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.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year comes in with a bang

Some things never change. Shootings, for example. They do and will continue to happen probably no matter what we do. But just perhaps, instead of shrugging our shoulders and feeling as if nothing can be done, we should work together to prevent some of the shootings. The Midwest had its' share of shootings during the new year holiday just past. This one happened in Minneapolis. So far there are few details. But one can easily take a guess that alcohol was involved. Not much good happens at parties at 3:30 a.m. Luckily, these 4 were only injured during the shooting. 

In Lowell, Mass., another party argument resulted in one shooting death and seven bullet injuries. Three new year's shootings in Oakland, CA resulted in the death of two people and others injured. This, after Oakland had posted another year with fewer gun homicides and work on breaking up gangs. The article didn't say whether gangs were involved in this outbreak of shootings. Another bizarre shooting of a police officer by his partner can be chalked up to lucky and showing again that accidental gun discharges by a law abiding citizen who, in this case, was a police officer, do occur. 

But this high profile shooting of a sheriff's deputy should bring us pause. Armed with her own gun this deputy did not have a chance to use it. The unexpected happened. The man inside the trailer, who was known to have a volatile temper, started shooting and killed a mother of two children. What happens when "ordinary" people with guns lose it? They sometimes use those guns and take a life without even thinking twice. It happens in an instant and in an instant, lives are changed forever. From the article: " "This is the worst day in my 24 years as the sheriff of Clark County," Kelly said Saturday, his voice breaking with emotion. "It's a terrible tragedy for this community."" Watching a fellow officer go down must be extremely painful and scary. 

Could a different law have changed this situation? I don't know. But since we haven't tried too hard to change the gun culture in our country, these things continue to happen and many look the other way. The task is daunting. What can we do? Too many guns out there; too many people with guns out there; too often disputes or fits of rage or  consumption of alcohol combined with a lethal weapon end in injury or death. We must keep trying to change this culture and then perhaps we can change some laws to make it more difficult for some to get guns while still allowing the many to own their guns for self defense and recreation. But again, I say, that when a gun is there ready to shoot, chances are increased that it might not be for self defense or hunting. 

New Year 2011 will not be so happy for the folks involved in the incidents above. These are just a sampling of the many more that occurred during the recent holiday. When reading the articles about shootings, common sense tells us that guns are dangerous even in the best and most careful of hands. That is why I and others keep advocating for measures that will make us all safer from injury and/or accidental and intentional shootings. Lives depend on our willingness to speak up and face the problem head on instead of hopelessly looking the other way.


  1. This is the "money quote"
    The unidentified suspect was shot and killed, Kelly said.

    So the murderer was put down by someone else with a gun.

    Criminals are stopped by resistance, nothing else.

  2. I live 20 miles (or less) from the Enon shooting.. As for the Deputy who was killed(not officer.. they are touchy about that), she was wearing a vest, but the suspect used a shotgun (which you have said you wouldn't ban) and he was not prohibited, so what measures would you wish to enact to change this senseless killing?

    I find this discrepancy odd. You said he was known to have a bad temper because of the words of a 15 year old girl who said he did, but chose to ignore the words of the 34 year old neighbor.

    "Neighbor Angelina Inman, 34, said she’s known the shooter for a few months.

    “I don’t know what would drive him to do something like that ... he’s a nice guy, he’d do anything to help you out,” said Inman."

    I have friends in that area so I'm going to ask which is it. Nice guy or bad temper?

    Either way, what measures would have prevented this or would you enact to prevent this in the future (since shotgun bans are off the table)? He legally owned the shotgun. He was not known to be mental or prohibited.. (although it is still to soon.. more will most likely come out). She was wearing a vest but most likely didn't die from vest penetration.. unless he used slugs, maybe...

    Please share your thoughts on what you would like to see happen to prevent this type of incident.

    And yes, my heart goes out to the Deputy's family. She was an awesome lady by all accounts.

  3. not until he took a life first- I am into prevention.

  4. You must have missed the part where I said I didn't know if we could prevent this type of shooting. But we live in a culture that seems to accept that people have guns around for hunting and self protection. Sometimes they are used to shoot others in moments such as this incident. I would love it if someone didn't feel like he/she had to take out that gun to shoot someone in a moment of rage or whatever happened to this otherwise nice guy. Also, that is said often in these stories- oh he was such a nice guy- I never would have thought he would do something like this. It makes one wonder then- why do nice guys kill others?

  5. Cause most of the bad guys are already in prison?

  6. What a tragedy! Law enforcement officers have one of the most difficult jobs in the world.

    Nothing but respect from this end - and sorrow for her family.

    Careful though Joan - your bias is showing.

  7. You must have missed the part where I said I didn't know if we could prevent this type of shooting. But we live in a culture that seems to accept that people have guns around for hunting and self protection.

    You are correct. I did miss that. And you are right, we do live in a culture that accepts hunting. Truth is, this kind of thing would not have been prevented in England either, as I understand it, because they allow shotguns as well. So I don't know how you prevent this without banning shotguns which I believe you have said you are not looking at doing as you also have hunting weapons (correct me if I am wrong).

    I have no idea why he did what he did, and we may never know.

  8. Well Pat, I haven't heard from you in a while. It's pretty obvious that I have some bias on this blog. I'm sure you aren't surprised at that.

  9. Been ice-fishing. Like you, I have other time-commitments.

    As others have pointed out, this crime was committed with a hunting shotgun (which are legal even in such draconian-lawed societies as the UK and Australia).

    So...now what? You posted it, made a big deal out of it. How do we prevent this type of crime from happening?

  10. I already answered that one, Pat, both in the post and in my comment to someone.


    Anon -- I'd be interested to hear if you find more information. As with most murderers, Ferryman apparently had some prior run-ins with the law.

    The Clark County Sheriff's Office reported two previous calls to Ferryman's trailer at Enon Beach: once in 2009 for vandalism and again in 2010 for a menacing call. Ferryman was not arrested either time.

    Kelly has said responding police officers tried to talk to Ferryman -- who had "a history" with the sheriff's office -- when he fired on them from inside the trailer.

    The man who authorities say shot and killed a Clark County sheriff’s deputy at Enon Beach on Saturday previously threatened a neighbor with a knife, according to a sheriff’s office report... The man, who is the son of a woman Ferryman lived with, reported to police that Ferryman had threatened him with a knife and that he believed Ferryman was “mental,” according to the May 13, 2009, report... The son did not wish to pursue charges, according to the report.

    Authorities Still Digging: "The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is delving into Ferryman's past to determine what might have led to the deadly shoot-out."

    So, in the last two years, local law enforcement visited Ferryman multiple times, including a call involving assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. No arrests were made and no charges were ever pressed. Ohio isn't even sure yet if he has a more extensive criminal record; there seems to be some fishiness about his date of birth and other identifying info, so that name may even be an alias. He may well yet have been a prohibited person already!

    Moreover, if Ferryman had been arrested and convicted for the aggravated assault incident, or if the son had sought out a restraining order, then he would definitely have been a prohibited person.

    You want a solution to prevent this sort of thing? Arrest violent criminals and put them in jail. That's my idea. Very rarely does a law abiding citizen with no police history snap and commit murder. Murder is much more often something that occurs after multiple previous incidents, often violent crimes.

  12. Not much good happens at parties at 3:30 a.m.

    Another point of agreement! I would actually slide that time to the left. I'd argue that not much good happens after 1 AM, maybe even midnight...

  13. Pat, I have an idea. You said about the shotguns, "(which are legal even in such draconian-lawed societies as the UK and Australia)." Isn't it true that they're regulated, that folks need a license?

    That's my solution. All guns should be subject to registration and all gun owners must be licensed. Combined with other common sense requirements concerning screening and training, many of today's problems will simply disappear.

  14. Yes, it sounds like the guy had some problems with the law. Whether or not they rose to the point of being a violent criminal, I guess, is up for interpretation. He does sound like a questionable guy all right. I suggest that you all lobby for changes to these laws so people like this can be arrested and kept in jail. Good luck with that one. It hasn't happened yet and there must be some reasons it hasn't. I'm all for making sure violent people who some kind of domestic assault don't have guns. The fact is that his son did not seek a restraining order, which was up to the son. Such is the history of these sorts of events. People often do not act in their own best interests by filing restraining orders or orders for protection. And then things like this happen. It's tragic. More people need to realize that when people like Ferryman are acting the way they do, it's not a good idea for them to have guns. How to make sure they don't is the question. And to get people to file those orders is not mandatory but choices that are made. I thought I just had an argument with someone on this post about whether or not the guy had anger issues. This person quoted someone as saying he was a nice guy. I guess not.

  15. Yeah Mike - we already know your well-established position. Keep reaching for the stars big guy!

    I was pushing Joan to make a statement I know she's dying to make...

  16. That's my solution. All guns should be subject to registration and all gun owners must be licensed. Combined with other common sense requirements concerning screening and training, many of today's problems will simply disappear.

    If we could only require a license to regulate people on the 1st Amendment as well, Mike... because we all know words can be just as deadly... Words have started more wars and fights than anything else... Words are fuel.. guns are just the tool...

    Fortunately, we don't decide laws or prohibit rights based on what Mike would like to see.

  17. "But since we haven't tried too hard to change the gun culture in our country, these things continue to happen and many look the other way."

    There are folks who claim that the gun control advocates don't really care about having a world without guns - they want a world without gun owners. That they aren't really concerned about violence, they simply find it distasteful to have to share a world with folks who like guns.

    For evidence, they point at the key efforts of the gun grabbers - efforts to close down gun shows, to make buying or using a gun more difficult or expensive, to make it harder for kids to shoot, or hunt, or to otherwise engage in legal gun activity. Efforts that would have little effect on gun crime, even if we accepted the logic of the gun grabbers, but that could significantly reduce the number of gun owners in the future, and reduce their political power.

    Is this just paranoia?

    When you start talking about eliminating the "gun culture", you convince me that it's not.

  18. And there we are...


    Saturday’s shootout was eerily similar to an incident Ferryman had with deputies and police in southeast Ohio nine years ago.

    According to information in the Morgan County Herald, he had also fired at deputies in Morgan County in 2001, although no one was hurt in that incident.

    This Deputy would be alive if someone would have done something in 2001... I can only guess that he was prohibited because of mental issues...

  19. "That's my solution. All guns should be subject to registration and all gun owners must be licensed. Combined with other common sense requirements concerning screening and training, many of today's problems will simply disappear."

    The problems won't disappear. And even if they could disappear, the Brady Campaign won't disappear with them. They'll simply start campaigning for the next set of restrictions for the next set of "problems".

  20. Unfortunately in 2001, those who are adjudicated mentally ill, if this was the case here, did not have their names sent to NICS so they could be prohibited purchasers. He certainly does sound like a man who should not have had a gun and something should have been done. I agree.

  21. Yes, Aztec- you can count on it!!!!

  22. AztecRed, I didn't say ALL the problems would disappear, but many of them would.

    Pat, You're right I'm shootin' for the stars, just like you.