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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Monday, February 13, 2012

Is there a gun free day of the week?

I guess some people have different ideas of what goes on in places of worship on Saturdays or Sundays than I do. Sundays used to be "days of rest" if one is a Christian. Stores weren't open. People went to church or stayed home and spent time with families. Things were cozy and safe- or at least they were at my house when I was growing up. We all know how that has changed. One can do almost anything on Sundays now. Mail is not delivered and some offices aren't open. But shopping is readily available. I, along with hundreds of thousands of others in this country attend worship services on Saturday or Sunday. My church is a place of peace and justice. Guns would not be allowed nor would they be necessary for any reason that I can think of. There are plenty of gun owners at my fairly liberal church. I have spoken to almost all of them. They support what I do. Several work for the DNR and are avid hunters. One likes to shoot at the gun range. Many are hunters of one sort or another. I am pretty sure I could poll almost every one of the 500 members of my church and they would be in support of reasonable gun legislation. They understand that their own rights would not be affected and they are not threatened one bit but my work to prevent gun deaths and injuries.

I guess some places of worship are different. Take this Florida church, where, yesterday, a law abiding gun permit holder brought a gun to church to show someone. They went into a closet and while they were looking at the gun, it discharged. When guns discharge accidentally, there is no way to know where the bullet will end up. In this case, it ended up in the body of a 20 year old woman passing by in the hallway. She is the daughter of the church's pastor and was shot in the head. Luckily, she is still alive at this point. A big oooops for this one. From the article:
Investigators told The Associated Press that Moises Zambrana was showing his gun in a small closet to another church member interested in buying a firearm. Zambrana reportedly took out the magazine of the Reuger 9mm weapon but did not know there was a bullet in the chamber.
And from another article about the shooting:
Hannah Kelley, 20, was shot in the head and rushed to Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, where she underwent surgery, the sheriff's office reported. Her condition was unknown Sunday.
Church member Tony Diehl was getting his daughter from the nursery when "there was a bit of a ruckus," he said.
"I was shocked," he said. "This is a church where I go. I wouldn't expect something like this to happen." 
Yes. Well.....The 2 men went into the closet to "protect" church members. That didn't work out so well did it? Is there no place where private sellers won't go to sell their wares? There is something wrong with the gun culture in our country when people bring guns to church to sell.  I know that the response from some of my readers will be that this guy was stupid. His behavior was dangerous. He should have known that the chamber was not empty. Do you know how many times I write about similar incidents on this blog? These are becoming more and more numerous. Why? Because we have such a cavalier attitude towards guns and gun regulations in this country that just about anyone is carrying loaded guns around in places where they have no business having them. Why bring a gun to church to sell to someone? Isn't a church a sanctity from such stuff? Isn't a church a place where we have some reverence and call for peace in our world? How can we have peace when idiots are carrying guns to church on Sunday mornings? Guns do not belong in churches for any reason. Yes, there have been occasional shootings in churches. There are occasional shootings everywhere we gather as Americans. But having more guns in these places will not make us safer.  How could anyone have defended themselves against the guy in the closet who carelessly brought his gun out where a bullet discharged from it? There are just plain too many shootings- accidental or not- in this country. This one was totally senseless and avoidable. Where is common sense?

After I posted this, I received another alert about this incident so I am updating the post. Here is an article with a video about the incident above. The young woman is in critical condition. I will provide more updates as they come.

UPDATE to this post: I added a comment to this post but I think this one should be an update. I received an alert about a second accidental shooting in a church- this one in Missouri. Those darned law abiding gun permit holders just don't seem to know what they're doing- literally in this case. The man whose gun fell out of his jacket pocket and discharged before hitting another man in the chest walked away from the church event without even knowing he had shot someone. Seriously folks.
The shooting occurred about 11:20 p.m. as the truck driver and victim were helping to clean up after the fundraiser. The gun, a Cobra Derringer, was in the truck driver's coat pocket. The man picked up his coat as he prepared to leave the church. The gun fell out of his pocket, hit the floor and fired. The bullet struck the victim, seated at the next table, in the back and exited through his chest.
At the same time, several people were popping balloons, Banas said. One witness said she thought she heard a gun shot, but all other witnesses thought the sound came from balloons popping, Banas said.
A woman found the gun on the floor and gave it to the owner as he was leaving, Banas said. He said the gun owner was unaware that the gun had fired or that anyone had been injured, but the next morning, he saw news reports that someone was shot at the fundraiser. He checked his gun and discovered an empty shell. The man went to the Wentzville police station, surrendered his weapon and gave a statement.
Banas said there was no evidence that the gun owner had consumed alcohol or was intoxicated, but his statement was consistent with those of other witnesses. The man had a valid concealed weapon permit.
Banas said the Cobra Derringer is commonly referred to as a "pocket pistol" because owners often carry it in their pocket. The truck driver said he was told when he bought the gun that it was safe to carry in his pocket, as long as it was not cocked.
After reviewing criminal statutes and case law, prosecutors found nothing to support a criminal charge of assault, Banas said.
Banas did express two concerns dealing with the law. There is no requirement that the weapon be holstered or secured properly while it is carried, he said. Also, the law does not require permit holders to take a test qualifying them to use the specific weapon they intend to carry. The law requires permit holders to qualify with a revolver and semi-automatic weapon.
Luckily the victim is going to be O.K. Good grief.

17 comments:

  1. Question: Should churches be allowed to permit guns if they wish to do as such?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Question- are any churches asking for people to come to services with their loaded guns? It is coming from the gun lobby. The churches don't want them.

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    2. Not asking, no. They only ask that you bring family and friends. But several churches where I live allow it if you have a CCW.

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  2. How about compromise? Other than churches, are the other places from which you would ban guns? If your list is reasonably narrow, and guns would be permitted elsewhere, then perhaps we could agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where do you think you simply must have your gun in your daily life?

      Delete
  3. You state below that firearms accidents are becoming more numerous - what is your source for this information?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the many incidents on which I report every week

      Delete
  4. japete

    "Where do you think you simply must have your gun in your daily life?"

    Anywhere I could be once again victimized by two criminals who didnt care one bit about the numerous laws they broke when they robbed me at gun point

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah- and did they threaten your life? And would you shoot them if you could for asking for your stuff? And are you sure you would be successful or would bringing a gun into the situation make you less safe? Why wouldn't they just shoot you if you bring out your gun?

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    2. Because someone looking to be a petty thief isn't likely willing to become a murderer and would rather flee because even SYG and CD laws don't cover shooting people who are running away. And they shouldn't.

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  5. Oh darn- another stupid and dangerous gun permit holder dropped his gun in a Missouri church. It fell out of his jacket pocket and fired and hit a man in the chest. Really? http://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/stcharles/news/no-charges-filed-for-accidental-shooting-in-wentzville-church/article_04a783ec-6f52-5395-a71a-a311caf9528f.html

    I thought these things weren't supposed to happen. Two in a few days. This is not good for the cause of the pro gun side who are always saying that gun permit holders are safe law abiding citizens. What's going on?

    " A woman found the gun on the floor and gave it to the owner as he was leaving, Banas said. He said the gun owner was unaware that the gun had fired or that anyone had been injured, but the next morning, he saw news reports that someone was shot at the fundraiser. He checked his gun and discovered an empty shell. The man went to the Wentzville police station, surrendered his weapon and gave a statement.
    Banas said there was no evidence that the gun owner had consumed alcohol or was intoxicated, but his statement was consistent with those of other witnesses. The man had a valid concealed weapon permit.
    Banas said the Cobra Derringer is commonly referred to as a "pocket pistol" because owners often carry it in their pocket. The truck driver said he was told when he bought the gun that it was safe to carry in his pocket, as long as it was not cocked.
    After reviewing criminal statutes and case law, prosecutors found nothing to support a criminal charge of assault, Banas said.
    Banas did express two concerns dealing with the law. There is no requirement that the weapon be holstered or secured properly while it is carried, he said. Also, the law does not require permit holders to take a test qualifying them to use the specific weapon they intend to carry. The law requires permit holders to qualify with a revolver and semi-automatic weapon."

    Good grief..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes churches should be sanctuaries from violence, fear, and even the hubbub of everyday life. Shopping malls shouldn't be stages for violence either. Cars should be private spaces not subject to carjacking, banks shouldn't get robbed, homes shouldn't get burgled or robbed. But you know what? We don't have the power to prevent anyone from doing anything. Any actions we take are only a reaction to the actions taken by others. If someone robs a bank, the law will punish them if they are caught. If someone decides to shoot everyone in a shopping mall the actions we can take would only be in reaction to the shooting, namely running, hiding or shooting back. In the vast majority of occurrences, the incident is ended by a citizen or police officer shooting the assailant. They may choose to end their own life, but again, we as the general public have no control over that decision on the part of the assailant.

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  7. Sigh- another permit holder shooting someone- http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Suspect-arrested-in-deadly-shooting-at-Redmond-party-139242943.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. And oh dear-yet another gun permit holder doing something stupid and dangerous- http://ohhshoot.blogspot.com/2012/02/toledo-man-unintentionally-shoots.html

    Is this an epidemic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And another though we don't know if this guy was a permit holder or not. He didn't appear to be a man with a prior conviction but he sure is now! And all while naked. Whatever.

      http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/feb/09/gun-toting-naked-man-nabbed/

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    2. Here is yet another CCW "law abiding" gun owner breaking the law with his gun- and all over a carwash! Without that gun, this would not have happened. http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/east-chicago/cops-e-c-man-unhappy-with-wax-job-on-suv/article_915828a7-bef1-5c1a-b891-fb897417fc5b.html

      Delete
  9. Oops. One more permit holder gone wrong- http://ohhshoot.blogspot.com/2012/02/gun-inside-womans-purse-fires-inside.html

    I believe there may be an epidemic.

    ReplyDelete