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 8, 2011

There are hardly words

What can be said about the latest tragic shooting to occur in our country? There is a lot more information to come about the shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman in a Tuscon shopping center parking lot. For now, I offer my prayers and support for all families involved in the shooting. At this point it is still unclear how many people were killed when a young man with a pistol opened fire. It appears that 5 people are in critical condition and at least 2 are dead.  Twenty rounds were fired with a pistol with an extended magazine. Here is a press release from the Brady Campaign about this shooting.

There will be more news, more discussion, more information in the coming hours and days. It is a national tragedy when federal officials are victims of shootings. Let us hope that Representative Gabrielle Giffords survives the injury to her head. This does not make common sense. Our Congressional leaders should not have to fear for their lives when they go to public meetings. If someone was angry with her over a position she has taken, how about talking with her or sending a letter? Guns and shootings should not be a part of our national discourse about issues. Everyone is horrified, as they well should be. Let us have a national discussion about the role of guns and violence in our country. We are not a third world country where politicians are shot at or threatened on a regular basis.


  1. Let's hope in serves as a wake-up call to her colleagues to vote for common sense gun legislation, and at the very least to be less tolerant of the hate-filled rhetoric from the far right.

  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/08/AR2011010802422.html?hpid=topnews

    Now 18 injured and 6 dead!

  3. Jared Loughner has been tentatively identified as the shooter.

    Why don't you dig into his past the way you dug into James D'Cruz?

  4. Why don't you? You should want to. This is not good for your side of the gun debate. Don't get into any arguments about this on this blog. They will not be welcomed. The whole country is shaken by this one. His background should be looked up. I'm sure there will be some interesting things to find.

  5. Just heard that Congresswoman Gifford is responsive and the outlook is looking up.

    Our prayers are with the victims.

    Latest report is the suspect is in custody, and an automattic weapon was used, so extremely likely it's not a legally owned gun.

    Very tragic. Glad they have the perp in custody.

  6. What makes you think it is not legally owned?

  7. Well here is the suspected gunman you tube channel. Interesting book list.


  8. Initially, it looks like he's a fruit-loop. He has some crazy rants about dreaming, literacy rates, and currency. He's listing the Communist Manifesto as a favorite book on one hand, and ranting about the Constitution on the other.

    I'm pretty disturbed by the rush to call this guy a right-wing nut on the left (there was even a fake Palin-loving facebook page put up for him about an hour ago), and the rush to call this guy a left-wing nut on the right. At least for now, it looks like he's just a nut. It's also a little unnerving to have people calling attention for their pet issues before the blood is even cold.

  9. It's looking like this guy had mental issues, given the incoherence of his YouTube channel, and what some of his friends are saying on Twitter, this would appear to be a case of mental illness. In other words, not politically motivated.

  10. Picture on his MySpace account looked like a Glock 19, which is a common pistol. It's what I carry, and most police carry that or the 17, if the department issues 9mm.

  11. Also there are reports that the weapon used was a 9mm Glock handgun not some automatic weapon or even an "assault rifle"

  12. Indeed. And the video was downright disturbing. A flag burning- never a good idea.

  13. And your point is, Sebastian?

  14. Time will tell, Anthony. I heard that he used an extended magazine.

  15. There are 33 round mags available for the Glock and apparently he had pictures on his face book or my space before the page got removed.

    There are also reports that he worked on her campaign to get her elected.

  16. Why don't you? You should want to. This is not good for your side of the gun debate. Don't get into any arguments about this on this blog. They will not be welcomed. The whole country is shaken by this one. His background should be looked up. I'm sure there will be some interesting things to find.

    My point was this, your side painted a perfectly healthy human being with criminal intent, and now that you actually have a criminal, you will try to paint him as someone normal who snapped. Yes this is not good for "our side" but it is worse for everyone. No one benefits from crime, except possibly those who would restrict freedom.

  17. We haven't painted him any way yet. The press will take care of that for us. We are learning more and more about this young man like he likely bought his guns at a local gun dealer- legally and all. But that is just one report I have heard. More later. There's going to be a lot of talk about guns now. I hope you all are ready for it.

  18. Looks like Jared Loughner used a Glock 19, which he legally purchased from an FFL (Sportsmans Warehouse) on November 30th.

    A Glock 19 has a standard magazine capacity of 15 9mm rounds. A baseplate can be added to add 2 additional rounds. It will also accept a Glock 17 magazine, which holds 17 rounds, and can be outfitted with the +2 baseplate.
    There is also a 33 round magazine availabe for it.

    Reports say there are 24 casualties (6 dead, 18 wounded) so he would have either reloaded magazines, or had a 33 round.

  19. No point really. The initial reports were that it was some kind of automatic weapon, which would be very unusual. Mentioning it's a relatively common pistol that would seem to have been the murder weapon. I don't actually think it's that relevant to the situation. Not nearly as much as the mental state of the shooter.

  20. Must be nice to have a accomplice to paint the facts for you to the people.

  21. Japete - Excuse me? Who hasn't painted him yet? Baldr Odinson was the first comment that you let through who said it was a right-wing blah blah blah....

    The guy was mentally unstable, for sure. And Sebastian's point, I believe, will be that it is NOT an automatic weapon, but of course, that won't stop people from reporting it that way. What we get upset over is all the paint that is used to make something seem true when it isn't (not saying you are doing that here, for the record). There is a truth.. not multiple versions of it. And since you seem to get a lot of your "facts" from journalists, it is important that we correct those "facts" when they are wrong.

    And I personally believe that it is a national tragedy when any citizen is murdered, not just those of the federal kind. I hope that wasn't your meaning. I'll presumed that it is just the shock talking here.

    I have an idea. Why don't we ALL let the facts of the case come out before all the conjecture about who this person is and what his motives were. Until that happens, everything is nonsense.

  22. As I said, more is coming out every hour. Here is about the gun: " According to law enforcement sources, the gun used in the shooting was purchased legally on Nov. 30 at Sportman's Warehouse, 3945 W. Cosco Dr. in Tucson."

  23. I've read your post a couple of times, and there's nothing in it I disagree with. None of us want to live in a 3rd world country where country where politicians are shot at or threatened on a regular basis.

    I also don't want to live in a nation where safety is held as more critical than rights and freedoms. Allowing one murderous psychopath in Tucson, whatever his fevered motivations, to force us to give up an important right is like allowing the 9/11 attackers to scare us into accepting a total police state with unwarranted searches, cancellation of freedom of speech, etc.

    There will be some talk about guns, of course, and I'd even say there should be. But if our pro-gun allies in Congress suddenly turn against what they used to stand for because one of their own suffered from violence ... what should we think of them? Were they only pro-gun when they thought they were immune?

    I think you'll be surprised to find that those of us on the pro-gun side are just as aware of the dangers of an armed citizenry as are you. And we have made our choices knowing those risks. And our politicians will be no different.

    Not to say there might not be some valid way to identify people with obvious mental problems like the shooter has and prohibit them from ownership, but as you've said ... we don't know everything yet.

    My prayers are also out for both Rep. Giffords and her family, and the families of all the others so violently and uselessly gunned down.

  24. but it wasn't an automatic which is what Rob was commenting about it probably not being a legal purchase.. and Rob was right.

  25. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

  26. Seems she was shot by a Glock 9mm, but she also owns one.

  27. First off, this is a tragedy. The first priority is healing for the injured, strength for the bereaved, and justice for the shooter and any accomplices.

    Second off, both the left (DailyKos) and the right (SarahPAC) have called for the "targeting" of Rep Giffords in the last two years using firearms imagery (DailyKos in '08, SarahPAC prior to the last election). However, it looks like the shooter met Rep Giffords back in 2007, prior to either rhetorical appeal as well as the recent escalated political tensions over the last election cycle. That is, this appears to be more about the shooter's mental state and looney tunes obsession than political rhetoric from other side.

    Third, additional reports are pouring in that the shooter was a user of marijuana and possibly had other substance abuse problems (at least with alcohol). That means that when he purchased the firearm, he committed the crime of perjury by falsifying the form 4473, which asks on question 11E, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…” Furthermore, by taking possession of any firearm he was in violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968; unlawful users of controlled substances are prohibited persons. If he was still using recreational drugs and he possessed the gun, then it is clear: The shooter was a prohibited person.

    Given that (1) both his friends and local law enforcement (he had previously faced drug charges) knew he used drugs and abused alcohol and (2) he advertised his possession of a firearm on internet videos, that seems like the best opportunity to have stopped him. If he had been charged under the GCA or AZ weapons misconduct statutes that might have been a chance to prevent this tragedy.

  28. I've read a few comments around the internet to the effect that he wasn't really a rightie or a leftie but just a nut. The thing is the extremist "nuts" who get their ideas from Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann don't go around shooting people. The ones who follow Palin and Beck do - sometimes. Imagine how many other walking time bombs we've got out there, most will hopefully never go off, but they're ticking just the same.

    You know the other group that doesn't do this kind of thing, the gun control folks. The most fanatical among them don't do this. The extreme gun guys on the other hand do - sometimes.

  29. "You know the other group that doesn't do this kind of thing, the gun control folks. The most fanatical among them don't do this."

    Uh, mikeb, you might want to look into the leadership of the MMM and MAIG.

  30. Kaveman- you know that is not true. Show me statements that are violent and that are threatening. Show me name calling that is insinuating violence coming from the Million Mom March or MAIG. Come on. I need to hear this one.

  31. @mikeb Do you think the Obama obsessed liberal professor from the UofA Huntsville Amy Bishop listened to Beck and Palin? Also, I did not see any mention that Gabby Gifford was one of the chief architects of AZ's heroic bill SB1070 and give that her office had been vandalized and her staff threatened, its probable that the nutball that committed these crimes leaned left.

  32. Just a few violent left-wing extremists:
    - Amy Bishop
    - Ted Kaczynski / Unabomber
    - Charles Manson
    - Lee Harvey Oswald
    - Weather Underground bombers

    Off the top of my head.

  33. I have a friend (a holder of a permit to carry) with a 3 year old daughter. Upon seeing the report on the shooting on TV, she went to him and asked why the bad man shot the 9 year old. After hearing the explanation, she squeezed him tight and said "I'm glad you protect me daddy". She then asked, "Why didn't her daddy protect her?"

    Out of the mouths of babes...

  34. "Kaveman- you know that is not true. Show me statements that are violent and that are threatening. Show me name calling that is insinuating violence coming from the Million Mom March or MAIG. Come on. I need to hear this one."

    Okie-dokie, I'll start you out easy...


  35. Not sure this is proving anything. I have never heard of this person and the link you provided is totally biased. Find a neutral source. This is a blog making comments about a person and situation.

  36. japete, all you had to do was click on her name in the story for your "main stream media" source...


  37. Joan,

    I didn't think that quoting neutral sources was important since you quote frothy, hateful, close minded resources like the Violence Policy Center.

  38. Now, I've looked at your blog every now and then, but have never commented here before as I really haven't had a need to. I disagree with most of what you say but don't have the need to argue it with you because I will never change your mind and you will never change mine, facts are facts. I am a concealed permit holder (and a proponent of Open Carry even though I would rarely if ever use this style of carry). I do have to agree, however, that I can't think of a situation where a 30 round magazine would be needed in a self-defense situation in the streets or in the home, and I have no idea what the point of a 30 round magazine would be used for. Not really adding anything to the discussion, just saying I disagree with almost everything you stand for (sorry, my 2 cents) but there's no need for a 30 round magazine for a pistol.

  39. Re MAIG:

    This data was in Wikipedia but it keeps getting purged from there. But all the indicted and felonious mayors do have good footnoted cititations for the sourcing.

    I count 9 felonious mayors and 1 violent misdemeanor, including at least one weapons charge. As of Nov 09 there were 522 mayors on the membership roster. Today they boast over 500 members so that number is likely still in the ballpark; I have a life so I'm not counting all the members on the roster. That gives a felony rate of 1724 per 100,000 (9 / 522 = X / 100,000).

    In comparison, around 2000 per 100,000 US citizens have a felony conviction. And of course, we've discussed crime rates among CCW permit holders including those of your own state which tend to be a tiny fraction of the US national average.

    Just as you can find a few CCW permit holders that abuse their privileges, we can obviously find people on your side that commit crimes too. Neither side is 100% lily white. The important thing is looking at the relative rates. In this case, it looks like a member of MAIG is no more or less likely to commit a felony than any other citizen. Comparatively, CCW holders are significantly less likely to commit a felony than any other citizen.

    In MAIG's defense, with such a small organizational size, the crime rate is easily perturbed with just a few incidents. However, cutting the other way, it could also be that mayors end up not being prosecuted for many misdemeanors and minor offenses (which would skew the rate in MAIG's favor), or if they are such actions aren't widely publicized; this is what we observe as most of the criminal mayors faced felony charges.

  40. First of all, if you think I trust anything coming from World Net Daily then you don't know me very well. It is one of the most biased right wing media sources out there. Second of all, since I was at the Mother's Day March where there were clearly many hundreds of thousands more than 100,000 people there as the paper said, there could very well have one person out of 750,000 who marched that day who could have been the woman in the story who, tragically, shot someone. I certainly don't condone this. It sounds like she was part of an organization that helped co-sponsor marchers from the Washington area. We here in Minnesota also sought sponsors for sending our delegation. We didn't know some of the women very well but we got to know them in the months before we left for the march and they all turned out fine. This story proves nothing. I think you are trying to say that there are criminals amongst us? For what reason I am not sure. I would venture to guess that the MMM has no criminals as members. I have no idea if this woman was even a member. She happened to go to the march that day. So I assume you think she is a left wing extremist. I don't even know her politics nor have ever heard of the woman or the incident. There are some on the left who have been involved in violent acts. I have not denied that. I am talking about what happened this time. What happened in the past will not help with this one this time. We need to deal with this one and it happens that at this particular time in our nation's history, we have right wing talk show hosts , candidate for office and people actually in office at our state and national capitols and quasi candidates for President talking about violence and violent solutions.

  41. Nice=" frothy, hateful, close minded resources like the Violence Policy Center. " The NRA, of course, is all polite and never could be in that category. NOT! This is exactly the stuff I am talking about. Hateful and ugly talk like this sometimes leads to hateful and ugly actions. Cut it out. You will not be published on my blog.

  42. Chris- we are talking about a national tragedy here with 6 murdered and now 14 injured and you are trying to find evidence that a few mayors have committee crimes!! Why? It is totally off topic and intended to distract from that which just happened. Such insensitivity is indicative of what the gun lobby is all about. Forget about the victims. Just let me keep my guns and let's not try to do anything to stop shootings. Maybe if we can distract the conversation by talking about all the things their side has done wrong, this will just go way and we will convince all of those naive people out there that guns are not a problem.

  43. That wasn't what Chris was doing at all. He was showing you the violence proof that you requested from Kaveman... It is interesting how people are so quick to make this a right or left issue. Many times people say it is a right-winger and it turns out to be left. That is all he was pointing out.

    And for the record, the Brady Campaign and yourself had posts about this long before gun bloggers did.. Insensitivity... nice brush you paint with.

  44. The 30 round Glock magazines were developed for the Glock 18, which is a machine pistol that is unavailable to civilians. Glock magazines are interchangeable. There's also some carbines that accept Glock magazines, for which the 30 round magazines are more popular.

    I agree with the Anonymous poster that they don't have a place in defensive carry, but they do have a place in competitive shooting, and in rifle shooting for pistol caliber long guns that accept Glock magazines.

  45. So that must mean you think it's perfectly O.K. for people to buy these kinds of magazines.

  46. Well anon, above. I am not sure what any gun blogger could blog about in this situation. What could they have to say about this tragedy?

  47. Yes Joan, it is perfectly ok for people to buy magazines. The larger the magazine the harder it is to conceal.

    Because the capacity of the magazine isn't the issue, do a youtube search for "speed reload" if you would like visual proof why.

    Virginia Tech didn't use anything special and he killed more people than this nujob. Of course the Hitler references that both shooters have in their life (the number 88 on the manuscript sent to the press, listing "Mien Kampf" as a favorite book) is also interesting.

    Still, it is a tragedy. But the blame lies with the shooter, not with any particular tool he happened to use.

  48. You wrote:
    Chris- we are talking about a national tragedy here with 6 murdered and now 14 injured and you are trying to find evidence that a few mayors have committee crimes!! Why?

    Because you asked:
    Kaveman- you know that is not true. Show me statements that are violent and that are threatening. Show me name calling that is insinuating violence coming from the Million Mom March or MAIG. Come on. I need to hear this one.

    Felony convictions and weapons charges for MAIG members seemed like relevant evidence that you asked for. I agree it is tangential and only brought it up because you asked about it. The only point is that there are evil, criminal people in all walks of life and almost every cause.


    Frankly, I think it is sickening how everyone is racing to score political points. Up here in Alaska, there is a lot of discourse about Sarah Palin's role in all this. The ADN website is full of hateful comments on both sides.

    I just wish that one of the shooter's friends or family members had intervened. He still lived at home, he planned the crime ahead of time at home, and his parents almost certainly knew that he was having mental health troubles; heck he was thrown out of school for that reason. His friends and classmates have come forward to talk about his substance abuse problems. His MySpace readers knew that last month he talked about killing cops and this month he posted videos of his new glock. If someone had called the NICS hotline maybe it would have prevented the gun's sale. If someone had notified the local police then maybe he could have either been put into prison for violating GCA '68 where he couldn't hurt anyone, or maybe he could have gotten the mental health intervention that it appears he needed.

  49. I disagree with Sebastian in that they don't have a place in defensive carry. As may instructors, including Massad Ayoob, will point out, you don't know how many rounds you will need to defend yourself since you don't know how many attackers there will be. Nobody has every been disappointed they brought to many rounds... So if I carry a 12 round in my firearm, and two more 12 round in a backup magazine case, I have 36 rounds on me. How is that different than having a 30 round magazine? That just means I won't have to reload as much, which might save my life.

    Many officers have been killed in firefights because they were reloading.. You can't say it has no defensive purpose.

    As for the blogging comment, they can say "this is not the time to fight over the details". You act as if we don't feel anything about this because we support gun carry. I care very deeply about life, which is why I have chosen to defend it.

  50. Chris and kaveman are leaving out the fact that the "bad mayors" they're always talking about are not violent guys for the most part. They're just typical politicians who've been involved in corruption and bribery and stuff like that.

    How in the world that compares to unfit right-wing gun owners, is beyond me.

    The discussion started when I said, " the other group that doesn't do this kind of thing, [is] the gun control folks."

    "THIS KIND OF THING" ya get it.

  51. How the heck do you concealed a handgun with a 33 round magazine sticking out from the grip? I mean, if that wasn't an issue, I'd say it's fine for carry, but considering the grip is the hardest part of a pistol to conceal, how does that work?

    And just because I don't think their practical for carry doesn't mean I think they ought to be banned.

  52. "How the heck do you concealed a handgun with a 33 round magazine sticking out from the grip?"

    There's a difference between concealing something in preparation for a single incident of violence, than when carrying every day.

    Oswald's "curtain rods" would have raised suspicions, had he carried them every day. As a one-time thing, though, they didn't raise suspicion.