Burch: A moment of silence

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

There was a moment of silence after Sandy Hook, then the National Rifle Association’s madness resumed.

A wise man once pointed out that if we don’t learn from the errors of the past, we are doomed to repeat them. Are Tennessee students and teachers now doomed to die because the NRA and its political lackeys refuse to learn from their egregious errors?

According to a U.N. report, the U.S. has by far the highest rate of gun-related deaths among the world’s 23 richest nations, averaging 20 times more such homicides than its peers. Tennessee probably has one of the highest gun-death rates in the developed world, since according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, we ranked eighth among the states with 966 shooting deaths in 2009.

The center gave Tennessee gun laws an “F,” and that was before some of the even crazier legislation of recent years.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA went through a silent period during which it stopped sending out Tweets and made no public comments about the murders of 20 young children and six educators. Many of us hoped this silence indicated that the NRA was really thinking for a change, rather than just relentlessly pursuing its rigid ideology of “the more guns, the better.”

But when the NRA finally spoke, it was the same old funny farm looniness. There was no admission that flooding the nation with weapons, including assault weapons, is getting children and teachers killed. The solution, according to the NRA, is to put an armed policeman in every school.

But the Columbine and Aurora massacres illustrate why this is not really a “solution.”

When two heavily armed killers attacked Columbine, Neil Gardner, an armed sheriff’s deputy who had been policing the school for almost two years, was on duty. Gardner confronted the killers and exchanged shots with them, but he was outnumbered and they had the advantage of surprise and superior firepower. Gardner had a handgun. The killers had semi-automatic weapons, shotguns, and a variety of bombs. Gardner was also handicapped by not wanting to accidentally harm innocent children and teachers. The killers obviously had no such compunctions. So as soon as they were inside the building they had every advantage, including potentially a large number of hostages. If Gardner had gone into Rambo mode, entering the school in a hail of bullets, he might have been killed and more innocents along with him.

The Aurora killer wore full body armor: ballistic helmet, ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, throat protector, groin protector and tactical gloves. He carried an assault rifle with a 100-round magazine, a 12-gauge shotgun, two semiautomatic pistols and gas canisters. Could a single policeman armed with a handgun have overcome all those advantages?

The NRA wants us to believe that real life is like a cowboy movie, where one Lone Ranger can defeat any number of villains even though all the odds are stacked against him. Here’s what Wayne LaPierre said in the NRA’s first public statement after Sandy Hook: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He also claimed that confronting guns with guns is “the only line of positive defense that’s been tested and proven to work.” But that simply isn’t true. Other nations have demonstrated that there are better ways to reduce gun-related deaths.

Here are three quick examples: (1) Our closest “relative” among the nations is England, but we have more than 40 times as many gun-related deaths per capita as the United Kingdom. (2) Japan has ultra-strict gun control laws, and gun-related deaths there are very rare. (3) After a shooting spree stunned Australia in 1996, leaving 35 people dead in Port Arthur, the government quickly issued sweeping reforms of its gun laws. There hasn’t been a mass shooting since. Australia’s National Firearm Agreement, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of automatic and semi-automatic weapons being bought back, then destroyed, has undoubtedly saved many lives.

The fearmongering NRA is lying to the American public. The earth’s richest, most developed nations have proven that gun control can and does save lives. The stronger the gun control — as in England, Australia and Japan — the fewer the gun-related deaths.

The NRA wants to sell tons of guns and is willing to put profits above the lives of our children and teachers. It’s time to tell the NRA in no uncertain terms that we intend to put the lives of our children and teachers first.

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 | NRA

172 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 12/29/12 at 5:30

Have a good evening, bfra. Tomorrow will bring another day of his ridiculousness fools dribble of unintelligent and empty reflection of his wasted life.

Let the Big Fool Drool. wink, wink

By: budlight on 12/29/12 at 9:02

The year was 1992, twenty years ago, when following a jury trial, four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted, in April, after being accused in the video recorded beating of a black American named Rodney King.
As a result, people throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area rioted over six days because of the verdict. They engaged in widespread looting, assault, arson, and even murder. The damage these criminals caused was well over $1 billion!
The rioting finally came to a halt after the California National Guard, along with U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton were called in to help stop them.
During the riots, more than 60 people were killed and over 4,000 were injured.

On April 30, the second day of the riots, Korean-Americans saw the police fall back from Koreatown, leaving them to defend themselves in the midst of heavy looting and fires. A store owner at the time, Jay Rhee, told the Los Angeles Times, “we have lost faith in the police.”

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/12/hey-lefties-heres-an-example-of-the-need-for-assault-rifles/#ixzz2GV6HUtzd

By: bfra on 12/30/12 at 6:41

Previous comment - 9:02PM reminds me of a song "Ramblin' Rose", with a troll's name, instead of "Rose:"!

By: budlight on 12/30/12 at 8:36

take the time to look at the link and how these business owners had to defend their property because the police didn't do it for them. But I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't come up and say YOU were one of the rioters because you are a Rodney King fan.

60 people killed; 4000 injured. Just because 4 police officers were acquitted. Yeah those folks in LA had a right to riot according to your logic - probably.

But to not defend the Korean-Americans. That is an atrocity. Thank goodness they defended themselves. BUT you would not understand that logic. You probably think they should have let the looters have their way.

By the way, you are a troll of a different color!

By: Ask01 on 12/30/12 at 8:54

Of course, the primary issue, blissfully, ignorantly sidestepped, is the heinous misconduct of a police officers, feeling an unwarrantd superiority over a minority, believing no one would dare challenge their grievous actions.

We must also factor in the complicity of a jury who approved of the savage beating by acquiting the renegade officers.

One would have to lay the entire blame at the feet of the LAPD, judicial system, and the blatant racism displayed by the entire shameful process.

Had the police lived up the the myth of serve and protect from the beginning, not allowing their storm trooper instincts to shine through when beating Mr. King and their inate cowardice to overwhelm their bravado in the face of rioters, the poster would have nothing about which to bleat.

See, I too am capable of twisting logic with the best of the trolls.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/30/12 at 9:06

The LAPD has a history of corruption, I for one would not use them as a shining example of law enforcement.

By: parnell3rd on 12/30/12 at 9:24

I find it interesting that Mr. Burch uses England and Japan as Model Countries. After all of the atrocities both countries have commited to the human race. Look at what Japan did to their fellow Asian's. Look at what centuries of English dominace over other countries has done to Humans. How many millions of people died as a result of their dominance?

By: Ask01 on 12/30/12 at 9:25

Good Morning Captain Nemo. I hope this New Year's Eve Eve finds you well.

Did you notice an article on Yahoo, I believe it was, concerning an SUV crash which claimed the lives of several children and adults?

Among the comments were many, presumably from the gun enthusiasts frighteningly living among us, demanding to know when SUV's and other vehicles would be banned, as they are killers.

I realize the fringe truly exist in the thin air but this, to my thinking, is really stretching and abusing the privilege of being moronic.

I agree wholeheartedly, by the way, with your assessment of the LAPD. Sadly, many departments across the country are attempting to emulate and live down to the example.

By: parnell3rd on 12/30/12 at 9:25

"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." Mohandas Ghandhi

By: parnell3rd on 12/30/12 at 9:29

And budlight, the news stations never showed the footage of Rodney King attacking the LAPD officers first. They edited that footage.
And we saw how nice people were to each other in LA.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/30/12 at 10:07

The point is over look by p3 in his quest to prove Mike wrong. He looks to the pass of both England and Japan in an attempt to dissect the example. The subject is today and not what was the past. Get with it p3.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/30/12 at 10:09

Good morning to you Ask01 and like wise for you in the New Year.

Living in their small world our trolls have tossed out their garbage in an attempt to show their lack of knowledge. Fear drives there seething desire to keep us and in the dark. Sunlight is their enemy and exposes them.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/30/12 at 10:13

By: parnell3rd on 12/30/12 at 9:29
And budlight, the news stations never showed the footage of Rodney King attacking the LAPD officers first. They edited that footage.
And we saw how nice people were to each other in LA.

Please show us this lost image p3. I would love to see you evidence of this. Even if did happen has the way you say, does not give the police to keep up the attack after King was subdued.

By: yogiman on 12/30/12 at 10:33


Who's the worst killer in this nation, the mentally ill young man in CT who killed 20 children and 6 adults... or the US government who killed 25 children and 50 adults in Waco TX?

Shouldn't you and your co-arguers also demand the government give up their constitutional rights to guns? After all, isn't the government just our employees?

By: Ask01 on 12/30/12 at 10:54

An excellent point, Captain Nemo.

A point, I might add, the trolls do not, and probably will not address.

I suppose that is the troll way, to selectively pick arguments. Like the ignorant old troll who will almost certainly repeat ad nauseum his newest mantra about the Waco fiasco.

Admittedly, the US government agencies involved in Waco made a proper shambles of the operation and deserve all the shame heaped upon them.

What the trolls gloss over is David Koresh was the person who, along with his most rabid and dedicated followers, put the children and other adults, mere brainwashed followers, in mortal danger.

The real instigator and author of woe in this sad tale of Waco has to be the faux messiah, David Koresh who amassed a cache of weapons and ammunition worthy of any "prepper" today stockpiling for the feard apocalypse.

Have a great day, Captain, and try to avoid the numerous troll droppings already piling as high as meadow muffins in grandfathers fields.

By: Ask01 on 12/30/12 at 11:12

Just to clarify my 9:25 post, the story can be found on msn and the total was five children and one adult killed when an SUV ran off the road into a creek.

Reading the comments, one will not have to delve very deeply before encountering the first trollish comments.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/30/12 at 11:41

The good news Ask01 is that ithere is only 4 at this time, but these 4 keep the moderates, the right and left wings from engaging in any meaningful debate. All 4 think that theirs is the only answer, but only see the black and white of life. They never see any shades of gray or the multitude of colors that abound in the region of their petite existences. Nor do they ever look into a subject fully to see if their view has merit or not. In other words they are lazy to seek out the truth and only grab at the first philosophy that fits their narrow existence.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 12/30/12 at 3:29

Folks we needs stop reply to yogi man and bud as they seem only 2 on City P
who are not Believers, if you like me you tired of having to all ways have to tells
white lies about Obama he not born in Kenya and he not Indochina citizen and
he not muslim even tho pastur tell me it okay to tell white lie if it outways the bad
it cause and he call it situationnal ethnics or some thing like that. If we not even
reply to yogi and bud may be they just go away and get on fox News where bill Riley
and Shawn Kennedy keep them happy round the clock and then we Believers
can all enjoy some peace on this site for a change as it about drive me crazy

By: yogiman on 12/30/12 at 4:42

Do you mean Barack Obama was lying in his autobiography when he advertised it as being born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii, ENN? Do you mean he was also lying when he made the statement he was adopted into Indonesian citizenship?

Do you mean he was also lying when he made the statement about his Muslim faith in an interview? Do you mean that man is an outright liar?

Maybe you should learn to read a little better.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 12/31/12 at 8:32

Anybody who's stupid enough to believe that this thing in CT - or the thing in Colorado - happened the way the government says should avoid solid food because they're too stupid to chew it.

By: Loner on 1/1/13 at 8:04

So, Emmett, what have you learned, as a result of wearing your tin-foil helmet, that you can share with us? Please share the details of the conspiracy and the details about the motives of the conspirators. Don't Bogart the "facts", my friend, pass it around.

By: Loner on 1/1/13 at 8:53

Captain Nemo said it well, in his 11:41 post...I agree, sir.

Troll droppings do tend to stink up the room...lots of great posters have left...the constant "usurper" whine of our half-wit racist troll has caused a run for the exits over time.

Budlight, Parnell and Rasputin are more tolerable...even entertaining at times...like any of us they have their shortcomings; but they do not seem to have the depraved attitude of the BHO-obsessed gunner who posts here as, "Yogiman".

I'm no holyman, but there is something very unholy about Yogi's obsession with the President of the United States....I'm no physician, but Yogiman is obviously a sick man....he brags about his gun rights and shooting skills....but, unless he acts upon his wicked thoughts, there is nothing that the authorities can do....he's a human time-bomb?