Every so often, one of the "threads" of commenting on my blog get to a point of being ridiculous. Such was the case in the most recent post, Happy shopping everyone. Suddenly we were into it about whether or not it is or should be legal to carry guns in shopping malls and whether or not "spree" shootings have occurred mostly in places where guns are not allowed. That, of course, would support the argument that if only someone had had a gun at the mall in Omaha, Nebraska on December 5, 2007 nine people would not have been shot to death. If only someone at Virginia Tech had a gun on him or her, surely Cho would have been stopped. If only there were guns everywhere, those shootings would not occur or a permit holder would naturally be able to save the day. That's a given for some. That's why they want to carry their loaded guns wherever they go. Danger lurks around every corner. And, in some ways, these folks are right. Shootings occur just about everywhere in America.
Let's examine the idea that most "spree" shootings have occurred where guns are not allowed and whether or not it would make a difference to the shooter if he/she knew there were guns in that place where they want to shoot people. I maintain- this is an opinion- that a shooter doesn't much pay attention to whether or not there are armed people in the place of their shooting destination. Once a mass murderer gets an idea or is mentally ill or has a big grudge against someone or a group, that person is irrational and doesn't think through the consequences. Often these "spree" shooters have problems that they can't or won't seek help for or are able to solve and they are suicidal. How often to mass shooters kill themselves once the shooting of others is done? This was true for the Columbine shooters, for the Red Lake shooter, for the Virginia Tech shooter, for the Omaha mall shooter, for the recent young man who held a classroom hostage with his loaded gun, for the man who held the Panama City, Florida school board hostage with his gun. In this frame of mind, it's hard to imagine that the person is thinking about whether someone inside has a gun or not. They are bent on their irrational idea and won't be stopped. In the end, they can't be held responsible if they also take their own life.
So perhaps it is true that most mass shootings happen where guns are not allowed. To me that does not matter. The fact is, there are places where guns should not be allowed for obvious reasons. Some would disagree but I am betting that most would agree with me. Some want their guns in schools, hospitals, shopping malls, bars, ball games, etc. They want to think they can save the day and be a hero for doing so. They feel threatened by all of those people just lurking around every corner. But let's turn our attention to the most common shootings. They are the ones that take one or two lives here and there and don't make the national news. They make local news stories and the media abounds with these stories because they are happening every day. One in Miami on Thursday when police officers shot a man carrying an AK 47 outside of a Middle School. Three shooting injuries in Newport News, VA yesterday. Two shootings in Kansas City early this morning. Where did these occur? Most of them were on the streets and some in private homes where guns are allowed. One was someone firing at someone sitting in a car. Unfortunately, this man in Fleming, New York was shot with his own gun while trying to defend his home. Luckily for him, he was only injured. And, oops, this tragic case is something to think about. A Pennsylvania lawyer "accidentally" shot a hunter using a high powered rifle not legal for hunting in Pennsylvania. This lawyer has been involved in several other incidents of shooting or assaulting another person. He was actually a felon in possession of a gun and out hunting with friends. This does not look good. And, of course, hunting accidents happen and sometimes intentional shootings happen while people are hunting. These would be in places where guns are allowed.
My point here is to say that the argument of the gun guys is moot. One can be in a place where guns are allowed or not allowed and shootings will happen. There are few cases of a permit holder saving the day. Yes, there are surely some. If there are a lot, they are just not making the news. Rather, what makes the news are all of the shootings happening every day in homes, on the streets, in public places and many are happening where guns are allowed. I believe that street gangs understand that the other guy is armed. And yet, they still kill each other. I believe that the general public understands that police officers are armed. And yet, police officers are shot often. See Tacoma, WA where 4 police officers where shot to death while having coffee after their shifts were over by a felon with a gun. See Pittsburgh, PA where 3 police officers were shot by a man who was so afraid that President Obama was going to take his guns away that he had stockpiles of guns and ended up ambushing police officers. He was exercising his second amendment rights that he was so afraid would be stripped from him. And the officers where shot in a home or on the streets where guns are legal for self defense or to be carried by permit holders.
Some of the arguments about whose rights are being infringed upon and who is right about the gun control issue are meant to deflect the truth. The truth is that too many people are being shot to death or injured every day. The gun lobby can continue to hide behind the second amendment and continue arguing about their rights compared to mine or that they are right and I am not. In the end, there is absolutely no common sense to the arguments when lives are lost senselessly to bullets.
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.