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Old 05-22-2005, 05:35 AM   #1
TheOleSeagull
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Branson magician Kirby VanBurch canít make charges disappear- - gets probation

Branson magician Kirby VanBurch canít make charges disappear - gets probation on felony and misdemeanor charges



In March, just about two years, after the commission of the crimes, Branson entertainer, illusionist and magician, Kirby VanBurch, plead guilty to the felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon and the misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and third-degree assault on a law enforcement officer. In return for the guilty plead the prosecution agreed to recommend probation instead of jail time.

On May 12, VanBurch was sentenced to five years of supervised probation on the felony charge and two year supervised probation on the misdemeanor charges.

According to a Branson Police Department Press Release dated March 14, 2003, Kirby VanBurch of Branson, was arrested at approximately 9:50 p.m. on 03/10/03, shortly after he left the scene of an accident near Highway 76 and Fall Creek Rd.Ē According to the Press Release, ďthe vehicle he was driving struck two road signs at that location and then continued to travel east-bound on Highway 76.Ē

The Press Release further states, ďVanBurch was arrested for Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Driving While Intoxicated. In searching the vehicle VanBurch was driving, incident to the arrest, a concealed firearm was found and he was further charged with that violation. During the process, he assaulted the arresting officer, resulting in an additional charge of Assaulting a Police Officer. The case has been forwarded to the Taney County Prosecutorís office for the filing of charges.Ē

Published in the Branson Courier May 22, 2005.
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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sounds like a slap on the wrist to me. at the very least the assulting a police officer deserved more than simple probation.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:15 PM   #3
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I believe it's a little less than a slap on the wrist. If that would have been any of us, just a regular citizen, working our regular jobs, we would have not gotten off that easy. And I think it sends a sad message to the people.
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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Kirby?

So will Kirby still be performing, or can he not perform while on probation?
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:38 PM   #5
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Angry

He is definitely still performing, at the Grand Palace. And, I also noticed he is still driving his car. How does that happen????? Thought you weren't supposed to drive when you don't have a license.
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Old 05-25-2005, 01:52 PM   #6
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Kirby

Okay, well then that irritates me a little bit because personally, I do not think he should be performing after something like this. Isn't the purpose of Branson to promote entertainment and shows that are "wholesomely good"? Allowing him to continue is quite paradoxical and almost hypocritical, I think. Does anyone else agree with me on this?
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:23 PM   #7
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Yikes! Are you sure you meant to say that? So the guy made a major mistake(s) in the past. I mean, how many can pass that wholesome test you are talking about?
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:09 PM   #8
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Kirby

Well, first of all, I want to thank you for at least being tactful, despite the fact that you disagree with me. I hope I didn't sound too forceful or harsh in my post either.

After thinking about what you said, I realize that my view on this situation would also depend on how he is handling the situation. For instance, if Kirby has expressed his remorse about his actions and seemed sincere (which I suppose I should give him the benefit of the doubt), I would probably be more apt to be understanding of the situation. If, however, he still continues to make unwise decisions like that (i.e.- If he is an alcoholic) then I do think that it would be violating the traits that are characteristics of Branson by allowing him to continue performing.

Please realize that I am in NO way trying to imply that he is an alcoholic, or that he is not sorry for what he has done. For me, repentance is a stipulation that I would place on almost anyone after they had made an unwise decision before they could find themselves once again in my good graces.

Certainly, I am confident that Mr. Van Birch does possess a conscience, because I do not think that he would have this job in the first place otherwise. And I am willing to concede to the fact that perhaps there were extenuating circumstances behind this incident (i.e.- It was someone's b-day, he was out to celebrate, had a bit too much to drink, tried to drive home anyway, etc.) Of course, this particular post is coming from someone who never drinks, so I am perhaps biased in that way as well, because to me, the thought of even sipping alchohol is repulsive, let alone drinking to the extent of being drunk.

Okay, so hopefully that clears things up, and if anyone else would like to put in some input, please try to be as tactful as possible so that we don't end up incriminating ourselves with our own lack of self-control

Good night!
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:57 AM   #9
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I think there are 2 issues here;

Morality & Legal...

Morality, if the man's not drunk and stumbling around on stage while i'm in the audience, I have no problem with forgiving what he did and going and watching him perform. He's been through the legal system, on probation and should have a chance to earn a paycheck, if a garbage man was on probation for the same thing would we deny him the right to pick up garbage to earn a living?

its the second issue of the legal end I have problems with. just from reading the details in the news, it sounds like to me he didn't receive a just punishment for the crime that he committed, I don't see assulting a police officer, carrying a loaded firearm and driving drunk as being a simple mistake or a lapse in judgement, what if he had of ran into a mini-van with a bunch of little kids in it, he committed crimes pure and simple. Would that garbage man have gotten the same punishment.... how about a businessman from Oklahoma? Did he get off light because he's an entertainer that brings people to Branson? Maybe - Maybe not... but it sure looks that way from the outside looking in. If your going to ask police officers to do dangerous work then you have to support them, and this sure don't look like the officers were being supported here.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:06 AM   #10
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And my reply to that is that the legal system/judges should be the ones we are upset with. They should be held to upholding the same sentences for same offenses regardless of one's occupation. Perhaps we don't know the whole story. Face it, we have only been given the facts/opinions that the media has given us.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:11 AM   #11
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Unfortunately we do not have the THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT policy here in Mo.

Everyone is entitled to justice, within the legal system. And, even the Good Lord, forgives, and gives the sinner more than one chance.

Hopefully, now that Kirby has paid his restitution, and does his community service, and stands up under all this scruitiny, and atones for his sins, he has learned his lesson.

I think if you stand up all the entertainers, and businessmen in Branson, shoulder to shoulder, you will not find a long line of saints........there might be a sinner or two among them...........and who are we to BRING JUDGEMENT again upon them, after they have met the LOCAL LEGAL AUTHORITIES and THE LORD with their shortcomings and illegal deeds?

Time to support your BROTHER folks, and hope he has re-visited his priorities and his short comingings, and has repented and is going to pick himself up and brush himself off and start all over again.

I know YOU would hope to be forgiven and given another chance to join society and keep a job, after you slip up.

Of course there are some, who never seem to slip up.......and need redemption.



Is there anyone here who falls into that category?....


.....not me.

And, we could continue to revisit this issue with the "WHAT IF'S"...even if they don't apply.

*visual:

See me slapping Kirby on the back, and wishing him well.........Good luck with a comeback and living down your sins, Kirby!!
Don't let me down........that would hurt my feelings.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey
And my reply to that is that the legal system/judges should be the ones we are upset with. They should be held to upholding the same sentences for same offenses regardless of one's occupation.
Exactly, Kirby went through the system and has accepted the punishment handed down, so it's hard to be upset with Kirby about this.

We are left to wonder about the judicial system there though, with this coming out shortly after the story in the BransonCourier concerning the young man that killed one person an injured another for reckless driving down the middle lane of hwy76 strip and basicly got off with no punishment for his crime.
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:48 AM   #13
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Kirby

All right, I think I've figured it out actually (my opinion that is). I was thinking more along the lines of someone who is a "Christian", and publicly professes their faith, and for all intents and purposes, it would seem that they do indeed "practice what they preach." This is what I see a lot of times at Branson shows, which is part of the reason I like it so much I think. It is evident that these entertainers are sincere in their faith, and are not using it merely to attract crowds.

However, when someone professes to be a Christian, then does things that are wrong, I think that creates a stigma for Christianity. I have often heard non-Christians express their disdain at the hypocrisy that exists within the Christian realm, and such actions are often what deter them from giving a second thought to the state of their souls.

Thus, I now realize that my aggravation with this situation has more to do with my religious beliefs rather than Kirby as a person. Like many of you have said, we have no right to judge others' actions, and I realize that he is most likely repentant of what he has done. However, I also think that if someone DOES profess their faith heavily, then commits an act such as this (although this may be more applicable if it is done on a repeated basis), that is when I think people may become apt to question the sincerity of such a person.

For instance, let's take Jared the Subway guy (I"m using him because he happens to live near me, and apparently goes to the same Subway that I do, even though I have yet to see him). On the commercials, it would appear that he is keen on Subway, and one would not imagine that he often eats at other fast food restaurants. So, if I were to see him at the local McDonald's every time I drove by, I would probably begin to question how devoted he actually was to Subway, and when I saw him on the commercials, I would think "Well,on this commercial, you could never guess that he eats at McDonald's non-stop, but I know otherwise." As a result, I'm sure that my credibility in what he said would lower significantly, and when he said something like "Subway sandwiches are my very favorite kind", then I would begin to wonder why he frequents the local McDonald's so often if he actually prefers Subway. Granted, it may be that Subway still IS his favorite kind of sandwich, but he is taking a break from them for awhile, but I would still find it hard to invest all of my faith in him. Does that make any sense? Hopefully it does. Oh, and btw, I know this could not occur because apparently one of the stipulations of Jared's contracts is that he can't eat at any other fast food restaurant, but this was just for hypothetical purposes.

Well, I'm sure I'll have more to say once there are some replies to this. Basically, I do agree with everyone's opinions that we cannot judge, and that we should not deny him his job simply because he made a mistake...I guess for me, the whole "faith" thing is more of an issue. And I'm sure Kirby is sorry for what he has done, which is fine, and really, my thoughts concern more than just this issue. Because I have no idea where he stands on spiritual beliefs, I do not know him, I have never been to his show, etc. But I am saying that if a Christian person were to commit such an act, no matter who they were, or what their job was, it would probably not have a positive impact on people they are trying to reach out to. So I guess for me, it's really not about Kirby...I am just thinking in terms of Christians who talk the talk, but who don't walk the walk, and I do not harbor bitter emotions toward him.

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Old 05-26-2005, 12:03 PM   #14
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Well, it is a good thing that sincerity/perfection in one's religious beliefs is not a requirement for frequenting Branson or for being an entertainer in Branson. Most people are doing their best and even their best may not measure up to another person's standards. Even under the best circumstances, a "practicing Christian" has warts. We are all just people trying to get by in a crazy world the best that we know how. . .

Last edited by Lindsey; 05-26-2005 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:01 PM   #15
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Kirby

Certainly I do not expect perfection, but I do think that sincerity is a must in one's faith. If you are not sincere in what you do, then doesn't it become futile because what you are doing is then only for appearance purposes/custom, etc.? And, no, I am in no way trying to say that everyone in this world must strive to be flawless in their actions. I could point out many things that I struggle with personally, and I know that everyone has problems and people are tempted in different ways by different things. I am also open about the things I struggle with, so that others know that I am aware of my problems. I AM young, as you surmised, so perhaps I have not experienced all of the hardships that others have had..in fact, I'm sure I haven't, and I'm sure that as I get older, I will face some of the problems that are so abundant in society.

I am just saying that it has been my experience in the past that people are embittered towards others who have "hypocritical" attitudes. For instance, when I was learning how to drive, and my dad would tell me never to exceed the speed limit, even though he often drove at least 10 miles over, upon questioning him, he would reply "Do as I say, not as I do." This did not bode well with me, because I wanted to see some action behind his words. So this does not apply not only with spiritual matters...I think it applies to any walk of life. Which, again let me point out that I am really not even referring to Kirby anymore, because I do not know ANY of the circumstances behind what he did, so it's not as though I'm going to discourage people from seeing his show, or that I wouldn't go see it now. Like you said, everyone deserves forgiveness/second chances, and one incident should not be the basis for all of my opinions toward a person.

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