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.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guns and taxes

Happy tax day everyone. It turns out that most people are paying less in taxes this year but somehow don't know it. Interesting. Meanwhile, as we have anti-tax rallies on tax day, with people protesting about everything and anything, the media is not paying enough attention to other days to remember. Tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre- a day we should all remember but most have forgotten. That is the sad and tragic thing about the public discourse about guns in our country. We have so many mass shootings in this country that another one makes the news for a few days and we move on to talking about imaginary death panels while every day, 32 people die from a gun homicide- just another Virginia Tech. And where is the outrage about that? Where are the angry tea party types when there is something to be really outraged about?

Some of them are actually celebrating the role of guns in our country. Instead of mourning the deaths of 32 people, they are asking for more guns in more public places. There are opposite rallies planned in Virginia for opposite reasons. One will take place tomorrow in Blacksburg to not only honor the lives of innocent people taken by a deranged student with guns blazing, but to point out the total nonsense of the Open Carry group who think everyone should be able to openly carry their guns everywhere. Starbucks is in the cross fire of these two groups. Why Starbucks? Because the Open Carry folks have targeted Starbucks stores as places they desire to carry their guns. You must know about all the dangerous people lurking in the dark corners of Starbucks stores just waiting to draw a gun on those peaceful latte drinking citizens tending to their children or their computers. They are everywhere- those dangerous people- and you never know when you might get to be the hero and save the day.

The problem with that logic is that it just doesn't work on a practical basis. When I first met Colin Goddard, a young man shot 4 times at Virgina Tech and featured in this video, I asked him if he could have saved lives if he had his own gun when Cho walked into his classroom. His answer- absolutely not. All he was doing was trying to save himself from further injury and is quite sure that if he had drawn his own gun, he would have died that day instead of suffering from life threatening injuries. Showing a gun to a deranged shooter who is bent on death and destruction is not a good idea. But, never mind logic. The OpenCarry.org group and others like them feel strongly that the mere fact that they are toting guns everywhere will make us all safer.

These dueling opinions and dueling groups will have their day tomorrow and on April 19th to make some points. Which group will get the most attention from the media? Watch and see. My bet is on the Open Carry group. Meanwhile, we will go on with our lives and forget that 32 people a day are killed by someone else in our country and even more take their own lives or accidentally shoot someone. This is the national conversation we should be having.

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