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 27, 2010

School days, school days...

Welcome back to school. In some states, school has begun already and this school in the Denver area almost started with a bang.  Luckily for the other students and staff, the loaded gun found in the backpack of a four year old girl did not go off. And yes, guns do go off sometimes by themselves. A four year old girl with a loaded gun in her backpack? What was the father thinking, leaving his gun in his child's backpack? The obvious answer is- he wasn't thinking. Careless, to say the least. One mother ended the story on the video in the link above saying that kids just want to go to school to learn, not to be afraid. I don't remember ever being afraid of being shot while in school. It just didn't happen when I was young ( just a little while ago!). So what's different? The NRA used to be just an organization for hunters and teaching gun safety classes. Now they are proponents of guns( even assault types) carried and owned everywhere we go. And the organization's extremist leaders scare our elected leaders into thinking they must support the NRA agenda or lose their next election.

Somewhere in the last 30 years or so, we got the idea that we should all have guns for self protection from all those other people who have guns. We have been told that we need to fear for our lives at airports, in shopping malls, schools, churches, parks and coffee shops. Of course, occasionally, shootings have occurred in all of these places and people have died. Actually though, most shootings occur in homes between people who know each other, on the streets among gang members or are suicides. So as more and more guns are owned by more and more people we are beginning to see dangerous incidents like the one above. Gun owners are not always responsible. This father was lucky that his little girl didn't explore her backpack and start playing with the gun inside. Or the gun could have fallen out when she opened the backpack to get something else. Who knows where that bullet would have ended up? We have seen that one before just as we have seen a young child with a gun in a first grade Flint, Michigan classroom shoot a fellow classmate in 2000. Remember Kayla Rolland? I'm sure her parents can't forget.

So the school year begins and there will be more gun incidents. Let's hope they won't end in tragedy as they have in previous years. Remember Columbine? Remember Paducah?  Remember Virginia Tech. Remember Red Lake?  Remember Ricori? What do these shootings have in common? Most of the shooters got their guns at home where they were owned by a parent or relative. Many are now called massacres. Most can be called by the name of the school or city with no other reference and people know what it means. There have been 145 school shootings from January 1997 through December of 2009 resulting in 160 deaths of students and staff. The injured are more numerous and still live with the affects of the bullets. Of course, this list does not include the times a gun was found in a student's backpack or locker with no one injured or killed. Many tragedies have been averted. 

As school begins again, be responsible if you own guns. Your kids know where they are and know where to find them. And, for goodness sakes, don't leave them in your child's backpack! Lives depend on it. 


  1. School shootings?! IMPOSSIBLE! Guns are banned in schools and minors can't purchase guns legally nor carry them anywhere in public.

    Obviously the answer is to pass more laws making it illegaler to do all of these currently illegal things. And of course murder and attempted murder are already illegal as well.

  2. Illegaler? I don't think that is a word. Perhaps they didn't teach you that when you went to school. You are missing the point in so many ways. The school shooters got their guns mostly from their homes where a family member had them stored. Is that illegal? In states with Child Access Prevention laws, yes. Often parents are not charged with a crime since they are dealing with a child who shot a bunch of other people to death. What's your point? Everyone knows murder is illegal. Does that mean we shouldn't try to prevent it or prevent children from getting their hands on guns or prevent felons from getting guns? I don't understand what you are getting at here. It just doesn't make sense.