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.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Guns or candles?

Here is a great opinion piece about the carve out for the NRA in the Campaign Finance law, recently passed in the House. It is the DISCLOSE Act, meant to make campaign ads less opaque. But if the NRA is the main large organization that does not have to abide by the rules, how will we know which corporation, who wants to oppose a candidate in favor of common sense gun legislation, has contributed to the NRA? We won't now, if this bill passes in the Senate. And President Obama will sign it into law with this exemption because the President and most in Congress want the DISCLOSE Act so badly that they will "sell their souls to the devil" to get what they want. So the NRA gets a pass. "The guys with the guns make the rules."

The world is upside down. The gun lobby gets its' way. The Congress refuses to stand up to them. Last night, Fox Business News network moderator John Stossel, an avowed Libertarian, did a show about guns and gun rights. Though Dennis Henigan, VP of the Brady Campaign and Colin Goddard, former Virginia Tech student who was shot 4 times by Cho in that shooting, were guests, the clear agenda was to denounce gun control and promote citizens carrying guns in public as well as to defend the Heller decision made by the Supreme Court recently that found that the Second Amendment means an individual right to own a gun. The guests were stacked in favor of Stossel's point of view. It's his show. He can do whatever he wants. But the debate was not fair. Two women, who claimed that if they had been allowed to carry their loaded guns into public places they could have saved loved ones. Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident and petitioner in the Supreme Court appeal to overturn the Chicago gun ban, appeared on the show to explain why he needs a handgun in his home along with Alan Gura, his lawyer and John Lott who wrote "More Guns, Less Crime".

We who debate on the side of common sense are used to this kind of stacked deck. It happens often. In my opinion, Dennis Henigan won this debate. He had common sense and facts on his side. It's hard to argue with folks who claim they have or could have saved lives with loaded guns. On the other side are the victims and their families who know how quickly gun deaths and injuries can happen. Most often they happen by surprise when someone with a gun would not have had time to pull it out to save the day or themselves. Police officers profess to how hard it is in the heat and anxiety of the moment to pull a gun and shoot accurately. Look how many police officers are shot in the line of duty. In fact, as Dennis Henigan pointed out in the "debate" on the Stossel program, four armed police officers having coffee in a small coffee shop at the end of their shift near Seattle, WA, were taken totally by surprise by an armed citizen and gunned down. No surviors. Four victims. Four victim families whose lives will never be the same. Though armed, they could not save themselves. False arguments.

Just like the fear that the NRA would scuttle the passage of the DISCLOSE Act in the House of Representatives. False arguments. And the quote at the end of the opinion piece highlighted at the beginning of the blog, " Yet here are the gun people of all people, the ones so obsessed with showing courage when the moment arrives; here are the gun people quailing at the thought of saying who wrote the checks. Maybe they fear that gun-control supporters will turn up at donors’ homes, in a menacing show of votive candles and peace emblems."

That is what the victims are left with. A show of votiive candles and bell ringings.

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