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, April 15, 2012

Lies at the NRA convention

Well, it's that time of year again- the annual NRA convention. ( Check out the photos here- I guess sex appeal and guns go well together). And the usual tired old lies have been trotted out by speaker after speaker. I guess the true believers actually buy this stuff. Whatever. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney came out to speak but first trotted out his wife, Ann, to speak about apple pie and motherhood.

" "Let me give you a shot out to all moms that are working and by the way all dads that are working!" she said."

Nice stuff. By that did she mean that only women and men who were at the convention or those who own guns are good working folks? What does that make the rest of us? Mitt, though, has some work to do.
"Romney’s speech comes as the former Massachusetts governor is trying to woo conservative groups in a bid to consolidate his base before the fall campaign. His relationship with gun owner groups is an uneasy one. Running for the Senate in 1994, Romney said: ‘‘I don’t line up with the NRA.’’ He later became a lifetime NRA member."
He also claims to have shot "varmints" in the past and joined the NRA in 2006 when he knew he was going to run for President, and of course, he's been running ever since. Here is what he said this year to pander to the guys with the guns (from the linked article below):

So, I guess you can just say anything at the NRA convention and get applause. Where are the facts here? Facts, I guess, don't matter when it comes to the NRA's world of fear and paranoia. And then, of course, is all the talk about "freedom" and patriotism. " When it comes to the NRA, freedom can't be mentioned enough. But I digress. More from Mitt Romney:
"The right to bear arms is so plainly stated, so unambiguous, that liberals have a hard time challenging it directly. Instead, they’ve been employing every imaginable ploy to restrict it," Romney said.
After citing Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire as an "assault on economic freedom," Romney heavily implied that if re-elected, Obama would commandeer the courts to eliminate gun rights.
"President Obama seems to believe that court decisions are only legitimate when they rule in his favor, and illegitimate if they don’t. He thinks our nation’s highest court is to be revered and respected -– as long as it remains faithful to the original intent of Barack Obama."
Whatever. Applause lines are interesting at this convention. Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the NRA had this ( and more) to say:

" Later, LaPierre continued the media bashing. Speaking of the Second Amendment, which grants the right to bare arms, he said, "If the media doesn't like it, I know where they can go. They can go straight to Concord bridge and take a flying leap." The crowd applauded."

The media have become the evil "bad guys" just as the liberals, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the United Nations, etc. are to the NRA and gun rights extremists. Oh, and people like myself.  Some folks who know that the daily shootings and the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin are just wrong, planned to be outside of the NRA convention in St. Louis, Missouri to remind the gun rights enthusiasts that guns and gun rights are not the only thing that should be considered in our national discourse about guns and gun violence. Victims are not collateral damage and aren't after thoughts to rights. People have rights to be safe in their communities and rights to send their children to school without fear that they won't come home because they were shot in class that day. People should know that their right to vote does not always transfer to common sense decisions made to protect them and their families. ALEC, representing the NRA and many large corporations, have overridden the democratic right to vote by unduly influencing elected leaders with money and power thereby negating expectations that legislators and Congress will act in the best interest of their constituents. This organization embodies the idea that "corporations are people, my friend" now famously spoken by GOP candidate Mitt Romney. But corporations are not being shot to death every day. People are. This is food for thought as we come up on the November elections.

So, the good folks at the NRA convention, some with their families in tow, came for a good time and to gather as one to talk about guns and gun rights. Unfortunately they also came to attend sessions in which liberals, certain Supreme Court justices, the President, Attorney General and anyone else who dares to challenge the thinking of those in attendance were demonized. But their challenges are based more on fear than on fact. This article points out the hypocrisy of the NRA's talking trash about President Obama while at the same time knowing that the President and the current Congress have done less than nothing about the carnage caused by guns in America. From the article:
The convention, in its “celebration of American values,” has drawn tens of thousands of members to see genuflecting Republicans and to browse a seven-acre commercial mart of guns and shooting paraphernalia, much of it designed for the battlefields of war, not the home front.
Notably absent are top Democratic politicians, who seem to have concluded that, despite thousands of constituents shot or killed each year, it is best to go silent about gun control.
Polls show Republicans enjoy heavy support and donations from gun owners. In return, the gun lobby has had steady success in weakening gun laws — especially in the two dozen statehouses that followed Florida in enacting new self-defense laws to allow the instant use of deadly force in a confrontation rather than retreat from danger. These laws are fostered by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, with heavyweight business supporters like Walmart, a major gun retailer.
The families of the victims killed and wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre do not come close to having such clout. For the tragedy’s fifth anniversary next week, they are having a hard time securing meetings with Washington politicians to fix the law that promised a more complete and up-to-date federal list of the mentally ill, who should be barred from buying guns. But two dozen states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records each when tens of thousands should be entered, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national gun reform group. Financing to help state reporting efforts was supposed to be $1.1 billion over the last four years, yet Congress appropriated only $51 million. So goes the nation’s utter failure to deal with the gun menace.
People are being shot to death every day in America. The elected leaders who have bought into the NRA's vision of America are complicit in allowing the daily carnage. Their silence is deafening. The ramped up fear of shadows around the corner or the tyrannical take-over of our country by those who don't think like the NRA leadership and the folks at the convention can lead to vigilantism. George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin has shown us how that is working. There are also more militia and hate groups than ever before as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center. These are the folks I fear and we should all fear. The guys with the guns do not make me feel safer or better. The NRA leadership is a scary group as well. I wonder if the rank and file members who attended the convention understand who their leadership really is? Their applause for the myths and lies is the answer to that question.  Let's look at just one who spoke at this year's convention- John Bolton. Here is his speech to the convention.

Bolton noted that "Ronald Reagan was proud to be an American. Isn't that refreshing in a President?" So, of course, what the audience must deduce from that is that President Obama is not proud to be an American. Therefore, if he is not a proud American, he will surely take away your guns. He goes on to demonize the United Nations- another evil to fear. More applause. These are the fallacies and myths promoted by the NRA at its' convention.

There is, of course, another side to all of this fear and paranoia promoted by the NRA and its' minions. That would be actual victims and shootings, of which there are too many. Who is paying attention to that? At least one media person noticed the recent carnage in the last few weeks and wondered the same thing? What are we doing about what's happening in America? Listen to the litany of the shootings just in a few days' time from The Rachel Maddow show:

Wow. And that's just a few of the actual shootings. Start demanding that something be done about this. There are too many shootings and too many victims. It's time to stand up for victims. Demand common sense rather than fear and paranoia.


I put a link to former Senator Rick Santorum's comments at the NRA convention in a comment. I have decided to include the video:

So Santorum spouts off about his wife owning more guns than he does and they are both life members of the NRA. He then says that he had just signed up his 3 year old daughter, Bella, who has a disability, for a lifetime membership of the NRA. More applause and cheers. Really? A three year old. I  just came home from church where there were 2 baptisms. One of the babies has 2 twin sisters, around 3 years old. I was trying to envision these innocent little girls in their fancy dresses becoming lifetime members of the NRA. I couldn't. When it comes to guns, some people have no common sense.


  1. I just saw this video of Rick Santorum speaking at the NRA convention- really? a 3 year old with disabilities is a life member of the NRA??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s8iBYdny9g

  2. Apparently, some NRA members agree with me that Wayne LaPierre is a "wingnut". http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/04/14/464599/wayne-lapierre-wingnut-over-the-edge/?mobile=nc

  3. In spite of what one of my commenters said, there were protestors outside of the NRA convention hall- http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57414201/gun-enthusiasts-unite-at-nra-convention/

  4. Only if by 'outside' you mean not 'inside' or anywhere near. If you look at the picture, it was at the courthouse. That's about a half-mile away from the center.

  5. A mother who has lost children to gun violence clashed with Wayne LaPierre at the NRA convention- http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/harlem-mom-lost-sons-gun-violence-nra-chief-clash-reach-understanding-article-1.1061796

    1. I'm not a fan of the NRA but I do agree that existing laws need to be better enforced before new laws are pushed out to try and cover every possible scenario. fwiw, micro stamping has already been shown to be ineffective and easily circumvented by criminals.


    2. Microstamping is not used much at all so it's hard to claim that it is ineffective. What other laws do you have in mind- existing laws- that are not enforced? One is that most states are not sending the names of adjudicated mentally ill people to NICS. That's a very dangerous law to not enforcing.