- So let's get started on this week's stupid and dangerous gun talk, shootings, gun incidents, etc. Of course, this week again, there are shootings of very young children. A mother was holding this two year old when he was shot and wounded by gun fire in the neighborhood. This statement just should not have to be uttered by anyone in America: "Reverend Antonio Smith was among the parents scrambling to get their children to cover. "I don't think it was intentional. It was just somebody playing with a gun, probably just shooting. Normally they fire up in the air", he says." Normally? Are we at war? Senseless.
- Why don't gun manufacturers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island like the idea of tracing a bullet back to its' original source? If we want to prevent gun deaths and injuries and cut down on illegal trafficking, tracing guns and bullets to their origin is one way to find the "bad guys". Are the manufacturers afraid that they might be found guilty of wrong doing? I sure hope not. Otherwise, what is their problem with microstamping of shell casings? Instead:".... Colt, is threatening to move out of New England if such legislation is adopted." So there.
- Should a town disband its' police department because an officer shot a man in a domestic call? This Oregon town thinks so. Why not? Who needs a police department? You can just use your own guns for self protection, can't you? If there's some sort of emergency, just form a posse and take care of it yourselves.
- A shooting in Minneapolis appeared to target a Muslim youth visiting from Ohio. I will be writing more about this kind of prejudice closer to the anniversary of 9/11. To target anyone for their race, religion, or sexual orientation is inexcusable to say the least and not to be tolerated.
- Several threads are woven into this story about a Wisconsin man who was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. First, the newly passed Wisconsin right to carry law does not go into affect until November 1st. Second, the man had been drinking would have been in violation of the law had it been in affect. Third, he bought the gun from someone who was selling guns from his truck- no background checks required, of course. Who is buying those guns? There's no way to know except, in this case we do know that a man who was irresponsible bought this particular gun and then carried it while drinking. And, of course, this is not the first time I have written about the dangerous mix of guns and alcohol.
- What makes a teen-ager want to conspire with someone named Jihad Jane in Pennsylvania about a potential school shooting? First of all, who is Jihad Jane? Second of all, what is an average looking teen-ager doing communicating with this American terrorist about a school shooting? It seems rather mysterious but more will likely be known later as the case moves its' way through the system. Suffice it to say that you just can't tell who is going to decide to shoot up a school.
- This is an interesting case of an accidental gun discharge. A loaded gun was laying around on a table of the home where a group of guys were filming a movie. There must have been a fair number of guns on the set since an NRA instructor was on the set- just not when someone picked up what he thought was a prop for the movie and discharged the gun. It's impossible to tell the difference between a loaded or an unloaded gun on first glance. Why, when there were unloaded guns used in the film did a loaded gun make it onto the scene at all? This was both stupid and dangerous. Luckily the young man who was shot will be O.K.
- It's not a week unless there is a domestic shooting. Here is a Florida shooting of a woman in the parking lot of an elementary school. This is a prime example of how a shooting traumatizes a community. What must the children be thinking when a mother of a classmate is shot in the parking lot? What must parents think when their children are going to a school where a parent is shot in the school parking lot? " "It's incredible. Our children aren't even safe at school," parent Vivianna Maiquez said. "They say it's a domestic dispute but anyone could have been involved in it. Children could have seen it. That's sad."" Indeed.
And where were all those folks with their concealed guns to help out this poor woman? Would someone have been in the exact right place at the right time to get out their own gun on school property and take care of the matter? This is a classic domestic shooting. It's an angry man with a gun seeking revenge or whatever these guys are thinking, against his ex-wife.
- A Kansas Attorney General doesn't see any reason why concealed guns need to be carried into government buildings. " "The simplest and most basic reason this proposal should not be adopted is that it does not advance public safety and welfare; it jeopardizes it," she wrote. "That interest is far more significant than the interest of individual citizens in availing themselves of the ability to carry a secreted firearm in government facilities while there for limited periods of time."" Why do people with concealed loaded guns need them when going to apply for a drivers' license or do business with County officials? What is the extreme danger posed by going about your daily business? If you read my blog, you may remember the incident of the man whose concealed gun fell out of his pants while he was testifying before a City Council meeting. Who was more at risk there? The man with the gun who had no reason to need it inside of the government building, or the innocent people who could have been shot by an errant bullet from the man's gun ( which presumably was carried for his own self defense)?
- Guns and politicians have been the subject of some of my entries on this blog. In this case, someone fired shots at a Texas Democratic Congressman's office, luckily not injuring anyone inside. If you are angry at a politician, I suggest you write a letter, call his/her office or send an e-mail. You could even ask for a face to face meeting but don't bring your gun.
- " "If I'm a grandma, don't I need protection more than someone who's more physically capable? To me it makes perfect sense," said attorney Guy Relford. "And if Indiana provides her a legal right to do that... why would the City of Hammond want to deny that to her?"" Really? Somehow I just don't feel like I need a gun when I am playing with my grandchildren at parks. In fact, it has never crossed my mind. I'm sure there have been a few shootings here and there at playgrounds and parks but they are not particularly dangerous places. But never mind, this Indiana grandma just must have her gun when she is with her two year old grandson. This makes me wonder if it's just because she can pack heat or is it because she sees a real need? Really, has she seen all the articles I've posted about toddlers finding loaded guns and shooting themselves or other people? I guess she doesn't think it could ever happen to her. She might be wrong. Why take the risk?
- And there's the ever important proof that, as a politician, you are a good shot. This video of New Mexico Governor proving her prowess with a gun is curious. Do people really care more about whether the Governor of their state is a straight shooter than whether she is concerned about jobs, health care, poverty, education, etc.?
- Here's a good way to get gun rights extremists to the polls- put an initiative on the ballot to allow Illinois citizens to carry loaded guns in public. If you can't get something passed through the legislature, insist that it be a ballot measure.
- A high ranking official in New York Mayor Bloomberg's administration was charged with domestic abuse in July and spent some time in jail. No one is immune from domestic abuse. In this case, Mr. Goldsmith reportedly said: " “I should have put a bullet through you years ago.” Too often words like this turn into tragic action. After the comment, some shoving and other physical actions occurred and Mrs. Goldsmith called police. Not atypical in cases of domestic abuse, Mrs. Goldsmith walked back the comments and tried to downplay what had happened. Women are frightened that if they stay in this kind of relationship, retaliation can happen; and particularly once a call to police is made. Let's hope we don't read about something else happening in this case.
- I thought that the guns traced in the Mexican gun deaths caused by the drug cartel were not coming from the U.S.( according to the gun lobby and many of the commenters on this blog) Here is proof positive that the gun lobby is just plain wrong about this. These "nice" and "polite" gun shop owners were caught selling guns to agents and other folks who they knew were planning to smuggle them to Mexico. They were also engaged in allowing straw purchasing of guns. Here is a corrupt gun dealer contributing to the deaths of innocent Mexican citizens. It's a clear case of catching people directly involved in trafficking guns to Mexico. Where is common sense?
- It's really not a good idea for the Arizona Republican party to raffle off the same type of gun used by Jared Loughner to kill 6 people and injure 13 others last January at a Tucson shopping mall. Some one must have thought it was just a great idea. Apparently common sense has no place in Republican fund raising schemes. Or did these folks think this was actually a good idea? " Speaking of sensitivity - you have no idea how sensitive the trigger is on this sweet baby we're raffling! All the easier to fire those 36 bullets you'll get in those three magazines. Loughner only got off 32 shots. Think you can do better? Then give us your money."
- Every once in a while, a politician has the nerve to say what's really on his mind and not care about the consequences. Such is the case with Senator John McCain who accurately noted that our gun laws need to be more strict, not less strict, in order to stop trafficking of guns to Mexico.
- Three men were shot outside of a New Jersey bar by another man with an assault rifle. Why do people carry assault rifles on the streets again? Can you conceal one of those? Can you actually legally carry one on the streets?
- Yet another shooting in Minneapolis has taken the life of a teen-ager and wounded another man. This area of Minneapolis has suffered from more than its' share of gun deaths in the last few weeks. Guns in our neighborhoods are dangerous.
- Again, guns and alcohol don't mix, even for an off duty police officer. This Washington D.C. cop has been charged in a shooting when he fired shots into a car with 5 people inside, injuring one. Can you just shoot a gun into a carful of people?
- What kind of country do we live in when the gun industry benefits from a Presidential election? They love President Obama because fears of guns being confiscated are running stupidly rampant. " But it does capture the industry’s strange predicament: If gun makers work too hard to defeat Obama, they may be shooting themselves in the foot." Ouch. Commenters on this blog tell me that they fear riots and so need their guns just in case. Or they are ready to live in some sort of retro world where everyone needs a gun in case of tyranny or a take-over by a hostile dictator or country. Yup. It's a crazy world out there. More people get shot in a given day by people they know ( 32 gun homicides daily in the U.S. and 80 total gun deaths) and love than anyone getting shot by a tyrannical dictator or some "jack- booted government thugs" coming to take guns away ( that would be 0).
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.