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.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Correction to Domestic Abuse post

I must issue a correction to my post yesterday about a case of domestic abuse leading to 3 deaths. I made an assumption that the deaths were due to a shooting after reading the first report of the incident. One of my readers sent me this more recent article that reports that the Minneapolis man killed his wife by hitting her with a golf club and then strangling her with an electrical cord. He then methodically drugged his 2 oldest children and killed one by holding his head under water in the bathtub and the other by smothering her with a pillow. Awful all the way around. Domestic abuse is way too prevalent and frequently a gun is the cause of death. Obviously abusers find other ways to commit these heinous crimes. This one is particularly gruesome.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of death of women ages 15-44, according to this article. My awareness of intimate partner domestic abuse that sometimes leads to death began with the death of my own sister. But more recently, I have learned even more in my volunteer work at the local Family Justice Center. The local battered women shelter has a 92% occupancy rate. As the director of this program stated at the fund raising event for the shelter, this is higher than most hotels.

My apologies for making an assumption about the cause of death in the incident, above.


  1. I think it is a testament to our humanity and our honor as a people that we allow filth like this to have a fair trial and a humane punishment. My immediate urge is mob "justice." I will pray not only for the dead, but for the jury that must hear of his crimes and pass sentence on him in our names. I'm glad I don't have to sit through that trial.

  2. So where's the crusade to ban golf clubs, electrical cords, bathtubs, and pillows?

    You know what would have stopped him? A gun. When someone is threatening/attacking a woman with a golf club, a gun is the perfect force equalizer. Guns are also perfect for the elderly, and I hope to have ready access to them when I'm in my later years because I know I'll be able to pull a trigger much better than I'll be able to fight off people 50 years younger than me.

    One time I was walking home and made the mistake of being on the same side of the street with a group of about 15 teens who took exception to my skin color. There had been a flurry of mass beatings in the neighborhood (funny what kids will do when they're bored) and I didn't want to be the next one (a man died this way just a week before my run-in).

    Anyway, one of them threw a rock at me after I walked past them (as they let their feelings about my race be known). I turned around and saw the rock thrower (presumably) running up to me, followed by 4 of his friends. He got about 12 inches from my face and started screaming "What 'chu gonna do!?!" Having never been in this kind of situation, I was shocked that it was even happening, so I asked "Are you serious??" "Yeah, what 'chu gonna do?!"

    I looked at him and his friends who had started to form a semi-circle around me, and the larger crowd of onlookers, and realized I was very screwed. There's no way I could have outrun them, and definitely no way I could have fought them. They were just toying with me until they felt like hitting me. This whole time, I had my hand in my pocket firmly gripping my Kel-Tec P3AT, which I was lawfully carrying.

    He noticed me fidgeting with my pocket and asked what's in my pocket. I told him not to worry about it. He asked again, I told him not to worry about it again. Then he asked when I was going to do again, and it seemed like the world stopped. Suddenly everything was in slow motion, and I told him I would put a bullet in him. "What 'chu say?" "I will put a bullet in you." He laughed and turned to his friends and said "He said he gonna put a bullet in me!" And kept laughing as he turned back, and started to back away. "He said he gonna put a bullet in me!" he kept laughing as he and his friends joined the larger group and I quickly made way to my destination, adrenaline pumping and shaking.

    I am convinced that if I hadn't had that gun, I would have been attacked and injured. The only question is "How injured?" Bruises, broken bones, permanently crippled, or dead? That was out of my control. But I couldn't call 911, and I couldn't rely on anyone to protect myself but me. Since this has happened, I've met a number of people with similar stories.

    It saddens and disgusts me that you would disarm me and other law abiding citizens so we would be left helpless to defend ourselves against criminal attacks. Guns equalize force. My fists were no match for a group of angry teens, but the mere threat of a gun was all it took to keep me out of the hospital or the morgue.

    There will always be criminals. And they will always seek easy targets. Disarming those targets doesn't help the victims, it helps the criminal.

  3. Thanks for sharing that story, Mike. It sounds terrifying. I have never experienced anything like that so don't know what that feels like. I do not carry a gun so maybe I would have been "screwed" as well. I am not trying to take away your rights to carry, however. If you so choose, that is your prerogative and your right. I am merely stating that sometimes things go more wrong when a gun is on the scene. It's hard to know how that would have turned out had you pulled out your gun. I'm sure you honestly feel it would have been to your advantage and maybe it would have. It's hard to know when situations present themselves how things will turn out. Adrenaline and the fight or flight instinct takes over. And I suppose that some women might be safer if they had a gun. It doesn't always work that way, though. There was a case about a year and a half ago in the Twin Cities where a cop was killed with his own gun when he pulled it out in a domestic abuse case. The abuser ( not armed but threatening with a torch of some kind) attacked the cop and the abuser won the battle. He took the police officer's gun and shot him dead. So carrying and having a gun is a pretty awesome responsibility. Things can and do go wrong. It is a matter of our different outlooks about the same situations that are causing the rift between our sides of the gun issue.

  4. One of the severe disadvantages of being a police officer is that you are not permitted to walk away. You have to press your attack against the criminal. As armed citizens we can walk away once we convince the attacker to leave us alone. it's helpful to think of a weapon as a tool for changing your opponents mind. Mike was able to change their mind. The dynamic is different between cops and criminals than between citizens and criminals.

  5. Mike I am glad you are ok. I picked this up somewhere and I think it is as close as it comes to the way I feel about carrying.

    "The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act."

  6. japete,

    you linked to an article that stated 1,181 deaths due to murder by former intimate partner.

    I would like you to review that data here: http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/causes.html and learn why the assertion that it is "a leading cause among women 15-45" is a bit misleading. We lose over six times that number in the 15-24 year bracket due to accidents, and twice that number due to suicide.

  7. And this is why we just can't agree about some of this. First of all, I can't see how you feel unafraid if you were not afraid in the first place. Since I rarely feel afraid in public, Carrying a gun would make feel paranoid and suspicious and as if I am on constant alert for potential trouble. Secondly, if you were to do a risk/ benefit analysis you would find that the risks of carrying outweigh the benefits. Most people go through their lives without experiencing the every day fear that you se to have. And before you jump on me, I know that minorities, people of different religious persuasion, gay and lesbian people, sometimes women may feel fear every day. Also, of course, people who live in countries at war or with Dictators as leaders. I am talking about the U.S. in today 's culture. Kids in some inner cities may also fear for their lives every day. I know that I am lucky to live in a pretty low crime area with not much gang activity and little drug dealing on the streets. Maybe that colors my view of the world. Bur I have also traveled a lot in this country as well as abroad and have not experienced that feeling that carrying a gun would make me safer.

  8. "And I suppose that some women might be safer if they had a gun. It doesn't always work that way, though."

    Guns don't magically protect people, so if women carry guns, they're not magically protected from criminals. But it sure helps their odds. People should know how to use the gun, and all the legal and psychological ramifactions that go along with it. This is NOT the same as saying that people should be required to have gun training before getting a gun, just like people shouldn't be required to have fire extinguisher training before getting a fire extinguisher. A gun is a tool, and it can be used effectively or poorly, for good or for bad. Instead of focusing on keeping the tools locked up, we should keep the criminals locked up. Because if they can't use guns, they'll use golf clubs.

    If someone was in your home attacking you with a golf club (or crowbar or knife or baseball bat or whatever), don't you see the value of having a gun and knowing how to use it? People who have been there do. Criminals will *always* be around, and will always prey on the weak among us. Guns are just one tool we can use to protect ourselves against them, but they are by far the most effective tool we have. Enough of this gun control, why not focus on criminal control. Law abiding citizens aren't the problem. The reason the anti-gunners lost is because they were so focused on the guns and not the criminals who used them.

    The sad thing is, if anti-gunners were pushing for real measures that would keep violent criminals off the streets, the gun crowd would be right there beside you. Instead, you're targeting the tools criminals often use and ignoring the actual criminals. If someone can't be trusted to own a gun, they shouldn't be trusted to be out of prison. It's expensive, but so is having our society ravaged by crime.

  9. Interesting charts, anonymous. I've nit seen these before. I am reading them on my iPhone so mY have missed something. There was only one specific to women and I thougt that homicide and suicide ranked above accidents in that one. At a certain age, 50 plus, cancer and other natural causes rise to the top. Tell me if I missed something

  10. Mike

    A gun, to me, is not a tool. It is a deadly weapon that Is the cause of wY too many deaths. Some people should not have access to these weapons. That's what I 'm all about.

  11. "First of all, I can't see how you feel unafraid if you were not afraid in the first place. Since I rarely feel afraid in public, Carrying a gun would make feel paranoid and suspicious and as if I am on constant alert for potential trouble."


I've needed a gun once. I've *never* needed a seatbelt, and yet I wear one every time I get in the car. I don't consider myself paranoid for wearing a seatbelt *or* carrying a gun. I consider myself slightly more prepared.

    "A gun, to me, is not a tool. It is a deadly weapon that Is the cause of wY too many deaths. Some people should not have access to these weapons. That's what I 'm all about."

    A gun is not deadly when it's sitting on the table. Neither is a golf club. But depending on how it's used, it can become very deadly. So can cars, which kill far more people than guns. Are cars deadly weapons, or are they tools? Why do some people blame guns when they're used to hurt people, but not blame cars or golf clubs or electrical cords. When you thought this family was killed with guns, this is what you said:

    "Abusers should not be allowed to have guns or purchase them and yet they are way too easy to get in other ways, as I have discussed before."

    Now that you know she was killed with a golf club and an electrical cord, do think abusers should not be allowed to have golf clubs and electrical cords? Or is it different now that a gun wasn't involved? Somehow along the line it went from blaming the weapon to blaming the criminal, where it should have been the whole time.

  12. What I'm saying, Mike, is that a gun is not designed as a tool. It is considered to be in a class of objects called weapons When I was teaching kids about categories of words, we talked about tools as one category. I can say that guns were NEVER placed in the tool category. Only you gun guys insist on calling them tools. As to the golf club and cord, they are occassionally used to kill people nut would not fit in the category of tools or weapons. The plain fact is that guns are the cause ofanyore dtaths than any other object. Under causes of death,the CDC does not list "people" as a cause. It lists firarms,knives, poisoning, etc. The general public would not use the term "tool". It's a tool for killing or hurting. Guns are deadly "tools",while hammers and screwdrivers are rarely deadly. If someone is angry or crazy enough, anything could kill another person but it is rare.

  13. Anthony - the excerpt you posted is from a piece titled "Why the Gun is Civilization" by Marko Kloos.

  14. japete -

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tool

       /tul/ Show Spelled[tool] Show IPA
    an implement, esp. one held in the hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.
    any instrument of manual operation.
    the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planer, drill, or similar machine.
    the machine itself; a machine tool.
    anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.
    a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw.
    the design or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book.
    Underworld Slang.
    a pistol or gun.
    a pickpocket.
    Slang: Vulgar. penis.

    Both weapons and golf clubs fit into the very broad category of 'tools', as they are objects used to perform a task. Guns don't need to be 'designed' as tools, they're tools by virtue of the fact that they're objects people use. Tools aren't strictly things like hammers and screwdrivers.

    Gun guys insist on calling them tools because while they can be used to murder, they can also be used to protect. Their purpose isn't set in stone, the task they're used for depends on the user.

  15. Nonsense- " Underworld Slang." Are you part of the underworld?

  16. Guns are tools, and so are golf clubs. That may be a hard concept for children to grasp, but this is an adult topic. In any event, any object can be used to harm someone, so why not stop the leak in the dam instead of trying to waterproof every single house? Violent and dangerous people can't hurt decent folks if they're separated from society. To focus on the tools that they use is meaningless and as the past 40 years have shown, does nothing to accomplish the supposed goal of the gun grabbers. We ALL want to live in a peaceful society, but it seems that this goal is secondary to your wanting to do away with our guns. They're just inanimate objects, and fear of them isn't rational, in the same way that fear of spoons isn't rational. Even if spoons were suddenly the preferred killing method of murderers everywhere, it wouldn't change the fact that it's just a spoon. But the overwhelming majority of guns are used to shoot at paper. There are millions of guns sold each year in the US, and only a small percentage are even used against another human being, often by police or lawful citizens defending themselves. Focusing on guns instead of criminals actually hurts the effort to combat violent crime because it just puts millions of gun owners at opposition to you, instead of standing beside you.

  17. As I said,I will be focusing on the guns and the people who shouldn't have th. Enough of this thread. I don't need to explain this anymore.

  18. I am flustered to explain how someone can talk about all the gun violence and how everyone is being shot and then try to explain to me how I don't need a firearm because I am most likely never to be shot by someone. Who's getting shot then? Because if "I'm" likely not to get shot.. and you are likely not to get shot, we simply have to keep this statistical ball rolling so that nobody gets shot.