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, July 18, 2010

Bullets in state parks

Yesterday I blogged about the unlikely venue of a car wash for a shooting. Really no place is unlikely any more. The proliferation of guns in our country is leading to shootings everywhere we go. It's a circular problem. The gun rights people think they need guns everywhere they go and so laws are passed allowing that to happen. We have come to a place in the "dialogue" about guns where fiction has become fact. It used to be that people didn't fear being shot going to state parks or car washes or churches or malls. Then shootings started happening with more frequency in all of these places. Then the gun guys said they had to have their concealed guns to protect themselves and others from being shot at these places. When and where will it end?

Who would have thought that a State Park in a town in Washington state would be the scene of a multiple shooting? But this article tells about that very thing. Two more lives snuffed out senselessly. At the time of the publication of the article, it was not known if the dead were the intended victims or innocent visitors to the park. I guess gang activity can happen anywhere. Gangs are notorious for shootings in larger inner cities. It is not often you hear about gangs congregating at a State Park- an otherwise peaceful place. Now I know that some of my opponents will argue that this is why they need their guns in parks. It's dangerous out there in our parks! While this incident points to the fact that it could be, I would like to know how a permit holder would have saved lives in this case. It was almost dark and where would one aim the gun? People were running around and trying to get away from the bullets. Who was the original shooter? And the last point and question is, once again, where do the gang members get their guns? Yes, out of the trunks of cars and stolen and from illegal street market. But where do those guns come from? That is the question to be asked. We can't accept the answer that the gang members will get guns anyway so why bother to try to stop them. That defeats all efforts to pass reasonable gun restrictions. But then, that's the point.

Do remember that our Congress just passed a law allowing guns to be carried in our National Parks- also inherently dangerous places. Some say they need the guns to shoot wild animals and in rare cases, I suppose that might be the case. The Park Rangers who opposed the measure said that Pepper Spray was just as effective against Grizzlies and surely more safe generally speaking. I am guessing though, that most folks don't feel the need to pack heat in parks. There are about 5 million permit holders in the country and going up, by all accounts. But, as a friend of mine said, some get the permit just to have it and don't carry. Some find out that it's pretty inconvenient to pack heat- especially in the heat. Guns are heavy, uncomfortable and hot. It is likely that 5 million are not actually packing heat daily everywhere they go. But what are the chances that one of the 5 million will be in the right place at the right time to save the day? Pretty slim I would say. And my guess is that most people would rather enjoy the scenery and their families than worry about whether they are going to be shot on their trip. Anyway, enjoy your trip to the state or national park and be safe out there.

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