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, September 26, 2011

The 8th week

Again, I will be providing incidents of stupid and dangerous things and rhetoric involving guns and gun talk. The media is full of them every week so it's hard to choose the "worst" ones. Here they are for this week:

  • An Oregon man who is clearly mentally ill, was released from a hospital after wandering around with a gun on the streets, hoping for "suicide by cop." It was only a BB gun this time. What happens next time? He was "admitted" to a hospital for a few hours which is likely not enough to get his name sent to NICS as someone prohibited from purchasing guns. He can't be held against his own will in the hospital. Let's hope this doesn't have a tragic ending involving anyone else.
  • Who knew that fashion would make it to a blog about gun violence prevention? We have discussed ways to carry concealed guns in women's bras and the fact that I should put on my "big girl panties." But this bullet proof fashion statement is surely for me. Vests are big in the north country where people wear them to keep warm indoors and out. You just never know if someone is going to shoot you while shoveling snow after the latest blizzard. If the shoveling doesn't kill you, you can be rest assured that a bullet won't if you wear the clothes designed by designer  Caballero, who took advantage of all the shootings in the U.S. to market his clothing. Some folks think it's a bit crazy, though. " Unlike Southern states that let anybody buy firearms at gun shows - thousands of which end up in New York City - "We do background checks," Greer said." This, from one of the distributors, who was concerned about selling the clothing to the wrong person, who is maybe a criminal? Where is common sense?
  • You may remember that I wrote about a Hastings, Minnesota man who fired shots at a church parking lot from his house claiming that he was just protecting the children. He's in the news again. This time, there is a warrant for his arrest since he didn't show up for a court hearing. This "nice" man who was so concerned about kids at a church certainly is doing everything possible to make us think otherwise about him.
  • Last week I wrote about several shootings in Minneapolis and this week I have to report on another shooting of a teen-ager. Yes, they need more resources to fight the tragic shootings in that area of Minneapolis. I am acquainted with MAD DADs and the groups working hard to stop the shootings. It is a great concern to them that so many young people are shooting others and becoming victims of shootings.
  • There just shouldn't be shootings at playgrounds. But a man was shot at this Baltimore area playground. You may remember in one of my earlier posts that a grandmother wanted to be able to carry a gun at a playground to protect her grandchild when they were playing there. I would venture to guess that having a gun would not have prevented this shooting from happening.
  • This new effort to prevent sucide by gun is important. As the study pointed out, guns are more often successful in suicides because they are quicker and more lethal. From the article: " Firearms are inherently lethal, with an 85 percent fatality rate in suicide attempts that exceeds all other methods, Barber said. Pulling a trigger is faster than making a noose or overdosing. Hanging and poisoning also give an opportunity for a person to back out of the decision, she said."
  • It's not a good idea to chase people down the street with a gun. That is what this young Minnesota man did and luckily got caught before he actually shot anybody.
  • Not again- a gun permit holder dropped her gun while pumping gas and shot herself in the leg. Why do these accidental discharges of guns keep happening and why do all of those " law abiding" gun permit holders insist that having their loaded guns in public is going to make them and the public safer? It's just not happening.
  • Here's a great story from my home town of Duluth. A local store has been selling synthetic drugs and was recently featured in a story in the Duluth News Tribune. The story attracted so much attention that it led to a "sting" by the local police who shut down the store and confiscated drugs and 31 guns. Why did this guy need all of those guns? At least they were in a safe. Drugs and guns do not go together. I suspect that this man is in more than a bit of trouble. But he is back to selling his drugs and flaunting it, as he flaunted one of the guns on a local news report about his "head shop."
  • While perusing the Mpls. Star Tribune on-line last week I noticed that the 394 freeway was shut down because of a shooting on the freeway. That is the freeway used by my son and daughter-in-law when going to work and travel during the day since it is not far from their house. The daycare center of my grandchildren is located very near this freeway as well. For me, it was a few moments of concern for their safety. We now know that the victim was a mentally ill woman who had been in a treatment center in California and came to Minnesota after her release. And then, " About a month ago, the woman went to the Edina Police Department, told authorities she was worried about hurting someone and was taken to a Twin Cities hospital for evaluation, according to the source." This woman was clearly dangerously mentally ill and should not have had a gun. Again, where do people like this get guns? Yes, we surely do need more people carrying loaded guns around with them everywhere they go. We are all much safer!! Where is common sense? When prohibited people like this woman can get guns anyway from the illegal market or legally from a private seller where they don't undergo background checks, we have a problem. What was she intending with that gun? 
  • This one is really stupid and dangerous. Why was this Georgia judge allowed to stay on the bench after 2009 when he pulled out a gun and held it to his own head? Obviously he has a drug problem. Drugs and guns don't mix. Needless to say, he's now out of job and hopefully a prohibited purchaser of guns. I think it's a good idea for judges to be able to have loaded guns in court rooms, don't you?
  • I guess this gun permit holder didn't get the memo. In Indiana, it is legal to carry a gun around in most public places. But this guy scared the other zoo visitors by openly carrying his gun. Generally speaking, the public just does not want to see others openly carrying guns around. It's just not civil and makes people feel less safe. The gun guys feel the opposite of course, believing that somehow they themselves will be more safe with that loaded gun in their holster. It's not a good idea to argue loudly with law enforcement when they ask you to at least conceal your gun so you aren't scaring people. When you have a loaded gun on your hip and you are loudly arguing with a police officer, the police officer will always win. From the article: " After he left, according to the police, zoo staff told officers that Magenheimer’s attitude was intimidating and that he told them he could not be denied his right to bear arms." Where are the rights of the majority of non gun carrying folks to feel safe in public places? And sure, it's legal but people don't like it. Their legislators may rue the day laws like this were passed. Also from the article, " “I guess we will have people wearing six shooters to bars now and staring each other down,” Jones said. “You can be sure there are going to be unintended consequences to this law.”" Indeed. Guns are dangerous. Where is common sense 
  • Does anyone else think it's really bad to get into a shoot-out at your Grandma's house and end up shooting her instead of each other? Well, that's what happened here. You would think she would want someone to suffer some consequences but she is insisting that she doesn't want either of her grandsons to go to jail. Never mind that they were fighting about her money and who should have it. Go figure.
  • Again, the gun lobby just loves to force places to allow people with loaded guns even if they don't want to. The campuses in Virginia had a policy not allowing concealed guns on campus. Never mind. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says they have to let people carry loaded guns on campuses. When the gun lobby wants something, they want it. Local and state laws be damned. 
  • After writing my post about police officers, here is an incident of someone shooting and wounding 3 officers with an "automatic weapon." As I said before, officers put their lives in danger every day.
  • Well, here's another fine mess and this one is close to home. I guess carrying a loaded gun around on a wet deck while drinking is not such a good idea. These things, of course, aren't supposed to happen, but they just do. Guns are dangerous. Be careful out there. This one is quite close to our cabin where we hear gunshots often from people target practicing or whatever people do in the woods with their guns outside of hunting season. There is likely more to this story but for now, chalk it up to dangerous behavior while carrying a loaded gun.
  • Shootings know no economic or racial prejudice. We often read about gang shootings or shootings of young minority men in inner city areas, sometimes shrugged off by the gun lobby as something we just can't or won't do anything about. But when it comes to millionaires shooting their wives or family members- we pay more attention. Such is the article here about the conviction of Florida millionaire Bob Ward of second degree murder for the 2009 shooting of his wife. Justice serves all. No one is immune from shootings. They can and do happen in every neighborhood of our country. Guns are everywhere. That is why we need more common sense legislation and less paranoia and fear about guns. 
  • It's one thing to get angry with a boss who has given you a poor job performance evaluation and an ultimatum to change things in the workplace. It's quite another to shoot your boss because of this poor evaluation as this Vermont man did. One can get angry and use words to express the anger. But when a gun is available, it's too easy to act on that anger. It takes only seconds to shoot someone and once it's over, shooters must be wondering what just happened. One man is dead; another will likely go to prison and the whole community is "up in arms" over the shooting. Guns are dangerous. This man was not a criminal. This man was someone who was well liked in the community and certainly not expected to shoot someone to death.
  • I always hope that the shooting death of a toddler or young child will be the last one I report. But it never happens. A North Carolina 4 year old is dead because a gun that was easily accessed by another 4 year old in the house was discharged by the child. Senseless and preventable. But people are too cavalier about having loaded guns in the home. What can we expect when the mantra of the gun rights crowd is that everyone should have a gun in the home for self defense. Naturally, it is thought that the gun should be loaded and at the ready. And then little children are just little children and someone gets shot.
  • There are now 2 Domestic shootings in this Florida community within a few weeks. This one happened on September 10th. More recently, a 78 year old man shot his 21 year old wife in a murder/suicide as is often the case. Guns are particularly dangerous in domestic disputes and cause the deaths of many women. I know this first-hand. And why is it that people say this in domestic shootings? : "Real nice, real good person. Had a chance to have a family come to the country. Had a chance to get ahead and my understanding is he had plans to help her get ahead," said Mel Armstrong about the couple." Incidents like this happen every day to "nice" couples. 


  1. I always wonder when people say this if it applies to other things that some people do not like. "And sure, it's legal but people don't like it." Can I have the cops stop that legal action too? I am sure that would be seen as a violation of your rights though. If i called on all your rallies and had all the people dispersed you might even get loud and demand that your rights cant be infringed and then we could have some real charges to work with.

  2. I believe there is a difference between someone carrying a loaded gun on their hip in a public place and a group of unarmed people rallying.

  3. Here is another story for you man has gun taken from him and he gets shot with it. Too bad this will be just another "death by firearm" for you stats


  4. And what are you wanting me to say here Anthony? I can almost hear the snark in your writing this. This is a case of a shooting that was in self defense- justified. Did you think I would defend the sex offender in this case? I have a feeling you think I would. But I'm just saying.

  5. Nope did not think you would defend him. It will be used as a gun death for you next year just the same. It also goes with your a gun does not keep you safe mantra. It is also interesting that even if she owned a gun and had it stored like you and the AAP suggest it would have been next to useless. I thought it almost was a perfect Bizarro World world article.

  6. "After writing my post about police officers, here is an incident of someone shooting and wounding 3 officers with an "automatic weapon.""

    I went to the link you posted and failed to see any mention of a machine gun being used. Do you have a different link?

  7. In your Bizarro World, Anthony, I am responsible for keeping statistics on gun deaths and making up who goes where in the categories. I only report what's being done by those who keep the stats. I really have no idea under which category this death would fall. Most likely a homicide. Someone killed someone with a gun.

  8. I published what the quote was in the article. I didn't put words into the mouth of the person who said it.

  9. Japete, concerning your comment on Virginia Campus Carry, you stated that "When the gun lobby wants something, they want it. Local and state laws be damned. "

    In this case, there is no law in Virginia that denies students the right to carry a firearm on campus. In fact, allowing campus carry would actually be following Virgina law It is only a College Policy that disallows it. In other words, Local and State laws are NOT damned in this case.

    And I notice that there is one Community College named in the article that already allows students to carry firearms, as Viginia law allows (i.e. must be at least 21 years old and demonstrate competence with a firearm).

  10. You missed the point that most campuses in Virginia do not want loaded guns on their campuses. That is why I said what I said which is fairly obvious. The college adminstrators know that loaded guns on campus will not enhance student safety. Indeed, it could do the opposite.

  11. I understand your view on that subject, and can respect it although I do not agree. My comment was in response to your "Local and state laws be damned" statement, as that was not accurate.

  12. "I published what the quote was in the article. I didn't put words into the mouth of the person who said it. "

    Which is why I asked since the article you linked to does not mention the word "automatic" or "machine gun" which is what an automatic would be. I was merely asking where you got the quote from since it is not in that article. I am sure you would only tell the truth as you see it.

  13. Thank heavens for the MN Carry Laws...we don't have to worry about public colleges and universities.

  14. It was from the article when I published it. Sometimes the articles get updated and changed.

  15. There are signs at the University in Duluth prohibiting guns as well as at functions held off campus.

  16. "There are signs at the University in Duluth prohibiting guns as well as at functions held off campus."

    UMD can expel students for carrying, and they can fire faculty and staff.

    They have no authority to restrict carry by individuals who are not faculty or staff.

    But there's never been a shortage of petty functionaries claiming authority that they don't have.

  17. Yes, those darned inconvenient petty functionaries at Universities. Don't you just wish they weren't there? They must be incompetent as well.

  18. "There are signs at the University in Duluth prohibiting guns as well as at functions held off campus."

    Under MN law, these signs would apply only to faculty, staff, and students - government agencies do not have authority to restrict lawful carry by permit holders. There are a few exceptions (jails, etc), but they do not apply in this case.

  19. I'm sure the petty functionaries will be more than happy to have you roaming the halls of the U of M campuses with your holstered gun, Bryan. Have a nice day.

  20. By the way, Bryan, have you convinced your employer that you need your gun at work?

  21. By the way, Bryan, have you convinced your employer that you need your gun at work?

    It's not about need. It never was. It's about my choice, and one which infringes on no one else. Should I choose to carry at work, how is anyone else harmed?

  22. "I'm sure the petty functionaries will be more than happy to have you roaming the halls of the U of M campuses with your holstered gun, Bryan. "

    I really don't care if they're happy about it or not. I expect them to follow the law - as should everyone else expect of them.

  23. You guys don't care about anything except your selfish desire to carry your toys with you wherever you go. It's the law. The public doesn't even know what's in that law and would find it disconcerting to see you walking around with your holstered gun as you love to do. Just like the public at the zoo in Indiana. And when the legislators who voted in favor of the bill realized what it meant, they started to change their minds. But keep carrying your guns, Bryan. I'm sure everyone will think it's just wonderful to see a guy with a loaded holstered gun strutting around in their communities. It's a great sight- so friendly and peaceful.

  24. Bryan- I suggest that you take a break from commenting on my blog while at work.