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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just between you and me....

Just between you and me, the NRA and gun rights rhetoric has ramped up of late. Why? Maybe they need more money for their large organization where the executives are paid a handsome salary of over a million dollars each. That amounts to a heck of a lot of donations. Maybe they need to get more of their own elected to office. But it seems like there are no new arguments for their cause so they make them up. My readers know how I feel about this but this New York Times article capsulizes the current situation.
"Left with nothing to fear but imaginary fear itself, the gun nuts are in a terrible rut. They need scary opposition in order to flourish. They need someone to hate. They need conspiracies. And, as always, they need donations.
So, in their world, Obama’s silence, his reticence, his passivity is proof of a grand scheme.
“It’s all part of a massive conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intention to destroy the Second Amendment,” LaPierre told a major conservative gathering this fall.
Get it: he’s a stealth threat! By design."
Perhaps if the NRA would admit that we have too many victims- too many shootings- and that common sense measures could be taken to prevent them, we wouldn't need to ramp up the rhetoric on both sides. But what would be the fun in that? This article by Susan Mudrak writing for Media Matters gun facts is a great synopsis of the conundrum of the extreme gun rights rhetoric.
Hah! It's more than a tad ironic that the CEO of the NRA is selling the same line Obama true believers do: "He's keeping his powder dry! Just wait until his second term!" The truth is, the president has shown no interest in actually doing anything to control guns, although he occasionally offers tepid verbal support, like after Gabby Gifford's shooting.
And when their arguments are so tied in with the gun industry and profits, no wonder the NRA works so hard against any reasonable gun laws. It just doesn't pay the rent, the high salaries commensurate with the 1%, the fancy cars,  the gun sales, etc. And so the myth continues about the necessity for guns everywhere and people like me planning to take away rights and guns. Just between you and me, that is not the case.

Just between you and me, we have a problem with private gun sellers not requiring background checks on buyers. People like the ones contacted by phone about internet gun sales continue to sell guns to any one who wants one. Here's what one dealer has to say about background checks when asked if the "buyer" needed one to buy the handgun in question:
I mean, just between you and me, there's a lot of people that buy guns that way that probably can't walk into a gun store and do it, but person to person private sales, you just do it.                                       
O.K then. Just between you and me, I find this to be proof positive that closing the private seller loophole for gun purchases would actually work to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. And who knows, maybe someone won't be shot as a result. 62% of those contacted admitted that they would sell a gun to a buyer who said he couldn't pass a background check. No wonder we have so much gun violence in this country. The gun rights extremists spend a lot of time and energy trying to deny these things happen. It just doesn't fit with their narrative and modus operandi, does it? Even they think criminals should not have guns but they never quite believe that some of their own actually sell guns to said criminals or domestic abusers or adjudicated mentally ill folks. How do these sellers know who is on the other end of the phone or on the other end of a person to person sale? They don't, plain and simply. But never mind. Just between you and me, this country has a crazy gun culture that keeps us from doing the right thing. Where is common sense?


  1. Wow, I should start advocating the individual right--there's more money in it!

    But, my ethics would prefer to go with what I consider correct than what brings me money.

  2. Q) What do you call an honest lawyer?
    A) Broke.

  3. It is still illegal to sell to someone out of state and ship it to them without an FFL dealer being involved (only FFL dealers are allowed to ship firearms across state lines). The FFL dealer will also be required to perform the background check before turning the firearm over to the buyer. That is the law, and it would have been nice if it was mentioned in the report. I am not surprised that it wasn't.

    As far as I know, in state sales where the firearm is picked up in person does not require the background check. Arguing against that type of sale would be more honest, but wouldn't be as far reaching as the mayor would prefer.

  4. "we have a problem with private gun sellers not requiring background checks on buyers"

    I very much approve of this issue being raised. There may still be some foolish gunowners who believe that "closing the gun show loophole" will end something, whereas is actually is just the beginning, and this issue may educate them.

  5. "Maybe they need more money for their large organization where the executives are paid a handsome salary of over a million dollars each. That amounts to a heck of a lot of donations. "

    As I recall, the NRA has 4 million members. That means each member would be paying 25 cents towards a million dollar salary. Wowee golly gee.

  6. Is that how much you are paying, Patrick? Where do you think the rest of the money is coming from. I didn't say individual donations- the money is coming from the gun manufacturers and other very large contributors who stand to benefit from the NRA's agenda.

  7. I've been paying and donating a couple of hundred dollars a year, to the NRA, GOCRA, MNCCRN, etc., for a good many years now. And volunteering my time, when it was appropriate.

    Truth: not all of those "4 million members" are real. A fair number are junior members, or others paying reduced fees. Some unknown number are lifetime members who are deceased, but for whom the NRA was never informed of their passing. And out of the $35 annual fee, a fair chunk is an ordinary subscription fee for the NRA magazine, and not really dues.

    But all of that considered, the NRA takes in somewhere between 50 and 100 million in dues, every year. None of the US firearms manufacturers have profits that even approach that.

    If the NRA represented the manufacturers, it'd be a lot smaller, have a lot less money, and be a lot less effective.

    In truth, it'd be about as ineffectual as the Brady Bunch.

    But it doesn't.

  8. You conveniently forgot about this one jdege- I have blogged about it before- http://www.vpc.org/studies/bloodmoney.pdf

    " But new research reveals that since 2005 the NRA has received millions of dollars
    from the gun industry. The means by which the industry helps fund the NRA vary: from million-dollar industry grants to a program that
    rounds up gun store customers’ purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference going to the NRA—including a contribution from a
    soon-to-be mass shooter buying ammunition. Corporate contributors to the NRA come from every sector of the firearms industry,
    including: manufacturers of handguns, rifles, shotguns, assault weapons, and high-capacity ammunition magazines; gun distributors and
    dealers; and, vendors of ammunition and other shooting-related products. And they come from outside the firearms industry—including
    Xe, the new name for the now-infamous Blackwater Worldwide.
    This report offers an overview of corporate contributions to the National Rifle Association. " Read on for much more information to counter your comment. The NRA makes a whole lot of money from the gun manufacturers and dealers much of which accounts for its' funding sources and its' success in outspending almost every other lobby group in the country.

  9. Further- NRA Board members come from the gun industry- http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/01/nra-advocates-midway-gun-lobby-second-amendment

    And this website for a listing of NRA Board members and the many ties to the gun industry- http://meetthenra.org/--- http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/01/24/140265/brownell-clips-advantage/