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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Sunday, February 27, 2011

My epiphany

This article from the Arizona Daily Star caught my attention. It is the 3rd article in a series at the Daily Star about guns, gun control and gun rights. The reporters have and will research gun laws and the second amendment among other things. In this particular article, they raise the idea that many on the pro gun side promote- just let all the good guys have their guns and we will all be safer. Those on the gun control side don't believe that to be true and we are roundly criticized for suggesting that even good guys shoot people. We've talked about this before here. The idea brings forth the usual comments. Guns don't kill people, people do. Of course, to the pro gun side, the people who use the guns to kill others are mostly criminals or nut jobs. They aren't ordinary people without criminal records.

The conundrum here is that those on the gun control side want to pass measures to keep guns out of the hands of the "bad guys". You know, the felons, adjudicated mentally ill, domestic abusers, drug abusers, illegal immigrants, terrorists, minors, etc. We truly believe that if we extend Brady background checks to all gun sales, we could go a ways toward stopping easy access to guns to those who can't or won't use them responsibly. This, of course, will not stop the gangs and criminals from getting guns anyway, according to the gun guys. There are so many guns already legally owned in America that it would be impossible to stop all gun transactions that happen illegally, not to mention the stolen guns that are used prevalently in crime. Guns also become illegal transactions in straw purchases. So now we have the flow of what have become illegal guns into the pool. How do we drain the pool? We have to start with the river of guns flowing in ( which I have discussed before). That is why those on the side of gun control want to pass laws to stop at least some of the guns from turning into illegal guns that are used in crime and shootings.

Jared Loughner was a "bad guy". He killed 6 people and injured 13 in the recent mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. We will be talking about it for a long long time but then what? This article written by a reporter who covered the story is insightful about the shootings and what they do to our collective consciousness. But Loughner was also considered to be a "law abiding" citizen in that his name was not flagged in the FBI's list of prohibited purchasers so that he could buy his guns legally from a federally licensed dealer. We have flaws in our system that allow people like Loughner to buy guns anyway. Either their names are not in the NICS or they can get their guns (legally) at gun shows without a background check or in some other illegal fashion. Thus are the gun laws in the U.S.

Now there are the "good guys" with their guns that are sure to never use a gun in a crime or a shooting ( or so the pro guns guys say). I have provided copious examples of  "law abiding" gun owners who have shot other people even though their guns are legal and they are not criminals. Sometimes they shoot themselves. Sometimes their children shoot themselves or others accidentally. Sometimes these are people who are having problems in their lives. Was the shooter a criminal when he/she pulled the trigger or did he/she become so only after pulling the trigger? We argue back and forth meaninglessly about whether or not homicides are committed mostly by those who know each other or by strangers. What's the difference? Loss of life is loss of life. If the shooter was law abiding before he or she shot someone, he/she is surely not once the gun is shot. But for the pro gun folks, they can't imagine a law abiding person pulling the trigger to hurt or kill another human being. In their world, that shouldn't happen. In my world, it did.

In recent days, the pro gun guys and I have gone around again about a few things. There has been the usual name calling which has not been published but just as an example, I have been called a " stupid cunt" many times and to go "f^%$" myself. So we are at a point of no return for some folks. These people don't have their comments published for obvious reasons. They are not nice people. I don't like them. But I have been giving a lot of thought to what I say and how I say it and what those who oppose me say and think about me and the groups to which I belong. They don't like me or the Brady Campaign or any group working towards common sense gun laws. And we don't much like the NRA or other pro guns groups either. We have each dug in our heels. The more vitriolic the conversation goes, the worse the remarks, the more angry the remarks, the further and further we get away from one another regarding any chances of working together. Recently I was critical about remarks made at a town hall meeting from a tea party type person who asked out loud who would shoot President Obama. There is no excuse for this coming from anyone. I blamed the conservatives ( being a liberal myself). Then I was sent some links to folks on my side using almost as bad language when President Bush was in office.

My pro gun friends are right. There is enough hyperbole and angry rhetoric coming from both sides to lay blame where it should be- with those who hurl the remarks. What gets us to this point? I believe, in some ways, it has always been such. When one side is perceived to have power and uses it in ways the other side does not like or feels threatened about, the other side becomes fearful of changes and losing control. We go back and forth. It is the ebb and flow of politics. What has changed then? For one thing, we have 24/7 cable news shows that pick up things that did not used to make it into the news. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are particularly venomous on the right. We have blogs and on-line media where things get said without filters and comments are made that are rude, angry, demeaning, threatening and worse. We have become an anonymous world- the free flow of information comes with a price. We are polarized.

This morning while sitting in church, I thought about how this could change. Actually, I started my thought process yesterday about what I am writing about here today. On the way to church, I heard a part of a conversation on National Public Radio between Krista Tippet and Vincent Harding, a Civil Rights activist. Tippet's program, Being , is taking a month to talk about the Civil Conversations Project that explores the issue of civility as it relates to religion and government. Harding spoke about the small "d" democratic nation and how we have strayed away from that original idea of the founding fathers to be a nation where differences would be accepted, debated, explored, but not hated or feared. The idea was to work together so we could be together as one country with the same goals and reasons for being. We can, as my minister said this morning, walk with the Bible ( or Quran or Torah, or whatever) in one hand and a newspaper in the other. This idea came from the theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We do need to be aware of world events as they relate to our human condition and our individual and collective beliefs.
                                                                                                                  
So back to my blog for a minute. I write something and post it. I am sincere in what I write. I don't have a hidden agenda. Sometimes I write from my heart and sometimes I am critical of current political incidents or something said from the "other side" of the issue. I have written before about the two different world views of the pro gun and pro gun control sides. Just recently I mentioned that my gun owning friends who like to shoot recreationally or hunt ( we have hunting guns and I come from a hunting family) support what I am doing. The push back from the pro gun side is that those folks must not know what I'm really up to. Of course this is not true. It's amazing that people would actually believe that. I wonder why they just can't believe that there are reasonable gun owners who believe in what I am doing and say so in poll after poll after poll? When I tell these folks what the pro gun guys think, they can only shake their heads in disbelief and wonder at the disconnect between them and the more extreme gun rights folks.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with a huge vacuum where information is sucked in and blown back out by both sides. We have our own facts and our own opinions and somewhere in the middle lies the truth. During my church service today, just as we are leaving the Christian Epiphany season, I decided that there is a better way to be, talk and write about the gun control issue. The sermon today and the readings from Isaiah 49 and Matthew 6 were about God trusting in us to do the right thing and that we should not worry about the small stuff ( like filling our closets with clothing and our cupboards with food when we have enough) but about the actual worries. We should be worried about each other and not ourselves. We should be doing for others and making sure they have what we have. Most importantly, God will not forget us as we go about our daily lives. Not to worry.

My minister used the bird image from the Matthew text today. Birds provide for themselves and their babies but don't worry about getting their food because God provides for them anyway. They must be happy because when they sing, we stop to listen ( or at least I do). It happens that I love to watch birds and have a feeder close to my kitchen window. I love their songs and their colors. When a pair of Cardinals show up at the feeder, I am in awe of their colorful feathers and their beautiful song. Birds make me happy and allow me to forget my anger, fear or worries for just a minute or two. From Matthew 6: ("Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?")

Other people have written about this better than I. Here is an article from Sojourners written by Ernesto Tinajero about getting along after the Tucson shootings. Hear his plea, written shortly after Congresswoman Giffords was shot: " Today, stop and kiss your child on her forehead; caress your wife or husband; tell your parents you love them. Today, stop and do not ask whose side will benefit, who is wrong and who is right, but remember the delicate crystal gift that is our small lives." And today, from  United Church of Christ minister Donna Schaper ( my own denomination) comes this piece. Reverend Schaper writes: "Guns, finally, cannot prevail.  Justice can.  It is utter pragmatism.  When all are fed, there will be peace.  When all have respect, there will be peace.  When we say these things and mean them, with our bodies and our souls, justice has already arrived."




The hymn at the end of my church service today was: " How Can I Keep from Singing."  My epiphany came when I thought about the ugliness of the debate over guns and gun laws. It needn't be that way. Both sides can learn from each other. When one side attacks, the other fights back. I find myself saying insulting things back to those who so viciously attack me. I am not ordinarily a snarky or insulting person. I hate it when I feel my ire raise at a comment directed at me so personally. I want us to be adults and learn from each other. We may not agree about everything but we could find a way to live in harmony without fearing that our lives will be overturned if the other side "wins". I know that some of the pro gun folks feel threatened to their core about the things I am proposing or suggesting here. And I fear that what they want is something that will cause more injuries and deaths to families and friends. They are afraid for their way of living. But perhaps by worrying less about the small things that interfere with our ability to communicate, we could try being more positive. 


I have had my way of living changed by bullets. I know many others who have. Most of the folks I know who are survivors/victims lost a loved one because of a bullet shot by the gun held in the hand of a law abiding citizen who became so angered in a dispute or felt so powerless, so depressed, so drunk and irrational, that a gun seemed to be the only way out. It happens so quickly and it can't be taken back. Words can be taken back if people have the will and integrity to take them back. Bullet wounds are permanent. The loss of life is permanent. People grieve. There is a woman in my home town who is blogging about the shooting death of her beloved sister at the hands of an estranged husband. I feel her anguish and loss with every word she writes. It has been less than a year now since a domestic dispute led to the death of her sister. We are sisters, she and I. We have felt the loss of a sister. That is why we want things to change. We are not doing this to get even with anyone or to punish other folks with guns. We just don't want this to happen to others. We, too, feel vulnerable because of what a person with a gun did to change our lives. Just as the pro gun folks seem to feel vulnerable when we tell our stories to make change happen. I have hope, as it says in the Bible readings today, that the day will come when we can have a democratic and common sense discussion leading to common ground. Lives depend on it. Can we trust each other?

85 comments:

  1. Joan-

    As usual there are some things that I slightly resent in this post, but you know what?

    I hope you have a peaceful evening.

    I'm sorry some of us let our frustration get the better of us and resort to being douchebags. Like I said, we all have "that guy".

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  2. "Now there are the "good guys" with their guns that are sure to never use a gun in a crime or a shooting ( or so the pro guns guys say). I have provided copious examples of "law abiding" gun owners who have shot other people even though their guns are legal and they are not criminals. Sometimes they shoot themselves. Sometimes their children shoot themselves or others accidentally. Sometimes these are people who are having problems in their lives. Was the shooter a criminal when he/she pulled the trigger or did he/she become so only after pulling the trigger?"

    Before the hammer falls the crime of attempted murder has already taken place. Good guys sometimes become bad guys. Sometimes bad guys seem like they are good guys. Life is complicated and sometimes it is bloody and horrible. We should appreciate the good and deal with the bad as best as we can, never forgetting that trying to keep bad things from ever happening is a surefire way to make them happen.

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  3. "This article written by a reporter who covered the story is insightful about the shootings and what they do to our collective consciousness. "

    I am not part of that "our" there. I have my own consciousness, I am only aware of the collective consciousness from a outsider's perspective. That's why we have such different views.

    I found the ending quote from that article to be insightful into the collective consciousness - I read this sort of article and your blog so that I can understand the collective:

    "Sadly, it will also always be the place where a mentally unstable 22-year-old tried to assassinate his representative, killed six Tucsonans and stripped a community of its innocence. "

    There were over fifty murders the year before in Tuscon. In 2008 there were 74 murders. How could this community have maintained it's "innocence" when every year dozens of people are murdered? The collective and what you call the collective consciousness ignore the bloody ugly reality, unless it suits a particular political end that will benefit the collective. A community isn't innocent when people are routinely shot, stabbed, strangled, raped, beaten. However, since this particular instance of value has a great deal of emotional power due to the spectacular insanity of the killer and the fame and power of his victims and the innocence of one of his victims, it is easily used by the collective to convince the members of the collective that they will be safer if they give yet more power to the collective.

    I'm not buying into that as I think for myself.

    "Extreme acts of violence affect the psychological and social fabric of a community in subtle but important ways. The place where residents have felt safe doesn't feel quite so safe anymore. Insecurity creeps in. Anxieties rise. "

    True for the members of the collective. The fear mongering and hysterical response of the media encourages people to become afraid after an incredibly rare type of violence occurs.

    "Making my way around Tucson, a flood of childhood memories came back, but now superimposed on them were images from the bloodbath. "

    That's some powerful mind control. If the person visited Tuscon before the Loughner attack would she think of the much larger number of people killed there since she last visited? Of course not.

    You Joan Peterson and the other members of the Brady Campaign would probably think of the murder victims who were killed with a gun, but would you stop to think of the poor people who were stabbed or strangled or poisoned?

    Violence isn't a new problem. It isn't a gun problem. It isn't even an American problem. It's a human problem.

    One more quote from the Washington Post piece:

    "But I never expected to see this kind of tragedy here in my safe haven. "

    You never expected to see mass murder happen in a town where murder is a weekly event? Your "safe haven" is Tuscon? In 2008 according to http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Tucson-Arizona.html there were 246 reported rapes (and of course many more weren't reported), 1451 robberies, 2490 assaults, and 318 cases of arson. That's your "safe haven"????

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  4. "There is a woman in my home town who is blogging about the shooting death of her beloved sister at the hands of an estranged husband."

    How would it have been better if her sister had been killed by a claw hammer instead of a gun? Here's a mom killed by her teen son recently, you wouldn't care because he used a claw hammer:http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-02-17/news/28628735_1_claw-hammer-rashida-anderson-confession

    What's the "common sense" thing to do? Require hammer safety locks? Background checks? How about a waiting period? But I guess we don't need to do anything about this poor woman and the other victims of hammer violence, victims like these:

    Kimblerly Long, http://www.examiner.com/news-in-san-diego/former-san-diego-fbi-agent-convicted-using-hammer-to-murder-woman

    Paddy Harkin: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/accused-in-court-over-hammer-murder-15094420.html


    Eddie Lopez (10 year old killed by his mom): http://www.dreamindemon.com/2011/02/21/cops-mother-killed-son-with-hammer-before-slitting-own-throat/

    Nabintu Kelekele Kalamba, killed by her husband: http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=123720731327573800

    Brenda Stuckey: http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/crime/man-gets-85-years-for-hammer-murder

    Theresa Adell Ardoin: http://www.12newsnow.com/global/story.asp?s=12606231

    Lindval Baptist: http://lapdblog.typepad.com/lapd_blog/2009/07/man-attacked-killed-with-hammer.html

    Carol Sadler (husband again, gotta do something to keep hammers out of the hands of angry husbands):http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-10-18/news/ct-met-hammer-slaying-20101018_1_murder-charge-prosecutors-hammer

    Wesley Collins (also killed by a cord!!! gotta ban them too, killed for drugs etc):http://www.dailyinterlake.com/article_0c894150-38b4-11e0-9b66-001cc4c002e0.html

    Amy Giordano (boyfriend did it): http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/010311-digirolamo-admits-killing-girlfriend

    Timothy Perkins (another robbery for drugs etc), another victim of hammer violence http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20110218/NEWS/102180322

    Two unnamed victims killed by their roommate, two more victims of hammer violence: http://www.wpbf.com/r/23179681/detail.html

    Chad Miller, killed by his brother because of the easy access to a hammer: http://www.lawdailyrecord.com/main.asp?SectionID=14&SubSectionID=16&ArticleID=1424

    Stephanie Zweig, boyfriend yet again: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/aug/05/court-upholds-murder-conviction-hammer-slaying/

    David Grimm (ex girlfriend and her new boyfriend, again they had a hammer with no background check), http://www.topix.com/forum/city/everett-wa/TTQ481R1IEK8EPDVL

    Mai Banh, husband using a hammer once again: http://sfappeal.com/alley/2010/06/man-accused-of-killing-wife-with-hammer-to-stand-trial-for-murder.php

    Here a man randomly attacked a family, killing the woman and seriously hurting one man: http://www.ktvb.com/home/Man-jailed-for-hammer-attack-112256694.html

    or the 21 Ukranian hammer violence victims of some real lunatics and the completely unregulated Ukranian hammers : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnepropetrovsk_maniacs

    These are the victims who don't matter to you and the ones who don't matter to the Brady Campaign, for they are not victims of gun violence, they are victims of hammer violence, and as everyone knows, it's the worst thing in the world to be shot to death quickly and it's not a big deal if you are slowly and painfully beaten to death with a hammer. It's just common sense that victims of hammer violence are second or even third rate victims and they should be forgotten so we can focus on the important gun violence victims.

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  5. Amazingly England doesn't have hammer control, even though they have common sense gun control and knife control.

    Here's the sad tale of Lisa Beverly, a hammer violence victim killed by her ex-husband: http://mydeathspace.com/article/2010/07/21/Lisa_Beverley_%2830%29_was_beaten_to_death_by_her_ex_husband_with_a_hammer_after_she_taunted_him_on_Facebook

    He left her body to be found by their five year old son. So much better than if he had shot her.

    /sarcasm

    I hope you print these last two posts of mine. Hammer violence is a terrible problem throughout the world, and unless we somehow prevent hammers from falling into the wrong hands many more people will be hammered to death. Sorry, the sarcasm sticks sometimes.

    There were quite a few other stories I didn't bother linking to. There is no shortage of them. The Ukranian hammer killers apparently videotaped some of their victims (note I didn't say the victims of the hammers). I won't watch it, maybe you should so that you can appreciate that hammer victims are victims too, and that what really matters isn't the tool that is abused to subject others to violent attack.

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  6. Sorry, no. Your beliefs and proposals still infringe upon my freedom. Until that can be reconciled nothing will change.

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  7. ILP- now don't go saying things that are just not true. You know that I care about all murders and all deaths no matter the cause. I have said as much right here on my blog. You also know that victims of hammer violence are very few compared to victims of gun violence. We've gone over this before on this blog. So maybe it would serve us all better if you could come up with a different argument.

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  8. ILP- I'm so glad you didn't link to all of those stories about hammer violence. They would be gruesome and we don't need to read about that. But you must have missed a point somewhere. If I start blogging about hammer violence, it will not get to the goal of reducing gun deaths and injuries. So I will stick to blogging about gun deaths and injuries and solutions to the problem of them occurring so much on a daily basis in our country. If you would like to start a blog about hammer violence, though, go for it. It appears to be a concern of yours.

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  9. Sorry Bodacious ( love the name, by the way)- too bad you see it that way.

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  10. "ILP- now don't go saying things that are just not true. You know that I care about all murders and all deaths no matter the cause."

    Actions speak louder than words, and even your words show a strong preference for the victims of gun violence. I haven't seen you speak out about hammer violence or hammer control.

    "You also know that victims of hammer violence are very few compared to victims of gun violence."

    That doesn't make it okay. That doesn't mean we should forget about the victims.

    "We've gone over this before on this blog. So maybe it would serve us all better if you could come up with a different argument. "

    So long as there are hammer violence victims who are thrown to the side and forgotten because they don't serve the cause of gun control I will be there to call attention to them. So long as you insist on trying to control guns rather than violent people I will periodically call your attention to the actual cause of the violence.

    It's the hand that determines whether a hammer builds a house or a coffin or a coffin's intended contents. The same applies for all tools. Guns aren't designed for killing people - guillotines and gas chambers and electric chairs are designed for that. Guns are designed to shoot bullets, for what end is not determined by the gunsmith or inventor or engineer. When they are used to execute someone it takes a firing squad, in which four powerful rifle shots are used against an unarmed restrained person. It only takes one guillotine, one noose, one gas chamber, one electric chair to kill someone. Guns it takes four to be reliable.

    No, it would serve you better if I came up with a different argument, but since this is the one that is most important, I won't be served. It is human beings that are the cause of human violence. What counter-argument do you have? None that rings as true as that. None but tired old excuses that blame the tool that was abused or that play the statistics game. None but sad attempts to differientate gun violence versus other violence as being fundamentally different when there is no fundamental difference. If anything gun violence tends to be relatively quick and painless by comparison to hammers, knives, power drills, poison, drowning, strangulation, etc, but even that is only a qualitative difference and an inconsistent one at that.

    If "control" works - why not hammer control? It's simple - it doesn't work.

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  11. And Jesus said "you shall have the poor with you always.". And sin shall exist until the return of our Lord. We can work toward spreading the Gospel, but we have beentold that eliminating sin and its extension, injustice and violence is not going to happen They will always be with us.

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  12. You know, ILP- it is really difficult to take you seriously when you write what you wrote above- most especially this- " Actions speak louder than words, and even your words show a strong preference for the victims of gun violence. I haven't seen you speak out about hammer violence or hammer control. " Please write comments that are cogent to the post. This has nothing to do with anything except your desire to mock me. This is exactly what we need to avoid here. But you can't seem to help yourself and I'm sorry for that. I'm working on being civil here. You just can't seem to be that way. This blog is going to have civil and civilized posts and comments. Keep to the topic. This comment does nobody any good.

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  13. P is saying that a perfect utopia of harmony can never be achieved, even if we take everyone's guns, swords, and plowshares away.

    Even in "civilized" nations with much lower gun ownership, people still rob and assault each other.

    " Overall robbery and assault rates in the United States are also comparable to other developed countries, such as Australia and Finland, notwithstanding the much lower levels of gun ownership in those countries.[54]"

    Zimring, Franklin E., Gordon Hawkins (1997). Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195131053.

    And ILP isn't mocking you. He's making the point that many of us have tried to make- that bad people will kill others regardless of what tools are at hand. I know that there are probably a few deaths where someone with an impulse control problem kills someone with a gun and then says they lost their temper. That's a BS excuse, in my opinion. It takes a lot of rage to get to that point, and a claw hammer or kitchen knife is just another couple fights down the road if guns aren't available.

    This is pretty much where we say "agree to disagree".

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  14. http://olegvolk.net/blog/2011/02/28/collective-punishment/

    Collective Responsibility is a Fascist concept.

    I will not be held responsible for misdeeds committed by people who look like me, or with guns like mine, nor for any actions by other people.

    I am responsible only for my own actions.

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  15. I'm thinking of the woman who is blogging about the death of her sister, and I'm thinking of you and your sister's death, and I'm thinking of my own cases.

    Isn't it interesting that so many of us who are for stricter gun controls to keep weapons out of the hands of those who would abuse them are, ourselves, victims or relatives/friends of victims? Suicides, homicides, accidents.

    Why is it that it takes a bullet to open our eyes to gun violence and what can be done about it?

    All those pro-gun folks who leave such horrible messages to us, how many of them and their loved ones are victims of gun violence? I'm guessing very, very few.

    I urge everyone to think hard and empathize a little more. Don't wait until one you love is killed or injured. There are changes that can be made now.

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  17. Anon- I'm sure that P and ILP appreciate your defending their responses. Again you are all forgetting that I am talking about gun injuries and deaths here. When MADD formed to deal with driving while drunk, they did not get into boating accidents while drunk. They stuck to their cause. I am betting no one asked that they stop advocating for sober driving of cars to start advocating for sober driving of boats.

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  18. You are an extremist jdege- thanks for the link. It provides me with all I need to know that you guys are not interested in any kind of compromising. This is over the top. I will leave it to my readers to comment on the link you provided- scary folks you are: " And, in the end, our guns merely hold gun control pushers at bay. The victory over that unethical ideology will come from the cultural rejection of collective punishment. In my lifetime, Brady creatures and their ideological allies will be viewed with the same derision as the Ku Klux Klan."

    Don't ever tell me that I am insulting you guys. When you actually believe in this kind of crap, you are the ones who are insulting, rude, boorish and worse.

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  19. P- as you asked, I did not publish your remarks but want you to know that I do not share your views of Christianity. My faith is much more hopeful and forgiving than yours from what you have said here, published or unpublished.

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  20. One of the biggest proofs of the fallacy of the pro-gun arugment is that they even think there's Biblical justification for it. By cherry-picking verses, staying mainly in the O.T., and by manipulation and double talk, they can easily overlook all that good stuff about forgiveness, turning the other cheek and loving one's enemies.

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  21. "My pro gun friends are right. There is enough hyperbole and angry rhetoric coming from both sides to lay blame where it should be- with those who hurl the remarks. "

    For the most part a very good post today.

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  22. "You are an extremist jdege- thanks for the link."

    I haven't seen any sign of extremism from his published comments. I'd appreciate a comment or post from you explaining what an "extremist" is to you.

    "It provides me with all I need to know that you guys are not interested in any kind of compromising. This is over the top. I will leave it to my readers to comment on the link you provided- scary folks you are:"

    We must scare you because we are not part of the collective. The collective fears individuals for we have the capacity to exist without it, and our existence threatens it's own existence.

    "And, in the end, our guns merely hold gun control pushers at bay. The victory over that unethical ideology will come from the cultural rejection of collective punishment. In my lifetime, Brady creatures and their ideological allies will be viewed with the same derision as the Ku Klux Klan."

    I agree. The other option that is still quite possible is that anyone who thinks as we do, in which individuals are held responsible for their individual actions, will be viewed with the same derision as Jared Loughner is.

    "Don't ever tell me that I am insulting you guys. When you actually believe in this kind of crap, you are the ones who are insulting, rude, boorish and worse. "

    I guess we are both insulting to each other due to the fundamental incompatibility of our views. I see myself as a rational moral free adult human being who can pick and choose his actions and bear responsibility for their consequences. You see me as a child of the state, a member of the collective, who must get permission for his actions and who must bear responsibility for the consequences of other people's actions.

    You insult me because I'm a free man, and the controls you want to put upon me are those that would be imposed on a childish slave. I insult you because I don't need your controls or your permission and I don't recognize your power over me.

    We can try to be civil, but it is very difficult to remain polite when someone is trying to enslave you or when your slave is trying to free himself.

    That's why I don't think we can get along. I'd love to work with you on violence, but since you are really more concerned about expanding the power of the collective and limiting the power of the individual, with violence only serving as a means towards that end, I don't think it's gonna be possible.

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  23. "Again you are all forgetting that I am talking about gun injuries and deaths here. When MADD formed to deal with driving while drunk, they did not get into boating accidents while drunk. They stuck to their cause. I am betting no one asked that they stop advocating for sober driving of cars to start advocating for sober driving of boats. "

    Interesting example, good analogy. I find it to be appropriate since MADD also supports huge government programs that don't address the cause of the problem of drunk driving while doing a great deal to restrict liberty of non-drunk drivers. http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/campaign/advanced-vehicle-technology.html

    Ah, yes, how wonderful - the cars of the future will not work if you have chewed on a breath mint or one of the many other things that cause false positives on a breath test, and they won't stop people from using some one else's breath, and they won't stop people from driving drunk under the limit, and they won't stop people from driving drunk using all of the existing cars. In other words, people will pay much more for a car that won't start when they need it to and as they sit there drunk drivers will drive right by them.

    What else does MADD support? Cops and the war on drunk driving.

    What doesn't MADD support on it's main page? Responsible drinking. They mention it elsewhere, but the overwhelming majority of their focus is on government power. What will be the most effective means of stopping drunk driving? People not drinking and driving because of peer pressure. Will more government power do that? No.

    MADD is another power tripping outfit that is more concerned about expanding government power than harm reduction. They also apparently supporting taxing alcohol far more than the already extremely high taxes. They also support mandatory alcohol testing if you get hired for a driving job (costs a lot of money for that to test people like me who drink a six pack in a year). The vast majority of what they want won't stop drunk drivers, will cause considerable expense and trouble for non-drunk drivers, and it causes the real solution to be treated as not that important.

    And for the record, MADD is against drunk boating. They probably don't emphasis it because it's hard to get an emotional response from people who don't boat.

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  24. Japete,

    The church sermon I heard yesterday also had reference to Bonhoeffer, but was part of a theme on confrontation and apology.

    A verse my wife and I have been recently looking at for inspiration is Philippians 2:3-4.

    I think that can be applied as a test for one's actions. "Am I doing this for myself, or for others?".

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  25. mikeb302000 said...

    "One of the biggest proofs of the fallacy of the pro-gun arugment is that they even think there's Biblical justification for it. By cherry-picking verses, staying mainly in the O.T., and by manipulation and double talk, they can easily overlook all that good stuff about forgiveness, turning the other cheek and loving one's enemies."

    Even if you had proved that there is no Biblical justification (which you haven't) that doesn't mean the argument is false. A fallacious defense of the statement "gravity exists" doesn't mean gravity doesn't exist.

    I would argue that there is a Biblical justification for the judicious use of violence. Jesus had no problem using a whip to clear out the temple, and at the very least used the threat of lethal violence in the Garden of Gethsemene.

    Jesus saying "he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one" doesn't grant us carte blanche with regards to violence, but instead shows that the capability to commit violence makes the act of nonviolence all the more effective. Jesus and the disciples presented themselves to the Pharisees/Sanhedrin/soldiers as a group that had arms, were willing to use them, and had their bags packed. In other words, they had options. If they had sat there unarmed and unprepared and then said "we won't fight you", those who came to make the arrest would have laughed and said "you bet your ass you won't". Instead, they were able to GIVE their surrender.

    In the case of dealing with violent aggression, only by being able to "take" can you have the capacity to "give".

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  26. Really ILP- some of the things you say are beyond reason so I won't even try- " someone is trying to enslave"

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  27. ": MADD is another power tripping outfit that is more concerned about expanding government power than harm reduction. They also apparently supporting taxing alcohol far more than the already extremely high taxes. They also support mandatory alcohol testing if you get hired for a driving job (costs a lot of money for that to test people like me who drink a six pack in a year). The vast majority of what they want won't stop drunk drivers, will cause considerable expense and trouble for non-drunk drivers, and it causes the real solution to be treated as not that important. "- more nonsense ILP.

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  28. Yes, Jesus, Gandhi, the Dali Lama- they are all known for their violence. The world recognizes these men as violent for sure- or at least your version of who they are/were.

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  29. "Yes, Jesus, Gandhi, the Dali Lama- they are all known for their violence. The world recognizes these men as violent for sure- or at least your version of who they are/were."

    You continue to equate "pro-gun" with "pro-violence".

    Stop that!

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  30. Pat- I didn't bring it up. When you guys stop, I won't have to respond to these nonsensical comparisons.

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  31. ILP- I don't understand where your point of view at all. It is totally foreign to me and I am wondering if there are others who feel this way. Some of your comments border on the bizarre- at least to me and I am betting to a lot of other people. I am not going to publish them because they contribute nothing to the dialogue and serve to distract and lead down some really strange paths.

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  32. Joan you can say all the "nonsense" you want. But you need to stop assuming that we all relish and look forward to violence simply because we choose to own firearms. Thats simply untrue.

    I don't want ANY violence in the world, visited on myself (again) or anyone else. I don't feel that will ever be true, but it doesn't mean I'm a violent person.

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  33. Overall one of the better posts I've seen from you in your attempt to rationalize your position. One quick point I'd like to make regarding your gun owning friends who think the rest of us are nutjobs. I imagine you are experiencing skepticism from so many people because it is quite frankly hard believe you've found so many gun owners who you claim are 1. aware of your agenda and 2. supportive of it.

    I know *a lot* of gun owners. I've talked politics with a lot of gun owners. And if I'm not mistaken I've met exactly one who felt that "assault weapons" should be banned. I don't doubt that there are some gun owners out there who are supportive of your goals. Perhaps they believe that their hunting rifles will never be classified as sniper rifles or whatever dangerous new term is in vogue at the moment. But for you to say that you've found so many gun owners that are supportive? I'm not saying it can't happen, but based on my experience its very very unrealistic.

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  34. And now I'd like to quote Baldr, because I believe my response has much to do with your overall post and your plea for more civility to find middle ground.

    Baldr said: "All those pro-gun folks who leave such horrible messages to us, how many of them and their loved ones are victims of gun violence? I'm guessing very, very few."

    I'm afraid that this seems like a very naive statement to me. It's as if any tragedy will immediately switch someone from pro gun to anti gun.

    Shortly after high school, one of my friends killed himself. He shot himself in the head with a pistol. He and I were both 19 at the time. I'd just recently purchased my first firearm, a shotgun.

    A few years after high school, I spent a year and a half taking classes to become an EMT. We saw plenty of photos of gunshot victims. I can still remember the first gunshot victim I saw in person. It was an old man who was dying of cancer. I knew the man; he had just retired from my fire department. He'd taught me how to run a pumper and other things. I considered him a bit of a mentor. He stuck a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. When we got on scene standard procedure is to manually check for a pulse, no matter the condition of the victim. I had to step through bits of skull and brain matter in a pool of blood and cerebrospinal fluid in order to verify that he was dead. (I apologize for the gory description, but I believe it is appropriate for the circumstance. I will not be offended if you choose not to post it)

    I have seen many deaths, and many suicides in the time I have been an EMT. I have seen people overdose on pills, I have seen people hang themselves in a barn with an extension cord, I have seen people asphyxiate themselves, and yes, I have seen people shoot themselves.

    From my experience, I can tell you that the method of choice did nothing to comfort the victims' survivors.

    But there is something very important to be learned here. Never in all my experiences have I looked at my gun cabinet and said "I gotta get rid of these." I saw no point in blaming an inanimate object for the actions of another. Whether a suicide is caused by pills for guns, they are just as said. Whether a murder is caused my a hammer or a gun, they are just as dead. The pain is just as real.

    There are those who experience or witness these tragedies and blame the gun. They lobby for more controls in hopes that it somehow may prevent somethine else. I disagree completely with their ideas. I consider myself a student of history and know that for all the bad things that *can* be done with a gun, the alternative is much worse.

    We pro gunners recognize the danger in limiting what we adamantly view as a civil right. We knowwhat happens when people cannot fight back against criminals. We have read of the oppressive genocidal regimes who have committed mass murder against unarmed populations.

    Some pro gunners have even experienced it.

    You may say that these ideas make us "extremists" or "paranoid."

    So be it.

    Sometimes it seems as if you forget that gun owners have families as well. We have children and spouses and neighbors and friends and dogs and cats. We don't want to see anything happen to them. That is why we work towards gun safety through education and familiarization. I realize this is the polar opposite to your views, but we will not compromise on our civil rights.

    For the time being, at least, we will do it on our own.

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  35. Pat- I am not calling you personally, violent. Anyone who comments here is unlikely to be violent. What I am doing here is showing that law abiding citizens do shoot others or themselves. Humans are fallible and make mistakes. I am not blaming all people with guns. What I am blaming is the culture in our country that has convinced some of you gun owners that it is ONLY criminals who shoot others and you need your guns to protect from them when what is more likely to happen is that your gun could get used by you or against you. Now that does not mean that it will, It may. I want people like you to understand that reasonable gun laws may not prevent all gun crimes and shootings but rather people who shouldn't have guns from having them. As to the law abiding folks who kill people, perhaps those shootings could have been prevented. In case of accidents, most likely. In the case of suicides- likely. In the case of homicides- maybe. Awareness that guns should be locked unloaded or that they shouldn't be around when people are experiencing problems in their lives would help. So, to use your words- "Stop it" Stop saying that I have said you are dangerous or violent. I am not saying that. If you choose to believe that to propogate your myths about me and folks on my side, then I can't help that.

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  36. Alcade- there is nothing else to say about my friends who own guns and the majority who think like them. It is what it is and if you don't believe it, I can't help that. I am writing what I know to be true. I am sorry that you can't agree to anything here or attempt to work towards common goals. That is what I am trying and you all are pushing back very hard thinking I am doing something awful or sinister or power grabbing or taking something from you. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I believe is that we can reduce some of the gun violence through laws that won't affect you all- or if there is an effect- it won't be a drastic measure as you guys think it will be. Most gun owners happen to agree with me. You guys are in the minority. I know you don't like it when I say that but when gun owners are asked, they support background checks on all gun sales and even a slight majority support banning some kinds of assault type guns and ammunition. In several polls, they even support registration and licensing. What's that all about? They know what it means. I will keep saying it because it happens to be true. For now, you all are winning the messaging battle. That may not always be the case. I have suggested before that resisting so strongly and being unwilling to compromise at all may work against you all. Public opinion may not come down on your side. I am not your enemy. I am trying to do some good here. That's why I started this blog- to reach out to you guys. But I get slapped down whenever I try. Oh well. It's really too bad and it makes me sad actually.

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  37. "Anon- I'm sure that P and ILP appreciate your defending their responses. Again you are all forgetting that I am talking about gun injuries and deaths here."

    Joan-

    You're right, the topic at hand is that good guys go bad. Once we've ruled out mental illness and religious extremism, if you can get together a statistically significant number of examples, you would have a case. But the bad news is that if you could manage to get 1% of more than 6 million concealed carriers, it would be news to everyone.

    "Concealed Carry Killers" says 288 people have been killed by permit holders. Assuming a one to one relationship between permit holder and victim (which is NOT the case as they say there have been 18 mass shootings by permit holders*) and assuming they were all mentally healthy (which is likely also not the case) that's still only 0.000048%.

    If there are even 288 people who are saved by defensive gun uses, then it's worth it.

    We both know there are WAY more. FBI's Uniform Crime Report says that in 2009 alone there were 261 justifiable homicides by private citizens. That's just criminals who were killed, excluding criminals who were injured, excluding the many more instances where just the presence of a gun stops the crime. And that's just one year.

    Now, could we do better at keeping bad guys away from guns? Absolutely. But as we've said, the "we're coming for your guns" crowd ruined that whole "compromise" thing.




    *These numbers are suspect, because they include Loughner, who did NOT have a CCW, since he didn't need one due to being 1) in Arizona and 2)a criminal psychopath.

    http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_15.html

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  38. Thanks, anon. These are interesting numbers in that they are not the millions per year that the NRA claims for self defense. This is more realistic and fits with what I have seen before. The exact opposite of what you said is actually the truth. The "coming for your guns" crowd is looking for ways to compromise while you guys are digging in your heels at every turn. Oh well. Remember now-watch for me tomorrow. I'm coming for your guns. Be very afraid!!!

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  39. @Baldr "All those pro-gun folks who leave such horrible messages to us, how many of them and their loved ones are victims of gun violence? I'm guessing very, very few."

    I'm a pro-gun folk and my grandfather was shot to death by a criminal robbing his Elks club. My great-uncle, his brother, was the town's police chief and was shot at several times in his career and died of old age.

    My experiences lead me to think it's better to be armed when other people start shooting.

    Your experiences lead you to think remvoing all guns would make the world a better place despite the fact that it would be both unconstitutional and impossible.

    @Japete - I find it VERY odd that you belong to a church that supports the right to die with dignity (as do I), but you use gun suicide numbers to justify gun control.

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  40. ""What I believe is that we can reduce some of the gun violence through laws that won't affect you all- or if there is an effect- it won't be a drastic measure as you guys think it will be. Most gun owners happen to agree with me.""

    I severely disagree. I live in MA where the laws you promote exist. the result is to even own a hunting rifle requires hundreds of dollars in license and registration fees and even a trivial misstep can and has proven to be a reason to force surrender or be deemed a criminal without even criminal charges applied. We have an Assault weapons ban, we even have an AGs list if additional banned firearms. Unfortunately what you promote still has not lowered crime but has made it inexcusably expensive to own a rifle for target or hunting or a shotgun for enjoying target clays.

    As to personal protection, it was not many years ago that the LAW was if someone is breaking down my front door I _must_ retreat out the back door. Thankfully the law changed to allow personal defense if retreat is not possible.

    No the collective wisdom is not making me safer, not at all.

    Not-me

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  41. "Remember now-watch for me tomorrow. I'm coming for your guns. Be very afraid!!!"

    So sayeth the grey-haired smiling anti-rights advocate! I prefer to think of guys like Helmke or Henigan as being my opposition, at least they're annoying and obnoxious.

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  42. johnnysquire- am I using suicide numbers to justify gun control? I am using the numbers to exemplify the fact that people should think about what can happen to a gun in the home. Awareness. Also, none of us are about removing all guns as you suggested in your comment. Of course it would be both impossible and unconstitutional.

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  43. Have you been less safe since these laws passed in MA? If so, please explain, anon.

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  44. Pat-you have me all wrong. I thought you guys were afraid of people like me. Now you are dismissing me as a gray haired old lady- smiling no less and anti rights. I can be quite annoying and obnoxious if that is what you prefer. In fact, Pat, most of the folks who comment here think of me as that. As to the rest, thanks a lot. More insults- always suits you well. I won't comment on your appearance if I ever meet you. Or maybe I will. Maybe I will be obnoxious and write a blog post about your appearance. It's always a good idea to insult people anonymously, It makes for a good dialogue, don't you think?

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  45. Oh for heaven's sake - I meant you exemplify and personify kindliness and wisdom. Its much easier to frame an argument to the public when your opponent's personality in the media is annoying and shrill. This is probably why BC is putting Colin out there so much -- he's much better for the ladies to look at than Helmke!

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  46. Pat- sometimes you are so insensitive and annoying and then you apologize. How about not saying the first thing that comes into your head in the first place? Colin is very effective. But then, so is Paul. He is in the media a lot and is engaging and doing a great job. You wouldn't like anyone on my side who is in the public eye. Stop your personal attacks.

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  47. Joan –

    Your right the language and rhetoric gets heated when people have passionate views about this issue.

    Your side likes to point to the fiery speeches of Wayne, while the Brady Campaign sends out mail against state reps with small children with crosshairs over little kids. You don’t get to have it both ways.

    I will agree to tone it down. But I will continue to debate with passion.

    If you want to know why we don’t believe you or your side about your end objectives is because you’ve shown you can’t be trusted. Take my state of Illinois.

    There never was a gun show loophole. In order to own or possess a gun, you have to have a Firearm Owners ID card. Which we call FOID. In order to get one, you have to go through a background check.

    In order to legally transfer a gun from one Illinois resident to another, they must both have their FOIDS. So they already have had a background check. Brady Camp come here and say gun show loophole, no background checks. Not true. An outright lie. They only wanted additional background checks on private sales at gun shows.

    Now they have been back every year after, wanting to stop all private sales. In order to transfer or make a private sale, it’s not enough to have a FOID card, you must go to a dealer and transfer the firearm through the dealer. So they take it in, do a 4473, charge a fee (TAX) and I end up in the state database for the purchase.

    It’s just experience that teaches us your side can’t be trusted to stop. WE have a “license” to own in Illinois, that isn’t enough. We have waiting periods on private & retail sales and that isn’t enough.

    The ’94 gun ban wasn’t enough and now your people want a bigger gun ban. The ban on new mags over 10 rounds wasn’t enough, now you want them all banned – no transfers no mags.
    You only want to go after so called semi-auto “assault rifles” but now campaign to ban bolt action rifles.

    I have no doubt that some of your gun owning friends think hey I got nothing to hide go ahead and do XX. I don’t use a AR15 ban them. I see some of those types all the time.

    But we will prevail and you will fail. Here in Illinois we are on the verge of passing Right to Carry. The Chicago gun ban agenda has little to no chance of passing. WE have a built in network. We talk about the guns we buy, the hunting trips we take, the gun shows we go to, the magazines we read and the new stuff on the market or the match we just shot. What do you do? Sit around and complain about us.
    We have new shooters, believe it not. Gun sales are up. In Illinois FOID cards are at an all time record high and for the second straight year we set a new record for background checks on purchases.

    We love the Constitution, life and liberty. And are willing to defend it. After all most of us spend $1000s each year shooting, hunting and enjoying our hobby while exercising our right. Your side is born of liberals who don’t trust their fellow man and victims. I’ve seen that anger burn out many on your side. I’ve seen them turn into empty shells as they can’t cope with their grief and turn it in to hate of guns and those who like them.

    That’s the way it is. And so long as you advocate for banning guns (my AR15s and other semi-autos) and restricting my rights, I will meet you in the arena to defeat those ideas. On the web, on a blog at the legislature. And in the end, we will win.

    Dozer

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  48. Joan,

    Thanks for a good post. I wish that we could be as rational as you pine for. Indeed, if we sat down over pizza and beers we might be able to be civil.

    Unfortunately, this dispute has moved into the realm of politics. In politics, each side has to stake out an extreme position in hopes of affecting where the bargaining ends up in the middle. It has also been turned into a zero-sum game, where if you gain something, then it is at our expense.

    I have done some thinking myself and these are the two things that really bother me about gun control efforts:
    1) When implemented, they are indiscriminate in that the peaceable gun owner is at high risk. Look at New Jersey, where the gun owner "deals with firearms at his peril." It is basically the "let's declare everyone guilty then rely on police and prosecutorial discretion" to sort 'em out. HR 308 is a great example of this, making simple possession of common magazines a 10 year federal felony. Being charged with a serious federal felony would directly impact my quality of life. These sorts of laws put reasonable, rational, educated people on the defensive--and justifiably so! Until such draconian schemes and penalties which directly impact my liberty and property are off the table, then I am not amenable to compromise one inch unless it is necessary to avoid giving up a yard.
    2) I get very frustrated when I feel that you do not acknowledge that your policies have costs associated with them. I would personally appreciate it if you tried to look at the costs of your proposals then weigh them against the benefits. Some of the costs are obvious: if you don't let women carry effective defensive firearms, some of them may get raped or assaulted. You may ultimately decide that more lives are likely to be saved by banning guns, but at least you aren't pretending that the disarmed victims don't exist. Other costs are more indirect: if my local police department has to devote half a dozen officers to running paperwork on a gun registration scheme, that's half a dozen detectives that aren't investigating real crime.

    Anyways, I could tell that you were writing from the heart on the above post. Some food for thought on both sides of the issue, maybe. I know that I would certainly appreciate it if you showed empathy for the peaceable gun owner's position and advocated some refinement of laws to avoid targeting us with draconian penalties, and if you acknowledged that your policies often have costs as well as possible benefits.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  49. I don't think what Pat said was meant as a personal attack, though his meaning may have been a bit difficult to follow.

    As far as Helmke representing Brady, I think he is very engaging and works well with people who already believe in what he says. However when I read something he writes, I see fear mongering and accusatory nonsense. It's like comparing how NRA members might rally around what LaPierre says, but you might find what he says to be preposterous.

    Regarding Anonymous in MA, is there any way in which those silly laws should make him feel safe? I know how they could make you feel unsafe, and violated. Why should he have to spends hundreds on permits and special permission for a target shooting or hunting rifle? What about people with low incomes who may need to defend themselves? Nobody is standing guard outside their door to protect them from violent criminals, and these laws may make it prohibitively expensive for them to be able to purchase a firearm to try and defend themselves. It keeps other lower income folks from being able to enjoy shooting sports as a hobby or hunt to put meat in the freezer, when they otherwise could. And what of the laws that can make a law abiding person a criminal when they do nothing actually bad? What if the AG decides something they possess is now illegal, they must know about it immediately and do everything just right to avoid getting in trouble. Do they receive compensation for it's value? What if they buy a rifle that appears to be in compliance with the law, but then are arrested and told that it is not, even though to their knowledge, it was legal? That exact thing happened on Long Island, because removing a pin that's not supposed to be removed could allow a buttstock to slide back and forth. With one buttstock on my semi-auto rifle it's a sporting rifle, but if I put on a sliding buttstock to adjust the length, it would become a dangerous 'assault weapon' and owning it is a felony.

    This stuff is crazy, it won't help save anybody's life, all it will do is divert money away from real crime prevention measures. I understand what you say about keeping guns out of the wrong hands, and how some previously law abiding people, use guns to harm others. Previously law abiding people use things other than guns to harm people too, and to very good effect. I don't think we can blame the availability of the guns, because other potential weapons are just as lethal. We can't blame the availability of any potential weapons, because it is people doing the killing.

    I think many more lives can be saved by addressing this from a social perspective, which can be done with the support of gun owners, rather than their opposition. Makes much more sense to me, choose the path with a fight, or choose the path with an ally?

    I also want to ask a hypothetical question: Say that these gun control measure are enacted and they somehow work incredibly well and nearly eliminate gun violence. Will you consider your work done, or will you begin addressing 'hammer violence' or whatever? My desire is to address all violence as a whole, rather than to only selectively focus on one of the more common tools of deadly violence.

    Oh, and I'm still waiting on an answer for what defines a sniper rifle. I'm not trying to be harassing or go off topic or anything, it's just that you said "it's either a sniper rifle or it isn't", but didn't explain how a rifle is either a sniper rifle or not a sniper rifle, after I asked more than once with no answer. If you have no such definition then please say so, if you do I'd like to hear it. Why do you think many gun rights advocates always say "they'll come for your hunting rifles once they define them as sniper rifles"? I don't want to divert the discussion, but I really want to know the answer, thanks.

    -DHS

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  50. Dear Dozer- " Your side is born of liberals who don’t trust their fellow man and victims. I’ve seen that anger burn out many on your side. I’ve seen them turn into empty shells as they can’t cope with their grief and turn it in to hate of guns and those who like them. " Anyone who says this doesn't know their opponents very well at all.

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  51. Thanks, Chris from Alaska- though the other Chris is also from Alaska. Are you two the same people, by the way? Sometimes I wonder who is commenting here and think that people have alter egos posting as unreasonable one time and reasonable another. Anyway, I digress. I don't know if empathy would be the word I would use for how I view your posiitons. I understand what you are saying and am getting a real feel for the reasons you all are so opposed to me and those who agree with me. We are a pretty nice and actually fun group of people who have chosen a different path from yours. We understand that most of you are peaceable gun owners but also understand that some are not. That is our problem. You perceive that you are paying a great price for any kind of gun law passed or proposed. We know how many people pay and even larger and much more inconvenient price due to people with guns shooting other people. That is where we are. If the price for having you all be able to practice what you see are your constitutional rights while people are being shot to death every day, then whose side has paid a higher price? If there are some inconveniences for your hobby and your self protection in order to save someone else's life, is that too high? You will not be jailed for possession of magazines over 10 rounds in HR 308 if you don't try to transfer them to someone else. During the Assault Weapons Ban, was your inconvenience so awful? Somehow you made it. Yes, you may not have liked it. But I suggest to you that the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in Tucson don't much like the price they have paid for the 31 bullets that were shot off in about 16 seconds time by Jared Loughner. I know you will say he could have reloaded a 10 round mag. Certainly - but if the same scenario occurred, he could have been stopped after 10 rounds fired rather than 31 and lives could have been saved. How do I know this? I don't for sure. Just as you don't know for sure that your gun will be used to save you in self defense- just as you don't know for sure that a gun would necessarily stop a rape. We are dealing in maybes in some cases. But the for certains are that too many people are shot to death every day. The for certains are ( from my own perspective) is that your guns will not be confiscated from you by any on my side. Your rights will not be taken away. You claim some maybes about things that could happen. I may do the same. Where do we deal with some certainties and decide that something can be done without all the anger and hyperbole? I truly do not know. I am not necessarily finding it on this blog except for occasional people like you who actually acknowledge that I have a legitimate point of view without putting me down for it. Even that is progress. And I have and do admit to your legitimate point of view about some things as well. Some things give me pause. But I am not attacking all of you when I blog about some. I am only pointing out that some of you are doing pretty bad things with guns. How do we deal with that? We can't do nothing. That is not an option, in my opinion.

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  52. DHS- please see :http://world.guns.ru/sniper-e.html. These are what I consider to be sniper rifles when I talk about them. I would likely not move on to "hammer violence" . Will you? Are you into supporting rights to own hammers? Will you start a National Hammer Association to protect the right to use hammers for self defense? I cannot comment on everything else you said given time constraints and too many questions. Of course, we are not proposing that you and your friends go to jail or become instant criminals. I just cannot get the fear for that here since the law is not designed with that in mind at all. If you follow the law and don't transfer the ammunition magazines in question, you will not go to jail. Your inconveniences, I guess, can be stacked up against those of the victims and survivors affected by shootings. I suggest to you that yours are not as bad as mine. That is my point in doing what I am doing. More lives are lost to people shooting other people than most other causes of death in this country. It is a serious problem. I am working on this from a point of view of changing the landscape to reduce deaths. You are working on it from the perspective of thinking that my work will affect you and inconvenience you somehow.

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  53. "You will not be jailed for possession of magazines over 10 rounds in HR 308 if you don't try to transfer them to someone else. "

    You say that, but you use the legal term "transfer", which you don't seem to understand and most certainly many others won't understand.

    It should read like this:

    "You will not be jailed for possession of magazines over 10 rounds in HR 308 if you don't try to lend them to someone else, borrow your friends or brother's rifle or pistol, or pick up such a magazine. "

    Even more accurately, but not very good from your marketing perspective:

    "Let your friend/wife/brother hold your AR/Glock/.22 and you both go to prison. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time".

    This ban is radically different from the AWB. It really should be emphasized that you are advocating imprisoning people for holding, loaning, borrowing, trading, selling, and buying magazines, even if it's only for a moment. It should also be made clear that if the owner isn't present, such as the husband goes to work and leaves his Glock at home, then the wife will be in possession of the magazines and she will be facing prison time if caught.

    "Certainly - but if the same scenario occurred, he could have been stopped after 10 rounds fired rather than 31 and lives could have been saved. How do I know this? I don't for sure. "

    You are willing to put thousands if not millions of people into prison because of a "could have" and "maybe" and "possibly". This is an abuse of power. In a society ruled by law people aren't carted off to prison for something that could have happened or something that might have been prevented in another state in another year.

    "Your rights will not be taken away."

    Except our rights of property and liberty. Just because you are willing to lie to yourself and us doesn't mean you aren't trying to take away our rights.

    "Just as you don't know for sure that your gun will be used to save you in self defense- just as you don't know for sure that a gun would necessarily stop a rape."

    Note that we aren't advocating locking up men with large reproductive organs or those people who use them because such organs might be used in a rape at some point. Note that we aren't advocating using guns against such people. Note that we aren't actually doing anything to anyone unless we have proof that they are an immediate threat to others. See the difference? I didn't think so.

    "You claim some maybes about things that could happen. I may do the same. "

    Yes, but again, we give ourselves options to deal with the possibilities. You want to convict huge numbers of people and put them into a cage with murderers and rapists because of those same possibilities. It's like prohibiting matches and sentencing those caught with them to prison with arsonists. What kind of reasoning is that?

    "We can't do nothing. That is not an option, in my opinion. "

    You don't have to do something evil and awful. You don't have to attack us and try to deny us our rights. You don't have to wage war upon the peaceful firearms owners. You don't have to lie.

    You still haven't addressed how you are going to pay for this magazine ban, how it is going to be paid for, how is it going to be enforced. I'd really like to hear you explain how you are going to lock up a million people in Arizona. I'm sure you won't though.

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  54. "DHS- please see :http://world.guns.ru/sniper-e.html. These are what I consider to be sniper rifles when I talk about them."

    Uh huh, and like we've been telling you, the only differennce between those and your husband's hunting rifle is the color and the stock. If you pass legislation banning "sniper rifles" here's what will happen-

    1) Sales of tactical type stocks, bibods, and all the various hunting rifles that can be converted to look scary will skyrocket.

    2) You'll be left with legislation that has zero impact on crime

    and either

    3) You will have a de facto ban on hunting rifles and your friends and husband will be PISSED

    or

    4) The legislation will amount to "Scary Gun Law II", where the manufacturers change enough cosmetic differences to keep their guns legal.

    How do I know? By the utter failure of the AWB.

    In March 2004, Kristen Rand, the legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, criticized the soon-to-expire ban by stating "The 1994 law in theory banned AK-47s, MAC-10s, UZIs, AR-15s and other assault weapons. Yet the gun industry easily found ways around the law and most of these weapons are now sold in post-ban models virtually identical to the guns Congress sought to ban in 1994."[7]

    Again, there is ZERO functional difference between "sniper rifles" and "hunting rifles".

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  55. " DHS- please see :http://world.guns.ru/sniper-e.html. These are what I consider to be sniper rifles when I talk about them. "

    So you consider old bolt action rifles with a scope to be sniper rifles? Many of those are used to hunt deer and other game in this country. So you do favor banning many hunting rifles, right?

    From your own source:

    "Russian/Soviet Mosin M1991/30, US M1903A4, British SMLE No.4(t), German G98k etc.) fitted with some kind of telescopic sight. Some of general issued semi-auto rifles also were used in sniper role, such as Soviet SVT-40 and US M1 Garand."

    Oh, I see. So you want to ban millions of the most common rifles in this country. But you don't want to ban anyone's guns. Which is it? When are you telling the truth, when you say you want to ban these guns or when you say you don't want to ban these guns?

    "Of course, we are not proposing that you and your friends go to jail or become instant criminals. I just cannot get the fear for that here since the law is not designed with that in mind at all. If you follow the law and don't transfer the ammunition magazines in question, you will not go to jail."

    The law is designed to do that. Anyone who is caught with a magazine they legally owned can be arrested, tried, and convicted unless they somehow have proof they already owned it. No crime is necessary to be convicted of a crime (aside from the fact that magazines aren't a crime).

    "Your inconveniences, I guess, can be stacked up against those of the victims and survivors affected by shootings. "

    Ah, so our collective punishment must be justified by the consequences of other people's criminal actions. I'm guessing you drive...how about we imprison you for someone else's drunk driving next time you speed? It's nothing more than an inconvenience. You will just lose your liberty, probably your house, your savings, your health, and maybe your life. No big deal. It's just an inconvenience. It's nothing compared to those who are killed by drunk drivers.

    "I am working on this from a point of view of changing the landscape to reduce deaths."

    When working for an evil cause people who aren't inherently evil have to lie to themselves and make it seem like they are working for a heroic cause.

    "You are working on it from the perspective of thinking that my work will affect you and inconvenience you somehow. "

    Yes, since you want to wage war on us we are more than a little concerned that your war will negatively affect us.

    Why can't you state your positions truthfully, i.e. "We need a strict police state to control everyone's behavior and to impose harsh draconian punishments for the slightest violation of our arbitrary policies"???? I know why - it won't sell well, it won't sell at all. Heck, you are a leading advocate of a strict police state and even you can't buy your own poison unless you sugar coat it and pretend it's something else.

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  56. "These are what I consider to be sniper rifles when I talk about them."

    And how do your "sniper rifles" differ from ordinary scoped deer rifles? What objective technical criteria would you use to distinguish between them?

    From the page you cite:

    "Many USA made LE sniper rifles are built on the hunting "varmint" rifles. Varmint rifles are small or medium caliber hunting rifles, designed to kill small pests, such as squirrels, rabbits etc., at extended distances. Some LE sniper rifles, such as Remington 700 Police, are simply Remington 700VS varmint hunting rifle barreled actions, bedded into sniper-style stocks."

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  57. " I would likely not move on to "hammer violence" ."
    This is exactly the point. You're more focused on scary things then actual problems, as evidenced by your sniper rifle comment.

    " Will you?"
    We do, by ensuring that even the most frail law abiding citizens have access to weapons to defend against criminals.

    "Are you into supporting rights to own hammers?"
    Of course.

    "Will you start a National Hammer Association to protect the right to use hammers for self defense?"
    If the likes of Feinstein and Reno have their way, and guns are followed by knives, crossbows, and trebuchets, and hammers are all we have left...
    Then yes.

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  58. Maybe you all want to get around things by turning ordinary guns into sniper rifles. I just plain don't know too many folks who will do that or even care to do it. Now perhaps the criminals will think of such things. Then you all will say that because the criminals might think of doing it then you yourselves must also think of doing these things to protect yourselves from the criminals who might. If we make other gun laws more restrictive towards criminals getting guns in the first place, we could reduce some of this activity.

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  59. ILP and others- there is absolutely no sense in getting into another (*^^%$ing match about what I do or don't think is a sniper rifle- off topic and not relevant. You are making ridiculous allegations again about what I am doing. They just aren't even based in reality.

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  60. What difference does it make to the ordinary human being jdege? It only matters to a few of you extremist folks in the pro gun tent.

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  61. You know, anon- sometimes comments are published here because they are so ridiculous that they need to be read and examined by the reasonable people who read this blog.

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  62. "It only matters to a few of you extremist folks in the pro gun tent. "

    What is an "extremist" to you? Based on your use of the word it seems an honest person would use the word "principled" when you use "extremist".

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  63. "What difference does it make to the ordinary human being jdege?"

    The tens of millions who own guns that are functionally indistinguishable from the guns you are trying to ban _are_ ordinary human beings.

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  64. Japete: "DHS- please see :http://world.guns.ru/sniper-e.html. These are what I consider to be sniper rifles when I talk about them."

    Here is an excerpt from this link:

    But wast majority of sniper rifles, especially - police ones, were designed on existing commercially available hunting or sporting rifles. The best examples - the US military sniper rifles M24 and M40, along with many custom police rifles, were (and still are) built on Remington 700 actions, available for general public in many hunting and target rifles. Famous SIG-Sauer sniper ifles also buil on their (SIG or Sauer) hunting rifles. Some sniper rifles, mostly also police ones, designed on target/sporting rifles. To name few: Blaser R93 Tactical (Germany), Sv-98 and MC-116 (Russia).

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  65. Joan-

    Hunters out west routinely make three or four hundred yard shots. The mark of a decent hunting rifle is accuracy of 1 minute of angle. That translates into one inch at one hundred yards. That means that the rifle inherently has the accuracy to hit a six inch target at 600 yards.

    These are just standard rifles that can be purchased at any sporting goods store. Sniper rifles may cut that accuracy down to 1/2 MOA, but at the distance where you need that extra 1/2" per hundred yards, you're talking about shooting at 1000 yards where wind changes direction three or four times, and a great deal of skill is needed to make the shot anyway.

    For all practical purposes, there is no difference. Legally, there is no difference at all. "Sniper rifles" are not a problem.

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  66. What is the point of arguing about the definition of a sniper rifle? Please let me know. I'm done with it but you guys are persistent, I'll give you that. Stop asking me. This is a pointless distraction.

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  67. "That's why I started this blog- to reach out to you guys. But I get slapped down whenever I try."

    But correct me if I'm wrong, but you want dialogue? Now, considering how much your words are quoted and replied to, we listen to what you say. Obviously we must consider it in order to formulate a rebuttal.

    The thing is, thought, it doesn't seem like you want to listen to us. You have called us pro gun extremists several times now in your comments. Why have dialogue with you if you will only call us names? Do you feel that those who disagree with you are extremists, those who side with you sometimes are moderates, and those who agree completely have "common sense?"

    You know, I realize that some of the things we use as evidence for the value of the 2A can be disquieting to someone whose views are antithetical to firearms liberty. But you must understand that the evidence as to the true nature of the 2A as envisioned by the founding fathers is so vast as to almost be irrefutable.

    Yes, I know it is scary to think about the halocaust in Germany and fighting one's own government, but it *has* happened, it *is* happening now in some places around the world (Darfur, Libya), and it *will* happen again.

    You may call us extremists for believing that resistance to tyranny is a legitimate use of force, but those are the facts and we aren't about to change our positions.

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  68. Alcade- I do find those views extremist. I don't know if you all realize that you are in the minority when it comes to this. When I mention to the people with whom I hang out or in board meetings or other groups where I find myself, they find your views to be unbelievable. The majority would not find this view of the second amendment to be valid even though you claim that is why we have it. I don't think it is nor do most folks. Most folks go along with the idea of a right for guns for self defense and even the collective view of a well regulated militia, meaning to most to be something like the National Guard. The majority of reasonable people just plain do not envision a violent uprising against the government nor the need for their guns for such. About 40% or so of homes have guns. Of these, many are hunters and are not interested in your view of the gun world. So to try to claim to be a majority is just wrong. Many of you have many guns which accounts for the number of guns in our country. Many hunters own a small variety of guns- strictly for hunting. They lock them away when hunting season is over and don't use them again until the next season rolls around. Seriously, you guys do represent a small but vocal and extreme minority of people who have the NRA working for you with all of its' money and influence. I know you won't change your positions. And you certainly will not convince me or most people in this country that that is a legitimate reason to own guns.

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  69. Joan. Yes there are lots of hunters and gun owners who do not pay attention to this to the extent we do. But if they are educated to the threats against regular joes these types of legislation can harm they rapidly become very vocal as well.

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  70. Actually, P, I have found the opposite to be true. As soon as I tell my gun owning friends what you guys are up to or are saying, they are more resolved than ever to be on my side.

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  71. All -- it isn't fair to pile on Joan's husband. Based on what Joan has said, her family almost certainly owns shotguns. We do a lot of skeet shooting and upland bird hunting ourselves and its a great hobby.

    Moreover, Joan's husband has not weighed in on the debate. His privacy should be respected. His identity is separate from his wife's.

    It is fair, however, to question Joan on what sort of weapons she allows in her home to see if it is inconsistent with the laws she's proposed elsewhere. Her side has pushed the idea that having guns in the home triples the risk of homicide. It is fair to ask how she's evaluated that risk (or if she doesn't believe the research applies to her). It would also be fair to highlight her inconsistency if she actually does allow centerfire rifles in her house.

    But, Mr. Peterson should be left out of it until and unless he chooses to enter the fray.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  72. "Alcade- I do find those views extremist. I don't know if you all realize that you are in the minority when it comes to this. When I mention to the people with whom I hang out or in board meetings or other groups where I find myself, they find your views to be unbelievable. The majority would not find this view of the second amendment to be valid even though you claim that is why we have it."


    "Appeal to Popularity"
    Appeals to popularity suggest that an idea must be true simply because it is widely held. This is a fallacy because popular opinion can be, and quite often is, mistaken.


    "The majority" of Americans care for little beyond what is in their immediate self interest. Most Americans know WAY more about sports and American Idol than they know about history, geography, and the US Constitution. Americans in general are a sheltered, naive lot (that's not at you, Joan) and they are in NO WAY an accurate measure of a belief's legitimacy.

    I'm not saying anyone who doesn't agree with us is stupid and uninformed, but anyone who says the founding fathers didn't want the people to be able to overthrow the government hasn't read the Federalist papers.

    I'm thinking by "Extremist" you mean "scary". That's an important distinction.

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  73. <>

    As a woman likely older than you..

    No differnce. Mostly due to knowing the police are for insurance recovery and nothing else. I live in the good town and the nice part of it.
    Doesn't make a difference, the bad guys look for that as the pickings
    are better. Home invasions are the thing the last few years.

    The gun laws have had no useful effect. If anything the police are burdened with more work and the response time over the years has never been less than 8 minutes and is getting longer. I've had emergences to test that, including the house robbed. The only thing the police did was to take a report so I could file for insurance, where they investigated I had to clean up after them and the burglar. The last time they were more interested in if I had guns than if everything was ok or secured!

    I do not frequent gun free zones, Less safe! More people wandering around unaware and inattentive.

    No if anything I'm more aware that there is no one available when I'll need them. I depend on locks, bright lights and awareness. I'm considering rifles for sport but I have to have a good lockup as they are not cheap and I'm not having them or more gold taken away. If I have to arm for defense then between the sick laws and the very idea i'd need to it's time to move somewhere that doesn't regulate life or my safety.

    In the mean time I lobby for punishing criminals that were committing more crime while waiting for trial or worse out on parole. After all laws never stop criminals only provide the means, if there is a will, to punish them.


    not-at-all

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  74. "But, Mr. Peterson should be left out of it until and unless he chooses to enter the fray."

    I mentioned him because I was under the impression he had a hunting rifle. If I was wrong I apologize.

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  75. http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/news/local/chibrknews-atty-general-illinois-should-release-foid-card-list-20110301,0,704858.story

    SPRINGFIELD -- The names of people authorized to own guns in Illinois is public information that the state must disclose, according to a ruling from the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    The Illinois State Police determines who gets Firearm Owners Identification cards but has always kept the information confidential.

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  76. He has several hunting guns.

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  77. "The majority would not find this view of the second amendment to be valid even though you claim that is why we have it. I don't think it is nor do most folks"

    Perhaps they should have read their history a little better, eh? I'm wondering what they would think if the question were worded differently? Perhaps you ask them "Do American's have the right to use the second amendment to overthrow their government?"

    And of course the answer is "NO!"

    Of course not. We can vote people out of office. We can overturn laws we don't like. Why shoot up the place?

    I agree completely.

    Now lets ask a different question.

    "When the Gestapo came to arrest Jewish families and send them to concentration camps, did the Jews have a right to resist with deadly force?"

    I'm guessing the answer would be "Hell yes!"

    Let's take the Warsaw ghetto uprising, where the Jews finally fought back against the Nazis when they were being rounded up for the extermination camps.

    My question, ma'am, is did the Jews have the right to fight back against their government when it sent its SS troops in to take them to the concentration camps?

    What would your friends say?

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  78. The Jews had a right to fight back. It didn't do them much good given the overpowering force of the Nazis. Comparing our country to Nazi Germany just doesn't work, however. I know you guys fear that the same could happen here. I don't think so and doubt that it could. Times and circumstances are much much different.

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  79. "The Jews had a right to fight back. It didn't do them much good given the overpowering force of the Nazis"

    That's because of the gun registration and confiscation. Doesn't mean they shouldn't try though, just like the Libyans.

    "Comparing our country to Nazi Germany just doesn't work, however."

    Why are we somehow better than Germans? Less impulsive? Less violent? Less selfiish? Better educated, more noble? That seems a little arrogant.

    "I know you guys fear that the same could happen here. I don't think so and doubt that it could. Times and circumstances are much much different."

    They sure are. We have guns.
    LOTS of guns. And we don't register them.

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  80. Dear readers- the subject of this blog had nothing to do with Nazi Germany or Hitler. I will not be publishing comments on that theme. They are spurious at best and often ridiculous claims that cannot be proven. Don't respond. Whenever Nazi Germany gets dragged into the comment section, we are going on a bird walk that has nothing to do with what I am blogging about no matter what you guys seem to think. Dragging the Nazis in may work for you but not for me or most people.

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  81. Joan, you're experiencing Godwin's Law. Ignore it and move on. Another way to look at Godwin's Law is that the conversation is over as soon as Hitler enters it. If you don't want the conversation to be over, then ignore those comments (i.e. don't publish) and keep moving on. The pro-freedom side is strong enough that it doesn't need to resort to such analogies. I'm sure Alan Gura doesn't need to use Hitler analogies.

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  82. I hope other readers will heed this advice.

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  83. "We have our own facts and our own opinions and somewhere in the middle lies the truth."

    I missed that the first time I read this post. Bravo.

    "The sermon today and the readings from Isaiah 49 and Matthew 6 were about God trusting in us to do the right thing..."

    As we should endeavor to trust and encourage each other to do the right thing. But that requires an environment where bad decisions can be made.

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