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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Monday, January 24, 2011

Addendum to purses and backpacks post

The first report I read about the Texas woman who was shot in the buttocks mentioned that the gun had fallen from a purse of the person with the gun. Actually, here is an article about where the gun did come from. A man sitting next to the injured woman dropped the gun and voila, a 71 year old grandmother is in a hospital with serious injuries to her intestines. Those bullets travel fast through bodies causing lots of damage. So now we have yet another gunshot victim whose hospital bills will be huge and guess who pays? She is on Medicare no doubt. We all pay for the medical bills of gunshot injury victims. If it's private insurance, rates go up and we all pay. If it's government funded, we all pay. Doesn't it make sense to lower our health insurance rates by taking more preventative measures concerning one of the causes of the high medical costs? If guns were carried in fewer places, we would not have accidental discharges in public injuring totally innocent people. If we didn't have an expectation that we must have guns everywhere just in case, we wouldn't see shootings like this in public places. If we didn't think it was necessary to arm ourselves against other armed people, perhaps we would leave our guns at home securely locked up where they won't cause injuries to the average citizen out for dinner. But some do not have common sense when it comes to these matters.

25 comments:

  1. I don't think this is a good example for you to use, everything I've read about derringers is that they're novelties and are generally considered unsafe to carry, unlike the vast majority of modern pistols. Old revolvers were like that also, and could be fired if accidentally dropped on the hammer.

    It sounds like he didn't even have a holster or anything to secure it either. I might agree with you if all we had were derringers to carry, but I'm not concerned with modern firearms going off by themselves, especially when properly secured in a holster. Most gun 'accidents' are from negligent handling, not because a firearm is inherently unsafe or defective in some way.

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  2. It's a horrible shame that poor woman was injured by an irresponsible gun owner. I say he was irresponsible because he was not carrying a drop safe gun and did not have it properly secured in a holster or other safe method. The fault for that horrible negligence lies with him and him alone.

    In a perfect world nobody would have or need firearms. Too bad we do not live in that perfect world. While we're working on that, in the meantime, how about we focus on safety education and legal responsibilities for gun owners. That's something that the NRA and many other organizations and trainers do.

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  3. The problem with your logic is that you can't guarantee that everyone is going to be doing what's right when they carry their guns around? How do you make sure they will? You can't stop them just as you guys say you can't stop criminals. When enough people get permits to carry, and some without much training, if any, this will continue to happen.

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  4. Well, Gail. See my comment above. It the NRA is so good at training, why not mandate training for all who choose to own and carry guns? Is that done? Not. Do you think all gun owners would undergo mandatory training? It would be sort of like getting a license to drive a car. It would be mandatory because we know that without it, we will have safety problems.

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  5. "The problem with your logic is that you can't guarantee that everyone is going to be doing what's right when they carry their guns around? How do you make sure they will? You can't stop them just as you guys say you can't stop criminals. When enough people get permits to carry, and some without much training, if any, this will continue to happen."

    There aren't many guarantees in life. There isn't any guarantee that every person who carries a gun will do so responsibly. Even people with training can and do have accidents, that's life.

    Generally speaking, I do trust the average person to make responsible decisions. I think it's only fair to give someone the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgement until they actually harm someone.

    "Well, Gail. See my comment above. It the NRA is so good at training, why not mandate training for all who choose to own and carry guns? Is that done? Not. Do you think all gun owners would undergo mandatory training? It would be sort of like getting a license to drive a car. It would be mandatory because we know that without it, we will have safety problems."

    Besides the obvious slippery slope aspect of mandatory training, what effect does training have on driving? There are still reckless drivers, even though they've all had driver's ed. It's not because they don't know any better, its because they're disregarding the rules, much like this guy with the derringer.

    You can't keep people from making reckless or evil decisions. It has less to do with knowledge and more to do with their morals. People who drive recklessly don't care about anyone else's safety, and making them take more driving classes won't change that.

    As far as firearms training goes, the basic rules are very simple, and I'm sure you know them or have had someone post them before. Like cars, firearms aren't that complicated to handle, you just need to pay attention and not become complacent.

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  6. "It the NRA is so good at training, why not mandate training for all who choose to own and carry guns?"

    Why stop there? Why not mandate training for everyone? Teach it in school, just like bicycle training.

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  7. I don't think bicycle training is taught in schools- not in my district anyway. I believe that is part of a parent's role or maybe the local police who set up little areas in malls to teach bike safety.

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  8. I would say the flaw to keeping firearms locked up at home is that they dont do you any good there. I would say I am far more likely to need the firearm out and about than at home.

    The bottom line Japete is that you are not interested in reasonable gun regulation that allows people to defend themselves with firearms anywhere other than at home, with single shot long arms, while under the covers with a flashlight.

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  9. I have mixed feelings about making anything mandatory because you can't force someone to learn. Learning is also a continuous process. Forcing someone to take a class for a permit or license doesn't guarantee that they will remember that knowledge in 20 years if they have an indifferent attitude towards safety. This is the fundamental problem with thinking that just because Obama signs a piece of paper, gun accidents will dramatically drop.

    Responsible people will learn on their own. As a motorcycle rider, I attended about 3 or 4 motorcycle safety classes with the first one before I got on my first bike. As a gun owner, I attended about half a dozen classes with 2 or 3 requiring live fire, almost immediately before I handled my first firearm so that I wouldn't develop bad habits from the start. One of those classes was a simulator used by local law enforcement to simulate potential shooting scenarios including live actors for increased realism. How many and which classes would a mandatory training law require? Even after all that, I train with my firearm regularly so that I don't lose those perishable skills.

    There will always be irresponsible people out there. I look for them on my bike and I look for them when I sit down at a restaurant.

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  10. I would be ok with a law forbidding loaded CCW carry of spur triggered guns (like Derringers). They call them “suicide specials” for a reason. Own them at home as a collectible if you want, but carry a modern drop-safe gun for protection. Does that seem fair Japete? That way you don’t have to worry about incidents like this when you are in public.

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  11. You know, in this case I would have to say the person carrying was a moron and worse than that negligent. I hadn't read that this was that kind of gun before. It is hard to imagine one that would be worse for carry.

    As to training, by itself it isn't a terrible idea. It should be noted that such requirements have been abused in the past and always have the potential for abuse in the future. That said, I do think that people who carry should voluntarily seek training. Carrying is an awesome responsibility and it does make sense to get the training necessary to do it properly. Not every one will. Not everyone takes proper driving training either.

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  12. I like what Migo said: "I have mixed feelings about making anything mandatory because you can't force someone to learn."

    Nevertheless, I believe there should be lots of training and practice mandated for those who want to carry or even own guns. Plus, when one makes a mistake the right to own guns is relinquished.

    I realize that's harsh, anyone can make a mistake, right? But think about it this way. Gun owners who are careful and responsible make fewer of them and gun owners who are careless and irresponsible make more.

    One strike you're out, is my idea.

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  13. Clearly, gravity is to blame. We need to severely restrict gravity, or at least regulate it so incidents like this never happen again. No matter that gravity didn't affect 250,000,000 other guns that day, but because gravity shot this woman, it's just too much.

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  14. "Some people strongly believe that a gun for self defense will result in their safety and allow them the ability to "take out" someone who means them harm. I have posted many instances of when that didn't happen. I wonder how that view squares with this incident at a police station in Detroit?"

    It doesn't matter. It's their life. Even if they're wrong, it's their choice to make, not yours.

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  15. If they are wrong and someone I love dies as a result, it does then involve me.

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  16. When they are wrong, should be held responsible, and be subject to the full civil and criminal penalties.

    Both as a matter of simple justice, and as a deterrent to convince others that, for example, carrying a unholstered derringer is a very bad idea.

    (It's a 150-year-old design, that was considered unsafe even at the time.)

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  17. mikeb302000 said...
    "I realize that's harsh, anyone can make a mistake, right? But think about it this way. Gun owners who are careful and responsible make fewer of them and gun owners who are careless and irresponsible make more.

    One strike you're out, is my idea. "

    Should this extend to other things like cars? Should Ted Kennedy have had his DL revoked?

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  18. I don't know if we should have a one-strike-you're-out rule for other things. I write about guns. Why can't you stick with the subject at hand, Anthony?

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  19. "I don't know if we should have a one-strike-you're-out rule for other things. I write about guns. Why can't you stick with the subject at hand, Anthony? "

    Because we're actually concerned with people being hurt or injured by anything and see no difference in someone dead from being hit by a drunk driver and someone dead from being shot.

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  20. I was merely wondering how far you wanted to take your one strike logic. The fact that motor vehicle deaths being higher than gun deaths would seem like a compelling reason to do that too. Now you did not say there had to be a death from the accident with the gun. If the reason is a mere accident including injury the numbers jump even more with 2.9 million people injured a year in car accidents.

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  21. I hate car comparisons.

    But how about this? Gun deaths are almost the same as car deaths, give or take 10,000, let's say. If cars had the same lack of restrictions that guns have, let's say no seat belt law, no licensing, registration or insurance requirements, how many more deaths do you think there would be? A lot, I'd say.

    The obvious conclusion is that with the same kinds of controls, gun deaths could be brought down to 5,000 or 10,000 instead of the shameful over-30,000 that we have now.

    And let's not forget while you're getting all worked up with this fun comparison, most people who have a car use it daily. Most gun onwers do not. So if you wanted to allow for the proportion of use, gun deaths would be way higher than car deaths.

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  22. ~600 accidental gun deaths
    ~40000 accidental car deaths

    Those are the numbers you should use. CDC numbers.

    Out of curiosity why were my other 2 posts not fit to publish?

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  23. ok lets try this too then. I hardly think comparing accidental car deaths and intentional firearm deaths is comparing apples to apples.

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  24. It's all apples and oranges, man.

    Recently I had occasion to rethink my "one strike you're out" rule. Robert Farago suggested that we should make the punishment match the crime, which I find hard to argue with.

    So, one strike of any kind, you lose your guns and gun rights. One strike in which your stupidity injures someone, you go to jail too. How's that sound?

    Wouldn't you legitimate and responsible gun owners benefit from this too? Gradually your group, the pool of gun owners at large, would be cleaned up. Year by year there'd be fewer and fewer incidents of misuse. The accident prone who drop guns, the sloppy ones who make theft easy, the drunks and prescription addicts whould be partly weeded out. Isn't that what we all want?

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