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.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This is America....

What is this all about anyway? First Jesse Kelly, about whom I blogged a while ago concerning his campaign ad with him and his assault weapon- now the Pima County, Arizona Sheriff candidate with a machine gun shoot. Jesse Kelly tried this when he ran against Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2010. I guess the machine gun thing doesn't necessarily win you votes. What guns, and most especially assault rifles and machine guns, have to do with running our country and making one a better leader is beyond me. It should be beyond the gun nuts who think it makes a difference as well. Ah, but then, this is Arizona, where things are a bit different. But wait, this is Arizona where Representative Gabrielle Giffords experienced an assassination attempt on her life on Jan. 8, 2011. Pima is the county where lies Tucson, where 6 people were shot to death and 13 were injured in the mass shooting at a shopping mall. This is Tucson where a crazed gunman who shouldn't have had a gun got one anyway and went on a spree in a totally senseless shooting. This is Arizona where there are 18 gun deaths per 100,000 per year- the 5th highest in the country. This is Arizona where, according to this new article in a series about gun rights in Arizona, is the land of the free and six shooters.

This is America. This is the country that has the highest gun deaths per 100,000 of any civilized country not at war. This is America where the second amendment ridiculously gets confused with doing the right thing. This is America where, on average, 32 people are the victims of gun homicides every day. This is America where 80 people a day in total die of gunshot wounds ( includes suicides and accidental shootings). This is America where we can't pass legislation to close the private sale loophole that would require background checks to stop terrorists, felons, dangerously mentally ill people, domestic abusers, drug abusers and minors from buying guns. This is America where illegal guns have flooded our streets providing criminals and others with crime guns. This is America where people who own guns have them stolen from their homes by people who shouldn't own guns. This is America where all but one state have laws allowing people to carry loaded guns in public places.

This is America where some politicians trip all over themselves to have photos of themselves taken with guns or visit gun shops for campaign photo ops. This is America where a group of people who don't represent most of us get to intimidate politicians with their power and money. This is America where politicians are bought and paid for by the NRA, one of the largest lobbies in the country. This is America where money counts in campaigns to the point where our elected leaders have stopped listening to common sense and do the wrong thing for the majority. This is America where even our President is afraid to take on this powerful gun lobby. This is American where our current President has had more threats to his safety than any other President in history. This is America where we elected our first black President and gun sales went up. This is America where fringe gun rights activists think they should take up arms against their own government.

Is this the America you want to live in? I want change. I want common sense. I don't want any one's rights taken away in the process. I want the gun guys to stop using the second amendment as an excuse for doing the right thing. I want fewer gun deaths and injuries. I want fewer families to feel the pain of losing a loved one to a bullet. I want fewer people to be sitting in wheel chairs with permanent life time injuries because of a bullet. I want fewer people to be walking around with bullet fragments in their bodies. I want our politicians to be bold and courageous enough to stand with the majority instead of the bullies. I want President Obama to act in spite of the NRA to let America know that he is fed up with the intransigence about making better gun policy to save lives. I want President Obama to talk about our own country's contribution to the carnage in Mexico. I want Representative Gabrielle Giffords to walk and talk again and take her rightful seat in Congress where candidates don't put gun sites on Congressional districts or members any more. I want politicians to stop thinking that holding a machine gun shoot is just not a good way to get elected to public office.


  1. Say gun ownership is a privilege and not a right. And let’s say that ownership was limited to the very wealthy with government permission after months of paperwork and waiting. But common people (in states which allow it) can sign up for rare events and pay to rent a gun and shoot it in a controlled environment. So what is your problem with a machine gun shoot?

  2. Japete,
    How do you define a "civilized country?" Do you consider Mexico uncivilized?

  3. Actually, MA, that is a good question. I do throw that one around. Here is a link to an article with relatively recent figures - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence

    I know that you and i will differ on what is going on in Mexico. You can see that Mexico has higher gun deaths per 100,000 than the U.S. The term used in this chart is "developing" countries which I assume we can call Mexico. I consider what is going on in Mexico to be because of the drug wars and drug cartel killings which are not to be compared to what is happening in the U.S. since most of our gun deaths are domestic in nature and including suicide and to gang related activity. So to compare the 2 countries one must look at what is going on. Gun deaths have increased in Mexico with the increase in drug cartel activity.

  4. You do not think that gang shootings have anything to drug wars the same as in Mexico? Do you think the violence in Mexico with the cartels stops at the border?

  5. That's one of the very large problems. Some of the violence is spilling over to our own states. But I have heard stories that have been found to be untrue regarding the Mexicans coming over and killing Americans. There are some very exaggerated stories out there. But we are doing nothing about any of this. That is the huger problem and you guys have no better answers other than, as Chris Cox ( NRA) said today is to put them all in jail. That's great and should be done but I have heard nothing from the gun rights side suggesting ways to prevent the problems in the first place. That is what is required.

  6. I Know I have heard the gun control side say we need to better control our border. I also think we need to deport them when caught to the southern tip of Mexico rather than dropping them right by the US border. Some even think that if we legalize Pot that the problem will stop the problem the way the end of prohibition collapsed the Mafia problem.

    Wow the non firearm murder rate in Mexico is insane! I wonder if there is a blogger in Mexico (the bazaro world you)pointing at our numbers and saying see what we need is more guns to protect ourselves from the gangs. Look at the murder rate there.

  7. I love the "bazaro world you" comment. I doubt that the solution is more guns to protect ourselves however. As I said, most homicides are domestic in nature actually though gangs obviously account for a good number.

  8. Referring to the comic book world in superman comics where everything is reversed it wan not intended to be an insult. The comment about guns to protect our self is what the made up Mexican blogger might say when looking at our stats. As you see they are opposite of ours (back to the bizarro thing) and as you know guns are very hard to get for law abiding Mexicans wanting to be able to protect themselves against the gangs.

  9. Thanks, and, of course, there is no way of knowing whether, if the people of Mexico actually had guns for self defense, they could defend themselves against the drive bys and the mass shootings that have taken place suprising the victims who would have little chance to shoot back against AK 47s and other assault rifles used by the cartel in Mexico.

  10. Correct and there is no way of knowing if banning guns in public would reduce gun deaths. Look at most of the major shootings in the US most are in areas deemed "gun free zones". It seems banning legal guns has little effect on gunmen determined to kill people in areas with just a sign protecting them.

  11. "where candidates don't put gun sites on Congressional districts or members any more."

    So, I suppose you are now consistently opposing Obama?

    And opposing the entire Democratic Party? (Note, for example, the bulls-eyes in the chart.)

  12. You must have missed the part where I said "candidates". I didn't specify any one or any party.

  13. "Some of the violence is spilling over to our own states. But I have heard stories that have been found to be untrue regarding the Mexicans coming over and killing Americans. There are some very exaggerated stories out there. But we are doing nothing about any of this."

    In general, despite what the press says, there is a minimal amount of violence coming across the border. The cartels are well aware that if they create too much of a ruckus in the US, there's a possibility that we would utilize military force against them - and they're pretty motivated to avoid that.

    That's not to say that there isn't any criminal activity coming across the border - because there is. But statistically, it's having a minimal impact on most border states and businesses.

    We're better off working to support the Mexican government in their efforts on their side of the border while continuing to police our own.

  14. I think taking the money out of the drug trade through legalization/decriminalization efforts will do far more to prevent violence in Mexico than any change in US domestic arms policy.

    We have made Mexico a hell hole to live in, but US civilian market firearms are window dressing next to the corrupting influence of bribery money and packs of thugs that operate openly in groups of 40 or more. The select fire (fully automatic) weapons that seem to be involved in the crimes covered by news reports I have seen all come from other sources(including US Govt sales to the Mexican Govt).