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.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be careful out there

Every year during the deer hunting season in the Midwest, there are shooting accidents with hunting rifles. Here is an article from the Star Tribune about accidents during the first week-end of the hunting season in Minnesota. There have been a few others previously during the Grouse hunting season. This one has to be a first during hunting season in my area. Really, shooting your own gun into the air to scare deer away from your home so hunters won't shoot near your home is a very bad idea. Bullets that go up do come down somewhere. This irresponsible home owner endangered the lives of nearby hunters and was lucky that no one was actually shot.

Also across the country, there have been a number of gun injuries and deaths as there always are. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, a bar shooting resulted in 2 people shot to death. According to the reports in the story, two groups of people got into an argument. Had they had too much to drink? There will be more details later. Not to belabor the point, but another shooting in the Detroit area in a bar left 1 dead and 3 injured. What is going on? When people carry guns in bars, inevitably, shootings will occur. I will be interested to know if any of these shooters were legal gun permit holders and if any or all of them had been under the influence of alcohol. Guns and alcohol do not mix.

An accidental shooting in Florida again shows that sometimes people who have guns and probably know a good bit about them, are careless. According to the article the pistol "accidentally fired" which some claim is virtually impossible. Here is a man looking to buy a handgun from a private seller when the gun "accidentally discharged" killing the man. Oh dear.  In Kansas, a Police officer shot and killed a man wielding a gun after a domestic incident in an otherwise "quiet and safe" neighborhood. The man interviewed on the video in the link expressed concern that the police could have used a taser or another way to stop the man without shooting him. I suppose that is up for debate. But the fact is, the man confronted the police officer with a semi-automatic handgun. In the face of that, what would you do? There are many on this blog commenting who have argued that that is the very action they would take if someone pulled a gun on them. And then, in this story, the opposite happened. Yet another law enforcement officer was shot to death in the line of duty while pursuing an armed criminal.

Oakland, California, has had a rash of gang related crime and shootings. Over the week-end, 3 were left dead and 2 others injured by bullets, some believed to be caused by gang activity. In late October, these 2 Florida children were injured by bullets in careless "accidents" involving people who should have known better. The article talks about guns and children and why they don't mix. And what is this all about? In Pottsdown, PA, shots were fired in a usually quiet crime-free neighborhood and damaged cars parked in front of homes. I guess in some places, people with guns prowl neighborhoods and shoot for fun. It may have been fun for them, if that is why they shot off the bullets, but if someone had been killed or injured, it would have been tragic. What are the chances that no one was out in the street when the bullets were flying?

By my count, in just a few days' time, 10 people died from gunshot injuries and another 10 survived their gunshot wounds. Those are just a few of the ones I have read about recently. I write about these incidents because sometimes it is hard to believe that these shootings occur on a daily basis. Most of them are preventable with some common sense. When we have a country that idolizes guns and the second amendment and where people believe they must have guns everywhere, these gun injuries, deaths and near misses will continue.

18 comments:

  1. Oops- I forgot this one about a bar in Wisconsin with many incidents of gun fire: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/state-and-regional/article_50fabc52-ec00-11df-a0a2-001cc4c03286.html

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  2. The idiot shooting to scare the deer was apparently using a shotgun. Most shotgun ammo is designed to be shot in the air with minimal danger downrange--Duck hunting, trap and skeet, etc. The Amateur Trapshooting Association used to have their national matches just outside Cox International Airport, basically shooting towards the runways. He apparently picked the least stupid way to do his stupid stunt, although probably by accident.

    It would have been legal for a license holder to be armed in the Fort Wayne bar, although it is pretty rare that we instigate situations like that. Would not have been legal in Detroit. It would be interesting to compare Fort Wayne to Detroit--I strongly suspect that the people who are willing to shoot up a bar aren't willing to obey restrictions on carry, and people willing to obey 'don't carry in a bar' would also obey 'don't shoot people'.

    You don't hand a gun to someone barrel first, and if someone does, you call them on it--"watch it, you're sweeping me" or similar. Everyone needs to know the basic rules of gun safety, and 'don't point at anything you aren't willing to destroy' is rule 1. But the gun didn't 'just go off', someone negligently pulled the trigger, likely the same person who negligently pointed it at a person.

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  3. So what are you proposing be done?

    Ban all guns and hunting?

    I've heard there are a lot of car accidents... by your logic, we should ban all cars.

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  4. The plural of anecdote is not "data".

    Two die over the weekend swimming in gun free UK (back in June). http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/two-drown-in-rivers-over-the-weekend-1993348.html. Now that nice weather has gone to the southern hemisphere for a while I expect that people won't be drowning trying to swim in rivers.

    Yes there is a risk associated with hunting, just like swimming. I bring this up because accidental drowning is much more likely to kill you than accidental firearm discharge. http://www.the-eggman.com/writings/death_stats.html

    Japete, I understand that you are "against all gun death", but when the statistics put fire, motor vehicles, drowning, falls from ladders or stairs, and a bunch of other activities ahead of "accidental firearm discharge" you really need to back off.

    A reasonable person looking at those numbers would conclude that backyard swimming pools and staircases are a greater threat to a greater number of people than firearms. It is only common sense to look at the numbers.

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  5. Firearm homicides and suicides are ahead of the other causes of death you mention, above, in most age categories. I had examples of homicides as well in the article in case you missed them. So, yes, I am working to prevent all types of firearm deaths. Do you have a problem with that?

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  6. Do you have a problem with that?

    Yes, yes I do, because your "solution" is to infringe upon my rights.

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  7. Firearm homicides and suicides are ahead of the other causes of death you mention, above, in most age categories. I had examples of homicides as well in the article in case you missed them. So, yes, I am working to prevent all types of firearm deaths. Do you have a problem with that?

    Japete; I wouldn't have any problem if you solely focused on logical, workable, and effective solutions to crime and violence.

    However, I have already agreed with you that reducing the number of criminals on the streets is both reasonable and desirable. What we disagree on is how to reduce the murder rate. You focus on inanimate tools, I focus on criminals.

    The VAST majority of criminal firearm deaths (murder) are by criminals who are already breaking the law in some other manner. Drugs, gang membership, etc, are all associate with career criminals who WILL NOT OBEY any of the laws that you propose as "common sense".

    The people who will have to comply with the laws you propose (and we do, including waiting periods, background checks, weapons bans, ammunition bans, registration, Firearm Owners ID Cards, etc). Criminals already don't do those things. Making guns even more regulated is not the answer.

    If your child doesn't do well in a subject and you take away his PlayStation as a result, you CANNOT take it away again when he gets a worse grade on the next test. The Brady Campaign continually lobbies to restrict the rights of all Americans because the laws that they have lobbied for HAVE NOT HAD THE DESIRED EFFECT.

    So you, The Brady Campaign and fellow travelers in the VPC, MAIG, etc, have never lobbied to remove an ineffective gun law. Despite the complete failure of Virginia's "One Gun A Month" law in preventing crime (or VT) the Brady Campaign still endorses limiting firearm purchases as "a common sense measure".

    So Japete, what current restrictions on MY right to keep and bear arms are you proposing to repeal, to make it easier for ME as a law abiding citizen to enjoy my Constitutionally enumerated rights?

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  8. " I wouldn't have any problem if you solely focused on logical, workable, and effective solutions to crime and violence. - your opinion, not fact.

    " Drugs, gang membership, etc, are all associate with career criminals who WILL NOT OBEY any of the laws that you propose as "common sense"." I agree with this, in part. But if we attempt to prevent these folks from getting their guns in the first place, we may be able to eventually make a dent in gnags and criminals getting guns.

    " The Brady Campaign continually lobbies to restrict the rights of all Americans because the laws that they have lobbied for HAVE NOT HAD THE DESIRED EFFECT." That is your opinion, again. The Brady Campaign does not intend to restrict rights of law abiding citizens.

    "
    So you, The Brady Campaign and fellow travelers in the VPC, MAIG, etc, have never lobbied to remove an ineffective gun law." What do you consider an ineffective gun law? Give me parameters, specifics, etc.

    " what current restrictions on MY right to keep and bear arms are you proposing to repeal, to make it easier for ME as a law abiding citizen to enjoy my Constitutionally enumerated rights?" What are you talking about?????

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  9. Ineffective gun laws:

    Bans based on handles, covers and places to attach stuff.

    Bans based on the order of assembly, or the past history of parts--a Ruger Charger is a pistol based on the Ruger 10/22 rifle. Legal if made by Ruger, but illegal to put identical parts on an existing rifle.

    Federal Bans on buying from a licensed out of state dealer--should be up to the states in question.

    Safe Gun lists, where trivial differences require a new round of testing, and where a gun can become 'unsafe' if the manufacturer or importer does not pay the renewal fee--and nobody else can pay that fee.

    Unsafe gun list, where there is no rhyme or reason to the guns on or off the list--Particularly Chicago's list.

    Mandatory ballistic fingerprinting--millions of dollars spent per criminal case it has been used in.

    Bans on guns based on where the parts are made.

    Import rules for handguns that require a certain number of irrelevant features, like grooves in the trigger, dents in the grips, adjustable sights, caliber above 9mm, among others.

    Adding extra restrictions to a class of guns with a 50 year crime-free history.

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  10. AM says, "What we disagree on is how to reduce the murder rate. You focus on inanimate tools, I focus on criminals."

    This is a typical response from the pro-gun crowd. It's been responded to too many times for them to be still making this argument in good faith.

    We do not support gun control initiatives (focusing on the tool) at the detriment of fighting crime and criminals in other ways. It's not an eithor/or deal. We are all for education and fighting poverty and lowering unemployment and dealing with addiction and harsher sentences for violent offenders. PLUS we want sensible gun laws that will prevent as many of them as possible from getting their criminal hands on guns.

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  11. "The Brady Campaign does not intend to restrict rights of law abiding citizens."

    Except they do when they push for things like bans on open carry, bans on "assault weapons", bans on .50 caliber rifles, etc.

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  12. Proposing a scenario:
    I'm a parent (actually am) - I have a child in school. Another parent's child is reprimanded for not finishing a homework assignment. He didn't finish it because he was playing Playstation.
    Question: My child has a Playstation, yet seems to be able to finish his homework, thus staying out of trouble. Should I take away MY child's Playstation just because it "might" cause a problem in the future with my child?
    Wherein lies the problem? With the Playstation, or with the child?

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  13. PLUS we want sensible gun laws that will prevent as many of them as possible from getting their criminal hands on guns.

    Ok, since over 75% of murderers in the US have prior criminal records what do you intend to do? Make it even MORE illegal for them to possess firearms?

    How can you target that population of known lawbreakers without stepping on my Right to Keep And Bear Arms (2nd Amendment, an individual right according to Heller and Macdonald).

    So Japete, what ineffective gun laws are you willing to repeal? Are you willing to repeal waiting periods? Are you willing to repeal a 200 dollar tax stamp on a rifle with barrel less than 16 inches (such as the venerable Winchester Trapper?)

    Since waiting periods don't work, and the 200 dollar tax stamp is just a pain (imagine having to file your taxes every time you wanted to buy a rifle with a 15 inch barrel) it seems reasonable an "common sense" that those infringements on my right should go away.

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  14. Nonsense. " Ok, since over 75% of murderers in the US have prior criminal records what do you intend to do? Make it even MORE illegal for them to possess firearms? : This is simply not true. Most homicides not random shootings performed by criminals. Many domestic shootings are commited by people with no criminal history until they pulled the trigger.

    I am not repealing any ineffective gun laws at this point. What are they? Someone else asked me the same question. Are you guys ganging up on me or what?

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  15. Most homicides not random shootings performed by criminals. Many domestic shootings are commited by people with no criminal history until they pulled the trigger.

    There are a few murders committed by people with no criminal history--but most murderers are already felons before their first murder. A disproportionate number of murder victims are convicted felons.

    Being a felon does not preclude one from having a domestic dispute--in fact, I would hazard a guess that felons are also disproportionately domestic abusers. But you continue to try to leave the impression that most murders are previously law abiding people who suddenly kill a close family member because a gun was handy--the evidence does not come close to supporting this.





    I am not repealing any ineffective gun laws at this point. What are they?

    As far as I can tell, you aren't in favor of repealing any restriction on any gun.

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