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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Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Mexican/U.S. gun links

As I was saying, guns found in Mexico at crime scenes are largely coming from the U.S. Here is another story to add to the ones already published. This one was on National Public Radio. The NPR segment was an interview with Washington Post writer James Grimaldi who worked on the recent series published in the Post in December. From the article: " "In many cases, the gun dealers themselves said they didn't realize they were on the top 12 list, and that's because the ATF was prohibited from telling them that. We've now told them that, and it might mean that they'll be more careful in terms of who they'll make sales to — if someone walks in and asks for 14 AK-47s, they might ask a few more questions than they ordinarily would."" What? Well, that's the power of the NRA. When the light of day is shed on some of these issues, we might actually have common sense about gun violence prevention.


Further in the linked article on the NPR website, there are quotes from the Post series. " We calculated that just over the past two decades, they've spent more than $100 million in political activities, which includes $22 million on lobbying and $75 million on campaigns. That doesn't include such things as voter information brochures and websites that provide information to voters. And an NRA ranking can make a difference in certain states."" The NRA has a powerful well-funded machine in our state and national capitols. Follow the money and you will find the power. Power does not necessarily reflect public opinion.

Add another one to the list of gun runners trying to smuggle guns into Mexico from the U.S. I wonder just how many more stories in the media it will take before it becomes so obvious that there is legitimate cause to act on this international problem? I hope common sense prevails soon. I sense that the NRA may just lose this battle. They have been fighting it for years but their protestations may not continue to work. The public should demand action soon. I hope you will be one who acts on behalf of this senseless violence. Talk to your Representative or Senator.

17 comments:

  1. "Power does not necessarily reflect public opinion."

    Except, of course, that the NRA's power comes from the membership and donations of millions of individual gun owners.

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  2. Didn't we go through this already? The ATF is trying to end-run around Congress to get the authority for this action.

    Against the law...do it the legal way and it'll get the support of the rank and file!

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  3. Ok, Joan... Let's USE common sense for once instead of talking about it... Why would the NRA not want the ATF to tell a store owner that they are doing something wrong that could potentially get them closed down and lose their license. You are quick to point out that we need to follow the money.. Having the ATF close down a gun shop is not something the NRA would want.. If they are doing something wrong, please... let EVERYONE know about it.. but make sure you have your case first... and THAT is what the NRA was against... Don't destroy a shop's livelihood until you know they are breaking the law.

    I suppose you also support the health dept putting out a list of restaurants that they are investigating for food poison complaints before they have evidence of food poisoning? A)Public panic would result, which I understand your side needs as it brings in donations and b) it ruins that business sometimes irrevocably. Yay, the NRA wants someone to be responsible and you think they are the devil...

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  4. Take a look at public opinion (and not from a bought and paid for push poll) and you will see where the support is.

    So show us where the money is coming from? Then we'll show you where most of the money for gun control advocacy comes from.

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  5. japete, was the "Snarky" comment directed at Thirdpower, Anonymous or Pat?

    Or, all three?

    I agree with you, something should be done about this. The hundreds of unscrupulous gun dealers in the border states are enjoying a brisk business which relies on straw purchases. They claim innocence. Straw purchasers aren't followed up upon. The flow continues unabated.

    It wouldn't be too difficult to stop all that. The problem is everyone on the gun side of the story has his own reasons for not wanting to. The gun manufacturers like the high production, the gun dealers obviously like the business of selling more guns and the average gun owner, self-centered to the max, doesn't want to be inconvienced by the much-needed regulations which would put an end to it.

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  6. BRADY CAMPAIGN SPENDING (2000-2010): $2,200,900
    BC SPENDING PER YEAR: $220,090
    BC MEMBERSHIP (low): 50,581 donors
    SPENDING/MEMBER/YEAR (low): $4.35
    BC MEMBERSHIP (high): 500,000 in 2004
    SPENDING/MEMBER/YEAR (high): $0.44

    NRA SPENDING 1990-2010: $109.2 mn
    NRA SPENDING PER YEAR: $5.5 million
    NRA MEMBERSHIP: 4.3 million
    SPENDING/MEMBER/YEAR: $1.27

    Of course, not every member of either organization makes a donation to the PAC side of the house. Open Secrets has great data on "large donors" (individuals who give >$200). I think it would be fair to estimate the number of donors for BC in the 2008-2010 time frame on the order of "dozens to hundreds") ($5K raised in 2010 from small donors; $330 in 2008!).

    Large Donors in 2000: 320 BC vs. 918 NRA
    Large Donors in 2010: 1 BC vs. 1115 NRA

    And of course you can look at expenditures. Brady Campaign's low expenditures in the major 2008 election were even lower than one would expect given the relative memberships of the two groups. NRA has somewhere between 85 and 8.6 times as many members. Yet NRA's spending was 281 times greater than BC's in 2008.

    Just looking at the big picture without deep analysis, it seems like Brady's PAC was more reliant on a larger proportion of major donors. Those donors have all but dried up. There aren't even many small donors; in 2008 we can say with pretty high confidence that there were probably no more than 69 donors (66 small @ $5 apiece, and 3 large) for the whole BC.

    To some degree it seems like money and influence are correlated with membership numbers.


    SOURCES:
    - NRA Member #: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Faq/?s=27
    - Brady Campaign Member Number: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/04/04-06barnes-qa.html
    - Brady Campaign 55K Donors Number: http://lists.nextmark.com/market;jsessionid=F0B4E532D670C6D2A05123581F0D0B4E?page=order/online/datacard&id=163065

    ReplyDelete
  7. Perhaps, but the fact remains that the majority of money for the NRA comes from its membership.

    Where does the majority of money for gun control advocacy come from?

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  8. The snarky comment was for Thirdpower.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, Chris. It's so nice to know that you such an expert on the workings of the Brady Campaign. I didn't realize.

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  10. @ mikeb30200:

    The hundreds of unscrupulous gun dealers in the border states are enjoying a brisk business which relies on straw purchases.

    Bold statement mike - where are your numbers coming from?

    @ japete:

    Well, Chris. It's so nice to know that you such an expert on the workings of the Brady Campaign. I didn't realize.

    You should realize by now. Looking back at the last few weeks of your blog I see many instances of posters providing detailed and published statistics about the Brady Campaign. We are not unreasonable. I for one am trying to understand the logic portion of your argument - it seems that most of what you are wanting is based on emotional reaction. I too want gun related deaths to innocents to be eliminated. I haven't heard one argument from you that does not propose to increase deaths to innocents by taking away their ability to defend themselves.

    just sayin ...

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  11. Mark- apparently you haven't been reading very closely then. I provide facts on my blog and question it when you guys present faulty facts or studies. I am not all about emotion. And besides, if emotion from victims makes you mad or uncomfortable, good. Sorry that some of us have lost a loved one to a bullet. We have a right to be emotional. Your last statement is just plain ridiculous.

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  12. @ japete:

    I provide facts on my blog and question it when you guys present faulty facts or studies. I am not all about emotion.

    Yes - you are.

    Your last statement is just plain ridiculous.

    No - it's not. It just does not fit your worldview which is skewed towards the emotional - not the rational or the logical.

    Your next emotional response will be to tell me you are 'done with this', perhaps that my post is 'nonsense' and then start another post.

    You see - I have been reading your posts ...

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  13. Japete:

    You occasionally provide 'facts'. Many provided by political advocacy groups like the BC or, occasionally just made up (like the RPG's at gun shows claim). When facts that don't agree w/ yours are presented, you label them as 'faulty' or 'skewed' w/o presenting any information or data as to why our facts are incorrect.

    You claim my comment was 'snarky' w/o responding to it. Why? Is it because the facts are that most of the gun control movement gets its money not from 'grassroots' but from other political foundations?

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  14. I provide facts constantly on the blog. I provide links to them and also provide them in my comments. Most of them are not from the Brady Campaign. I try to find "neutral" links as much as possible. When facts are presented that I don't agree with, I challenge your sources and sometimes the sources are not good ones. It should be quite obvious that your remark was snarky and why.

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  15. " We calculated that just over the past two decades, they've spent more than $100 million in political activities, which includes $22 million on lobbying and $75 million on campaigns. That doesn't include such things as voter information brochures and websites that provide information to voters. And an NRA ranking can make a difference in certain states."

    I was glad to hear they are spending the money I send them on a fairly regular basis. As some commenters have mentioned, the money comes from membership.

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  16. Mark Steele asked,

    "The hundreds of unscrupulous gun dealers in the border states are enjoying a brisk business which relies on straw purchases.

    Bold statement mike - where are your numbers coming from?"


    Oh, it's just a feeling I have, Mark.

    ReplyDelete