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.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adults with guns provide examples to kids

posted: Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Facebook page.
Is it any wonder so many kids bring guns to school and sometimes even shoot other kids or teachers? How can we expect kids to do otherwise when adults like these 2 guys in Arizona provide them with such a fine example?
"An adult shot at another adult today before an afternoon high school baseball game in southeastern Arizona, but missed and instead wounded a nearby student, authorities said."
So this occurred after the school shooting in  Charden, Ohio last week. With rights come responsibilities. Since the shooting in Ohio, many responsible adults are writing about gun control, or the lack thereof, school shootings and kid shootings in general. There is a lot of talk with little action coming from the "adults in the room." This one, for example, written by a journalist in Milwaukee for JSOnline, refers to a meeting called by the Milwaukee school Superintendent concerning youth gun violence in that city. Kane is right. This is a community-wide problem. This is a country-wide problem. This is not a problem of black children vs. white children or the black culture vs. the white culture. This is our problem- all of us together must face it and do something about it. From the article:
Due to all the handguns in society, it's scary to know your children might be attending school with other kids with easy access to a deadly weapon. But it's just as disturbing for anyone to believe one group of kids with guns is scarier than the other.
Thornton was right; like it or not, it's everybody's problem. Just like in Ohio.
Every time there is a school shooting we write and ask questions. The adults get all concerned, as did this journalist, about the safety of our children. He is saying that if you look at the major mass school shootings, most of them have been carried out by white students. But the Black community is affected greatly by shootings of and by kids. From this Brady Campaign article:
African-American children and teens are almost five times as likely as their white peers to be killed by firearms (11.30 per 100,000 African-American youth vs. 2.31 per 100,000 white youth) (NCIPC)).
African-American males ages 15 to 19 are almost 5 times as likely as their white peers and more than twice as likely as their Hispanic or American-Indian/Alaska Native peers to be killed by firearms (Children's Defense Fund, p. 16, 2009). 
Speaking of gun violence and its' affect on all races and all ages, one of my commenters- Dan, over at "son of the revolution"- has called me a racist. He sent me a nice little comment telling me that because I called the man who very purposely brought a gun into a school during the Michigan primary election last week a jerk, that I was being racist. What? Here it is:
It is STUNNING how it completely escapes you and others on your side that using your EXACT language, substituting the subject/person (gun carrier) and replace with " negro" , "black", or "homosexual" and the underlying bigoted attitude is EXACTLY the same argument used against " those people " How dare that , "negro", "homo" , "black person" do something completely LEGAL that makes others uncomfortable ! 
And then Ladd and others go onto ridicule the idea that your side arent open bigots. Thanks, I'll be building my next article around that quote of yours and revealing just how revolting the mindset is of those on the Gun Control side
Like a petulant kid, er um adult ( is he over 17?) he is going to see me and raise me. If I call someone on his side of this "debate" a jerk, he's going to call me a racist. Really? Whatever. Back to the guy in Michigan. As it turns out Michigan law allows people to carry guns into schools. That should be scary enough for all adults in the room. Does that mean we can't stop someone who actually does intend harm from bringing his or her own gun into a school? Oh yes, only when they are openly carried so we can see the gun. So what's to stop a felon or a person with an order for protection in a domestic case from openly carrying his gun onto school grounds? How will we know the difference between someone who means no harm and someone who does mean harm? Anyone can get a gun from a private seller at a gun show or from other places where private sellers sell guns without background checks. That person could buy a holster and carry his gun around openly in public. But we, as the public, are not supposed to panic and wonder what he/she is up to? The Michigan incident ( I referred to it in my previous post) happened the day after the school shooting in Ohio. People were hypersensitive about guns in schools. And this man shows up at a polling place in a school to make a point that he can carry his gun if he so chooses? On that particular day? How is that a good idea? I suggest that this is not a good example- particularly for kids. The man was provocative in his actions and his response to being stopped.
He was told Looman came into the school through an entry designated for voters, then after voting, walked into the main portion of the school with a weapon clearly visible. He was stopped at that point by a school worker.
Helmholdt said visitors should know not to bring a weapon into a school.
“Our number one issue is school safety,” he said. “Common sense tells you don’t bring a gun into a school.”
But Looman says he believes his rights as a voter were violated on Tuesday when school staff and authorities confronted him at a polling location. He’s taking a stand in hopes authorities will take a closer look at what the laws are.
“It became a civil liberties infraction because it was a voting day, and that’s disappointing,” he said. “I just wanted to go home to have lunch.”
I have an idea for the man. Go home and have your lunch. Don't bring your gun into a school to test out the law. People don't want guns in schools, period. But let's talk a little more about my being a racist. Such a hateful statement cannot go unchallenged. Here is what I participated in yesterday in my community- a peaceful rally in protest of a group of White Supremacists coming to Duluth to make trouble about our Unfair Campaign. I am involved in other anti-discrimination, anti-racism and anti-violence efforts in my community. So, Dan, what are you thinking? Where does your hate for what I do come from? We can disagree on the merits and disagree because we come from two entirely different mind sets about guns and gun violence prevention. But dragging in the word racism is out of bounds when it comes to "discussion" on this blog. I posted one more of your comments, Dan, but now I am done with you. You can spew your hatred in your own blog, which is apparently what you intend to do. I suggest though that you set a better example for your two children and stop with the vitriol and hate. It is not becoming for a grown man.

There were some other comments that beg credulity and make me wonder about the "adults in the room" and what kind of example they are setting for children.
  • "You're talking about this 17 year-old as if he is a child. This is a young adult whom the state trusted to operate a motor vehicle. This young man was intent on killing someone. Had he not had a firearm, he certainly could have used his car."
  • "Car accidents happen all the time.and yet you are so nonchalant about that.Same is true with teens and guns. They shouldn't have them, period. I don't understand the logic. It's ok for a teen to operate a motor vehicle but not a firearm even though cars kill more than firearms?.."
This was followed by a ridiculous exchange about just how many cases of vehicular homicide have actually occurred in the U.S. Virtually no one is thinking about vehicular homicide as a major problem in our country. No one, of course, but the pro gun guys on my blog. The number of vehicular homicides is .01 of the number of gun deaths per year. If we look at only gun murders, the number is roughly .03.  If you are desperate to persuade elected leaders and the public that guns aren't really the problem, this is what you come up with, I guess. And this is what passes as adult conversation? Let's deal with reality and be adults.

Meanwhile real live adults are dealing with the shooting death of their sons as a result of a troubled teen with a gun. Here is an article and photos of the funeral of the first victim to die, Daniel Parmertor. From this article:
Parmertor's family said they planned to bury him with his first paycheck — still unopened — from his new job at a bowling alley, The Plain Dealer reports.
Wow- families should not be burying their children after they are shot to death. They shouldn't have to be picking out coffins and thinking of how they will pay for a funeral for their child. They shouldn't have to pay for their child's funeral with his first paycheck from his new job.

Another article about the funeral has some interesting quotes from those who came to honor Parmertor.
"It's just horrible to think that you send your kid off to school and then you don't see him again," said Lou Keim, a relative attending Parmertor's wake. "It's not something I like to think about, but we probably have to protect every school child by having metal detectors in the schools just so we're safe, and that's a horrible thing to come to but that's probably where it's going."
Indeed. Does anyone realize that we wouldn't need metal detectors in our schools if we didn't have so many school shootings or so many people carrying guns in our schools? How would this work for the folks who want to legally carry their guns into our schools? Will they be allowed to go through the metal detectors and say they are legal so they should be able to carry their guns? Why do people want to carry guns into schools in the first place? Raise your hand if you feel threatened when you walk into a polling place in a primary election. Schools should ban guns, period.

John Railey, journalist from the Winston-Salem Journal says it more eloquently. The adults should be more responsible for protecting our children from other children ( yes children) from gaining access to guns in the first place.
We can debate possible factors in the shooting, including a lack of an adequate mental-health-care system, a lack of God, poor communication between teenagers and their parents, and too-easy access to guns. I like the gun one, figuring that you never hear about the weapon in any of these school killings being a knife, a kitchen sink or anything but a gun, for that matter.
And he goes on:
Somebody has to. Because ever since Columbine, we've argued about the reasons for that school shooting and all the ones that have followed. And while we adults have argued, more children have been killed. Democrats have failed at finding solutions, Republicans have failed at finding solutions. So have independents. There's no nationwide movement to stop our children from being killed in the schools where we take them to learn. There aren't even many community-wide movements to do that.
(...) Many of us are guilty of what a wise old preacher once called "a wicked silence." That, and apathy, and any other number of reasons. Whatever the case, the shootings go on.
We're not protecting our most precious resource, our children. We've failed at our biggest job.
Indeed. Where is the real adult conversation and why isn't it happening? When the pro gun extremists distract by raising questions about whether a 17 year old shooter is an adult or a kid, we have a problem. When pro gun extremists claim that the shooter could have done just as much damage with a car, we are in trouble. When a pro gun extremist calls me a racist for saying that someone who carried his gun into a school to make a point is a jerk, we have a problem. The real problem is this- real kids, teens and adults are being shot to death every day in senseless shootings that are preventable. Where is common sense?


  1. It didn't take long before I received an alert about this adult gun permit holder being a fine example for our children- http://armedroadrage.blogspot.com/2012/03/man-points-gun-at-women-for-driving-too.html

  2. More on the Michigan open carrier and what it means to carry loaded guns into polling places- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-horwitz/when-buying-a-gun-becomes_b_1320482.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications

    When people carry loaded guns into polling places does that mean that bullets will decide our elections? That is what happens in 3rd world countries. That is not America. Guns do not belong in polling places nor do they belong in schools.

  3. Perhaps the gun rights extremists who throw the word racism around about people working to prevent gun deaths and injuries should look to their own before casting any aspersions-


    These are actual quotes coming from NRA Board members. I suggest you check them out. It is enlightening and downright offensive.

  4. One of my readers tried to distract the discussion again saying the Brady Campaign is in error for saying a .50 caliber rifle can fire 4 miles. That is one of the reasons this man hates/despises what my side is doing. Perhaps he should have checked out one of the pro gun sites before he wrote that one- http://www.statearms.com/faq/
    "How far can I shoot a .50 cal rifle?
    The effective range for a good .50 cal rifle is about 2500 meters. (You will need a good scope to see anything that far away.)
    The maximum distance the round will go is about 4½ to 5 miles. Always be sure what is behind your target!"

    It seems to me this commenter should quit saying things he can't back up. Oh- he doesn't hate me- he just despises what my side does, like the example given above. Let's see now- a definition of hate-" detest - abhor - loathe - abominate - execrate - dislike"
    definition of despise- " abhor, abominate, hate, detest, execrate, loathe"

    They are synonymous-- better quit while you are ahead, Dan.

  5. It's despicable that anyone should feel okay with guns in our schools. But to openly carry one just to provoke a reaction? Shameful. And then to do so in a polling place? This is an extremist in action, and he should be publicly condemned for it.

    There is no "right" as defined by our constitution or the Supreme Court to take guns anywhere we please, and to think that having a gun in a polling place is okay is basically a "gun guys make the rules" argument for armed insurrectionism. I might expect to hear a story like this out of some third world country like Yemen or Somalia, but never in the U.S.!

  6. I'm always amazed at the specious comment that regulation of guns is somehow "racist" and that gun-rights people are "civil rights advocates." There is no civil right to taking guns into public or having them regulated. The Constitution says nothing to the effect. They read into it what they want, without regard to the rulings of the Supreme Court.

    And to compare it to hundreds of years of physical and mental oppression, including slavery and torture, of African Americans is beyond the pale. Not being able to carry a gun into a building compares in no way to physical torture, being sold for money and forced into hard labor, being denied housing, marriage, jobs, or equal pay, or being forced to use separate facilities like bathrooms or seating. Honestly, if this is what the pro-gun movement believes, it strains at any reasonable limit of belief. Coming from a multi-racial family myself, I am personally disgusted by their accusation.

  7. Oddly enough the Constitution has little to say about most things.

    This seems to be a fitting article about campus carry.


  8. Good news. The Shoot First bill was vetoed by Governor Dayton. MInnesota will be better for it. We thank the Governor for standing up to the NRA and for standing with law enforcement who opposed the bill. This just makes common sense.

  9. "African-American children and teens are almost five times as likely as their white peers to be killed by firearms (11.30 per 100,000 African-American youth vs. 2.31 per 100,000 white youth) (NCIPC))."

    Yet, black people are less likely to own guns than white people. That means the rate of gun violence in the black community is highly disproportionate to the rate of gun ownership in the black community.

    Makes me think the problem isn't guns, but something else.