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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Addendum to "terrorists amongst us"

I wrote a few days ago about the possibility of attacks from our own home grown terrorists. Today I noticed this article about the same and wanted to share it with my readers. This article was written because of the concern that we could see more activity from extremist groups in the U.S. From the article- According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 824 militia groups in the U.S. last year, a significant increase from the 149 counted in 2008. In its report, the center noted that militants have been inspired out of concern about immigration and by fears that America's racial makeup is changing to the extent that whites are projected to be in the minority by 2050."

Also from the article-" "In just the last month, there was a police shootout with a sovereign citizen in Texas, the trial of a heavily-armed militia in Alaska which was allegedly targeting judges and state troopers, a sovereign citizen on trial in New York and the death-row sentencing of white supremacist Richard Poplawski who killed three cops," he explained. "None of these were major stories -- if they had been Islamists, 
that would have been a big headline."" My readers may recall that I have written about all of these incidents. And at the end of the article, this quote is one that is all too true: " "Just because one individual does this doesn't mean it is a normal trend," Siegal said. "People pick up guns and shoot people -- is [Breivik] interacting with other groups? We 
know yet."

Yes, people do pick up guns and shoot people every day in America. Are they all home grown terrorists? Of course not. Dennis Henigan, Acting President of the Brady Campaign wrote a great article yesterday. All too often, people in America shoot others. This country experiences more gun deaths per day in total than those experienced in Norway last week. That is not meant to minimize what happened in Norway. It is meant as a reality check for our own country. We have memorialized those in Norway, as we should. The world is watching as the country comes to grips with the horrendous attacks by  Anders Breivik. Where is the outrage about the daily carnage in our own country? As Henigan says, .." For those who are quick to argue that "guns don't kill people, people kill people, it is instructive that the Norway killer took many more lives with his guns than with his explosives. Violent individuals intent on inflicting multiple fatalities don't choose knives or baseball bats. With few exceptions, they choose guns." And further, Henigan goes on to say, "It is reasonably certain that the Norway youth camp shootings will lead to determined efforts to further strengthen that nation's gun laws. In contrast, America has suffered through Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson and too many 
other similar events with little action taken to prevent more tragedies of this kind."

So now as we watch what the Norwegians will or will not do about the violence perpetrated by a crazed man with a gun, we should also watch and see what our own country will do about the daily carnage. Common sense tells us that sensible gun laws should be passed to prevent the daily gun deaths and injuries in our own country.


  1. I think I need to write another addendum. So the gun manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Company, is making big profits and just gave $280,000 to the NRA earlier this month. Remember that Anders Breivik used one of their products to accomplish his devastating shooting rampage. Also, this just in, a Kentucky soldier has been arrested in Texas after asking at a gun shop about how to make bombs. Firearms and exploives were found in his hotel room. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/07/armed-and-dangerous-awol-soldier-arrested-in-ft-hood-area/1

    It sound like he was considering another attack at Ft. Hood. More information will come later.

  2. "Common sense tells us that sensible gun laws should be passed to prevent the daily gun deaths and injuries in our own country."

    First, let me refer to an example you posted on July 26 in "Stupid is as stupid does":


    I have to agree, this guy was a knucklehead, and now his friend is dead. This happened because all four rules of safe gun handling were violated:

    1. All guns are always loaded!
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!1
    4. Always be sure of your target!

    I truly encourage anyone reading this comment to read the linked article about the incident and refer back to these rules. All four were violated. Anyone who is around firearms enthusiasts will find that we are pretty scrupulous about the four rules, and that we are fanatical about rule 3. If you accidentally violate any of the other rules, rule three will save your life!

    What can we do about the incident in the article? What is my common gunsense? Teach gun safety in the public schools. We teach driver safety, and sex education can be construed as a type of safety training concerning unwanted pregnancy and STDs, we even sometimes teach CPR.

    I am certain that the NRA has a model safety course for elementary school children (Eddie Eagle), and it could very well create age-appropriate curricula for other grades as well. And yes, I mean that we should teach kids to shoot. They must experience shooting to have an appreciation of what the consequences of unsafe gun handling can lead to. Real-life examples of tragic events like to ones you so often cite then would have real pedagogical value.

    This may sound radical, but I put this forth in all seriousness. The message kids get from movies, games, and popular culture is that guns are cool and fun, but that there are no consequences to irresponsible use. Education can combat that image, and maybe save a few lives as a result.

    We can't "unmake" guns. They exist in the world, and we cannot remove them. We must deal with that fact, just like water exists in the world. We teach children to swim so that they can be safe around water. I think we can teach them to be safe around guns.

  3. So the gun manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Company, is making big profits and just gave $280,000 to the NRA earlier this month.

    Of course they make a profit; that's what any business in about. They make a profit because they build a quality gun at a reasonable price.

    As to giving to the NRA: Good for them; they understand the political realities. Personally, I'm looking to buy one of their new 1911s.

  4. Since you're so fond of anectdotal evidence, I thought I'd point out that the three attacks on American soil that claimed the most lives did not involve firearms.

    --JMB's Ghost

  5. Here is another article about the weapons used by Anders Breivik and how commonly they are used by the extremists in our own country and now in Norway- http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gumbel-breivik-mcveigh-20110728,0,4634670.story The Ruger semi automatic gun and the Glock pistol used by Breivik are common weapons for home grown terrorists.

  6. Eddie Eagle will not become part of our national school curriculum. Teach it after school to those who are interested.

  7. It takes about 4 months for the total number of gun homicides alone to add up to the number of Americans killed on 9-11. That's 224 a week (32 homicides a day) If you count the total number, including suicides and accidental gun deaths (80)that would be 560 a week so it would take about 6 week to get to the 3000 number.

  8. I might add that, unless you want passengers on airlines to carry loaded guns, there was no chance a law abiding gun owner could have stopped any of those three attacks mentioned above.

    .45 Colt

  9. japete: "Common sense tells us that sensible gun laws should be passed to prevent the daily gun deaths and injuries in our own country."

    I think I am beginning to understand the "common sense" thing. japete, please correct me if I am wrong.

    How to describe the gun laws that US gun control advocates want for the US? "Common sense."

    How to describe the gun laws in places like Norway and Sweden, which are much more restrictive than what US gun control advocates say they want for the US? "Common sense."

    How to describe the even yet more restrictive gun laws that places like Sweden then propose when multiple shootings happen anyway? "Common sense."

    What are "extreme," “harsh,” or “too restrictive” gun control laws? No such thing!

    japete, do I have it right, now?

  10. I might add that, unless you want passengers on airlines to carry loaded guns, . . .

    If those passengers are licensed CC holders, I have no problem whatsoever with that.

  11. Pretty much. I have lofty goals but I am a realist and know that many of them would be difficult to pass in this country.

  12. Here's an article about the high capacity magazines used by Anders Breivik- http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201107280012

  13. So it looks like Anders Breivik got his high capacity magazines from the U.S. Surprise! http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/07/28/2011-07-28_norway_massacre_suspect_anders_behring_breivik_gives_prison_officials_list_of_de.html

  14. So it looks like Anders Breivik got his high capacity magazines from the U.S. Surprise! http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/07/28/2011-07-28_norway_massacre_suspect_anders_behring_breivik_gives_prison_officials_list_of_de.html

    Why, that is part of a favorable balance of trade. God Bless America!

    No, I'm not being facitious. I have no problem whatsoever with wherever he got the dreaded "high capacity" magazines. Things don't commit crimes; people do.

    Nor should America, nor Americans, apologize in the least.

  15. "So it looks like Anders Breivik got his high capacity magazines from the U.S."

    His purchase was illegal in Norway and a violation of US export laws. So again, an example of gun control laws not being effective.

  16. Not a surprise. The Ruger Mini-14 takes a proprietary mag that is only made for that gun. Although knock-offs exist, the vast majority of Rugers are bought and used in America, which means the vast majority of magazines would come from America as well (and the Ruger brand ones certainly would).

    --JMB's Ghost

  17. The number of rounds a magazine holds has no bearing on the Norway incident. When police don't bother showing up for over an hour, he could have just as easily reloaded 10 or 5 round magazines at will.

    Does anyone really believe that a magazine ban would make a difference? It is nothing more than a box with a spring in it. How will banning something that shares its technology with a PEZ candy dispenser stop someone bent on committing murder?

  18. The amount of rounds in a magazine certainly does make a difference. Tell that to the 3rd, 4th, 5th person killed at the Tucson shopping mall. At the least fewer people would have been killed and perhaps with more time to get away since the shots would not be coming so quickly. You guys just can't keep making excuses here. The world is watching. This morning I heard a report from Norway about Breivik getting his ammunition magazines through the mail from the U.S. That is a wake-up call to some on the media and the general public. If you guys think this is O.K. you are on the wrong side.

  19. The problem with the "amount of rounds in a magazine" issue is that when gunmakers make semiauto guns with 10-rd magazines, gun control advocates still try to ban them.

    The Ruger Mini-14 is a great example. Ruger used to only sell the Mini-14 with 5-rd magazines. It was not banned by the 1994 AWB, nor even by the much more severe and Brady-praised California AWB, since it did not meet any legal definition of an assault weapon in those ban laws. Ruger thought that not meeting the definitions, and only selling 5-rd magazines, would spare them from gun banners. They did not realize that those people would not even honor the promise that Polyphemus made to Odysseus ("I will eat you last"). When gun control advocates later tried to ban the Ruger and other guns they had promised not to ban, Ruger realized their folly and no longer limits their magazines.

    One interesting effect of the earlier attempts to ban the Mini-14 and the new talk to that effect we are now hearing: Since the Mini-14 has always been a popular hunting rifle, ban attempts refute the claims of gun control advocates that assault weapons are not much used for hunting and that AWB's will not much affect hunters. It's good to see the end of that particular piece of bogus propaganda.

  20. Yes, Jay, I am aware that anything that the Brady Campaign is in favor of you are against. That goes without saying.

  21. japete: "I am aware that anything that the Brady Campaign is in favor of you are against. That goes without saying."

    Old joke:

    She: You disagree with everything I say.

    He: No, I don't.

    In that spirit: I supported both the 1994 AWB and Brady law.

  22. But you are NOT making sense, common or otherwise.

    Point one, in an hour and a half, the nutjob from Norway could have used an axe, a sword, or a baseball bat bat to kill that many people. There is NO change to being Murdered, no matter how it's done.

    Point Two. The dreaded mini 14 from Ruger has not changed since the Brady Folks said it was a non threatening sporting rifle. It's the exact same firearm.

    Point three, today I went to the range. I shot ammunition manufacured in Brazil, England, Isreal, the Czech republic and my basement. I used that ammo in guns made in Germany, Croatio, Belgium and the USA. I used magazines made in Korea, Italy and Connecticut USA.
    Nobody got shot.

    I also drove a car made by a Japanese war material giant, On gasoline from Canada, wore clothes made in Viet Nam, Malaysia, and the USA, My glasses are Swiss, my breakfast came from Nebraska, Brazil, Minnesota and Vermont.

    This is the world today. I am quite sure in a week or so, we touch something from any of the industrialized nations of the world. Somehow trying to demonize Us as gun owners because theUSA has producers of value added products which are shipped around the world is ludicris.

    A crazy man in Scandinavia kills people and it's OUR FAULT!?! Absurd.

    Are the French at fault because some one drinks the wine that results in a DUI? "But your honor! It can't be my fault! The French made the wine".

    Or how about this, why don't you blame God! After all he made us, gave us brains that allowed us to manufacture steel and he made the trees that made to wood for the gunstock and he made the island which prevented people from getting there fast enough and he made us out of flesh and blood and mortal and gave us that pesky free will which allowed that guy to decide that somehow killing children made sense? Yeah that's it. It must be God's fault.

    For those offended by the previous , it was intended as strict hyperbole, My God understands that sinners will always be with us.

  23. I am wondering how many times the commenter from Lebanon, Oregon will keep trying to intimidate and harass me.

  24. Well, O.K. The guy from Lebanon, Oregon is at it again. Really, sir. Do have a good week-end. I'm sure glad I'm not spending time with you. You must be a real pleasant guy to be with.