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.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New thoughts and new studies on this Labor Day week-end

I hope that everyone who reads my blog will take a little time off over the Labor Day week-end. It's the last summer holiday and a chance to do some fun and meaningful things. Some people go to parades or labor picnics and usually, local candidates do a lot of politicking on this week-end. These are tough times for workers, in general. The economy is stuck and not adding new jobs. Many people are unemployed or under employed. Those who have good jobs are lucky. Let's hope that by next Labor Day, we will be on a different trajectory. It's possible to change what we are doing and come together for common solutions to our jobs deficit if we but put aside partisan politics and work together. That has been done in the past and it can be done now with some common sense and caring about the American people. The same can be said for policies concerning gun rights. But we can't meet anywhere in the unpolarized middle. It's a great shame and a great frustration. President Eisenhower was prescient in this speech to the nation as he completed his term in office: " But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration." A wise man.

Meanwhile, people will go on celebrating this week-end because it's a tradition. Speaking of traditions and of President Eisenhower's speech, you might be interested in this blog post from MikeB regarding a different way to look at the Second Amendment. It's certainly a different way of looking at the reason for including the Second Amendment into the Constitution. It's food for thought at any rate. I have always loved President Eisenhower's statement about the military-industrial complex in our country and the dangers of it. I quoted just a part of it above and MikeB's post also quotes it. In today's political world, Eisenhower would be roasted, or worse, for daring to speak in such a way about peace, prosperity, common goals, the arms industry and the military. 

Speaking of the the arms industry in America. it has some explaining to do. Here is a new study released by the Brady Center that exposes the gun industry for failing to report "lost" and stolen guns. And we wonder where crime guns come from? Such irresponsibility should be as challenged by Congress as the ATF's Fast and Furious program which resulted in guns gone "missing." From the Press Release: Dennis Henigan, Acting President of the Brady Center, is outraged: “It is shocking that gun makers are so oblivious to public safety that they lose track of thousands of guns every year,” Henigan said. “ Given the lethality of its product, the gun industry has a special duty to act responsibly.  Instead, it has a scandalous record of carelessness. ”" Well said. When gun manufacturers have "lost"16,485 firearms since 2009, that is a problem. When gun dealers have "lost" or failed to report 62,000 firearms since 2008, that is a problem. We have another problem: "  In 2001, ATF proposed that gun sellers be required to take one physical inventory of their firearms each year to ensure that all firearms in their shops were accounted for. At the behest of the gun lobby, Congress in 2004 approved an appropriations provision proposed by then-Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), known as the “Tiahrt Amendment,” blocking ATF from requiring that gun sellers track their inventory - and that prohibition remains the law today.

The gun lobby should have egg on its' collective face. But will they? Will it make a difference to anyone that the gun industry has "lost" 8 times as many guns in 2 years time as the ATF lost in their failed Fast and Furious program? It should be pointed out that many of the guns that disappeared from the inventory at some gun manufacturers were "stolen" or "lost" before the serial number was affixed to the gun making them impossible to trace. Tracing is one way that law enforcement can solve gun crimes and find perpetrators of gun crimes. The NRA and its' allies have made sure it is as difficult as possible to trace these guns. What is that all about? Again, it must be said,.. follow the money.. Where is common sense?


  1. "When gun manufacturers have "lost"16,485 firearms since 2009, that is a problem. When gun dealers have "lost" or failed to report 62,000 firearms since 2008, that is a problem."

    Quite right. But you also left out that in 2007 alone, the U.S. government managed to lose 190,000 firearms which is also a problem. If the ATF and the government cannot do any better with all of their available resources, how can you expect private businesses to do better? Considering that the manufacturers and retailers must keep track of vastly more guns and also considering that their combined losses are significantly better than the government's, I would say, proportionally, they are doing far better than expected.

    I will admit that they all, including the government, can do far better though. There is significant room for improvement by them all.

  2. Do you have a citation for that anywhere FWM?

  3. This cartoon fits well with this post. Check out how many guns trafficked into Mexico came from "Fast and Furious" in comparison to all of the others.


  4. Most of the guns going into Mexico are either from Chavez in Venezuela, sees this as a way of destabilizing the great white Satan or from the Mexican Military deserters. Some reports have deserters leaving at about five percent a year. Please note Mexico is not only missing a few hundred thousand rifles it's missing mortars, grenades, even armored vehicles.

  5. Do you have any proof to go with that statement, P?

  6. I see you've got the usual bold counter-arguments with no support. These are the same guys who love to accuse us of making stuff up.

    That post you mentioned about the 2A was written by my co-blogger Laci the Dog.

    Thanks for the link, japete.

  7. Sorry, I thought I had included the link.


  8. From the linked article above- "The broader question, Hilterman said, is whether Iraq is becoming a magnet for arms traffickers." That would be too bad. As I recall a big bunch of U.S. money went missing right after the "liberation" of Iraq. It's never a good idea when guns go missing because they can end up causing the death of innocent people.

  9. I spent today as Lead Range Safety Officer at a major gun club in the Twin Cities. We saw our busiest day of the year - with several hundred people enjoying the shooting sports. It was a great way to volunteer during the holiday weekend and introduce several new shooters to the sport.


  10. Good for you, Bryan. I have tried not to think about guns for most of this week-end. I don't hang around with too many people who do but whatever turns your crank........

  11. This is something we have shown you in the past, but I will show it again...



    here is an article from '03 talking about the beginnings



    This one is the most damning...




    The issue has never been american guns. we might be supplying a very small percentage of them, but most are not civilian weapons. To buy a Full Automatic machine gun in the US costs at least $5,ooo, and the buyer has to undergo a FBI background check, and more. Its a very intensive process, and since 1934, when the NFA was passed, only 2 or 3 legally owned machine guns have ever been used in crimes. Two of those were by LEO's.

    The US weapons the news media loves to talk about, and show on the evening news, are almost all weapons stolen from, deserted with, or sold by corrupt Mexican Military personnel. Its simple dollar economics. If a Cartel or gang member wants to buy a gun from the US he has to worry about Border crossings, ATF, gunshop owners who are leery, and if you give some guy $5K a thousand miles away from you, he might just disappear. If they bribe some local kid to join to the army, learn how to use the weapons, learn demolition, etc, and then have him desert taking all his gear with him and his knowledge, and it might cost them $2K and it might cost them nothing other than a threat to turn his kid sister into a street walker.

    In the US, if a NFA licensed gun is stolen, its HUGE news on the collectors circuit, because they are all collectors weapons now. Guns that cost 5K to 250K each simply are not the weapons of street thugs and drug gangs. Not when they can go to Chavez and order them for $75 to $100 dollars each. Chavez is happy to do this, because its Dollars in his treasury, its destabilizing to US Mexican relations, and it takes the heat of him.

    Is that enough proof?

  12. Bryan, did you say "volunteer?" Does that mean you look upon acting as range officer is some kind of community service? Is it like working in the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or teaching kids catechism class on Saturdays?

    Please excuse my surprise at that kind of characterization of what you do, but my opinion is shooting guns at targets is pretend killing, nothing more. And as such it's a sick business.

  13. Nope, Peter, sorry. Your articles did not disprove anything I have provided. You must have missed all of the articles I have posted about actual FFLs being arrested for knowingly selling guns to Mexican cartel members or themselves helping to smuggle American guns across the border. In addition, they have been involved in allowing straw purchasing of guns. Most of the guns are coming from America. For the life of me, I cannot understand why you gun guys are so insistent on denying the facts. You are all guilty of what you accuse us on the GVP side of doing. Facts are facts. But if it makes you feel better, keep denying what is actually going on. I don't make up the facts in the articles about border state FFLS complicit in getting guns into Mexico. Heck, there was a Mexican American from Minnesota who was charged with purchasing large numbers of guns in my own state and smuggling them across the border. These are the things actually having. It's the semi automatic rifles, AK47 style guns that seem to be guns of choice. Those are the ones most often sold illegally and smuggled. That is why the ATF wants border state FFLs to report the sale of said guns. And then, we can have a discussion about private sellers with no background checks required, which add to the problem.

  14. "Bryan, did you say "volunteer?" Does that mean you look upon acting as range officer is some kind of community service? Is it like working in the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or teaching kids catechism class on Saturdays?"

    How is acting as an unpaid range safety officer any less of a public service?

  15. "Bryan, did you say "volunteer?" Does that mean you look upon acting as range officer is some kind of community service? Is it like working in the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or teaching kids catechism class on Saturdays?"

    Yes, volunteer, as in unpaid.

    I do a number of different community service events, this is one of them. How is this any less important than working in a soup kitchen? I would think you would be in favor of teaching firearms safety and the shooting sports in a safe manner?

    "Please excuse my surprise at that kind of characterization of what you do, but my opinion is shooting guns at targets is pretend killing, nothing more. And as such it's a sick business. "

    So operating a public range where individuals can come and enjoy the shooting sports, like Trap, Skeet, and target shooting is nothing more than pretend killing?

    Several hundred people who did just that on Saturday must disagree with you.

  16. Yup. Range officers at the ranges are usually unpaid. Unlike some antigun bloggers who get money from the Joyce foundation, the Brady bunch and other sources.

    Range officers or range safety officers are almost always voluteers who do the work as a part of their membership in gun clubs. It's no different really than parent coaches in youth sports or pack leaders in boyscouts.

  17. I just love you guys- P- would that I and the other "antigun bloggers" were getting paid. No sir. Not me. I do this because I want to and I have a message to deliver. Disabuse yourself of the notion of us bloggers getting paid. You could say I'm a volunteer, just like Bryan. I do, however, take issue with the thought that coaches of youth sports and pack leaders is in any way similar to range safety officers. That is a hobby. Volunteering to actually help people who need food and clothing and other basic needs is vastly different from volunteering at a gun range where only those who can afford their guns can come and shoot. The comparison isn't even close.

  18. I'm all three...newly minted MN High School Trapshooting Coach, Cub Scout Den Leader, and Range Safety Officer.

    Someone has to dispell this notion that guns are dangerous!