Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fully loaded tragedies

Yesterday's protest at the Blacksburg, Virginia Starbucks store was just one of many across the country. Victims of the tragic shooting 3 years ago spoke about why they believe guns are not needed in Starbucks or other public places. Starbucks released a statement saying that they have been drawn into the middle of this debate and that is should be dealt with through legislative action. Yes, they have been drawn into the middle of this debate. Who started this? Those of us who are responding are only doing so because the OpenCarry.org group decided to flex their muscles and show up at Starbucks and other public places with their loaded guns. Should we stand by and watch this happen without a protest? That is surely what they want. As I have said before, they want to "normalize" the open carrying of loaded guns so that we get used to it. The next question is: Why should we get used to something so nonsensical?

One of comments to the article linked above points out that we will go back to the days of the Wild West if people start carrying their loaded guns in holsters around with them wherever they go. While that is partly true, it is also true that in most cases, guns were to be checked at the city limits and not carried into the bars. This, of course, is in total contrast to the romanticized movies we have seen and that I grew up watching. But if we believe what we see in these movies, then, yes, people who have gripes with other people will be able to simply draw their guns and take care of the matter quick and dirty. Who will be in the cross fire? How many innocent people will be killed needlessly? Cho was seriously mentally ill and had been carrying anger and destructive thoughts for years. His answer to it all was to shoot innocent people and take his own life.

Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Columbine shooters, were angry, apparently, with fellow students who were more popular or who rejected and supposedly bullied them. Bullying is not to be tolerated. Neither is the response that has happened far too often in our country- to shoot those who you preceive to have caused you pain and suffering. Mental illness, faulty thinking, anger, domestic abuse, bullying, retaliation, drugs and alcohol, and other things have led to way too many shootings of innocent people. Guns are the easy answer, the shooter thinks. Guns will solve the problem. Shooting someone will eliminate the problem. In Minnesota, in the last 4 days, 3 people died from gun injuries and one police officer wounded in domestic disputes. The latest happened in the middle of the morning on a crowded street in suburban Minneapolis. The anger and convoluted thought processes that led to this can only be guessed at by those of us who choose not to have guns at the ready just in case. But when a gun is available, tragedy happens even though the shooter may express regret after the event. It's too late. A trigger can be pulled in less than a second. Death and life long injuries happen in an instant. The damage is done. Families and friends grieve. The shooter goes to prison or, in many cases, commits suicide and so cannot be held responsible for the awful pain and suffering that happens after a shooting.

Thus, we have these anniversaries of shootings. There are way too many of them. In what other country not at war do we suffer through yearly remembrances of lives lost?

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