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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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Self defense?

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? A gunman walked into a police station presumably full of armed officers and managed to shoot and injure 4 officers before they could react with their own guns to shoot the man. And then this article with 2 more shootings of armed police officers in Florida confirms that having a loaded gun will not always save your own life. Further, this article lists that 11 police officers have been shot in the last 24 hours. What in the world is going on? I ask again, how can officers protect themselves against being shot on a daily basis? They are armed and even they can't stop it.


I don't know if you remember the article to which I linked in my last blog referring to a study by the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. In case you forgot, here it is again. "The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun." Surely the man who boldly walked into a police station with his gun at the ready knew that there would be armed people inside. Perhaps this was a case of suicide by police. Even if that is the case, 4 people suffered gunshot wounds before the shooter was downed. They were taken by surprise and couldn't get their own guns out in time to stop the shooting. And the other police officers killed in the line of duty? How do they defend themselves against surprise shootings? From the article above:" The cluster of shooting deaths of police officers comes after an especially deadly year for law enforcement. In 2010, 60 federal, state and local officers were killed by gunfire, a 20 percent increase from figures in 2009, when 49 were killed in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit group that tracks police deaths." And this year is looking to be similar.


So regarding self defense and the need to know whether it is true that having a gun will make you safer, the University of Pennslyvania report says: " “The US has at least one gun for every adult,” notes Branas. “Learning how to live healthy lives alongside guns will require more studies such as this one. This study should be the beginning of a better investment in gun injury research through various government and private agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, which in the past have not been legally permitted to fund research ‘designed to affect the passage of specific Federal, State, or local legislation intended to restrict or control the purchase or use of firearms.’”" Say what? The CDC cannot legally study anything that might conclude that guns are dangerous and kill too many people or that having more guns around the house doesn't make you safer? Or maybe, actually, the CDC would come to the opposite opinion. But no matter. Why is this? I seem to remember the NRA having something to do with it. 


How can we possibly learn anything or have any common sense in this country when knowledge is suppressed? What kind of country do we live in? Once again, research and reporting of data have been blocked by the powerful gun lobby.This is the scuttling of important health and safety information for purely political reasons. If the gun lobby is afraid of what the results would show, who and what are they protecting? It's fine to have a reasoned debate about gun safety in America but it has to come with facts and knowledge that is available to all. Shame on the NRA and shame on the elected leaders who have gone along with this nonsense because they have listened to the fears of the minority of gun owners in this country. Follow the money and the influence.


And to add insult to injury, what about those connections between the NRA and the companies who sell guns and ammunitions? Is that why we can't study these issues? This article shows that nefarious connection. When such a large and obvious conflict of interest stands in the way of common sense legislation to protect our citizens from being mowed down in a spree shooting, something smells. "Speaking of this close association with gun industry CEOs and the NRA, Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of the Violence Policy Center said, “The NRA’s priorities are not gun owners but the manufacturers of guns and accessories,” and that the NRA’s opposition to gun control legislation often “isn’t about protecting the rights of millions of gun owners [so much] as protecting the financial interests of NRA board members and the NRA itself.”"


Whose rights should be more important? Is the right to have access to data that could save lives more important than the rights of some gun owners to have 30 round ammunition magazines which end up in the hands of crazed gunmen? Do the rights of criminals to get their hands on dangerous guns and ammunition trump the rights of law enforcement officers to be safe in their jobs while trying to keep us all safe?

If there is an opportunity to study the effects on public health and safety concerning guns, why would we not want that information? Guns, after all, cause an inordinate number of injury deaths in our country. Instead, we keep believing the myth that guns for self defense stop more deaths and injuries than they cause. It is a choice to have a gun in the home or carry one for self defense. Just like it is a choice to smoke, to drive over the speed limit and/or without a seatbelt on, to ride a bike without a helmet, to not strap a child into their safety seat, etc. But consumers and patients know about those risks because of studies, because of public health information, because their doctors talk to them about the risks, and because of the injuries caused. The same should be true of guns. When we start thinking differently about guns as contributors to our country's public health and safety problems, we might actually try to do something about the problem. Lives depend on our acting for safer and healthier communities.

42 comments:

  1. I really don't think anyone is getting wealthy over selling standard capacity magazines--they really are a small part of the inventory or places like Brownells and Midway. Further, these businesses offer two kinds of standard capacity magazines, those that are high dollar and those that are relatively inexpensive. The markup on either is very low. The higher end magazines that they offer generally on differ in price by maybe a dollar or so from what the manufacturers offer. The inexpensive magazines are so cheap that they rely on mass sales to make anything. I would also guess that offering these magazines that are standard for so many guns is a way to drive in traffic to sell other products.

    Now, if your legislation would ever make it out of committee and would somehow get voted for, you would see such a run on standard capacity mags that the prices would increase as the products fly off of the shelves. Then after the legislation takes effect, these businesses would go on selling the new restricted capacity magazines the same as they sold the standard capacity ones before.

    You want to see these businesses really make money off of these magazines? Then ban them.

    When all would be said and done, these businesses would probably make just as much selling restricted capacity magazines as they have the others.

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  2. Joan, with all due respect, there are so many holes in this post, I'm not sure where to begin. I'm not accusing you of anything bad, since I'm certain it's just because you don't know.

    First, police officers become police officers for many reasons with firearm training being one of the least important reasons. Many officers do not care to train sufficiently with their weapon since they don't really care that much about guns, in fact there are many officers out there that actually hate guns. I know this because one of my past firearms instructors is an instructor for the Oregon State Police and has also trained other law enforcement (LE) including the FBI. Here's a video of an officer with inadequate training. Here's a video of another officer with inadequate training. I can most certainly tell you that I do NOT see this kind of careless behavior at any of the shooting sport competitions that I've attended. If ANY unsafe behavior, no matter how small, is displayed at a civilian shooting competition you WILL be kicked out of the compettition. PERIOD. Private citizens pay for training that is superior to LE training because they are held to a higher standard. I have the utmost respect for the difficult job our officers do every day, but LE are not a good example to use for gun safety or adequate training.

    Second, an overwhelming number of self defense incidents go unreported. it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of self defense incidents occur every year, but nobody knows for sure because the legality of those self defense incidents can be questioned by those who hate guns and gun owners. A professional photographer I once knew was photographing star trails at a state park one night when he was approached by a pack of troublemakers. He opened his jacket to reveal his firearm and they stopped advancing and quickly retreated. I was out in the forest cleaning up trash left behind by previous shooters when an old beat-up pickup truck came at me at high speed and an odd man looked at me strangely. I turned my side towards him to display my holstered weapon after which he avoided eye contact and immediately spun his truck around and sped off. There are too many stories like this that go unreported. Oh yes! Firearms can be used for self defense even if they remain holstered!

    Gun rights is like abortion. There are many people out there that vehemently hate both. As long as that hate exists, people are not going to come forward either with the number of guns they own or the number of times they legally used them for self defense.

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  3. It's bizarre sometimes reading your outlook on things.

    Yes ... having guns in that police office did NOT raise a force field that kept someone else from walking in and shooting. But those police officers having guns stopped him cold. Instead of strolling through a building of unarmed victims, like Cho at VT or the killers at Columbine or the mass murderer at the Texas Luby's cafeteria (where 10's of people died), the people in that building were empowered to fight back. And fight back they did, ending the assault. Unlike an attack on a police station in China where 7 cops were murdered by a man with a knife because of their communist regime that forbids empowerment of any civilian, even a police officer.

    And while in Tucson the empowerment of civilians didn't stop the shooter before he started, if he had broken free and continued shooting after he was tackled there was another civilian coming toward him who would have shut him down very quickly -- because he had a gun that you would have denied him. That's right ... your anti-empowerment/CCW policy would have resulted in more deaths, not less, in the situation as it transpired.

    It's both common sense and historical fact that humans ARE capable of fighting back when empowered to do so. It's just common sense that in a country where gun ownership is common and legal (and even you're not trying to fight that because you are opposed to gun bans) making the carrying of guns illegal assures that only murderers and criminals will have guns. And it's also common sense that people so driven to murder that they shoot unarmed politicians in the head and then fire on a crowd that includes children are murderous with or without a gun ... and evil/murder finds a way. Be it with a knife, a truckload of fertilizer, or a boxcutter and an airline ticket.

    I realize that you care only about people murdered with guns, and care not whit for those who save their life by having a gun with them unless they have a badge. But if "common sense" is going to be your catchphrase, you need to apply it in a way that actually applies. And maybe start valuing human life in all ways, and start thinking about society overall and not just your personal fears and phobias.

    Given the dangers you see in the world, what kind of responsible father, empowered to own a gun (right or wrong) and carry a gun (right or wrong) says ... NO! I love my family, but not enough to go to a minimal amount of effort to carry an effective tool for their defense. So even though I know every criminal and murderer will be able to find a gun and do what they want, I'm going to support laws to make sure that I'm unarmed. And if someone opens fire and I can't tackle him in time or are too far away and he shoot my children ... then that's fine with me!

    Legal CCW is common sense. We have to insist that people do it safely so we don't have the accidents you like to tout -- though a handful out of 3 million CCW civilians is a small price to pay for all the lives that legal CCW has saved.

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  4. Migo- if I have it right, you are saying that all of these officers could have defended themselves if only they were trained properly? If that is what you are saying, I have a real problem with that logic and would find many holes in it. As to the unreported self defense incidents, I know you all say this when arguing with my side. I don't care to get into those stats right now but one side says one thing, the other something else.

    For you to say, if I think this is what you are saying, is that these officers could surely have defended themselves with the proper training is insulting to the officers and also just a plain ridiculous thing to say. What do you know about the training of any of these people? You seem to be making a blanket statement that they were not properly trained. Arguing in this way simply does nothing for your side of the issue. You cannot turn this around and blame the victims. That is disengenous and insensitive as well as ignorant. I don't know any other way to put this. In fact this makes me so angry I can hardly write this response. I wonder if I forward this to my Police Chief and Sheriff, both of whom I know quite well, if they would agree with your assessment.

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  5. One more thing, Migo. For you to claim that your turning towards someone with your holstered gun showing is counted as an act of self defense is stretching things, to say the least.

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  6. Joan - Just a quick post since I don't have time to fully read your post at the moment. I don't think anyone has ever said a gun is a magic talisman that will always keep you safe. Sometimes the bad guy gets the drop on you no matter how prepared you are. Sucks, but there it is, no?

    That said, you are still more likely to be able to effectively respond if you have a gun than if you didn't.

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  7. So common sense would seem to dictate, if this is the case, that police would be better off without guns.

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  8. This conversation is taking an interesting turn. To say " It's bizarre sometimes reading your outlook on things." is what I would say about what you have written. We just do not see eye to eye on this. You can see how I reason it out as do most on my side of the issue, and actually the majority of Americans who do not own guns or carry them around. Your world is so different from mine. And then you end with this one: " though a handful out of 3 million CCW civilians is a small price to pay for all the lives that legal CCW has saved." To me that says that you are willing to allow a "handful" of people to be shot so you guys can do your own thing. What nonsense. If it was your sister or brother or son or daugher, I ventue to say that sacrifice was just not worth it. One gun death is one gun death too many. They are preventable. Guns are dangerous weapons. They kill people and injure people. Aside from hunting, that is what they are for.

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  9. Also, Sugarmann's accusations focus on three board members. NRA has 76 board members. Two of the three he focuses on sell accessories. Only Ronnie Barrett is a manufacturer. And yes, magazines are among those accessories they sell, but that's not the whole business.

    I'd also consider that NRA members elect the Board of Directors. Ronnie Barrett made it because people appreciated him standing up to the State of California. Pete Brownell got on the board because most of us are his customers. Same with Potterfield. I do a lot of business with both companies, very little of which involves magazines.

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  10. I have daughters. And every day they attend a public school. And many days I drive by Columbine H.S. And a friend of ours, now a parent herself, was a student there that horrible day in 1999.

    Do you not realize I think about this often? And yes ... my beliefs are frequently challenged. And there's nothing I wouldn't give up to make my daughter's safer, and no constitutional amendment I wouldn't fight to change if I thought it was outdated and changing it would make them safer in the long run.

    But I keep coming back to the same cold, hard facts ... facts that should be part of "common sense."

    1. It's what's in the heart, not the hand, that makes a murderer.
    2. Any empowerment we give people -- be it freedom of speech, religious freedom, or the right to keep and bear arms -- will will end up in some people dying. And they all do.
    3. So the question is not "are people killed with guns, both accidentally and on purpose" because they are.
    4. The question is, given the realities of history and current events, are we better off with a more restrictive government and no rights to arms or the empowerment of arms? That is the real question.
    5. And I think that you and your ilk, by refusing to look at the big picture and focusing on "gun deaths" only to make your anti-gun case, are making a mistake that is in no one's best interest. And has the potential to get people killed.
    6. Gun restrictions, wherever they have been passed, have done nothing to make the populace overall safer, and that is a reality you ignore, focusing on "gun deaths" instead of overall homicides or how gun laws affected overall homicides.

    You are trying to take away a freedom American's have enjoyed for 200 years without even bothering to look at the big picture, only your own pain, and that is nothing to be proud of.

    If you read through my blog, I think about this a lot. I look at history, I look at human nature, I look at current events.

    Whereas I would summarize your review on this subject as: "EEEK. PEOPLE GET KILLED WITH GUNS AND I SO DID A FAMILY MEMBER OF MINE SO QUIT SHOWING ME STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO SAVED THEIR LIVES WITH A GUN AND ACCEPT MY COMMON SENSE THAT ALL MURDER WOULD STOP IF GUNS WERE OUTLAWED."

    I don't find to be common sense. And the fact is that very few people do when they really think about it, which is why most American's do believe in civilian gun ownership even if they haven't thought the issue through as thoroughly as I have. And why we on the pro-gun side have been so successful.

    And why I think we'll continue to be successful, as the paranoia and fear of those who hate guns only goes so far in driving people who are willing to think about the issue when challenged.

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  11. " You are trying to take away a freedom American's have enjoyed for 200 years without even bothering to look at the big picture, only your own pain, and that is nothing to be proud of." Hmm- I am actually proud of everything I have done since my sister was murdered. She would be proud of what I am doing as well. It is not only my own pain however that motivates me. That is what started it but I would be on board with this movement even without having lost someone to gun violence. It's the right thing to do. Further, I am not an emotional person running around like a chicken with my head cut off. If that is what you think, you are sadly mistaken. Nor did I ever say that ALL murders would be stopped if guns were outlawed. And nor did I say nor have I ever said that guns should be outlawed. That is a total misrepresentation of me and what I stand for. And even though people believe in civilian ownership, as most polling shows, they also believe that that can occur at the same time as reasonable gun laws. This is not black and white and either/or. There is a place in the middle where I am trying to get regardless of what you say I am trying to do.

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  12. There's nothing magical about guns. It's a defensive mindset that matters and the hardware is only a slice of the pie.

    Believe me, I'd rather make it known that I'm armed to deter an attack than draw a gun any day of the week.

    Obviously there are proactive steps that can be taken before that; look aware, make eye contact, look confident, but not antagonistic, etc.

    re: law enforcement training - my limited experience sharing a shooting range with the local sheriff's office, is that *some* of the deputies had unsafe practices and exercised drills that in my opinion were not constructive. Nothing appalling, but things like; multiple loaded guns at the bench, walking down range with loaded guns in hand or rapid rates of fire that leave groups resembling shot gun patterns from only yards away.

    Maybe if cops had to buy their own ammo they wouldn't blast away quite as much :)

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  13. Japete: “They were taken by surprise and couldn't get their own guns out in time to stop the shooting.”

    The DID take out their guns and stop the shooting. What they didn’t do was prevent the shooting before it started. No one is claiming that is possible every time. The criminal has a tremendous advantage of picking the time and place of attack. It is called self DEFENSE for a reason- the offense gets to go first, and the defender has to react. Sometimes the offense takes its turn by using threats or aggression, and police or CCW carriers can react to that. If their plan is to just shoot as many people as possible, then they will get some shots off no matter who has a gun, but in this case good people had their own guns and stopped the attack. It could have been a lot worse.

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  14. Thanks for the post, Japete.

    It is outrageous that the CDC is not allowed to study anything that leads to so many deaths (33,000) and injuries (70,000) a year! Imagine the outcry if ANY other product led to this many deaths! As one essayist once commented, if tomatoes were responsible for killing this many people, there were be a huge outcry, tomatoes would be removed from the shelves, regulatory agencies would be all over the tomato industry, and the CDC would be focusing a huge portion of their resources tracking the cause. But when this many deaths happen with guns, a product which has killing as its sole purpose, people shrug their shoulders, say "too bad", or make justifications, and our politicians cave in to the gun lobby and prohibit study on the deaths.

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  15. Baldr,

    The same argument could be made for cars or swimming pools or anything else that causes a large number of deaths. The fact of the matter is the CDC studies diseases, not inanimate objects like guns or cars or 5 gallon buckets.

    One of the biggest follies and waste of resources by gun controllers was when some tried to claim that inanimate objects were a "disease". They might better have got away with claiming criminal behavior was a disease or caused by a disease or something before the general public would buy into some wood and metal thing was a virus argument. Funny how taxpayers want the CDC to concentrate on the "Disease" part of their acronym.

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  16. Here's a brain teaser...

    Since we all know it's the impact of a bullet that actually kills, and not the gun itself - are there stats on gun related injuries without bullet being fired?

    e.g.

    fingers caught in slide
    powder burns from improper revolver grip
    pistol whipping
    bayonet charge
    etc.

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  17. @Baldr
    If tomatoes were killing many people, it would be because they're not supposed to, like if they're contaminated. The gun deaths aren't because they're defective, it's because the users are misusing them. It's the same reason why you can't sue Glock or Smith & Wesson if someone murdered a family member with one of their products, it's the fault of the user.

    I don't think theres anything inherently wrong with a product whose sole purpose is to kill, that's what makes it a weapon. I often use car anologies because they're commonly used and they also result in many deaths each year, and I'm always told I can't compare them because guns are designed to kill and cars aren't. What they were designed to do isn't relevant, that's not what the two have in common. What they have in common is that they're both misused, but with cars we punish the people.

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  18. Actually, Fat, the CDC does keep track of motor vehicle accident statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/

    as well as for drownings and other water-caused deaths:
    http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

    They study many other causes of death, as well, not just disease-related. It's their job to keep track of health trends in the United States, especially those leading to large numbers of deaths.

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  19. Here's an article that describes how the CDC has been the target of NRA offensive to stop research into gun-related deaths -- the only area they are forbidden to do so:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2

    Without this sort of study, it is very difficult for either side to make an argument for or against the effects of firearms on death rates.

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  20. The article you posted Baldr is one of much interest. It should be passed along to everyone and most especially others in the media and our elected leaders so they understand what damage has been done by the gun lobby.

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  21. And-Pyro- we punish the people who misuse guns as well!

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  22. In reference to the large number of police being killed on duty, Bernard Melekian, the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services director said "We'd like to produce a document about what occurred that addresses the issues of training, equipment and the state of mind of the officers"

    I'm not the only one that thinks that training could be an issue for our police. I hope the Justice Department finds a solution and future police lives are spared.

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  23. Since you brought up the police incidents... I looked at the Nat'l Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund, which maintains stats on downed officers. While each death is a tragic loss, I think it is a positive development that the overall trend of such slayings is down.
    http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/causes.html

    Deaths by Firearm: 2009 was the second lowest year in a decade. 2008 was the lowest. The trend is either flat or down, even though we've seen the explosion of shall issue, increases in guns in public places, and so on.

    Total Deaths Overall: Plot the data (http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/year.html). The trend is clearly down. The three year rolling average for the last three years is 146 per annum. You have to go back to the 1960s to find such low death numbers.

    Magnifying this positive trend is the fact that these are absolute numbers, not rates. I assume that as the population of the US is much greater in 2010 than it was in the 1960s there are also more LEOs. So the rate is also plummeting.

    Of course, there is a major lurking variable here: medical technology is much better in 2010 than it was in 1960. So is body armor, and so are defensive weapons (a police officer's Glock 19 with modern bullets is a more effective defensive tool than an old .38 revolver with ball ammo), and almost all other gear. So I looked at assaults and injuries. The trend for the former is flat or down slightly (down significantly if you look at it as a rate, not absolute) and the trend for injuries is definitely down.

    I think that it is a good thing that fewer police are being killed in the line of duty. Again, while each loss is unique and tragic, I'd prefer to have fewer losses than more losses. While the last few days have certainly caused a lot of headlines it doesn't change the overall trend towards safer streets and fewer lost officers.

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  24. Yes, Chris. It looks like you are right about the overall numbers being down and lower than they have been for a while. There was an increase last year over the year before. I think what the concern is is that some of these appear to be people who have gone after officers with not much reason- in other words, not in a shoot out or a situation where there was a stand-off but rather than a very purposeful attack on officers such as the one in Detroit and last year in Washington state when 4 officers where shot to death while sitting in a coffee shop. They appear to be ambushes. And the fact that 11- and now actually 13 officers have been shot, not all died, in the frame of little over 24 hours was alarming to officers and should be.

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  25. Statistical anomalies like the recent spate of police shootings, while definitely alarming, should not be used to develop policy changes, especially when dealing with fundamental rights.

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  26. Why not? Statistical analysis works for other policy issues. Your fundamental rights do not include carrying any gun you want wherever you want it with whatever kind of ammunition you want. It is not an anomaly by the way. As long as people like you continue to think that each mass shooting and each police officer shooting and each accidental gun discharge are anomalies, you will deceive yourselves and the public into thinking that they don't add up to the daily carnage in our communities. How many more of these anomalies will we have?

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  27. Consider a nurse working third shift in an inner city hospital who chooses to carry a gun for that long walk back to the car.

    How many of the recent police shootings were committed by her? None? Why, then, are you offering them as evidence as to why her freedoms should be restricted?

    "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals"

    For the state to tell an individual that he or she may not carry a weapon, the state must have convincing evidence that that specific individual poses a threat.

    Statistical arguments are, in effect, a claim that it is legitimate to restrict the freedom of one individual because of vague worries about what other individuals might do.

    And that is never legitimate. Not with guns, and not with anything else.

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  28. "Statistical analysis works for other policy issues."

    Anon did not say that statistical analysis should not be used, they said that statistical ANOMALIES should not be used. The reason they should not be used is because they are ANOMALIES.

    I'm not sure what else you would call it. It is an anomaly because it goes against the statistical trend, and is not actually a change in the statistical trend.

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  29. Why Atrius, do you see that what I am doing would prevent that nurse from carrying her gun to and from work on the late shift at night? I hope that if she brings her gun out, it won't be grabbed and used against her or that she can't get a shot off in time or that she misses and that a bullet fired from her gun goes astray and hits someone else-all things that could potentially happen.

    Where did this quote come from?- "
    "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals""

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  30. Atrius?

    "I hope that if she brings her gun out, it won't be grabbed and used against her or that she can't get a shot off in time or that she misses and that a bullet fired from her gun goes astray and hits someone else-all things that could potentially happen."

    If you choose to live your life letting your with hand-wringing fears about everything that might go wrong paralyze you into inaction, that's your choice. You have no justification for imposing that on others.

    Where did this quote come from?

    "The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents - December 12, 1787"

    This was the first formal proposal for a Bill of Rights during the ratification debates.

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  31. re: CDC tracking or not tracking data of interest to your cause

    If the government is not doing something you'd like to have done, I suggest doing it yourself.

    I don't mean to be rude at all. Get some college interns to track data from local law enforcement and/or hospitals. There may be other creative solutions. If you rely on gov bureaucrats to give you data, you're already at a disadvantage.

    You can bet the NRA is paying folks to gather and analyze data that furthers their cause. Seems like commonsense the opposition should do the same.

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  32. Sorry- jdege. Too many comments to which to respond. I only wring my hands because these things do actually happen and maybe more often than using that gun in actual self defense though I know you don't agree with that one.

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  33. joan, that last comment was by jdege, not me.. i was still taking a break.. haha :)

    None the less, I can answer your question. It looks like one of the first proposed versions of what came to be the Second Amendment.

    As to you first question, I'm not really sure if you would really advocate for that. So far as I know, you haven't stated a negative position on CCW in general and have more tended towards "responsible carry". We all hope that in the example given the outcome is good. Sometimes it isn't though. That's life. Cars wreck. Planes crash. We're only human and can only operate our machines to the best of our individual ability.

    The recent spate of police shootings is unfortunate and very odd. They don't appear to be linked in anyway, aside from in time, so hopefully it doesn't continue.

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  34. Statistics are useless, in determining the best action in a specific instance. The police advise you to give an assailant what he wants, citing statistics. It works, often. But there are plenty of times it's gotten people killed. Enough so that police qualify that advice: "If he's trying to get you to go to a secondary crime scene, it's because he doesn't plan to let you survive to be a witness. Do whatever it takes to resist being taken somewhere else."

    The simple truth is that nobody else is there, at the time. So nobody else will have as much information about the circumstances as you do. Which means nobody else is better informed to judge whether to submit, fight, or flee, than you are. At the point of attack, it's your decision.

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  35. P- I am not publishing your insulting remarks. Your suggestions as to what I could be doing other than what I am doing are positively insensitive and arrogant.

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  36. "japete said...

    One more thing, Migo. For you to claim that your turning towards someone with your holstered gun showing is counted as an act of self defense is stretching things, to say the least.
    "

    I would view the actions described by Migo as analogous to:

    A cat arching it's back, turning broadside, fluffing it's fur, and hissing

    A cobra spreading it's hood

    A diamondback twitching it's tail rattle

    A bear rearing up on hind legs and roaring

    A dog getting it's hackles up, flashing it's teeth and snarling

    An elephant flaring it's ears and thrashing grass/dirt with it's trunk

    A gorilla thumping it's chest and shaking a bush


    All of those examples are acts specifically intended to avoid getting into a physical conflict. Is it really such a stretch to call that a defensive gun use? If not for the presence of the gun, such a display would not be possible/effective. Personally I'd like to avoid shooting anyone if at all possible and I carry all day every day.

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  37. japete, You're absolutely right in your post. Folks with guns are practically powerless to stop a mass shooting like the one in the Detroit Police station. These guys are just playing hard to get, and with good reason. If they admitted you were right, that would place you one step away from being able to ask, "Well, why do you have guns then?" That they can't allow.

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  38. "Folks with guns are practically powerless to stop a mass shooting like the one in the Detroit Police station. "

    ...So the gunman just fell over dead, is that what you're saying?

    "The officers fired back, killing the gunman."

    Right, folks with guns definitely didn't stop the shooting in the Detroit Police station.

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  39. Heather, Are you claiming that defensive gun incident as a big success for your side, as one which proves how useful guns are?

    In the gun-rich environment of a police station he shot 4 people before being brought down. It's great that he was stopped when he was, but you have to admit, this is a far cry from the claims you guys always make.

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  40. Mikeb, I wasn't claiming anything, I was pointing out a blatant lie in your own post.

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  41. Heather, Why do you so quickly resort to that antagonistic and contentious "blatant lie" accusation. That's awfully hostile of you.

    I should rephrase my remark so as to meet your strict standards.

    "Folks with guns are practically powerless to stop a mass shooting like the one in the Detroit Police station, in a timely manner."

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  42. So how long do you think it took for the police to respond to the shooting?

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