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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another milestone

The purpose of this blog is to call attention to issues concerning gun violence and gun violence prevention. Some do not agree with my views. Some comment. Many do not. I know this because I can see how many people are reading each post and where they are located. The loudest voices ( or keystrokes) get the most attention and demand a lot. They often don't believe what I say. Their questions are provocative and sometimes annoying and snotty ( for lack of a better word). My words are apparently not my words since many try to interpret them according to their own frame of reference or they want to misunderstand them on purpose to start an argument going on the blog. One even wrote that he wants to trap me by accusing me of things even he knows are not true and that he knows will get a "rise" out of me. Such is the risk of blogging about a controversial topic. It can bring out the worst in some people.

The blog started out small and as a way for me to write about all of those things I have been thinking about for so long. It has grown so that now hundreds of people are reading my blog posts every day. And just today, the blog reached a new milestone. Over 50,000 views have been made of my posts. In a fairly short time, the views have gone from 30,000 to 50,000. I know that a good number are viewed by the same guys who comment constantly and are just waiting to pounce on my every word, sure that I am insincere, dishonest, coy, downright lying or naive and stupid. But I thank the many others of you who are reading without commenting. I hope you are learning some new things and I hope that you will join me in my cause to reduce and prevent gun injuries and deaths. Some of you are from as far away as Sweden, Australia, Latvia, France, Japan, Norway, Canada, India, Italy, the U.K., South Korea, Russia and Brazil to name a few. I have visited some of these countries myself and respect the fact that your gun deaths are far fewer than those in the U.S. We might do well to emulate a few of your countries. Since gun laws in many countries are different from those in the U.S., I assume you are reading to see what we here in the U.S. are up to in our contentious debate about guns and gun laws. I believe that this blog should give you a pretty good taste of the varying opinions on the topic.

Thanks everyone for viewing my blog.


  1. "I know that a good number are viewed by the same guys who comment constantly and are just waiting to pounce on my every word..."

    In case you aren't aware of the technology, I generally put your comment feed into my RSS feeds (Google Reader for me) so that when comments come up, I can see what is being said. I presume many others do it as well, if that is what I do (I'm not that much of a genius) so I would also presume they aren't sitting here hitting refresh or something to see if it updates.

    And I, by no means, am meaning to offend. You just seem to come off as not always knowing how things work so I figure maybe you aren't aware of the RSS feed for comments.

  2. I hate to admit this ... but in my fascination with your site I've actually committed 49,500 page views personally ... ;-)

    J/k. Congratulations! I hope it's been enlightening for you as well as your readers.

  3. Good work! Keep on posting and telling it like it is. The more we reveal the deadly nature of our American gun pathos, the more people will turn to sensible gun laws to reduce the violence.

  4. Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work. I know it's not easy to deal with the onslaught of opposition that you deal with. You do a great job at it.

  5. Glad you brought up Russia! It is not like A few Million unarmed people were killed by that Government.

  6. I'm aware of RSS feeds. I know exactly when a comment is made to my blog. the difference between you and me is that I don't need to know when others are commenting on another blog that I may look at. I don't find the need to know that and I don't have the time for it. So what this says about you is that you are so paranoid and so wanting to make yet another comment on my blog that you must know immediately so you can get into it. I'm off to church with no more time to check out those comments.

  7. I have often heard your comment about other countries and on the face of it there seems to be a difference between us and them. But digging a little further, there appears there are differences that might account for our views on firearms.
    Most of the countries you mention have more restrictive gun laws than the US but they also have more restrictive laws about everything else too. I would also point out that we have a greater number of auto related deaths than other countries, mostly because we have more autos. The same can be said of guns. However, I would point out just one major facet of gun deaths that points out the fallacy of blaming the gun and that is suicide. While our rate of suicide by gun is higher than other countries, the actual total rate is much lower than say Japan (no guns at all). The US actually ranks 40th.
    You can also delve into the history of these other countries and see they have mostly come from a feudal/monarchy/conquer system that repressed the rights of regular people and thus instilled in them over hundreds of years a subservient mind set to the state. This and the fact that most of the countries you mention are homogenous societies as ours is not brings us to the real differences between the United States and the rest of the world.
    Finally, drop the suicide and gangbanger/criminal related deaths from the firearm deaths and what you have left is relatively small.

  8. Jim- yes I have addressed some of those issues- particularly the suicides in other countries by other methods.

  9. Also, Jim. You just pointed out exactly what I was talking about. We have looser gun laws and more guns than other countries and also the highest number of gun deaths per 100,000 by far. Is there a causal relationship or to what would you attribute this phenomenon?

  10. I would think that without the suicide and gangbanger numbers our rate might not be that far off. But I would be careful drawing a causality conclusion from even those numbers. Another point worth mentioning that doesn’t seem to make the news very often is the positive side of owning firearms. Without getting into it in depth, one recognizes that all rights have a positive and negative side to them and gun rights are no different. The scale you hold in your hand that determines whether, on balance, the right is worth having depends on the hand holding the scale. There are lots of things others do and say that I would prefer they didn’t, but I’m reluctant to pick and choose who can say and do what. Obviously there are limits to all rights but, in the case of gun laws that limit the right, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of data supporting the thesis that restrictive gun laws prevent violence.

  11. Joan, I am specifically replying to this: Also, Jim. You just pointed out exactly what I was talking about. We have looser gun laws and more guns than other countries and also the highest number of gun deaths per 100,000 by far. Is there a causal relationship or to what would you attribute this phenomenon?

    My response is that you are only looking at "gun death" which you have repeatedly said is your only concern, and you have made it clear that as long as "gun death" goes down you don't care if "overall death" goes up.

    When you look at "overall death by intentional homicide" the US is quite favorable to the rest of the world. Reference here https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    I think that you should find those numbers and rankings quite stimulating.

  12. Please, can we stop with this analogy? I have addressed it so many times that I am not going to do it again. I know that there are many other kinds of deaths and homicides. Maybe you missed that I care deeply about all homicides but have chosen to focus my efforts on gun deaths and gun homicides. That, in no way means that I don't care about the others. I'm done with this one. I won't respond to any more questions or comments about it. I have made myself perfectly clear on this ad nauseum.

  13. Yeah, I get a kick out of these guys who want to remove gang killings and suicides. That makes us as safe as anyone else. But then why all the insistence on owning and carrying guns?

    The sick reality is the guns used in gang violence started out in the legitimate gun owning world. In various ways they slipped over to the dark side.

    Many of the successful suicides would not have succeeded if not for the gun, the best tool for doing that dirty job.

    So guns are a problem.

  14. "Many of the successful suicides would not have succeeded if not for the gun, "

    Do you have any sort of data at ALL to support that? The NEJOM has researched it, and found houses with guns have no statistical significance on suicide rates... A person does not decide to commit suicide because they have a gun. There is a long series of issues leading up to that point.

    "So guns are a problem."

    Here we go again...

    So are cars, pills, rope, and razor blades... Do you intend on banning all of those mikeb?

    The simple fact is, unless you can hit a magic button to make all guns in the world disappear, you will have gun crime, and gun death.
    Just as if you have cars, you will have car deaths.

  15. This link should answer your question- http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=28649

  16. "This link should answer your question"

    That's a link to a an opinion piece that someone posted to their own blog. As a source of information about guns and suicide, it's pretty much worthless.

    A link to the study would have had value. The study would have described specifics sufficient to evaluate the significance of the findings - and of the context in which they were relevant. What some guy writes on his blog has none.

    What I find particularly fascinating about this guy's maunderings is that he never cites the study. He provides no link, no citation, no title, no author, no issue, not even the name of the journal. He provides almost nothing that would allow someone to track down what study he was talking about, and thus evaluate how closely it corresponds to his claims about it.

    Which is truly odd.

  17. Since you didn't like the one I linked to, how about this, also from the New England Journal of Medicine, which doesn't seem to say the same thing as Anon, above tried to assert: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0805923- from this article: " The empirical evidence linking suicide risk in the United States to the presence of firearms in the home is compelling.3 There are at least a dozen U.S. case–control studies in the peer-reviewed literature, all of which have found that a gun in the home is associated with an increased risk of suicide. The increase in risk is large, typically 2 to 10 times that in homes without guns, depending on the sample population (e.g., adolescents vs. older adults) and on the way in which the firearms were stored"

    or maybe the Harvard School of Public Health would be good enough for you all: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hphr/social-health-hazards/guns-and-suicide/index.html " A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides. Based on a survey of American households conducted in 2002, HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC), found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63 percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher. The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide rates were also lower."

  18. C'mon there are many studies that show guns in the house increase the incidents of suicide. I have no doubt you can find those which conclude the opposite. It seems like simple common sense to me to see which one is right, that guns in the home increase the incidents of suicide. Your refusal to admit that seems like a product of your bias.

    Now it makes perfect sense that you would refuse, because to admit this would be tantamount to saying owning guns is stupid and should only be done in rare cases of necessity. But you can't do that, because your "need" to own guns and to justify owning them is too strong.

  19. Truthfully, there's nothing in the public health literature regarding guns I would regard as anything other than intentional fraud - because far too many of their "studies" have been proven to be exactly that.



  20. I haven't had time to look this one over, jedge. Why should it be more trusted than the ones I provided? It's one person's bias over another's.

  21. jdedge - thanks for that link - It's a bit of a read but wow - it sheds new light (for me) on how the American health care system is intertwined with American politics.

  22. Everything is intertwined with American politics.

  23. "Why should it be more trusted than the ones I provided?"

    How about the simple fact that it includes 368 footnotes.

    You don't have to take their claims at face value. You can read the hundreds of studies they cite for yourself.

  24. Yes, footnotes are impressive. I just hate those dang studies that are done by the medical research community. You can never trust the Harvard folks or the Journal of Internal Medicine to do anything right. Of course, they are institutions that have been around for a great many years and are revered in most circles- except of course by you guys who just hate it when they make recommendations that guns could be dangerous to your health.

  25. Nevermind the fact that those 'Harvard' studies are funded by dedicated gun control groups.

    Do you trust studies done by the tobacco industry?

  26. Do you have more information about that Third? I'm sure there are no studies funded by the NRA, by the way. The New England Journal of Medicine does it's own studies. There may be a few studies funded by gun control groups but I am not aware of specifics. It takes a lot of money to fund studies and most gun control groups do not have a lot of that as opposed to the NRA. In answer to your last question, No.