Pittsburgh City Councilman Tells Maddow That School Violence 'Doesn't Exist'

Looks like someone hasn't been paying attention during the "national conversation" since Dec. 14.

Pittsburgh City Councilman "Ricky" Burgess appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Friday night and said something unusually stupid even for MSNBC. (video clip after page break)

Burgess was condemning NRA president Wayne LaPierre's remarks at a news conference that day about the shooting rampage in Newtown. Inexplicably, Burgess doesn't see violence in schools as much of a problem --

MADDOW: Wayne LaPierre from the NRA today made the argument that the only way to deal with situations like we have at this elementary school in Connecticut, the only way to deal with gun violence, is more guns, more guns would make us safer. We need armed security, he said, in every school. With your experience of gun violence in your district in Pittsfield, in Pittsburgh, what's your reaction to Mr. LaPierre's proposal? 

BURGESS: Well, I was saddened and shocked that he would try to solve a problem that doesn't exist. You see, school violence is very rare. Of all youth violence, only one percent occur in schools. Youth violence and homicides occur on street corners, in homes, in alleys. What's where the violence is occurring in my neighborhoods and across this country. I am sad and shocked that the URA (yes -- the "URA") which I believe is simply a spokespeople (yes -- "spokespeople") for the gun industry, their solution is always more guns. Guns are killing our people. Assault rifles are killing communities, it's killing our nation. The problem is that we have too many guns.

To paraphrase Stalin, a single death is tragic, 26 people gunned down in a school merely a statistic.

As to be expected, Maddow did not call out Burgess for his bizarre claim.

That Burgess is also an ordained minister, the second one to pontificate on the Maddow show in the last week, makes his callousness all the more egregious.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts