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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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guns don't kill people.....Part 1



Yes, guns do kill people. This editorial from Dallas Star Telegram journalist Bob Ray Sanders expressed the views of a lot of people concerning the senseless daily shootings in Texas and all over the U.S. Arguments should not result in death. They often do and they have for centuries. Human nature leads some to kill when there is a disagreement or a grudge or a personal vendetta. I would love to change that with this blog and my advocacy for common sense. But I am realistic enough to know how hard the gun lobby would fight just about anything that might reduce the shootings. They have a habit of bringing out the "big guns" to get their way. Politicians use the gun lobby and vice verse.

"And as long as politicians can use guns as political weapons rather than for individual protection, we will continue to see the proliferation of their sale and use in the Lone Star State.That means we'll also see a proliferation of senseless violence that results in guns being used to settle arguments, sending far too many people to early graves." Thank you, Mr. Sanders for these words of wisdom concerning the state of gun rights in Texas and all over this country. 

As for "political weapons" perhaps the gun lobby thought that the 2 recent Supreme Court rulings would be that for them. But what they didn't get out of the rulings is that all gun laws are illegal. This article reveals that the court system is finding on the side of common sense in challenge after challenge to gun laws already in place. So of 260 challenged cases thus far, not one has been found in favor of the gun rights position. " “There have been challenges to virtually every gun control [law],” says Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA. “The one thing that unites most of these cases is that the challenged gun control law is upheld.”"

I am pretty sure this is not the way the NRA and others in the gun rights movement thought this was going to shake out. Gun laws already on the books are, for the most part, sensible and reasonable and found to be legal. That's good news for public health and safety. The lawyers at the Brady Center and it's Legal Action Project and other lawyers have worked hard in the name of victims and potential victims. They understand that gun deaths are preventable if we do the right thing and not use the gun issue as a political weapon rather than as a way to pass and uphold common sense gun laws that could save lives. And to quote Mr. Sanders again: " And please, spare me the cliche, "Guns don't kill people, people do."


46 comments:

  1. You make a very good point maybe MADD should switch to "Remember drunk drivers don't kill people, cars do"

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  2. Arguments should not result in death. They often do and they have for centuries. Human nature leads some to kill when there is a disagreement or a grudge or a personal vendetta. I would love to change that with this blog and my advocacy for common sense.

    I agree that arguments should not result in death, and also that they do and have for centuries, including all those centuries before guns were invented (to this day about 1/3 of all U.S. murders are committed WITHOUT firearms).

    If your blog can change human nature so that we become non-violent ... wow! Jesus inspired a whole lot of writing about non-violence, which about a billion of us Earthlings try to follow, but so far has not accomplished that. I'm afraid it's unlikely you'll do any better.

    Sadly, though, you seem intent on disarming victims ... who gain much more advantage from access to firearms than aggressors. Because aggressors can make sure they have whatever weapons they need to accomplish their goals regardless of law (be it a knife or a 2x4), but victims unexpectedly assaulted need a weapon that can be made immediately ready and is handy to them.

    Until you can end violence between humans, you should show some real common sense and not unilaterally disarm yourself, as any potential assailant will not. So get a CCW and get a gun and learn to use it and carry regularly.

    Sounds like a good choice, doesn't it? With CCW legal in Minnesota, who wouldn't take advantage of that empowerment?

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  3. 40% of murders in the US are not committed with a gun.

    Clearly there are alternatives out there to guns, and already 4 out of 10 murderers choose them.

    Since your stated goal is not to reduce the number of murders, only the number of "gun deaths and violence" you wouldn't care if the murder tripled even as murder by gun plummeted.

    Why is death by gun any more important than death in general? If you want to make people safer you work to reduce the complete violent crime rate; murder, rape, armed robbery, assault, etc.

    But this isn't new. When MA started their "may issue discretion" with ownership cards and registration legal gun ownership declined and illegal gun use and violent crime went up 85%.

    Your ideas do not match reality. Targeting law abiding gun owners with restrictions and legal hoops to jump through only empowers criminals with a defenseless society upon which to prey.

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  4. And the majority of those cases were felons using a twinkie defense.

    "Most intensely bad gun laws are enacted in places like New York or California or Illinois, and we’ve only had the ability to sue them for a few months [since McDonald]. The idea that it’s time to throw up our hands and declare it’s over because the ink is barely dry [on McDonald] and nothing has happened except for crazy people in criminal cases [losing Second Amendment claims] is a little premature."

    Alan Gura

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  5. Somewhere in reading my copious postings on my blog, you must have missed the fact that I am working specifically to reduce and prevent gun injuries and deaths. It is not only personal to me but it is the right thing to do. For you to assert that I don't care about other murders is total nonsense and disengenuous. You will not divert me from what I am doing by accusing me of doing something I am not. I have addressed this before. I'm done with this one. Please do not bring it up again. You can work on those other murders if you have a desire. Why don't you form a group and work to reduce deaths by strangling, poison, etc.? And you are wrong in your facts. I have posted the WISQARS report many times showing that the largest number of injury deaths in most age categories is due to gun injuries.

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  6. And of course, Alan Gura is right and the rest of us are wrong, Thirdpower.

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  7. Belying the fact that Winkler filed an Amicus brief arguing that DC's handgun ban was constitutional:

    "It's true that, as Winkler points out, federal courts have rejected lots of Second Amendment claims brought by convicted felons, and by persons convicted of domestic violence, or by persons wishing to possess machine guns. This is no surprise, nor is it contrary to what was sought by the lawyers on the winning side of Heller. I was one of three lawyers who joined Alan Gura at the Supreme Court counsel table, as assistants in his presentation of the oral argument."
    -David Kopel

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10073

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  8. Yes, of course. Your lawyers are much more right than the ones who represent my side.

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  9. Yawn. Just tired old talking points from the extremist gun lobby. Always comparing gun violence victims to everything else. What they fail to realize is that we're about reducing *gun* violence. Reduction in other forms is simply secondary.

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  10. So of 260 challenged cases thus far, not one has been found in favor of the gun rights position.

    That's not exactly what the article says. Here's the exact quote:

    While there have been challenges throughout the country to local, state and federal gun laws, few have been successful.

    "Few" doesn't mean "none". Off the top of my head I can think of two cases that have been successful so far in light of Heller and McDonald.

    U.S. v Herrington

    A trial case in Wisconsin that invalidated a ban on CCW

    Furthermore, the wheels of justice turn slowly. This LCAV report details many cases that are still working their way through the courts. Litigation takes a long time and McDonald is still not even a year old.

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  11. Yes, of course. Your lawyers are much more right than the ones who represent my side.

    Based on their relative levels of performance in the two most significant gun-related Supreme Court cases in recent U.S. History, I would say that you're right.

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  12. Somewhere in reading my copious postings on my blog, you must have missed the fact that I am working specifically to reduce and prevent gun injuries and deaths. ... You can work on those other murders if you have a desire. Why don't you form a group and work to reduce deaths by strangling, poison, etc.?

    We have formed many such groups, japete. They go by the names NRA, GOA, JPFO, Pink Pistols ... etc. Being as it is a simple fact that violence is inherent to the human condition, and after looking at how gun laws have failed to reduce overall violence everywhere they have been tried ... we believe that one common sense response is to empower potential victims to defend themselves from violent people. Rather than promoting inconsequential laws that try to take away a specific tool of violence (resulting more in a disarmament of victims rather than assailants) while leaving behind all the other obvious deadly tools(knives, hammers, 2x4's with nails through them, etc.).

    We just wish you would quit fighting our common sense effort to protect law abiding Americans.

    And you are wrong in your facts. I have posted the WISQARS report many times showing that the largest number of injury deaths in most age categories is due to gun injuries

    But again, to make that statement you have to lump together murders, accidents and suicides. If you've ever had to work with suicidal people (I have, sadly) you know that availability of any tool has little to do with whether the suicidal person will succeed or not. That's why countries like Norway and Japan, where guns are virtually banned, have higher suicide rates than the US. And our own suicide rate is only on a par with the rest of the Western world where guns are banned.

    Looking at the WISQARS site, unintentional falls are blamed for 22,506 deaths in 2007, many more than accidental gun deaths and gun murders combined.

    Perhaps your time would be better spent to fight for a stairless society and single story buildings only. Sure ... we have all kinds of laws about having to provide elevators and handicap access ... but how many people refuse to use those safeguards and fall and die anyway? Legislation would appear to be the only venue to stop all these deaths from falls. And although I would not join you in that cause, neither would I be offended by your stance.

    Thank you in advance for having the courage to post opposing views such as mine. I truly am grateful for that.

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  13. Quick question japete...

    When someone is illegaly shot and killed, do the police attempt to arrest the person responsible, or the gun?

    Does the District Attorney prosecute a person or a gun?

    Are prisons full of people or guns?

    Do people get parole or do guns?

    Just curious.

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  14. Considering the make-up of the Supreme Court, I would say they did pretty well getting 5-4 decisions and getting Scalia and Alito to admit that gun laws can be reasonable and Consitutional.

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  15. Back when I was a kid, there was a corner store where we used to buy baseball cards and candy - to include the occasional Bazooka Joe bubblegum. Bazooka Joe, you may remember, was a character figured in small cartoons wrapped with each piece of gum.

    There was one cartoon I remember in particular, in which Bazooka Joe comes across a man searching for his car keys. After helping him search, without success, Bazooka Joe asks if he was sure this was where he lost his keys.

    "No," says the man. "I dropped them back in that alley."

    "Then why are you searching here?"

    "Because the light is better."

    Every time there is a well-publicized shooting, we get the usual people coming out of the woodwork, telling us how the "solution" is to apply more restrictions to the people who didn't do it.

    I understand the frustration in trying to craft a legal policy that will reduce gun violence. Pretty much all of our gun violence is committed by individuals who were already breaking the law simply by possessing the gun. Passing another law to make it more illegal for them to do what it is already illegal for them to do is unlikely to influence their behavior. It's about as fruitless as searching for car keys in the dark.

    If you pass laws that are aimed at the law-abiding, on the other hand, you will actually change their behavior. So you get the emotional satisfaction of knowing you changed something. But you're not going to find the car keys.

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  16. That would be .76 for your side, Nate.

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  17. Stephen- wrong again. I have not lumped suicides into the WISQARS data because they separate out homicides from suicides. I have posted this before. You can find it yourself.

    " Perhaps your time would be better spent to fight for a stairless society and single story buildings only" Back at you. I don't need to put down by you.

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  18. I posted kaveman's comments above to show an example of the ludicrous reasoning used by my oppenents.

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  19. " I understand the frustration in trying to craft a legal policy that will reduce gun violence. Pretty much all of our gun violence is committed by individuals who were already breaking the law simply by possessing the gun" Simply not true, jedge.

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  20. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5904.pdf from this report of 16 states that report homicide and suicide data to the CDC ( lack of funding for this information leads to not enough data) 71.7% of homicides in 2007 in the reporting states were due to firearms. Of the perpetrators known ( 41% were not known to the reporters of the data or information was not available): " Relationship
    Spouse/Intimate partner (current or former) 477 (10.5)
    Parent 73 (1.6)
    Child 153 (3.4)
    Other intimate partner involvement¶ 26 (0.6)
    Other relative 120 (2.6)
    Acquaintance/Friend 716 (15.7)
    Rival gang member 35 (0.8)
    Stranger 382 (8.4)
    Victim injured by a law enforcement officer 153 (3.4)
    Other specified relationship 335 (7.3)
    More than one relationship mentioned 86 (1.9)
    Multiple suspects in incident 127 (2.8)
    Relationship unknown/missing 1,880 (41.2)
    Total 4,563 (100.0) "

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  21. This is one area I'm going to give Joan a break on. There's nothing one with picking one area you think you can make a difference and centering your activism around that one issue. If I were to take some of the logic here and flip it around, I could care less about the Bill of Rights because I only focus on the Second Amendment. Indeed, I've even been accused of that by some folks. But my focus on the Second Amendment doesn't mean I don't care about, say, what's happened to the fourth and fifth amendments as of late. There's just not a political constituency for those issues that I can easily work through as there is with Second Amendment rights, so this is where I've chosen to make my stand.

    The argument that you have to consider violence, overall, is certainly a valid one though, but I think it's a bit unfair to suggest that just because someone chooses to focus on one area, they don't care about the others.

    As to Kaveman's point, there are cases in American law where an object can be charged with a crime. It has its roots in common law, but goes back in US law to a case where the Supreme Court allowed charges to proceed against a Spanish pirate ship. Now the people manning the ship, but the ship itself. Objects being charged with crimes isn't actually all that uncommon. This is, however, a legal fiction, and it's recognized as such. I'm not convinced that our opponents understand it as a legal fiction.

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  22. Joan - you have an obvious enthusiasm for your subject matter, and a right to publish your opinions online.

    Good thing you live in the US, right?

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  23. Sorry all- the article cited is the Fort Worth Star Telegram. A reader pointed that out to me but then made some other snide remarks so I am publishing this one myself. I stand corrected but not necessary to use sarcasm as a "gotcha". Sometimes I make mistakes. I am not perfect. I doubt that anyone is.

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  24. " He was arrested last month after police found the dwelling crammed with high explosives, bomb-making materials, handmade grenades, guns and ammunition mixed in with paper and other debris piled floor to ceiling." from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B85N120101210

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  25. As to Kaveman's point, I've noticed that the "gun rights" crowd like to use the Dred Scott decision. This is an interesting point since Scott, as a slave, was property. Since he was property--he didn't have any rights.

    The Dred Scott decision mentions the "right to keep and bear arms" a couple of time.

    Perhaps, this is why the gun rights crowd is so fixated on the gun, rather than people having access to firearms.

    Again, to use pro-gun logic, burglars break into houses. We should therefore keep our houses unlocked rather than buy better locks or burglar alarms.

    Rape can easily be eliminated if women would only say "yes".

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  26. JAPETE: wrong again. I have not lumped suicides into the WISQARS data because they separate out homicides from suicides. I have posted this before. You can find it yourself.

    I have looked at the WISQARS report for 2007 (the last year available). According to their numbers ... 22,506 died of "unintentional fall." For the gun categories you say you limit yourself to, 11,585 were murdered with a firearm and firearm accidents did not even appear in the top 20. I'm not sure what your search choices were, but this is getting the most general number by looking at ages 18-85, all injuries. I'm guessing you have to do some working of the numbers and focusing on different age groups and types of injuries to get the results you want, but overall ... my statement stands and is completely supported by the data there.

    JAPETE: Perhaps your time would be better spent to fight for a stairless society and single story buildings only" Back at you. I don't need to put down by you.

    You know ... I honestly don't like to put anyone "down," so I apologize that that has been my tone at times ... though I do feel as though I am reacting to your tone. But at the same time ... you need to quit painting the pro-gun side like it's some kind of disconnected from general society "gun lobby" that is pushing for pro-gun and pro-carry laws. Because the fact is there are millions of us who support those causes. And I know that's a painful fact but a fact it is. And it's why you get swarmed with so many responses for every post.

    And I am just as passionate about defending gun ownership and promoting gun ownership and relaxing restrictions on gun ownership and carry as you are in fighting for the other side.

    The subject of an armed citizenry is one that I have waivered on myself over the decades of my life. I voted for Bill Clinton twice, even after he promoted the AWB, as at the time I felt as though an elimination of civilian firearms ownership was inevitable (I got better).

    But while I'm open to a convincing argument otherwise, I've come to a hard conclusion from my many decades: as much as I wish there was some kind of law to restrict a single device that would magically make the country and my daughters safer ... there is simply not. And for my proof and arguments ... just read my blog at length.

    I'll continue to read your blog with interest, looking for convincing arguments that are NOT made by focusing on one kind of crime or one small segment of society. Not only is the subject interesting to me, but quite frankly in my line of work it can sometimes cause friction that I am a conservative and pro-gun Christian; so reversing one of those three might actually make my work relationships easier. ;-)

    Thank you.

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  27. I am looking at intentional injury deaths, not unintentional, like falls. Firearms account for either the top or 2nd or 3rd cause when looking at those numbers. Unintentional gun deaths are not at all near the top. So my figures stand. I have commented about this many times before. I am focusing on guns for a good reason. That is what my blog is for, after all. That is my choice. I could be writing about breast cancer or drunk drivers but I am writing about gun deaths and injuries and trying to do something to change the very large number of people who die from gun injuries every year in this country. I am a pro safety, pro prevention Liberal Christian which doesn't cause friction with the folks with whom I am friends or acquaintances. I am not anti-gun as you would want to believe.

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  28. And, again, to Stephen,

    You might be surprised about how people look at things when a "pro-gun" person like yourself might actually agree to something on my side or vice verse. My church, in spite of being fairly liberal, has a good number of hunters and gun owners. Many of them have signed on to a resolution of gun owners and hunters in support of our gun show background check bill. To a person, they said it made sense and wouldn't affect their rights at all. It was a no-brainer. So what is pro-gun anyway? Does it mean necessarily that you must say no to reasonable restrictions that won't affect you? Does it mean that you can't believe that people like me might actually be reasonable and are not out to get your guns? You may not always like what I write and I won't always like how you respond. But I am betting that there is a place somewhere where our views intersect.

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  29. Its amazing the wedge that the Brady group has tried to drive between hunters and other firearm owners.

    When you had your hunter and pro-gun friends sign your "resolution" - were you out front about the groups you associate with, and their stance on "sniper rifles" (aka any rifle that can shoot more than 100yds - therefore ALL hunting rifles). How about their stance on semi-automatic firearms, or those that accept a detachable magazine?

    We're reaching out to the hunting community to make sure they understand that "common sense" is neither common, nor sense -- and WON'T stop at "assault" rifles (scary black guns) and handguns.

    Not everything comes from the NRA...

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  30. Absolutely. They know who I am and with whom I am associated. None of that makes a difference to them. They don't hunt with sniper rifles. These are just regular guys who aren't afraid of their rights being taken away. In other words, they are reasonable people. They support what I am doing 100%.And, by the way, most of them are fed up with the NRA and have nothing to do with it.

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  31. "They don't hunt with sniper rifles."

    Actually, I would bet quite a few of them do. The M24 Sniper Weapon System is a souped up Remington 700 rifle.

    The VPC has called for the outlawing of scopes and other 'associated gear' as well as outlawing most rifle ammunition.

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  32. Strange, you and I agree that they don't hunt with sniper rifles - except that the exact same Remington 700 that I (and MANY others, #1 deer hunting rifle in the US) hunt deer with can be considered a "sniper rifle" by certain groups because of its accuracy, ability to accept a scope, ability to shoot military surplus ammunition, and a detachable magazine. Still think its a harmless hunting rifle? (I do).

    Like I said, not everything comes from the NRA. You'll find that many firearms owners (and hunters) no longer support the NRA, and instead have moved to the NSSF (www.nssf.com) which is broader in its mission, less combative, and LESS vilified!

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  33. JAPETE: You might be surprised about how people look at things when a "pro-gun" person like yourself might actually agree to something on my side or vice verse. My church, in spite of being fairly liberal, has a good number of hunters and gun owners. Many of them have signed on to a resolution of gun owners and hunters in support of our gun show background check bill. To a person, they said it made sense and wouldn't affect their rights at all. It was a no-brainer.

    If it was a "no brainer" to them, it means they didn't bother to think about it. If you aren't afraid they might turn against you, have them take a look at my perspective at
    Why gun registration is bad
    and
    God and Guns: what would Jesus do

    After they've read those posts, asks them again what they think. If they have any questions they are welcome to email me (and maybe they can affect me, too).

    But an important question from my viewpoint is ... was this something your church put together, and thus pushed them to do? If so, why would your church get involved in a secular issue like gun control? Fighting over guns does nothing to help bring people to Christ -- in my case it would make me avoid your church. On the other side of the coin ... I know many anti-gun people in my church, and I would NEVER confront them on the issue in a church setting for the same reason as above.

    When in Church or doing the Lord's work, we should be focused on the faith we share, not the various political beliefs that divide us. Likewise I would avoid political discussions on candidates, Obamacare, etc. ... (at least during Church events).

    So what is pro-gun anyway? Does it mean necessarily that you must say no to reasonable restrictions that won't affect you? Does it mean that you can't believe that people like me might actually be reasonable and are not out to get your guns? You may not always like what I write and I won't always like how you respond. But I am betting that there is a place somewhere where our views intersect.

    Asking what pro-gun means is like asking what anti-gun means. In the former group some extremists would like absolutely zero restrictions, and vendors selling machine guns outside of prisons. On the anti-gun side are people who would ban every gun, even including toy guns, with zero tolerance (then go after knives and baseball bats). I am certainly not at the extreme on my side of the fence, and I hope you are not on yours. No doubt we would agree on many things, but our disagreement would immediately become apparent. And be profound.

    If I were absolute dictator for a couple of days (and I am available y'all -- we could settle this once and for all time) ... I would pretty much change all the US gun laws to what we have in Colorado, with a few tweaks toward less regulation and control. I imagine you would prefer to turn things more toward what they have in Chicago, perhaps more restrictive even (total handgun ban?).

    The sad thing is ... we both consider the other a dangerous influence to the future and to the present.

    But I do understand your side, as I've been on that side myself ... do you understand mine?

    For my viewpoint I have a large body of work researching and defending an armed citizenry, based on real experience and history, and even if you can't agree with me I hope you will take the time to read through some of it and at least understand who's rights you are trying to take away.

    Thanks again for your willingness to keep up the discussion.

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  34. JAPETE: am looking at intentional injury deaths, not unintentional, like falls. Firearms account for either the top or 2nd or 3rd cause when looking at those numbers.

    Ahh, yes. It is true that in America, where guns are available, they are frequently used in murders (duh! what person planning a murder wouldn't get a gun if s/he had the chance). In other countries where guns are not easily available there are still gun deaths , but a higher percentage of deaths are from non-guns.

    But the problem is ... when we look at countries like England and Australia we know right when they passed their anti-gun laws, but overall per capita murder rate was not affected or actually went up. So where was the value to the gun laws?

    I think at the crux of the issue is this ... does somebody realize a gun is available, and then decide to murder? Or do they decide to commit murder, and then find the best weapon available through means legal or illegal. As a person of faith who believes in God and the concept of both good and evil ... is it what is in the heart or hand of a man that makes him a murderer?

    There are more overall homicides in the U.S. than elsewhere in the Western world, but as we see the ebb and flow of gun laws in various places (D.C. and Chicago, for instance) there is no noticable effect on the homicide rate.

    But even if you could prove some short term overall safety from disarming law abiding citizens and leaving them at the mercy of violent people, who will seek out whatever arms they can find, is there not a loss of the political balance to government net that I believe (and our countries founders believed) an armed citizenry provides? That is the subject upon which we may disagree.

    I am not anti-gun as you would want to believe.

    If you are a person who would allow me to have some kind of limited hunting rifle or shotgun, and a requirement to reregister that gun yearly and take extensive testing to own it and buy ammunition for it ... and take away my other sporting and target rifles and my CCW and the laws which make it safe for me to use lethal force to protect my family in my home ... then yes, you are as anti-gun as I think you are.

    At least by my definition of "anti-gun." YMMV.

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  35. There's a lot to respond to here. No, my church did not sponsor my getting people to sign on. It just happens that I know these people in my church to be hunters and gun owners and so I asked them if they would be willing. Perhaps some day I will take the time to read your stuff. I have trouble enough catching up on this blog and leading my regular life. I am attempting to understand your "side"- with difficulty at times. Some on your side have viciously attacked me so that does make it very difficult for me.

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  36. Stephen,

    " take away my other sporting and target rifles and my CCW and the laws which make it safe for me to use lethal force to protect my family in my home ..." It depends, again. I am not out to take away anyone's rights. As to CCW, I don't like it but it is the law so I am not working on any measures to rescind it. As to the target rifles and other sporting rifles, what are those? I assume you are referring to the Assault Weapons Ban which is now expired because you feel you must have any kind of gun available to you for target and sporting reasons. We may differ on that but that does not make me anti-gun. It might make me pro regulation of certain types of guns for the reasons that when in the hands of the wrong people, they can kill a lot of people at a time and are also used against the law enforcement, making their jobs more dangerous.

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  37. As to the target rifles and other sporting rifles, what are those? I assume you are referring to the Assault Weapons Ban which is now expired because you feel you must have any kind of gun available to you for target and sporting reasons. We may differ on that but that does not make me anti-gun.It might make me pro regulation of certain types of guns[...]

    The notion that assault weapons ought to be banned or at least more heavily regulated stems from the notion that there's actually a material difference between "assault weapons" and other guns.

    People on your side seem to operate under the notion that of "assault weapon = evil; anyone who wants an assault weapon = dangerous", but it seems very different to my side. We feel frustrated because we don't view guns that you call assault weapons to actually have any real material differences from any other guns aside from looks (typically they are black and have a menacing character), but people on your side don't seem to want to listen to us when we try to explain it.

    Here's a really interesting youtube video by a San Jose police officer that clarifies things. At the 5:50 mark, he really addresses the notion that assault weapons differ materially from other types of guns. Heck, they have an ATF chief testifying to congress to that effect!

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  38. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've seen that one.

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  39. I love the gun debate and japete runs a good one over here.

    I like what Sebastian said about focusing on a particular subset of a broader problem does not mean you don't care about the rest. The guys who keep suggesting there's something wrong with our focusing on gun violence and not car deaths or swimming pool deaths understand this. They just like to make the argument as tedious as possible and wear us down.

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  40. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've seen that one" or the phrase, "Are you still using that tired old argument?"

    Simply because you've seen or heard something before doesn't require us to come up with other arguments. You're side attacks fundamental rights in the US - I believe all argument/phrases/quotes/etc need to come from you -- our right is intact and expanding thanks to the same "tired old arguments".

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  41. " I believe all argument/phrases/quotes/etc need to come from you -- our right is intact and expanding thanks to the same "tired old arguments"." Are you serious? Such ideas put to writing are what this whole thing is all about and the very reason I am blogging. To think that all arguments, phrases or whatever the heck you are talking about needs to come from my side is pure nonsense. And, by the way, it's YOUR side, not YOU'RE side- but I didn't quote that one.

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  42. " He was arrested last month after police found the dwelling crammed with high explosives, bomb-making materials, handmade grenades, guns and ammunition mixed in with paper and other debris piled floor to ceiling." from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B85N120101210

    Has anybody bother to read this article? Let me see if I get this straight. Police find a house full of explosives and it is so so dangerous that they rather set the house located in the middle of a neighborhood on fire ("what?) than removing the explosives. Quoting from the article: "Bomb disposal experts ultimately decided the volatile contents of the house made it too dangerous to clear out and process as a crime scene, leaving them no alternative but to burn it to the ground."
    The result, again according to the article was:
    "five gunshot-like bangs rang out, accompanied by intermittent, loud popping and crackling sounds, before the most intense phase of the fire died down within 35 minutes.
    And the guys was a bank robber. What does he have to do with Law Abiding Citizens?

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  43. He was NOT a law abiding citizen. Joan posted that in response to a comment I made on a different entry of hers. Something about how he represented gun owners...which he clearly did not.

    The gunshot like bangs were containers of materials he was using to make explosive compounds. Thats why they erected blast walls around the house - they weren't sure exactly what would happen once they started the burn.

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  44. Japete, would you mind posting your reaction to that video? I know you said you've seen it, but I would like to know what you think about it. I feel that the points the officer makes are quite crucial and very important to understand if we're to have a debate based on common facts rather than our differing interpretations of confusing terms.

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  45. Not sure what you want here, Nate. I am quite sure you want me to trip up by saying the wrong thing so you can use it against me because that is what you guys love to do to me. It was informative. Thanks.

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  46. What I actually want you to do is take officer Pyle's word that the term "assault weapon" covers a firearm that has been made to look scary rather than one that is actually more deadly than any other gun. As the officer demonstrates around 5:50, if you take the operating parts of a scary-looking firearm and make it look like a hunting rifle, it would no longer have been classified as an "assault weapon" but it would retain all its important characteristics such as rate of fire, muzzle velocity, and bullet caliber.

    That's what I want you to understand. That "assault weapons" were defined that way because of their frightening appearance rather than any actual operational characteristics that differentiate them from other types of guns. And that to describe them as especially dangerous is ignoring this inherent similarity to guns that you don't describe as especially dangerous.

    It's just frustrating to me that the information is out there, but you choose not to listen to it, instead insisting that there's something especially dangerous about guns you call "assault weapons."

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