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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daily shootings take their toll

Today's regional newspapers told the tale of the daily toll on the families and communities in our state and country due to shootings. Minneapolis is on track to set a new record for gun deaths in a year- so far 29 gun deaths and numbers of injuries. My eyes caught a headline in the Star Tribune about an overnight shooting. A man was found lying on a sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his neck. This might make one think of a country at war. Are we at war? And then a few lines down, I noticed another headline about a 13 year old boy who was shot and injured but not dead as the other unlucky fellow in the above linked article. I don't know about you, but a 13 year old is a child to me. The article intimated that there was a dispute between the victim and the shooter. I am waiting to find out how old the shooter was. These are children shooting each other. What is going on?

And some miles away in Wisconsin, here is yet another fatal shooting in the headlines. This one was different because the victim was suicidal with evidence that he wanted to harm or kill himself. When officers tried to intervene, he started shooting so they fired back and the man was found dead inside of the house. So the point of my blog is to make my argument that there are just plain too many shootings in a given day. Unbelievably, in spite of these factual articles, there are those on the side of gun rights who don't believe this many shootings are happening every day. The main concern of these people is that they have their guns for self defense against some unknown person lurking around every corner ready to do them harm. And yet, here is what is really happening every day in our country-80 deaths a day due to guns. The majority are suicides, then come homicides, followed by accidental deaths. I have written about all three in my blog. Recently a "gun guy" wrote a comment complaining about the Brady Campaign keeping a running tally of gun deaths and injuries in the upper right hand corner of their web page. Check it out for yourself. So far this year, the numbers show that 60, 527 people have been killed or injured by guns and so far today, 237! If these numbers don't make the point, what will? And we shrug because the problem seems so big that most feel helpless in the face of these numbers.

We can act and we must act. Individuals can make a difference if they would get involved in simple ways. Making a phone call to Senators and Representatives or sending an e-mail or letter to urge action on federal legislation that could begin to make a dent in the daily toll doesn't take much time. Watch this video of Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings, testifying at the House Judiciary Committee last week in a forum about the gun show loophole. He is one person but one person who has been deeply affected by gun injuries and the deaths that occurred all around him. If our Congress is listening with open ears, unaffected by the extreme rhetoric of the NRA, they will do something. You can help. Get involved. It's easy and your action in the interest of public safety may save a life.

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