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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Minnesotans Against Being Shot

It is gratifying to know that so many reasonable people support common sense gun legislation. Yesterday at the Minnesota Democratic Convention, we must have talked to hundreds of people who signed on to our cause and signed our post cards to state legislators. Candidates and current office holders stopped by to voice support as well. We already know that every one of the candidates for Governor support our position. But there were the occasional scowlers who expressed opposition to what we are doing. A very large man came by and said he was a concealed carry permit holder and wouldn't support us. I tried to engage him in conversation about why he could still support common sense. But perhaps for those who have these permits, common sense is not part of their daily thinking. The very fact that they have permits tells us that they are paranoid about dangers lurking in every corner. I didn't have the chance to point out to him that, of course, the meeting place for the delegates is in a place that posts signs banning guns in the premises. That irony would have been lost on this guy, I'm sure.

The best part of the day was talking to several retired law enforcement officers who were supportive. One got out of the career because of his fear of being gunned down. Also interesting were several long conversations with true gun guys. There was the one who owns many guns and among them, an AR15 Assault Rifle. He likes to shoot it at a range. During the conversation, he "educated" me about guns and assault rifles in general. But he also signed our gun owners petition and supports our cause. He couldn't understand why a reasonable law-abiding gun owner would not support us!! People generally wanted to engage in conversation about the dangerous political atmosphere with the folks at rallies openly carrying loaded guns. I was almost stunned to hear how many people spoke the language I have been speaking for all these years. To a person, they supported our resolutions which, if passed, would become part of the party platform for 2 years. One is to support requiring background checks on all gun sales at gun shows. When we explained to these folks how much opposition there is to this measure, they expressed surprise. Also, many did not know that this sensible measure was not already in place. The second measure is to oppose any legislation to allow people to "shoot first and ask questions later", which several states have already passed. Supporting that one is a "no-brainer" for most people.

There is a lot of support out there. Those of us in the "silent majority" must be making more noise about preventing senseless gun violence. We know we are right. Our language must be simple. It is, actually, a black and white issue but we tend to make it too nuanced. This morning, as I was getting dressed to spend another day at the convention, I looked at the clothes I chose. I am wearing black pants and a black and white tee shirt that says on both front and back, "Minnesotans Against Being Shot". My shoes are black and white sneakers. So I thought of the nature of our arguments. Either you want to prevent gun injuries and deaths or you don't. It is simple. Let's keep it that way.

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