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, August 20, 2010

Have fun and gun at the park

Labor Day is approaching. The days of picnics in the parks in some parts of the country will be coming to an end with school starting again and weather turning colder. But there are still some warm days to come and people want to take advantage of them by going to parks and festivals in their cities. An article like  this one from the Columbian, a Vancouver, Washington paper discusses allowing people to openly carry guns in city parks where most people go for peaceful activities; some, however, think parks are dangerous. Or at least the young man who showed up at the City Council meeting so suggested. In fact, Joe Winton described one park like this: "... When I go to areas that are very, very dangerous … I feel a lot more protected with my firearm.”"

Here is my question. If a park is that dangerous, why go there at all? Wouldn't it be better to just stay away from the park? Of course, said Winton, he now has a wife to protect as well. I wonder is she wants to go to this very very dangerous park? Oh, and Winton was wearing his pistol openly from a holster on his waist while at the meeting just to remind everyone of how very very dangerous it must be to come to a City Council meeting. I am not the only one to wonder about the necessity of carrying guns around at public events. An article in this week's Time magazine by gun owner Darrel Dawsey, mentions some of the same problems with the need to pack heat along with picnic baskets at a Detroit area arts festival. What goes on at a culture and arts festival that is so threatening as to want to carry a gun there?

As more people carry guns in more public places, it is possible that we will see more shootings- and they won't all be in self-defense. We have already seen example after example of accidental shootings in public places. A gun put down in a bar restroom shot and injured several people in the hallway outside; a loaded gun went off in a car and injured one of its' occupants when someone in the car picked it up to move it; or of a man who thought, as in the example from the Darrel Dawsey article linked above, that he could chase down a car thief and accurately shoot said thief. Oops. Instead, his bullet shot through a window and injured a totally innocent woman cooking dinner in her kitchen. Who expects that to happen? When there are more bullets flying in public places, expect it. Have a safe week-end everyone.

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