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, August 29, 2011

Stupid and Dangerous #4

  1. This week in "stupid and dangerous" starts with this shooting of a 14 year old boy in Minneapolis, again in my home state. Why are kids always in the cross fire of the likely illegal gun activity in our large inner cities? They are too young to die from a bullet. " Homicides in the city are down in comparison to the same time last year, he said, but the age of the victim stands out. "Fourteen-year-olds don't typically get gunned down, whether it's intentional or not," McCarty said." No one should die from a bullet but 8 kids a day, on average, die a horrible death because of guns. ""I feel numb," she said. "There will never be anybody to replace him." Kennedy, 37, described Braxton as a "sports fanatic." He had told his mother that he wanted to be a mechanic and a "family man."" Another life gone and another family grieving.
  2. It didn't take long for the first incident of this week about a permit holder to come across the news wires. This Pennsylvania road rage incident did not end in an actual shooting but sure could have. Great stuff. A permit holder threatened a driver with an infant in her car. The permit holder had his own two kids in his car when the incident happened. Guns are dangerous.
  3. Here is yet another tragic shooting of a 3 year old. There has been at least one each of the weeks I have been writing this stupid and dangerous post. Don't leave loaded guns laying around in your car. This little South Carolina boy is now dead, thanks to the negligence of his mother. Little kids find those guns and they are curious. Guns are dangerous.
  4. Domestic disputes happen often. Guns are also often the weapon of choice for men (usually it's men) who kill women in these disputes. Here is one this week from Virginia when a man took out a gun, killed his girlfriend, chased her sister with the gun, went back into the house and shot himself. Guns are dangerous.
  5. Ah yes, another shooting on a campus. This time, it's in Nevada. I'm just positive that if this victim had a gun handy, he wouldn't have been shot. Or someone walking by who just might be armed could likely have stopped the shooting. Also, these types of shootings just won't happen if more people are armed on college campuses, she said cynically. Guns are dangerous.
  6. Many questions need to be answered about this Tennessee man who shot himself in both legs while driving, no less. Really folks, where is common sense? If you carry a loaded gun around in your car and you don't secure it so it doesn't move around in the car, stupid and dangerous things can happen. But further, what did this guy have in mind with that gun? " Police who answered the call also discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia, as well as a variety of identification documents from different locations in the country, Knoll said." One can buy guns at gun shows or from gun dealers if they show proper identification to prove state residency, or not, in some cases. I'm just saying. More questions need to be asked and answered about this one.
  7. This blog provides some food for thought about guns, aggression and anger. The writer has compiled some research about the possibility that possessing guns while angry increases the chance of a situation becoming lethal. This is a no-brainer, actually, but it's good to have some facts. These ideas deserve more thought and research. As my readers know, I write often about how the presence of a gun can turn otherwise ordinary arguments into crime scenes. Guns are dangerous.
  8. This Idaho shooting is a domestic relationship gone wrong, though that wasn't clear in the first story. A professor was terminated because of his involvement with a student and then several days later he shot the young woman to death and then himself. Here is the follow-up story to the shooting, confirming that this shooting was, indeed, a case of a break-up of a relationship. The professor was found to have an arsenal of guns and ammunition. Senseless. Guns are dangerous.
  9. I refer you back to the #1 story in this post before you read this one. People in the Minneapolis neighborhood where the shooting of the 14 year old boy took place a few days ago were greeted with gun fire. One young woman was shot and has critical injuries from the bullet which was shot into her back. Really? What is going on? Again, I ask, are we at war? Where are all of these street guns coming from? Where is common sense?
  10. You may remember that last week I wrote about the shooting at a Pennsylvania gun shop and thought more information would come out about it. It turns out that the shooter was a permit holder and has now been charged with homicide. What is happening to the claims by the gun rights extremists that permit holders are law abiding citizens who would use that gun to protect themselves and others at home or in public? That scenario is just not playing out as promised. Rather, what we have seen is permit holders using guns to shoot someone very purposefully or in accidental discharges. Moving forward, I suspect we will see more of these. Domestic shootings happen every day and this would likely have happened even if this man was not a permit holder. But the fact that he was is problematic for the gun lobby. They have convinced our elected leaders that it's a good idea to allow people to carry guns around wherever they go. Now what will they have to say when the shootings by permit holders start adding up and the numbers just don't work out as planned? 
  11. Here is an opinion piece written about a Pennsylvania shooting incident in which one teen was shot by another over a silly argument. The point of the piece was that an ordinary argument can easily turn fatal when a gun is available. Why do teens need to have guns? Where do they get their guns? But almost more disturbing than the article are the comments that follow. These are the same kind of people who frequent blogs and articles of anyone who dares to write about gun violence prevention. 
  12. Is this Oregon shooting self defense or not? Authorities have not said yet and maybe won't for quite some time. The shooter says it was self defense. If it turns out that law enforcement charges the shooter with homicide, his claims of self defense will have been denied. These are the instances that come about when the discussion about "Shoot First" or expanded Castle Doctrine laws occur in our states. If there are no witnesses, how can we tell if the shooting is a legitimate self defense or not? It is possible for some folks to shoot someone and get away with murder. Time will tell if that is the case here. Meanwhile, I love the headline of the article: " 'Nice people, I wouldn't expect this to happen'" How many times do we hear this one? Gun deaths and injuries happen to and are perpetrated by some nice people who no one would expect would be a murderer or a victim.
  13. This writer makes way too much common sense about stopping illegal gun sales in order to prevent shootings. Gun rights groups argue over and over that we just need to punish those who commit gun crimes, and the problem will largely be solved. Of course, no rational person denies the value of punishing dangerous offenders. At the same time, however, shouldn't we strive to make it more difficult for criminals to acquire their weapons by targetting the illegal distribution processes?" Enough said.
  14. And then there's this review of an OpEd piece written by NRA mouthpiece Chuck Norris for Politico. Again, Norris is carrying on about the U.N. Small Arms Treaty and the total hypocrisy and paranoia about how it will affect the gun rights of the gun rights extremists here in the U.S. of A. This fictional account of how the treaty will actually work is ridiculous, of course, but it gets traction in our own Senate because of the total fear of doing something to offend the NRA. I've gone over this one before in a previous post but wanted to add this to my list because of Norris's recent column.
  15. I'm sorry this list is getting so long. I can't help it. The stories keep coming. Here's the next one- this Washington state concealed carry permit holder threatened a Police Chief and issued some really dangerous statements. These are the folks who should not have guns under any circumstances. Their dangerous thoughts lead to dangerous and deadly actions. " Stamper and a Washington State Patrol trooper arrested Burdette on suspicion of driving while under the influence of intoxicants. During the arrest, Stamper said, Burdette said, "No wonder why we walk into a coffee shop and shoot four of you," an apparent reference to the 2009 slaying of four Lakewood police officers by Maurice Clemmons." We? Who are the "we" to which Burdette refers? Is this a general reference to permit holders or gun owners? I'm just asking.
  16. It turns out that there are other ways to defend yourself if you don't have a gun at the ready. Check out this article from the Duluth News Tribune about a robbery gone wrong. A delivery man was accosted by a teen with a .22 rifle. He thought it was a pellet gun and resisted by trying to reason with the teen and outsmart him. Was he crazy or lucky? Maybe both. It turned out all right in the end because the teen was caught and no one was shot.
  17. The problem with guns is that, way too often, victims of shootings are actually collateral damage. This story shows how easy it is for someone with a gun who has an intended "target" mistakenly shoots someone else. This would be another tragic homicide no matter who died as a result. But the young woman who died was a completely innocent person who happened to get in the way of a bullet meant for someone else. This story also shows, again, how often shooters miss their "targets." A piece of paper at a firing range is just different from a living human being who moves, walks, runs, turns their head, etc. 
  18. And, once again, more violence in Mexico. This time it was not bullets, but a purposely set fire in a casino, killing 52 people, that has upset President Calderone of Mexico. Read the words of Calderone,He called on the United States to “once and for all stop the criminal sale of high-powered weapons and assault rifles to  criminals that operate in Mexico.” How many more deaths caused by guns that come from the U.S. will the U.S. Congress tolerate before agreeing to some sensible gun laws?
  19. And speaking of Mexico and American guns, this New Mexico border town has all but shut down because some of the town's officials were benefiting from trafficking guns to Mexico. Amazing, really. As I have said before, just follow the money to see why so many Americans are involved in the lucrative business of selling guns to the Mexican drug cartel and/or smuggling them directly into Mexico for use by the drug cartel. Innocent Mexicans lose their lives by the dozens because our own country refuses to do a thing about this. Why? Ask the NRA? They are directly responsible for keeping sensible gun policies from passing to stop this dangerous practice. And don't believe the NRA and the gun rights extremists when they say that America is not providing most of the guns traced in Mexico. Yes, we are and we do. This is more than shameful. It is a travesty. Tell your Congress person to do something about this. Common sense is screaming for a sensible solution and there are simple things that can be done. Reporting of multiple long gun sales at gun shops ( in border states only) to the authorities would be one step. President Obama is attempting to do this very thing but has met with resistance from the NRA. Requiring background checks on all gun sales, no matter from a licensed or private seller, would stop prohibited people at the point of sale. But that makes too much common sense for the gun guys to accept. Of course, it won't affect law abiding gun owners but never mind the facts and the truth.
  20. And last, but not least, is the concern over dangerous sports coaches with guns. In North Carolina, a youth football coach tried to choke one of his players and then resisted arrest when the Sheriff's deputies were called. To make matters worse, a gun and many rounds of ammunition were found in his truck. Why? He was on school grounds where the gun guys think people should be allowed to carry guns. Do they think people like this should be allowed to have guns on school grounds? How will you decide who gets to carry or possess guns on school property and who doesn't? A conundrum for sure. More on this later. And parents are worried about retribution from this angry and dangerous guy, as well they should be. "“If he brought that much ammo…he could come back,” Palmer said." One can take a guess that this man was a "law abiding" gun owner and permit holder.


  1. And already, another shooting in my home town. A robbery suspect was shot after a police chase led his car to crash into a home. http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/207975/

  2. "It turns out that the shooter was a permit holder and has now been charged with homicide."

    Contrary to your interpretation of the article you quoted the permit holder has not been charged with homicide. If you had read beyond the first paragraph you would have found the following.

    "Even though her death has been ruled a homicide, Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner says the findings won't have an effect on his decision to file charges. He's waiting for the state police to finish their death investigation before he makes that call.

    In cases other than suicide, a coroner really only has two choices in ruling the manner of death: accident or homicide.

    Homicide means dying at the hands of another human. And this case falls into that category, Wagner said in a voice mail.

    There have been other cases where a coroner ruled a death a homicide and no charges were filed. "

  3. "- this Washington state concealed carry permit holder threatened a Police Chief " But he was aquitted of those charges. Now here is the scary sentence in the story.

    "Stamper said he had to point his gun at Burdette and slowly squeeze the trigger before Burdette would comply and follow orders to return to his vehicle."

    A policeman saying he "had" to "slowly squeeze the trigger?" One of the only ones?

  4. " We? Who are the "we" to which Burdette refers? Is this a general reference to permit holders or gun owners? I'm just asking."

    Well let me answer. The man that shot the four officers was an EX CON. He was not a legal gun owner nor a permit holder therefore I can only assume the drunken criminal, sex offender was referring to fellow criminals.

    Not being able to legally own a gun didn't stop the cop killer did it? The gun was stolen so the gun show loophole law wouldn't have helped and he was killed while in possession of one of the dead officers guns.

    In fact they only thing that would have helped would have been if he had to actually server ALL of his 60 year sentence instead of being let out early.

    Please. Don't insult us. and don't try to pretend that you were really "just asking" if you are going to do so. You ask us to be civil and to keep the snarkeyness to a minimum. It's your blog, of course, but I think that was over the top.

    You KNOW I have the stats to show that Permit holders are involved in 1/2 of 1 percent of crimes involving guns. So if you are really "just asking" then have the honesty to let me publish the links and then let's have an honest debate about why all those non permit holders are so much more violent.

  5. Really, japete?

    It appears after only a quick check on your "facts" that they are often not as they appear.

    Moreover, it's a big country. Anyone so inclined could easily assemble a similar list of citizens using their firearms to defend lives or property. And that would only be the ones reported; the vast majority of defensive gun uses are never reported, never a statistic, because a shot is never fired and a report never made.

    So, at the end of the day, just what have you demonstrated? If your premise is that legal concealed carry is dangerous, the experience of now 40+ states with "may issue" laws says otherwise. Over and over again.

    Moreover, my safety, and that of my family, is not a statistic. I will not be disarmed to make someone else "feel" better.

    Molon labe.

  6. It's funny, GMC, that we don't see articles about all of those self defense uses of guns. Where are they it there are so many?

  7. "It's funny, GMC, that we don't see articles about all of those self defense uses of guns. Where are they it there are so many? "











  8. Here is another --- 65 year old woman undergoing chemotherapy attacked in her home by nearly naked 21 year old. This could have turned out well don't you think?


  9. Thanks for the list. Some of these seem legitimate though it could be argued that a gun was not necessary in all of the incidents. It looks like a couple of the shooters in self defense may yet face a grand jury or further investigation to determine whether or not the shootings were in actual self defense. The Mpls. case was a kniving rather than a shooting, but still in "self defense". Compared to the daily shootings not in self defense, however, these are few and far between.

  10. Yes, Robin, "Pajamas Media "is that great unbiased source of news." The Brady Campaign will call this “gun violence,” but a 63-year-old female cancer survivor’s the real victim here." When someone is killed, no matter how, it is still considered to be gun violence and this incident will be in the column of a homicide because someone purposely killed another person. It is a justifiable homicide, in this case. I don't think anyone doubts that this woman was a victim. Have you heard that anyone did? I haven't.

  11. "When someone is killed, no matter how, it is still considered to be gun violence and this incident will be in the column of a homicide because someone purposely killed another person. It is a justifiable homicide, in this case. I don't think anyone doubts that this woman was a victim. Have you heard that anyone did?"

    Are you trying to claim that the Brady statistics break out "justifiable homicide" instead of just lumping it all in as "gun death?" Really?

    Since these defensive uses took me all of 5 minutes to find I find it very hard to believe that you could call that far and few between compared to the stories you come up with.

  12. No Robin, that is not what I said. The Brady Campaign has nothing to do with compiling the statistics. That is done by the CDC. I don't know if the CDC breaks homicides down into justifiable homicides or not. I can check that out. The Brady Campaign uses the facts when talking about the numbers of deaths due to homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. Those are the main 3 categories usually reported. Where in there do you think the self defense killings would fall?

  13. "It looks like a couple of the shooters in self defense may yet face a grand jury or further investigation to determine whether or not the shootings were in actual self defense."

    This is normal in nearly all states - even for officer involved shootings by the police.

    It's not something that we should look at and say "something is shady here, that's why it's going to a grand jury or being investigated"


  14. "The Brady Campaign uses the facts when talking about the numbers of deaths due to homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. Those are the main 3 categories usually reported. Where in there do you think the self defense killings would fall?"

    Technically speaking, under the law, Homicide is Homicide. However, self-defense is a valid exception to homicide statutes.

    I think it's disingenuous to report everything as "homicide" or "gun violence" when some of the things being counted in those numbers are defensive uses of a firearm.


  15. "It's funny, GMC, that we don't see articles about all of those self defense uses of guns. Where are they it there are so many? "

    Here is one of the most comprehensive sites, unfortunately not updated since February because of the large workload of keeping up with a popular blog, with which I am sure you can sympathize Joan.


    And of course, there is always the NRA version:


    The first is more comprehensive, however.

  16. Here is another stupid and dangerous story about guns. It may however not be what you are looking for


  17. After reading the posts and comments I feel that most of your traffic is Pro-2A people, it seems kinda silly.

  18. It is kind of silly. Those are the ones who choose to comment. Many others are reading the blog. Thanks.

  19. "It's funny, GMC, that we don't see articles about all of those self defense uses of guns. Where are they it there are so many? "

    Heck, go to youtube and search for this. "robber shot no charges" you get 2000+ hits where there is direct video or video of a local news report of a robber being shot and no charges filed..

    Japete, I've been pondering why we have this disconnect between you showing permit holders doing stupid things and us going "wait a sec, they are tiny percentage"

    Part of it is that the people that bother to comment here are likely "involved" on one side or the other. For gun people that means the commenters likely have WAY more training, shoot regularly and associate with other shooters that take the sport seriously.

    Besides the fact that there really are not that many permit holders committing crimes (or just being idiots) as a percentage of gun owners, The gun people that hang out here are also unlikely to associate with the type of people that DO end up in your reports. We never see them, and if we find ourselves around someone that is behaving in a way that is unsafe or seems like "the wheel is turning but the hamster has died" if you know what I mean.. We tend to politely excuse ourselves or diss-invite them from our clubs and sports.

    Example. I'm about to have my, invitation only, annual shooting event and campout at my farm. The people coming are already selected by just being invited. They are almost all multidiscipline firearms instructors.

    None the less, the day starts with a safety briefing including how to contact the EMTs and what to say, range and shooting limits, flags, signs and neighbor notification that they are going to hear a lot of gun fire today. We have two trauma qualified people including an ER doc and a combat medic with better life saving equipment on hand than the EMTs would arrive with. We all have ALS certifications. When we finish a course of fire, we have an acting range safety officer safety us check for clear and unloaded firearms All of this around people I trust greatly, with 20+ years of teaching firearms and a lot of us with combat experience.

    I could go on.

    Point is WE are not going to make your news. The people we hang out with are not either. We don't even KNOW the people that make your news (and wouldn't way to). On the other hand, you never see just how many of us that are around firearms all the time, either for sport, hunting, competition or fun, without incident because we treat them with proper respect and safe handling. Unless you sought us out you would never see us at a range or how seriously we take safety.

    You see the idiots and project that to a large number. Perhaps even us. We see the idiots on the news but don't KNOW any so we wonder what the fuss is about over what must be a very few people.

    It's no wonder we can't agree.

  20. 18 Echo- this is one of the best comments I have had on this blog for a very long time. Thank you for writing it. What I see are people with permits who are shooting themselves or others. My point is that carrying guns in public places CAN result in problems. As you know, I happen to think that we will see more of these kind of incidents as more people are carrying in more places. Remember, however, that some of the folks in the articles should know better. And some of the permit holders who make it to the news stories are actually people who maybe should not have a permit in the first place, like the Pittsburgh man who ambushed police officers and killed 3 of them. That is a problem.

    I assume that permit holders are trained and supposed to know what they are doing like yourself and the people you describe here. I thought that was what the laws were supposed to be about. If people are going to be allowed to carry guns in public, they should be adequately trained and know how to handle their guns. Just because you guys are not like that does not mean there aren't enough people out there who do and they do, as you noted, tend to give you all a bad name ( in the eyes of those of us in the gun control movement and many in the public). So how do we solve the problem? Some states require no permits to carry. That usually means no training requirements. What do you suggest?

    And, by the way, I am just not into the gun scene but I do understand that a lot of people are and get together to shoot at events like you describe or at ranges. I know people who do this. A few of thems are friends of mine. They also happen to agree with my positions about background checks on other gun violence prevention measures because they don't feel at all threatened by anything I am working on. They know I am not after their guns and I accept what they are doing. They know me and I know them. Maybe that's the key. The guys I know who hunt and own guns are friends and we have mutual respect and trust. They don't see me as an evil, ignorant person as some on this blog think I am because they know me and my husband and some know my kids and my extended family. We are actually pretty nice people.

    I wish more of the people who comment here would think it through in the same way. Maybe we could actually get somewhere. As you know, that is not how the comments here go.

  21. "My point is that carrying guns in public places CAN result in problems."

    It can. No doubt about it.

    And should you have evidence that my carrying, in particular, would be likely to result in a problem, you would be fully justified in restricting my carry.

    In truth, I'd be willing to accept a fairly low standard of proof, for cases like this. I'd not insist on criminal conviction, proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    But I will insist on actual evidence about me in particular, based on documented incidents of my past behavior. That you don't like guns does not constitute "evidence".

  22. What are you talking about jdege? My evidence comes the actual incidents of when a permit holder shoots another person or him or her self. That should be considered evidence, don't you think? I am not interested in you in particular unless there is actual evidence that you have shot someone or endangered someone with your wrongful handling of a gun. Otherwise, the law states that you can carry your gun. I don't like it but it is the law. I am just providing evidence that, with the passage of the news carry laws now in almost every state, we are beginning to see more of these incidents. That is all I am doing here. I'm glad we agree that guns carried in public places CAN cause problems. This must be the first time you and I have agreed.

  23. "So how do we solve the problem? Some states require no permits to carry. That usually means no training requirements. What do you suggest?"

    That is maximum freedom. Little or no "nanny" government regulations but complete accountability for our own actions. With that in mind, the natural tendency is to argue that permissive carry with no permits should be the normal in every state, not just a few. After all we aren't talking about a drivers license here, we are talking about an enumerated right and, lawyers aside, we believe that the 2nd amendment means exactly what it says when it refers to 'the people'. Laws, once passed, don't tend to be static. They get amended, extended and become subject to back room deals and influence. I think I one asked you about the high capacity mag. ban, "Why 10?" Why not 5 or 15. If such a law were passed, then that number becomes subject to the whim of a politician and before long the number is "1" or "0" and a defacto ban is in place. We never, ever, believe the government or anyone when they say "I'd NEVER do that.." we think " Nonsense, YOU won't be in office forever but the LAW might very well last forever". So when it comes to FEDERAL laws, you will likely never get us to agree to anything at all, ever.

    We spend a lot of our time trying to figure out how to get rid of what laws we already have at the federal level so adding to them is just a non starter.

    On the other hand. Untrained people, in public places, with dangerous tools and no margin for error in a panic, OMG, life or death situation should give any thinking person a moment of pause. It does for me. It does for a lot of people I know.

    The good news is that the "correct" answer is being figured out right now. Licensing is a state by state matter for a good reason. The states are the test bed of governmental experiments. That's why the Constitution explicitly says that if it's not in the document as a federal responsibility it is left to the states and to the people. Those guys were brilliant.

    The fed and by extension (inclusion) the states, may not BAN the right to KEEP and BEAR firearms but what, if any, reasonable restrictions the states can place can be debated/litigated on a state by state basis.

    If no permits works well in one state another may adopt it. If it becomes a problem, it may get dropped and training once again be required.

    We all watch other states closely to see what works and what doesn't.

    Here's a thought. Noting that I'll feel free to disagree with or contradict MYSELF at a later date.

    What if there were levels of licensing with different levels of training. 1st level.. You can carry concealed in your car and to and from home or work. (perhaps no training required) 2nd level, you can carry anywhere in public, but the training is more rigorous. 3rd level. Everywhere, including schools and college campus/ classrooms. Training is way more intense and specific to that environment and must be kept current as well as complete background checks.

    HOWEVER, The training requirements are set by the NRA (or equivalent) ONLY and taught by the NRA or private entities. (pick someone the VPC hates..) No state (or federal )involvement other than the law requiring the training and the law is written so it can't be changed, only repealed and repealing it defaults to permissive carry.. (make it a poison pill)

    You get people with training that matches what they are doing and where they want to go. We get to go more places and We control the standards, so they are never taken over by the government and used against us. With any luck, the idiots are sorted out at level 1..

    You asked what I suggest. That's the best I can come up with on short notice.

  24. Yes, no permits worked pretty well in Arizona when Jared Loughner shot up a parking lot of a shopping mall and killed 6 people. There is a huge difference between licensing for driving a car and "licensing" for carrying a deadly weapon. " Licensing is a state by state matter for a good reason. The states are the test bed of governmental experiments. That's why the Constitution explicitly says that if it's not in the document as a federal responsibility it is left to the states and to the people. Those guys were brilliant." Do you then believe that licensing of gun owners is a good idea? I think you might be on to something. By the way, how would you decide if a "no permit" system works or not? Would it be if 3 or more people were shot to death by a person carrying in states where people don't need permits? What would be the criteria?

  25. All of Norway's licensing requirements didn't keep what's his name from killing seventy-some folks. (I might even suggest that the failure of Loughner's school and sheriffs was the big trouble there.)

    So, where does the balance lie? What is special about Vermont? They don't have any licensing requirements and we've heard no horror stories involving firearms from there.


  26. Joan, one incident does not a pattern make. The question you need to be asking is whether or not these incidents occur more frequently in states with no permit requirement than they do in states with permit requirements.

  27. Stew- we've gone over this before. Norway has very few gun deaths per 100,000 when compared to other countries. Anders Breivik got his ammunition from the U.S. in the mail. Vermont ranks 34th in gun deaths per 100,000 at 9.6 deaths on average per 100,000. Not great, not terrible. Vermont is a pretty sparsely populated state compared to a lot of other states. I had a good friend who lived in Vermont who killed himself with a gun. There was a school shooting in Vermont where my friend's wife was a teacher. It happend right after he had taken his own life. Vermont is not immune from shootings and gun deaths.

  28. They happen in every state, Heather. Perhaps as more of these shootings occur, we can establish some patterns. There are people who gather these statistics and look at patterns.

  29. Sorry, here is the source for the info. about Vermont- http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000

  30. Of course they happen in every state. That's not the point. Nor, by supporting permitless carry, do we claim that states like Vermont and Alaska are immune to shooting and gun deaths.

    You claim that permitless carry is bad. Why? Do these states have higher rates of gun violence than other states? If that's what you believe, where are your supporting facts? Anecdotes are not facts. Permitless carry has been around for years, can you not yet find a pattern to support your view?

  31. In your link do you find it odd that DC has over 5 times the deaths per capita than MN and until recently you could not even have a handgun?

  32. Nope. Those guns used in DC come from the states around it with easier methogs to get guns. There is an Iron Pipeline on the east coast that has guns coming from states where the laws are less strict to states which have strict gun laws. That is the problem.

  33. As I said, Heather, it didn't work out so well in the Tucson shootings, did it? It's important for law enforcement to know when someone has a permit in domestic cases, for instance. In my city, there was a domestic incident a few nights ago where police went to an apartment building call for a domestic case. They knew the man was a permit holder and assumed he would have a gun so they brought theirs, not knowing if the man would shoot at them or someone in the building. Knowing if someone has a permit can sometimes save lives. Why would we not have permits to carry loaded guns around in public? We have to have permits and licenses to drive. We have to have licenses to practice in professions, etc. That is how we know whether that person is legitimate. If someone sets up a medical practice and is not licensed to practice, that is a problem. And that has happened occasionally. If the license expires, that is a problem. If my teaching license expires, I can't work or even substitute in my school district. Having standards is important. Arizona, which does not have a permit to carry requirement is one the states with the most gun deaths per 100,000. Alaska, as it turns out, also has one of the highest number of gun deaths in the country. http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2008/04/26/Gun-ownership-correlates-to-gun-deaths/UPI-65011209186884/ In this chart, Alaska is #1 for gun deaths per 100,000 and Arizona is #5. I guess that the looser gun laws there may just have an affect on people dying from bullets.

  34. "Those guns used in DC come from the states around it with easier methods to get guns."

    So? Why don't they have the same scale of a problem in the states where the guns come from? You know, where the guns are so easy to get?

  35. You can see here- http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/trace_report_final.pdf that West Virginia and North Carolina are two of the states providing a lot of crime guns to DC. Both states are in the top 20 states for gun deaths per 100,000.

  36. So it would seem that, at the moment, Vermont's permit-less system is not making a big impact either way on gun deaths.

    If we want to compare permit vs permit-less states and gun deaths it would seem logical to me that we need better stats than just just over all gun deaths. The only reason I keep bringing up Texas in these debates is that it is the only state I know of that keeps detailed statistics about violent crime convections ( using a gun) committed by permit holds vs non permit holders and publishes them on a public site. (it's even broken down by type of crime)

    It gets tricker in a permit-less state so we would need a break down of "was carrying concealed" vs not, to know if it's a problem or not and I don't think the state keeps that level of detail. At least not publicly.

  37. Two comments:

    1) MAIG is hardly the place to get unbiased, objective statistics. Many of their members are convicted criminals themselves:


    Before you say, "That's a minority of their organization and everyone else is fine," let me say that if you, japete, get to make gross generalizations about a class of people (e.g. concealed permit holders) based on a minority, then I can, too.

    2) It is a violation of FEDERAL LAW to sell or transfer a handgun to a resident of another state. The ONLY exception is if the gun is "willed" to another person, so please don't start on the "gun show loophole" nonsense. Long guns (i.e. rifles and shotguns) have a different set of rules, but it's safe to say most crimes involving a firearm are committed with handguns. So where, then, did those D.C. handguns come from? Not law-abiding gun owners, who were (until recently) completely unable to purchase any handguns. Criminals could, but criminals by definition disregard the law. The knee-jerk reaction is to create another "gun law," as if making it slightly "more illegal" will cause a criminal to say, "Whoa, that's one too many for me. Maybe I should re-think my life." I won't hold my breath on that.

    I'll close with a quote from the late Jeff Cooper: "If you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem."

    May Peace favor you.

  38. First of all, Archer, we have been around and around about the Mayors thing and it is not true. See some of my previous comments. To assert that the majority of Mayors involved in MAIG are criminals is unprobable and ridiculous. Just because you don't like an organization does not mean you can make up things about them. Secondly, everyone knows we would be safer if criminals were not roaming our streets. What is YOUR proposal to get criminals off the streets? Thirdly, many people who shoot others are not criminals but rather relatives or friends of the victims. They are not criminals until suddenly they are after they pull the trigger. The easy availability of guns through whatever way they get into the hands of criminals is certain factor in gun deaths. The U.S. has more guns than almost any civilized nation not at war and also has the distinction of having more gun deaths per 100,000 than the same. One cannot explain that away. We also have the loosest gun laws of most nation. You can't explain that away. There must be a cause and effect in there somewhere. Other nations, like Canada, have a lot of guns owned but have far far fewer gun deaths. Why is that do you think? Their gun laws are much stricter. People in other nations seem to understand that with lots of guns come lots of shootings unless you make attempts to restrict the sale of them and restrict who may own them and where they may be carried. Common sense. This country, however, has the NRA. No other country has a strong gun lobby such as that in the U.S. Can we make a cause and effect statement? It doesn't take too much imaginatiuon or thought to come up with logical conclusions.