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.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reflections before the elections

I am feeling reflective for many reasons. Believe it or not, some of my commenters actually seemed to care about the health of my mother, who was close to death over the last week-end. Others tried to argue, still, over the fact that I said she has lost 2 loved ones to a bullet. This ridiculous and totally unnecessary comment was not published but here it is in part: " I'm sorry that your mother had to endure those two deaths, but I doubt the bullets jumped up and attacked anyone all by themselves. And I can't imagine what was going through the minds of the victims, but if I was looking down the business end of a barrel, I'd wish I had a gun to at least even the odds - not more gun laws that the criminal obviously ignored.It's a shame that the criminals who killed those loved ones were free to walk the streets while anti-gunners crusaded against guns instead of criminals. And it's a shame that the crusade is still misdirected, as this very blog illustrates."

Of course, this person knows nothing about how the 2 loved ones in my mother's life, her first husband and my sister, were shot. But he felt free to comment anyway. I was tired and vulnerable and this comment did not sit well. Where are people's sensitivities anyway? Where is common sense? I do not feel in the mood to argue with people who see things so differently from me. 

To those who have asked and maybe are genuinely interested, my mother is in a holding pattern now and will be receiving out patient hospice care at her Assisted Living apartment. There is no telling what lies ahead except most likely she will die soon. But then, she is a tough woman who has endured much and has fooled us all before. She has survived breast cancer and many surgeries. She is legally blind and can't hear much as well as being pretty crippled with arthritis. Those are only a few of her health problems. In spite of it all, she has had a sense of humor that comes through her pain, as well as the painful memories of those who have died before her. She is ready and willing to die and has faith that God will take her when the time is right. 

Since elections are tomorrow, to end this post I want to share something about elections and gun policy. Here is an editorial from the New York Times that says most of what I think about gun laws. How we look at fear matters. Elections matter. Words matter. Votes matter. I hope you will consider that public safety is more important than protecting bad apple gun dealers and illegal gun purchases. And oh, by the way, my mother would have voted, if she could have, for leaders who care about preventing gun injuries and deaths. I will do the same tomorrow. If our leaders have the will, they can do something that makes common sense.


  1. Your link to the NY Times editorial is broken (you pasted the wrong text in), and since they do an anti-gun editorial about once a month, I don't know which one you are referring to.

  2. Sorry- I don't know what went wrong with the link but I have fixed it now. Thanks for pointing it out and I am not surprised that you don't like the editorial. I would have expected nothing less.

  3. The link worked for me. It's the "Sorry state of gun control" article. I happen to agree. Gun control is sorry, and we should just scrap it all.

    If we repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968 (the one modeled after the Nazi gun control act) we could get rid of all those annoying papers they are sorting through. Then maybe they could actually go fight crime instead of wasting time tracking guns.

  4. "I hope you will consider that public safety is more important than protecting bad apple gun dealers and illegal gun purchases."

    We're not protecting bad-apple gun dealers or illegal gun purchases, we are protecting law-abiding gun owners from anti-gun ideologues dream of an unarmed populace.

  5. Is there any info on the effectiveness of tracking guns this way to find the actual criminal?

  6. center receives 300,000 inquiries from police officers’ trying to track weapons from tens of thousands of gun deaths

    The implication is that traces are always associated with gun deaths, which would mean every death generates 10 traces. This is more deceptive language--Obviously most of the traces are not associated with a gun death.

    agents must monitor 115,000 firearms dealers with 600 agents — the same number as three decades ago.

    ...but with far fewer gun dealers than 3 decades ago.

    ntil seven years ago, police were able to consult the A.T.F. archives of gun traces from dealer to owner. No more.

    No more what? Who is generating all those 300,000 trace requests then? This appears to be in reference to the Tihart amendment, which does not restrict law enforcement when associated with a legitimate investigation--but it does prevent the Brady Campaign and friends from fishing through the data to find someone to sue.

    Congress has also effectively barred cities and individuals from suing the firearms industry for damages

    ...after several meritless lawsuits, designed to harass and generate publicity. In one case Glock was sued for guns sold through high risk distribution channels--based on guns that were bought by a police department and later sold by them before eventually winding up in the wrong hands.

    devilishly titled “A.T.F. Reform and Firearms Modernization Act.” This would provide violators with bullet-proof protection — requiring not just evidence, but state-of-mind proof of a crooked dealer’s premeditation to break the law.

    For years the ATF has been considering any repeat violation as 'willful', even trivial paperwork mistakes that do not result in guns going to the wrong people. Part of the Reform Act is to address this, reserving loss of license for more severe issues, such as selling to people not allowed to buy.

  7. japete, your description of your mother's ailments reminded me of that old one-liner. "Growing old is not for sissies." Good luck.

    jdege has such a way with words. His "anti-gun ideologues [who] dream of an unarmed populace" is a concept that always makes me laugh. Who exactly are these? Is he referring to you japete? or to me? Is he so paranoid that he really thinks that's what we all want?

  8. My mother has actually used those very words. Thanks.

  9. "agents must monitor 115,000 firearms dealers with 600 agents — the same number as three decades ago."

    Yet another example of lying through omission.



    "In 1993, the overall number of FFLs was approximately 284,000. By 2007, that number had declined to 109,000 total active licenses, indicating a decrease of 175,000 licensees. These numbers include licenses held for business purposes as well as those held by collectors of curios and relics."

    So, they have the same number of agents, overseeing fewer than half as many licensees.

  10. from the linked article: " Additionally, in 2004, ATF implemented an in-person application inspection program. ATF industry operations investigators now conduct in-person application inspections with all new firearms business applicants. Through the inspection process, investigators verify the identity of the applicant, ensure the qualification of the person(s) intending to conduct business, verify the business premises, and review the recordkeeping and conduct of business requirements to assist the applicant in complying with the law and regulations. In addition to educating the applicant about regulatory responsibilities, these efforts encourage voluntary business practices that can prevent diversion of firearms from lawful commerce to the illegal market. ATF conducted over 5,000 application inspections in 2007, of which less than 15% were withdrawn or abandoned by the applicant or denied by ATF." What I take from this is that the process takes a longer time now for new FFL licenses with possibly no increase in number of agents. Do you have figures to show that the number of ATF agents has remained the same?