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.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

gun problems with animals

Really, sometimes you can almost laugh about stuff like this. A man tried to shoot a squirrel and ended up shooting himself in the foot. Whatever. This incident is an accident. It's good that the man was not hurt badly because guns are dangerous no matter what the purpose of the shooting is. That is because they are designed to injure and kill animals and people. They are one of the few consumer products designed specifically for injuring and killing. That is why so many die every day in America from gun injuries. That is why the U.S. has more gun deaths and injuries than any other industrialized country. America has more guns per capita as well. America has more stupid and dangerous shootings than any other country.

I have a few squirrel stories that have become legends at my house. One is the time I came home from grocery shopping and dropped my bags in the back entry way near the door coming from the attached garage. I went to the basement to put some clothes in the wash before I headed out for the next thing on my schedule. When I walked up the stairs, I saw a distinct animal out of the corner of my eye running out of the grocery bag into my kitchen. It freaked me out. I cautiously walked through my kitchen. No squirrel. I sneaked into the dining room and, voila!- squirrel sitting on its' hind legs in my living room. I had a vision of the scene from the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie, one of my favorites, where the squirrel leaps out of the Christmas tree onto the chest of one of the grandmas and she faints. I frantically called my husband home from work. Luckily it was lunch time. We searched the house and found the place where the squirrel had found its' way in and then out again. It ended with my getting a rat trap which I placed in the metal bread drawer in my old kitchen before it was remodeled. We caught the squirrel and haven't seen another one inside since. Had I had a gun, I'm sure I could have done a lot of damage to my house and maybe to myself. I'm glad it was solved peacefully except for the demise of the squirrel. But my husband's old aunt once shot a squirrel right out of a tree saying she got the ring leader of the gang of squirrels that had been invading their cabin every year. I also had a squirrel drop onto my back when it slipped off of the steel roof tiles on my home. I was bent over looking at something and, voila! squirrel on my back. I could have used a gun that time. It scared the heck out of me. I don't like squirrels. But I think I'll not use a gun just in case.

But let's not end there. Can animals shoot humans? I guess so. Get this one. This duck hunter was mighty surprised when his dog shot him in the buttocks as the dog was jumping in and out of the duck boat. Ouch. Really, how embarrassing for the guy. You just hate to admit to something like this. But shootings like this do happen when people are not careful. See Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a friend while hunting for another such embarrassing incident. One has to hope that anyone with a gun for hunting, self defense, recreational shooting or whatever they are doing legally with a gun is careful. Such is not the case. Just check out the Ohh Shoot blog to see how law abiding gun owners are not so careful. That is a problem for the gun rights extremists who claim otherwise. They really don't like the idea that permit holders and legal gun owners make mistakes or intentionally shoot people. It doesn't fit with their narrative that we will all be safer with more guns around. Common sense tells us that guns are dangerous and people get shot every day by people who didn't start out their day thinking they would get shot by their own gun or shoot someone accidentally or even intentionally.


  1. I'm pleased that you don't own a gun. Given your feelings about them, you'd be a danger around firearms. Those of us who can own and use them responsibly, on the other hand, wish that you would just leave things at that.

  2. Nice Gregory. Thanks a lot for that compliment!!! You guys are always so polite.

  3. "Really, sometimes you can almost laugh about stuff like this. A man tried to shoot a squirrel and ended up shooting himself in the foot."

    We'd be so much safer, if only police and law enforcement were allowed to carry guns...


  4. Not sure why you sent this one jdege. I have blogged about it. Guns are dangerous even in the hands of officers who are training people how to shoot them.

  5. Just because someone owns a gun does not mean they would shoot an animal in their house!!! Really? Quick story time. I am a gun "nut" as some would say I love them, they are a big part of my life. At work I carry a gun, at home I have many and love the hobby. One morning my wife and I were awoke buy a tapping noise in our ceiling. I did not pull out my pistol, do a combat roll and jump into the attic ready for war. I got a broom and found the perpetrator a wood pecker trying to find a way out of my house. I corner the little guy and crushed his little head in!!!! Not really, I gently picked him up with some leather gloves on and took him outside to live a full happy wood pecker life. I'm sorry if that is not as crazy of a story as you would have wanted a gun nut to share but the majority of gun owners are responsible and use common sense.

    Japete Said "Really, sometimes you can almost laugh about stuff like this. A man tried to shoot a squirrel and ended up shooting himself in the foot."

    Accidents happen we are human too. All you can do is be as safe as possible. Proper instruction and training is necessary.

    P.S. If it were a bear instead of a wood pecker I would have handled it a bit differently.

  6. Hunting safety in perspecive:


  7. Thanks for that, Jay. That's an interesting chart which I have not seen before. Of course one main difference is that hunting accidents involving guns can actually kill someone whereas basketball and hockey injuries are extremely unlikely to do so.

  8. I know you love your medical journal articles

  9. Deaths in hockey do happen. I have no clue how many people hunt or the deaths resulting from accidents only during hunting but there are an estimated 190-250 million guns in the us and under 700 accidental deaths. That seems to be an exceedingly low accident rate when compared to almost anything else. If you want to look up the hockey numbers have at I would say both are unlikely to cause accidental death.

  10. Good grief, Anthony. Check this link- http://www.hockeyforum.com/hockey-trivia/26696-hockey-related-deaths.html

    People just can't come up with deaths caused by accidents in hockey games. There sure as heck are not 700 a year. So yes, I would hazard a guess that guns are quite a bit more dangerous than hockey games. 700 is 700 too many. The families of those 700 don't happen to think it's a small amount and for you to just shrug it off as nothing to be concerned about says more about you than it does about me.

  11. Or you can check this one out- http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/sport_injuries.html

    head injuries from falls off of bikes, drownings and skiing accidents seem to cause the most deaths but not as many as gun accidents at some age levels. We have a good friend whose teen-aged daughter died at the local ski hill when she slammed into a tree. It was an awful tragedy. In the years I have lived in Duluth, I can recall maybe 2-3 deaths at the ski hill.

  12. I would agree that 700 (now that I found WISQARS the number they have is 613) deaths are tragic as most unintentional deaths are.

    Rates per 100,000
    unintentional firearm 0.2
    Unintentional Pedestrian Deaths 1.98
    Unintentional Overall Motor Vehicle Deaths 14.57
    Unintentional Residential Fire/flame 0.96
    Unintentional Fall Deaths 7.50

    While each death is tragic it seems that we get in our cars every day and never think that the chances of accidental Motor vehicle death is 73.7 times greater than accidental firearm death. or when I get home that my chances of Unintentional Residential Fire death are 4.8 times as likely or that a fall is 37.5 times as likely to kill me. In fact when I handle firearms I think about my safety considerably more than any of these events but accidents can happen. You are correct that an accident with a firearm can be deadly and so can many hobbies and things we take for granted as safe.

    In rereading your story I noticed something. I thought you have said a few times that your husband hunts and has firearms in the house yet you claimed in your story "Had I had a gun, I'm sure I could have done a lot of damage to my house and maybe to myself." Not that I think the common sense solution would be to grab an shotgun and shoot a squirrel in the house.

  13. You guys are so literal and black and white sometimes that it just begs for simple explanations. My nuanced and little humorous story was just that. We have hunting guns.

    As to your stats- I am wall aware. I have blogged about this many times. Of course, these do not include the 32 a day who are murdered by guns and the 80 total, including suicides and accidental shootings a day in this country. Of course, I'm sure you knew that but just had to be provocative. Have a nice day and find someone else to annoy for a while.

  14. You are right I was silly for trusting your "story" Was there ever a squirrel in your house or was that made up too? I have long thought that you will use whatever argument fits the moment even if it goes against other arguments you make sometimes just days before. I guess we should understand they are all just fictional "stories" to prove a point.

  15. Anthony, Anthony- really. Do you hate what I write so badly that you just must make as many comments as possible to make me look bad? The squirrel story is true. We have guns, that's true. What, of course, I meant, for those not too obtuse to get it, was to make a joke about having a gun at that moment, just like the guy who shot his off at the squirrel. Nuance is hard for some I guess. Take a break for a while.