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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Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day

Happy President's Day. Do people even think about why they have a day off today or why they are not getting their mail? In my part of the state, school kids are just beginning a week of winter break. That's a good thing considering the weather where in some parts of the state, they are again buried in a foot of snow accumulated in near blizzard conditions. Meanwhile, life goes on. For your edification, I am providing a link to an article summarizing the attempts on the lives of our American Presidents over the years. As we all know, there have been famous successful assassinations such as Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. There have also been many failed attempts, some of which resulted in gunshot injuries, most famously and recently, President Reagan. In that incident, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to shoot the President, but as if often the case, the bullets took others down as well. He managed to injure the President causing his hospitalization and his eventual recovery from his wounds. His press secretary, James Brady, was not so lucky. Since that March 30, 1981 shooting, Brady has suffered through years of serious health problems and therapies, leaving him in a wheel chair with serious disabilities. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of that shooting.

Jim Brady's name is now on the letterhead of the largest gun control movement in the nation, the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence. I am proud to be associated with this group and to be working to stop others from being shot. And, of course, the Brady Law, supported by Republican President Ronald Reagan, was enacted in 1994. I met Jim Brady once and found him to be an engaging man with a wonderful sense of humor. Though his speech is a bit labored, when listening carefully, one can discern his personality and see why he was selected to serve President Reagan. Sarah Brady is an inspiration and has worked tirelessly in efforts to keep others from becoming victims of bullets. Sarah talks in the linked article about an incident after Jim's shooting, when her young son picked up a loaded gun at a friend's back yard. That was actually the impetus for her campaign towards sensible gun laws. In her words, " From that day on, I decided that much more needed to be done to help keep children safe from guns. And since that time, I have fought against the gun lobby and anyone else who wants guns "anywhere, at any time for any one.""

In his name and the profound change of his life as he knew it, those of us committed to reducing gun violence trudge on. It is a difficult road but we have our walking shoes on. Common sense tells us that we can walk this road to measures that will protect the public from those who are not responsible to have guns from gaining easy access to them.

67 comments:

  1. "Common sense tells us that we can walk this road to measures that will protect the public from those who are not responsible to have guns from gaining easy access to them."

    It's only too bad that we responsible gun owners are the ones jumping through your hoops in order to maintain our "law abiding" status.

    It is only we responsible gun owners who were castigated, particularly during the Clinton years, that our "culture of hunting and shooting" was a scourge on America.

    It is only we responsible gun owners who must surrender our liberties because a lunatic in Arizona went on a rampage.

    You are correct ma'am, common sense does tell us we can help protect the public from dangerous people; it is only too sad that your side of the debate only knows how to waste time and money with more pointless restrictions rather than finding solutions that work.

    Have a nice President's day.

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  2. "Common sense tells us that we can walk this road to measures that will protect the public from those who are not responsible to have guns from gaining easy access to them. "

    Many of the current or proposed measures are the same or similar to the controls placed upon drivers and cars. Drunk drivers kill more people than criminal and negligent gun users. Do these controls work to protect the public from those not responsible enough to operate motor vehicles?

    Emphatically the answer is NO! The proof is in the death toll which exceeds that of guns, those machines "designed to kill".

    Here is an interesting link any gun control advocate should consider: http://www.citizensoutcry.org/duirepeatoffenders.htm

    Even if you still believe in gun control, it should be clear that fundamentally different measures are necessary. "Car control" does not work to keep cars out of the hands of the criminally irresponsible despite car registration, mandatory licensing for all car drivers, speed limits (analogous to saying you can't load more than 10 rounds in a magazine), and the fact that you can't buy a car and drive it off the lot without a license. Insurance is also required for cars as some advocate for guns. You can not buy a car without informing the state, which is essentially a background check after the purchase, but they could take action as they know when the person with a ton of violations, DUIs, and a couple of vehicular manslaughter convictions buys another car after getting out of prison. All of these measures don't work for controlling access for cars - the worst of the worst violators are put back on the road, back in the public. Responsible drivers pay the fees and insurance but it doesn't stop the carnage.

    You don't have to ask yourself this question, but you really should: is it more important to do something that is going to fail or is it more important to realize that the methods that always fail are always going to fail so we should learn lessons from these failures and try something different for once?

    "It is a difficult road but we have our walking shoes on."

    While on that difficult road keep your eyes peeled for drunk drivers!

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  3. Yes sir, alcade. We are a scourge on the country. We are coming for all of your guns and wnat to stop you from your daily shooting at the gun ranges and your ability to carry your guns wherevery you go. Oh, I forgot to mention that we don't want you to enjoy hunting any more either. Such evil people we are. Have a nice President's day yourself.

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  4. Yup- thanks ILP. I always do keep my eye out for those drunk drivers. I also put on my seat belt and buy cars with air bags to protect me from those who shouldn't be driving or myself in case of an accident. I follow the traffic laws and try not to speed. These are mandatory measures to keep us all safe. Guess what, deaths from car accidents have gone down as a result? People are not killed in as great numbers and sometimes have injuries but do not die. Thank goodness the government is regulating these things. Left to our own devices, some would not do these things. Some still don't but it is agains the law to be caught without your seat belt on or having a child strapped into a regulated, mandatory child safety seat. I just hate those government regulations that save lives, don't you? I just hate it when the government recalls food that has caused illness or e-coli leading to death. I just hate it when the government recalls baby cribs and toys when a few children die because of unsafe products. I just hate it when the study after study showed the secondary health problems from inhaling smoke in public places so now most places require people to smoke outside. Darn that government anyway. Saving lives is just an inconvenience to the public.

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  5. Since John Hinckley was deemed mentally defective - why aren't we advocating additional help for diagnosing and treating mental illness?

    Great letter to the editor in the Star Tribune as well Joan - http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/116505983.html -- sixth from the top.

    You'd like to disarm potential victims of domestic violence from ANY potential ability to defend themselves. Thats NONSENSE!

    Even if it saved one life, right Joan?

    Civil Rights are for EVERYBODY!

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  6. Joan!

    Where is all that new civility that is all the rage these days? Plus, I thought that hyperbole and crass sarcasm were no-no's. Also, I didn't see you address either point. That said while you do wear seat belts and drive a car with airbags, I don't see you suggesting limiting purchased at the local liquor store (hmmnn...the 4 pack limit) or mandating that everyone have an alcohol ignition interrupt. We all know that your responses above from you are silly. Driving is not an incorporated Constitutional right. We also know that smoking is not assured by the Constitution. In addition, we also know that Government regularly encroaches on the Bill of Rights, i.e. McCain Feingold. If our Constitutional rights were not under assault we could send the Supreme Court home, but then again even when the Supreme Court defends our rights via McDonald and Heller, mayors like Dailey and Grey thumb there nose at the court and step on our rights.

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  7. What is missing in your view of history is that none of the presidents who were wounded or attacked blamed the weapon used. No one tried, passed judgement on, and punished the weapon used. In each case, people were arrested, charged, tried and punished for what happened.

    I have been reading and commenting on your blog for some time. You have taken some very odd routes of logic to say the least. The overwhelming concern I have is this disconnect between blaming objects and blaming people. It's almost as though you can not stand to blame the person commits a crime but you have to blame the gun.

    This is odd. Even the manner in which you have described the person who shot your sister. It's the gun and the bullets fault. Most people I know would be saying it was the rat bastard who did it, or the lowlife coward who "murdered " but we don't see that. That strikes me as incredibly odd.

    I see most all criminals who engage in behaviors which lead to violence as lowlife excrement. Giving them a pass by blaming a tool they use to commit crimes is foreign to me.

    You probably won't print this again as you have taken to avoiding dealing with those who strike to close to home and that's your prerogative. Just remember. Every post you make is really ammunition in our sides inventory. Everytime we can point to your posts and get people on the edge to read your stuff is a win for us.

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  8. In answer to the first question, many people are working on this. In Duluth, money is being raised for a center for teens and young adults with mental illness to be diagnosed and treated. People are into it and on top of it. I am giving money to this cause. I worked with kids with mental illness. It's a tough one- not enough money or staff to do the job properly and the health care system has only recently come around to recognizing mental illness as a health problem. In answer to the second- thanks. I'm glad you liked the letter. I know a lot of people who thought it was very good. I would like to disarm those who would commit domestic abuse so they won't shoot their significant others, spouses or partners. That would save a lot of lives. Guns are the weapon of choice in domestic murders as another recent article in the Star Tribune reported.

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  9. Yes sireee anon- sarcasm is sometimes the only way to counter your ridiculous ideas. And don't we all know that cars and cigarettes are not weapons and not designed as such and are still heavily regulated- as is the use of them? Guns, however, are weapons and designed to kill and have few regulations. What's wrong with that picture?

    Civility is not coming much from your side, by the way. I heard a sermon yesterday at my church about "turning the other cheek" It would be great to do that and sometimes I do. I don't publish all the sarcastic , provacative comments written on my post or the ones that call me names or demean me. After while, when one is continually attacked as you guys are prone to do, one must have a way to defend oneself from the ugliness. Humor and sarcasm work well. Either that or totally ignoring you. That would make my life a lot more peaceful actually.

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  10. "Guns, however... have few regulations."

    Proven time and again to be a false statement Joan.

    Federal Firearm Act
    Gun Control Act
    Brady Bill

    Etc etc etc...

    You cannot keep making the statement that "guns aren't regulated". Its a falsehood.

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  11. And P, every time you guys get going on your nonsense or your false logic is a victory for my side. Every time you attack me with ugly words is a win for me because it makes you all look pretty cowardly. Don't think those on my side aren't reading my blogs. I know they are. They tell me they do and by and large, they are disgusted with the remarks made about me here and urge me to stop doing this. They also recognize that you guys are not reasonable and tell me I should just give up arguing with you all because they understand that you are a small but very noisy minority who are paranoid and fearful. Most reasonable gun owners, in poll after poll recognize that reasonable restrictions will not take away their rights. So I am confident that I am representing the majority.

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  12. Pat- until we have ways of preventing people who cannot be responsible with guns from having easy access to guns, I will continue to say that guns and some people who have them are not adequately regulated. Until we have ways of assuring that responsibilities come with the rights to own and use guns, I will continue to say that guns are not adequately regulated.

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  13. "Most reasonable gun owners, in poll after poll recognize that reasonable restrictions will not take away their rights."

    These, of course, would be your numerous "gun owning friends" who you've fully disclosed to about the motives of your organization and are in complete support of your eventual planned elimination of their hobby, sport, and hunting weapons. Death by a thousand paper buts is every bit as fatal to the sport as outright confiscation (which you've said countless times isn't your goal, right?).

    You just want to make it as difficult and expensive a sport as possible so fewer and fewer people will decide to become shooters and firearms owners.

    Thats it -- I'm hosting a free range day.

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  14. "I will continue to say that guns are not adequately regulated."

    ...and we will continue to say they are over-regulated. therein lies the disconnect.

    I believe the correct statement we can agree on is that "Criminals are under regulated". Fair statement?

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  15. How about disarming potential victims of domestic violence?

    Even if it saved one life?

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  16. Pat- those polls were scientific random polls that asked people on all sides, including gun owners. In fact, the Luntz poll was only gun owners- the NRA and non NRA gun owners. What could be more revealing than that? Just because you didn't like the results doesn't mean that even NRA members are in favor of reasonable restrictions. You guys don't even represent the majority of your own group when commenting on my blog.

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  17. Pat- yes. That does not preclude the regulations to keep the criminals from having easy access to guns.

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  18. Has any victim of domestic abuse been disarmed by my group? No. If they want guns, they can have them. But they need to realize that it is much more likely for that gun to be used against them than by them in a domestic abuse case.

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  19. "You guys don't even represent the majority of your own group when commenting on my blog."

    The "majority" of gun owners are what we refer to as "Fudds" -- hunters, sport-gunners...but don't get politically active because of kindly, smiling, grey-haired faces on the "other side" telling them that they're only after "scary black rifles" and "barrel shrouds" etc...

    The Fudds don't think anyone will come for their guns since they're only "hunting rifles" -- at least until it's too late to do anything about it.

    These are the people I reach out to -- hunters, like your "gun owning friends" who are mis-informed by your side as to its true intentions.

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  20. "Has any victim of domestic abuse been disarmed by my group?"

    Yes -- by making it prohibitively hard in MN to buy a small, easily handled weapon, you've disarmed countless victims (just because it doesn't make the news or a poll doesn't make it "unpossible"). They have to take time off of work, goto the police station during normal business hours, and get a purchase permit.

    Ridiculous, and if you had your way, it would be even harder, not to mention more expensive, for them to train with said firearm as well.

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  21. "Left to our own devices, some would not do these things. Some still don't but it is agains the law to be caught without your seat belt on"

    Not here in the Free State. No seat belts or helmets required for adults. It's true that some choose to exercise their right not to wear a seat belt - but not surprisingly (to me) more folks here wear their seat belt than in neighboring Massachusetts where it is MANDATORY. Insurance is also not required unless you cause a collision, but I haven't seen any evidence that we are more likely to cause collisions.

    "Guess what, deaths from car accidents have gone down as a result? "

    I'm not familiar with any meta-studies on this, but surely that has more to do with the tremendous advances in technology than government coercion. Despite all of that safety technology AND government mandates cars still kill more than guns, even though they aren't designed to kill, even though though there are more guns than cars, even though guns don't have any sort of safety belt air bag or crumple zone.

    "I just hate those government regulations that save lives, don't you?"

    I'm planning on getting the New Hampshire state motto engraved on my chest - what do you think?

    "I just hate it when the government recalls food that has caused illness or e-coli leading to death. "

    I am even more familiar with the history of food and government in this country than I am with the history of guns and government in this country. The mass food poisonings are a direct consequence of federal government food policies and programs.

    "I just hate it when the government recalls baby cribs and toys when a few children die because of unsafe products."

    Do you love the new de facto prohibitions on all high quality, hand made toys and clothes for kids? I reckon you must love that the big manufacturers who created that problem will be allowed to test their own products while the small manufacturers who never created a safety problem will be driven out of business. Am I wrong or does that make your heart leap with joy? You must be close to having a heart attack with excitement at the banning of kids books toys and clothes eh?

    "I just hate it when the study after study showed the secondary health problems from inhaling smoke in public places so now most places require people to smoke outside."

    It's easy to show anything when you are willing to use junk and fraudulent science. You must also love the fraudulent studies that have shown marijuana to have no medical benefit so that it's "legal" to force sick people to suffer and or die because they can't use the medicine that has been thoroughly demonstrated to save their lives, eh?

    "Darn that government anyway. Saving lives is just an inconvenience to the public. "

    You prefer to live a life of servitude, trading everyone's right to risk for your non-existent right to feel safe. As has been shown countless times by the history you don't know this won't end well.

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  22. But they need to realize that it is much more likely for that gun to be used against them than by them in a domestic abuse case. "

    Do you have a source for that? I know it has been shown that gun owners are less likely to die if they resist an attack using a gun...but it could be different for those who love and trust their attacker.

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  23. I hope they don't believe your fallacies, Pat. Reasonable folks don't believe their guns or rights will be taken away. They know you guys are paranoid.

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  24. How about we pick one topic and not let go until it's been logically argued out?

    That would be nice.

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  25. ILP- I have to say that you sound like an unpleasant and unreasonable person.

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  26. What would you suggest, anon? You are the guys who divert the conversation and get it going in unrelated directions.

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  27. I hope they don't believe your fallacies, Pat. Reasonable folks don't believe their guns or rights will be taken away.....Just goofy Joan. So, in my home state I have the right to carry my side arm concealed, trained, qualified, background checked the whole 9 yards. I come to my parents which had gun laws you guys like (and consequently higher crime--doesn't Chicago have a crime rate like Mexico's?) and I can't carry, heck the weapon has to be in separate container from the ammo and I am not allowed to have the weapon within reach, doing so and I will be jailed and have my weapon confiscated. So, think we can both agree that traveling to Chicago, my rights to bare are abridged and taken away for no reason at all. I think we can both agree that means my rights go away just by the simple act of crossing a state line. Criminal. So, net net you and the other gun grabbers are not trying to get lead ammo banned through the EPA? and other silly back door gun control measures

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  28. And have you suffered terribly when you visit your parents?

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  29. I keep readin that you get all this suport for your side. I see one person who lives in Oregon and one who lives in Italy who voice support for you. Why won't any of these others people step up?

    Please tell me where were the ugly words in my post? The only ugliness in my post was direct quite clearly at a murder. There was no reference at all to you except in the amazing lack of venom you seem to hold toward the man who harmed your sister. I said I would call HIM a rat bastard and a coward.

    Yes you do seem to take some unusual to me routes of logic, but that is not ugly or vile speech. Calling it such does not make it so.

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  30. I am still not understanding, just where these 'reasonable restrictions' are expected to make an impact. I've understood the argument, but I need supporting examples. Background checks keep criminals from buying guns at gun shops (which I of course support), but it doesn't account for criminals turning to different sources. And why we must regulate guns, instead of doing a better job of physically removing them from the streets and dealing with the people and communities prone to gun violence, in order to try solving the problem before it even gets to violence at all.

    I am glad to hear that you are working with a mental health institution to provide services to youth who need help, that's certainly a step in the right direction. Now we need for people to recognize it and get people to that institution, and secure funding for it. I wonder what would happen if somebody wrote to the NRA and Brady campaign asking for a donation to the mental health center?

    Not to change the topic, but I had a thought last night about how McCarthy's magazine ban, which you say is reasonable, actually is very unreasonable, illogical, and easily abused; magazines for firearms are pretty simple in design and construction, they are generally not specifically shaped to fit only one particular type of cartridge inside. You can often fit various different cartridges into a magazine originally intended just for one cartridge. For example, lets say you have a magazine to fit rifle 1, it is designed to hold ten rounds of cartridge X. However, cartridge Y has a smaller diameter than cartridge X, and you can fit 13 rounds of Y into a magazine that only holds 10 rounds of X. Does that make the owner of that magazine a felon now, just because it so happens that 13 rounds of Y could fit in the magazine? Given the huge variety in cartridges and magazines, I'm sure that I could find several cartridges that would exceed 10 for each ten round magazine that exists. That's something that could very easily be abused. I certainly wouldn't put it past DA Rice to do a 'sting' at a gun range, arrest a bunch of law abiding gun owners and charge them with felonies. I am sure the press release would say 'gun owners were attempting to disguise high capacity magazines as ten round magazines, by loading them with bullets that would only fit ten, but using other bullets could fit many more than ten rounds in each magazine'. The law is silly, there are so many chances for it to be abused, and so little chance of it saving anybody's life, that to put all this time and effort into supporting it is foolish. Those resources could be put into a number of other means for directly saving lives, with significant and immediate results that are fully tangible.

    -DHS

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  31. While always vigilant you always have to be concerned when your freedoms are abridged especially when its apparent how ineffective Chicago's gun control is.

    http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/

    But there is good news--CCW is coming to IL! Now that is common sense! And Dailey is going away, though there is this goofy idea floating about that Rhambo will fix anything, something I think we can both giggle about.

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  32. So it's not really about the discussion, is it? Are you looking for someone to validate what you feel? Make no mistake, Joan- understanding the world around us and making good decisions requires logic, not feelings.

    Feelings are an alert system, logic comes in and sorts things out. I have a "feeling" that your sister's murder is not completely resolved in your mind, and your beliefs about guns being responsible somehow helps you cope with the loss. I'm sorry as hell it happened, and not because you want to ban guns as a result.

    I have a sister who did social work for a while and did home visits. She quit when one of her collegues was killed and dismembered by a patient. I do not blame chainsaws for what happened. But if it had been her, I would have felt guilt for not convincing her to carry a gun while she visited mental patients' homes. She repeatedly and reflexively refused to entertain the possibility that she could be attacked. But that's just how it goes sometimes.

    I still wish you the best.

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  33. Since you know nothing about my family or that of my ex and now dead brother-in-law, I suggest that you refrain from commenting on it.

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  34. Well, of course, anon- I am not about banning guns. It's been 18 years since my sister's death. I believe I have had the time to sort things out quite well but thanks for your concerns. I know what I believe and I am acting on my beliefs that in this country people who shouldn't have guns have easy access to them. That really has nothing to do with my sister's death actually. I would have favored that position in any event because I am a reasonable person who has looked into issues and has decided that I come down on the side of reasonable restrictions on guns and those who should not be able to own them.

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  35. "Well, of course, anon- I am not about banning guns"

    Nope, just making their owning and legal usage prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, ergo, "banning" guns in all but name.

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  36. The way I see it, is that when we make clear that we want to see that guns are kept out of the wrong hands too, but without any restrictions placed on the guns themselves, that a reasonable approach would be to examine what could be done to stop gun violence without banning or restricting anything.

    However, we are met with a very firm refusal to examine any alternative methods to prevent gun violence. Yourself and other gun control groups insist upon enacting bans and/or regulations solely upon guns. Action against criminals, or measures to prevent crime in the first place, is always second place, if even considered at all.

    Therefore we are forced to conclude that you are indeed about banning guns. Maybe not all guns, maybe not for everybody, but you prefer to pursue policies that will remove many guns from the hands of many law abiding people, than to skip guns and go straight to the crime prevention part. Logic dictates that a preference for gun control legislation instead of crime prevention, indicates that the primary goal is to take away guns, not prevent crime.

    That is where you get all the accusations of gun banning from. Whether that is your actual intent or not we cannot tell, but given the trend of targeting guns over criminals, what other conclusion would you expect gun owners to draw?

    -DHS

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  37. Joan-

    Time alone won't do it. What would you do differently if you had to do it again, if you don't mind my asking? Would making sure her murderer didn't have guns really have saved her life?

    You seem capable of logic, and yet occasionally say things that "do not follow" in ANY way. "he was shot, and he didn't have a gun, so that proves that if he did have a gun, it wouldn't have made any difference"? Where is the logic in that? If there's no difference between a man with a gun and a man without a gun, why are we talking about guns? And your standard response to comments is either to dismiss them as extremist and outrageous, or to ignore them completely. If your beliefs are truly as well founded as you claim, you should be able to defend and articulate them effectively. The fact that you very rarely even attempt to is why it seems to me that you still have things to work out. You can't get over being angry if you're angry at the wrong thing.

    But what I'm really referring to is the fact that I offered up a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem of "diverting", and rather than respond to an opportunity to really work out one issue, ANY aspect of the gun control debate, I'm met with only a long period of silence, two unposted comments, and a subject change. I can only come to the conclusion that's because you don't really want to discuss the issues, just voice your disdain for those who don't agree with you. The way things are, you can complain about the subject changes without getting cornered on any one issue. It suits your purposes.

    I'm sorry to see that.

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  38. P wrote:
    I keep readin that you get all this suport for your side. I see one person who lives in Oregon and one who lives in Italy who voice support for you. Why won't any of these others people step up?


    Well, if Ms. Peterson's readership is anything like Baldr's then there are probably about on the order of a dozen pro-gun control people reading.

    Gun control polls fairly well, with 1/3 to 50% of the populace supporting it. However, in terms of active membership it seems to do poorly. Brady Campaign (the flagship gun control organization) is outnumbered almost a hundred to one by NRA when it comes to active donors willing to write a check.

    Joe Public doesn't go and read our blogs. Occasionally they might stumble across a pro-gun blog just because those blogs often review equipment, books, and firearms (I get a bunch of hits on my reviews). I don't have the google analytics data for an anti-gun blog like this one but I don't know how Joe Public would stumble across it as there doesn't seem to much non-political content to draw people but I'm sure there's a handful. However, the majority of people that read these blogs are activated supporters for one side or the other. They are the same people willing to write a check or join a mailing list or write a congresscritter.

    Given that sort of audience analysis, it isn't really surprising that readership here is skewed 50:1 to 100:1. The real question is. how do you get apathetic joe public to become an activated member of the grassroots? Joan asserts that the "offensive" and "ugly" comments left here drive neutral readers into her camp as activated supporters. That may be. If so, however, I'd expect those "activated" supporters to start making comments too and at least throwing in moral support. I don't really think that is happening because (1) there aren't many (or any) neutral, disinterested readers due to the above described dynamics and (2) because I doubt many people view the rhetoric here as over the top or incredibly ugly. We can disagree on the latter mechanism there but I think the former is pretty hard to dispute.

    Joan could throw up a poll to see where her readers are on the issue, and then she'd know just where things stood as far as the "silent majority" goes. Of course, both sides could "call in reinforcements" and spread word of the blog to get people to vote which would inflate the numbers (and maybe the ratio, depending on if one side or the other is more effective at social networking). Then again, most bloggers are happy to get a spike in traffic from social networking. Frankly, the truth that there are at most a dozen or so supportive readers is probably demotivating so I don't expect to see it happen.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  39. But DHS- I don't see how your proposals persuant to this: "to stop gun violence without banning or restricting anything." would work. My resistance is that I have not seen a suggestion from your side that would actually work to prevent easy access to guns from those who cannot be responsible with them. Truly- we can do this without affecting you very much. There may a few inconveniences but in the end, following speed limits may also be inconvenient as maybe putting on a seat belt when we get in the car, but we do it nonetheless because it is required and because we know they will prevent accidents, injury and death.

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  40. Anon- the answer is Yes to your first question. As to the rest, I have not posted quite a few comments because they didn't, in my opinion, offer anything reasonable or new to the discussion. I don't even know which comments are yours because there are more than a few anons. My disdain? I wonder what you all call what you say to me? Apparently you don't see that your accusatory and demeaning comments lead to only making me want to dig in and fight back. Some folks here at the least, are reasonable and seem to want to engage in an intelligent discussion even if we won't ever agree. And as this is my blog, and most of you have said that I, at least, publish comments and engage with my readers, I believe that I can do as I want with it. I receive more comments than I can reasonably digest or to which I can respond.

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  41. Chris from Alaska- you are very right but then, again, very wrong all at once. My supporters and friends who regularly read my blog wouldn't dare make a comment because they don't care to be attacked by you all. They have told me as much. Why risk putting yourself out there if the result will be insults and name calling as it most certainly would? Whenever anyone supports me, they are immediately put into the camp of just another naive person who only supports me because they are uninformed or stupid. And since most on your side hate the polls put out by Mayors against Illegal Guns and Frank Luntz, whose results came out favorable to my side, I don't know who else could do a poll? If you think the Brady Campaign could do a poll that you guys would believe, my name isn't japete. Oh yes, that's right, it's not. My state organization hired the University of Minnesota to do a poll in 2006- a scientific, random poll. Guess what, 82% of Minnesotans from all parts of the state and gun owners and not gun owners, wanted background checks on all gun sales. We also did focus groups and guess what? Gun owners, hunters, and non hunters and women, men, Republicans and Democrats agreed that we can and should do something about gun deaths. They agreed to safe storage and keeping guns away from kids. We did not ask about background checks. They were all quite reasonable in the groups with no arguing- just thoughtful discussion. It can be done.

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  42. I don't believe it.

    First off. We are remarkably civil when you understand you are actively campaigning to curtail our rights.

    Secondly all responses are moderated by you and with the anonymity of the 'net they have nothing to be afraid of.

    My guess is that they are just blowing smoke up yer skirts.

    Chris, I believe that when informed with the truth, the feelings that we need more gun law are pretty much none existent.

    Here in Minnesota the last few "rallys" held by Joan and Heather on the Capitol steps have drawn fewer than a half dozen people. The local "movement" is going broke and is losing it's office space because it can't afford it.

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  43. "I, at least, publish comments and engage with my readers, I believe that I can do as I want with it. I receive more comments than I can reasonably digest or to which I can respond."

    Fair enough, credit where credit is due. Like I said in one of the unposted comments, I have been puzzled by perfectly polite comments that never got posted, and shocked (yet again) by scathingly critical comments that WERE posted.

    You're right, it's your blog and you can do what you want, but I think it would be a great idea to have one post or thread or whatever you bloggers call these things where you only allow comments pertaining directly to one very specific topic. "Guns cause crime" or something like that. That way both sides stay on track. Call it a "steel cage deathmatch thread", we like that stuff. Anyone who gets snarky or types in all caps gets hit with a virtual folding chair. Debate should be civil.

    But if it's too much work, I really do understand.

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  44. "My resistance is that I have not seen a suggestion from your side that would actually work to prevent easy access to guns from those who cannot be responsible with them."

    1. Long prison sentences for violent criminals. Longer prison sentences for repeat violent criminals. End the revolving door of justice for violent criminals.

    2. Involuntary institutionalization for the criminally insane for as long as they pose a threat to other people. Better training for police, teachers, and others to distinguish between "weird" and "crazy" people as opposed to the criminal insane, and how to go about getting them the help they need or at least keeping them locked up where they can't buy, steal, borrow, or otherwise obtain guns or other dangerous implements.

    3. Public safety campaigns by private groups to emphasize the importance of properly securing firearms and firearms safety.

    4. Spend a considerable amount of resources on developing and implementing effective rehabilitation for violent criminals and the criminally insane.

    None of these cause any "inconvenience" or prison time for responsible law abiding citizens. They do address directly the causes of gun violence and gun accidents. None of them are unconstitutional. None of them infringe on anyone's rights. None of them will divide the country. All of them will do something to make a dramatic difference. All can be agreed to by the staunchest advocates of gun liberty and gun tyranny.

    Do you want to wage a war on us responsible adults who own guns? Or do you want to make a difference that is substantial and lasting? The two are mutually exclusive. You can't have peace if you are waging a war.

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  45. "Has any victim of domestic abuse been disarmed by my group? No. If they want guns, they can have them."

    I just posted a detailed description on my blog of what a typical Boston woman must go through, in time and expense, to get her handgun license. I do believe that these obstacles discourage (and yes, disarm) many women who want to have a gun. I also think discouraging gun ownership was the very goal of those who enacted these laws.

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  46. Enforce existing laws -- there is precedent in State and Federal court to push for 20 years incarceration for any violent crime involving a firearm.

    What do most prosecutors go for? 1-3 yrs with time off for good behavior.

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  47. What rallies are you talking about P? We haven't had a rally for quite some time now.

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  48. No matter what I talk about on my post, it goes off topic once the comments begin. It is more than frustrating to me. Perhaps I will have to issue a requirement that no comment will be published unless it is on topic. I wonder if that would work?

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  49. ILP- I agree with #1 except for the fact that the U.S. already has more people in prison than just about any other country in the world and the cost is great to the taxpayer.

    #2- difficult to put into place and quite controversial- would not be as easy as you seem to think it would be- keeping them locked up has been tried before and then things changed so mentally ill people are not institutionalized any more except for the most ill. You can try to change the system if you have the will.

    #3-being done to some extent by our organization and the NRA?- right?

    #4-would agree with this one- would people support it with their tax dollars? If so, go for it.

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  50. P made an interesting point. "Why won't any of these others people step up?"

    Unfortunately most people who are not interested in guns couldn't care less for the gun debate. Among gun owners there is a pretty vocal, but still minority, voice in the debate. That's why you see the gun control folks so outnumbered on the gun blogs.

    The fact is though, that most gun owners actually agree with us to one degree or another, about common sense restrictions, but they suffer form the same apathy and inertia as the non-gun-owners.

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  51. So why don't we take these things that we all agree on, and push forward with them? Let's try and figure out what needs to be done so that we can effectively implement them.

    With all these criminals, the need for a rehabilitation system, and a need to make their punishment meaningful, why don't we put them to work? Teach them a trade, and utilize their work to generate revenue to offset costs. They would be spending their time in classrooms and learning a trade, rather than becoming a more hardened criminal. When they get out, they have a better chance of getting a job and contributing to society. We can perform #1 and #4 that way, but it would need some substantial overhauling of the prison system and some serious lawmaking, it would be a long and difficult process, but ultimately far more rewarding.

    #2 is a touchy subject, but we definitely need to work on recognizing and treating mental health problems, and trying to figure out what the causes may be. If we can catch these people before they snap and get them help, then we won't be worrying about them performing mass killings with any weapon. Some people are beyond help, but not so dangerous as to need locking up. In that case, things need to be done to ensure that they have supervision, that they are in the NICS system, that weapons are kept away from them, etc. It's difficult, but we can't try to take away everything from everyone because a few people cannot be trusted, we can only do our best to accommodate those people in society.

    #3 is important but so far has been very weak. Money that could be spent on this, is instead spent on lobbying and fighting over gun control. Gun control and pro-gun groups also conflict over what should be taught, the NRA is going to have a much different program than gun control groups are going to have. Often the NRA is turned away by schools simply because it's the NRA, and somehow if the NRA wants to teach children about guns, it will be some kind of evil pro-gun indoctrination. Meanwhile, gun owners bemoan the fact that kids are indoctrinated with the idea that guns are 'bad', and we know how youths are interested in things that society sees as 'bad'. Combine this concept of guns being some taboo thing, movies and video games that may glorify gun violence, and a complete lack of education about guns, and you can see what kind of dangerous combination that will create.

    -DHS

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  52. "No matter what I talk about on my post, it goes off topic once the comments begin. It is more than frustrating to me. Perhaps I will have to issue a requirement that no comment will be published unless it is on topic. I wonder if that would work?"

    Only if it goes both ways. I have politely asked difficult questions that were on topic and were never answered. You can say that's because you don't have time to respond to comments, but if we're all talking about the same thing, that can't happen.

    But like you said, it's your blog, and the consensus is that it's a crapshoot getting a comment posted anyway. Can't hurt.

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  53. DHS- you seem like a pretty reasonable guy. I appreciate your thinking this through. You also tend to agree that these are things to be worked on but are difficult. I agree with that. If I had more time, I would turn my efforts in that direction. Right now, I just know that keeping guns from these folks, given that we don't have the other things in place nor the funding to do it right now, will reduce the possibility of a tragic shooting. As I said, a lot of other people are working on these issues as well. Our groups work with them when it is appropriate and when we have the time and funding. Thanks for the ideas and the effort you put into possible solutions.

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  54. 1. Prison makes anyone who goes into it more violent. It makes the decent folks who genuinely made a mistake not want to go back, but it takes anyone else and gives them training and connections. This is the madness of our current justice system- if a problem comes up in society, we just write another law. Cast a wide net, and you get all sorts of people going to prison, and they're locked up with the very worst offenders, who inevitably influence some of them to become more violent and less inhibited.

    Anyone with non-violent offenses should go into a program where they earn the privilege of being able to leave, where they work to learn a trade, and where they have mandatory counseling sessions.

    #2 Jerod Loughner REPEATEDLY creeped people out. There are tangible signs and behaviors that cause that response in people. There's no law against being creepy,but there needs to be training for LE, schools, and businesses to recognize warning signs, and there needs to be a place LE can take individuals who are "off" to get them screened within 24 hours and see whether they warrant detention and further evaluation.

    A fantastic book on the topic of creepiness is "The Gift of Fear". No firearms, just a good look at how violence escalates and how to recognize signs of impending violence in others.

    #3 The climbing community publishes an accident report at the end of every year ("Accidents in Mountaineering"), and describes every fatality in the sport in detail. We need something like that, only I'm sure the fear is that it would be used as propaganda. "If you own guns, you'll shoot your son in the chest with a deer rifle!" That sort of thing.

    4. See #1.

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  55. "Well, of course, anon- I am not about banning guns"

    I'm very confused by this comment, and perhaps you can help me to understand what exactly you mean by this assertation. Now, I just took a visit to the Brady website (an organization to which you proudly assert your association) and read the "Proposals For The Obama Administration" PDF file.

    On page 11 of that file, they wish to restrict what they refer to as "military style weapons." This is in reference to the expired assault weapons *ban*. I know you have stated that you aren't as familiar with weapons terminology as we in the gun crowd, because we use the technical definition of an assault weapon as a selective fire rifle that fires a medium power cartridge. I know the Brady Campaign defines an assault rifle as any semi-automatic (one bullet fired for every pull of the trigger) weapon capable of accepting a detachable magazine.

    I happen to own an AR-15, which is a semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine. I also own an SKS, which is a semi-automatic rifle easily modified to accept detachable magazines.

    I also know the Brady Campaign has lobbied for bans on .50 caliber rifles in the past, although to be fair I could find nothing on your website regarding that desire. Now, many of these .50 caliber proposals focused on the barrel diameter of the firearm. If passed as such, it would in effect ban most shotguns, since 20 gauge, 12 gauge, and 10 gauge firearms all have barrel diameters over .50 inches. This would also include the .50 caliber black powder rifles popular with hunters and collectors.

    I happen to own a 12 gauge shotgun.

    So please ma'am tell me how you can not be about banning guns, yet support an organization that supports banning guns that so many of your readers own? I admit to being a relatively new reader of your blog, so perhaps I missed an earlier post where you stated disagreement with some of the BC's wishlist.

    Have a nice day, and thank you for your response.

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  56. When people on this blog lay claim to my saying I want to ban guns they are making it appear as if I plan to ban all guns. That is not what I am saying. There may actually be some types of guns that should not be owned by private citizens because eventually they make it into the illegal market and are used by people who can't be responsible with them. To keep that from happening, some restrictions on types of guns may be required. Even Justices Scalia and Alito agreed that that could be the case in their opinions in the Heller and McDonald cases. In the last AWB, those who already had the guns could keep them. I'm sure you will be able to keep any guns you already have if this happens again but perhaps sales of new ones would be restricted.

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  57. "When people on this blog lay claim to my saying I want to ban guns they are making it appear as if I plan to ban all guns."

    I understand now. So when you say you do not want to ban guns, you mean you do not want to ban *all* guns. Isn't that kind of the "divide and conquer" strategy?

    I think you underestimate just how many of your readers own the weapons that you do not believe should be owned by "private citizens."

    Thank you for answering my question.

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  58. "ILP- I agree with #1 except for the fact that the U.S. already has more people in prison than just about any other country in the world and the cost is great to the taxpayer."

    If we got rid of those victimless crimes and prisoners then there would be plenty of resources.

    "#2- difficult to put into place and quite controversial- would not be as easy as you seem to think it would be- keeping them locked up has been tried before and then things changed so mentally ill people are not institutionalized any more except for the most ill. You can try to change the system if you have the will."

    As with prison sentences, the laws and programs and institutions are there. People don't now about them and don't know how to use them. I'm not suggesting locking up crazy people, only the crazy people who are actually threatening to other people, like Loughner and Cho. I should hope it's not controversial to lock up sick puppies like them for everyone's benefit. The mechanism is there it's just rusting away.

    "#3-being done to some extent by our organization and the NRA?- right?"

    Not enough.

    "#4-would agree with this one- would people support it with their tax dollars? If so, go for it."

    I'd favor private funding, which we could afford if we got rid of the waste and theft in DC.

    Glad to see we agree on some things.

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  59. "That is not what I am saying. "

    No, but it is what you are doing. If you are successful with your goal some guns will be banned. Even if you then stop having accomplished what you set out to do the Brady Campaign will continue and it won't stop until Americans are as unfree as the British...and even then they won't stop as the Brits still have some shotguns and air rifles and there is still ongoing to get rid of those.

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  60. Joan. Last night I posted about the rally.

    It's been a couple of years because you guys gave up trying to get anyone to show up.


    http://img105.imageshack.us/i/img2757agd9.jpg/

    This is a picture of the huge crowd at the one I went to.


    There is no popular support for your point of view I'n real depth. People don't care. They don't want it. They see all the laws that have been passed and see no result. They just don't care anymore. Even if you getpeople on a phone poll to admit to it. Getting themto cough up dollars ain't happening. But guess what. People cough up dollars every day to the NRA, GOCRA,SAF, and more.

    You can live on believing people want it, but it isn't so. The NRA isn't some evil warlock controlling peoples minds. It is the mindset of the members which it represents. Joan, you seem to believe that if it weren't for the NRA, most of us would meekly follow your "reasonable" controls. In real life. We are the ones telling the NRA to get tough and get aggressive. We lut up with years of reasonable compromise which gave us The GCA of 1968 and the BATFE, FFLs and and other screw ups. The membership got the carry movement going. NOT the NRA! The membership got Heller and McDonald onto the the SCOTUS docket, not the NRA. they have been behind the curve for years.

    The Internet has given millions of us a voice we never had. As soon as BBS and the old prodigy boards opened up there was this blossoming of realization that everyday folks who liked guns were not alone. Suddenly there were boards with hundreds of thousands of readers and members. We discovered that showing up at a state Capitol hearing was easy and it made a difference. In the past in MN a hearing on gun control might have three attendees. Well suddenly we were sending three hundred. We got the MPPA signed. Twice. Your side did the obligatory "EOTWAWKI" dance I'n front of the cameras saying shoot outs at every road side. Shootouts at work. Shootouts everywhere. And nothing happened except crime went down and permit holders didn't kill anyone.

    The carry movement has become the deathnell of gun control. We carry. Nothing happens. Soccermoms and metro folk find out that people who own guns are normal. They find out sometimes that the guy they have known for ten years or so as their IT guy or the contractor or the neighbor has a carry permit and nothing happens. Then they change their mind and realize gun control only affects the law abiding people

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  61. ...and even then they won't stop as the Brits still have some shotguns and air rifles and there is still ongoing to get rid of those.
    February 22, 2011 10:13 AM

    While this is true, Labour is out of power and it seems people are starting to come to their senses. Recently a guy stopped a home invasion with his air rifle and to my knowledge hasn't been locked up for it.

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  62. Thanks for the photo. That was not a rally- it was a press event before a legislative session. I haven't seen too many events where you guys show up en masse either, by the way. Oh yes, you use the internet so we can't see what you are doing. Guess what? We do the same. You have no idea how many people are "rallying" on line do you? You are wrong- the public is with us. This issue does not provoke the passion it does for you guys. People on our side will respond when we ask them to but they usually know that we will be out there working on their behalf. I wish we had more passionate people doing public things though, It would be great to actually see the support in person.

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  63. "They find out sometimes that the guy they have known for ten years or so as their IT guy or the contractor or the neighbor has a carry permit and nothing happens. Then they change their mind and realize gun control only affects the law abiding people"

    I played ultimate frisbee with a group in Florida, and the leader of the group was a nice lady "of liberal politics". By chance I found out she was adamantly against being anywhere near guns. So for the next three years, I never told her that every time we all went out for food after a game, every time she had everyone over to her house, and every time I gave her a ride home, she was near a gun.

    I didn't even think to rub it in her face when I left.

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  64. Joan.

    Baloney


    That was a well publicized rally held on Feb5 2007 it was released to the media as a gathering of "hundreds of supporters" who would show their support for the need for "reasonable gun control legislation to protect the children of Minnesota".

    No one but you and Heather and your families showed up.

    The picture does not lie. Therefore.......

    Facts don't lie. Your side has no support.

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  65. This is crazy. I didn't bring my family to any rally in Feb. of 2007. You are making this up. The only large rallies we have had was one in 2001 at the State Capitol. Otherwise, we have had nothing big nor advertised anything big. We have had some gatherings at the Capitol for lobby day but have had fewer there. We actually had a fairly large lobby day once- maybe that was the one. No one advertised anything with hundreds of supporters. Heather was not there with her family either. You have no idea what you are talking about.

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  66. I am not going to get into a %$##%^ing match with you guys about a photo of something you know little about.

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