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 23, 2010

Happy hunting season everyone and stay safe out there...

I love Fall. Last week-end I took a walk on the road behind my cabin. The weather was cool, sunny and perfect for fall. It's great to see the leaves changing again. There are trees of every kind near my cabin- mostly hard woods but also some Pines, Spruce and Tamaracks in the low lying areas. My daughter got married in the Fall, I think because she inherited my love of the season. Some friends and I collected leaves for several months and pressed them in books for the reception table decorations. They were beautiful. What's better than the sun shining on the reds, oranges, yellows and combinations of these colors.

While walking, I scared up a deer and a flock of Blue Jays flew ahead of me on the road. It was a pretty quiet day but then I was reminded that the hunting season has begun when I heard a distant shots coming from some ways off. The bear hunting season has begun already. My friend who works on gun violence prevention issues with me is a bear hunter. He also hunts deer and he is a gun collector and gun smith. I respect him for his love of guns. I am not a hunter. My Dad taught me to shoot a .22 rifle when I was a young girl in case I wanted to hunt Grouse but I mostly went along for the walk. My family were and are hunters. I grew up with guns and hunting sports.

Coming from Northern Minnesota, we don't usually hear about gun incidents during the hunting season until later in the Fall. Here is an unusual one involving an argument over hydrocodone as well as guns- not a good mix. There are usually a few hunting accidents involving carelessness that end with someone being shot with a hunting rifle or shotgun. There have been intentional shootings during hunting season and occasionally a bullet from a hunting gun goes astray and shoots through a neighbor's window or wall. The idea that people get into arguments over a medicine (or drug) while hunting is pure and simply dangerous and irresponsible. Note that one of these men had a permit to carry a concealed weapon which was holstered on his body. He also called his wife for "reinforcements". Further, the guns used were handguns and not deer hunting rifles. I guess handguns are sometimes used for hunting. The article didn't say whether these guns were the ones with which these guys were hunting. I found this article about hunting with pistols. It sounds like it is more of a challenge for hunters. 

I am hoping that this hunting season will be safe. Most of the hunters I know are safe hunters. I understand the idea that they need to practice their skills and need a place to do so. Here is a story about Vermont hunters wanting more practice ranges so they can be safe during the hunting season. It makes sense. One problem is that people don't often want a practice range close to their homes since they are noisy. Very occasionally, bullets go astray at gun ranges. Certainly target shooting in your yard where homes are nearby is a bad idea, as the linked story above shows. The day after my peaceful walk near my cabin, there were many more gun shots in the woods not too far away. These were not shots taken at Bear, but someone practicing on private property or in the woods. I must admit to being a little nervous about where the bullets were going. A few years ago, someone who lived near my cabin was shot when a bullet went through the wall of his home and killed him.

Be careful out there. If you hunt, be safe and shoot safely. And more than anything, be responsible for your own actions while holding your gun. Bullets injure and kill birds and animals during hunting season but they can also kill and injure people.


  1. It's pretty apparent that you and I will never find much common ground at all, but I find myself unable to dispute much of what you have said in this post.

    There are, unfortunately, irresponsible, careless, and unethical people with guns. I don't see any laws changing that, but I'm not here to pick fights.

    Thank you for wishing hunters a safe season, and I hope you continue to enjoy a glorious autumn. Down here in southern Illinois, it's still quite hot--I did my bike trail travels in the morning, because pushing a wheelchair in the 90 degree weather is no fun.

  2. Good idea. Why don't you do it on your blog?

  3. You talk about hunting safely. A lot of hunting accidents are non-gun related. Hunters get up very early and drive to their hunting spot...sometimes falling asleep at the wheel. Falling out of your tree-stand and breaking your neck is a very real risk for hunters. While it doesn't happen in Minnesota very often, in the rockies every year there are elk hunters who get lost, don't bring the survival necessities, and die.

    Of course people die on golf courses struck by lightning, people drown while out boating, people die falling down the steps in their own basement. Accidents happen.

    And kids out with Grandpa fishing on the lake get shot by cops shooting at a snake in a birdhouse http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292168,00.html

    I find it is more often that police lack a solid understanding of safe gun handling than hunters do.

    So do we take guns away from the police? NO. Stupid people will cause accidents, hopefully they will hurt themselves only, but unfortunately they will hurt others too.

    Just remember to put risks in perspective. You would be better off worrying about cellphones than guns. Texting-while-driving is going to start wracking up the kill count soon.