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.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Washington, we have a problem!

It's hard to know what to say any more about the NRA's agenda. Why should I be surprised by this article in tonight's New York Times on-line that summarized the recent "victories" for the gun lobby in court decisions and laws passed? It is true that the more they ask for, the more Congress is afraid of them, the more they get; so the next time, Congress is even more afraid so they ask for more and, "Voila"- we have a problem. I am frankly getting more disgusted with the apparent lack of concern by Congress and the President for the victims of gun violence. Who is speaking for the victims? Certainly not the NRA. The leadership of the gun lobby doesn't care about stopping bullets from flying as long as they win.

In a recent appearance on the PBS News Hour show, Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence challenged Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the NRA about making sure dangerous people don't get guns. LaPierre seemed unconcerned and didn't want to talk about that particular problem. His concern, according to Paul Helmke's blog is, as is often the case, with making sure that criminals are punished to the full extent of the law. Of course. Who can argue with that? But then what? Here are Helmke's words from his blog: " If you listen, you’ll hear that even after the landmark Heller and McDonald decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that gave individuals across the country a right to have a gun in the home for self-defense, the gun lobby still isn’t happy."

The NRA will never be happy. If they sit back and rest on their laurels, they might lose some influence. If their battles are over, how can they get their members to continue to fear that their guns will be confiscated? If they sit back and relax a little, how can they continue to get new members? Will people still want to buy more guns? If not, what happens to the gun dealers and manufacturers?

Meanwhile, back to the homes and streets of America, real people are being shot to death every day. Most of these are not caused by criminals. Most homicides are due to domestic disputes of some kind. For example, the shooting today in Albuquerque, N.M. was perpetrated by a man who was upset with his wife or partner and showed up at the workplace of the woman to settle a score. Three dead and many wounded for what? But let's just punish those criminals and ignore the domestic murders, the suicides, the accidental shootings. Let's try to pretend that criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people can't get guns from gun shows without background checks. That is the real agenda of the NRA.


  1. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to expect gun owners to be "happy" after having the court declare that a small part of the right to keep and bear arms is protected. You quoted Helmke saying it himself:
    "Even after . . . the U.S. Supreme Court that gave individuals across the country a right to have a gun in the home for self-defense . . . "

    This is like complaining that the Sierra Club *still* isn't "happy" after some corporation agreed to stop cutting down redwoods to clear the way for its wood-fired power plant (which will run on redwood.) Nobody would be shocked that PETA was *still* not "happy" that a makeup company had been forced to stop testing pepper spray on puppies . . . though they'd still be skinning the puppies for dalmation fur coats . . .

    If you want "The Gun Lobby" to be happy, you'll need to stop advocating infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, AND convince everyone else to do the same, AND somehow ensure that this state of affairs will continue from now on. The problem is that the anti-gun side has spent over 100 years training the pro-rights side to expect incrementalism, slippery slopes, hidden agendas and double-crosses. The good news is that it worked . . . the bad news is, it worked.

  2. The Brady Campaign as well as myself just want to stop the shootings. Whether or not the gun lobby is happy does not matter to us. The problem is that our elected leaders have spent way too much time and energy making the gun lobby happy when they shouldn't have. Making them happy only leads to more guns in more places and more shootings. More guns have not made us safer. If they had, we would not lead the civilized world in number of gun deaths per 100,000. The people who should be made happy are the families of those whose lives have been senselessly lost due to a bullet. The public is also consistently in favor of reasonable restrictions on guns and gun owners. The operative word here is reasonable. That's all. No more, no less. There is no slippery slope going towards gun banning. It is, in fact, going the other way lately towards fewer restrictions. Gun banning is off the table with the 2 recent Supreme Court decisions. So let's just move on and stop the nonsense.