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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mothers Day is the perfect day to remember activism,  particularly activism of mothers and women who care about peace and justice issues. This article highlights how Mother's Day began with Anna Jarvis's remembrance of her own mother on the 2nd Sunday of May. Anna's mother had been involved with peace efforts during the Civil War. From the article, " "I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars," author E.M. Forster wrote. Not all mothers will find their stories told in history books, of course, but they possess the same power to change the world." Eleven years ago on Mother's Day, I marched in the first Million Mom March that energized people all over the country. We thought we could change gun laws and affect gun culture. We organized and we lobbied and we spoke up. Since that time, our leaders have let that energy slip away with their failure to enact common sense gun laws to stop the daily shootings. The reason? The NRA has a grip on our country that belies their actual numbers of supporters and power. The myths represented by the NRA are slowly being exposed. See the articles below for more about that.

But I digress. This is the first year I am without a mother to whom to bring flowers and a kiss. My mother died on Nov. 13, 2010. She was a feisty woman- full of life and more. Everyone loved her for her quirky sense of humor and ability to make people laugh even when she was in pain. Several days before her death she sang to her grandchildren and held the little foot of her newest great grandchild- my grandson. She died taking with her the pain only a mother can feel at the loss of a child. A child who should not have died before her own mother. Life is not fair. And today there will be no candy and flowers for the mother of my nephews whose life was brought to a violent and senseless end.

Such is the way of gun deaths. They are sudden, unexpected and violent. They can happen to anyone. Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean it won't. It's so easy for the gun lobby to argue that they are law abiding all and shouldn't have any of their rights messed with or else. And I do mean, or else. They will do anything to stop the gun control groups from gaining ground to propose common sense gun legislation. Recently some of them have been leaving offensive, rude, derogatory and sexually explicit comments on my blog. They think they can bully and intimidate me. They don't. They just disgust me. I wonder what kind of mothers raised them? Do their mothers know how crude they are? Would their mothers be ashamed of them for writing the remarks they have written on my blog? My mother would have been horrified and would have wanted to protect me and fight back. But she's not here any more to protect me so I fight back myself. Thank goodness I inherited her feistiness and resolve. 

On the topic of the gun lobby, by the way, this group will lie and spy to further their agenda. Check this one out. The NRA sent a "reporter" to the press conference this week where Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke released the organization's annual state report cards. Once they were called out on their sleazy attempt to find out what the Brady Campaign was up to, the real media started asking questions. Interestingly enough, the NRA apologized. That has to be a first and one wonders why now? Was it because the media is beginning to catch on to the tactics of the NRA? Let's hope so.
    And Happy Mother's Day from a gun activist to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The lengths to which the extreme gun lobby will go to demean, attack, deligitimize, threaten, relentlessly badger and smear the gun control groups is quite amazing. Many on the side of gun control are exposing the NRA. Read this great article by Brady Center VP Dennis Henigan sums up what the gun lobby is all about right now. The leadership and its' members are paranoid and fearful to a degree that makes no sense given reality. From the article: " This remarkable decline sharply contradicts NRA and gun industry propaganda, which uses every imagined threat to gun ownership to feed the story (dutifully reported by the media) that more and more Americans are buying guns while they still can. It is true that the gun lobby's fear tactics periodically create a spike in gun sales (as occurred after President Obama's election, for example), but it is now clear that, even during those spikes, the primary purchasers of those guns are people who already own guns. Thus, the number of guns owned by the average gun owner is increasing, while the percentage of households with guns continues to plummet. Despite the intermittent periods of gun-buying frenzy, it seems undeniable that more and more American households are deciding against gun ownership."

    So this latest information about decreasing numbers of households with guns but increasing numbers of guns owned by gun owners points to several conclusions. The gun lobby is representing fewer people than ever before. Their membership is likely down as a result. They are desperate to keep their numbers up to fund themselves and the gun manufacturers whose symbiotic relationship I have discussed before on this blog. Fewer gun owners own more guns. What is that about? If you read Henigan's article you will see that those with all the guns fear their own government and may have plans for tyranny. We should beware of those bearing many guns. 

    And last, our elected leaders are slow to realize that when they represent the gun lobby over the gun control groups and victims, they are representing a decreasing minority of Americans. The job of those of us in the gun control movement is to educate the public and our leaders about their policies favoring the few over the many. This article from the Arizona Republic illustrates what I am talking about perfectly. On the one hand, we have Arizona Citizens Defense League spokesman Charles Heller celebrating the score of zero on the Brady state report card saying he had written to the Brady Campaign requesting the score. From his words in the article: " "We've been trying for that for years," he said. "It means we're doing the right thing."" On the other hand, a poll taken recently showed how the citizens of Arizona actually feel about the gun laws in their state. From the article: " The national coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a poll in March that indicated that most of the 600 Arizonans surveyed opposed allowing guns in public buildings and on college campuses. Nearly half of those polled indicated they would like to see the state's laws surrounding gun sales toughened."

    But the NRA continues on it's course of fear, paranoia and threatening remarks even as people are murdered by bullets every day. This article from the Washington Times features tasteless NRA Board member Ted Nugent bashing gay people. Nice. Anything goes for NRA members and their Board, I guess. And to go further, Nugent spoke at the recent NRA convention in Pittsburgh saying things that anyone with common sense would consider to be dangerous rhetoric." He said that if hunters voted together, Obama and the 'Mao Zedong fan club in the White House' would be evicted and Attorney General Eric Holder would 'face a firing squad.'" Really Ted?  Personally on this Mother's Day, I prefer the music of Crosby,Stills & Nash as they sing, Teach Your Children Well. I have taught my children to solve problems peacefully, to practice non-violence and not to hate those who are different from them. 

    So on this day to remember mothers, I would like to remember not only my own mother, but my sister who was a mother- both missed on this day. Too many other mothers have endured the pain of losing young children or adult children to bullets. Too many bullets kill mothers of young or adult children. We live in a country where all are affected by gun violence in some way. Someone you know knows someone who has lost a loved one. Gun deaths are like a wave. They spread out to friends and friends of friends and then the community. The violence affects many. Thank your mother today if you are fortunate enough to have a mother who is alive. Give a special hug to mothers who weep for their dead children and help the children of mothers who have died from bullets remember their own mothers and celebrate their lives. If you know someone who wants to be involved in our efforts to reduce or prevent gun violence, pass it along. Today is a day for activism and not just white carnations.  Ask mothers everywhere to stand up for the victims. Happy Mother's Day. 


    1. My reactions:

      -A NRA reporter makes up 1/3 of your audience in your press conference? Surely you could have found a couple of those "million moms" to sit in some of those empty chairs? Is that what being irrelevant looks like?

      -Gun ownership and sales are down so much that Wal-mart is bringing firearms back to their sporting goods section.

      -Thanks for insulting gun owners by hinting we may have "plans for tyranny". I assume Reasoned Discourse™ is in effect, where you can insult us willy-nilly but anything you don't like to read is "paranoid" "bullying" or "insulting". In the same post you manage to both insinuate that we're priming for armed revolution, and complain about Ted Nugent's comments about the Obama administration. I'd respect you a lot more if you had a shred of intellectual honesty.

      And go ahead, keep not publishing my comments. I post these for you.

    2. Red- I'm just reporting what is going on out there as the gun control side sees it and as it is actually happening. FYI- newspapers all over the country reported on the Brady report card's findings. Press releases were sent out to hundreds of media.

    3. "Obama and the 'Mao Zedong fan club in the White House' would be evicted and Attorney General Eric Holder would 'face a firing squad.'"

      Nugent is a nut - but he might have a valid point there. I stand against the death penalty, but there are laws on the books, including treason which is usually misunderstood. It does seem quite possible that smuggling hundreds of weapons and using illegal straw purchasers to transfer those weapons including two .50 caliber machineguns into the hands of the Mexican cartels just might qualify as treason.

      I've been very busy - did I miss you blogging about how the ATF must be stopped from it's illegal arms smuggling operations that are giving the weapons you want banned to the cartels? I doubt it.

    4. And so, anon, if you are so busy, do you then have time to consider whether or not the statement from Nugent is valid? Do you believe Eric Holder should face a firing squad or what is your reason for going down the road of the ATF smuggling program? I am not going to have the debate about that on this post. We've already gone around about that one.

    5. Joan, 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.

    6. This has to be one of the more interesting comments made on my blog. I am now a shill for the NRA. Whatever.

    7. That, or you're a online performance artist.

      Either way, you really ought to be charging for the level of amusement your blog provides.


    9. Indeed. And a tremendously talented one at that.

      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.

    10. I just love this conversation thread. It gets more ridiculous the more you write. Are you for real? Who are you anyway? Reveal yourself so I can tell if you are an actual live human being or a cartoon.

    11. 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!

    12. Yes anonymous makes interesting, bizarre and totally off the wall points. He's crazy. I'm done playing this game. Any more comments to this stupid point will not be accepted.

    13. "Reveal yourself so I can tell if you are an actual live human being or a cartoon."

      I am indeed a cartoon. I currently reside at 420 Cell Shader Blvd., Toontown, CA 90210.