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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guns in the headline news

Teenager Taken Into Custody For Los Angeles High School Shooting 

Shooting At Local McDonalds Prompts Community Peace Vigil

2 Arrested Following Pet Store Shootout in Cleveland

Governor vetoed bill that would have let guns on campus
ETSU opposed to guns on campus bill

So here in America, these are the headlines in newspapers, websites and on the t.v. news. Let's take a look at some of these headlines. The first few headline actual shootings of actual people in public places where presumably we should be safe from shootings. But, of course, shootings can happen just anywhere and to anyone and they do. About 80 a day occur on average, the highest in the civilized world not at war. 

The first headline refers to the shooting of a 15 year old boy on his way to school in a California city. This shouldn't happen but it did and shows how easy it is for a teen to shoot another teen in a possible act of revenge or anger during an argument. Kids shouldn't be shot while walking to school no matter who they are. Luckily the victim was wounded and will be all right. Will he want to extract revenge for his shooting and be involved in an endless cycle of violence?

The McDonald's shooting in Evanston, Illinois highlights youth violence again. From the story: " But both Eddington and other rally participants agreed that authorities and neighbors must play a dual role in curbing illegal firearm use. Eddington repeated to several members of the media present at the event that residents should examine the "precursor decisions" that motivate a teenager to carry a gun" Many conditions contribute to gangs and youth violence. Poverty is one of these. Perhaps school success though one can't know that from the article. The availability of guns is one. Illegal gun sales and use happen regularly every day in our communities. Where do the guns come from? That is the big question that has not been answered or solved. Police departments all over this country worry about this and make attempts to get to those illegal guns before they do serious damage. This is not an easy problem to solve and will take multiple organizations and multiple steps to find a solution. I don't have an easy answer but mine certainly would involve efforts to keep guns away from those who should not have them. Teenagers can get the guns but they can't buy them legally. Someone else buys the guns legally in the first place and they then find their way onto our streets by various means. Our country is awash in guns and our gun culture promotes the use of guns. We need to work together to solve this problem.

The pet store robbery is an illustration of stupidity on the part of the gunmen who tried to rob a pet store, of all things. It is also a case of a justified use of a gun in self defense as the owner had his permit to carry and a loaded gun. He managed to hit one of the robbers without killing him and the robbers were caught. It is also a case of how badly things can go when guns are drawn. One customer ran into a back room and a shot was fired because the robber thought the person was going to get a gun. That shot went through a wall but didn't hit anyone. Things happen in a hurry in these situations so it's not easy to think straight with a gun in your hand. In this case no one was killed but one of the comments on the article indicates that the robbers ( low lives) should have been killed. Certainly the young men who tried to rob this store deserve punishment but death? Maybe not.

In the fourth headline we see that Arizona Governor Brewer found some common sense and vetoed the "guns on campus" bill passed through the Arizona legislature. What happened here? It seems that there was so much pressure from the gun control side and the university presidents and students who pushed back hard on this bill. As it turns out, the bill was scaled back to only allow guns on the streets and sidewalks but not in campus buildings. Both sides, of course, are claiming victory. My side was well organized and fought hard. The other side always fights hard for what they want. This time they didn't get it. But their claim that the bill should have been vetoed because it wasn't the bill they wanted and should come back as a full blown guns on campus bill allowing guns in classrooms is a dangerous misreading of what the public wants. They are having a hard time convincing people that guns on college campuses is a good idea.That's because most people recognize that it's actually a terrible idea. Common sense sometimes wins.

The last article is one about why college presidents in Tennessee are opposed to guns on campus. Reminder- legislators all over the country are pushing for these type of bills. As they have turned more Republican, the gun bills have been coming fast and furiously. The agenda is clear. More guns everywhere carried by more people will make us all safer and normalize the carrying of guns in public. That will lead to more gun sales, of course, as more people will think they need to have guns. Perhaps more people will think they need guns to defend themselves from the others who now have guns. Where does this spiral end? We won't be able to tell the legal gun owners from the illegal gun owners in public until it's too late, of course, and a life has been taken. How will the legal gun guys know that when someone takes out a gun in public it will be someone legal who wields the gun? This is what I call a slippery slope leading to the possibility of more rather than fewer numbers placed in the column of gun deaths and injuries. You can hear that fear expressed by the college campus police chief in the video who is concerned about training his officers to respond to a shooter on campus. When multiple people show guns in an incident, it is distinctly possible for innocent people to get shot. 

There are clear differences in outlook and general philosophy on both sides of this issue. I get push back from the other side for my honest views as if I am an evil person who has evil intentions to do them some wrong. That is, of course, not the truth of the matter. The other side clearly wants their guns and their rights, mostly unfettered, and wants my side to leave them alone. We are a bother to them. They are a bother to us. One side has the majority of public opinion, the other side has power and money. One side has a loud voice and speaks through a megaphone that calls attention. The other has passionate activists who don't have a lot of money or power but sometimes win a skirmish in the larger "battle". How unfortunate that things are so polarized that the issue can't even come up for a serious and civilized discussion. It makes me sad and it defies common sense. There are many reasons to be discussing this issue not the least of which are the senseless number of lives lost. This is a serious public health and safety issue that deserves our serious attention. 


  1. Don't you get sick of hearing the pro-gun crowd say, in one way or another, this is the price we have to pay for freedom?

  2. So a shooting in California and a shooting in Illinois, two states where we have some of the "tougher" gun control laws in the country.

    What does this say about the effectiveness of gun control?


  3. I would remind my readers that name calling is not generally published on my blog. Keep it civil everyone.

  4. BTW your first link does not work

  5. Sorry I was having trouble with that link this morning. While looking for the California link I found this one from Indiana though- http://www.newser.com/article/d9m6f83o0/police-15-year-old-suspect-arrested-questioned-after-teen-student-shot-at-indiana-school.html Here is the link to the California shooting. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/04/boy-shot-while-walking-to-los-angeles-high-school.html

    And oh, by the way, here is another one from Texas involving a kindergarten student_http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110419/ts_alt_afp/usschoolchildshooting_20110419192012

  6. japete, this seems to be the gun headline that most people are talking about today:

    New DNC chief wants to screen all gun sales


  7. Yes I saw that one. Isn't it great? I'm happy she had the courage to speak up for what's right.

  8. Mrs Peterson, regarding the Cleveland self defense shooting, where only the robber was injured,

    Please read the following which was a concurrent report on local Cleveland news....

    "A 22 year old woman was arrested Tuesday after an incident in a McDonald's parking lot.

    Cops were called to the restaurant on E. 105th and St. Clair after a woman took off in her car hitting four people including the store manager.

    When cops got there, they were told that the two woman came to McDonald's in a silver Infiniti. Once in the parking lot the they got out of their car and walked over to a group of females that were standing in line seeking employment.

    An argument ensued and escalated into a fight. After the fight the female suspects returned to their car. Once in the vehicle the females attempted to exit the parking lot, however due to the large crowd of job seekers they were unable to go forward. The driver then went in reverse with the door open and struck four people with the door as she exited the lot. The driver never stopped after hitting the people and fled the scene.

    Officers quickly found the car in the area of E.107th & St. Clair. The driver jumped out and ran but the passenger, Natasha Grayer, 22, was arrested.

    Three adults and one 17 year old girl were taken by EMS to MetroHealth Medical Center. Their injuries do not appear to be serious.

    The driver is still on the lose.

    If you know who and where she is, give Cleveland Police a call. ''

    Here we have a deranged woman put four people in the hospital, and her weapon was a car. How about we ban cars to save the people, it seems like it will save more people.....

  9. Dear readers

    As you know,this is a blog about reducing gun deaths and Injuries. Based on many comments it seems as if some of you would like to talk about car accidents and other methods of murder. Please make your comments relevant to the issue of gun deaths and injuries. Or you could find a blog about auto deaths and make your irrelevant comments somewhere else.

  10. Bryan says what he's heard other pro-gun folks say. Chicago has tough gun control laws and lots of gun crime. That proves gun control doesn't work.

    That is the most unthinking argument you guys have. But, you keep repeating it and repeating it.

    Here's the thing. We DON'T have gun control in the US, period. We do have lots of gun laws, but they are so uninforceable and easily circumvented that the end result is NO GUN CONTROL, or very little anyway.

    Use a tiny bit of common sense. On the federal level let's say we have the following rules 1. all gun owners must be licensed. 2. every gun must be registered to a licenced owner. 3. no transfers of guns without a background check. 4. safe storage standards will be enforced. 5. any violation, any accident or negligent discharge results in permanent loss of gun rights.

    That would be gun control. And that would work.

  11. I agree with you in that we need people to be able to carry on a reasonable argument over gun control issues. But it is often the case that both sides are completely polarized and refuse to hear what the other side has to say. I do not oppose to gun ownership, but I do believe that in order to ensure some degree of safety for people who do not choose to carry a gun, like me, that there need to exist gun regulations in place. Personally I would like to see legislation that removes the right of a person to own a gun if that person has had serious convictions.

  12. Minidoka, hello, federal law prohibits anyone with a misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault or any felony from have, possessing, owning or using a Firearm.

    The issue is truth vs emotion.

  13. Yes, unless, of course, P, these very same folks buy guns from private sellers who don't do background checks leaving them able to buy what they want. That is the dangerous loophole in our federal law.

  14. Here is where I part company with most other gunowners who comment here -- I will agree to mikeb's proposals in the following format:


    Article 1

    The Second Amendment to this Constitution is hereby repealed. (Let's start with a clean slate.)

    Article 2

    The sale and possession of firearms shall be regulated in the following manner: (Insert mikeb's 5 proposals here)

    Article 3

    Except as specified in Article 2 of this Amendment, the right of the individual to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by any entity and in any manner to any degree whatsoever.

  15. "Isn't it great? I'm happy she had the courage to speak up for what's right."

    Yes -- I'm happy that she spoke up, too.

    It's important for gunowners to know that such legislation won't stop at gunshows but rather is aimed at all private sales. And it's a shame that the new DNC chief did not also call for the waiting period that the Brady Campaign and other gun control advocates plan to add on when they can.

    Somewhere out there, I worry that there may still be gunowners who foolishly believe that gun control advocates might stop at gun show checks. Perhaps the new DNC chief can wake them up.

  16. lets see if this one gets posted
    Mexico wants to sue US gun makers

  17. Hi Anthony,
    This article raises again the issue that the U.S. government cannot control the flow of firearms within it territory and now some of those guns are being illegally transported down to Mexico where they are used by criminals to commit crimes not for self defense of the innocent. Moreover, I also read another article where it was confirmed that one of the guns utilized in the shooting in S.L.P Mexico that killed the U.S. ICE agent Jaime Zapata came from the United States what is more shocking is that this gun was released by the ATF on purpose during the failed “Fast and Furious” operation.
    I am not sure if a country can sue another country but it will be interesting to see the outcome of this legal move from the Mexican government. One thing is for sure, as long as the existing gun regulations are not competently enforced there is not going to be a significant decrease on gun related crimes and violence.