority. Einstein and Newton didn't have to brag about their superior intelligence. Only people with INFERIORITY complexes brag about being superior. Rednecks with inferiority complexes join the KKK, vandalize mosques, pick on gays, etc. They are among the lowest lifeforms, like male lions who kill the cubs of other male lions as a way of perpetuating their own genes.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/18/13 at 3:36

Mike I know the troll known as Rasputin, from years ago. The only productive thing he ever did was to take money from women, starting with is grandmother.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/18/13 at 4:15

Mike Burch.......Your 2:58 was interesting to say the least. Diversity does not have any limits on how many and how much diversity.

By: brrrrk on 2/18/13 at 4:24

Rasputin72 said

"These are the markings of a Republican;
Middle aged white men
Military retirees
Corporate executives
Rich white people
Polarizing people"

You forgot...

Now I'm not saying that ALL Republicans are these three; that would be patently unfair. But I'd bet my bottom dollar that 99% of ALL Racists, Homophobes, and Misogynists are Republicans

By: bfra on 2/18/13 at 4:41

brrrrk - I would say, you have a safe bet!

By: Rasputin72 on 2/18/13 at 5:44

Brrrk.........Your addendum to the markings of a Republican are perhaps a little too generalistic. Having far more connection with Republicans than you, it would be my considered opinion that less than 5% of Republicans care what a homo carries in his mouth or anus. I would also advise that I doubt that more than 1% of the Republicans I know have any "misogynist: leanings. I also doubt that there are more than 85% of the Republicans racists. Using my liberal knowledge I will change that. I am probably being a little too conservative. I will change the racists percentage to around 75%.

For Republicans in South Dakota,North Dakota,Minnesota,Wyoming,Iowa,Nebraska and Idaho the number of racist Republicans could be far less. I feel you have a bias that makes the Republicans look weird to you since your only experience may be with one of your employers.

By: yogiman on 2/18/13 at 7:18

Please correct me if I'm wrong, brrrrk, but what political party freed the slaves? And why did LBJ make the remark he would have the ni**ers votes for the next 200 years... meaning the Democrat party.