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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 3 of stupid and dangerous

Well, week 3 is starting out with a bang. Here are the stupid and dangerous things going on with guns and gun policy:
  1. In my home state, again, a student was found with a gun at a Rochester, Minnesota high school.
  2. A student in Tampa, Florida was arrested after a plan to blow up his school was discovered. The boy already had a criminal record of carrying a concealed gun and removing the serial number on a gun. Nice. This boy is only 17. He said he wanted the devastation to be worse than the Columbine shootings. As I have said in both of my previous posts about stupid and dangerous, a school shooting is bound to happen soon. This is the second potential shooting and third attack on a school that has been stopped before it happened. Where are these kids getting their ideas and their guns?
  3. And, oops. Did Senator Coburn (OK Republican) really mean to say this? " Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) ripped his colleagues during a tour of northeast Oklahoma, calling them “career elitists,” “cowards” and said, “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.”" The article, of course, mentions that it is less than a month after Representative Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House floor to vote on the Debt Ceiling. What is Senator Coburn thinking? This is irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric and he should know better. Last week it was Senator Grassley of Iowa. They need to stop this kind of talk. This one was just plain stupid as well.
  4. Here Senator Coburn tries to walk his comments back. Some gaffes are honest remarks that are usually thought but not articulated publicly. I believe such was the case here. It is not funny and Senator Coburn should just apologize without trying to excuse his remarks in this way: "Oh, I don't know," Coburn said. "I don't care. The problems are so big. What I was trying to do was be funny. They know that."" Yes, the problems are big. Who was he criticizing here, by the way?
  5. This story gives the lie to talking to children about gun safety and thinking it will keep them safe. A grieving father talks about how his son was afraid of an armed man on the loose in the area and found the key to the gun safe. In his efforts to protect his sister, the boy accidentally shot her. This also should make gun owners take note of the fact that kids also know where the guns are and where the keys are. As I have said before, if there are young children in the home, think twice about having guns in the home. Guns are dangerous.
  6. This man was doing what some of my readers think is a great idea- carrying a loaded gun on school grounds. As a West Virginia gun permit holder, he should know the rules about guns on school grounds but he must have "forgotten". Or what was he really up to?
  7. Those darn guns just get up off of the table and shoot people. Too bad this one injured the owner's girlfriend and another person. This guy should have been more careful. Guns are dangerous. 
  8. This has got to be one of the silliest solicitation phone calls I've heard of in a long time. The NRA is so desperate that they hire people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about to stoke the fears of the people on the other end of the line. But the man who answered the call went along with the caller and got her so mixed up that the caller started making things up as she went along. Maybe next time they'll brief their callers better in case the person on the other end of the line knows more than the caller about the NRA's agenda.
  9. Don't like fans of an opposing team? Get out your gun and shoot them. That's what some in San Francisco thought would take care of things. It sounds like there could also have been alcohol involved. Are guns allowed inside of sports stadiums? Not in most places. All in all, no one won this encounter.
  10. Here's this week's first story about a stupid permit holder and his gun. Why do guns keep falling out of permit holder's pants? And why do people want their guns along wherever they go? This guy freaked out city officials when his gun fell out of his pants while he was testifying. Luckily for him, it didn't go off. " “It was just an unfortunate encounter with gravity,” Magee said on Monday". Right. That's an understatement.
  11. The recently passed permit to carry law in Wisconsin is prompting city councils and city officials to consider whether or not they want armed citizens in their buildings. This article is a summary about what some of the local officials are saying and doing. From the article: " Port Washington Mayor Scott Huebner said he will ask for weapons to be prohibited in municipal buildings in his Ozaukee County community for the same reasons."My thought is that in this politically charged atmosphere it is the correct thing to do. . . . With people just having such short fuses, currently - at least the way I look at it, it seems the fuses are a lot shorter than they used to be - I think it would be a good idea to ban weapons in public buildings," he said." Mayor Huebner is right. I write in my blog about how often law abiding permit holders become dangerous with their loaded guns in public, either accidentally or purposely. See #10, above, for a great example of why loaded guns at public government meetings are not a good idea. Guns are dangerous.
  12. There's at least one of these stupid and dangerous shootings every week. This one has been so far deemed an accidental shooting as a man and wife were trying out a gun at a gun shop.  And then, should we be surprised?- the woman was shot in the stomach when something went wrong with either the gun or the gun holder. So now we have another gun death and another person who has to live with shooting his wife. Let's hope this was an accidental shooting. Guns are dangerous.
  13. Brady Campaign Interim President Dennis Henigan wrote this great column about Texas Governor Rick Perry packing heat on the campaign trail. So Perry must think that he could pull a gun on a heckler or if someone threatens him and hit the mark. He has bragged about carrying that gun everywhere he goes, even while out jogging. We just don't need this kind of talk coming from our politicians. It is happening more frequently of late. " If Rick Perry is our next president and he has a like-minded Congress, guns on the Senate floor may not be a laughing matter. They may well be the way things are in an American nightmare where, in political discourse, the guns speak louder than the rhetoric." Gun talk can be dangerous. Where is common sense?
  14. You've got to hand it to the NRA. The talking points in this NRA-ILA short video are exactly the same ones used by many of my readers here last week. At least their fear-mongering statements about an armed society being a safe society are consistent. I certainly think that the riots in London would have turned out differently had all those folks had their guns blazing, don't you? 
  15. This is an effort to get young kids in New Jersey to trade toys of violence, such as squirt guns, etc. for other non-violent toys. But only blocks away, a real shooting took place- just another gun owner accidentally shooting himself. Guns are dangerous and common sense tells us that we should be doing something about gun violence on our streets. From the article: " "We all want this shooting to stop in this world, and it's just sad, because everybody's dying this summer," Bunn said, referring to the most violent summer the city has seen in a decade. "Some of my friends, their family members keep on getting shot, and the more they tell me the more I get sad about it."" Yes, sad it is.


  1. You've got to hand it to the NRA. The talking points in this NRA-ILA short video are exactly the same ones used by many of my readers here last week.

    Yeah, you heard it from us last week. And NRA this week. Has it ever occurred to you that _they_ get their talking points from _us_?

  2. Aren't you one and the same, Keith?

  3. "I certainly think that the riots in London would have turned out differently had all those folks had their guns blazing, don't you?"

    Certainly the areas of London in which the Sikhs barred the way with their swords in hand turned out differently than the rest.

    Just like the Korean shop-owners with their AKs, during the LA riots.

  4. Oddly you didn't mention that Chuck Schumer says Republicans have “held a gun to our heads” in that same time frame.

    The Democrat talking point was to characterize the house republicans as “terrorists,” “hostage takers,” “extremists,” “holding a gun to the head of the President,” “ready to blow up the economy,” and so on (source of each quote on request, or google will turn it up)

    It's not only (R) that uses that sort of rhetoric in case you didn't notice and want to call them out too.

    Speaking of Rick Perry,
    " He has bragged about carrying that gun everywhere he goes, even while out jogging. "

    He actually needed it once, while jogging, to save his daughter's dog from a coyote that was attacking it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/rick-perry-shoots-and-kil_n_554397.html

    It's a good thing he had a gun. Otherwise he would have had to shoo a possibly rabid animal away with a stick and endangered himself.

    "This is an effort to get young kids in New Jersey to trade toys of violence, such as squirt guns,.."

    1) a squirt gun is not a "toy of violence" it is a gun shaped thing that shoots water. Mine looked like flash gordon's ray gun. I didn't think I was going to zap anyone. Kids have been playing with them for a very long time. They know the difference.

    I've seen boys at a day care, take a barbie, bend it's legs 90 degrees and use it as a toy gun. The day care women were not happy but that's what boys do. Little boy's heroes include soldiers and cops. Those guys carry guns. They play with GI Joe and nerf guns. When you leave the city, you will find that a lot of boys have some form of bb gun or real firearm from an early age. If they live on a farm, they think of a shotgun as just another tool, like a shovel , and have likely been aware of how to use one since before they were teenagers. A 12 year old farm kid killing a ground hog is not going to make the nightly news, yet that happens thousands of time more often than the violence you read about or the accidents your worry about. Sure they happen, but with all your examples, considering the shear number of firearms in circulation, the number of deaths or injury caused by "law abiding permit holders" as you call them, is miniscule.

  5. Yes, 18 Echo. I am aware of those comments. I don't condone them coming from anyone and wince whenever a politician uses that terminology. So far, however, I don't recall hearing those same Democrats wish for having a gun on the Senate floor. I guess the difference is that Schumer, et al are actually supportive of gun control measures which have a chance at saving lives while Senator Coburn supports more guns in more places where they can be used to kill and injure others.

    I believe I stated that little boys make guns out of anything in a previous post. This is an effort to get them to think differently about guns of any kind in an inner city area rife with gun violence. It can't hurt so why not?

    As to your last point, every week I am posting stories about incidents that happen with permit holders. As you know, my contention is that we will see more of these as more people are now carrying in more places. That is my point, of course, which you guys don't like but it is my point. I will continue to write about these incidents every week because they continue to happen and at some point, perhaps people will realize that it is not a great idea to allow more people to carry guns in more places after all and maybe change their thinking and their support for the laws that allow it.

  6. Oh yes, I forgot about Rick Perry's confrontation with a Coyote. It would have been inconvenient to beat it off with a stick, as you suggest and, I suppose possibly dangerous to him. But many people run and jog every day without encountering wild animals or if they do, they are usually off in the woods somewhere so a gun is not needed. I saw a Coyote on the golf course last year but I didn't wish I had had a gun to shoot the thing.

  7. "But many people run and jog every day without encountering wild animals or if they do, they are usually off in the woods somewhere so a gun is not needed."

    Absolutely true.

    Most people, most of the time, have no need for a gun. Many people make it through their entire lives without ever needing a gun.

    But if it should happen that you need a gun, you're going to need it right now, and ready for immediate use.

    Not after a three day waiting period, and not locked up in a safe with its ammo stored separately.

  8. Denis Henigan forgot to mention that other gun-toting wacko, President Theodore Roosevelt.

    When President William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist, he was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt. The new president promptly started carrying a semiautomatic Fabrique Nationale pistol for protection at public events, and keeping it on his bedside table at night. “I should have a chance of shooting the assassin before he could shoot me, if he were near me,” Roosevelt explained (in "Roosevelt As We Knew Him," by Frederick Wood) When Roosevelt visited Harvard University, the school’s president, Charles W. Eliot, was chagrined to discover Roosevelt strapping on a holster in his room, ignoring the Massachusetts law restricting concealed handguns.

    Theodore’s niece Eleanor obtained a revolver shortly after becoming First Lady. “I carried it religiously,” she recalled.

    (via Dave Kopel)

  9. You can come and take the squirt guns out of my screaming childrens' hands. Feel free to break their hearts on a hot summer day.

    Generations of children grew up not to murder anyone - despite having cap guns, toy guns, squirt guns, slingshots, etc...

  10. I think you forget that not every firearm owner in the US doesn't belong to the NRA either. Most of us have left the "fold" and joined groups more focused on safety, promotion of the sport of competitive shooting, and securing the right to hunt and own firearms for future generations.

    www.nssf.org -- you should check it out!

  11. Interesting. Thanks. I did read that he carried a gun on occasion but not on the day that someone tried to assassinate him. That man took him totally by surprise and he was saved by a bystander who moved the hand of the shooter and the bullet went through a thick sheaf of papers so he was not saved by a gun. http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/z_x26a_t.htm

    I did find this interesting article about Eleanor Roosevelt and guns- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x268138

    I also found this reference to her carrying a gun " Eleanor did not want to have a bodyguard, so the security services it offered to carry a weapon, but she rejected this proposal. After much persuasion, she agreed to learn to shoot at the range the FBI. Several times was there, but the D. Edgar Hoover, Roosevelt said: "If there is in America, anyone who wish to carry weapons, so it is your spouse. She can not even get through the gate of the barn ". Later, one of the guards Roosevelt, Earl Miller, taught her how to handle weapons, and since then she had a gun in the car, although not always loaded." from http://persona.rin.ru/eng/view/f/0/18545/eleanor-roosevelt

    I looked in a lot of places for the quote that I have only seen on pro gun blogs but couldn't find it. In truth , according to sources other than pro gun blogs, Eleanor was reluctant to carry a gun and took it along with her only because the Secret Service encouraged her to do so. It sounds like it was mostly unloaded though and locked in the car trunk.

  12. Pat, I've missed you. Where have you been? Yes, thanks, I have heard of the nssf. It looks to be a much more reasonable organization than the NRA.

  13. Been busy, politically and career-wise.

    I see you're still stuck on criminals being criminals, I guess I haven't missed much.

  14. New york times work? Not exactly a right wing gun blog


  15. Poor jdege lives with this thought uppermost in his mind.

    "But if it should happen that you need a gun, you're going to need it right now, and ready for immediate use."

    That's his idea of freedom. No, thanks. Not for me.

  16. As you know, Anthony, Kopel is a well known pro gun writer and researcher and a member of the conservative Cato Institute. It doesn't really matter where he wrote the article. I guess the NY Times is not the liberal rag you think it is. It published this article by David Kopel.

  17. You see, mikeb, this is the wonderful thing about living in a free country. Nobody is forcing you to carry a gun. None of us are plotting to make you a felon for not carrying a gun. None of us are publicizing your name and address on a "doesn't own a gun" list. You can go your entire life without carrying, owning, or even picking up a firearm, and that is 100% peachy keen and fantastic, and all of us gun owners support your right to do that. It would be nice if the anti-gun lobby extended us a fraction of that courtesy.

  18. ADS- No one is going to take your rights away. Your interpretation of the second amendment suggests that you all have a right to carry any kind of gun anywhere you want. The wording of the second amendment does not say that. We ( folks like myself and Mikeb) are simply saying that there are restrictions that can apply and that we don't agree with your view of the world. That said, did you find anything in what he said to suggest taking away your rights to bear arms? He is saying it isn't for him. Calm yourself and quit making accusations that you can't defend.

  19. "We ( folks like myself and Mikeb) are simply saying that there are restrictions that can apply and that we don't agree with your view of the world."

    Actually, in a rare fit of honesty, MikeB has stated that he would prefer a total civilian ban on firearms. I'll dig up the cite if you like.

  20. What he would prefer, and what others would prefer is not what the reality is or will be. Stay calm. We are not coming for your guns!!!

  21. "Only an egotistical extremist would carry a loaded weapon into a crowd" - Sarah Brady

    Sure sounds like Sarah Brady doesn't want anyone to carry a gun.

  22. Rob- I don't know how you come to your conclusion from that quote.

  23. Aren't you one and the same, Keith?

    You could say that. I'm a life member. But I'm still, essentially, a vote. Anything influence I have beyond that is only due to my ability to influence other votes. NRA is a member driven organization, and it's politics reflect that.

    If you want to be truly horrified, consider I represent one of the more moderate factions within the organization. There are certainly factions that believe I'm a softy.

  24. Fair Hiring Practices

    We are asking Minnesota's largest employers to enact the following set of Fair Hiring Practices:

    Remove any questions about criminal records from initial employment applications;
    Do not consider non-conviction records or cases that have been expunged or pardoned in the hiring process;
    Consider criminal records only when they directly relate to the position sought by an applicant;
    Allow applicants to show evidence of rehabilitation, if a person does have a criminal record related to the position being sought.

    Just wondering how you reconcile this with your positions on the Kahr lawsuit, Brady background checks and everything else?

  25. That petition deals with those who are "off papers" and ready to return to work. They still cannot buy guns from licensed dealers. That is the law. Working is different from having access to a gun. Working can get ex-criminals back to a more normal life where they won't be looking for something to do and end up on the streets potentially getting into trouble and dangerous situations.

  26. "Remove any questions about criminal records from initial employment applications."

    It seems like this would be for everyone even the people still on parole not just the "off paper" people

    The rest seems reasonable. Especially this part "Do not consider non-conviction records or cases that have been expunged or pardoned in the hiring process;"