As you remember, I did mention those "good guys" for whom things go wrong with their loaded guns in my previous posts. I got the usual push back about it from my pro gun friends. There are numerous examples of good guys misusing guns. I get them every day. But for your reading edification, here are just a few that have graced my e-mail/Twitter/Facebook accounts. First is this one from Alabama. A man with his loaded gun was walking from his truck into the house with it. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, he tripped and fell. The gun fired and injured him. When his wife and child tried to help out by picking up the gun, the child fired the gun and injured the mother. So 2 law abiding citizens injured by bullets from a legally owned gun.
This article from Arizona points to why we need gun dealers in states bordering Mexico should be required to report sales of long guns to federal authorities. The administration has proposed that gun dealers in selected states report sales of more than 3 long guns to the same individual in a week to the ATF. Of course, the NRA and those on the pro gun side are so afraid that their own gun rights will be affected that they have so far managed to stop this effort in its' tracks. Never mind that there is clear evidence, from the linked article, that law abiding citizens are purchasing hundreds of guns ( from legal and licensed firearms dealers) to traffic to the Mexican drug cartel where they are used to murder people in high numbers daily. I remind you again that these are law abiding citizens aiding and abetting the Mexican drug cartel. They aren't law abiding any more but were before they got caught straw purchasing for those who couldn't buy these guns on their own.
And let us not forget that permit to carry folks need permits for a reason. When no permits are requried to carry loaded guns in public, then how are we to stop those who should not have access to guns from also carrying "legally" in public? Wyoming just joined 3 other states in not requiring people who choose to carry to get a permit first. In this article, the NRA is giving all the usual talking points while, of course, totally ignoring the obvious fault with their logic. I'll say it again. What is to stop all of those illegal folks from also carrying in public? Sure sometimes they do and they cause a lot of crime and loss of life by so doing. But now, how is it possible to know who is legally carrying and who is not? How are police officers to know the difference? This is a ridiculous self fulfilling prophecy and an excuse to kill.
If one(person A) sees what one presumes to be a "criminal"( person B) in the streets with a gun and then one uses one's own gun to deal with a possible criminal in a crime, is it legal to shoot? What if this person is actually not a criminal but a law abiding citizen going about their life but pulls out a gun in "self defense"? Will person A know that person B is not a criminal? Will law enforcement, faced with making a decision about who is the original shooter, know the difference between person A and person B? Will person C come along and mistake person B for person A? You may remember that this scenario actually happened at the scene of the Tucson shootings. What if Joe Zamudio had actually shot the innocent man who had already helped to subdue Loughner? Imagine that scenario for a minute. What would law enforcement then have done? Would they have thought that Zamudio was Loughner's partner? I can imagine chaos ensuing here with other folks with their concealed guns getting into the fray. The gun guys only imagine that they would save the day in these situations. Their minds don't imagine the alternate possiblities.
Who cares about all of this since this law is needed because, according to the NRA in the article: "" The intent of this legislation is to give people the greatest possible freedom to choose the best method of carry for them, based on attire, gender, and/or physical attributes."" Pardon my skepticism. So, based on what I intend to wear on a given day, I should be allowed to carry a gun in public without a permit? A criminal then might decide to wear a trench coat on the day he decides to perpetrate a crime or a serious shooting, and easily conceal many types of guns under that coat. Did I miss something here? Didn't we just have this discussion after the shootings in Tucson? Even some on the pro gun side agreed that it was not a good idea for someone like Jared Loughner to be allowed to legally carry a gun without getting a permit first as is allowed in Vermont, Alaska and Arizona. And here we have the pro gun legislators in Wyoming wanting the very same thing to be legal? And the NRA is celebrating this? Sick, I say. This sort of logic is coming to a state near you. You can celebrate having people with no background checks carrying loaded guns around in our communities or not.
And further, I just love the logic of the NRA about extending the Castle Doctrine in Wyoming so that "law abiding citizens" can shoot to kill if they imagine a threat. Wyoming has the castle doctrine in place which already allows the homeowner to protect themselves and their property by shooting an intruder, given the circumstances, and be allowed to do so under the justifiable homicide provision. In the linked article, "...the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that person. It would also provide that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force. It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them. In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors to focus on protecting victims". Say what?
This sort of logic is flawed in so many ways. First, the presumption is that someone entering your home or car is always armed so you should be able to shoot to kill. Second, perhaps that person is your own child or relative who forgot a key and is trying to get in. Third, what about criminals shooting each other? Will they get off with murder as well? Fourth, this assumes that the person who is "breaking in" is there to do you bodily harm when in most cases, that is simply not true. Most home invasions happen when people are not home. Further, in most home invasions, what the invader wants is something you have of value- like maybe your guns. They are usually not breaking in to do you harm as the first resort. But when you draw a gun, violence can escalate. It may not but there is no guarantee that it won't and there is also no guarantee that it will work as the proponents say it will. There are too many ifs here to be certain that innocent people will not be shot to death for no reason. This is a solution looking for a problem.
Here is an example. We know of someone whose home was broken into by a drunk student who mistook his house for his own. (There are student rental homes in this neigborhood because it is close to the University). The home owner heard some noise and found this student passed out, drunk, on his couch. Rather than shooting this young man, who was mistaken, our friend showed him to the door. What would our friend be doing now had he shot and killed this young man who was intending no harm? Once , many years ago, we heard someone walk up the stairs in the middle of a very cold winter night and ring our doorbell. We went downstairs and turned on porch lights just in time to see said person walk around to the back of the house. When the lights went on the person walked, (not ran) down the driveway as my husband opened the door to ask if we could help or something was wrong. We never did discover who this person was but think it could have been a confused elderly neighbor or someone who was at the wrong house. What if we had shot this person? He/she did not appear to mean any harm to us and was perhaps scared off by our turning on the lights or calling out.
Killing another human being is a terrible thing for the shooter, who often, in domestic cases or mass shootings, kill themselves. Some police officers leave their jobs after shooting and killing someone on the job because they cannot live with the thought that they have shot another human being. Just seeing the damage caused by bullets to another human being is sickening. Do the pro gun guys think about that or imagine that scenario? When looking at video of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, you can see brain tissue flying out of his head. When witnessing the scenes of mass shootings, there is often body tissue everywhere, along with the blood. I don't even want to think about the crime scene of my sister's shooting because I cannot imagine my loved one going through anything like that. The scene was described to me by the authorites. It made me sick and I cried and cried.
So here we have a law, supported by the pro gun side, that will allow "law abiding citizens" to kill another human being who may not even be intending harm, and getting away with murder, essentially. I'm sorry folks. This is bad stuff. This has nothing whatsover to do with common sense on any level. What is this all about? Why do the pro gun guys think they have a right to kill anyone without being held responsible? We want to hold criminals and adjudicated mentally ill (or others who are deemed dangerous) responsible, but not law abiding citizens? That is the logic here and it happens every day on this blog. The pro gun folks are having a problem imagining that law abiding citizens can actually shoot someone. It must be only the criminals. But along come laws that will allow these very same law abiding gun owners to shoot and kill someone and they will not be held responsible? Come on everyone. There is no logic. This is insanity on so many levels and hypocrisy as far as the eye can see.
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.