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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What kind of country are we anyway?

Yesterday I saw the King and Queen of Norway who came to Duluth for an official state visit. I am of Norwegian heritage and so was proud to wave my Norwegian flag and be amongst so many Norwegian Duluthians for this great event. At the lunch event, which I did not attend, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar read parts of King Harald's speech given after the July shooting tragedy in Norway. The King's speech was poignant and emotional as he tried to heal a grieving nation in one of the world's worst mass shootings. Here is a video of the speech at a memorial service one month after the shootings at which the King cried as he remembered the victims. That mass shooting was not too far from people's thoughts yesterday. There are too many stupid and dangerous gun incidents and gun talk going on in the U.S. of late. It makes us look so crazy to other nations. Here are just a few that have made the news recently:
  • Hunting season is here. I have already written about a recent shooting incident in Minnesota involving a dispute between 2 hunters. Now this one in Indiana. " A Fort Wayne man shot and killed his father Sunday in an apparent hunting accident in Huntington County, according to a conservation officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources." How awful for all involved. Such tragedies do occur sometimes during hunting season. An Idaho 7 year old boy was killed when his father's hunting gun discharged accidentally. I wonder how families can ever really recover from such tragedies. Recently I reported about another shooting of a child in Idaho- "This was the second gun accident involving a young child to happen last week in Idaho. A 2 year old Rupert boy died last Thursday after being shot by his three year old brother. That shooting remains under investigation." Again- too sad for words. Guns are dangerous even when not intended to be. Stay safe while hunting everyone.
  • This should not happen. An 11 year old Chicago girl was struck by a stray bullet inside of her home. Are we at war? Why are there stray bullets flying around in our streets? Shouldn't children be safe inside of their homes when they are minding their own business? This is just plain nuts. Why are people not more concerned about this kind of senseless shootings? The girl was injured and she is lucky. This letter to the editor about the incident asks the right question: "Why are we not outraged and making this stop? I repeat, this child is our child. I wish I knew what to do."
  • What does anyone think this ad up on the NRA store website means? "Occupy America" in large letters with clothing and holsters and other gun paraphernalia to show that you, with the right gear and clothing, can occupy America is featured at the top of the ad. Is the underlying message here that guns should be used to occupy our country? The Occupy Wall Street movement has been non-violent in nature and, to my knowledge, no one is carrying guns around at the locations used by the group. The word occupy here is operative. In the Occupy Wall Street movement, it literally means to occupy the space with a group of people who share a common concern to call attention to an important national issue. The "Occupy America" movement? From the linked website: "Show that you're part of America's most influential civil rights organization by using and wearing official NRA gear." Really? The NRA is now a civil rights movement? Sometimes words just don't mean anything- or they mean everything. Will there be an NRA movement with people marching with their guns and gear on? What does the word occupy mean in this context? Time will tell.
  • So, let's see- guns carried by college students on campus, or off campus for that matter is a good idea, right? They will only be used in self defense or to stop a potential school shooter. Otherwise all will be safe and fine. Until it isn't. This Ohio frat party ended quickly when 6 people were shot. " Several people who attended the party were asked to leave shortly after a large fight. A few minutes later, one man returned and fired multiple shots into the crowd." Guns and alcohol, most likely, and young people "having a good time." Not a good idea. No one died, luckily for all.
  • When you have a cache of guns, you can plan mass shootings in your head that you know you can enact easily because of the fire power. The shooter in the Seal Beach, California planned his mass shooting of 8 people well. " Acting Seal Beach Police Chief Tom Olson said Scott Dekraai was armed with handguns -- a 9-millimeter Springfield, a Heckler and Koch .45-caliber and a Smith and Wesson .44-caliber magnum -- "and wore body armor because he did not want to be shot by police.""
  • And on the topic of the Seal Beach shooter, can you defend this mass shooting? Apparently a "Divorced Dads Rights Group" have done so. What were they thinking? Read this insane defense of a man who shot 8 people in a domestic dispute for yourself. Where is common sense?
These shootings and this rhetoric continues unabated as we, as a nation, continue to ignore a national personal and public safety problem. As other nations watch us in dismay, we do nothing. We do nothing and, in fact, we are going backwards as proposals to allow more people to carry more loaded guns in more public places keep coming from the gun rights extremists. As rhetoric of fear and paranoia is ramped up, we have a challenge as a nation. What kind of country do we want? When people are so angry during political and economic unrest, as we are now, inserting loaded guns into the picture is just not a good idea. Previous posts on my blog have discussed legislation and legislators. Previous posts on my blog have dealt with the increasingly stupid and dangerous rhetoric. It's time to act in favor of reason and common sense for the good of the country.

1 comment:

  1. "The Occupy Wall Street movement has been non-violent in nature..."

    The 1500 or so arrests at the various Occupy events lead me to think otherwise.

    "This should not happen. An 11 year old Chicago girl was struck by a stray bullet inside of her home."

    But it does happen, which is ironic considering all the ridiculous hoops and hurdles the Chicago government has put in the path of legal gun ownership. It must be all those criminals that refuse to jump through the hoops and hurdles.

    "As rhetoric of fear and paranoia is ramped up, we have a challenge as a nation. What kind of country do we want?"

    I want a country where I can keep and bear arms. Not just politically correct arms, but any firearm I can afford as long as I have not used them to harm an innocent person harm.