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, October 24, 2011

The silence is killing us

Every once in a while an elected leader decides to speak the truth about the gun issue. Such is the case here for Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman William Horne concerning Nevada gun laws after the mass shooting at the IHOP restaurant. Duh! Why is that legislators are so afraid to mention gun laws after mass shootings? Because the NRA has everyone so afraid to bring it up that they are silenced. The silence is killing us. Here is what Representative Horne said:
"I think it's a good question to ask: Why does a typical citizen need to have an assault weapon?" he said. "I think we're at the point where we have to have that discussion. Can we protect citizens without impacting other people's rights?"
National Guard Sgt. Caitlin Kelley, who was seriously injured by Eduardo Sencion in the Sept. 6 rampage, said the mass shooting has made her furious about gun laws.
"I can't imagine why we are even selling assault rifles to civilians," said Kelley, who now must use a wheelchair after being shot in the foot. "There's no reason for an AK-47 or an M-16 or an M-4 to be in a civilian's home."
And what is the NRA's response?
Robert Smith, president of the Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association, said the problem is not guns; it's the people using them.
"It isn't the weapon that's bad, it's the person" who commits crimes with the weapon, he told the Gazette-Journal. "If you keep them away from private citizens, you're making the private citizens unarmed targets."
Trying to make policy based on emotion _ such as the response to the IHOP shooting _ isn't good policy, said Carolyn Herbertson, a Sacramento, Calif.-based National Rifle Association lobbyist who's registered to lobby at the Nevada Legislature. The NRA has three paid lobbyists in Nevada.
"My job is to represent reason, and I take that very seriously," she said. "We represent reason to what often becomes an emotional issue."
They are kidding, right? Wrong. This is what I get from gun rights extremists on my blog all the time. We shouldn't have victims' stories. We're dancing in the blood of victims. We're too emotional. Of course this is their way of forever delaying doing anything about common sense gun laws. Since we have so many shootings in this country and so many victims, we'll never get anything done to make us all safer if we wait until we have no more gunshot victims and no more emotion. I suppose if we wait long enough, we might also forget the last mass shooting. Let's see now, since the IHOP shooting, 8 people were shot to death in a beauty salon in California and a few other double and triple high profile shootings have occurred. Maybe we'll forget that U.S. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a crazed gunman in Arizona who shouldn't have had guns either. Or maybe I will forget that my sister was shot to death almost 20 years ago and stop working on common sense gun laws. So if we wait to forget about the last mass shooting to pass sensible gun laws, well... you get the picture. Such "logic" should be unacceptable and should not go unchallenged. I will wager that Representative Horne is now experiencing the wrath of the NRA and the gun rights extremists for daring to put forward an idea whose time has come. Even local law enforcement agrees but gets to the core of the matter with this statement:
Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said while he doesn't see "any logic" to making assault weapons available to the public, a ban on such weapons would spark a sharp response by gun-rights advocates.
Haley noted IHOP customers were helpless to defend themselves against Sencion's assault weapon.
"But because of our love affair with weapons, we are subjecting the public to this type of violence," the sheriff told the Gazette-Journal. "If this is going to change, the public has to stand up and demand change."
Stand up Nevada citizens. Stand up for what's right and for common sense. The shooter at the IHOP restaurant was schizophrenic. He never should have been able to buy his guns. Where did he get them in the first place? Oh yes, right:
Despite being diagnosed as schizophrenic, Sencion legally purchased the weapon from a private seller in California. He also legally owned several other guns.
No background check from the private seller. That one was easy. And that is not illegal, by the way. It's just dangerous and stupid.  Can't people eat out at restaurants without fear of crazy people with assault weapons going on a shooting spree? Or a shopping mall, beauty salon, or University for that matter. What's wrong with us?


  1. That response seems to be from the president of the Nevada State Rifle & Pistol Association, not the NRA.

  2. japete writes:"No background check from the private seller. That one was easy. And that is not illegal, by the way."

    No, this is completely illegal to do in California. All sales must go through a dealer (FFL) and involve both the state & federal background check.

    See the California Department of Justice FAQ at http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/pubfaqs.php#7

    "All firearms purchases and transfers, including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, must be made through a licensed dealer under the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) process. California imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a buyer or transferee"

  3. japete writes:
    "Is there a difference? "

    Yes, there is. The NRA is a national organization governed by a national board.

    State associations are independently governed and often have opinions that do not line up with the NRAs.

    GOCRA, the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, is completely independent of the NRA, for example.

  4. Thanks Bryan. You are right. Check this out- http://www.lcav.org/states/california.asp#SecondaryPrivateSales

    I really love California gun laws. They make so much sense. So to make matters worse, the Nevada IHOP shooter got all of his guns legally even though he was quite mentally ill and should not have been able to get them. One of the problems we have that came out after Virginia Tech is that the records of those adjudicated mentally ill people are not making it to NICS so these folks become prohibited purchasers of firearms from licensed dealers ( or in 5 states, of even unlicensed sellers). Even after the new law passed and was signed into law by President Bush, only about half, or fewer, of these records have been sent by state agencies to NICS.

  5. Yes, thank you Bryan for being the "Corrector in Chief". I'm aware. You guys all have the same goals, however. Just like the gun control groups- we have the same general aims with some differences. There are state groups and national groups with pretty much the same general goals. But then, you know that. And you know that I know that but feel a need to find a picky detail to complain about rather than looking at the bigger message of my post. Good night.

  6. The extremists have, several times, used the "you're dancing in the blood of victims" argument with me when I've used cases of violence to make my points. Yet if I don't have a case handy to make my point, they say I'm exaggerating or making it up!

    And who the hell are they to say such a thing? As if the death of innocents or our loved ones were some prop for us! This is life and death, and I have lost people in my life to guns, as have you. Most of these extremists have not. Naturally, those tragedies have shown me the violence that many people take for granted, and the daily flood of gun violence on the news isn't wallpaper to me like it is for most people. It's sad that this is the case in America, and we have to do something about it.

    So, yes, I very willingly bring to light the cases of gun violence to make my point, including from my own background. The victims themselves would not want to have their deaths ignored to satisfy the gun-lust of extremists.

  7. I can't speak for everyone else who comments here, but I have no objection to you telling stories. The death of innocents hurts me as much as it hurts you. We gun owners and rights advocates aren't all bloodthirsty brutes. Many of us simply disagree with you on the best way to deal with violence in our society.

    By the way, since words do matter, the weapon used in the Nevada IHOP was probably not an assault rifle, since such a weapon must have fully automatic fire capability.

  8. Here is a case where a "assault weapon" was used to defend a civilians home. If it saves just one life is the standard right?

    Baldr it is interesting that you seem to know what dead victims think in addition to the views of their family. While I am one step removed I recently saw a gunman get sentenced (to life BTW) and mourned the anniversary of a his victims death. I was wondering if you could let me know my GF views on run rights after this shooting.

  9. The homeowner could have accomplished the same thing with a hand gun or hunting gun. Funny thing, though, he missed- how could that be with all of that fire power?

    I believe Baldr is not trying to communicate with the dead here. Victims' families are considered to be victims as well. We were victimized when our loved ones were shot to death. We are the survivors.

  10. Maybe they are not the evil all powerful rifles you think they are. They can be used as hunting rifles here in MN. I think they are under powered for the task of hunting deer BTW

    Fine then can he/you should be able to tell me what my GF views on guns are she is one of the surviving victims. To be honest this is why when you toss out victims thoughts when never talking to them it is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  11. Sorry to affect you that way, Anthony. But when you lose a loved one in such a violent and unexpected way, it's a little hard to feel sorry for the people who don't like to hear your stories because it makes them uncomfortable or whatever it is it makes you feel.