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.
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

How many are too many?

How many gunshot victims are too many victims? One. That's all. To every family who has lost a loved one to a bullet(s), one is too many. That is why I am writing this blog. There are too many victims. Our country is littered with the names of the dead and injured. We know them. We see their families at meetings and events. We ring bells in their names. There will be 64 vigils in 22 states and DC tomorrow to honor and remember the dead and the injured. It will be one year since the mass shooting in Tucson that shocked us all. The video below shows numbers- numbers of victims that add up day after day after day. The numbers don't lie. They tell a truth that is often ignored in the quest for sensible legislation that could change the numbers if only we had the will to do so.



So on Sunday, Jan. 8th, one year from the horrendous and brutal shooting of innocent people gathered at a Tucson shopping mall, there will be candlelight vigils all over the country. In addition to the organized vigils, many will light their own candles, or mention the victims at a church service or talk to a neighbor about the issue of too many victims. We shouldn't have to have tributes to gunshot victims. We shouldn't have to light candles and ring bells. People die every day of natural causes, of accidents, suicides and homicides. It just happens that guns are the weapon of choice for both homicides and suicides. They are the weapon of choice in domestic violence cases. They are the weapon of choice for gangs and for felons. They seem to be the weapon of choice for dangerously mentally ill people as well. Jared Loughner should not have had a gun. Cho should not have had a gun. Guns are the weapon of choice for deranged people who wish to wreak havoc and cause death and injury. We won't forget that a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured that day one year ago. She will be attending a vigil in Tucson. Who can ever forget this brave woman?

And, as an aside, what is the NRA going to do to remember the Tucson victims on Jan. 8th? Having a gun show in Tucson sponsored by Crossroads Gun Shows, of course. Is it just a coincidence or are gun shows scheduled on purpose to be close to venues of a mass shooting close to an important date? Crossroads held their gun show in Tucson last year right after the mass shooting. Remember when the NRA had their meeting in Denver, Colorado right after the Columbine shootings? They were asked to cancel it, but didn't. In a question asked on the website about whether a concealed gun can be carried inside of one of the Crossroads gun shows, the answer is NO. I wonder why the folks who love guns and love to carry don't want loaded guns in their own guns shows?

Tomorrow- light a candle for anyone you know who has died in a gun homicide- or a gun suicide or an accidental shooting. Attend a vigil if there is one in your area. Say the name of one of the victims and remember his or her life, now lost to a bullet. Remember their families, now grieving. Remember that we can do better in America and we must. I will light a candle for my sister at both of my church services and later at a vigil. The problem of gun violence is unique to America. 32 were shot to death since yesterday. 231 were shot to death since last week. 12, 179 were shot to death since the Tucson shooting last Jan. 8th. 579, 411 were shot to death since the 1968 shootings of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. This is unacceptable. Common sense tells us that we need to work hard to prevent more senseless shootings. One victim is one too many.

Below are the names of the Tucson victims who died one year ago.

Christina Taylor Greene- 9- shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Gabe Zimmerman-    shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Judge John Roll- shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Dorothy Morris- shot at Tucson shopping mall
Phyllis Schneck- shot at Tucson shopping mall
Dorwan Stoddard- shot at Tucson shopping mall

Here is a video with words from survivors of the Tucson shooting. It speaks for itself.


And here are just a few more names of people who will be remembered tomorrow.


Terrell Mayes- 3 year old Minneapolis boy trying to get away from stray bullets fired from a block away on a neighborhood street and took a bullet in the head
Officer Shawn Schneider, Minnesota police officer who responded to a domestic abuse case and was shot in the head by a 25 year old army veteran
Barbara Lund- my sister who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Minnetonka, MN
Kay Marie Sisto- the sister of a friend who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Duluth, MN
Carin Streufert- the daughter of a friend who was kidnapped, raped and shot to death in Grand Rapids, MN by 2 young men who wanted to see what it was like to shoot someone
Caroline Seitz-the daughter of a friend who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Duluth, MN
Robert Powell - the brother of a friend who was shot in a domestic case involving a woman employee of Powell's in Alaska whose abusive husband came to the store and shot them both. He was a gun owner and gun dealer.
Laramiun Lamont Byrd, the son of a friend who was shot in Minneapolis

And then reflect on the moments it takes for a bullet to hit its' target and the moments when our country could have done more but didn't. These are precious moments that we can never get back. There are the moments when a decision is made to take a life. There are the moments when an argument can turn very quickly into a death. There are the moments when a child finds a loaded gun and shoots it at someone else or him/herself. There are the moments when a decision could be made not to shoot someone. There are the short moments it takes for a high capacity magazine to be emptied and kill many people at one time. It only takes moments. Please take a moment to light a candle and reflect on the carnage in America that is not seen in other industrialized countries. Moments:



In the video below, you can see tributes to other victims on the Brady Campaign's Too Many Victims website. You can see who is lighting a candle for victims.  Common sense tells us that there are too many victims. It doesn't have to be this way. We can do better.

13 comments:

  1. The gun show you linked above is not being run or coordinated by the NRA - it's being run by Crossroads. This isn't an NRA activity.

    Crossroads may be an organizational member of the NRA - but that doesn't give the NRA any sway over the organization. For example, my gun club is a NRA affiliate, but I can assure you the NRA has nothing to do with the governance or decisionmaking by our board.

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  2. "In a question asked on the website about whether a concealed gun can be carried inside of one of the Crossroads gun shows, the answer is NO. I wonder why the folks who love guns and love to carry don't want loaded guns in their own guns shows?"

    In many cases, such a rule is set by the building owner, not by the show sponsor, and the sponsor and attendees must obey that rule.

    Yet there exists an argument against loaded guns at gun shows: At gun shows, both exhibitors and visitors bring guns to trade & sell -- guns which are constantly handled and operated by potential buyers, and it is always the rule that those guns be unloaded. Having loaded guns that can be accidentally added to the mix just might lead to a risk of error.

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  3. "Is it just a coincidence or are gun shows scheduled on purpose to be close to venues of a mass shooting close to an important date?"

    It's neither. Gun shows are held often and in many places. If opponents wish to set times and places where they think gun shows should not be, the odds are fairly good that they will find a gun show to complain about on that basis.

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  4. "Remember when the NRA had their meeting in Denver, Colorado right after the Columbine shootings? They were asked to cancel it, but didn't."

    Despite the fact that those asking were their opponents, the NRA did cancel their annual gun exhibition. They did not cancel their annual meeting because it had nothing at all to do with the shooting at Columbine, except in the imagination of the NRA opponents.

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  5. "And, as an aside, what is the NRA going to do to remember the Tucson victims on Jan. 8th?"

    Hmm -- how about supporting and defending some of Giffords' votes in Congress on guns?

    http://giffords.house.gov/legis/bipartisanship.shtml

    Congresswoman Giffords signed Amicus Briefs submitted to the Supreme Court in support of rights granted under the Constitution’s Second Amendment regarding the DC and City of Chicago gun bans.

    Congresswoman Giffords supported measures that would bar the Interior Department from prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm in a national park or wildlife refuge (April 30, 2009, Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act).

    She was a cosponsor of the Second Amendment Enforcement Act in the 110th Congress. It would restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia by correcting DC’s law in order to restore the fundamental rights of its citizens under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and thereby enhance public safety.

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  6. Yes, there are an awful lot of gun shows in our country.

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  7. Yes- that was before she was shot by a deranged man. When people experience an actual shooting of themselves or a loved one, they sometimes change their minds.

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  8. "Yes, there are an awful lot of gun shows in our country."

    Yes, there are. You sound like you disapprove -- do you have any ideas or plans to do anything about it?

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  9. @JayF
    "They did not cancel their annual meeting because it had nothing at all to do with the shooting at Columbine, except in the imagination of the NRA opponents."

    If I'm not mistaken, their annual meeting is a legal requirement for the organization as well, and was planned well in advance. They simply could not reschedule it and canceling it was not an option since it was law (I think it had to do with being nonprofit, I'd have to check).

    The location was coincidental, and they did not keep it going because they were being insensitive or anything.

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  10. "Yes- that was before she was shot by a deranged man. When people experience an actual shooting of themselves or a loved one, they sometimes change their minds."

    Not always. When convictions are tested, sometimes people only maintain them even stronger and stand firm. Not everyone allows a horrible event to change what they strongly believe in.

    For example, Ronald Reagan didn't change his views on gun rights after he was shot. On the contrary, he became the first sitting president to address an NRA convention and took the opportunity to reaffirm is pro-rights stance.

    Furthemore, many victims of gun crime use their experience to become passionate supporters of gun rights, such as Suzanna Hupp. That's one thing the gun banners don't want anyone to know. They don't have a monopoly of the support from crime victims, and never will.

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  11. Ronald Reagan favored background checks and other sensible gun laws " In 1969, journalist William Safire asked Richard Nixon what he thought about gun control. "Guns are an abomination," Nixon replied. According to Safire, Nixon went on to confess that, "Free from fear of gun owners' retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles."

    It was President George Bush, Sr. who banned the import of "assault weapons" in 1989, and promoted the view that Americans should only be allowed to own weapons suitable for "sporting purposes."

    It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners.

    Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. "I support the Brady Bill," he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, "and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay."

    One of the most aggressive gun control advocates today is Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City, whose administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in June 2000, and whose police commissioner, Howard Safir, proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, complete with yearly "safety" inspections.

    Another Republican, New York State Governor George Pataki, on August 10, 2000, signed into law what The New York Times called "the nation’s strictest gun controls," a radical program mandating trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and "ballistic fingerprinting" of guns sold in the state. It also raised the legal age to buy a handgun to 21 and banned "assault weapons," the sale or possession of which would now be punishable by seven years in prison."

    Also this- http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/29/opinion/why-i-m-for-the-brady-bill.html

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  12. "How many gunshot victims are too many victims? "

    I don't think any good person wants innocent people to be shot or harmed in anyway. Ever.

    When you get all the evil people to agree with that idea. That is, when you figure out how to change the fundamental nature of man, then arms will no longer be necessary.

    Until then, reality dictates that I have access to the same level of force as those that would do evil.

    I'm sure you saw in the news recently that a woman used a gun to fend off off two home invaders (with knives) and protect her baby.

    Her husband had recently died of cancer..

    It took the police 21 minutes to respond to her 911 call.

    Think about that. 21 minutes.. Her, home alone, with a baby. Two knife wielding (drug seeking) men breaking down her door.

    If she was one of those people that believed that firearms in the home was a bad idea she would most likely be DEAD and the baby an orphan.

    No thanks. One victim like that would be one "too many" as well, and I've yet to hear a solution to that problem from the anti-gun side short of "go along" and hope they only want to steal your stuff..

    Being able to defend your family is a basic adult responsibility,

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