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: PKVol on 1/11/13 at 9:23


I am just trying to rationalize how the writer can call it uncivilized that an industrialized nation can allow so many gun deaths, but chooses to ignore the fact that it is uncivilized that an industrialized nation allows so many unborn people to be killed. Considering the 50-1 ratio that exists between the two, this is irrational.

By: Loner on 1/11/13 at 9:26

For you right-to-lifers:


The US has given the nation mentioned in the link more foreign aid than any other nation on earth, yet this nation has one of the highest abortion rates in the world...some 50,000 per year...in state-sponsored abortion clinics....and US taxpayers make this all possible.

Where is your outrage?

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 10:16


By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 10:52

How about you answer my question, Ben? It's been almost a month...you can consult your ten stones if you want...or the sleestaks or Elvis or whatever nutjob thing you want, just answer it.

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 10:57


By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 10:57

What question, gd?

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

Cars and guns...straw man again...do you just do a quickie search to the most common ones out there or actually come up with them independently?

The question I have posed on here each and every day I post since the Newtown massacre, Ben. Read the first page.

By: PKVol on 1/11/13 at 11:10

Loner -

Outrage is outrage. I am outraged about even 1 abortion, anywhere. Are you happy now?

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


By: pswindle on 1/11/13 at 11:28

White trash gun owners hide behind their church, guns and bullying. TN seems to be leading the pack with the nut from Camden, TN and of course we alway have the aging rocker that threaten our President.

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 11:32

Well, gdiafante, you seem to be quite aware of the murders in the Newtown CT school when that young man murdered those children but you don't seem to know about the murder attempt in the Blountville TN Sullivan Central school that a young woman working as a School Resource Office prevented. Why? Wasn't it her success worth the news?

Hell, it didn't even make it in the Tennessee news papers. Is East Tennessee too far out of reach to even be newsworthy?

By: gdiafante on 1/11/13 at 12:30

What about "read the first page" do you not understand, genius?

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 1:29

I'm not sure which question you were asking.

Why should anyone be allowed to own semi-auto weapons?

Geezzz dude... 'cause they're a total blast to shoot. It's a ton of fun and I just like them as an art collector might appreciate a painting or sculpture and there's no reason for the actions of a handful of madmen to affect the liberty of law abiding citizens from doing what they enjoy if they're not hurting anyone.

Nuts are pushing people in front of subway trains in New York and DC but no one is calling to have the trains banned. Car accidents kill far more people every year than the millions of 'assault weapons' in our society so why not reduce the speed limit to 25mph and enforce that with an iron fist? Why have a car that can exceed the maximum speed limit?

It's just an issue you don't care about because it doesn't interest you so you're perfectly willing to jump on the "take those people's things because they don't need them" band wagon.

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 1:32


By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 1:40


By: brrrrk on 1/11/13 at 1:44

gdiafante said

"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."

Understanding the difference between gun control and the repealing of the 2nd amendment requires nuance..... Unfortunately the only thing (for these people) that nuance and ideology have in common is the letter "E".....

By: dargent7 on 1/11/13 at 1:48

Great, simple article.
Hailing from Detroit, MI, I know something about gun violence and murder.
I think Detroit's been in the top 5 for 50 years, if not always #1.
Now, closer to home, Oakland has 3-5 murders a week.
The NRA reminds me of the "Terminator".
"He'll find you...he'll kill you....that's what he does".
The NRA will ALWAYS champion and hide behind the coveted Second Amendment.
Never mind in 1786 there were only single action firing muskets and pistols.
As if the Founding Fathers all dropped LSD and mescaline and "just saw" in the 90's and in 2000 we'd all need AR-15's and 30 round clips in semi-automatics.
This gun debate will never abate.
Me, I just at home and play with my Wang.

By: dargent7 on 1/11/13 at 2:01

On the other hand....there are so many murders in the USA that are so heinous, you wish to God the victims had a Beretta or a Glock in the house, school, business, or church.
My ex-wife had a Beretta because her boyfriend was an ex- Navy SEAL.
Given to her for protection. She let me handle it and it is quite an expression of beauty and machinery.
For myself, I just let it leak out I'm from Detroit.
That usually scares wood-be attackers off.
Seriously, when I read about some of these murders, rapes, assults, I DO wish the victim was armed was was able to shoot the attacker.
Not with a AR-15, but with a Smith & Wesson, Glock, Colt 45, or something similar.
Not a bazooka or grenade launcher.
That's were the NRA loses me: assault weapons for rabbi, duck, and squirrel hunting.

By: brrrrk on 1/11/13 at 2:15

dargent7 said

"That's were the NRA loses me: assault weapons for rabbi, duck, and squirrel hunting."

Rabbi hunting? LOL.....

Reminds me of when I was a kid, there was a farm down the road that sold miniature rabbits..... one day the "T" fell off the sign leaving it to say, "Miniature Rabbi s For Sale".
Every time I drove by I had to chuckle because I had this vision of herds of tiny Hasidic Jews roaming the vast farm lands of central Pa.. :-)

By: dargent7 on 1/11/13 at 2:26

brrrrk: Well, some of those Rabbi can be elusive, feisty sons of bitches.
Maybe an AK-47 IS necessary to take 'em down.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/11/13 at 3:20

Let me get something straight about Rasputin's knowledge about being the last child picked for any games. He was always the last and on a few times the games were called off because no one wanted him on their side.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/11/13 at 3:21

I should add that is hear-say.

By: BenDover on 1/11/13 at 3:50

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: Eye Nose & Now ... on 1/11/13 at 3:53

I stay off site for 2 day's and give yogiman chance to stop telling all these truths as
every time he tell truth we have to rush to tell situationnal ethnic type of white lie to
cover for fact Obama he be born in Kenya, he citizenship of Indochina and he be
Musslim, and Obama he don't make it any easier as on Fox news and enternet it
show Obama ADMIT be born in Kenya and he admit he be Muslim but what evers it
take to keep him in ofice ok with me as republicans just get in ofice and starve old
folks but Obama he just give social secur. old folks giant raise in this month but if
Bush still in office he probably put tax on social sec. as republicns all ways want to
give rich folk a tax brake. But i see yogi be up to it all day long as well as yesteday.
I about to give up on yogi ever stop tell truth and stir up troubles on CP site

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 1/11/13 at 4:02

98% of all lys told on this site fault of yogiman alway tell truth and Obama Believers
have to rush and cover for Obama with more lies----it seem it never end

By: dargent7 on 1/11/13 at 4:03

Eyes, Ears, and Throat...:
As many of us old timerson this bored will attest, and will tell you, 'yogi" is a One Trick Pony.
If the discussion is Global Warming, he counters with, "Obama is an usurper..."
If it's the Fiscal Cliff, "Obama was born in Kenya".
If it's Roe v. Wade, "Obama renounced his citizenship to study in Indonesia..."
Just leave him alone, ignore, and let him play with his Wang in the comfort of his pj's.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 1/11/13 at 4:10

maybe that work d7 but yogi just keep on and on and on tell truth

By: brrrrk on 1/11/13 at 4:16

Another brilliant post from Eye Nose Nothing....

By: brrrrk on 1/11/13 at 4:23

I ran Ben's last rant through the dialectizer (http://www.rinkworks.com/dialect/) using the Moron setting and this is what I got...

"De statistics clear show sharp increases in obehall biolent crime in bod England 'n Australia AFTER deir gun bans 'n the, ERRRR, statistics also show dat local rite t' carry laws habe contribootid t' a substanshul DECREASE in biolent crime in de areas dey habe been appliid in de US. Rite t' carry areas contrastid to areas like Chicago 'n DC whehe striggent gun ownehship laws are in place 'n whehe most on criminals are armid show an inbehse relashunship in biolent crime rates whehe de more libehal rites of indibidual gun ownehship result in far less biolent crime 'n the, ERRRR, strict controllid areas whehe law abidigg citizens can be expeckid to be unarmid are seeigg increasigg crime rates."

Derned ef'n it doesn't look a lot like Eye Nose Nothing's drool..... hmmmm.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 1/11/13 at 4:28

may be yogi act better tomorrow

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/11/13 at 4:31

brrrrk, that's brilliant! Can you run yogi's using the Intelligence setting? Oh wait, I bet it won't accept it. :)

By: brrrrk on 1/11/13 at 4:34

Blanketnazi2 said

"brrrrk, that's brilliant! Can you run yogi's using the Intelligence setting? Oh wait, I bet it won't accept it. :)"

Unfortunately, once you go Moron, you never go back.... ain't that right yogi?

By: yogiman on 1/11/13 at 5:03

Yep! But you've got us mixed up, brrrrk. You're the moron that admires a man you don't even know. Tell me, what's his official name? When did he repatriate his citizenship back to American" That is if he ever was an American citizen. Only a usurper lover want's the crap you guys are throwing to each other. But just think, if I still had all of the my brain I might make you jealous of my intellect. I feel bad I've only got half of it now and can't educate you too well because you're too dumb to understand the truth. It's hard to educate an idiot.

On Barry, just read what he's said about himself. I realize he's the biggest liar in DC now but I take his autobiography for at least half the truth about him.

But if you favor him to become your favorite dictator, hang in there, you're about to get him.

I still can't figure it out: Except for you few on this site, the vast majority of the people I've "talked" to on my computer I can't see how he received the majority of the votes except through fraud.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/11/13 at 5:53

How did this get back on yogi. Is enn a yogi shadow ?

By: Ask01 on 1/11/13 at 6:48

I have read comments from many gun enthusiasts here stressing the perceived need to provide for their own protection and that of their families, both in the home and out on the town.

I understand and appreciate their concerns.

I also have read comments trumpeting the times, rare though they seem, when someone, a legal gun owner usually, uses a weapon to defend themselves or others. This is a good thing.

I wonder, though, how many of those posting here, bragging about their firearms acumen are truly as proficient as they claim?

Beyond that, I wonder how they would fare once they realize that, unlike the paper target, empty beer cans, and watermelons they plink away at, 'bad guys' with guns tend to shoot back or possibly shoot first?

While I'm certain their self image is that of Marshal Dillon winning the noon show down, or Dirty Harry asking, "Do you feel lucky, punk?" (in fact, I have no trouble picturing them in front of a mirror practicing the move, the voice, and the facial expression) I really wonder how many will go from John Wayne to Woody Allen in a nanosecond?

One other subject I have pondered is, when a SWAT Team mistakenly raids the wrong house, theirs, and the gun owner, thinking it a home invasion, tries to defend themselves, just how many times will the SWAT Team shoot the gun owner before said owner even gets off a shot?

These actions will clear the gene pool, though.

By: BenDover on 1/12/13 at 6:10

A little balance to the collective ignorance exhibited by this site on this topic.


By: BenDover on 1/12/13 at 8:40

Comparing the video to Burch's offensive rant truly illustrates what a moron he is.

By: Loner on 1/12/13 at 8:50

Good morning, Ben. I went to the link that you put up in your 6:10 post.

The kid was cool & calm, until the end, when he exposed his seething contempt for Diane Feinstein and some other Democrats...that blew it. But, as for his points, let's take a look at them.

The argument being made is that because the US has many more cities with populations above 250, 000, as compared to England and Wales, this affects the stats....I do not dispute that part. And he concludes that ignorance, poverty, joblessness and overcrowding in these blighted urban areas is causing the homicide rate to be high in those areas....again, no argument there.

Apparently, England & Wales have higher overall violent crime rates, but lower gunshot fatality rates than we have here, in the US. Since gun ownership is controlled there and since there are fewer guns, this is not surprising.

When comparing such stats between countries, one must ask if the definition of a violent crime is the same in all cases and if the reporting rates are comparable.

The stats do NOT prove that fewer guns means that more overall violent crime is apt to occur. They indicate that fewer guns in a nation means fewer gunshot deaths.

If the gunshot fatality problem in the US is mostly an urban problem, as the source claims, then the NRA could claim that guns don't kill people, cities kill people.

And racists could claim that cities don't kill people, black folks in cities kill people.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/12/13 at 9:39

LONER........Your last sentence is statistically correct.. blacks in the cities kill people.

There is an old saying among productive people in the south, "there are a lot of people who have nothing have accomplished nothing and ultimately are cremated because it is the cheapest route to hell."

By: yogiman on 1/12/13 at 11:24

Was it a gun that killed that man, Loner, or was it a hammer? Was it a farmer that killed that man or a politician? Or was it a doctor in the medical field?

I believe if you would check it out, you would find more people dying under mistakes made by doctors than by a "common" murderer.

By: dargent7 on 1/12/13 at 12:33

We still talking about guns? Well, alrighty then.
My brief, but fun filled stay in Nashville for 6 years proved one thing:
A hillbilly, the backwards kind, will ALWAYS favor guns, guns, and more guns.
Sadly, many locals I met had only an 8th grade education.
They dropped out of Elementary or Jr. High school, "to work daddy's farm or daddy's place of business".
Unless you walk the back alleys of Nashville after 9:00pm you need not be afraid of gang members, rapes, armed robberies.
The nut-cases who need an AR-15 tucked in their pj's when they go to bed are sick-os.
Glad I left the state. Good luck.

By: yogiman on 1/12/13 at 2:13

Using your expertise is entertaining to we, the "other" posters, Mike, but I believe your "whiz-dumb" title for this weekend's post should have been "dumb-whiz".

Why? Are you more likely to be killed by a man with a gun or a doctor with a knife?

Interesting, isn't it? Let's look at a few statistics by the US Dept. of Health to determine the most dangerous cause of death, shall we. and ask: Which is the most dangerous; your gun or your doctor.

Statistic #1: There is about 700,000 doctors in the US and everyone in the US has a doctor.
Statistic #2: There is about 120,000 'accidental' medical deaths per year. That give the number 0.171 accidental deaths cause by physicians.
Statistic #3: The FBI gives the fact 80 million American citizens are gun owners in the US.
Statistic #4: There is 1,500 gun deaths per year in the USA. That gives the number 0.0000188 which means you're 9,000 more likely to be killed by your doctor than your gun.

So under those statistics, which would you rather be without, your gun or your doctor?

By: Ask01 on 1/12/13 at 9:12

You have succinctly identified the problem, dargent7, by correctly summing up the background, educational level, and probable mental state of many of the inhabitants of this state.

Nashville has an advantage, being home to several colleges and universities, which keeps the general IQ fairly high, but the classic stereotype you describe will from time to time show up.

There is hope, however, as Darwin's principle plays out to the natural conclusion. Those unable to adapt, or unfit to exist as the species evolves will become evolutionary dead ends like the Neanderthals before them.

It is merely a matter of time.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/12/13 at 10:00

ASKO1.......Just as you have debriefed our little CP group on the sociology changes you expect ther is another person living in Camden,New Jersey who believes that sometime in the future mankind will grow a voice box in his ass and be able to talk and whistle at the same time

By: yogiman on 1/12/13 at 10:35

Your comment refreshed a memory, Rasputin72. It's was decades ago but I remember a man that could control his f@rts. He could control the volume and time as he was keeping time with music.

He's the only one I ever knew, or heard of, and it was hilarious.

By: Ask01 on 1/13/13 at 7:46

I see Rasputin72 has already evolved the ability he describes.

Of course, he has been talking from that particular orifice since first landing on this board.

By: Loner on 1/13/13 at 8:00

Our usurper-obsessed troll schlepped in another right-wing e-mail @2:13...no source was given, as usual, so I Googled it and found that this BS e-mail is all over the internet.

Here is as link that analyzed and debunked the missive:


Snippet: "That's all interesting to know but the premise of the email is weak and, as we said, mostly aimed toward humor. Comparing doctor deaths to accidental firearm deaths is meaningless, especially because doctors are dealing with people who are sick in the first place, some of whom are at high risk for death or have gone through high risk medical procedures." (end snippet)

Mark Twain said it best: There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

It's a warm Sunday morning here...52F already and it should get up to 66F this afternoon....snow's all but gone...days are getting longer...I'm digging this taste of Spring....but I know that it's just a tease.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/13/13 at 8:09

ASKO1...........I have read enough of your tripe to believe with all my heart that you are sincere in your assessment of me.

I am of the opinion however that the fellow from Camden,NJ understands the future of America better than you and probably has a higher net worth.

In the meantime I will read your trollop and reguritate.

I would recommend this forum and the reading of comments by the Simple Six to anyone of the productive class who may think he or she suffers from low self-esteem.

Within a couple of weeks they will feel empowered.

By: Loner on 1/13/13 at 8:10

Excellent observation, Ask01....the troll has been using his anal sphincter as a "mouth" from which he "speaks"....the man has mastered the art of producing flatulence-based vocalizations....one could say that our gas-bag troll is quite farticulate in his speech. But he suffers from "fecal breath".

One wonders, just what body parts the troll using to depress the characters on his keyboard....then again, I don't wanna know.

By: Loner on 1/13/13 at 8:15

Rasp, it's Sunday morning, liquor stores won't be open until noon....have you got the DT's? Try squeezing Sterno.....add Grey Poupon to taste.