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.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Remember the victims

So, in Minnesota there have been about a half dozen people shot to death in the last few weeks. Why are we not alarmed about this? On Sunday, September 25th, we "celebrate" National Remembrance of Murder Victims Day. Will anyone pay attention to the daily carnage in our communities? Every year, bullets take the lives of about 30,000 people in America. Of these, about 12,600 are homicides. That is an average of about 34 people a day(statistics vary from 32-34). If that many people a day were dying of poison, or knifings, or drownings, you can bet that there would be an outcry and calls to do more. But because it has to do with guns and because the NRA has turned any discussion into one about their second amendment rights, reasonable discourse becomes controversial and impossible.

When other causes of death are numerous, groups of advocates and survivors are formed. They work hard to educate the public and get legislation passed or to change something to prevent and lower death rates. That is why we see so many breast cancer prevention organizations and fund raisers, walks and bike rides, etc. That is why the MADD organization began- to prevent deaths from drunk drivers. And that is why the Brady Campaign and its' Million Mom March chapters, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Violence Policy Center, and other similar groups began. (By the way, why is it often mothers who speak out about common sense? The Million Mom March also includes fathers, sisters, brothers, etc. of gun violence victims but having moms involved makes it resonate with the public and elected leaders. A grieving mom or an angry mom can drive a point home like no other.) But I digress. So let's look at some statistics:
What, in America, are we doing about the national health and public safety problem of gun homicides? Not much. Why not? Because the NRA and its' supporters in Congress refuse to act. The NRA has made it appear to be a losing proposition for politicians to do the right thing. The NRA is protecting the gun industry. Members of the Board of the NRA come from the gun manufacturing industry. Members of the Board of the NRA come from Congress, either former or current. How can we expect that anything sensible will get done, given these realities? Of total homicide victims in this country, about 65% are due to gun injuries. That is unacceptable. 

Victims abound. I know too many of the victim's families and friends. I know their names. 

Ben, Carolyn, Carin, Barbara, Reema, Nancy, Kay, Kevin, Tyesha, Matthew, Sam, Liz, Michael .......

So, as we remember this day devoted to victims of homicide, we should also remember the pain of the survivors. This blog has a video of a speech given by the mother of one of the survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting. Lori Haas. She speaks well for the victims and the survivors and states what those of working to end gun violence often say- "We are not going to go away." This reader's view in the Duluth News Tribune was written by my fellow traveler in the gun violence prevention movement. Not a day goes by that Mary and her husband don't grieve for their daughter whose potential has been lost to our community and whose love has been lost by her family. Parents of Murdered Children is a group meant to support those many whose children's love has been taken from them way too soon. From the website:
...There are those of us whose mothers have been taken from our arms,There are those of us with children we could not keep safe from harm.There are those of us who've lived to see our fathers lose their lives,and in our dreams we'll keep them all alive,cause each and every one of us survives.
See also on this site the names of the many who have been murdered. Seeing and saying a name or a photo makes the loss real and makes the loss tangible to those who support the efforts to stop the violence that takes too many lives. That is why I have included a photo of my own sister who was shot to death almost 20 years ago. Today, please think about what you can do in the effort to prevent senseless murders. In the words of the mother of a gun homicide victim linked above:

On this day, the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, I ask everyone to take a moment and remember people taken from us and what we all have lost. I encourage you to help prevent violence. Talk to a young person about handling anger and about modeling appropriate behavior. Support efforts in the schools, places of worship, community clubs and elsewhere that encourage people to value and respect each other. Send a message to your elected representatives asking them to support sensible gun legislation and provide the means for law enforcement to enforce current legislation.


  1. I remember Shelly Joseph-Kordell, who was killed by Susan Berkovitz - because the Hennepin County Courts thought that posting no-guns signs and providing unarmed security guards would keep people safe.

  2. Leave it to you jdege to find a perverse instance and report on it. Can't you leave well enough alone and just respect victims of gun violence without bringing in your own biases? The posting of the signs, as anyone with common sense knows, has nothing to do with the death of Kordell. What has more to do with it is the fact that we allow too many people to get their hands on guns in the first place.

    Please don't respond. I don't want to hear any more of your nonsensical assertions. They are totally beside the point on this post. Keep it to yourself. You don't have to comment on every post I make. Take a break.