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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too many avoidable shooting incidents

Some people think that taking matters into their own hands( with a gun) is a good idea. It doesn't always end up as planned as in this case in York, PA where a man with a gun pursued another man who was stealing his truck. The shooter was not in imminent danger and the guy in the truck was unarmed, but drunk. Can you just shoot people when you are or feel wronged? Not in this case.

This report about the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law shows how often gun owners are using the law to justify shooting someone even though they could have retreated or decided not to shoot their gun. It's really interesting but not surprising that more people are now using the law to "shoot first and ask questions later." This is a prime example of how dangerous these laws are. Some in the article felt that this law is demeaning the value of human life. I agree.

And then there is this case of a permit holder ignoring her training about where a loaded gun can be carried legally. Some people just don't think the law applies to them, apparently. Or was she actually thinking of using that loaded gun in the court room where her brother was going to appear on charges? Not too smart.

Here is another story about someone at a shooting range taking his own life. This is not the first such story. Gun shows and gun clubs, as well, have been known to be places where people get shot. Who can forget this case of an 8 year old Connecticut boy who was accidentally shot to death when he fired a machine gun at a Sportsmen Club. For me, this is the worst part of that story: " The boy's father, Charles Bizilj, who was at the event, said he gave his son permission to fire the UZI, according to the Boston Globe. Bizilj, a physician and medical director of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Conn., was about to take a photo of his son when the accident occurred." 

And finally, at least for now: This man was just plain lucky that his loaded gun being shown at a gun show didn't shoot another person. Does anyone else find it interesting that no loaded guns are allowed inside of gun shows? Why is that? Could it be dangerous to have so many deadly weapons handled by so many people in one crowded place? I'm just asking.... If any of this makes common sense, please let me know.


  1. No, you cannot pursue someone because they stole your truck. Firearms are for fear of maiming or death.

    "Stand Your Ground" is a good law. "If" you fear for your life, you should be able to defend yourselves, but with all laws, people can abuse it.

    Some people do think they are above the law. We call them criminals. You find them in every group.

    I can agree that it was reckless for that boy to be shooting something he couldn't control. Making it illegal for underage to be able to shoot is to big of a brush though. I'm against restricting freedoms, but with freedoms come responsibility.

    And yes, that is exactly why gun shows have checks. First it is federal law to have your firearm checked and second, it is exactly because so many people are handling firearms. The common sense of it is that many people don't use common sense when handling firearms.

    For the record, my firearm goes untouched from the moment I put it on to the moment I take it off. I may adjust the holster but I have no reason to touch the firearm and it opens a person up to doing something stupid each time they do so.

    Finally.. something I can mostly agree with you on.

  2. The boy who shot himself with the UZI was already breaking the law, as was the person who let him shoot it. From the article:

    "No one can possess a machine gun without authority under Chapter 140," Bennett said, adding he has found no lawful authority under Chapter 140, or any other law, which allows an 8-year-old possession of a machine gun, or to be able to fire a machine gun.

    So much for making more laws..

  3. The guy went over the line. I wouldn't have blamed the township for hitting him with the discharge ordinance for the shot into the air. If he had shot the guy unprovoked for stealing his truck, I would have agreed with the prosecution for murder.

    But to me this is a slap on the wrist situation at most. In the end the guy didn't get his truck stolen and the criminal got caught. No need to ruin someone's life over it. Make sure he understands he can't shoot thieves, throw a summary offense at him for the discharge and move on.


    Do a Google search for the "Remington 700". The national news has been talking about guns that fire without any fingers in the trigger!!! NBC has been covering it but when I did a search, there was a lot more.

    That's something to post for those know-it-alls who swear that guns never go off without someone doing something...

  5. Why doesn't the pro-life crowd also support gun control? Especially since the Castle Doctrine laws do lead to situations where people could have retreated, or not even needed to have shot at all.

  6. Sure. Guns that fire without any fingers on the trigger. The paid expert on the CNBC show said something completely different when he was under oath:

    I wonder why he said one thing when he was paid by CNBC, and another when a lie would have been perjury.

  7. From your link to the very biased You Tube video, there was nothing to suggest the conclusion the voice claimed, at the end. The expert did not say he could not replicate a gun misfiring. This video is very incomplete. We don't know what the expert was talking about in the beginning. It was only a part of a conversation. The person who made the video was clearly biased against what this expert said and came to questionable conclusions.

  8. Dumb question, Laci: even if you're pro-choice and don't have a problem with abortion, a fetus and a home intruder are not analogous.

  9. I'll second Brett on this one. Pro-Life doesn't mean any life at all. We tend to be more interested in who is innocent and who is guilty. We assume that the person who has not yet been born is innocent and deserving of protection. We also assume that the guy demanding our property, body, and life is not collecting for Christian Relief.

    But never fear, I'm pro-choice on self-defense. If you want to let the guy kill you, it's your choice. I only ask that you respect my choice to use a firearm to change his mind. He can change his mind when I show him the gun, or he can change his mind when I let so much blood out of his body that his mind shuts off. It's his choice.

  10. Loaded firearms are not allowed into gun shows for a very simple reason: The show is full of non-loaded firearms. While examining a gun before purchase, cycling the action (racking the slide, working the bolt, etc) or dry-firing (readying the weapon and pulling the trigger with no rounds loaded) are common actions. If a loaded gun is confused for an unloaded one, or improperly cleared, this could be tragic. It's a very sensible rule.

  11. Wow, Sean- "let so much blood out of his body that his mind shuts off"? It sounds like an episode on a T.V. crime show. You must live an exciting life. I hope you never have to experience the scenario you imagine, above.

  12. japete, I'm pretty sure Sean hopes never to have to experience that situation, either. Most of us who own guns have no wish to ever have to use them in self-defense.

  13. Most of us who own guns have no wish to ever have to use them in self-defense.

    Amen and I don' say that flippantly!

    It is one of most fervent prayers that I never have to use my firearm but the most fervent prayer is that my family is protected.

  14. loaded guns ARE allowed in gunshows, as long as they remain concealed on the permit holder. Haven't been to a gunshow yet that had metal detectors to stop concealed carry.

    The guns that are actually for sale have to be unloaded, just like they would be at a gun store. And yes, there are lot of people that don't follow the four rules of safe gun handling, and the unloaded gun rule is there to keep them from hurting themselves or others.

  15. @Anon - At the Dayton gun show is a sign that, to paraphrase because I don't remember the exact wording, it is against federal law to have a loaded firearm inside the show. They don't use metal detectors to confirm the criminals have unloaded but simply ask if you have a firearm on you. This applies even to concealed carry holders.

  16. @Anon - every gun show I've been to has someone asking if you have any weapons as you enter, and if you do they inspect it and disable it. Some of the shows even have state troopers asking if you have a weapon. There are always signs stating that no loaded weapons are allowed in the shows (100% of the shows I attend). So if you do go in with a loaded gun, at the very least you're trespassing, but you may also be a felon if you lied to that state trooper.