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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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Show and tell with guns

Apparently, people like to show each other their guns. Sometimes this can result in bad things-like people getting killed or injured. Such was the case for the shooter of the Mt.Ranier National Park Ranger.  Before he shot Ranger Anderson, he participated in a "shoot-out" with friends over an argument about a gun. I guess lots of people at this party had guns. Funny thing about that- when several people at parties pull out guns, people get hurt. 4 people were injured in the shooting before Barnes ran away from the scene to Mt. Ranier National Park and killed an innocent Ranger.
" As previously reported, investigators believe that shooting stemmed from an argument that followed a gun “show and tell” that saw at least two people fire several shots into the air.
Now, though, King County Sheriff’s Office investigators have said Barnes was one of two people who opened fire during the “show and tell.”
In a statement, Sgt. Cindi West said Barnes and another man opened fire after one of the partygoers refused to return a gun belonging to another man.
“A fight ensued and at one point at least two people pulled guns,” West said. “A shootout ensued.
“Witnesses said that Benjamin Barnes was one of the subjects that pulled a gun and fired.”"
Of course, this is not the first time I have written about literal shoot-outs. One has to wonder about the mentality of the people like this. I am wondering if this is common? It appears that it is. The video to which I linked in my last post featuring gun rights extremists showing off their shooting skills is another such stupid "show and tell" with guns. The guys with the guns love to brag about their guns and their shooting skills. Whatever. You may remember the video of Derek "Tex" Grebner, shooting his gun at a target and instead, shooting himself in the leg. Stupid and dangerous. People in other countries do stupid things with guns as well. This one was at a Russian wedding when a man challenges wedding guests to a game of Russian Roulette. The gun had rubber bullets but that didn't seem to matter. The man who shot himself suffered brain damage and is now paralyzed. And then, there is video that went viral at the time showing a police officer demonstrating gun safety to a classroom full of kids when the gun goes off and shoots him in the leg:



Guns are dangerous. This "show and tell " video below is meant, I guess, to prove that guns don't hurt people; people hurt themselves. After watching the idiocy in incident after incident of people doing dumb things with their guns and then, in some cases, laughing about it, we can see why the gun rights extremists like to convince people that it isn't the guns. That's a bunch of nonsense. People with guns can do a lot of damage to themselves and innocent people that wouldn't happen without the guns. The irresponsibility of the people and the guns in this video is beyond a laughing matter. And please check out the father having his toddler pull the trigger. Totally irresponsible.



This show and tell turned out to be lethal. Shouldn't a member of the Navy Seals, presumably trained about weapons, know better than to put a gun to his head, thinking it's empty and pull the trigger? Do you ever wonder about all of the incidents I post on this blog featuring law abiding citizens with guns doing stupid and dangerous things like this? If you don't, you should. Guns are dangerous and lethal weapons designed to kill. And they do with regularity. The show and tell needs to be about the victims of shootings. If there was more of that, maybe we'd finally get some common sense gun laws in this country and just maybe the gun culture that supports the idea that we can't do anything to regulate guns or their owners, would change.

29 comments:

  1. So what are you suggesting? That these incidents prove Navy SEALs and DEA agents shouldn't have guns?

    All they prove is that some people need to act more responsibly. The fact that it's the people, not the guns, who are to blame doesn't change.

    No one knows that better then people who are familiar with firearms. The video of the DEA agent shooting himself has been in every firearm training class I've ever taken, which is quite a lot.

    These incidents are valuable learning tools for people who want to be responsible gun owners. No gun ban or anti-self defense law can change this type of behavior. Only a proper mindset and training in regard to firearms can, To bad that's the very type of thing that gun banners fight against.

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  2. You must have missed something. Was a gun ban mentioned here?

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  3. So if that's not what you are seeking, then what "common sense gun laws" do you think would prevent someone from acting like this? There are always going to be certain individuals who act irresponsibly, regardless of what the law says.

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  4. Should we just not do anything? That is not what this country does. When there is a national public health and safety problem, people get to work. They pass laws, they educated, they do something. Seatbelt laws, no smoking laws, breast cancer and colon cancer screenings- all national efforts to get people to take better care of themselves or to mandate things that will make people safer and cut costs to health care, etc. We haven't even tried with guns so how would we know?

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  5. The idea that we are not doing anything is false. We have hundreds of gun laws and gun training opportunities all across the nation.

    But you didn't answer my question. What specific laws that we don't have now could prevent this type of idiotic behavior? Rather then just making blanket generalized demands for "common sense gun laws", let's hear what you actually have in mind.

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  6. asked and answered many times....

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  7. Japete: "asked and answered many times...."

    I read your blog fairly often, and I can’t think of a policy that you advocate that would affect the DEA agent and Navy Seal incidents. Both of these people can obviously pass a background check, so this has nothing to do with private sales. Neither had a type of gun that you wish to ban. The DEA agent most likely had a magazine that you said you want to ban, but not for law enforcement, and CA already has said ban. Besides we are talking about the first bullet, not the eleventh. You often call for not allowing CCW in public places when accidents happen, but neither case was a citizen in public with a license. They are also not on the terrorist watch list.

    You are specifically OK with police carrying and providing training. You are specifically OK with people keeping a handgun at home, like the Navy Seal had. Both of them had the training that you advocate, and in the DEA case, was selected to actually give training. But clearly neither was a training issue. It doesn’t take any training to know better than to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger. If we ask a hundred people who have had zero gun training to do that, all hundred of them would say “hell no”.

    I do believe there is something we can do- and you already did it. That is getting the word out. I have no problem with you highlighting accidents to remind people of the gravity of handling guns. The pro-gun side does it too. That DEA footage made the blog circuit multiple times, and horror stories are often shared as a part of training.

    Always follow the rules of safety.

    Japete: “They pass laws, they educated, they do something.”

    Keep up the good work on educating- I just don’t see how this calls for more laws.

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  8. That's the difference between you and me.

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  9. "The show and tell needs to be about the victims of shootings"

    Okay -- I believe you know about Suzanna Hupp, so here is Nikki Goeser:

    Murder witness turns gun advocate

    In 2009, Nikki Goeser was forced to witness the murder of her husband, who was gunned down by a man that was stalking her. To this day, Goeser wonders whether she could have saved her husband's life. She is licensed to carry a gun but had left her firearm in her car because TN law forbid her from carrying in the bar. Her husband's killer didn't obey the law, and Nikki was left defenseless.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU368rvZuJ0

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  10. What's your point? We've gone over that one ad nauseum- Suzanne is a victim who happens to think she could have made a difference with her gun. She has no idea if that would actually have been true. Neither do you.

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  11. But we do know what happened because they didn't have guns. They were powerless to stop the murders that occurred in front of them.

    The fact that we can't be 100% certain what would have happened if they were armed misses their point: That being armed could have made a difference.

    Being armed doesn't ensure you or your family around you will survive a deadly assault, but it can ensure you have a chance of surviving. In their situations, having no gun meant no chance for their loved ones.

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  12. And it might have meant a greater chance of being killed given that when a gunman intent on killing people sees someone with a gun, he may turn on that person and shoot first. No guarantees either way. Getting out of the situation, if possible, is the best way to handle these situations. Many of you agree with me about this and have agreed in past comments on other posts. Unless you think of yourself as Wyatt Earp, of course. Even officers get shot in these situations and can't always shoot back.Your gun may be useless and may even cause more trouble.

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  13. "Getting out of the situation, if possible, is the best way to handle these situations. Many of you agree with me about this and have agreed in past comments on other posts."

    In most cases I would agree, but it isn't always possible, and if it is possible, having a gun won't make it any more difficult.

    Having a gun doesn't require you to use it if you have the means to escape, but it does give you a fighting chance when no alternative exists.

    Furthermore, escape isn't always a satisfactory outcome. Suzanna Hupp escaped, but both her parents didn't. When the shooting started, she had a clear shot at the killer when his back was turned. Technically we can't say for sure what would have happened if Texas law at the time hadn't left her defenseless, but like I said, we do know the outcome that happened because it did: Many people died, including Hupp's parents, causing her to become a passionate 2A advocate and work tireless and successfully to get the laws changed.

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  14. We might not be able to devise a way to outlaw stupidity, but the country would be safer and reckless acts less common if we would follow japete's advice and make guns harder to get ( so that felons, terrorists, and the mentally ill would be prevented) and the country less thoroughly saturated with them (which seems to be fine with most people excepting the NRA leadership, the sellers of guns, and the obsessed, paranoid, and apparently otherwise unoccupied commenters on this blog).

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  15. That's what she says after the fact. She has no idea how things would have gone during such a shooting when fear and adrenalin take over. No one does.

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  16. Japete, seeing as Hupp was there at the scene, and you were not, I think she has a better idea of what it was like and her reaction to it then you do.

    Alan, most of the people in the examples Japete displayed here were not felons, terrorists, or mentally ill. They included a Navy SEAL and a DEA Agent, both of whom presumably had no criminal records or histories of mental illness. Their profession enabled them to get some of the best firearms training available.

    So I ask again, what law could have prevented them from acting the way they did? Or are you suggesting the America's federal police and elite special forces can't be trusted with guns?

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  17. Wow- I can't believe how you guys continue to miss the point. Guns are dangerous. Even those who claim to know a lot about guns and claim that they will be safe with their guns are simply NOT. That is why we don't need more of these idiots who assume nothing will ever happen with their gun, in public places where the rest of us hang out.

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  18. Hard to answer more succinctly than japete does. No one is claiming to be able to outlaw accidents, either, but common sense suggests that if our society weren't so thoroughly saturated with firearms and talk of firearms and careless handling of firearms and lack of respect for the sudden, awesome destructiveness of firearms and that frontier fantasy that projectiles from firearms always and only find a deserving bad guy to bury themselves in, I think it (that is, our society) would be much safer and saner.

    Japete works tirelessly for peace and justice in these matters and does it while giving wide access to this space to her opponents. We admire her for it.

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  19. "The show and tell needs to be about the victims of shootings. If there was more of that, maybe we'd finally get some common sense gun laws in this country and just maybe the gun culture that supports the idea that we can't do anything to regulate guns or their owners, would change. "

    The problem is stupid & dangerous people. You claim the solution is to put the stupidest and most dangerous group of people (politicians) in charge of everyone else.

    The problem is NOT the solution.

    Politicians have killed more people with guns than any other group of people. Heck, add up irresponsible gun owners, abusive husbands and exhusbands, unsupervised and poorly supervised children, idiots, gangbangers, etc, and they don't come close to being as deadly and as stupid and as dangerous as politicians.

    The problem is NOT the solution.

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  20. "Even those who claim to know a lot about guns and claim that they will be safe with their guns are simply NOT."

    Here's a serious question:

    What percentage of gun owners over their lifetime are responsible for a crime, suicide, and accident involving firearms? Perhaps one percent?

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  21. "Politicians have killed more people with guns than any other group of". That is absolutely untrue.

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  22. Actually many of the gun homicides are committed by law abiding gun owners right before they became criminals.

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  23. "Actually many of the gun homicides are committed by law abiding gun owners right before they became criminals."

    Or rather...

    "Actually many of the crimes are committed by law abiding people right before they became criminals."

    Seems the focus should be on fixing the social structures that allow the latter. Would certainly do more in stopping all crime.

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  24. Are you telling me that you can stop the anger of a domestic abuser before he pulls the trigger? How about making sure he doesn't have a gun in the first place. There are programs to deal with domestic abusers that sometimes work to get them to stop their behavior. Those things are being done. Let's make sure the names of adjudicated mentally ill people are in the prohibited purchasers list. That's a huge issue. It isn't mine but mental illness is huge in our country and there are programs to deal with these folks but because of money and other factors, dangerously mentally ill people are in our communities and not in locked facilities any longer. Let's make sure they don't have guns. As to felons, how to stop them from getting guns? That's a hard one, too. We could sure close the loophole in our background check system that lets them buy guns from private sellers with no background checks. We could do more with trafficking and make sure the ATF had enough money and personnel to crack down on bad apple gun dealers for illegal sales. So yes, let's just fix that social structure. That should be an easy task. I think you should get started on it right away.

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  25. jdege- your comments are not welcome on this blog any longer. I have tired of them long ago for their offensive and argumentative nature. But when you sent a comment saying the vigils were "dancing in the blood of victims" I quit reading what you have to say. Have a nice life.

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  26. The real Patrick Henry would disapprove of using his name for the purpose of gun rights. To quote Henry Mayer, A PATRICK HENRY ESSAY(No. 5-98) THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF PATRICK HENRY:

    I am firmly convinced that the Second Amendment is concerned with the state's power to control its own militia as a civilian alternative to a professional standing army. In raising the issue in the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry several times pointed to Art. I, Section 8, Clause 16, as an example of the potentially threatening effect of dual state and congressional jurisdiction over the militia and the possibly dangerous union of the purse and sword vested in Congress. Yet wielding the scholar's power of the ellipse several partisans of gun ownership have edited Henry's remarks about how best to regulate the militia into an inflammatory half-truth "The great object is that every man be armed....Every one who is able may have a gun." The NRA has blown this up into a poster-sized blurb embossed with Patrick Henry's image.

    Henry himself pointed out that:

    "This brought on the war which finally separated the two countries, and gave independence to ours. Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God had bestowed upon us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader, whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere, practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.“

    Unfortunately, our fake Henry is exactly that--someone who is faking Henry's name to publish scurrilous comments which Henry himself would say were pure balderdash.

    Someone who claims to use Henry's name should be much more accurate in his use of the name, otherwise he proves himself to be a fool.

    In short, he does not display the virtues which Henry would encourage and does a serious disservice to the name Patrick Henry.

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  27. P.S. I am sure that the REAL Patrick Henry would be truly offended by this imposter and his opinions.

    Not to mention trying to give them credibility by using Henry's name.

    The word "scoundrel" comes to mind.

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  28. "Are you telling me that you can stop the anger of a domestic abuser before he pulls the trigger?"


    No, never even implied that either.

    "How about making sure he doesn't have a gun in the first place.

    "Let's make sure the names of adjudicated mentally ill people are in the prohibited purchasers list."

    Both questions fall under the "Why we should focus on getting the NICS updated through the enforcement of existing laws?" category. Real common sense.

    "As to felons, how to stop them from getting guns? That's a hard one, too. We could sure close the loophole in our background check system that lets them buy guns from private sellers with no background checks."

    Like I've stated many times on this issue, there is no enforcement mechanism that would apply to felons. How would any law enforcement agency oversee such a mandate? Simply not feasible nor would it even come close to ensuring felons wouldn't be able to buy a firearm.

    "We could do more with trafficking and make sure the ATF had enough money and personnel to crack down on bad apple gun dealers for illegal sales."

    Pretty sure the ATF needs to get itself on the right side of the law before telling others to do the same.

    "I think you should get started on it right away."

    Been working on it for years and by being responsible with my firearms and ensuring those I've trained are take them as seriously as I do, I think I'm doing quite well.

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  29. James- nonsense. If we can send a man to the moon, we can figure out an enforcement mechanism for background checks. What do you think we do now for FFLs? Felons can't buy guns from FFLs. That is enforceable. We disagree about the ATF but I'm not about to entertain that discussion here again.

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