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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. 12 students and 1 teacher died on April 20, 1999. Here are the names of the victims:

- Cassie Bernall, age 17. Cassie was active in church youth programs and Bible study groups. She had recently visited Britain. Her favorite movie was Mel Gibson's "Braveheart."
-- Steven Curnow, age 14. Curnow was a freshman at Columbine. He dreamed of being a Navy top gun and piloting an F-16. He is said to have watched "Star Wars" movies so often he could recite dialogue. Steven played soccer as a boy and had learned to referee to earn pocket money.
-- Corey DePooter, age 17. Corey was a good student and loved to golf, hunt and fish. He was a former wrestler. Corey had taken a maintenance job at a golf club to save up for a boat with a friend.
-- Kelly Fleming, age 16. Was an aspiring songwriter and author, Kelly wrote scores of poems and short stories based on her life experiences. She was also learning to play guitar. Kelly had recently moved from Phoenix and was eager to get her driver's license and a part-time job.
-- Matthew Kechter, age 16. As a junior, Matthew had hoped to start for the football team. He enjoyed lifting weights and maintained an 'A' average.
-- Daniel Mauser, age 15. A sophomore, Daniel excelled in math and science and had earned straight A's on his last report card. Daniel ran cross country and was on the debate team.
-- Daniel Rohrbough, age 15. Daniel helped in his father's electronics business and worked on family farms in Kansas during the summer. He enjoyed computer games, stereos and home theater systems.
-- William "Dave" Sanders, age 47. Mr. Sanders was a Columbine teacher for 24 years. He taught classes in business and science. Mr. Sanders also coached girls' basketball and softball. He was married with three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Mr. Sanders was shot twice in the chest while directing students down a hallway to safety.
-- Rachel Scott, age 17. Rachel played the lead in a student-written play, "Smoke in the Room." She was active in Celebration Christian Fellowship church and liked photography. On the day of the tragedy, Rachel's younger brother Craig, 16, played dead in the library and helped lead others to safety.
-- Isaiah Shoels, age 18. Isaiah was due to graduate in May. He suffered health problems as a child and had heart surgery twice. Isaiah wanted to attend an arts college and become a music executive. He was small in stature but lifted weights, played football and wrestled.
-- John Tomlin, age 16. John enjoyed driving off-road in his beat-up Chevy pickup. He worked after school in a gardening store and belonged to a church youth group. John went on a missionary trip to Mexico and built a house for the poor. He hoped to enlist in the Army.
-- Lauren Townsend, age 18. Lauren was the captain of girls' varsity volleyball team, which was coached by her mother. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a candidate for valedictorian. Lauren hoped to major in biology in college.
-- Kyle Velasquez, age 16. Kyle had attended Columbine only three months before the shooting. Kyle loved computers, his family and the Denver Broncos. He dreamed of joining the Navy, as his father had. Kyle was buried with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

In addition to the dead, 23 were wounded at Columbine. One of the students who organized a memorial to the victims said this: 
DeAngelis tells 11 News in part, "I can remember so vividly thinking, what is it going to feel like when a bullet penetrates your body? And I was thinking, is my body going to go numb, is it going to be cold?" All accounts of the scene of the shooting are chilling as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked through the school, shooting indiscriminately. Some students were specifically targeted. What makes this even more chilling is that some think the shooters picked April 20 as the day for their attack on the school because it is the birthday of Adolph Hilter and one day away from the April 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing 4 years earlier.

However we look at the Columbine shootings, the incident does mark the beginning of a gun control movement, the Million Mom March, that has led to activists all over the country organizing chapters to push for more common sense gun laws. Columbine has also become synonymous with school shootings and one need only say "Columbine" for someone to know what the word means. It is also towards the beginning of this long list of school shootings (1996-present) which should be required reading for everyone. The U.S. has the distinction of having more school shootings than any other country. 

There have been a number of anniversaries in March and April commemorating shootings and the victims of shootings. Until we pass some sensible gun legislation, the shootings will no doubt continue. Until we change the way we think about guns and our culture of gun violence in America, the shootings will no doubt continue. Unless common sense breaks out in our Congress and state legislatures, the shootings will no doubt continue. Unless we do something rather than nothing, the list of victims will continue to grow. To do nothing is not an option. 


  1. Unless we do something rather than nothing, the list of victims will continue to grow.


    Let's just make sure that what "we" do isn't what usually happens - for politicians to do "something" just for the sake of being seen as "doing something." Let's make sure what we do is 1) effective and 2) respects the rights of citizens.

    Your proposals have already been exposed as ineffective. And they certainly trample on the rights of citizens.

    Nope. Not an option.

    Look at it this way. We could respond to a drug crisis by repealing the 4th amendment. It would do "something." But I don't see you advocating for that.

    We could respond to hateful speech by repealing the 1st amendment (oh, wait, many on the left seek to in effect do exactly that). "Reasonable people," anyway, don't advocate for that.

    We could react to the expense of trials, or the uncertainty of juries, by eliminating the right enshrined in the 5th amendment. But I see little if any advocacy for that.

    Why do you seek to respond to this tragedy by effectively repealing the 2nd Amendment?

    Is this what you mean by "do something?"

    - GMC70

    P.S.: I see mikeb's passed on his homework assignment. I'll take that for what it is - a recognition that his "position" has no foundation whatsoever. Figures.

  2. GMC. Nope to first question. As to MikeB. I'm sure he's doing his research so the pseudo professor will fail him for his efforts.

  3. Sorry GMC, you lost me. Was there a homework assignment?

  4. Oh, japete was anxious for the response, Mike. It was from a while back.

    I asked if you had any historical/philosophical/legal basis for your claim that rights are not inherent, and thus are mere privileges "granted" by governments. In particular, is there any basis to such a belief in American gov't or history, and just what are the practical ramifications of such a position?

    You've made the claim a number of times, I'm just curious what is your basis for same. I'm more than a little skeptical that you have any basis whatsoever.

    - GMC70

  5. Correction, GMC. I could care less if Mike responds. You are the one who insisted on a response from him.

  6. I really wish the gun grabbers would stop perpetuating the Columbine myth.

    Hint: The Columbine "massacre" never happened. It's a fake.

    Everyone knows that Coumbine was and still is a gun-free zone.

    Please try and get your facts straight.

  7. Occasionally and now, more often than not, comments on this blog become so ludicrous as to strain any sense of common sense, common knowledge or the truth. Lies abound and conspiracy theories, paranoia and abject nonsense are believed by many who comment here. If it weren't so sad, it would be scary. Luckily, you are in the extreme minority. Such is the case with the above. You guys are amazing really.

  8. Mrs Peterson It was sarcasm. Columbine High School had signs at all the doors saying it was a gun free zone. The other poster was tring to make it known that signs and laws don't stop criminals.

    One more article of interest. Both shooters at columbine were on antidepressants and ADHD drugs

  9. GMC: I asked if you had any historical/philosophical/legal basis for your claim that rights are not inherent, and thus are mere privileges "granted" by governments.

    I have none.

    My claims are based on two very simple things, I don't know if you'll be familiar with them: Common sense and honesty.

    You see, YOUR claims often go contrary to common sense and can only be understood as the less-than-honest justifications of a biased and closed-minded person who fears he has something to lose. The irony is no one wants to take your guns away and you actually don't have anything to lose.

    My claims, on the other hand, are solidly grounded in logic and common sense, as I see it. That's why there's no need for me to do "homework assignments."

    Now, that's just me. If you're really interested in historical/philosophical/legal basis for claims like the ones I make, google is your friend. But, I think you're only interested in giving me "homework assignments" that you know damn well I won't do.

    I guess that's a victory, of sorts.