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 23, 2010

What's troubling?

I wrote the other day about the President's nominee for the Alcohol, Tobbaco and Firearms director, Andrew Traver. Here is an article from Talking Points Memo about the fuss caused by the NRA about Traver. I watched ( or rather listened) to the video/audio of an interview with Chris Cox of the NRA. Towards the end, Cox says that this nomination is very troubling as are all the people President Obama has chosen for various positions. According to Cox, just about anyone the President has around him is troubling. None of them are a friend to the NRA. None know enough about guns or the Second Amendment. Surely this means that "gun control" measures are just around the corner. Eeeek- run for the hills. The sky is falling. What if we pass some common sense laws to keep guns away from criminals or to keep people from being shot to death? That would probably also be troubling to the gun lobby. What's troubling to me is the kind of nonsense coming from the NRA no matter what is said about guns, "gun control", preventing gun injuries and deaths, stopping the shooting, honoring gun violence victims, etc. It's troubling that our country is in this state and that our leaders are listening to people like Chris Cox.

25 comments:

  1. What's strange is that most of us don't have a problem with Traver -- and not all agree with the politics of the NRA.

    Common Sense legislation would be minimum sentences of 25 years (no parole) for ANY crime where a firearm is used, threatened, or brandished.

    How's that for common sense? We firearm owners don't commit crimes, so have nothing to fear from stiffer penalties.

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  2. "honoring gun violence victims"

    What do they want? a medal? Restricting the rights of the law abiding citizen by banning certain types of firearms, charging them extra money to own or carry firearms, and erecting legal hoops for them to jump through with no benefit to society does not honor "gun violence victims."

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  3. Give it a rest, Sean. I'm getting tired of your comments today.

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  4. Unfortunately, quite a few firearms owndes do commit crimes. That is a problem, of course. I am not against keeping people in prison or making sure they get a stiff sentence. I would, however, rather prevent a shooting in the first place so an innocent life is not lost and people, like me, don't have to grieve a loved one.

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  5. Quite alot of motorists commit crimes too.

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  6. Quite a few men commit crimes, quite a few red-heads commit crimes, quite a few dog owners commit crimes, quite a few....thats how ridiculous your statement is. By lumping everyone in a given demographic together - you grossly generalize their behavior.

    A certain percentage of people commit crimes - they have since the dawn of humanity.

    Old news. Next argument?

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  7. I'm blogging about crimes committed by people with guns. If you want, you can blog about red heads committing crimes. I happen to have a focus here as you know on reducing and preventing gun deaths and injuries and stopping some of the senseless shootings in our communities.

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  8. Joan,

    You have a focus here but the focus demonizes me and many of my family and friends.

    By lumping all 'gun owners' into the same bucket, you try to make a case that all of us need to have additional controls when the reality is very few of people break the law.

    Would you appreciate it if someone started a blog that lumped you in with the women who murder their kids, women who abuse their kids?

    How about lumping you in with the group of women who sell their bodies to make a living?

    Would you appreciate it if people started calling for background checks on all women, permits being necessary before women are allowed out in public, mandates that women dress a certain way to make prostitution harder, psychological examinations to make sure women don't suddenly snap and start seducing teens (see all the teachers molesting their students).

    You want to have a reasonable, thoughtful discussion but every time someone tells you how offensive your proposals and ideas are, you dismiss them completely.

    You want to stop the senseless shootings? Don't focus on the people who aren't shooting other people -- the vast majority of gun owners. Focus on the criminals.

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  9. " You have a focus here but the focus demonizes me and many of my family and friends." Paranoia as far as the eye can see. It's not me- it's you who perceives me to demonize you. I am demonizing you. I am pointing out the shootings and trying to stop them. It is not just criminals doing the shootings by the way. It is many law abiding citizens who are not careful, who make mistakes, who shoot someone in an argument, who are domestic abusers, who are mentally ill, who are under the influence of alcohol, etc. It happens. I'm just reporting on it. I don't make up the incidents I choose to write about. Just because some people are shooting others, doesn't mean everyone who owns a gun is in the same category. Just because I am writing about shootings does not put me in the category of a gun banner as you all like to call all of us. It goes both ways

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  10. Joan,

    Just because some people are shooting others, doesn't mean everyone who owns a gun is in the same category

    You are right not everyone is in the same category but you insist on trying to change the laws so everyone is treated as if they are in the same category.

    Are you not supportive of the requirement to have mental health records part of the licensing or permitting process?

    Just because someone had/has an issue requiring a mental health professional's assistance that doesn't mean they should be denied their rights.

    But that is exactly what has been called for.
    And by putting that requirement into law, you are putting every gun owner in the category of "dangerous until proven otherwise, so deny their rights".

    Under the influence of alcohol, really?

    So, what limit do you propose and how do you tell?

    See Joan, once again you want to make people prove they aren't "under the influence of alcohol" before they can exercise their rights.

    You want to keep guns out of their hands, isn't that what you've said?

    So, how do you do it?

    How do you keep guns out the hands of people who shouldn't have them and how do you tell in advance who those people are?

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  11. It's already the law to send the names of those adjudicated mentally ill to NICS. Minnesota passed this law 2 years ago and other states are working on it. George W. Bush signed this into law after the Virginia Tech shootings. I hope you don't fall into that category. I am not putting everyone into the same category. That is a false statement on your part. " But that is exactly what has been called for.And by putting that requirement into law, you are putting every gun owner in the category of "dangerous until proven otherwise, so deny their rights".
    If you are not a felon, a domestic abuser, a drug abuser, adjudicated mentally ill, a terrorist or in one of the other prohibited purchaser category, you should have no problem passing a background check. That definitely does NOT put all gun owners into the same category. As to how you know enough to prevent the other types of people I mentioned from shooting someone- that's almost impossible. My hope is to educate people and families about the risks of having guns around for someone who has mental illness, alcohol related problems, anger problems, etc. I have advised a few people to get rid of guns in cases of difficult divorces. I work with women who come to the walk in Family Justice Center for Battered Women and the legal advocates write orders for protection. Judges are getting better about getting guns out of the hands of some of these people who are known abusers. I do what I can. I have never said I could stop all shootings. My intent is to reduce and prevent shootings. I wonder how many times I need to write that, by the way. You all refuse to believe it- that's your problem not mine.

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  12. Joan,

    Write it all you want but your actions prove otherwise.

    You want to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers but offer no way to identify those people prior to them abusing someone.

    Right?

    So, how do you propose to keep firearms out of their hands.

    You said it yourself

    It is not just criminals doing the shootings by the way. It is many law abiding citizens who are not careful, who make mistakes, who shoot someone in an argument, who are domestic abusers, who are mentally ill, who are under the influence of alcohol, etc


    So realistically the only way to prevent those people from shooting someone else is to prevent them from having firearms, right?

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  13. Did you know that identified domestic abusers are prohibited purchasers in the NICS? So they can't legally buy firearms from FFLs. Of course, they can still buy from unlicensed sellers at gun shows and other venues. That's a problem.

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  14. Yes, Joan. I know it.

    That isn't the question.

    Your beef is with the people who are law abiding citizens also -- right? Isn't that what you said?

    Domestic abusers aren't law abiding by that definition.

    My question is: How do you identify the people who will later abuse their spouse or family?

    We aren't mind readers, Minority Report is just a movie.

    So how do we identify those people who "shouldn't have guns"?

    The only logical conclusion to your view is to keep all people from having firearms.

    It is many law abiding citizens who are not careful, who make mistakes, who shoot someone in an argument, who are domestic abusers, who are mentally ill, who are under the influence of alcohol, etc

    How do you identify those "law abiding citizens" who make mistakes -- the ones you want to prevent shooting people?

    How do you identify those people who haven't been arrested, haven't been adjudicated as mentally ill, haven't been put under court orders?

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  15. Pat, as you know, we can't always predict. If we could, my sister would still be alive. I am trying to prevent as many shootings as I can through education, advocacy and legislation. If I could save just one life, I would do it however I could. And don't come back and tell me I want your gun. I don't. I told you already that people can think twice about having their guns around if there are family problems, alcoholism, depression, etc. I am leaving off with this thread now. I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving and it's snowing. I don't want to think about guns and have come backs from you. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  16. "How do you keep guns out the hands of people who shouldn't have them and how do you tell in advance who those people are?"

    May I take a crack at it?

    1. background checks on every transfer
    2. licensing of all gun owners
    3. registration of every gun
    4. yearly renewal of the license and registration.
    5. one misuse of any kind with a gun and you're disqualified forever.
    6. one violent crime of any kind and you're disqualified forever.

    That should pretty much do it. What Pat said in the first comment, "We firearm owners don't commit crimes, so have nothing to fear from stiffer penalties," is not exactly true, but for the ones who don't, he's right, they have nothing to worry about.

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  17. Mikeb302000,

    Once again you show how you ridiculously oversimplify things.

    1. Even with background checks on every transfer, you have people who will not comply and likely won't get caught. Several states already require this and guns sold in state aren't going through the checks.
    FAIL

    2. Licensing - what a concept, sure works will to prevent drunk driving doesn't it?
    Sorry but as you so often point out, even people who have Concealed Carry Licenses commit crime.
    FAIL

    3. Registration of every gun? You do realize there are court cases that say criminals don't have to register their firearms, aren't you?
    See U.S. v. Haynes (1968)and again several states require registration of every firearm, so do several countries -- and still firearm related crime happens
    FAIL
    4. Yearly renewal --- How does that help given the failures listed above?
    5. One misuse -- that is what your plan is supposed to stop, isn't it?
    You already admit failure.
    6. Same as number 5, -- FAILURE all around

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  18. You must've smoked some pretty good stuff in your younger days, Mike. Other than #1, I'll wager my (extensive) gun collection that the other five will NEVER happen. And if anyone tries #2-4, I'll gladly pay up, one bullet moving at high velocity at a time...

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  19. Anonymous (the last one), Thanks for entertaining us with that old molon labe ridiculousness. Don't you realize how silly it sounds when you actually say stuf like that.

    Anonymous (the second to the last one), The fact that some people disobey the laws does not mean the laws are a failure. Stricter gun control laws, like the ones I've outlined, would affect the lawful gun owners in such a way that fewer of their guns would find their way into criminal hands. Get it?

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  20. Mikey,

    I get it; you don't.

    The problem is that I showed that your ideas are already failing.

    What is hard to understand about that. There are states with those laws in place.

    Sales of firearms are taking place in those states that violate those laws and it isn't stopping firearm related crimes.

    There is no evidence that those laws are reducing violent crime.

    How about backing up your proposal with a little evidence, eh Mikey?


    In the mean time, I'll close with evidence to the opposition:

    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.

    A lack of evidence is evidence. If gun control laws were effective then the evidence would be easy to find.

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  21. Anon- it would be great if you would be demeaning to those commenting here by calling them "Mikey" or whatever else you call people with whom you disagree. It just doesn't lend itself to civil discourse. At any rate, Mike B is right. Do you have a link to the above so I can check it myself? So often you guys send this stuff with no link so we don't know what the whole study said or who was sponsoring the study, etc. Until then, I will not consider this any kind of scientific evidence to prove your point.

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  22. Thanks for providing the link. I have gone around about this one before. The study clearly says: " In summary, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence. References and key findings are listed (Table)." It is noted at the beginning of the study that the fact that insufficient evidence is the conclusion does not mean lack of effectiveness. Your argument does not hold up. This is why I needed the link- because you took something out of context to try to make your point. But when looking at the overalll study, what you said is not true. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm Check it out for yourselves everyone. You said, above: " A lack of evidence is evidence. If gun control laws were effective then the evidence would be easy to find." You can try to draw your own conclusions but you can't have your own facts.

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  23. Joan,

    You fail to understand what "Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence." actually means.

    What your argument "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is unfortunately not a assertion. You cannot prove that something DOESN'T exist.

    Allow me to restate, "absence of evidence IS NOT evidence of presence". Black swans may exist, but we know that they don't exist in Europe. For all intents and purposes black swans do not exist for Europeans (at least until the "discovery" of Australia).

    We cannot prove that the infinite combination of gun laws are ineffective (that would be impossible, because you cannot prove a negative). That is all that the authors of that study are trying to convey. What the authors did conclude was that they could not find correlation between the laws studied and any measure of effectiveness.

    Remember, "absence of evidence is not evidence of presence." It will save you from further embarrassing yourself in public.

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  24. Wow- now there's some tortured logic.

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  25. Not tortured at all. Here it is simplified.
    You cannot prove any positive effect of your gun laws.
    Gun laws restrict a fundamental enumerated right.
    On what basis do you restrict anyone's rights for no measureable benefit?

    Because it makes you feel better?
    Please point out to me the place in the Constitution where it says rights may be abridged because it makes Joan and her friends feel better.

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