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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Friday, April 22, 2011

Just another day in America

There are plenty of  shootings in the news about which to report. It gets to the point where people just shrug and think it's a part of our culture. Europeans and folks from other countries think America is just nuts for allowing this carnage without making attempts to stop people from becoming shooting victims. That is because, of course, most other countries have strict gun control laws that lead to fewer gun deaths per 100,000. But I digress.

Here, from links to articles in newspapers all over the country, is just another day ( or days) in America:

Ohio couple found dead in accidental shooting or apparent murder/suicide

Minnesota permit to carry holder goes "ballistic" over iPad sale gone wrong

Alaska soldier "accidentally" shoots wife while cleaning his gun

Tennessee cop killer may have purchased his gun at a local gun show days before shooting the officer

New Haven, Connecticut police investigate 2 homicides on the same night and note that 25 guns have been recovered in the last 30 days

Wisconsin man shoots his parents over money for gas

11 year old Minnesota girl shot in head by her father after gun jams and gun goes off inside of house

Well that may be enough for today and it only scratches the surface of the actual shootings that have taken place in America in the last few days and months. The examples I provided include an angry guy who is willing to shoot his parents to death over money, a legal permit holder shooting at someone over an iPad sale gone wrong, possible drug related homicides, accidental shootings, domestic shootings, a police officer shot to death by someone who likely got his gun at a gun show.

Let's see now- were any of these folks criminals before they got their guns? Yes, in several of the cases. In others they were not but surely became so after pulling the trigger. And in other of the incidents, the "shooter" was someone who probably thought nothing bad could ever happen to him as a law abiding citizen gun owner. One was a soldier who supposedly shot and injured his wife while cleaning his guns. He was certainly trained to know better. Another was a permit holder- someone who should know better as well. Another was a father target shooting and trying to fix his gun leading to shooting his own daughter in the head. He, also, should have known better. The problem is, when a gun is available and in the area, accidents and intentional shootings happen. Guns are dangerous weapons. Once the trigger is pulled, it's too late to take it back. The logic of the gun guys is that these things happen and should be expected as part of our culture of gun ownership and worship of the second amendment- collateral damage, so to speak.

What to do? The gun lobby thinks nothing. They are wrong. Something can and should be done. Shootings can be reduced and prevented with some common sense and courage. It IS possible to stop some of the shootings and do so without interfering with rights to own guns. People can and should be more careful with guns. A different discussion about guns and gun violence prevention without the second amendment as a show stopper should take place in this country. It could lead to fewer incidents such as the ones listed above.

15 comments:

  1. k"11 year old Minnesota girl shot in head by her father after gun jams and gun goes off inside of house"

    You are supposed to unload target and hunting guns before entering the house or vehicle. You are also supposed to keep firearms pointed down range when clearing a jam. That's a good example of why.

    "People can and should be more careful with guns. A different discussion about guns and gun violence prevention without the second amendment as a show stopper should take place in this country. "

    You are the one directing the course of the discourse. You (the Brady Campaign) want to ban magazines, guns, ammo, open carry, concealed carry, etc. So we will fight about that rather than working on gun violence. You can pick your battle - gun control or gun safety? They are mutually exclusive and you can't have both. Lying to yourself and to the public that you are about gun safety as you advocate for gun control will ensure that we have to fight for our rights rather than fighting to improve our firearms handling practices.

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  2. That's a stupid argument. Of course we can have both gun control and gun safety. Explain to me why we can't. .

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  3. "That is because, of course, most other countries have strict gun control laws that lead to fewer gun deaths per 100,000."

    Most other countries also do not have the liberties that we do. As a result, we have not experienced dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. I'm somewhat perplexed as to why you think it would matter what other countries, particularly European countries, would think about the US. Those countries also thought our ideas of self-governance were crazy as well.

    "A different discussion about guns and gun violence prevention without the second amendment as a show stopper should take place in this country. It could lead to fewer incidents such as the ones listed above."

    But in order to do that you'd have to either bring proposals to the table which didn't infringe on the second amendment, or to help the pro gun side with their efforts to provide education and experience with firearms safety. We often hear from your side that it is somehow irresponsible to introduce youngsters to the shooting sports, but then you decry firearms accidents by children who might know better if they were taught to respect the dangers of guns in a controlled environment and learn to use them safely.

    You ask "Of course we can have both gun control and gun safety. Explain to me why we can't..." The two are indeed not mutually exclusive. Because your idea of gun control is less guns and less access to same. Just like driving a car, you cannot become proficient without proper guidance and experience. So, too, with firearms. You cannot have less guns and less gun experience and hope to have safer handling.

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  4. japete: "most other countries have strict gun control laws that lead to fewer gun deaths per 100,000"

    A few days ago I wrote that gun control advocates say that, but mikeb denied it. Thanks for showing mikeb what I meant, japete.

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  5. Gun control advocates say that because it's true. Jay. What's the problem?

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  6. For the record, you'd probably be appalled at how little firearms training the military generally provides, particularly regarding handguns.

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  7. Yeah, Jay, what's the problem. I don't remember what you said or what I denied. IN fact, that doesn't sound like something I would have denied, so maybe you better do some research and show us what the hell you're talking about.

    alcade is using that most pathetic defense, it's the price we pay for freedom. Yet, we've shown that with little or no change in the freedom of law.abiding gun owners we could drastically reduce the gun flow to criminals. But still, alcade and his friends aren't interested in any of that.

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  8. "Gun control advocates say that because it's true. Jay. What's the problem?"

    The fact that you ardently refuse to acknowledge that in many instances, while strict gun control may reduce the number of gun deaths in other countries, it rarely has an effect on the overall rates of violent crime and suicide.

    Your side blithely ignores the fact that even in an environment absent of firearms, those intent on committing acts of violence simply substitute other methods.

    Your side also consistently ignores the much higher number of people who use a firearm in legitimate self-defense scenarios every single year.

    Even the lowest and most conservative statistics on defensive gun use are three times as high as all of the gun deaths in this country.

    I'll note that I've employed no ad hominem attacks against anyone in this post, yet still find it unlikely that this post will see the light of day, let alone garner a serious response.

    Still, hope springs eternal.

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  9. This seems relevant to the discussion.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/columns/heyl/s_733042.html#ixzz1K5sjMb7A

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  10. mikeb: "Yeah, Jay, what's the problem."

    The problem is that when some high-profile shootings inevitably continue to occur despite their strict gun laws, most of those countries that US gun control advocates hold up as good examples have passed in response (or are now trying to pass) extreme gun laws of the type that US gun control advocates try to deny would also be attempted here.

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  11. "That's a stupid argument. Of course we can have both gun control and gun safety. Explain to me why we can't. ."

    I would be happy to explain what I meant.

    Gun safety can only be attained by the responsible, forward thinking, intelligent thoughts and actions of individual human beings. As many gun owners say "The real safety is between your ears."

    Gun control can only be attained by the power of the state usurping people's ability to be responsible, forward thinking, and intelligent. The use of legislation, programs, policies, and enforcement replaces the safety between people's ears with whatever rules and punishments the state puts into place.

    Therefore they are mutually exclusive.

    An example: a parent owns a firearm. There is a natural responsibility to secure that firearm so the child can not access it. The natural consequence for not using the safety is a tragedy. This is pretty darn effective as it is a strong motivator for people to think of the best possible security measures.

    If the problem is "solved" by the state, that mandates a trigger lock be employed, then the problem to the parent is merely one of compliance, and the trigger lock will be deployed, and the key will be left in a spot accessible to the child, as securing the key is not mandated by the state.

    The motivation to be the best is replaced by the motivation to comply with a minimum standard that is below what any thinking person would implement.

    This argument may be beyond a particular individuals capacity for cognition and comprehension but that does not indicate that the argument is intellectually vacuous.

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  12. Yes, thanks. This is interesting: " -- Spending several hundred dollars on a serviceable handgun might leave them without enough money to get the full treatment at that next visit to the day spa.

    -- Carrying a gun in a small purse would leave less room for more important items, such as lipstick or compact.

    -- The baggy clothing required to successfully conceal most holsters would make them appear frumpy.

    -- Gunpowder residue might stain the new Karen Scott blouse they just bought at Macy's.

    -- The gunpowder smell when the weapon is fired could totally overwhelm the Chanel they're wearing.

    -- Most firearm accessories come only in one boring color: black.

    -- Target practice earplugs simply aren't sexy.



    Read more: NRA effort to attract women off target - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/columns/heyl/s_733042.html#ixzz1KNca32YL"

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  13. Another day in the "gun free" UK:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/04/21/dad-who-split-up-fight-in-mcdonald-s-shot-dead-115875-23075797/

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  14. As you know, I have never said that that the UK is gun free. Stats show otherwise but stats also show very few gun deaths per 100,000. Can't even compare to the U.S. numbers.

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  15. Clearly it would be preferable that more people die at the hands of criminals armed with knives than any of them be given the chance to defend themselves with a firearm.

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