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.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Update to trial of Texas man using Stand Your Ground law in murder trial

So rather than just add this to my previous post, I decided this one deserved it's own post. I wrote about the 2010 shooting in Texas of a teacher by a neighbor who claimed self defense after he provoked a confrontation during a rowdy party next door. Here is an update about remarks made during the trial. From the article:
" “He was a nuisance that thought he pretty much ran the street in a way,” said Jamie Johnson, one of Rodriguez’s former neighbors.   “He had us paranoid because he was paranoid. We didn’t know when he was going to go off. (...) The president of the Baytown Firefighters Union, who was asked not to go on camera by Harris County prosecutors because of the trial, told KHOU 11 News that Rodriguez was the first and only firefighter voted out of their union. The union felt he was divisive, prejudiced and always felt people were out to get him.
“He was paranoid to the point he thought somebody was going to do something to him,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Rodriguez often showed off his gun, argued with adults and children and had confrontations in his old neighborhood similar to what was caught on tape and showed in court Wednesday.
The video, filmed by Rodriguez himself, shows the confrontation with Danaher and his friends that led to the fatal shooting. While Danaher was throwing a party for his wife, Rodriguez came over with his video camera, flashlight and gun, complaining that it was too loud. Eventually, the partygoers and Rodriguez got into an argument, and at some point, Rodriguez opened fire. Three people were shot, but Danaher did not survive his injuries.
“He did that to my ex-husband,” Johnson said.  “He didn’t do that to us out here in the road, but police when they came to my house said he really knows his handbook real well because he used the right words.  He said that my ex-husband was coming at him in an aggressive way on his property.”"
He knows his handbook pretty well? He used all the right words? So you study your handbook when you get your conceal and carry license.You are given the right words to say in case you have to use your gun in self defense and claim Stand Your Ground to get away with shooting someone? One of my commenters to my last posting tried to tell me it was my side of the issue that misinterpreted what Stand Your Ground laws were all about. NOT. The guys with the guns make the rules and they know what they are doing. They have made sure they have been given licenses to kill. Paranoid people and guns are not a good combination. But that is the dark version of America the NRA is painting to get people to buy more guns and then to get away with murder. Rodriguez knew what he was doing when he confronted the people at the party that night. He was ready with the words, his gun, a flashlight and even a video camera to record that he had told people he would use his gun. What did he get in return? Someone saying they might have to get their own gun. Ah hah! Now he is afraid for his life because he baited someone into potential violence. So he shoots and kills one person and injures two. But it's not his fault. He was just practicing self defense. Does this sound familiar? Remember George Zimmerman? Remember that if he had just stayed in his car as he was told to do and not confront Trayvon Martin, Martin would be alive today. There are other such cases. There are other senseless shootings in the name of self defense and standing one's ground. There are too many victims. Before Stand Your Ground laws, these kinds of shootings were not happening and if they were, there were no excuses. That is what the NRA changed.

The NRA's version of America is a dark and paranoid one filled with fear. It is resulting in death. Just listen to the words of the NRA's Executive VP Wayne LaPierre from this article (and video) by Josh Horwitz in the Huffington Post:

It speaks for itself. Fear and paranoia rule in the gun world. Where is common sense?


  1. That is a new one "Remember that if he had just stayed in his car as he was told to do and not confront Trayvon Martin, Martin would be alive today"

    Can you show me where in this 911 call he was told to stay in his car?


  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/us/justice-department-investigation-is-sought-in-florida-teenagers-shooting-death.html

    " Mr. Zimmerman trailed Trayvon in his car and placed a call to the police. The dispatcher told him to stay in his car and said the police would be on the way. But Mr. Zimmerman got out."

    1. I posted a link to the actual transcript. Please show where he was told to stay in the car by the operator. You can have your own opinion not your own facts.

    2. You are truly annoying Anthony. Are you excusing George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin? I am not going to argue this any more with you. It's an exercise in futility. If you want to be on the side of a man who shot a teen-ager in cold blood when he could have avoided the whole thing by staying in his car, that's your problem. Have a nice day.

  3. Regarding the NRA...

    Personally I don't really care for their PR, however I support them for very practical reasons.

    I just registered my wife to attend a day long women only handgun introduction course at the end of this month. The retail cost was $125 per student, but because I belong to a private, NRA exclusive gun club, I was able to register for only $50.

    There are also numerous retail promotions at stores like Cabela's, but admittedly some of those are on the gimmicky side.

    Regardless of how the NRA may be funded, they are delivering real value to gun owners and their families with training courses like this.

    1. The NRA should stick to offering those kinds of services to people and get the heck out of their extremist political positions. They go too far.

    2. The NRA has been coopted by extremists; they exist to be a lobby for gun manufacturers.

      They give you gun deals now and then to keep you their stooges and flunkies.

      And as a woman who has completed gun training - WHY would anyone enroll in a women's class? The subject matter is the same, there is only one set of facts. There is no justification for ladies classes any more than there is any sanity in silly pink firearms.

      This is an old crazy flabby and crabby white guy. This is a man who was trespassing, who had no legal right to be in someone else's yard, with a gun, threatening them, much less shooting them.

      This is trying to legalize vigilantism -- which is WRONG.

      It is antithetical to a civlized society based on the rule of law.

    3. Re: female gun training

      My wife and other women I've talked to are turned off by some elements of the traditionally male dominated hobby. They are usually more practical and not as focused on the "cool" factor.

      As I understand it, the subject matter of the women only course is NOT the same.

      Women may face slightly different dangers than men. Additionally, many women have different sensibilities about and motivations for protecting themselves.

      If I'm wrong, why is there a long waiting list for this course?

  4. I love this guy who's been so convinced by the NRA nonsense that he actually video recorded the incident convinced of his righteousness.

    The damage to the country is incalculable. I blame the NRA and gun-rights activists.