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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fighting like cats and dogs

It has been about a year now since I started this blog. For the most part, it's been a great experience. I started out just writing my thoughts and throwing them out into the blogoshere to see what would happen. Soon enough, the gun rights activists discovered my blog and it started attracting some attention. I suppose I should thank them for spreading the word that an "anti-gunner" had a new blog they should check out. But then, as my blog got more readers, I began to notice that many hundreds of people were reading it every day and not commenting- just reading. It's fascinating to see from where people come who are interested in this issue. I made it clear from the beginning that I was writing to advocate for common sense regarding the volatile issue of guns and gun violence prevention, thus the name of the blog. My purpose in starting the blog was to get people to advocate for the issues about which I write. I also wanted to educate people about the issue from the point of view of a gun control advocate. I don't know if that has worked yet. Time will tell.

I ventured into another social media space when I began Tweeting. Again, I see that a lot of people who are just interested in reading my tweets are doing so. Others are gun rights activists who seem to read my Tweets(and my blog) to keep track of me. Apparently I am some sort of "threat" to them. I am not sure what that is all about. I guess that challenging the ideas of the gun rights activists puts you in the automatic threat column. All I am doing is writing about incidents of shootings in the news, sharing articles of importance, talking about legislation and general issues about gun violence and gun violence prevention. Judging by some of the comments to my blog posts, you would think I was ready to personally go around the country confiscating guns, and concomitantly, to personally take away gun rights immediately. The fear, paranoia, veiled threats, vitriolic attacks, sexually explicit, rude, evil, derogatory and demeaning comments have taken me aback at times. The world of gun rights activists is foreign to me and seems so dark and paranoid. I don't know how else to explain the comments made about me, about my now deceased sister, about other gun control activists, about victims of gun violence, and about articles and information I post. 

Below are some of just the most recent comments.

This one was from someone playing with my mind as he tried to get me, I guess, or others, to think I was a shill for the NRA. It was a ridiculous exchange. Here goes-
"..I've come to a conclusion. You're a shill for the NRA. I refuse to believe that anyone could really well and truly be so unselfaware as to say the things you continuously say. Everything you write comes across like a tea party member's parody of what an anti-gun activist would act like. I refuse to believe that our opponents could possibly be so utterly, fruitlessly, and aggressively dim. As such, your number is up, and I'm calling you out. You're nothing more than a shill in the employ of the NRA. The sooner you admit that this is nothing more than a long-running stunt, the better off we'll all be."

And then he went on after my playing the game with him for a bit: "That, or you're a online performance artist. Either way, you really ought to be charging for the level of amusement your blog provides. "

And then: " From your cliché choice of color scheme to your jejune use of clipart, to your rambolic blog posts, I can only assume you are in the pay of the NRA, as your posts, were they to be quoted to any member of the public at large, would find the content either incomprehensible or downright laughable. "

Then another anonymous poster jumped in: " Anonymous makes an interesting point (well the other anonymous). Is there any truth to this Joan? Do you receive money from the NRA? This would be quite shocking if true! " And, so as to have the last word, this final comment: "I find it odd that you're not willing to actually dispel these allegations, rather, you choose to sweep them under the rug.That's exactly what I would expect from someone with something to hide"

While I leave you to think about these comments, there are more to consider. These are random and some not published on my posts but I keep all my comments for obvious reasons:
  • "You don't get out much, do you, japete?"
  • "The NRA is not the boogieman here, japete. Your side is. Stop trying to take my firearms, and we get along just fine. And don't try to tell me that's not your goal; I know better. I wasn't born yesterday. If you cannot be honest (and you're not; 18echo is correct again, your position is a willful misstatement of law) about what the castle doctrine is, you cannot be trusted to be honest about the agenda you seek. What is the "true agenda" of the NRA, japete? To make gun rights as normal as other rights protected by the Bill of Rights and internalized in the public's mind? If so, damn right, and let's get to it. "
  • Except, japete, you haven't the guts to publish that which destroys your position. I've done so, repeatedly. You know it. I know it. Your response is to refuse to publish. Not particularly surprising. Coward."
  • "Japete, do you even know what Due Process is? "
  • "I don't believe that is true."
    "That, of course, is a lie."
    "I remain unconvinced."
    "I have to publish your comments for their ludicrous nature."
    "That is total nonsense...Everyone knows that "
    I wonder what kind of reaction you would give had these statements been directed at you? Thought you were the one wanting "reasoned discourse." "
  • What are you planning to do to me and mine that you don't want me to have a gun available while you're doing it? And any doctor that presumed to lecture my children about gun safety, gets sued for malpractice. "
  • We are going to keep beating you over the head with our points just as often as you keep trying to do the same to us you retarded bell ringing monkey!!!!! 
  • Did you Google IP address all by yourself, or do you have to call your undoubtedly exasperated nephew into the room every time you want to see what part of the country the big ol' meanies might or might not live in? "
Well, you get the idea. I am not the only one to suffer these kinds of comments on a blog. And these are not the worst. Virtually all of us who are blogging on the side of gun control get these kinds of comments. I am pretty open about who I am and why I am doing what I'm doing. I'm not trying to hide anything. Many who comment here use screen names or comment anonymously. This allows them to be as rude and aggressive as they want. Some bloggers don't allow comments or anonymous commenters. I still do, though I moderate for obvious reasons. Recently a gun control organization posted some of the real names of the gun rights activists hiding using screen names and anonymous postings. This was done because of many of the ugly verbal attacks made recently against victims and gun control advocates. Some of those names were actually already public knowledge. It caused a fire storm of accusations and even shutting down of a Twitter account of one gun violence prevention group. One of the results of this latest ugly and angry exchange is that someone threatened to publish directions to my house- where I'm not sure. The way it was worded was a challenge to me. Behind it, I could almost hear the tone of voice- the challenging, bullying, intimidating tone that was implied. A few weeks ago a gun control advocate was the subject of a comment about raping her or her daughter. That is just not acceptable. Gun rights activists need to get their heads together and realize that comments like these do their side no good. 

There are different opinions out there. But when one has an opinion different from another's does that give them license to intimidate, demean, threaten and accuse? I think not. The blogoshpere has allowed for this to happen very publicly. It's a dangerous trend and sometimes people act on their words. Bullying, intimidating, threatening and name calling don't appeal to the majority. I suggest that those who want to continue along this line do so amongst themselves where this kind of language is apparently acceptable. Common sense tells us that these kind of comments turn most people away in disgust.

Does anyone remember the story of the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat? It was actually a favorite of mine while growing up. There is something so whimsical about the idea that while everyone is sleeping the stuffed dog and cat get into a terrible spat -" But the truth about that cat and pup Is this: they ate each other up!" There was a version of the poem when I was young that showed the dog and the cat all tattered with fabric pieces flying in the air. So while the world is sleeping, while Rome burns, while we have our "spats" in the blogosphere, 32 Americans a day are murdered by someone with a gun and 80 people a day die, on average, from a gunshot wound. That is why I blog. This matters to me. I am just one person blogging my ideas and my thoughts. I don't intend to harm anyone. I don't want anyone's guns. I don't want to take away rights.


  1. So Japete is not a screen name?

  2. I was "outer" long ago by some of you guys

  3. Ok I will bite can you enplane this?
    "32 Americans a day are murdered by someone with a gun and 80 people a day die, on average, from a gunshot wound."

    If 32 are murdered what is the other 48 people a day? Is that suicides and other defensive shootings that would not be considered murder?

  4. Maybe some post as "anonymous" because you have already
    banned them?

  5. 1. You do want to take away rights. If we applied the restrictions and rule you want apply to guns to other protected right -- freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the individual right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure in one's person and home -- you would be declaring it (and rightfully so!) an outrage. Oh, you're not as bad as many; you're not the Klan, you're Woodrow Wilson, serenely secure that gunnies belong at the back of the bus.

    2. Your murder and death stats are incorrect. See the CDC website. http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html

    3. But -- I thought when you accused us of getting our marching orders from NRA, you meant that it was bad to be well-organized; then you write, "Gun rights activists need to get their heads together and realize that comments like these do their side no good." You get such a chaotic mix of replies 'cos we're a real grass-roots group and now you advise us to "get our heads together?" Tsk, can't have it both ways! (And I'm not even a member of the NRA right now, the economy being the way it is and a year's membership about the price of a big ol' box of .22LR ammunition).

  6. Yes. It includes all other types of shootings. Mostly suicide and accidental shootings. There isn't a separate category for self defense shootings. I imagine they would come under the category of homicide but some of those are justifiable. Not many, as it turns out, though. Oh- shootings my law enforcement in crimes are a small percentage as well.

  7. Roberta- the CDC concurs with what I wrote. About 32 people a day die, on average, from gun homicide. The rest are due to gun suicide and accidental shootings. What is it that you found in the CDC that doesn't concur with what I wrote?

  8. japete, Don't you know better than to question Roberta X? Have you checked out her blog? She has one of the best echo-chambers in the land. They can't all be wrong.

    You know what I think, the virtiol that you elicit from some of your commenters says more about them than it does about you.