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, December 13, 2011

Guns coming out of "nowhere"

Check out this short video of a gunman randomly shooting at cars as they drive by him on a Hollywood street. Is this a movie? It very well could be. No, it's real life where one person was injured badly by this young man who was having a very bad day. And now he is dead. "He wasn't a bad guy, he just got fed up," stunned friend and neighbor Christina Mesropian said after a KNBC-TV news crew told her the shooter that caused the disturbing scene was Brehm." That's the problem when guns are so available. An otherwise normal and law abiding person who has a bad day can take it out on innocent people too easily. Who could protect themselves from a man standing in the street breaking out into a shooting spree with absolutely no warning or no motive?

The shooter of the recent Virginia Tech incident also seemingly came out of nowhere and was on one of the streets of the campus. His motives are so far unclear. It is such a bizarre shooting, as I guess most shootings are. But to come out of nowhere and just shoot someone sitting in a car for no apparent reason should give us pause. But the someone in the car happened to be a police officer who had nothing to do, at least as far as we know now, with the young man and his gun. The officer was a trained firearms instructor but he couldn't defend himself against a stealth attack, as these shootings often are. But notice that this young college student is just like the students the NRA and its' minions want carrying their guns on campus so they can protect themselves from people like him carrying their guns on campuses. Go figure. The solution could become the problem.There is absolutely no logic to this. It is an argument made with no facts to back it up. People want guns on campuses because they want guns on campuses. It would also create a new market for more guns. Follow the money.

People like this guy are also on our streets with guns. A domestic abuser who, wait for it, ran into his mother's house and got her gun to use to threaten his family, should not be running down the street with that gun.

Another gunman comes out of nowhere to shoot a Kansas police officer- the 4th in a few days that I know of- in a domestic disturbance. Police officers are armed. Even they cannot stop people who are intent on shooting them. ( I missed this shooting of an officer in my previous post)

And then, according to the Virginia Citizens Defense League, in this CNN interview of its' president, Phillip Van Cleave, most shootings are due to altercations and don't come as a surprise. Though most shootings are altercations between people who know each other, some are clearly "out of the blue". Even those between people who know each other are often a surprise with little time to react. In other words, people with guns carried for self defense will have time to get out their guns and shoot their attacker. That is the selling point for people who believe guns should be in every nook and cranny of our communities. Watch the video.

Listen as CNN host Ali Velshi asks Van Cleave how you can be sure that students who get gun permits, and don't have a criminal record or record for drunkenness, etc at the time will not be involved in such behavior once they get the permit? We all know about what happens on college campuses. Young adults behave like young adults in an atmosphere of relative freedom. There are parties. There is depression. There is drinking and drugs. There are relationships and break-ups. There is stress to succeed and achieve. They may not responsibly know where their gun is at all times. This environment is not conducive to deadly weapons.

I have an idea. Why don't we try to prevent shootings by passing common sense laws long resisted by the uber powerful NRA and its' minions? Why don't we understand that more guns do not equal fewer gun deaths? If they did, the U.S. would not have the highest rate of gun deaths of industrialized countries not at war. Check out this editorial from Lori Haas, whose daughter survived the Virginia Tech shootings. The words of the Pete Seeger song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary are going through my head right now. Oh, when will they ever learn?


  1. The motorist, a music executive, died of the injuries from the man with his gun on a Hollywood street. http://www.latimes.com/la-me-hollywood-shootout-20111213,0,767953.story?track=LATiphoneapp--- totally senseless.

  2. The gun used by the shooter at Virginia Tech was obtained legally making the shooter a "law abiding" citizen. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/police-va-tech-shooter-bought-gun-legally-but-motive-still-a-mystery/2011/12/13/gIQAg0wbsO_blog.html

  3. "Who could protect themselves from a man standing in the street breaking out into a shooting spree with absolutely no warning or no motive?"



    I have every bit of the training required to deal with that situation.

    My wife.

    This guy. (a Reno permit holder that stopped a mass shooting)

    from 2008 http://volokh.com/posts/1212034090.shtml
    (original link gone, but story copied )

    Villagomez entered the bar and at some point began firing multiple rounds. At least two of these rounds struck and killed the other two decedents, Jose Torres age, 20 and his brother Margarito Torres, age 19 both of Winnemucca. At some point during this shooting spree Villagomez allegedly stopped and according to witnesses reloaded his . . . handgun and began shooting again. It was at this point that the second shooter, the Reno resident, produced a concealed handgun and proceeded to fire upon Villagomez who succumbed to his wounds. The Reno resident was in possession of a valid Concealed Carry Permit issued through the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office . . .

    The permit holder only shot the bad guys and stopped a mass murder in progress, as they were shot while they were reloading.

    So the answer is. A lot of us could protect ourselves if thrust into that situation.

    Don't assume that "nobody could" because nobody you know could.
    A lot of the people I know have the skills and the training.

    To us, your story is the poster child for why we carry all the time.

    It's funny, in a macabre sort of way.

    You see that story as a reason for gun control and I see it as a reason to never leave home without one.

  4. No, I wouldn't say the guns come out of "nowhere," I'd say the come out of "everywhere" since there is hardly a corner of our nation where guns aren't killing someone.

    Regarding guns on campus, well said. See my post on this as well: http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2011/12/virginia-tech-shooter-sort-of-student.html

  5. Um,..... the police did their job well- they killed the shooter as they are trained to do and paid to do. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57340460-504083/police-kill-a-man-who-allegedly-opened-fire-on-a-hollywood-street-corner-this-morning/?tag=contentMain;contentBody

  6. Hollywood, California.

    Not too many handguns there.
    Concealed and open carry are not allowed there.
    But..this man open carried and shot at people.

    Ie, criminals do not obey the law.

    What further gun control, other than completely banning guns, since you state that you don't want to do that, would stop this guy?

    I'm at a loss. What can you possibly suggest, other than a gun ban, that is more restrictive than California's EXISTING laws?

    We don't say that we WILL have chance to defend ourselves. We say that we want the CHANCE to defend ourselves.

    We don't say that all CCW's are law abiding. We say that MOST, MORE THAN THE GENERAL POPULACE, is law abiding.

    Firearms sales have increased for years. Gun death RATES have continued to DROP.

    Guns do not cause crime.

  7. I've said this ad nauseum on this blog- many guns in CA come from other states where the laws are looser. But guns are not banned in CA. This man was purportedly not a criminal. He was most likely a law abiding gun owner who had a bad day. That was my point.

  8. But you didn't answer the question.

    Since gun CARRY is already illegal, what laws would you advocate since you don't advocate BANNING guns? The only step that I see, that would fit your criteria, is the banning of firearms.

    As you said, who knows where he got it? And owning it harmed no one. It took his act of shooting people to make it dangerous.

    Registration, background checks, restrictions on carry, restrictions on magazines, restrictions on the type of weapon..... all were followed.

    But the LAW-ABIDING were unable to defend themselves, even if they wanted to. THEY followed the law that disarmed them. They could film it, but not shoot the killer. The filmer even tried to attract the killer's attention.

    Where's the commonsense in that?

  9. Oh but I did answer your question. CA has strict gun laws but guns are not banned. The man can own a gun according to CA law. He broke CA law by shooting an innocent driver in addition to firing his gun in a public place. You were wondering how this could have happened in CA. My answer is, of course, that citizens can own guns in CA so it can happen. Their laws about who can carry are strict and about background checks on all sales at gun shows and about assault weapons. What is it that you think is the problem? CA law doesn't prevent all gun deaths. There are still law abiding gun owners who snap and kill other people. There are still people who can't get guns in CA who go easily to Nevada or another neighboring state to get their guns and bring them into CA. How could someone driving by in a car driving at normal speeds possibly defend himself from a shooter standing in the middle of the street? The police were there to stop him from shooting anyone else and they killed him. That is their job. There is no guarantee that a permit holder could have done the same or would have or would even have been at the scene given that only 2-3% of people even have permits to carry.

  10. Here's a video of the shooter on Hollywood and Vine- http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/12/09/new-video-details-emerge-in-bizarre-hollywood-shooting/

  11. Japete: “CA has strict gun laws but guns are not banned.”

    California bans lots of guns- they just don’t ban every single gun. As Cargosquid pointed out, it hasn’t done anything to make CA a safer place.

    Japete: “My answer is, of course, that citizens can own guns in CA so it can happen.”

    Japete: “CA law doesn't prevent all gun deaths.”

    Japete: “There is no guarantee that a permit holder could have done the same or would have or would even have been at the scene given that only 2-3% of people even have permits to carry.”

    So how come we have to provide guarantees, but you don’t? You said gun control won’t prevent all malicious shootings, but CCW should in order to be justified. That is not very fair. The point of CCW is to give the person carrying much better odds when attacked. There are no guarantees. Carrying won’t do much against a random sneak attack like the officer in Virginia Tech suffered, but that is quite rare. I don’t see any officers disarming thinking “what good is a gun”, in light of that incident. I also don’t see you calling for officers to disarm because it didn’t help that guy. So why should CCW carriers be persuaded by that argument? I am not asking for you to provide guarantees either- just results. And California is yet to see results.

    A gun isn’t the answer to everything, though. Based on that short video clip, the driver’s best bet would probably be to duck and stomp on the gas rather than pull over and return fire. But every situation is different.

  12. O.K. already- neither side can guarantee everything or maybe even anything. Agreed? So we have two different perspectives about the world and about guns. That is abundantly clear. I wonder if we can ever meet in the middle? I'm just asking. As to your last statement, I find it ridiculous. To think you would even have enough warning to duck in this case is nonsense. The man who eventually died of his injuries had just gotten into his car, not knowing there was a crazy guy with a gun in the street when the guy started shooting. It was too late once the bullets started flying. That is usually the case.

  13. Japete: “As to your last statement, I find it ridiculous.”

    Hey, I was just trying to concede one of your major points that a gun isn’t always the answer. You don’t always have to come back with “ridiculous” and “nonsense”. You are telling me that is the guy who died- ok. But as a generalization, if you are in a car driving at speed, and someone on foot starts shooting at you, your best bet is most likely flight over fight. That is all I am saying, and I would think you would agree with me. And yes, there are options once the bullets start flying, because most of them miss. This guy got hit, but the fact remains that most shots miss- by crooks, by officers, and yes, even by self-defense.

  14. "There are still law abiding gun owners who snap and kill other people."

    So what do you intend to do about that? Nothing? That doesn't sound like you.

  15. I'm going to start organizing all of the GVP folks in the country to come around to the homes of people who own guns and take them by force.

  16. "japete"

    I'm going to start organizing all of the GVP folks in the country to come around to the homes of people who own guns and take them by force.

    Even said in jest, or even if said in sarcastic anger, making such statements does NOT help you.

    I can guarantee that ANY attempts at forced confiscation will result in more confrontations and dead bodies on both sides then anyone can possibly imagine

  17. I think it's time for you to call it a night, son.

  18. "I'm going to start organizing all of the GVP folks in the country to come around to the homes of people who own guns and take them by force."

    Hehehehe! I'm sure you're kidding, but this is something even our government knows they have absolutely no shot of ever accomplishing. We'd never be as accommodating as the Brits were. And precisely why gun registration in the US will never pass.

    Molon labe, japete. Molon labe!