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.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fun, funny and not so funny

After reading so many rude and obnoxious comments made by the "gun guys", I needed a break. So I took the day off yesterday and took a long walk in the peaceful woods near a friend's cabin. After lunch in the 1940s era cabin on one of the smaller lakes of Minnesota, we walked along a logging road covered with moss in spots and sneaked through the woods to the banks of a beautiful stream. The day was mostly cloudy and nippy but beautiful nonetheless. It was just the tonic I needed for arguing with the gun guys.

Plus I got to be involved in one of my "hobbies" that one commenter suggested I should do instead of my involvement with the gun issue. I have been interested in photography for a long time and I think I take some pretty good photos. I have made photo cards and books and even tote bags for friends and relatives with my photos. So, here is one of the peaceful photos that I took while enjoying my time away from the gun issue.

Back to reality. When I got home, I checked e-mail to find dozens of requests to publish more comments on my blog-this time from some different folks. I have decided that it would be a full time job to deal with all of the comments coming in. Some of them are relentless, rude and demanding. They insist that I answer their questions or they won't continue the "discussion." Whatever.  

While on the Internet, I ran across this video from the Colbert Report. I love it when comedians mock the nonsense about gun laws. Especially after dealing with so much of it myself. Can you imagine that moderate Republican Congressman, Mike Castle, running for the Senate seat in Delaware, could have the nerve to be in favor of sensible gun laws? Shame on him!!! Doesn't he know the NRA will come after him? 

Oh, and also this study, which is not funny at all. It turns out that some licensed gun dealers participate in straw purchases. Surprised? Not really. Dr. Wintemute of UC Davis, one of the prominent researchers in the area of gun shows and dealers, wrote the article linked above. Some of the "gun guys" have told me that they don't like him. I'm sure it's because the conclusions from his scientific studies are not what they like to hear.

How about this blog from Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign?  Unbelievably, the NRA and it's cronies in Washington D.C. are insisting on hearings in the Senate and the House that would make it more impossible for the ATF to monitor and regulate bad apple gun dealers. Seriously. Why? I suppose they are thinking, "why not?" If they can get away with it, they will. Let's hope that our Congress has the backbone to stand up to this nonsense. Don't they have things of greater importance going on in D.C. right now? One would hope so. They complain that they don't have enough time to pass bills that might actually help out the joblessness or the financial crisis but they have time for this? Come on. Let's get serious here folks. This is not funny any more.

But maybe there's hope. Here is a quote from one comment: " Many of us would like to find a way to have a real conversation with someone on your side. I would like to see if there is common ground, I'd like to understand what you believe and why--Especially what you think of the second amendment and how gun control fits with it. Whether some of your beliefs (or mine) are based on misinformation, and if we can find a credible source to agree on." 

That is what I would like to do as well. I have had these real conversations with some gun owners and we have come to common ground. Some of them are working with me on state and federal legislation and have even testified and lobbied elected leaders with us. I appreciate their wisdom and I think they appreciate mine. We are coming from very different backgrounds and different life styles but we do agree that there should be background checks on all gun sales. And I should say that we don't agree on everything to do with guns but we respect each other's views and try to come to a consensus about our differences. It is friendly with no rudeness or accusations or "in your face" arguing.

And finally, this. After writing about the State Fair and mentioning the brouhaha about the gun question on a non-partisan survey at the booth of the Mn. House of Representatives, here are the results of the question asked about gun show background checks- 85.2% of those who answered the survey agreed that those background checks are a good idea!!!! Though it was not a scientific random sampling, it was a sampling of fair goers who took the time to answer a survey and who most likely represent Minnesotans from all points of view. Over 9200 people took the poll. We gun violence prevention folks had absolutely nothing to do with this poll, by the way. I expect that the gun guys will accuse us of that. The man who was urging his fellow gun carriers to go to the booth armed and answer the poll question negatively apparently failed to get enough people to the booth. Or maybe his friends did go but it turns out that their views represented the minority of Minnesotans. Here is the link to the poll results and also a link to an article about the fuss about the poll. 


  1. Japete,

    Maybe starting off a post about how you want to have a real discussion with "gun guys" isn't exactly starting off on the right foot, eh?

    I see that you refer to yourself and others as "gun violence prevention advocates" -- how about the same courtesy to those that disagree with your position?

    I also find it interesting you view this in terms of "the gun issue" instead of a "constitutional rights issue".

    Maybe you could refer to those that disagree by the term "constitutional rights advocates".

    The comments generate by your blog posts are in response to your statements. Statements that I often don't see supported in your posts.

    Statements like:

    Does anyone care that a sensible law which would stop prohibited people from buying guns in one of the secondary markets has been stopped again and again by the NRA?

    Now what law would prevent a person from buying a firearm?

    Since there are many criminals out there with firearms already; if a prohibited person is denied by a retailer or another law abiding gun owner; (s)he could simply buy one from one of the many thugs, gang bangers or drug cartels around.
    No sale would be prevented, just delayed.

    Or perhaps this comment:
    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

    How about showing some supporting evidence that guns just go off by themselves or how often this is a problem?

    See if you want a discussion, having some facts to discuss is an important part of that - wouldn't you say?

    It seems that a statement like that is designed to induce fear of inanimate objects.
    I studied the issue of gun safety and have not found that to be a problem other than as an excuse for poor gun handling. If you have statistical data, facts to present; I'll reconsider my position.

    Sorry if you are getting what you consider rude comments, but sometimes in a public forum not everyone plays nice.....especially where our rights are concerned.

  2. Bob, As I have told everyone else who claims falsely that I have provided evidence, I have. I have provided it over and over and over again in my links and my information. Perhaps people can't read? Saying that doesn't make it so. You guys just don't want to look at any of my facts because you don't consider them facts. I guess that's why we're on opposite sides of the issue. I have had some good discussions about the "gun issue" with many people. Not you, of course. It doesn't matter if your rights are involved or not, you can play nice if you choose to but you choose not to. It's up to you. I am trying to play nice with you guys but it is getting increasingly difficult to do so. "designed to induce fear of inanimate objects" ? What does that mean? I think that some of you are inducing fear of people like me. Guns do go off by themselves. I have provided ample examples of it in my many postings. Read them.Yes, indeed. If a criminal's or a terrorist's or a domestic abuser's name is on the NICS list as a prohibited purchaser, their purchase is denied and not just delayed unless they buy from an unlicensed seller who does not have to do background checks. That's a fact, Bob. I look at this as the gun issue. You have your constitutional rights. No one is taking them away. I have never said that. You will not find it here so stop continuing to raise that red herring.

  3. Japete,

    I searched your blog for "guns just going off". I found 1 hit with two links.

    The first one:

    Talks about an negligent discharge due to handling a firearm in a bathroom stall.

    The second one

    Starts off with this line
    People were moving things around inside a car late Tuesday night when one of them accidentally shot a 29-year-old Billings woman in the back at a gas station in Hardin.

    Hardly a "gun just going off" now is it?

    Both links -- not evidence of your statement came from 1 post

    So, how have you presented evidence in the past?

    Surely if I was to make a claim, you would want me to support my statement, right?

    As I said, the evidence, the statistics also provides things to talk about.

    How about this statistic.
    In 2008, there were 17,215 non-fatal unintentional injuries with firearms and there were 2,072,604 non-fatal unintentional injuries by "cut/pierce" -- according to CDC's WISQARS report.

    Seems if you were interest in safety, that something happening 120 times more then firearm related accidents would be a great place to start.

    See, we have statistics, we have sources, we have information that can be used to dialog.

    The question becomes: do you want to talk or do you want to lecture people?

    Yes, indeed. If a criminal's or a terrorist's or a domestic abuser's name is on the NICS list as a prohibited purchaser, their purchase is denied and not just delayed unless they buy from an unlicensed seller who does not have to do background checks. That's a fact, Bob

    So you freely admit that no gun purchase has been stopped, right?

    Thank you. If we aren't stopping criminals from purchasing firearms....why do it?

    Why increase the barriers for law abiding people to use firearms in sporting and self defense purposes?

  4. Wrong again. I have listed quite a few other instances of guns going off on their own. Just find them in my posts. I've addressed the cutting/piercing stuff in another blog. Or maybe it was in a comment actually. I checked the same website and came up with some interesting facts that you guys chose to ignore. Take a look at the same website. You will see the causes of death by age groups. In the 2 groups of ages 25-34 ( I think that's pretty close to what they are) the 2nd or 3rd cause of death is homicide and suicide. Then if you click on the homicide and suicide boxes, you will see that death by firearm is the leading cause. The bar graph is well to the right of the other causes. Let's look at the entire picture. Do my son and daughter's stitches when they were much younger fall into the cutting/piercing category? I would say yes. Are those as major as a gun injury? I would say no, for the most part. People show up in the E. R. a lot for stitiches for a cut or a piercing of some kind. That most likely accounts for that large number.

  5. Japete,

    A story about a firearm going off is an anecdote, two stories are 2 ancedotes.

    I haven't seen any data or statistics. I would appreciate it if you could point me to that information.

    After all, if I'm willing to consider your data shouldn't you be polite enough to point me in the right direction?

    I have a story: Yesterday my firearms didn't go off by themselves. I have another story; my firearms didn't go off by themselves the day before that, any day the month before that or even the year before that.

    Should we compare anecdotes or statistics?

    I point to statistics showing that firearm related unintentional injuries are not high.


    Firearms don't make the top 10 of unintentional injuries -- all causes.


    Doesn't make the top 10 causes of injuries - unintentional causes.

    Does make the top 10 in Violent causes injuries.....at #8 but below Assault/Struck By (#1)and Other Assault -Cut/Pierce (#3).

    Apparently this is a common trend over the last several decades; decreasing fatalities, decreasing crimes and decreasing accidental injuries due to firearms.

    All while firearm ownership is increasing, the number of people with licenses to carry is increasing. Isn't that an indication we don't need more laws?

    You also didn't discuss the fact that the "common sense law" to stop criminals from getting firearms doesn't stop them but does increase the barriers to sporting use and self defense use of firearms.

    Are you against the sporting use of firearms?
    Are you against the use of firearms for self defense?

    If not, why advocate laws that do not stop criminals?

    The CDC examine the effectiveness of gun control laws -- and found:

    During 2000--2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, "shall issue" concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.


    If we have no evidence or insufficient evidence to support gun control laws work; how does it make sense to continue enacting ever more restrictive laws?

    By the way; when will there be few enough deaths so that another gun control law would not be common sense?

    What level of violence would you point to saying "Okay only X number of deaths, only Y number of shootings, only Z number of firearm related crimes occurred last year. We don't need any more laws."?

    At what point do you stop infringing on people's rights?

    Since this comment is running long, I'll address your bait and switch tactic about fatalities when I was talking about injuries in another comment.

  6. Wow- lots of questions. Is this a test? Do I have to answer every question to pass your test and be someone you can "discuss" the issue with? I keep providing my evidence and you come back with yours. It's pretty never ending. I am not going to answer all of your questions right now. Yes, pass that long so everyone knows that someone blogging about gun control issues does not answer all of your questions. A crime for sure. It's impossible to keep up with you guys. Good night. Have a good night everyone.

  7. Nope, you don't have to answer every question but if you want to convince people of your view shouldn't you try to answer the questions?

    I'm trying to play nice, I do that by "Seeking to Understand, then Be Understood". I do that by asking questions, by seeking to clarify what I've read.

    If you would prefer, I could make bold declarative statements, make demands or long rambling posts that don't address your points.

    Which approach is more conducive to the conversation you seek?

    Sorry but I'm not seeing any links to evidence, statistics or data.

    Sorry you feel it necessary to stop talking because someone is trying to engage in a dialog.

    Since you don't want to point to statistics or data supporting your view; maybe you can help me find your examples on your blog.

    No posts matching the query: went off. Show all posts

    In addition to the 2 non-"just went off" stories I've covered; I've found this one

    The man was waiting in line inside the emergency room, and police say he was fiddling with a gun in his front pocket when it went off.

    Sorry but I don't see how a person messing with a gun is the gun going off by itself.
    Is it possible that it is a stretch to say it 'went off by itself'?

    And that is the only other one I could find where you stated a "gun just went" off.

    It seems that while gun rights advocates do want to talk about it, it doesn't appear some on the other side are so willing to listen.

    I've spent a while searching your blog for the links and information you say is here. I not afraid to admit I'm not finding much. I could be my search skills. Maybe in the interest of friendly conversation you could provide a hint or two?

  8. How sad. Bob S. brings facts, Joan brings anecdotes which she claims are "facts."

    Someone please get this woman a dictionary.

  9. You must think I have nothing else to do with my time but look things up and provide links and answers to your questions. Ever since you guys have been looking at my blog and commenting, I have been engaged in looking up data and providing information and answering questions. The answers to some appear in my own comments to your comments. To others, they are in my blogs but I have been blogging for months now. I do have a few other things going on in my life. I've spent a lot of time looking things up. You can do the same. I don't owe any of you answers or explanations. I am providing information as I go along in my posts with examples of what I am talking about within my blogs. I'm not intending to write a book but could have by now with all the words I have written in response you what you guys have been saying. Do I ask you 7-8 questions in one comment and then demand an answer? Wouldl you answer every single question? And then when you did and I came back with a bunch more because I didn't like the answers, would you keep answering and answering?

  10. Interesting that once again, you insist on demeaning and saying I am lying- to "anonymous" = above. Can't you guys stop doing that? Apparently not.

  11. Japete,

    I don't think you have nothing to do but look up things and provide links but if someone is looking for information, can not find the information -- isn't it polite to help them find it?

    I've shown that I've searched your blog. I've found 3 stories regarding what you state as "guns just going off" and not one of them is actually about the gun just going off.

    If you truly want to have a "thoughtful discussion about how to prevent gun injuries and death"; let's discuss it.
    Is saying you've written about it in the past a discussion?

    Do I ask you 7-8 questions in one comment and then demand an answer?

    Please show me where I have 'demanded' an answer. What I've said, continue to say, is that I want to understand but can not find what you say is there. Help finding that information would go a long way toward a cordial conversation. Isn't that what you want?

    Wouldl you answer every single question? And then when you did and I came back with a bunch more because I didn't like the answers, would you keep answering and answering?

    Try me. Try it here, Try it on my blog. See if I'm willing to answer or not. I find it illuminating that you do ask so few questions. I'm not sure how conversations go without give and take in them.

    I still haven't seen a discussion from you about how a 'sensible' law would stop a criminal from getting a firearm. You've said it would. You've claimed it would but then you say:
    Yes, indeed. If a criminal's or a terrorist's or a domestic abuser's name is on the NICS list as a prohibited purchaser, their purchase is denied and not just delayed unless they buy from an unlicensed seller who does not have to do background checks.

    So what laws will stop a criminal from breaking the law?
    Let's see how this works
    1. Pass a law requiring retailers to do a background check.
    -- Criminals either use straw purchasers or buy firearms from private individuals.
    2. Pass a law making straw purchases illegal.
    -- OOPS, it's already against the law to make a straw purchase.
    3. Pass a law making it illegal for a private individual to sell a firearm without a dealer conducting a background check
    -- Criminals either use straw purchasers or buy them from drug dealers who smuggle them in or they steal guns.
    4. Pass a law making it illegal to smuggle in firearms or steal them.
    --OOOPPS, already against the law to smuggle in guns or to steal them.
    5. Pass a law making it mandatory to report stolen guns.
    -- Criminals have already stolen the gun from a law abiding citizen so that doesn't stop the criminal. If a person only claims the gun is stolen -- it is already a prohibited transfer, how do you stop that?
    6. Pass a law requiring every one to register their firearms so they can be punished if a criminal gets their gun.
    -- Well Canada has tried that and only 30% of firearms were registered. Criminals still got firearms. And with 285 million firearms in the country, it might be a wee difficult to enact.
    Of course criminals don't have to register their firearms since that would be self-incrimination -- so criminals still have firearms.

    Lots of laws and the criminals are still getting firearms.

    So what law will stop criminals from getting firearms?

  12. We haven't tried any of those laws yet at the federal level to see if they would work. I say, let's try and see what happens. And since it won't affect you, you should think that's a good idea. The Brady Law, which you hate, has actually kept 1.7 million prohibited people from buying guns. I would say that is a smashing success. You won't agree because you hate the law. By the way, I receive daily e-mails about incidences of homicides and accidental shootings. I don't have time to share all of them so I pick out a few to blog about. I know what I know and just can't get it all out there. Over time, I blog about some of the examples. But the facts are contained within the WISQARS data, for example, as to causes of death by homicide, suicide, accidents, etc. Check it out. I am going to blog about that when I have time. But since you all try to keep me busy answering your questions, I haven't had the time to write anything but responses to your comments. And note, I am publishing most comments and attempting to answer them. Just because I am not able to answer ALL of the questions being asked by you, and some who do actually ask 7-8 questions in one comment, doesn't mean I am lying or refusing to answer questions. Again, I say- Chill out.

  13. Japete,

    Where have we met?

    You are putting words in my mouth as if you know me, know my thoughts and beliefs. Since we haven't met,I find that either a.)disturbingly psychically intrusive or b.) egotistical and conceited.
    For the record, I don't "hate the Brady" law.

    Now again you are claiming something that isn't backed up by fact.

    You say has actually kept 1.7 million prohibited people from buying guns. The reality is we don't know that.
    We can't know that.
    Are you in possession of evidence showing that once denied no person ever went out and bought a gun on the street?
    That no person ever went to one of the gun shows you rail about and purchased a firearm without a background check?
    Even the F.B.I. does not support that view:

    Approximately 25 percent of the denial decisions rendered by the NICS Section were overturned on appeal. Keeping in mind that the NICS is a name-based check system, the leading reason for the overturned deny decisions in 2007 was based on the appellant's fingerprints not matching the fingerprints of the subject of a firearms disqualifying record.

    So we have people falsely being denied the right to purchase a firearm having to deal with a bureaucracy in order to protect themselves.

    Is that a goal we should work toward?

    We have criminal denied buying firearms at retail shops but no evidence they are not getting their firearms elsewhere, right?

    By the way, I receive daily e-mails about incidences of homicides and accidental shootings.

    Japete, we aren't or weren't discussing 'accidental shootings. We are discussing your claim - without evidence, without statistics, without data -- that 'guns just go off' by themselves.Accidentals and homicides are not even examples -- much less data -- of guns going off by themselves.

    Iwould like to end this comment with this point: We haven't tried any of those laws yet at the federal level to see if they would work. I say, let's try and see what happens We haven't but England has -- and the result is that the United Kingdom now has 4 times the violent crime rate of America. The United Kingdom now has the highest violent crime rate in the European Union.

    But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.

    In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677.
    The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.

    So, we have evidence in one place that gun control has failed to reduce violent crime.

    We also should examine if trampling constitutionally protected rights in the name of preventing crime is a good thing or not.

    How many rights should people trying to protect themselves have to give up so that we can reduce only 10% or less of the total crime rate?

    From the Bureau of Justice Statistics
    After 1996, less than 10% of nonfatal violent crimes involved firearm.

    Shouldn't we focus more of our efforts on stopping criminals instead of focusing on the tool?

    Shouldn't we focus more of our efforts on stopping all violent crime, not just 10% of it?

  14. Bob S. says: " Are you in possession of evidence showing that once denied no person ever went out and bought a gun on the street?
    That no person ever went to one of the gun shows you rail about and purchased a firearm without a background check?
    Even the F.B.I. does not support that view:" He must have missed that that is exactly my point. People who are denied by FFLs can easily get guns in other places. Gun shows are one venue. Street purchases ( illegal trafficking) is another venue ( but where do those guns come from in the first place?- stolen? from someone who bought at gun shows and then turned around and sold on the street?) from a straw purchaser at an FFL? ( which example I pointed out in my post the other day).

    I wonder if you really think I am not focused on stopping violent crime? I have chosen the route of preventing gun crimes and gun deaths? I can't do it all. Give me a break. Go ahead though if you want that to be your cause. It will be a big one and an awesome one. Good luck.

    " We also should examine if trampling constitutionally protected rights in the name of preventing crime is a good thing or not." What? You can examine that if you want. We can't discuss if you continue to believe that I am trying to trample your constitutionally protected rights in the name of preventing crime. Find something else to talk about. This has been asked and answered.

    I have addressed the UK gun issue in other comments and won't do it again. You are wrong in your assumptions. Check out the gun homicides in the UK. I am talking about gun homicides and that is my comparison. Sure, every country has violent crime. I have chosen to stick with the gun crimes and gun deaths. As I said, if you want to delve into all of the causes of violent crime, go ahead. It will be a large task but you must have enough time to do it since you keep getting onto my blog to ask more questions that I have already answered.

    I addressed the issue of nonfatal violent injuries due to crime or other things in other comments. Also, I used "accidental gun deaths" as just one example of causes of deaths along with intentional gun deaths.

  15. Japete,

    If I understand your view right it can best be summed as "Let's make Gun Control laws so restrictive that criminals can't get firearms because not even law abiding citizens can get them".

    Background checks aren't stopping criminals for getting firearms. You've admitted that.

    What it is doing is stopping non-criminals from getting firearms.

    So your answer is to implement more background checks?

    How in the world does that make sense?

    "Something doesn't work so"

    How can you stop a criminal from paying a friend or family money without a criminal record to buy a firearm for them?

    Unless your goal is to allow no one firearms, the answer is you simply can't.

    How do you prevent criminals from stealing any of the nearly 285,000,000 firearms already in existence?

    Unless you plan on confiscating all the firearms, you don't.

    Can you point to any country, any state, any city where gun control laws have reduced the total level of violence?

    It's easy to say "Hey we stopped gun violence" if you ignore the fact that every other category of murder has gone up...and gone up higher then the firearm related murder rate.

    You say you've addressed the United Kingdom but

    No posts matching the query: United Kingdom. Show all posts

    The only query result for "England" references the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Gee, for someone who wants to have "thoughtful discussion" you don't seem to want to spend much time talking about things.

  16. Let's see. Four more questions. I said the U.K, issue was in a comment I made in response to someone else who raised the same issue- not in my blog itself. Search for it yourself if you want to see my link. Most of your questions have been asked and answered. Find some new ones.

  17. Here is a link about how changes in gun laws changed incidents of gun deaths in Australia: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/04/i_was_wrong_about_australias_g.php#more

    I will get ahead of you on this one since I know you guys always claim that the government of Australia confiscated guns. But whatever you think, there is a possibility, given this paper, that banning certain types of guns led to a lowering of gun homicides. Go to it. I know you will all have a fit about this one. Go ahead. It's a link to one article. Take a look and then start in with your questions and comments to prove that I am wrong or the data is wrong or that I want to ban your guns now that I linked to this one or that I am lying again. I can take it. Remember I said I was staying in the kitchen. I can take the heat.

  18. Joan's basic idea can be summed up as follows.

    All of the laws we have on the books aren't working because criminals are ignoring them (criminals break the law, how shocking!) but if we can just pass MORE LAWS everything will be just fine.

    Her worldview is astoundingly naive and it only burdens folks like Bob S. and millions of other lawful gun owners.

  19. Oops. More name calling- not a good idea, "anonymous" . The laws we have aren't working because of the loopholes in the laws that DO allow criminals, domestic abusers, dangerously mentally ill folks and even terrorists to get guns without background checks in the secondary market. They also get them through straw purchases at FFLs some of whom knowingly sell to them and then we have a proposal to make it harder for the ATF to enforce the laws already on the books. Hypocrisy as far as the eye can see! Have I ever said that passing more laws would make everything just fine? It will make attempts to change the way things are right now which is that too many of the wrong people can get guns. Naive? That's your opinion. I don't think too many who know me would use that word to describe me. I maybe am naive enough to publish your comments, though.

  20. I had a different comment, but I saw on another blog a claim that you are a Brady Campaign board member. Can you explain your association (or lack, if that is the case) with the Brady Campaign?

  21. Why is it important for you to know this information?

  22. Japete,

    You ask why it is important to know if you are affiliated with the Brady Campaign but don't see the disconnect in your own writings.

    Kopel opposes gun control and is a benefactor member of the National Rifle Association. His articles on gun control and gun violence have been cited in the Opposing Viewpoints Series.[

    You don't hesitate to disclose the connections someone else may have. Why not disclose your own?

  23. So you think I should tell you guys my information so you can write about me and get on my case and harrass me. You scare me. It's not "gonna" happen. What are your connections?

  24. Japete,

    I was a member of the NRA for one year.
    I'm the membership secretary for a local and private gun club.

    I was Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop.

    I am a 4 year veteran of the Air Force.

    . It's not "gonna" happen.

    So you think there is no hypocrisy in you pointing out that Dave Kopel has certain associations but not pointing on your own?

  25. Kopel has not been commenting on my blog- at least as far as I know. Are you not now a member of the NRA? I am a member of my local Brady Campaign chapter actually. In addition I volunteer at a Justice Center for women who have been abused and I sometimes listen to their stories and help them get orders for protection. I am on the Board of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs- a nationally and internationally known program to deal with men who abuse women and with women and families who have gone through abuse. I have a myriad of other activities and Board memberships which I will not share on this blog. I know you want to use my connections in some way that will not be honest. Given the remarks on this blog and the name calling, I am not sure why you all think I should share any information with you. I am suspicious, for obvious reasons, about what you will do with it. You may know, since I have mentioned it, that I and others involved with this issue have been threatened by some pretty angry people who think we are going to take their guns away. Naturally that makes us reluctant to share personal information publicly. I doubt you have received any threats from someone like me or someone involved in this issue. Plus- you are the guys with the guns. Remember that Wayne LaPierre said "The guys with the guns make the rules"- not a statement that sits too well with those of us who do not agree with him.

  26. So you are merely an ordinary member of a local Brady Chapter and are not a board member or officer of the Brady Campaign or another similar gun issue group? "I'm a member of a local" sounds like it is meant to be taken as a denial, without actually lying.

    There is a significant difference debating an amateur and debating an officer of a (The?) major gun control group. As an officer, many of your claims to not know certain facts are not credible.

  27. As I suspected, you have dishonorable intentions regarding what I do with myself and my involvement. You will not know more nor do you need to know more. I have already mentioned more than I needed to or more than was wise. And, re: my claims to not know certain facts? I suppose you know absolutely everything there is to know about this issue. If you claim to, then I am suspect. No one knows everything. You are asking me dozens of questions and I have answered them. I am not accountable to you, by the way. The other problem is that even if I give you facts, you claim they are not. So it's your word against mine. Who are you to make those claims? Please stop commenting if you don't believe anything I say. What's the use for you? It won't make me back off if that's what you have in mind.

  28. I do not think you are lying. I think you are being very careful to neither confirm nor deny that your status in the Brady Campaign is more than an ordinary local member. I won't continue to ask about this--based on your careful non-denial, coupled with your unnecessary mention of other board memberships I will work under the assumption that you are a Brady officer, staff member or similar.

    Some of the facts related to gun rights and gun control that you claim ignorance of are extremely basic. It is unlikely that anyone honestly trying to understand the issue could avoid knowing about them for as long as you apparently have--it would take deliberate avoidance. If you are a Brady staffer, it is even less plausible that you don't understand.

    I try to understand both sides, I don't want to limit myself to discussion only with people who agree with me. I have found that honest debate often clarifies my own views to myself.

  29. Let's get this straight. I am not a paid staff person for the Brady Campaign. As to the rest, you don't need to know. As to the comment that I am a "paid shill", not published here- nonsense. Whenever anyone who writes on the issue of gun violence prevention issue, they are a paid shill to you guys. I'm sure you have none of those on your side of the issue. It just couldn't be, could it? I have not denied that I know people at the Brady Campaign and that I am involved with the group. That does not make me a shill so any reference to that is nonsense. What is wrong with you guys? I am so happy to be married to a kind man who treats me like an equal and loves me and my involvement in this issue. He respects me for what I do and who I am. If I thought he was writing to women who disagreed with him using the disrespectful, thoughtless, accusatory, rude and disgusting language that many of you use, I would be horrified. My male friends and husbands of friends, my son, my son-in-law, my brother, my now deceased father, my other male relatives, etc.- not one of them would abuse someone in writing the way you guys are doing. It is downright disgusting. Hiding behind the internet and anonymity gives you cover. It is the reason the Brady Campaign and other such sites don't publish your comments. I am asking for a reasonable exchange of information. Whenever I provide facts, you say I lie. You don't like the facts. People can have their own opinions, but they can't have their own facts. So when I site a credible source, Dr. Wintemute as one example, he is a shill. Never mind that he does scientific research and publishes in peer reviewed journals and is a respected scholar. Not by you, of course, because you show no respect for anyone who disagrees with you.

  30. Her association with the Brady Campaign is fairly easy to discern even if she won't openly state it here, and it does exist.

    Japete -I have also looked through your blog archive for references to guns going off by themselves and just can't find any where that is the case. Do you have any actual data to show that this has happened?

  31. It's sad, but I am of the opinion that there can never be a reasoned dialogue with the gunloon crowd. The problem is that they are hostile towards us from the get-go.

    People can have their own opinions, but they can't have their own facts.
    That was the point of my Pataphysics post.

    Of course, even though some of these people call me stupid, they cannot understand that they are making fools of themselves.

    It's very sad.

  32. Agreed. I have worked in my school district with children from ages 3-17 in Special Education. I am not sure who I am dealing with here. I feel like this crowd of people commenting are like teen-age boys at the oldest. I am no longer publishing most of the comments unless they happen to be on the topic or not demeaning, abusive, accusatory or somewhat intelligent. It is sad, isn't is? Oh well. I know they think they can wear me down or intimidate me or bully me. They can't of course, but they keep trying.

  33. Jon- I'm so sorry you can't find the information you are looking for. I have provided it. Keep looking and you will find it. I will provide many more examples of guns going off by themselves in future blogs. Wait for it.....

  34. Try http://ohhshoot.blogspot.com/ for gun accidents.

  35. If you have actually posted data on guns going off, is there any reason (other than trying to generate traffic paging through your blog) that you cannot provide direct links?

    Also, maybe we have yet another problem of definitions here--how do you define a gun as "just going off"? Is this whenever a gun fires unexpectedly, or do you actually have some credible source of a gun going off when it was not being handled?

  36. Yes, I am a follower of that blog. It only provides actual articles about accidenta shootings- just the facts- hard to dispute that.

  37. I will let you do the searching. What is your definition of a gun "going off"? I thought there could only really be one definition. It seems to speak for itself. How about the lady who was cleaning her garage and was unfolding a tent that had been there for a while. Unbeknownst to her, there was a loaded gun in the tent. It went off and killed her. I would call that "going off" by itself. I wrote about it but don't exactly where. Check it out. I've already written about it once. See above for a good blog about such things.

  38. Your example isn't "just went off" though--it is a gun that fired while being manipulated.

    Guns that are reported to go off were invariably being handled or moved in some way, with the trigger and trigger guard exposed. They do not go off when properly holstered, or when sitting still.

    So yes, your definition of "just went off" is considerably different than ours.

  39. So what are you trying to prove here? What's the point of questioning this? I don't get where you're going with this. Sometimes you guys find the most ridiculous trivial things to argue about.

  40. Two reasons. The first is that gun deaths caused by the gun, rather than either deliberate or negligent action on the part of a person handling the gun are so infinitesimally rare as to be not worth considering. If everyone-gun owner or not-knew Cooper's 4 rules, accidental gun deaths would be sharply reduced. If everyone followed them, accidental gun deaths would be almost eliminated. Cooper's rules are a mere 35 words, only a couple words longer than the pledge of Allegiance.

    I am also trying to show that you are beyond advocacy and well into pure propaganda. You seem to believe that a statement that is technically true but misleading is fine, so long as it supports gun control--where you used "known to each other" to claim that most murders are domestic in nature. where you try to hide your Brady board membership, where you try to promote the notion that guns just go off without a person involved.

  41. I know several people whose children were shot accidentally by another person or child "playing" with a gun. If I told them you thought the deaths of their children were not worth considering, I'm quite sure they would be very upset. Yes, wouldn't it be nice if everyone would follow the rules? I would love that. The world would be so simple and black and white. That is just not the way it is, unfortunately. I am into advocacy and not propoganda. Because you despise my advocacy you have chosen to call it propoganda. I have explained why I am blogging. I don't need to explain it to the likes of you again. Get off my back about it. Give it a rest. It's a beautiful Sunday in my town. I'm going to enjoy it. I hope you do the same. You can believe what you want about guns going off without a person involved. I have provided "anecdotes" about the same. If you don't believe it, just read them. I would tell you to try another blog about accidental shootings and guns going off by themselves but I don't want you guys harrassing yet one more innocent person who is blogging on their own with no agenda other than advocacy and education.

  42. one more innocent person who is blogging on their own with no agenda other than advocacy and education.

    It seems that none of us could want to work for gun control without being paid operatives according to the gunloon crowd.

  43. Yes indeed. I know that I'm a pretty sinister and threatening person. That's what everyone who knows me says about me!!! If I was paid for all the time I spend on this, I'd be rich, for sure.

  44. The point Sevesteen is trying to make, I believe, is that guns don't just "go off" by themselves. They "go off" because some particular person is negligent in how they handle the gun.

    That can be leaving it where a child can find it and play with it, leaving it in a folded tent in the garage, taking it out and setting it down on a toilet in a bar or playing with it in their pocket in the emergency room. But NONE of those cases is a gun "going off by itself".

    Sevesteen's comment that "...gun deaths caused by the gun, rather than either deliberate or negligent action on the part of a person handling the gun are so infinitesimally rare as to be not worth considering." is absolutely correct. Every one of the instances you have mentioned are the result of an individual's negligent action - not a firearm discharging randomly.

    Someone had to leave the gun where a person who didn't know how to handle it could find it (negligent action) or be handling the gun unnecessarily (negligent action). Guns just don't go off without someone causing the trigger to be pulled in some fashion, unless they are broken or defective and those cases are so statistically insignificant as to not be worth considering.

    As for why we keep asking about this - it's because you keep using what we feel are factually incorrect statements (e.g. "And yes, guns do go off sometimes by themselves.") to support your position.

    We're at least willing to evaluate any evidence that you might have of a gun discharging without being manipulated but you don't seem to have any, while stating repeatedly "I showed it to you already" which doesn't make any sense.

    I for one don't see repeating inaccurate statements as education, though it certainly is a disingenuous form of advocacy that borders very closely on being propaganda.

  45. It is certainly not disengenuous on my part. By the way, I do appreciate your polite response and your reasoned discourse. I would agree that perhaps the wording of a gun going off "by itself" could be technically inaccurate. I am betting that most people would understand what that meant without getting into the details of it. When I say that, I understand that a gun does not just go off while sitting by itself on a table, etc. I certainly understand that "something" has to precipitate the trigger activating to cause the bullet to come out of the gun. It is certainly carelessness on the part of the people who left the gun loaded and with the safety off in a place it shouldn't have been. I have, however heard of bullets firing from guns that fall out of purses or pants injuring the owner or others. The person did not intentionally shoot the gun so it could be said that the gun shot the people. That is where I am coming from. I hope that helps and I do try to be accurate as much as possible. Obviously you know a lot more about guns than I. And I don't need any criticism for not being a gun expert. That is not my gig. I do run a lot of things past a few of my own "gun guy" friends who will spend more than a few e-mail or phone exchanges discussing guns and how things happen. They have taught me a lot. If I see any evidence of a gun "going off" without being dropped or manipulated, I will let you know. When I say "I showed or wrote about it already", it is because I have given a number of examples of people getting shot by a gun whose trigger they did not pull nor did any one else. No one pulled the trigger. Does that help?

  46. One of the difficulties in having a meaningful civil debate is that many gun banners use an entirely different version of English than the rest of us. We can't find out what you really mean--"just went off" is actually "went off when someone was messing with it".

    "gun show loophole" is generally "private sale loophole".

    "It is silly to think we want to ban all your guns, but we won't say which ones we don't want to ban".

    "We have no problem with concealed carry" as long as it is licensed, and any official can deny or revoke the license for any reason, and you don't carry near schools, where children are present, where alcohol is sold, at the bank, in a park, or so many other places that a carry license would be useless.

    "Compromise"--give up half your remaining gun rights, rather than all of them

    "common sense gun laws"--any law that adds restrictions on guns or ammo.

    "Wintermute is accurate, peer reviewed" except when he says there is no gun show loophole.

  47. I appreciate your taking the time to review and reply to my comments, but I feel my and Sevesteen's points still stand.

    Do people get shot by a gun who's trigger *they* didn't pull, when no one was trying to shoot them? Absolutely. These are generally referred to in the gun owners community as "negligent discharges", and there is always - ALWAYS - an individual whose negligent behavior is responsible for that shot being fired. They should always be held accountable for that action, to the fullest extent that the law allows. As should people who allow guns to fall into the hands of children who are unable to understand the consequences of pulling the trigger on a gun they find. I expect we agree on this.

    But these things are already punishable under existing laws, so I can't really get my head around why making them subject to more laws makes any sense.

    As for guns firing when they are dropped, in every case (and I follow these things closely as a responsible gun owner and firearms rights activist) either A: the person attempted to catch the gun as it dropped and activated the trigger, or B: the gun was broken or a defective design (which are subject to recall and repair); NB: these instances are so statistically insignificant as to warrant total disregard when considering national-level data.

    Modern firearms do not fire a round when dropped. They do not fire a round unless the external safety, if present, is disengaged and the internal safety(ies) are disengaged. "No one pulled the trigger" happens so seldom as to be unworthy of discussion.

    Your insistence on referring to such occurrences without providing a link to specific examples is disingenuous in that it implies that the mere presence of a gun could lead to a shooting by virtue of a gun discharging without operator error.

    I'm going to repeat this, because it bears repeating. Guns that are not either broken or subject to a defective design do not go off by themselves. A statement such as "And yes, guns do go off sometimes by themselves" is factually inaccurate.

    I'm not trying to criticize you for not being a gun expert, whatever that means. I'm criticizing you for making factually inaccurate statements and presenting them as evidence for your position. This is the fundamental difference between debate and rhetoric.

    You are closely associated with the Brady Campaign, which utilized rhetoric, propaganda and often factually inaccurate statements to further its stated goal of criminalizing personal firearm ownership, so you will perhaps forgive me if I have a dim view of your motives and activist activities. I feel for you, having lost a family member to violence, but we disagree on this issue.

    Be well.

  48. So be it. We will agree to disagree on above. But as to: "You are closely associated with the Brady Campaign, which utilized rhetoric, propaganda and often factually inaccurate statements to further its stated goal of criminalizing personal firearm ownership,", you are wrong and misguided in your beliefs. It just doesn't seem to matter how many times I or the Brady Campaign or anyone else says it, you guys will not give up on the idea that we are trying to take away your guns. As long as that inaccurate view is there, we will get nowhere. Even if we wanted to, which we don't, the Supreme Court has made it quite clear that owning guns is a right and that banning of guns is unconstitutional. What part of those rulings do you all object to? They were decided in favor of the positions you hold and yet you still refuse to get on with the discussion of what we should do with the people who, unlike you, can't pass background checks and shouldn't be able to buy a gun.

  49. It's a conversation stopper to say the things written by "Sevesteen" above. None of them are true.They are opinions based on fallacy.

  50. Joan,

    "gun show loophole" is generally "private sale loophole".

    Would you be willing to accept a law allowing private sales between individuals without a background check if they didn't occur at a gun show?

  51. Why are you asking? Have I talked about that? I am referring to gun shows when I'm blogging. Some think that the only way to effect change is to actually require background checks on all secondary sales, no matter where they occur. You guys have screamed pretty loudly about it. I am not taking a position on that one. Whatever I say, you will misconstrue it anyway.

  52. Jon - I would say that RE guns going off when dropped there is a category C.

    Guns which are old enough that they have no features making them "drop safe."

    Even so, the act of dropping ones carry piece is itself an act of negligence (barring some kind of bizzare equipment failure.)

    The one case I can think of off the top of my head was a guy a few years ago who was carrying an old single shot derringer in his pocket (no holster) It fell in a supermarket and discharged when it hit the floor. That case was rare enough to be newsworthy.

  53. Except that you have taken the position of wanting to ban all private sales Joan.

  54. Really Joan?

    You aren't taking a position on private sales?

    private sale loophole", or the "unregistered guns" loophole,".
    Yes, good idea. Thanks.

    Those aren't your words on this post -http://www.commongunsense.com/2010/09/who-gun-guys-think-i-am.html

    Or this comment
    The question deserves an answer that makes sense. If there isn't one, then our laws should be changed to stop felons and others who shouldn't have guns from easily getting them from dealers like the men in the article

    or this one

    Notice that the shooter obtained his gun through a private seller- no background check. We are told continually by the gun lobby that this just doesn't happen. They are wrong. They should be called on their lies. That is what is preventing common sense gun laws.

    Seems like you've taken a position on private sales already.

  55. Private sales at gun shows should have background checks. Does that mean I am against private sales? NO, No, and NO!! It means I think those sellers should require buyers to have background checks. I am beginning to wonder if you guys can read. How many times and in how many ways do I need to say it. Take some time off.

  56. Joan,

    The very question that I asked you was this:

    Would you be willing to accept a law allowing private sales between individuals without a background check if they didn't occur at a gun show?

    Now you either weren't telling the truth at 12:24 when you said:

    Some think that the only way to effect change is to actually require background checks on all secondary sales, no matter where they occur. You guys have screamed pretty loudly about it. I am not taking a position on that one.

    or you are not telling the truth at 1:38 p.m. when you say:

    It means I think those sellers should require buyers to have background checks.

    So, should people have to get background checks on private transactions or not?

  57. Are you waiting for an answer you like or one that you can post on your own blog to criticize? No more on this topic Harrassment is tiring and annoying.

  58. ....taking a break from commenting on the nasty comments. Give it a rest guys. Go bother someone else for a while. You don't need to pick apart every word written here. I don't need to respond to everything you write. As Mike B. said- this is my blog, not yours.