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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring in the New Year

On this New Year's Eve, I will be thinking about all of those who have lost their lives to bullets in the last year. I will also be thinking of New Year's Eve pasts when people I know or knew lost their lives or their health to bullets. My friend, Joe, for example. At the age of 11, a bullet that was shot into the air in celebration of the new year, came down into his brain and has left him with life long disabilities. He is a brave and articulate young man; he and his parents have dedicated their lives to the cause of preventing gun injuries and deaths. I wonder why? Joe is just one of the many victims of senseless shootings that occur every day. He is just one reason I do what I do.

Here is another. Ten years ago, on New Year's Eve of 2000, a tragic murder/suicide happened in my city. Tricia Rosberg, age 27, was shot to death in a murder/suicide by her boyfriend who had been struggling with mental illness for years. Tricia attended the same high school as my daughter and was known by her. It was because of contributions from friends of her family to our local chapter that the idea of our memorial bell garden was conceived. This is a gathering place for press events and bell ringings in memory of Minnesota victims of gun violence. It is in a garden area above our local Lakewalk overlooking Lake Superior and is one of the only or the few of it's kind in the country. There we have rung the bell after shootings such as Red Lake, Virginia Tech and other national high-profile shootings as well as for local shooting victims. Many people have rung the bell in memory of a friend or loved one or for victims that they didn't know. Sobering and poignant, the bell ringings remind us that too many die every year by bullets. Naming a victim is powerful and often leads to tears. We always ring the bell one last time as a call to action. Gun injuries and deaths are preventable if we have the will and the way. I am hoping for a renewed focus on the issue of gun violence in 2011.

So today, I remember Tricia and salute Joe, both victims of bullets. One died and one lived. I will ring a bell in my thoughts because weather in Minnesota is not conducive to an actual bell ringing at this time of year. Figuratively, I am ringing the bell for common sense concerning a national public safety and public health issue too long ignored.


  1. Hmmm...

    While we're winning court cases at the local, state and federal levels, you and your ilk are busy ringing a bell.

    I love it.

  2. anon- you are the only person brave enough to attack me about this post. I was just waiting for someone to be insensitive enough to go after me for this one. Nice guy. Victims? Never mind. Is this how you treat your wife and the women in your life? You must be delightful to live with. Happy New Year anyway.

  3. Joan,

    I am truly sorry you lost your sister. I cannot imagine what that is like. I hope and pray you can have peace with it one day.

    Truly best wishes for the new year.

  4. Sorry to set that trap for you japete, but I just couldn't resist.

    You see, every single time I take the time to adress specific points you bring up with logic and thoughtful commentary, you refuse to post my comments.

    I knew that if I took a jab at you on this post, you'd post it in a hurry and then complain about being attacked.

    Again sorry, but you proved my point exactly.

    You thought you were laying a trap for me when in reality, you fell into mine.

  5. Happy New year japete. Don't worry about that anonymous first commenter. That's not even an attack really, just impotent mockery. If he had a brain he's see that your right to mourn those who've died and for him to mock that is pathetic.

  6. No, you are not sorry at all. You want to set traps. You want to one up me. You want to attack. That is what some of you are all about. If you want to say something genuine and constructive, go ahead. Otherwise, don't bother commenting.

  7. This is from a woman who lost her sister to a domestic shooting this past summer. She is a reader of my blog and I am a reader of hers. I am going to list her name since I don't want some of you gun guys attacking yet another victim of gun violence. Here is her comment: " Joan, I think of you. Your pain is my pain."

    We have both lost sisters to bullets shot by men angry over a divorce. We understand what that feels like. We belong to an exclusive club. Her pain is more recent than mine and I feel it in everything she writes. I'm sure she is "ringing the bell" for her sister every day.

  8. "If you want to say something genuine and constructive, go ahead."

    Like I said, you refuse to post any of my comments that are genuine and constructive.

    That's why I set the trap.

  9. So here, dear readers, is what some on the other side are into. This commenter is setting traps for me. I am not answering any more of his or anyone's ridiculous and provactive comments or questions. This is exactly why we aren't getting anywhere. I likely have not posted his "genuine and constructive" remarks because they are not.

  10. While I do understand his frustration, because many of us have posted questions and comments that you completely ignore on the basis that they are "nonsense" or you don't want to commit or go on record, his comment was uncalled for.

    As we continue to say, there are bad apples in EVERY group set, so don't paint us all with the same brush. We are not all like that.

  11. Just discovered this and admit I am somewhat in the middle of the road with respect to firearm issues- I believe some reasonable regulation is acceptable, but also believe there are indeed significant constitutional issues and rights involved. One thing however, troubles me....while I appreciate the personal investment in this issue the blog owner has, and I really do believe they (she?) has the emotional involvement because of personal loss, where is the outrage over the loss of life from motor vehicle recklessness, or alcohol abuse, or domestic abuse....I could go on. Each of these takes more lives by far then firearms in this country. I feel much more threatened by a 17 year old texting or a 45 yo talking on a cell phone on the same roads as me then I do by a hunter, shooter or other firearms enthusiast!

  12. Since you are new to the blog, you have missed previous discussions about what you have asked here. I have written a lot about domestic abuse and am myself a Board member of the most respected organization in the country about domestic abuse- DAIP- the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs. Actually, in some age categories, gun deaths take more lives than many other causes and are close to auto accidents. It's a little hard to categorize death from alcohol abuse since it can cause all sorts of other illnesses but the nunbers are not as high as for gun homicides and suicides. I am not against hunting or owning guns for self protection, by the way. I've also gone around a lot about that on this blog. I am against too many people being shot to death every day in our country. What I want is to call attention to the issue and work to reduce and prevent gun injuries and deaths. That is what I am working on and I know that others are working on the causes of death you mentioned. I care about all of them but this is my focus.

  13. I have to support Joan on the latest comment. She has commented often on that this is her primary focus but she cares about the other things as well. I've called her to task on that before, myself.

    And as a fellow blogger, I will say that there are many things that outrage me as well, but I can't blog about them all. I focus on firearms and political issues as my main focus.

    I will say that there are more low hanging fruit that could be dealt with instead of gun control to save lives and that gun control is a waste of energy for someone who does want to save more lives. But that's just me, and I respect Joan for writing about her passion.

  14. Well, thank you for those unexpected remarks.

  15. One Anonymous said, "there are bad apples in EVERY group set."

    Around here we often talk about the bad apples among gun owners, as opposed to the bad drivers or bad teachers. My personal belief is there are far too many among the gun folks.

    Another Anonymous said, "where is the outrage over the loss of life from motor vehicle recklessness."

    For that I suppose you could go to the MADD site or any number of others that deal with that. Here we talk about guns.

    Sorry if I'm overstepping my bounds. This is japete's blog, and I think she's said as much herself.

  16. Joan,
    Though we disagree a great deal on this subject, I hope you have a happy new year. :)

  17. "Around here we often talk about the bad apples among gun owners, as opposed to the bad drivers or bad teachers. My personal belief is there are far too many among the gun folks."

    You do realize that it has been proven time and agian that lawful gun owners are some of the most law abiding folks around right???

    Sorry for your loss, but you need to focus on the cause, not the tool. People kill people all kinds of ways and the one folks get all hung up on is the gun. Why? More folks are killed many other ways. In countrys that ban guns they still have gun deaths, and many more knife or other tool used to kill.

    Gun control does not work and the numbers prove it. In Washington DC gun deaths have gone DOWN since the Heller ruling. . . and this has been seen in other places too. More lawfully owned guns = less crime, it is proven fact.

    But I doubt you will post this right?

  18. I really don't "need" to do anything other than what I am doing but thanks for your uncharitable advise.

  19. After reading the comments from this blog I felt I had to post a response. I would be curious to know what cause "Annonymous" is blogging about these days. Unless, as it seems to me, the only cause he has shown is clearly about being an ass. I also do not understand why someone as bold as "annonymous" seems, would choose to post annonymously... If you truely believe all you have to say, you should have no problem owning up to your statements with atleast a first name.

    Although it may be true that there are far more deaths pertaining to motor vehicles in this country then gun violence, that does not give someone free reign to trash others who are passionate about gun control laws. I am happy to see someone like Japete, who raises a discussion about an issue, as opposed to others who do nothing but criticize.

    As someone who contributed to the existence of the bell in Duluth, I am happy to hear that it is a place where families of victims can go to remember their loved one. It is meant to be a symbol of something tragic, not a solution for gun violence. I think the point here is that people who can have a gun should have them and people who are not allowed to have them obviously should not. If "annonymous" did his research, he would know that in the case of my cousin, Tricia Rosberg, the man who killed her was sold a gun from a well known retailer, and was not allowed to own a gun due to his history of mental illness. The retailer (as well as ALL stores) should have regulations as to whom they sell guns to. They shouldn't be as accessible as they have become.