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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bullies amongst us

Yesterday's post took a look at the Wisconsin conceal and carry law and the reasons why law enforcement would like to change it to make sure those who carry are not criminals. Today, let's take a look at the folks who pushed that law in the first place and what they have to say about the gun violence prevention activists. And so you won't confuse who the pro gun extremists are in Wisconsin, this blog post makes it very clear. They are bullies and thugs. From the post ( language alert):
"More explicit language was also employed. A few days later, Grant Guess added the following comment:
Who in their right mind would lay the pipe to anyone as fkn butt-ugly as Jeri?? I would not hit that with a dead dog's dildo. I prefer my women to actually look like one.
Commenting on the "WAVE Lies" page on March 2, pro-gun activist Justin Mann said of those who support tougher laws to reduce gun violence:
They are ignorant and they will be victims. Just how things work."
In order to understand this frame of mind, if that is possible, let's look at a few other articles, recently written, about the pro gun movement. This report from the Christian Science Monitor examines what has happened over the past 20 years or so in America concerning gun laws. I guess being in favor of reasonable gun laws designed to make the country safer was just enough to provoke the ire of the folks who perceived the laws as infringing on their "sacred" Constitutional right to bear arms. From the article:
A combination of favorable court rulings, grass-roots activism, traditional fears of crime, and modern anxieties about government has led to what may be a tipping point on an issue that just a few years ago was one of America's most contentious. Gun rights have now expanded to the point where the fundamental question seems not to be "should we be able to carry guns," but instead is "where can't we carry them?"
The answer: not very many places.
In this commentary written as a follow-up to the above article from the Christian Science Monitor, the writer is wondering if guns do actually make us safer:
Guns and gun lore flow through our culture. Many of us grew up with toy revolvers and plastic rifles. We may have learned to shoot at summer camp (I did). We honor the embattled farmers who fired the shot heard round the world; the Old West sheriff whose quick draw dispatched the bad guys; the heroic soldiers, police officers, and law-abiding citizens who band together to defend themselves in a thousand movies. We cringe at gangsters, assassins, and bullies who brandish firearms to intimidate the innocent.
But if you take your knowledge of guns from pop culture, you have an unrealistic view of what they can and can’t do. Guns are precise only in the hands of trained marksmen. Gun wounds are rarely something a good guy can shrug off. Silent silencers, impregnable bulletproof vests, and bottomless magazines for blazing away are Hollywood nonsense.
It is a shame that we are still a species that feels comfortable, even celebrates, an instrument built solely to maim or kill. We are, after all, the same species that believes in persuasion and reason and has seen the efficacy of nonviolent movements. Yet ending tyranny and oppression and defending life and liberty still seem to require firearms. 
As my readers know, this reflects my philosophy about guns perfectly. When looking at the real agenda of the gun rights extremists, as I did in a recent post, one can find a lot of talk about self defense but also prominent in the reasons for owning a gun is fear of the government. Many of the gun rights extremists are ready to take up arms against their own government and most particularly, against the Obama administration. Some scary ideas accompany those folks carrying their loaded guns around in public places.

In the state of Texas, there is a real culture of guns that is often joked about. The gun guys don't think it's funny, I'm sure. Many in the rest of the country have an understanding about the Texas gun culture to which this post refers:
In Texas, being a liberal means owning only one firearm, and gun control means using two hands and gently squeezing the trigger. There are enough guns in Texas for every man, woman and child to have two each. Every third NRA member lives here, and about a half million Texans have concealed handgun licenses. But with Obama heading towards re-election, Texans want more. The FBI has been getting about 1 million requests for background checks on people wanting to buy guns every year just from Texas. 
(...) In Texas, the only logical response to gun violence is making sure it’s a fair fight. This makes sense to Texans even when it makes no sense. When a mentally ill 22-year-old shot Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others with a legally bought Glock 19, Texas Republicans did not waste a second figuring out how to keep guns away from crazy people.
Instead, some proposed that politicians should be allowed to carry guns wherever they damn well pleased even in designated gun-free zones, such as schools and churches. The idea died not because of the inevitable crossfire but because it would be unfair to those constituents taking fire from both sides. They deserved guns in churches, too.
The problem with gun-free zones such as schools, say some, is that criminals don’t care about the law. Fair point. But when a depressed 19-year-old math major named Colton Tooley shot his AK-47 at the University of Texas in 2010, SWAT teams had the campus locked down within a half hour. While Tooley holed up in the library, police, not knowing if he was alone, searched the backpacks of any student in the area.
Tooley killed himself without hurting anyone else, but that didn’t stop the Texas legislature from demanding that all students be allowed to have guns on campus. Perhaps because some people still look at the UT tower and think of Charles Whitman, that proposal died too.
This is just a glimpse into the culture of the pro gun extremists. It is not a pretty picture, at times. If my readers can tell me why the folks quoted from the first blog post do what they do, I would love to hear it. Is it a coincidence that the Wisconsin Anti-Violence director is a woman? Does that make it O.K.? Are women, like me, who work on this issue, more vulnerable than the men? Should we feel personally threatened? Should they get away with saying anything they want to say on blogs and articles? These folks have also attacked the men who work on this issue with almost equal vigor and vitriol. It is unacceptable whoever is attacked. But let's think about this for a minute. These are the guys ( they are mostly guys) who want us to trust them with their loaded guns in public places. Why should we given what they say and write about us? from the link above ( language alert):
But that apparently hasn't improved their spirits. On February 11, pro-gun activist Rob Luke of Barbaroo, Wisconsin posted a doctored photo of Jeri superimposed on a Playboy magazine cover at the "WAVE Lies" page. Pro-gunner Grant Guess of Racine Wisconsin—who fancies himself a "Defender of Truth, Justice and The American Way," jumped in and commented, "That cannot be Jeri...she is far fuglier than that in any pic I've seen of her. Brrrrrrrrrrr." John S. Whittemore, a member of the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, agreed, writing, "OMG, that is one fugly bitch!"
And more:
Max W. Schmidt and his buddies at "WAVE Lies" like to describe Americans who care about gun violence as "hoplophobes," a made-up term invented years ago by virulent racist/misogynist/homophobic NRA board member Jeff Cooper. But what do you call a group of grown men who hang around a Facebook page all day making comments like the ones cited above?  
Why should we trust these trolls and bullies given that they seem to be O.K. with criminals being able to purchase and even carry guns around in public? ( see my post from yesterday). Why should we trust them given that they have not proven that more guns have made us safer? Why should we trust folks who use the offensive, misogynistic language quoted above? These are the folks who believe "the guys with the guns make the rules." You can see NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre say so right here:

These are the folks who respond to shootings by wanting more guns instead of trying to stop the shooters in the first place. These are the guys who have influence over the elected representatives who are supposed to have public safety of their constituents in mind. Where is common sense?


  1. Guns are very frightening and growing up, children lost their lives from them being in the house and being loaded.
    In South Africa where I grew up, it was fairly common to have guns, my girlfriend drove with one on her lap when she worked in the city ... not something I can get my head around ... even if the 'bad guys' have them!

  2. ZOMG Japete. Look at this http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-6-injured-including-boy-15-in-chicago-shootings-20120313,0,3341552.story Where is the common sense? These people who think they need to carry their guns everywhere need to think of this. Do CHLs really make anyone safer?

    1. Wow- thanks Robin. This is crazy. How would legal CCW permit holders have made any difference in these cases?