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, October 28, 2010

Election ads in favor of common sense

Wow- I'm excited by this new ad campaign to promote common sense concerning gun laws. The article in today's Huffington Post highlights a video featuring Omar Samaha, brother of Reema Samaha, victim of the Virginia Tech shooting. This is powerful stuff and it puts elected officials right on the spot where they should be- having to defend being beholden to the NRA and voting against measures to save lives. It's about time!!!


  1. Let me summarize the ad for you.
    1. I had a sister
    2. she's dead (wah)
    3. There was a "gap" that failed to prevent her killer from buying a gun.
    4. There is a totally different "gap" that we want to close, a "gap" that has nothing whatever to do with my sister.
    5. Politician "A" will not promise to close that "gap"
    6. this ad paid for by Mike Bloomburg.

    But hey, if Bloomie wants to waste his money trying to keep a few toss-up districts blue, good for him. It will be interesting to see how each of the 4 targeted Republicans fare next week. Care to make a wager?

  2. Glossed over by Omar is the fact that the first “gap” he mentioned (the one that allowed Cho to buy his guns) was helped closed by the NRA.

  3. This is a perfect example of people demonizing guns instead of the criminals that use them. Virginia Tech had nothing to do with the so-called "gun show loophole." VA even had a waiting period before he could pick up his guns. The problem (aside from Cho being a nutcase) was that VA had a problem in its system, which is why Cho passed his background check. VA did the right thing, and fixed the problem.

    But to now say that "well, maybe he would have bought one there" - if we're doing hypotheticals, we also have to say "maybe he wouldn't have" or even "maybe he would have turned into a pink inicorn." There was a problem, and it was fixed. To use this tragedy to further an anti-gun agenda, and close a so-called loophole that had nothing to do with the massacre borders self-serving exploitation, IMHO.

    Aside from that, any ad that makes candidates state an anti-gun position right before an election is good news to me, because it'll spur people to go out and vote against them, and generally cost them votes. The reason they haven't said anything yet is that the Dems learned this lesson many times before, and some of them are going to get a refresher next week.

    I noticed that the ad didn't mention anything about going after the violent criminals who would use the guns..

  4. And yet even the CDC can't find any proof that the legislation the Brady Campaign proposes would actually save lives.

  5. What?? Does the CDC talk about that anywhere?

  6. The material in this report was prepared by the Epidemiology Program Office, Stephen B. Thacker, M.D., Director; Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods, Richard E. Dixon, M.D., Director.


    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.


  7. Thanks for providing this report. A quote from the report, though, shows that the examination of the various laws in the report did not show that the laws were ineffective: " A finding of insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness but rather as an indicator that additional research is needed before an intervention can be evaluated for its effectiveness." It shows insufficient evidence which means not enough to make a conclusion. So one can't draw conclusions from this report. I did like some of the statements such as this one: " Overall, evaluations of the effects of acquisition restrictions on violent outcomes have produced inconsistent findings: some studies indicated decreases in violence associated with restrictions, and others indicated increases. One study indicated a statistically significant reduction in the rate of suicide by firearms among persons aged >55 years; however, the reduction in suicide by all methods was not statistically significant. Furthermore, this benefit appears to have been a consequence of the waiting period imposed by the interim Brady Law (which has since been dropped in the permanent law) rather than of the law's restrictions on the basis of the purchaser's characteristics (26)." In other words, if the 5 day waiting period had not been dropped, it is possible the results would have been different. Also, this:" Aggregated data hinder the assessment of the ways in which laws might and might not work. Individual record data systems currently being implemented --- the National Incident-Based Reporting System of the FBI and the National Violent Death Reporting System of CDC and partners --- might resolve some of these difficulties and greatly facilitate the evaluation of firearms laws." and then I did like this one: " International comparisons indicate that the United States is an outlier among developed, industrialized nations in rates of firearms violence (2). Widespread public concern exists about criminal firearms violence, firearms violence among youth, and other forms of firearms violence, and popular support for many firearms laws is evident (34,35). " We could all cherry pick information from this report. But I come to a different conclusion than those of you who commented.

  8. This study on the effectiveness of firearms laws, and its conclusion, is interesting to me, in part, because it attempted to evaluate what might not have happened, and why. I am presuming the object of the evaluation was about the laws' abilities to prevent violence.

    If we were talking about Haliburton's cement problem at the BP oil rig, it's clear why it didn't work.

    But what about laws prohibiting murder? It appears they're basically ineffective because of the murder rate in the U.S. Does anyone suggest the answer is to repeal those laws? Is the purpose of criminal laws only to incarcerate after the fact?

    Should we eliminate laws prohibiting 13 year olds from purchasing guns at a FFL's store?. Sounds ridiculous - but where would you draw the line? Don't these teens have rights of self defense from bullying ("stand your ground")?

    The gun rights people say lock 'em up for gun crimes, and keep 'em locked up - but don't you dare try to keep a prohibited person from getting a gun.

    .45 Colt

  9. In a free society, restrictions on the behavior of free individuals can only be justified by clear and incontrovertible evidence of a significant social benefit (and not always then, see below).

    The one thing is clear from the last 40 years of research into the effectiveness of gun control is that the evidence is anything but clear and the benefits are at best, minor.

    Because of this, gun control laws would be unacceptable, even if they didn't touch on a fundamental right.

    But, of course, they do. And the standard for restrictions on fundamental rights are far higher than for ordinary, unprotected behavior.

  10. " restrictions on the behavior of free individuals can only be justified by clear and incontrovertible evidence of a significant social benefit" Can you name some examples of what you consider restrictions? Also what is incontrovertible evidence and significant social benefit?

  11. "Can you name some examples of what you consider restrictions?"

    waiting periods. permission slips to buy, own or carry firearms. prohibitions on ownership for people who are not conviceted violent felons, adjudicated as mentally incompetent or criminally insane. any kind of record keeping by the government at any level. storage laws.

    "is incontrovertible evidence and significant social benefit?"

    peer reviewed studies showing significant drops in overall crime rates with strong corrolation to the specific laws. They must also make all their data public.

  12. I don't consider those restrictions on rights. You still have your right to keep and bear arms. Tell me how you don't considering what you said above. I would love to see some credible peer reviewed studies on your side of the issue to prove what you are saying.

  13. "I don't consider those restrictions on rights."

    too bad. we do. A right delayed is a right denied.

    "You still have your right to keep and bear arms."

    except you don't want me to own the very guns I already have. you've said as much to me directly in comments on another post. You are certainly against me bearing arms.

    " I would love to see some credible peer reviewed studies on your side of the issue to prove what you are saying."

    prove what? That you are wrong? I don't have to prove anything. I don't have to defend my rights, you have to prove that your infringements will bring the result you claim while still protecting that right.

  14. Wow, Sean. That's pretty ridiculous. You don't have to prove anything but I do? Come on. That is not even logical. By the way, come up with something new. You keep badgering me about taking away your rights. I am not going to respond to that anymore- I have said what I'm going to say. You can believe it or not. If you don't, that's your problem. Have a nice week-end and stay away from blogs.

  15. Japete: “That's pretty ridiculous. You don't have to prove anything but I do? Come on. That is not even logical.”

    Apart from the issue of fundamental rights, it is not ridiculous to suggest that those requesting a change be the ones to provide proof. This applies to the pro-gun side as well, like if they want a change from may-issue to shall-issue concealed carry laws.