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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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things happen- with guns- oh well

So, how many times do I have to post articles about law abiding gun owners who supposedly practice safety with their guns either shooting themselves or someone else? This Texas gun guy caught the whole thing on tape as he shot himself in the leg. Oh dear. Oh well. Things happen. But do join the NRA. That is what this man says at the end of this video. The NRA must have classes on gun safety and how not to shoot yourself with your own gun. At least, that is what the gun rights activists on my blog tell me. But people sometimes forget what they learn, I guess. Either that or it's just that guns are inherently dangerous and things just happen. And do please listen to how this guy tries to explain how he shot himself in the leg. He goes through a lengthy technical discussion about the holsters, etc. What he doesn't say is that it was just plain stupid. Where is common sense?

But then things like the following two happen which makes the linked video above look like a piece of cake by comparison. Here is one grandfather who is feeling pretty sad and chagrined, I'm sure, about accidentally shooting his grandchild. And, coincidentally, here is another grandfather who accidentally shot his grandchild. This Ohio man clearly should not have been handling a gun at all nor anywhere near his two year old grandchild. Having young grandchildren myself, I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to shoot one of them. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about anything like that happening to one of them. But things happen when guns are available. That is my point. That is always my point. Having guns around everywhere we are is not as safe as some would have you believe. Things happen every day with guns intentionally and accidentally. Bad things happen, in fact. Where is common sense?

What about the old game of Russian Roulette? People talk about it but rarely actually play the game the way it was designed in the first place. From the link above-" Anybody who goes through with it is either dead or crazy (remember Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter?), so clearly this is the sport of desperate souls." But these guys who were drinking too much and just having a good time while playing a game found out that the game actually works the way it was purported to work. Now one man is foolishly dead and the others must be feeling awful, or at least I hope so. Especially the man whose loaded gun was used in the game. Bad things happen when guns are in play. Where is common sense?

29 comments:

  1. I don't know - where is common sense? It's not in these fools. There is no shortage of foolish behavior, to be sure. All you've demonstrated, japete, is that sometimes people do stupid things.

    Well, duh.

    It reminds me of one of your recent posts, where you commented that "guns are dangerous" repeatedly, as if you'd just discovered some deep philosophical truth. Or, truth be told, a sorta truthful sounding "truth." A "truthy" truth, as it were.

    In fact, guns are no more dangerous than cars (actually, by your measure, cars are far more dangerous than guns), or hammers, or swimming pools, or razor blades, or any one of literally thousands of other things. Like any one of these things, guns are inanimate objects. They don't do anything in and of themselves, and have no magical powers (as is apparantly sometimes believed). Their dangerousness is directly tied to the people who use them. Nothing more, nothing less.

    In reality is, of course, PEOPLE are dangerous, and always have been. Always will be. They are occasionally just stupid or somewhat more often willfully dangerous. People have been killing each other for thousands of years (usually with full intent to do so), and are unlikely to stop now. Killing each other is perhaps what we do best; it appears, unfortunately, to be part of the human condition. The tool matters little; the malice - and the dangerousness - is in the people who use the tools.

    Which is why I'll continue to carry my .45, thank you very much (and yes, I do so around my granddaughter). Now, if you can demonstrate that widespread liberalization of carry laws has led to any statistically significant increase in accidental or intentional wrongful shootings, I'm willing to listen. But we both know that you can find no such evidence; the anti-rights activists have been crying over 'blood in the street for years,' and they've been repeatedly wrong. Every. Single. Time.

    Crying wolf simply doesn't work anymore.

    In fact, the real-world evidence is that CC holders are far more safe and law-abiding than nearly any other population group you can imagine. As a group, they're statistically less likely to be felons than members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns ( though admittedly we're talking about municipal politicians here, so holding them to some sort of ethical standard is probably unfair - especially in Illinois and New York, where graft and corruption are part of normal practice).

    In short, japete, your cry has no factual basis. But then, you've never been one to let facts get in the way of a good rant.

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  2. I am working on preventing gun violence. As you know, others are working on preventing drinking while driving and car safety, etc. As to the rest of your "rant" anon, the fact is that I am only blogging about what's in the news. And what's in the news happens to be more stories about stupid folks causing harm to themselves or others with guns. I suspect we will continue to see these stories and more of them because of the proliferation of more guns in more public places. And, by the way, no need to insult me in your comments. I would love to believe that CC holders are more safe than any other population group. Do you have evidence for that? So far, I don't think I have seen that. As to the continued false statement about Mayors being more likely to be felons than CC holders, I don't get the point. I know you don't like MAIG. But to call them felons because you don't like them is simpley erroneous and serves no purpose. Yes, poltiicians can be corrupt and people can be stupid and people have been killing each other since time began. That doesn't mean we should sit back and do nothing about it. Corrupt poltiicians usually get caught and are either run out of office or not re-elected. I will not insult you by saying you are a liar or a felon but you have no compunction about doing the same to me. Keep it civil please.

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  3. "I am only blogging about what's in the news" Which lines up pretty well with "no statistical evidence".

    "I suspect we will continue to see these stories" How statistical, on average, would you say your suspicions are?

    Here's a comments section (from your own blog) in which you are presented with and respond to the MAIG felony rate claim. http://www.commongunsense.com/2011/01/there-are-hardly-words.html

    "Chris said...

    Re MAIG:
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Mayors_Against_Illegal_Guns

    This data was in Wikipedia but it keeps getting purged from there. But all the indicted and felonious mayors do have good footnoted cititations for the sourcing.

    I count 9 felonious mayors and 1 violent misdemeanor, including at least one weapons charge. As of Nov 09 there were 522 mayors on the membership roster. Today they boast over 500 members so that number is likely still in the ballpark; I have a life so I'm not counting all the members on the roster. That gives a felony rate of 1724 per 100,000 (9 / 522 = X / 100,000).

    In comparison, around 2000 per 100,000 US citizens have a felony conviction. And of course, we've discussed crime rates among CCW permit holders including those of your own state which tend to be a tiny fraction of the US national average."

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  4. And so what's your point again in continuing to raise this nonsensical argument about mayors and felonious behavior? It has no bearing on what I am blogging about. This thread is getting off topic. I am talking about people with guns who discharge them in public accidentally or intentionally.

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  5. "The NRA must have classes on gun safety and how not to shoot yourself with your own gun. At least, that is what the gun rights activists on my blog tell me. But people sometimes forget what they learn, I guess."

    The NRA offers a number of courses - including Basic Pistol and Home Firearms Safety, both of which address gun safety issues. A third course, Personal Protection Outside the Home, contains a lot of discussion about using holsters.

    Information about these courses is available through the NRA's course catalog at - http://nrainstructors.org/CourseCatalog.aspx

    And yes, unfortunately, not everyone listens and/or follows what they are trained.

    And yes, sometimes folks don't

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  6. "And do please listen to how this guy tries to explain how he shot himself in the leg. He goes through a lengthy technical discussion about the holsters, etc. What he doesn't say is that it was just plain stupid. Where is common sense?"

    I saw his video the other day and found it to be a refreshing presentation of someone who went through a negligent (not accidental - negligent) discharge and paid the price by wounding himself in the leg.

    I thought he did a nice job of accepting responsibility and explaining exactly what happened.

    Was he stupid? Sure - the mistake he made is exactly one that we warn against in training - he violated at least two of the four cardinal rules of gun safety.

    As an aside, I note that this individual spared himself additional complications by being prepared with an appropriate medkit and administering first aid prior to the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

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  7. "I would love to believe that CC holders are more safe than any other population group. Do you have evidence for that? So far, I don't think I have seen that. "

    I, and others, have repeatedly pointed you to the availability of data (even in our shared home state of Minnesota) indicating the minuscule rate of crimes committed by permit holsters compared to the general population. Similar data is available from Florida, Texas, and Ohio to my knowledge - and I suspect other states as well.

    This data clearly shows that permit holders are by far more law abiding (and safe) than the population as a whole.

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  8. Yes, I do agree with your assessment of the video, Bryan. He did the right things after he shot himself. He could have bled and caused himself a lot more medical trouble.

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  9. Bad things happen when guns are in play.

    Joan,

    Do you realize that millions of people "play" with guns each week?

    And relatively few accidents happen?

    Here in Texas, there have been at least 2 deaths related to boating on local lakes.

    By your reasoning, shouldn't there be a push to outlaw recreational boating?

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  10. Sure, anon, there are auto accidents and boating accidents where I live as well. I have confidence that the people working on safety issues for both are continuing to work on safety and prevention. That is why I am working on it for the gun issue. At least cars and boats are not designed as weapons to kill people. Guns, as we know, are. That is why we need to take more measures to keep them away from those who shouldn't have them and think very carefully about who and how many can carry loaded guns around in how many public places. So if you want to work on preventing boating accidents, go for it. Me, I will stick to the gun issue until some changes for the better take place.

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  11. I wish I could go back in time and ask those grandfathers and shooting instructor and the kid who owned the gun used in the Russian roullette incident one simple question: "Do you think you or anyone innocent will be shot with your gun?"

    Almost certainly they would have used the "not me" excuse. They would almost certainly have claimed that it couldn't happen to them, that they have extensive experience with their guns, that they have had training, that they would never do something so stupid, that they follow the rules of safety.

    And then it happens. So then they rationalize and backpedal, as the guy in the "shot in the leg" video did.

    Guns are made to shoot to kill with almost no effort. Accidents happen. Guns and kids don't mix. Guns and alcohol don't mix. These are simple truths that shouldn't be hard to comprehend. And yet, certain people are clueless, and people die because of it.

    Will *my* guns be used to kill innocents or myself? No, because I take the safest route of all: I don't own any, and I avoid them at all cost.

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  12. Joan,

    At least cars and boats are not designed as weapons to kill people.

    You keep using that phrase --incorrectly but let's ignore that for a minute.

    If I use a firearm to protect my family without firing a shot; was the firearm used incorrectly?

    If I use a firearm to keep myself from being beaten or killed -- without killing my assailant; was the firearm used incorrectly?

    I see a fundamental difference in our view points. Please correct me if I am wrong here.

    It appears that you see no fundamental difference between violence used to prey on people and violence used to protect people.

    Would you agree with that statement?

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  13. Japete: “So if you want to work on preventing boating accidents, go for it.”

    But it is your approach that we take issue with. Your answer is that people shouldn’t carry guns for their protection because accidents happen. Those working on boating accidents don’t say you shouldn’t take your boat on the water, but it is ok to own a boat provided you leave it at home. Likewise they don’t say “the states with the most registered boats have the most boating deaths” which I am sure holds true, but is not a reason for more boating regulation.

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  14. Anon- do you think the guns used in these examples were used properly or used in self defense or to protect anyone? That is the problem. If you feel a need to have a gun for self defense, and God forbid, you use it to legitmately save yourself or your family, that is not an improper use of a gun. I have never said that. Your statement is incorrect. But sometimes the guns used for self defense get used against their owners or someone they know or love. And sometimes when using a gun in self defense, it gets used against it's owner to bad effect. I have provided examples of that happening on this blog.

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  15. Come on TS do we have to go over that again? Your arguments just don't hold up and don't make sense.

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  16. Joan,

    Thank you for clarifying.

    I am glad you see a difference between predatory gun violence and protectionary.

    The question becomes; why doesn't your efforts reflect that belief?

    You oppose concealed carry.
    Heck, you oppose any sort of carry.

    I suppose it is possible in your state the criminals wait politely and meekly until you can get home, arm yourself and confront them when they demand your wallet or virtue -- but in the rest of the world it doesn't work that way.

    And sometimes when using a gun in self defense, it gets used against it's owner to bad effect

    And some times cars used properly still end up involved in someone's death. And boats and chainsaws and hatchets and kitchen knives.

    Anything can be used properly and still result in death -- does that mean the response should be -- as it is yours -- to make it harder for other people to own that object?

    People take chances ever day of their lives. I can cross a street at the corner, using the walk/don't walk light, following every law on the book and still be killed. Happens quite often.

    Should we outlaw crossing the street? Cars?

    Should we make it more difficult to cross the street?

    Your seems to be centered on the negative impact of firearms to the point you can not see the positive.

    How can I save family if your (i.e. The Brady Campaigns) proposals are passed restricting the right to carry firearms?

    How can I protect myself from harm so I can be there for my family if I can't carry in public?

    I hope you aren't going to try something ridiculous like claiming I'm safe in public, are you?

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  17. Anon- you have chosen to carry a gun and have a gun to "protect" your family. I have not. I see things differently. I don't see the need for a gun everywhere I go and so far things have worked out fine except for the shooting of my sister by her estranged husband. I choose to work on gun violence. You can work on boating deaths and auto deaths if that is what you choose. I am writing to show that those guns carried in public places for self defense get used in accidental and intentional shootings thereby possibly negating the safety of carrying guns around in public since they are so infrequently used in self defense but more often in incidents such as the ones I illustrate here. Your questions about saving your family are clearly from your own perspective which is very different from mine. The minority of you have chosen the path of carrying a gun around to that. The rest of us have not and sometimes are placed in more danger because of some who have their guns in public.

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  18. Joan, you keep harping on common sense. Common sense says that if a mugger is in front of me, the cops getting there in 20-30 minutes aren't going to do much good to me. A typical cop in my city makes $60,000 a year. That's larcenous in view of what they do. Entirely not enough to ask them to get between me and an armed criminal.

    Common Sense requires one to be responsible for ones' own safety, and that of society.

    Common Sense would require gun safety training in 6th grade or sooner!

    Common Sense says that anyone who refuses to carry a gun is within their rights to do so. But to persuade others not to carry is an open attempt to promote robbery and rape.

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  19. Nope, John. To me that is not common sense.

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  20. japete wrote: Anon- you have chosen to carry a gun and have a gun to "protect" your family. I have not. I see things differently.

    Why, japete, do you have 'protect' in scare quotes? Can you not imagine circumstance where the use of a firearm would provide protection? Having the firearm comes at almost no risk whatsoever, and could, in some circumstances, be the difference between living and not living.

    To me, that's not a hard call. I do not attempt to impose your judgements on you, however. Why do you attempt to impose yours on me?

    - Me Again

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  21. I don't see the need for a gun everywhere I go and so far things have worked out fine except for the shooting of my sister by her estranged husband. I choose to work on gun violence.

    Japete, that's the difference between us: I respect your right to not carry a gun with you everywhere you go; I don't try to force you to buy a holster and a pink .38 S&W. Please give me the same courtesy that I extend to you.

    --JMB's Ghost

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  22. You may have already forgotten Me Again, that this is my blog and written from my point of view. If you want to write a blog from your own point of view, go ahead. I am trying to persuade others who agree with my point of view to join me in demanding action for common sense gun laws. So whether or not you agree is not the point here. I expect that a lot of people will disagree with my point of view. I'm hoping that a few of you may agree with something I say and maybe agree that we could work together towards a common goal. And for the rest of the readers who are not commenting here, I hope you will take action or do something about the issues I'm raising here on my blog.

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  23. And to Mr. "Ghost", I am not forcing you to do anything. Read what I am saying. Carry if you want. I don't have to like it.

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  24. I used to live rural as well so I understand John B's point. A 20 minute response time would be a good one. japete, what do you suggest that someone does when emergency response of any sort is 20 minutes away? Unless they live in a safe, I'm pretty sure that any determined person can gain entry into a normal home in less than 5 minutes.

    An awful lot of bad things can happen during that 20 minute wait for help.

    Perhaps this is another world view thing. Do you not think that the safety of your family is your responsibility first? I'm not arguing, I'm asking if you literally DEPEND on the police to respond quickly enough to stop an attack in progress. The thought of depending on someone for that is totally foreign to me. I have plan A "call the cops" but I have plan B and C too. I try to layer my options so I can respond instantly, withdraw or wait for help as the event dictates.

    Perhaps where you live the response time is almost instant so it's hard to imagine what it's like to live remote. At my farm, I could yell out the window all day and no one is close enough to hear me. I can shoot firearms ALL DAY and no one would give it a second thought since that is common. I could set a fire and let smoke billow into to sky for hours and no one would come see what was happening since burning brush is normal. If I lost phone service (and the box is 1/10 of a mile down my driveway) I would have to walk 1/2 a mile to get to a neighbor if I followed the roads.

    Perhaps that is part of the reason some of us grow up thinking of ourselves as our own "first responders" and that sets our world view.

    Just a thought.

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  25. Yes, 18 Echo- you are on to one of the major reasons there is this huge difference. How can we put those differences aside and talk about something that can make sense in the middle? You sound like a reasonable guy to me. This should be a blog topic.

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  26. Yes, 18 Echo- you are on to one of the major reasons there is this huge difference. How can we put those differences aside and talk about something that can make sense in the middle? You sound like a reasonable guy to me. This should be a blog topic.

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  27. "How can we put those differences aside and talk about something that can make sense in the middle?"

    We can recognize that different people will make different choices, and allow them to make those choices.

    And that means we allow people who choose to carry, to carry, because we respect their right to make their own decisions.

    And we allow those who choose not to carry, to not carry, because we respect their right to make their own decisions.

    This is the _only_ middle ground.

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  28. Japete;

    You said "And to Mr. "Ghost", I am not forcing you to do anything. Read what I am saying. Carry if you want. I don't have to like it."

    Would you force him not to carry if you could? If you had the ear or the powers that be and could make it happen, would you take the choice away from him?

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  29. One only need look at the advocacy of the Brady Campaign, CSGV, and other anti-rights organizations and the answer to that question becomes crystal clear.

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