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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This week in gun crazy world..

First there was Wayne LaPierre's speech to CPAC last week-end. Here is the video of LaPierre issuing his crazy talk about an Obama administration conspiracy theory concerning gun confiscation.

Is LaPierre serious? Really. How stupid gullible does he think the gun rights folks are? If anyone believes this nutso theory from a leader of the NRA, then I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. This is just plain wild and crazy and totally false. I suggest that you take a look at the posts on Media Matters Gun Facts for more great articles about LaPierre's recent speech.

Then there is the state of Arizona wanting to make their already loose gun laws looser. Great. Why not?

If we believe public opinion, we will see that even NRA members and gun owners do not want to make gun laws looser. See this recent polling from Mayors Against Illegal Guns as more proof that the public, even those who own guns, do NOT want less strict gun laws. Since H.R. 822 would be less strict by making sure that the state with the fewest qualifications for a gun carry permit would become the standard in all states, that means that the public doesn't want it. You can see on the various charts in this bi-partisan poll that," Voters Clearly Oppose Allowing People to Carry Concealed Guns in Their State if They Do Not Meet State Requirements." Of those polled, even NRA households oppose H.R. 822 51-49%. Politicians take heed. To whom are you listening? The NRA of course. The NRA wants guns in every corner of our country with the least number of restrictions possible. But its' members apparently don't believe the same thing that the extreme leadership is telling politicians.

Neither does the National Association for Gun Rights. Their reasons are interesting. The passage of H.R. 822 could lead to stricter gun control because, of course, if they want to treat gun permits like driver's licenses, then there may have to be a national data base and perhaps the states that don't allow Constitutional Carry will put up a fuss and refuse the bill unless that is not allowed in any state.  Houston, we have a problem. From the website of the organization, above:
They will use this bill as the foundation to create a federal database of CCW permit holders. And then they can link it everywhere the Feds have database connections — state police, doctors and insurance companies under Obamacare, and Medicaid/Medicare. 
I’m sorry, but I refuse to entrust my liberty and privacy to a “trust us, they won’t do that “approach to dealing with Obama, the gun-grabbers or frankly most politicians of either party in Washington.

Oops. There is a disconnect here. This organization is encouraging its' members to oppose the bill. This must be one of the first times the gun control advocates and some gun rights extremists actually agree on something.

So where are these ideas coming from? There is evidence in poll after poll after poll that they are not percolating to the top from the grass roots. Rather they are being forced on legislators and the public from the extremist NRA folks at the top. The people do not want to loosen our gun laws. Why is the NRA doing this? Because they can. Because they have the power. One Minnesota legislator told me that cynically when the Minnesota Personal Protection Act passed. Nice guy, that. They want to do as much damage as they can while they have power just in case those radical liberals gain more power. Because, of course, there is a plan to take away guns from law abiding gun owners if you believe Wayne LaPierre.

Before I leave, I do have to report on a few stupid and dangerous gun incidents this week.  A young child found a loaded gun in his mother's purse and shot himself in the stomach. Stupid. Senseless. And here is what the woman said: " She said she plans to never keep guns in her house again." It's better late than never I guess. Oh, there's more as I knew there would be. In this Indiana town, 5 people are dead in a drug related shooting. Senseless.

What's going on in Indiana? In April one man shot another over a go-kart and now is facing a prison term for the shooting. The victim? He's a paraplegic now and his life will never be the same. Did the shooter have to shoot? Could he have solved his problem some other way? Of course. But we live in a gun crazed country where shooting someone when you get irritated that they are driving a go-kart in the neighborhood is just "par for the course." We live in a world where it seems O.K. for an NRA Board member to post a photo of a gun and suggest that liberals should stare down the barrel of said gun. Most people with a grain of common sense think this is not only stupid but dangerous and threatening. But so far he has gotten away with it. Shameful.

When the right wing nuts don't like a "liberal" running for office, anything goes. Check out this article about a violent comment on a right wing blog about Elizabeth Warren's campaign video-
When I hear the word “contract” I reach for my revolver think of two unique definitions — formally, a legally binding mutual agreement made between two or more parties, or idiomatically, an attempt to hire an assassin to kill one or more of your enemies. 
After the January shooting in Tucson of a U.S. Congresswoman, have we not learned that incendiary talk like this is dangerous? What is the matter with these guys? Where is Senator Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren's Republican opponent? If you don't demand civility from your supporters, this is what you will get. If you don't stand up for what is right, this is what you get. If you let these folks use dangerous language like this when they attack your opponent, then you are complicit. It looks like Brown is having some problems with other controversial issues ( from link above). The responsible thing to do is to stand up and challenge this crazy talk from extremist gun rights activists. 

Speaking of irresponsibility, be careful what you leave around in your home in the event of your death. What you leave behind could be harmful to your survivors as in this case of an Alabama teen who was shot in the neck while handling a loaded AR-15 rifle found in the home of his deceased grandparents. He survived the gunshot injury and hopefully will let others know to be more careful when handling a loaded gun. Guns are dangerous and when dropped, can discharge even though the gun guys say that is not possible. Unfortunately, it happens fairly often.

Oh, and there is more about guns and fashion. Check out this video about a bra concealed gun holder. I haven't stopped laughing since I watched it. "Nothing comes between a woman and her gun." Wow! This gun fits all gun sizes. It doesn't say whether it fits all cup sizes which could be a bit of a problem. Ladies, would you find this gun holder as uncomfortable as it looks? So you bend over to pick up your baby- ugh. Nothing like the barrel of a gun digging into your skin. You take off your shirt to try on clothing in a store- oops- that "conveniently" stored gun falls out of the holster or gets caught in the fabric. But hey, the folks who hype this stuff are pretty short on common sense. If they can make a gun sale, anything goes.

And say what??? Here is more absolutely looney and foolish rhetoric coming out of the mouth of U.S. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh. This crazy talk coming from a right wing lawmaker is irresponsible. Here are Walsh's words according to the Daily Herald as reported in Talking Points Memo ( article linked above): 

We are an embarrassment (in Illinois),” Walsh said Tuesday night at a Tea Party rally, according to The Daily Herald. “We are the last state standing when it comes to concealed carry. There’s no issue when it comes to freedom that matters like this, like the Second Amendment. The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government.”
Whoa there. Walsh is saying that people need guns to use against their own government. That's insane. His angry rhetoric has been heard before on various media outlets. Angry lawmakers saying dangerous things like this need to be held responsible for their words. I hope he's not "packing heat". 

There are people in our country who have common sense and do the right thing for standing for non violence and stricter gun laws. I am happy to see Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak speak out about the recent shootings of Minneapolis teens. He is a wise man who has never been afraid to speak out and stand up for what is right. I applaud him. Senator Frank Lautenberg ( N.J.) stands for reason and for the public regarding loosening gun laws all over the country because the NRA says they want it. We should all applaud him. Instead, if you read the comments at the end of the article, you will see that the gun rights extremists just can't stop their rude and inappropriate comments. This happens whenever a gun control advocate dares to stand up and speak. It's childish, annoying, stupid, unnecessary and irresponsible.

This will be my last post for a few days as I will be traveling and taking a little break from my blog. I will read comments and post some, as always. More next week. The shootings and stupid and dangerous rhetoric won't take a break just because I do. Have a good week everyone and stay safe out there.


  1. I am surprised that you missed this. He actually seems to be calling for violence unlike the Joe Walsh quote.


  2. Nope didn't miss it. I just didn't blog about it.

  3. "Whoa there. Walsh is saying that people need guns to use against their own government. That's insane."

    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson)


  4. While I don't buy LaPierre's theory, I don't dismiss it out of hand.

    I wouldn't have though the ATF would be running guns to Mexican cartels either, but they were. Apparantly in order to drum up actual facts to support a new push for gun control laws - I can't imagine any other rationale.

    So there ya go.

    The Administration's hostility to gun owners and the 2nd Am. is well documented; the only thing that keeps them from running new gun control up the flagpole is the reality that they don't have the votes. In fact, OUR position has the votes, and the law, and the facts, and history on our side. The polls that matter - elections - come out squarely pro-liberty, no matter how many "polls" MAIG rigs up.

  5. Paranoia as far as the eye can see!

  6. NAGR is a single fund-raising con artist and his lawyer, not a gun-rights group.

  7. Japete: “Guns are dangerous and when dropped, can discharge even though the gun guys say that is not possible. Unfortunately, it happens fairly often.”

    Did you read the article carefully?

    He and the friend were looking at the gun, when the friend accidentally dropped it. They both tried to catch the falling gun, and it fired.

    The gun went off when they tried to catch it (pulling the trigger with one of four grabby hands), not when it hit the ground. That is exactly what the “gun guys” have been saying here- that *modern* guns are drop safe, and it is actually quite dangerous to try and catch them. Non-modern guns like spur triggered derringers, antique single action revolvers, older revolvers without a transfer bar, or guns in disrepair- are another story.

    Many things went wrong in this story that we can agree with: not clearing the weapon, teens handling a gun without adult supervision, but to be added to that list is “trying to catch a falling gun”. Since we all want to see less of these incidents you really should not perpetuate the idea that “guns are dangerous when dropped”.

  8. japete - if you're not paranoid, you're not paying attention.


    And there are historical reasons for a jaundiced view of government in general; quite frankly, historically, your kind of naivete gets people killed, in the hundreds of thousands. Jefferson's advice is well placed, and based on sad human experience.

    And unfortunately the US gov't has given in recent years plenty of reason to be suspicious and, yes, a bit "paranoid;" i.e. some of the provisions of the Patriot Act, the abuses of Fast and Furious, etc.

    A little paranoia is a very healthy thing. Keeping the powder dry, just in case, always makes sense.

  9. I'm paying attention to the things that are important to me. Guns are not one of those. That is true for most Americans.

  10. "I'm paying attention to the things that are important to me. Guns are not one of those. That is true for most Americans."

    I sincerely hope that will continue to be true.

    But I don't base my contingency plans on what I hope will happen.

  11. "I wouldn't have though the ATF would be running guns to Mexican cartels either, but they were. Apparantly in order to drum up actual facts to support a new push for gun control laws - I can't imagine any other rationale."

    "Paranoia as far as the eye can see!"

    Hundreds of people are dead in Mexico, killed by guns provided to the cartels by the United States Government. This doesn't bother you? It's not paranoia, it's being reported by CBS News.

    This same agency instituted a rule recently, a rule that congress had refused to make into a law. You're ok with the government giving itself powers at will? What will you say when they start randomly making rules that affect you more directly?

  12. Haven't you been reading my blog Dave? As you know my concern is just what you stated. Actually thousands of Mexican citizens have been killed by guns largely coming from the US in recent years. That is why the very limited program of reporting sales of long guns in 4 border states would work to prevent sales of these guns to those who traffic them across the border. A program that anyone who cares about what is happening in Mexico should support. So what in the heck are you complaining about? And why even bring it up again given that we have covered this topic ad nauseum? Therefore, no need to keep sending comments about it.

  13. 1. You mock the idea of a bra holster, but I can tell you that concealing a handgun isn't as easy as Hollywood makes it out to be. I can fit a small one in my pockets, but a full-size 1911 takes some work. My choice as a man is an inside-the-waistband holster. Women's bodies require a different approach.

    2. The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act won't create a registration for gun owners. That's specifically barred in the language of the bill. It merely recognizes that my right to carry is a national right protected by the U. S. Constitution. I can carry a book with me into California. Why not a handgun?

    3. Accounts of firearm accidents don't add up to justification for taking away rights. A life without risk is no life at all. To be absolutely safe, you must ban automobiles, steak knives, tall buildings, and on and on. Besides which, anyone who follows Jeff Cooper's rules of gun safety won't cause a gun "accident."

  14. gregory- #1- I'm sorry it's such an inconvenience for people to carry those loaded guns around in public. #2- Really? The last time I checked, books don't cause a lot of deaths and injuries. I wasn't the one who came up with the idea that H.R. 822 would lead to gun registration- that comes from your side and #3- who said anything about taking away rights? That is what you guys have made this into but that is not what this is about. You don't have unfettered rights to carry guns wherever you go. Heller made that quite clear. Your last statement about being consistent- who is banning something here? Automobiles are strictly regulated and you have to register them and have licenses to drive. They are not weapons designed to kill. As to the rest of your examples- really? How ridiculous. You can do better than that. What are Jeff Cooper's rules of gun safety? And who is Jeff Cooper?

  15. it is odd that cars that are not designed to kill do so at a rate about equal to guns. What level do you have to achieve before they are designed to kill?

  16. Anthony- why ask such a silly question? Really you guys, you have to come up with something better. These trite arguments and lack of logic are getting old.

  17. By rights, I was speaking of the natural rights of human beings, rights that the Enlightenment philosophers understood, rights that we have simply by living. I do not imply that our government gives us these rights. It's the government's job to protect our rights. As for the Heller decision, the Supreme Court failed to go far enough there. Banning carry of a firearm is a violation.

    On the point of automobiles being registered, I tend to agree that such regulations are also a violation, as the right to travel is part of our natural rights. That being said, there is no specific guarantee regarding modes of transportation in the Bill of Rights, whereas arms are specifically ennumerated.

    As for books not killing anyone, that's both wrong and irrelevant. Perhaps you've never heard of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the novel that Lincoln said led to our Civil War? Perhaps you're unfamiliar with the writings of Thomas Paine? And then there's the dangerous document that Thomas Jefferson put out. I'd say that books most certainly can kill when they inspire us to act.

    Jeff Cooper was a U.S. Marine officer in the Second World War and a firearms instructor, hunter, and commentator after his days of service. You can find his writings on-line, and I recommend them to you, particularly his explanation of the word "hoplophobia."

  18. Please tell me you aren't serious with your statement about books, above, gregory. You are more extreme than I thought. Do you make this stuff up as you go along or where do you get these ideas anyway? To equate the writing of a book with ideas that may promote racism or even violence with an actual shooting by bullet is not only dishonest, it is ridiculous. I'm familiar with the books you used as examples. Really? A book led to the Civil War. I think it was much more than that. This discussion is so over the top that I won't respond to any more of your ideas if they continue along this vein. Your ideas are those of people who live in an alternate world to the majority and are not shared by very many- most certainly not by me. I only published this so my readers can see who is responding here and to what lengths they will go to make a point. To hold up Thomas Paine, who was involved in the American and French Revolutions as someone who inspired people to kill others? Really? " Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized due to his criticism and ridicule of Christianity.[7]" ( Wikipedia entry) Great. Good role model and example. As to Uncle Tom's cabin- from the Wikipedia entry- " ] One million copies of the book were sold in Great Britain.[9] The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, "So this is the little lady who started this great war."[10] The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that "The long-term durability of Lincoln's greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change."[11]" Revisionist history is a bad idea and intellectually dishonest. So yes, words can be powerful but who will use a book to shoot someone in a bar or can a book, when dropped off a table, kill someone? You guys are going to have to come up with something better than this because this one just doesn't hold water.

  19. What is it about the idea that we are each and every one of us a free individual, possessing innate inalienable rights, that you find so frightening?

    Are you so enamored of the tranquility of servitude?

  20. What in the heck does that mean jdege? I have no idea what you are talking about. Use plain English and maybe we can understand each other. You write in the language of rhetoric or encyclopedia "ese" for lack of a better word. It doesn't work, by the way, if you are trying to impress.

  21. If guns cause crime and violence, then Marx and Engles' Communist Manifesto is responsible for the 20,000,000 people killed under Stalin, the 40,000,000 people killed under Mao Zedong, the 3,000,000 people killed in the Korean War, and the 1,650,000 people killed under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. More than SIXTY FOUR MILLION people dead, and I can bring that book into any building in any state, or give it to a toddler. A felon can have that book. There's no registry of communist reading materials.

    Now the reason I can do that is that the old communist texts don't actually kill anybody. The killings took place on orders of psychopathic dictators. Similarly, guns don't kill people, criminals do. Blame the criminal, not the tool.

  22. And what's your point again ADS? Guns are weapons designed to kill people. Books are not. Guns are not tools by the definition of the word. We've gone around about this before on my blog. Can't you guys come up with something less trite and more to the point? The Center for Disease Control and many other places that track deaths and injuries and diseases have firearms as the category of cause. They don't have books anywhere that I've seen. They don't list tools as causes of death. They list "cuttings", drownings, firearms, automobile accidents, suicide ( by method used- firearms, hanging, suffocation, etc.), breast cancer, heart disease, etc. They don't list people anywhere though people are the ones who may use the weapon or order the deaths due to their ideology and state of mind. And what the heck is your point about a registry of communist reading material? That has nothing to do with anything. Make yourself clear. Speak in plain English and maybe we can have a logical conversation. Maybe not, on the other hand, given that you guys just cannot get out of your trite and hackneyed phrases to defend your positions.

  23. I'm sorry. I keep forgetting to compensate for the ignorance of my audience.

    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

    -- Samuel Adams

  24. Your arrogance is stunning, jdege. You write in platitudes and quotes. Let's talk about the modern world and what people are saying and doing in 2011. Do you walk around in Revolutionary War garb as well?

  25. ADS- Really? Insulting the blog host is a non starter.

  26. "Your arrogance is stunning, jdege. You write in platitudes and quotes. Let's talk about the modern world and what people are saying and doing in 2011. Do you walk around in Revolutionary War garb as well?"

    I'm fairly certain he was being ironic towards your earlier statements.

    Its interesting to see that your fellow Duluthians don't agree with your point of view. Aren't these your "gun owning neighbors"?

  27. Who are my fellow Duluthians who don't share my views? What are you talking about?