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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Thursday, April 7, 2011

From both sides of the gun lobby's mouth...

I posted a few days ago about not being fooled by the NRA. We have been led to believe that guns are flying off the shelves at a rapid rate and that the gun manufacturers and dealers are doing well. Guns are a big business. The problem is, once you have your gun or guns, for most people anyway, you don't need to replace what you have because guns last for a long time if properly cared for. Also, fewer people are hunting and most especially fewer young people who have found other interests. The word was that gun sales went up as soon as Barack Obama was elected President in 2008 because of the irrational fear that guns would be confiscated. What a boon for the gun industry!!

There has, of course, been no effort by President Obama to confiscate anyone's guns and there won't be. Claims to the contrary have likely kept gun sales up for a few years but now we see that some of the large gun manufacturers are not doing as well as has they have been. To listen to the "gun guys" on this blog, one would think that everyone is out buying up guns and ammunition and spending thousands, as some have bragged. Gun shows are busy with lots of people in attendance. But are they buying? At the last gun show I attended, there were plenty of dealers with dozens and dozens of guns on display. One told us that he had to drop the price on a certain gun because it just wasn't going for the higher price he wanted.

More questionable news for the NRA comes from polling data in several Illinois legislative districts about the proposed conceal and carry bill. There is a clear contrast between the data obtained by the NRA and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. Check out the difference in the wording of the questions and then look at the data carefully. When a very direct question is asked first during the survey, with no leading information to sway the responder, people polled don't think there should be a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in public in Illinois.

Oh, and more disappointing news for the NRA. Their favorite researcher, John Lott, has again been messing with the facts. This article chronicles the efforts of Lott to rebut his faulty facts about whether President Obama had changed reporting requirements for sales of long guns in some states. In fact, President Obama's administration has recommended that this happen in order to keep Mexican drug cartel members from buying many guns in a short time from gun dealers in border states. But there was so much push back from the gun lobby that nothing has happened with this recommendation. Lott is still trying to say that Media Matters misquoted him about his reporting but he's having trouble making it stick because it is simply not true. And typical of the gun lobby, he is distracting from the facts by accusing Media Matters of putting up a "doctored" photo of himself- also not true.

And then, of course, there is this bit of double speak. You have to read about why the use of language is found to be acceptable when it involves something the gun lobby wants and a legal issue when it involves something the gun lobby does not want. From the article:" In other words, according to GRNC, “reasonable belief” is reason enough to shoot someone, but not for the Attorney General to investigate malfeasance by a charity."

This one should not go unnoticed. In Ohio, it will soon become legal to carry a loaded gun in bars and restaurants. Never mind that in March, a man with a permit to carry was threatening people in a bar. The man is clearly mentally ill. But no matter. The gun lobby supports the rights of all to own guns and carry them wherever people gather in public. It's such a great idea to have severely mentally ill people get permits to carry their guns around in public, isn't it? The gun lobby wants it both ways. They support laws that allow people to carry in bars but, of course, people shouldn't drink when they are carrying. And it's more difficult to make sure dangerously mentally ill people can't get permits to carry when law enforcement has less ability to deny permits to them in the first place. Whatever. No one ever said these laws made sense. For sure, they don't make common sense.

32 comments:

  1. The reason for the rise and drop in sales is easily explained...

    Obama...

    Sales went up dramatically when he was campaigning, and elected amidst fears of a promised ban, and other rights restricting legislation.

    The fact is, now, Obama isn't doing a dang thing about guns, and the house won't either...

    So now the panic is done, people will stop buying.

    BUT, have Obama mention a proposed ban, they will skyrocket again.

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  2. You can thank the "Assault Weapons Ban" from 1994 for the proliferation of these types of firearms. The AR15 and its numerous clones (along with their 30 round magazines) are now the most popular sporting rifle on the market.

    Thanks Brady Campaign!

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  3. "They support laws that allow people to carry in bars but, of course, people shouldn't drink when they are carrying."

    The problem is most states don't make any distinction among places licensed to serve alcohol. There is legally no difference between a bar and a nice restaurant that has a wine list. Most gun owners don't particularly want to cary in bars, we just want to be able to be able to eat at a nicer class of restaurant than Denny's.

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  4. "In fact, President Obama's administration has recommended that this happen in order to keep Mexican drug cartel members from buying many guns in a short time from gun dealers in border states."

    Two facts you've failed to mention:

    1. Obama's "recommendation" violated the law. The administration has absolutely no authority to impose additional reporting requirements on dealers.

    2. Gun dealers in border states were already volunteering this data to the BATF, and BATF was telling them to let the sales go through, as a part of a concerted program by the administration to increase the number of US-purchased weapons smuggled into Mexico.

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  5. Personally, I need to buy another 1000 rounds of 5.56 before the silly politicians start noodling around again. I need three (at least) more 30 rounders for my eeeeeevil black rifle, too.

    The threat now isn't the Administration; Obama'd LOVE to ban guns, but he does't have the votes (McCarthy's bill can't even get out of committee). Thus the drop in sales from "historic highs." It was inevitable that such a massive buying spree could not last. When some of those who bought ARs or AKs during the height of the spree decide to sell, I'm ready to buy - at lower prices, thank you.

    Gotta admit, though: Obama (and Clinton before him) sold a lot of "assault rifles." Before the 1994 ban, most people wouldn't recognize an AR-15; today it's the most commonly sold rifle in the country.

    Congratulations. Learned a lesson about prohibition yet?


    No, the concern now is inflation. Commodities are bumping up, and the gov't and Fed's massive spending programs will inevitably lead to inflation; you can't pump that much money into an economy without that result. So buy now before the prices skyrocket (which isn't really a reflection of value of stuff going up as much as it is value of the dollar going down).

    The rest? Sugarman of VPC? Proven liar. 'Nuff said.

    Polls. You mean polls are slanted to get the desired results? Shocking! In other news, the sun rose in the east today . . . .
    Really. Is there any organization that doesn't do that. More importantly, the 2nd Am. is not subject to public opinion. Period.

    I found this quote quote from Daley, in opposition to CC being considered by the Illinois legislature, interesting:

    “Do you want guns at your neighborhood festival or block party? Or in a park, like the one we’re here today? CTA buses or trains? Do you want students with concealed weapons walking around every college campus in the state?”

    Ooh! Ooh! Call on me! Why, yes, Mr. Mayor, I do. It's not like the bad guys are going to stop doing so. Can you demonstrate a single negative result from enacting legal concealed carry? Approx. 40 states do so - have the "blood in the streets" fears endlessly trotted out by opponents EVER come to pass?

    Well, no. But Daley doesn't deal in facts, Daley deals in fear-mongering. Fear and dependence is his stock in trade.

    - GMC70

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  6. Snarky, as always, Roxy/GMC/A.Lawyer,

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  7. "When a very direct question is asked first during the survey, with no leading information to sway the responder, people polled don't think there should be a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in public in Illinois."

    Funny when the VPC did this you were ok with it.

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  8. Actually I am sorry I was incorrect about the VPC it was the Mayors Against Illegal Guns poll found here question #7 specifically

    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/luntz_poll_questionnaire_and_responses.pdf

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  9. It's been legal to carry in bars and restaurants in Minnesota since the MPPA was passed back in 2003 (and repassed in 2005) - I'm not hearing about this being an issue.

    In Minnesota, it's illegal to be carrying (anywhere) a firearm on a MN Permit to Carry with a Blood Alcohol Content over 0.04% - I find this to be a far better solution than saying that someone can't carry in a bar or restaurant.

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  10. Yes Bryan. I am aware of that. How do you stop someone who is carrying from drrinking too much?Can a bartender ask if someone is packing?there is no way to stop someone with a gun from getting drunk. It's too late once the trigger is pulled. I would rather not take that chance. I'm into prevention.

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  11. "How do you stop someone who is carrying from drrinking too much?"

    How do you stop anyone else? How do you stop them before they get behind the wheel?

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  12. "Yes Bryan. I am aware of that. How do you stop someone who is carrying from drrinking too much?Can a bartender ask if someone is packing?there is no way to stop someone with a gun from getting drunk. It's too late once the trigger is pulled. I would rather not take that chance. I'm into prevention. "

    By your theory, over the 8 years since the MPPA was passed, we should have multiple shooting incidents caused by this.

    How many have occurred?
    b

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  13. Only justice, and not safety, is consistent with liberty, because safety can be secured only by prior restraint and punishment of the innocent, while justice begins with liberty and the concomitant presumption of innocence and imposes punishment only after the fact."
    - Jeffrey Snyder You know jdege,I would consider you more seriously if you didn't speak in quotes from some obscure person. Citation please. And further what does this have to do with the discussion at hand?

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  14. Bryan. One incident resulting in shooting deaths was the man in one of the Iron Range cities who left a bar drunk and returned with his gun. Don't have the article available now. At least one was killed.

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  15. http://rkba.org/comment/cowards.html

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  16. And this man you're citing was the carrier of a permitted pistol?

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  17. I notice there still is no comment concerning the ATF allowing guns to go across the border, two of which helped murder a U.S. Border agent. Why has nobody on the gun control side mentioned this? I would think your side would be just as upset about this as we are, if you were concerned about gun violence.

    And isn't it interesting that it is against the law to have a firearm in a bar in Ohio and someone who is mentally ill (also not allowed) had a firearm in a bar. I guess you can be glad it is illegal or someone who was a law-abiding citizen might have shot the man in defense.

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  18. Well your iron range story seem not like a concealed carry problem it is more of a murder problem and if it is the one in Chisholm he was a former police officer and it was a domestic dispute. My girlfriends sister and husband left the bar about 15 min before the shooting.

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  19. Thanks jdege. You know we are legions apart when it comes to this stuff. I just don't believe in it. And it doesn't pertain to matters going on right now. I prefer to be pragmatic and not deal in quotes when I'm trying to solve problems.

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  20. anon- here is a link to the story- the shooter was an ex police officer involved in a domestic dispute with his wife- http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=843496

    I am not sure about the permit but will try to find out. At any rate, he had had too much to drink and had a gun in a bar where others were drinking. Guns and alcohol do not mix whether you were carrying your gun or went to get your guns and came back to the bar. Bars and places that serve alcohol are no place for guns.

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  21. "Bryan. One incident resulting in shooting deaths was the man in one of the Iron Range cities who left a bar drunk and returned with his gun. Don't have the article available now. At least one was killed."

    But by your stance, you seem to indicate that this practice is unsafe because it would happen frequently - therefore it shouldn't be allowed.

    This poses the following questions for me:
    1) Was this individual a permit holder?
    2) Of MN's 81,000+ permit holders, how many have shot up a bar after having been drinking?
    3) Of MN's 81,000+ permit holders, how many have been charged for violating the existing statute of carrying a firearm while having a BAC over .04%?

    In other words, if #2 and #3 are substantial enough, we could say there's really a problem here that we need to deal with.

    Otherwise, what I'm hearing is a problem that is thought to exist, but that isn't supported by the data?

    Or put in more legalistic terms - individuals should be allowed to conduct themselves in a manner under the current law until it's been proven to be an issue.

    If there really is an issue with the current law, supported by actual data (other than a single incident for which complete facts haven't been shared), then let's talk about what those issues are - *and whether or not those issues are significant enough to override what is currently lawful activity undertaken by law abiding citizens*

    Because, we know, that the criminal element isn't going to care what the law says. Right?
    b

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  22. "I am not sure about the permit but will try to find out. At any rate, he had had too much to drink and had a gun in a bar where others were drinking. Guns and alcohol do not mix whether you were carrying your gun or went to get your guns and came back to the bar."

    Let's talk through this for a moment.

    It's already not legal for him to be carrying on a permit and drink to the point that he had a BAC over 0.04%.

    If he was at the bar drinking, then went home, got a gun, returned to the bar, and had a BAC over 0.04%, that's already illegal to do.

    Why would we pass a law saying that you can't carry in a bar if these other two actions are *already* not legal to do?

    These laws clearly didn't stop this individual from coming in and firing his weapon? How would another law have changed the situation?
    B

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  23. There is no sense arguing about this Bryan. We have a philosophical difference about the need to carry guns in bars and restaurants. I don't see the need and you do. For me not having guns in public places is a better idea,erring on the side of prevention. It would be very rare to need a gun in a bar if it is not common for people to carry. But once people get the idea that they must have guns everywhere they go,it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy to then need to have a gun just in case someone else in the bar gets drunk or belligerent and pulls out their gun.

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  24. Right. As I said--we have a philosophical difference here,Bryan.

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  25. I simply don't see the need to pass new laws to regulate lawful activity by law abiding citizens when there isn't any data supporting the fact that there's an issue.

    And when passing any law, we should ask ourselves the hard questions about whether or not that law is really needed.

    In this case, I see no compelling reason to change the existing law - and you've not presented any sort of compelling argument that it needs to be changed.

    And I don't believe that changing the current law is on the legislative agenda of any organization in Minnesota this year, is it?

    Bryan

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  26. I am not suggesting changing the law-just saying why I don't like it

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  27. There is nothing to stop someone from drinking and carrying a gun now other than the law. When the Restaurant Bill is passed in Ohio, there will still be nothing to stop someone from drinking and carrying a gun other than the law.

    I live in Ohio. I can drive 40 minutes to West Virginia and carry a gun while I eat at Applebees without drinking. I can drive 30 minutes and do the same in Kentucky. If I go to the Applebees 10 miles from my house in Ohio, I am a felon. What about that is Common Sense? Is there something resonating in steel bridges that suddenly makes me more responsible when I cross a river?

    Restaurant carry will pass in Ohio and when it is law, there will be no more drunken gunfights than there are in other states that do not have the silly prohibition.

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  28. japete said...
    We have a philosophical difference about the need to carry guns in bars and restaurants. I don't see the need and you do

    Therein lies the problem. You don't have to show a NEED to exersize a RIGHT.

    So you are saying because YOU don't see the "need", guns should be banned in bar's and restaurants, even thought there is no evidence that it's a problem?

    Could you elaborate?

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  29. No need to elaborate. I said what I think. I am not saying that guns should be banned. They are legal right now. I don't happen to like it and I fought against it because I didn't see the need. What about that do you not understand? Your statement about not having to show a need to exercise a right has nothing to do with anything. I don't see the word need anywhere in the second amendment or the first amendment for that matter. Needs do not equal rights and vice versa.

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  30. "I don't happen to like it and I fought against it because I didn't see the need. What about that do you not understand?"

    I don't understand why it is any of your business to try to tell anyone else how they should live their lives.

    Whether a restaurant owner forbids, allows, or requires the carry of firearms by his patrons is his decision to make, not yours.

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  31. Joan, if you don't see a need to have a gun, no one is forcing you to have one.

    In your posts, you keep saying that "guns are legal right now" and "you can have guns" but it seems disingenuous of you to say that, while at the same time supporting each and every single thing that removes or restricts the abilities of a peaceable citizen to have a gun if s/he so chooses.

    You say there should be restrictions on so-called "assault weapons."

    You say there should be restrictions on magazines with a capacity of over ten rounds, but evidently no punishment for those who violate such a law.

    You say that no one (faculty included, I guess) should be allowed to carry a gun on a college campus.

    You say that no one should be able to carry a gun where alcohol is served (evidently with no thought given towards whether or not the person carrying is even having a drink in the first place!)

    You are against so-called Castle Doctrine laws.

    You say that some guns are too small and easily carried.

    You say some other guns are too big and powerful.

    You are against people carrying a defensive firearm in national forest.

    And I'm sure I've missed some here and there.

    Frankly, I'm hard pressed to even understand what sorts of guns you actually do think should be legal for the average citizen to own, and under what circumstances they should be allowed to even use them.

    Would you mind clearing that up for me? In your opinion, what kinds of guns should be legal? Under what circumstances should I be allowed to use them? What would your ideal vision of gun ownership in the United States look like?

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  32. Asked and answered many times on this blog.

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