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.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Two perspectives about guns and gun violence

So what to do now? We have had a week with all kinds of news and comments about guns, gun control, the NRA, etc. It was the week of remembrance for the many victims of the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings. Somewhere in there we forgot to talk about the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrated by a man with significant ties to the gun rights extremists crowd. Here is just one perspective about the problem with guns and gun violence in our country:
"Yes, we all get that guns are inanimate objects and do not act on their own. However, the portability of them, the inherent danger of them, the availability of them, the ease of use -- all make it so much easier for people to kill people.
Cars don't kill people, either. And we all accept the common sense rules around car ownership and driving -- you need a license, you must wear your seat belts, you can't drive drunk. In many states, there are laws against driving while using your cell phone. How come people do not interpret these laws as infringing on their right to car ownership? Because these are rational ideas and for the common good.
And planes don't kill people. More annoying and still accepted are the rules that make airplane travel such a hassle. And while there is some public griping about these rules (including by me), by and large, these are also accepted as "for the common good."
Yet not so with respect to guns. Why? Money. Money that equals votes that equals power that equals more votes that equals more money that equals more votes that equals more power, ad nauseam. (...) 
There is no interest group or business that is motivated enough to be the "anti-NRA" or that can compete with the arms and munitions manufacturers and dealers, the gun shop owners, and ancillary businesses that do have a vested interest in ensuring that there are no obstacles to the sale of guns.
There is no anti-gun group with enough money to defeat the pro-gun money. There is a lack of will and desire to confront this issue in the state and federal government and no strong anti-gun leadership from either party. The only way left to fight the gun industry is through the voices (and votes) of the American people."
There is no common sense when it comes to the gun issue. From the other side of this divide come some other interesting perspectives. This time it's from the viewpoint of gun rights extremists as they flocked to the recent NRA convention in St. Louis. Some of them apparently think talking about the possible assassination of President Obama is funny:
And there was a professional Second Amendment extremist named Stephen Burke. An Endowment Life Member of the NRA and an attorney from Springfield, Massachusetts, Burke specializes in getting guns into the hands of ex-cons whose licenses have been revoked or downgraded for criminal activity.
Burke is a loud and boastful retired lance corporal who displays a photo of himself with NRA Executive Vice President & CEO Wayne LaPierre on his professional website. The only thing he abhors more than gun control is silence. When a conversation about former New York Governor George Pataki's pro-gun record entered a lull, he asked the group what sounded like an American history riddle or piece of trivia: "What do Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama have in common?"
The collective intelligence of the minibus was stumped. After a few beats, he delivered the answer: "Nothing. Yet."
Most of the bus erupted in laughter, but the father from Long Island looked out the window, embarrassed.
Parents who want to shield their children from presidential assassination jokes should consider vacation destinations other than NRA conventions. The group's leadership has in recent years expertly cultivated a very profitable hatred and paranoia among its membership. This fact was on majestic display in St. Louis, where NRA officials painted the president as a dedicated "enemy of freedom" quietly implementing the early stages of a master gun confiscation plan. The convention marked the opening salvo in the group's campaign to defeat Obama and his gun control allies in November. The official battle cry for this effort, unveiled on Friday, is "All In."
Raise your hand if you think this is funny. Or read this one about Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America for a radical view of gun rights:
GOA’s Executive Director is Larry Pratt. In the early 1980s, Pratt and the GOA were outspoken supporters of the white rulers in South Africa during apartheid, calling a press conference in 1984 to present “evidence” that allegedly tied Bishop Desmond Tutu to an effort to violently overthrow the white minority regime in the country. In 1990, Pratt wrote a book titled “Armed People Victorious” based on his study of death squads in Guatemala and the Philippines, and advocated for similar “citizen defense patrols” in the United States. The idea reportedly caught on in 1992, when Pratt addressed a three-day meeting of neo-Nazis and Christian Adherents organized by white supremacist Pete Peters. He shared the stage with a former Ku Klux Klan leader and an Aryan Nation official.
Pratt also held leadership roles in ALEC for many years. His relationship with ALEC began in 1978, when ALEC began an effort to oppose a constitutional amendment giving the District of Columbia full voting rights in Congress. When Pratt was elected to the Virginia State Legislature in 1981, he took a leadership position in ALEC. He sat on ALEC’s board even after he left the legislature, serving as its treasurer into the 1990s.
So apparently it's perfectly O.K. for the gun rights extremists to pal around with White Supremicists and extremists and not be held accountable. Remember, these are folks who are quick to issue invectives and screeds about our own President and willing to criticize him and "liberals" by calling them names and making false accusations. (See Florida GOP Representative Allen West):
Ted Nugent doesn’t bear “any ill will” toward President Barack Obama, Rep. Allen West said Thursday despite the rocker’s appointment with the Secret Service over his controversial comments.
“I think he was just expressing maybe his opinion about something and of course everyone wants to sensationalize things but let's leave it up to the Secret Service to interview him and get to the bottom of it,” West, a Florida Republican, told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien when asked about Nugent’s comments.
“I don’t think the Motor City Madman has any ill will toward the President of United States of America,” he said.
Whatever. This is the very same elected Representative who made ludicrous claims that there are liberals in Congress who are members of the Communist party. This elected leader has chosen a side. He is on the side of the extremists. He lies. Raise your hand if you think it's the side you want to be on. Elected leaders and the public can decide on which side they choose to stand and which perspective they choose to believe. There is only one that prevents senseless shootings and is a common sense approach to public health and safety. The other has become so radical that it doesn't represent anyone but the gun industry and the increasingly extreme nature of the views of those who adhere to it. The country has something to worry about when people like Ted Nugent ( I Am the NRA) and Larry Pratt are in the public eye spewing evil, threats, violence and hatred. Even the NRA is distancing itself from the Ted Nugent remarks by removing them from their website. Check out this video of Ted Nugent singing the song proclaiming his and NRA members ties to the organization:

Great stuff. The organization is running away from one of their own Board members. Why? It could spell trouble for the organization that has been too powerful and has now been exposed for the radical laws (Stand Your Ground) they have been pushing on states all over our country. Now, even ALEC wants out of supporting these kind of laws because the organization has been under intense pressure after the Trayvon Martin shooting. And now Ted Nugent concerts are now being cancelled for obvious reasons. Who wants this man to make any more inflammatory comments while doing a concert? The exposure does not make them ( Ted Nugent, the NRA and ALEC) look good. And if they don't look good, they may lose support and money. And if they lose support and money, they can's sustain themselves to continue their screed of fear and paranoia. And if the fear and paranoia is not being spread, people won't be so afraid. If people aren't so afraid, they may not want to buy so many guns to protect themselves from the fearful "gun grabbers" from President Obama, from people who represent "the other" and from the shadowy figures of their imagination. And what happens if people don't buy so many guns? The gun industry may suffer a set back. Other industries have suffered in the recent years of bad economic times. But not so much the gun industry. Should we be worried about protecting this industry when we haven't been worried about the rest? It's the veritable "vicious circle".

1 comment:

  1. "In many states, there are laws against driving while using your cell phone. How come people do not interpret these laws as infringing on their right to car ownership?"

    Well, because the is no COTUS right to car ownership. Unless I'm missing an Amendment.

    And in actuallity, cell phone bans have been struck down as unconstitutional in some localities because the local law conflicted with state laws, i.e., preemption.

    It's the same concept here. Just because a law "feels good" doesn't mean it is justification for infringing upon a COTUS right at any level.

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment. That's your only real chance at passing laws based on the subjectivity of what SOME view as 'common sense.'